NSU’s oldest graduate celebrates 110th birthday Oct. 28

Earline Hart Andrews, NSU’s oldest living graduate, celebrates her 110th birthday this week. Though her hearing and eyesight are poor and she uses a walker for mobility, Andrews’ memory and intellect are as sharp as ever. Andrews graduated from Louisiana Normal, as NSU was then known, in 1931, and spent 43 years teaching in Texas before retiring in 1975.

Born Oct. 28, 1910, she described riding a horse to Vivian High School from her father’s farm just over the Texas line and falling into the habit of racing — and outrunning — Model Ts, for which she was reprimanded by her parents. She enrolled at Normal after graduating from Vivian High and arrived in Natchitoches with seven other girls from her class, never having been away from home before. At that time, girls only left their dormitories at prescribed times and students paid a quarter to watch silent movies on Saturday evenings.

Andrews was awarded her diploma in the heart of the Great Depression when jobs were scarce and some schools had to pay their teachers with “scripts” that didn’t necessarily cover their salaries. She sought employment in an oilfield town near El Dorado, Arkansas, taught there for four years at a salary of $120 a month. She returned to Texas in 1934 to teach at Overton near Kilgore at a salary of $100 per month and held that position for 14 years. She earned a master’s degree in history at Stephen F. Austin and later retired after teaching in Tyler, Texas, for 26 years.

“I was a very dedicated classroom teacher,” she said.

Her memories of Normal include campus buildings and codes of conduct that are long gone. Like many alumni, Andrews recalls her days at Normal as a time of learning and forming close friendships with her classmates. Many were from rural areas and away from home for the first time. Because trips off-campus were limited, the students entertained themselves with social and cultural programs, athletic events and recitals.

An avid reader and traveler, Andrews during her life visited 48 states in the U.S., and every continent except for Antarctica and Australia. She is also a genealogist who traced her ancestors to the 500s.

Andrews was a long-time resident of Tyler but relocated to the Fort Worth-area to live with a niece a few years ago.

A Fake Farce

By Brad Dison

On the morning of February 20, 2005, Mike Bolesta and his son Christopher visited a Best Buy in Lutherville, Maryland, about twenty minutes north of Baltimore. They were shopping for a cd player for Christopher’s car. The carefully considered the pros and cons of each model until they finally decided on just the right one. The technician assured Mike that the cd player would fit perfectly in Christopher’s dashboard without any alterations. Mike agreed to pay a $114 installation fee in addition to the cd player once it was installed. After a while, the technician returned with bad news. The cd player would not fit but Best Buy had another model which would fit, and it was $67 cheaper. Mike and Christopher were disappointed, but the technician’s offer to waive the $114 installation fee was too good to pass up. Mike had the technician install the cd player. After the technician completed the installation, Mike paid the cashier for the cd player and said he would be glad to pay the installation fee. The cashier was aware of the technician’s offer and did not charge him for installation. Mike and Christopher left the store pleased with their purchase.

As the old saying goes, “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.” The following day, a representative from Best Buy called Mike and threatened to call the police unless he returns to the store and pays the $114 installation fee. Mike mentioned that the technician had waived the installation fee because of their inability to install the cd player they had originally chosen. The Best Buy representative stood his ground. Mike agreed to come in the following day to settle up.

On the following day, Mike returned to the Best Buy to pay the installation fee. He handed the cashier $114 in cash. The cashier noticed that some of the ink on the bills was smeared. She suspected the bills were counterfeit. She pointed out the smearing to Mike and said, “I don’t have to take these if I don’t want to.” Mike replied, “If you don’t, I’m leaving. I’ve tried to pay my bill twice. You don’t want these bills, you can sue me.” The cashier took the money and checked each of them with an anticounterfeit pen. The ink showed that the bills were real but the cashier was still uncertain. Other employees became curious and inspected the bills. “Are these real?” they asked. “Of course, they are,” Mike contended, “They’re legal tender.” They too suspected the bills were counterfeit. One of the employees discreetly called the police.

Within minutes, police arrived and inspected the bills. One officer noticed that, in addition to the smearing, the bills ran in sequential order. One of the officers asked where he got the bills and Mike replied that he got them from his bank. “You got a problem, call the bank.” By this time, all of the customers and employees in the area were gawking at Mike. He later said, “I am 6 feet 5 inches tall, and I felt like 8 inches high. It was humiliating.” Like the Best Buy employees, the officers concluded that the money was counterfeit. One of the officers handcuffed Mike and told him, “We have to do this until we get it straightened out.” Mike retorted, “I can’t believe you’re doing this. I’m paying with legal American money.” The officers were unyielding.

One of the officers transported him to the county police lockup in Cockeysville, about 10 minutes north of the Best Buy. They walked Mike into a jail cell which had a metal pole attached to the floor and ceiling in the center of the room. Next to the pole was a single chair. An officer sat Mike in the chair and uncuffed one hand. Mike assumed he would remove the handcuffs. Instead, the officer handcuffed Mike to the pole. Mike was even more shocked when the officer shackled his legs to the pole. Mike said, “at this point, I’m a mass murderer.” Mike sat and waited.

