OPPORTUNITY: Join Our Team

Family Doctors of Natchitoches has an immediate opening

Position: Medical Receptionist

Status: Full Time

Qualifications: Excellent communication & customer service skills are required.  Positive & cheerful attitude a must. Experience with Electronic Medical Records is preferred.

Duties: Answering multiple phone lines, scheduling patient appointments, handling patient check in/outs and processing patient payments.

Send your resume
eMail: JFairClinic@aol.com
In-person: drop it off at 615 Bienville Street, Natchitoches, Louisiana

Family Doctors of Natchitoches is an Equal Opportunity Employer


The Forgotten Impact of FLW

If there’s one thing that’s becoming apparent, it’s the impact the FLW (Forest L. Wood, founder of Ranger Boats) organization had on the bass fishing landscape. Today we’ll look at what made FLW so special and helped lay the ground swelling that occurred during the 1990’s up till now. FLW made bass fishing more popular than ever before with their approach and commitment to sponsors who were not really associated with the outdoors. Let’s first start with what it was like to fish tournaments in the 1990’s.

Tournaments back then were events, or usually benefits, for someone or something. Most of these were annual events that drew anywhere from 40 to 60 boats. There were only a couple of high-level fishing circuits like B.A.S.S. and the Red Man Tournament Trail (which was one step below B.A.S.S.). Available too, were Fishers of Men, and a few American Bass Angler (ABA) events. Another pro/am circuit, known as Angler’s Choice, was also a popular tour and even had a team trail you could follow. Then there was the FLW tournament trail that was making headway and growing in popularity at a rapid rate.

Of all these organizations I’ve mentioned, FLW was the one that changed the landscape in the late 90’s and has led us to where we are today. For years, B.A.S.S. (The Bassmaster Elite Series) was, and still is, THE place and the goal of every angler in America. They set the standard that all tournament organizations wanted to be and FLW opened the door and gave anglers another option to pursue their dreams of fishing professionally. FLW took sponsors to a whole other level with boat and truck wraps of major sponsors like Wal-Mart, Land of Lakes, Castrol Oil, Tide, M&M’s, Kellogg’s Cereal, and Folgers Coffee, to name a few. They brought in sponsors that were not necessarily associated with the outdoors and promoted them the same way NASCAR did it.

This was probably the best thing that ever happened for professional bass fishing! FLW decided to attack and establish a grass roots following by setting up a progression of tournament trails. That ladder started with the BFL’s (Bass Fishing League), a series of one-day events all across the country, designed as pro/am events for the working man or weekend warrior. If you did well on that level, you could then advance to fish a multi-day tournament trail called the Everstart Series which was similar to the B.A.S.S. Open Series. Then after this, if you were really good, there was the FLW Series, which was one step below fishing as a full-time pro. Success in that series would lead anglers to the pinnacle of the organization…. the FLW Tour.

With their approach, FLW had created an avenue for amateur anglers to pursue their dreams of fishing as a professional. The awesome boat and truck wraps drew visual attention and made it cool to be a bass angler. It invigorated young boys and girls to want to be a pro angler. FLW then started the College Series that caught fire nationwide as colleges and universities created fishing teams and some even offered scholarships. Then they went even further and started high school bass fishing which has gone viral and insured that there will be future generations to pursue a career as a professional bass fisherman.

The sad part of all of this is that FLW no longer exists, as Major League Fishing (MLF) purchased FLW in 2020. This was sad to see, as I personally had fished several levels with FLW and enjoyed all of them. The downfall of FLW was poor financial management. Anglers also started to figure out the payback for their events was not up to par with other organizations. Entry fees went up and the payback for certain tournaments was less than 60 percent. MLF is trying to re-establish these tours once again, but the payback is still an issue, especially for the BFL tour which has the lowest payback of any tournament trail of this level. Hopefully, the powers that be at MLF will recognize this and correct it because we will always need at least two major fishing organizations that give anglers an option. Remember, competition between organizations makes everything better for all anglers. Till next time, good luck, good fishing and don’t forget to set the hook!!!

Steve Graf


Notice of Death – January 13, 2022

SABINE:
Louis L. “PoPo” Crooks
August 25, 1935 – January 11, 2022
Service: Friday, January 14 at 10 am at St. Joseph Catholic Church

NATCHITOCHES:
Thelma LaCaze Coutee
April 18, 1927 – January 12, 2022
Service: Monday, January 17 at 11 am at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

Ronnie Russell Monroe
May 7, 1948 – January 12, 2022
Service: Saturday, January 15 at 1 pm at Hargis Baptist Church, located at 1313 La. Hwy. 122 in Montgomery

Mildred Louise Eckhardt McTyre
March 26, 1935 – January 4, 2022
Service: Saturday, January 29 at 11 am at First Baptist Church of Natchitoches


NSU announces athletic director transition

Greg Burke

NATCHITOCHES — Greg Burke announced Monday he will step aside after 25 years as Northwestern State’s athletic director to accept another position at the university.

Burke requested to be reassigned to a role in fund raising for the NSU Foundation. He began his NSU career generating revenues as director of the NSU Athletic Association and served for five years as director of athletic development at the University of Akron.

The longest-serving athletic director in Louisiana and the Southland Conference, Burke has guided the NSU athletic department since 1996. Discussions with university officials about his future role at NSU have been ongoing for several months.