Three hours after being handcuffed and shackled to the pole, United States Secret Service agent Leigh Turner arrived at the jail. She examined each bill for size, thickness, weight, tested the paper’s ink, and paid close attention to the sequential numbers. She concluded that the bills were absolutely real, legitimate American currency. She had the final say in the matter. In her report, agent Turner noted that “sometimes ink on money can smear.” Officers released Mike and apologized for the inconvenience.

A few days later, Mike’s son asked him for some money. Mike pulled his wallet from his back pocket and pulled out a few bills. Mike’s son suddenly remembered the story of Mike being arrested and decided that he no longer needed the money. Why were the Best Buy employees and officers confused about Mike’s form of payment? Why was he arrested? Mike paid the cashier the $114 cd player installation fee in fifty-seven crisp, real… $2 bills.

The Baltimore Sun, March 8, 2005, p.B1.

Good News in 2020? – Car Insurance Prices Dropping!

Several companies in Louisiana were able to lower rates for their policyholders using more advanced actuarial technology and rating systems. The Commissioner of Insurance, James Donelon announced, “Louisiana Farm Bureau Group (Farm Bureau) submitted a rate filing for a decrease of 7.5% on new and renewal business.” Although Farm Bureau’s rate decrease is industry leading, several other companies showed significant decreases in the upcoming months.

Rates for Farm Bureau are dropping on November 1, 2020 for new customers, and at renewal (after the six month billing cycle) for existing customers.

If you want to pay less for car insurance, here are some essential tips!

1. Build Credit! Credit score plays a huge role in all insurance companies’ rating process.

2. Drive safe. This one may seem obvious, but every ticket, bump in a parking lot, and insurance lapse can end up on your permanent record and effect your cost of insurance for years!

3. Keep insurance in force. Even when bills get tight, make sure that you keep your insurance paid and in force. A lapse in coverage is not only illegal, it costs huge fines at the DMV, increases your insurance costs in the future, and can even make it impossible to get insurance with many companies. If you can’t afford your insurance bill, get quotes from other agencies or turn your tags into the DMV and stay off the roads.

4. Get to know your agent. Regular account reviews and conversations with your agent can adjust coverages to cover only what you need covered, and ensure that you have the correct insurance for you.

5. Find discounts. If you or your child has a GPA over 3.0, you could be saving huge! There are military discounts, defensive driving discounts and more!

6. Bundle your home, auto and life insurance. You need all kinds of insurance so why not save on everything by putting it together?

7. Get a quote today. If you’re with Farm Bureau already, find out what your price will be after renewal by calling (318)352-8111. If you’re with another company, give them a call and find out how much you could be saving in minutes!

Notice of Death – October 27, 2020

Nickolas Charles Parrie
September 28, 2001 – October 25, 2020
Service: Thursday, October 29 at 11 am at St. Joseph Catholic Church

Edwin Davidson, Jr.
September 12, 2003 – October 19, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Marjorie Remo
October 22, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Gary Higgs
September 28, 1941 – October 25, 2020
Service: Wednesday, October 28 at 11 am in the Southern Funeral Home Chapel

Roy Ricky White
October 26, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Extra Compensation For Election Workers

Senator Louis Bernard is delighted that the Senate has passed a bill to provide extra pay for election commissioners this fall. Final Senate vote of 37-0 came late morning Thursday. Bernard said the bill now goes to the Governor.

“I don’t think there is any opposition to the Governor signing it,” said Bernard. The money for the November 3rd election is in the CARES Act and funding for December 5th election will be in the Supplemental Budget the Legislature is working on.

The Journal spoke with Senator Bernard on the chamber floor. He said the bill started out in the house, introduced by Rep. Beau Beaullieu of New Iberia. The state House passed the bill on October 13th. Bernard told The Journal he managed the bill in the state Senate. The goal was to get it passed and over to the Governor before the special session ended.

“It’s not a lot of money,” said Bernard. Commissioners will get an additional $100 for working an election. The bill states that it goes into effect when there is an emergency situation called by the Governor, as is the case during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Senator Bernard said, “Election commissioners were our unsung heroes of the election process. They have to sit at elections 15 hours, even when turnout is very slow.”

Many commissioners may be already at a health risk during the pandemic. Bernard said, “They are exposing themselves to more people than they normally would. This is an expression that we think you are doing a good job and we appreciate it.”

Spirit of Northwestern to present Band Extravaganza

The Spirit of Northwestern Marching Band will present a Band Extravaganza on Thursday, Oct. 29 at 6 p.m. in Turpin Stadium.

Admission is free and open to the public. Seats are limited and those who plan to attend are asked to RSVP at https://www.facebook.com/events/386479219047000/.

A livestream of the performance will available at https://www.facebook.com/NSULA.SpiritOfNorthwestern.

Those attending are asked to wear masks when entering the stadium and any time they are not in their seats. Masks can be removed at the seat if individuals are socially distanced or are sitting with members of their household.

“Each area of the marching band is rehearsing their components of that show and we will bring all the parts together for the performance,” said Director of Bands Dr. Jeffrey C. Mathews. “We know that our students need some sense of normalcy and working toward a goal like this together definitely fits the bill.”

The band will play some traditional school songs, stand tunes as well as a show featuring the entire SON performing together as one. The performance will also feature the Demon Heat Color Guard and the Demon Dazzlers.

Mathews said band members have continued to rehearse after returning to campus for the fall semester. In preparing for this event, band directors have collaborated with other directors around the country and with healthcare professionals to establish protocols to ensure the safety of band members and the directors. During rehearsals, the 340-member band has been split into five ensembles to follow best practices.


LDH and LPHI to host three tele-town halls on flu and COVID-19

The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) and Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI) are hosting a series of tele-town halls called “Protecting our Communities from the Flu & COVID-19.” Each event will be moderated by Dr. Earl Benjamin-Robinson, deputy director of LDH’s Office of Community Partnerships & Health Equity, Joynetta Bell Kelly, associate deputy director of LDH’s Office of Community Partnerships & Health Equity, and Shelina Davis, CEO of LPHI. Local panelists will include each region’s medical director, faith-based leaders, and community physicians.

The goal of these informational sessions is to educate the community about the importance of getting the flu vaccine this year, especially given the similarities between flu symptoms and COVID-19 symptoms. The dialogue will also focus on equitable health outcomes for all Louisianans, especially the African American community who has been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

WHEN: Wednesday, October 28
Region 1, 2 & 9 (Greater New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Hammond, and North Shore Areas)
2 – 3:30 p.m.

Wednesday, November 4
Region 3, 4, & 5 (Houma-Thibodaux, River Parishes, Acadiana, and Lake Charles Areas)
10:30 a.m. – noon

Wednesday, November 18
Region 6, 7, & 8 (Alexandria, Shreveport, and Monroe Areas)
9 – 10:30 a.m.

WHERE: Each tele-town hall will be hosted through GoToWebinar. Registration is available using the links above.

NSU announces unique “All In Ticket” for 2020-21 athletic year

NSULA- Perhaps the busiest three-month stretch in Northwestern State’s athletic history begins in mid-February when nearly every NSU team is in action.

For those who want to be a part of the jam-packed schedule, there is one simple way to do – follow the NSU department’s #ALLIN mantra and grab your perfectly packaged “All In Ticket.”

“It’s been a long while since we’ve offered a total-ticket package,” said NSU Assistant Athletic Director for Ticketing and Special Events Mike Jacklich. “The unique circumstances of our condensed schedule this winter and spring provide fans an exciting and affordable way to watch all the NSU athletic events they can handle.”

Available at two different levels, the All In Ticket secures admission to all NSU football, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball and softball games, beginning with the Dec. 1 men’s basketball game against ULM.

The Reserved All In Ticket runs $350 and includes a seat in Sections S or L (mid-court) for both men’s and women’s basketball, upper reserved seating at baseball, reserved seating at softball and chairback seating for football games.

For $850, the VIP All In Ticket provides seats in the purple VIP seats at basketball, lower VIP reserved seating at baseball, reserved seating at softball and suite tickets for football games.

The All In Ticket covers three home football games, at least nine home men’s and women’s basketball games each, and between 40 and 50 total baseball and softball games. Additionally, the All In Ticket can be purchased only by calling the NSU Athletics Ticket Office at 318-357-6468 or in person at the ticket office.

COVID-19 restrictions will be in place at the beginning of the season, requiring facemasks to be worn inside Prather Coliseum unless you are eating or drinking. Additional restrictions, including the number of people allowed in the arena, could be enforced as well.

For more information on other NSU ticket options, log onto http://www.NSUTickets.com.

Notice of Death – October 22, 2020

Betty Remedies Tryon
November 8, 1937 – October 20, 2020
Service: Saturday, October 24 at 10 am at Bethsadia Baptist Church

Robert “Rabbit” Sepulvado
October 17, 1948 – October 20, 2020
Service: Friday, October 23 at 11 am at St. Joseph Catholic Church

Ronald D. Kennedy Sr.
October 9, 2020
Service: Saturday, October 24 at 12 pm at 750 Second Street in Natchitoches

Brent Druien Thompson
October 04, 1930 – October 19, 2020
Service: Saturday, October 24 at 2 pm in the chapel of Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

Ken Babers
October 15, 2020
Service: Saturday, October 24 at 11 am in the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel, located at 318 North Street in Natchitoches

Billie Hayes
October 14, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Dylan Scott Parker
May 30, 1990 – October 20, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Genevieve Ozelle Adams
November 10, 1927 – October 17, 2020
Arrangements TBA

James Edward Adams
October 09, 1942 – October 20, 2020
Service: Saturday, October 24 at 10 am at Walnut Hill Cemetery in Bradley, AR