Northwestern President Dr. Marcus Jones said, “Greg has been highly respected by colleagues in college athletics in Louisiana, the Southland Conference, and the nation throughout his long tenure at NSU. His fervent commitment to enhancing and expanding the overall experiences of our student-athletes has never wavered.”

Jones said the university will engage a sports consulting search firm to assist in the search for a new athletic director and that an advisory committee of university stakeholders will also be appointed to provide input in the process. He said a new AD should be selected within six to eight weeks.

Vice President of External Affairs Jerry Pierce said, “Northwestern is indebted to Greg for his years of dedicated service and extensive contributions to the university. He has made a positive impact on intercollegiate sports in the state and nationally. I am confident that he will continue to serve the university passionately and effectively in his new role at the school.”

Appointed as Northwestern’s 20th president earlier this month after serving as interim president since July, Jones plans to initiate a major development campaign at the university in 2022. He said Burke’s “experience and expertise in fund-raising will be valuable as we embark on that important campaign.”

Burke’s shift away from athletics comes during one of the most turbulent times nationwide in intercollegiate sports because of such issues as conference realignments; name, image, and likeness rules; transfer portal implications, and COVID-related disruptions.

Pierce said, “With the turmoil surrounding college athletics nationally and the importance of continuity and stability in our intercollegiate sports programs and experiences for student-athletes, we are fortunate that Greg will continue to serve as AD during the national search for his successor.”

Burke, who announced his decision to the Athletic Department staff Monday morning, said, “The timing is right for me to make this transition to the NSU Foundation. Doing so will enable me to focus solely on raising funds for a university which means the world to my family and me. I have always had a great working relationship with (NSU Foundation Executive Director) Drake Owens and look forward to working with him and his staff.”

A native of Alliance, Ohio, Burke is a graduate of the University of Mount Union in Ohio and received his master’s degree from Kent State University.

He was a sportswriter for the Alliance Review newspaper in Ohio and director of news and sports information at Hiram College in Ohio before joining the NSU Athletic Department as an intern in 1985.

Burke held athletic fund-raising positions at Northwestern and the University of Akron before becoming athletic director at NSU in 1996.

Under Burke’s leadership, the NSU Athletic Department produced the lone Southland Conference Triple Crown championship, winning the league’s football, men’s basketball and baseball regular-season titles in the 2004-05 academic year. That trio of championships highlighted a run that included 25 NCAA postseason appearances, 24 Southland Conference regular-season championships, 19 SLC Tournament titles, three Olympians and two individual national champions during Burke’s tenure.

The Northwestern State men’s basketball team produced two NCAA Tournament victories during Burke’s time at the helm of NSU athletics, including one of the most memorable upsets in tournament history – the Demons’ 64-63 upset of third-seeded Iowa on March 17, 2006.

NSU student-athletes flourished away from the competitive surface during Burke’s career, collecting 11 Academic All-American honors, numerous Southland Conference Student-Athlete of the Year acclaim and Southland Conference Steve McCarty Citizenship Award winners. In the most recent NCAA Graduation Success Rate data, NSU student-athletes posted a program-record 87 percent graduation rate.

Burke recently began his second of a five-year term on the NCAA Women’s Basketball Committee after previously serving on the NCAA Committee on Academics and Championships/Sports Management Cabinet, the NCAA Division I Football Issues Committee and the NCAA FCS Committee.

Said Burke: “There will no doubt be a void, having worked in college athletics for the past 43 years, but Susu and I will continue to be financially and personally supportive of NSU’s teams and coaches as a fan and advocate. I am forever grateful to Dr. Randy Webb, Jerry Pierce and the Athletic Council led by Dr. Vicki Parrish for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime to lead the NSU athletic program. Over the past 25 years, it has been a blessing to have developed relationships with so many student-athletes, parents, faculty, alumni and NCAA staff members, as well as with coaches and administrators at NSU and nationwide. Much has been accomplished over the course of time but there is always more that can be done to position NSU Athletics for success on all levels. With that in mind, I encourage those who love NSU Athletics to either keep supporting or to begin supporting our student-athletes and coaches because every single gift makes a difference.”

Photo: Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services


NSU could welcome first female President

Friends call her “Ginny.” Supporters call her “The woman for the job.” History will call her the first female President of Northwestern State University if Dr. Virginia Burkett is selected by the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors on Nov. 8.

Many believe Dr. Burkett, a longtime resident of Sabine Parish who works in Washington DC, leads the pack of the top six semi-finalists, from whom will be named a new President of NSU.

Dr. Burkett is currently Chief Scientist in the U.S. Department of the Interior, heading up the Climate and Land Use Change, Office of International Programs, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

She is the only candidate for NSU President with local roots who has earned global respect. Her legacy of intellect and integrity reaches from Louisiana to Washington, DC, and across the world.

“In my opinion and experience, integrity is the essence of successful leadership,” Dr. Burkett shared in her Letter of Interest submitted recently to the University of Louisiana (UL) System Board, along with her 25-page resumé.

Her extensive Curriculum Vitae (CV) credentials include

– Proven leadership and administrative expertise statewide, nationally, and globally

– Management of State and Federal budgets of over $140 million dollars annually

– Management of over 750 full-time employees

– Contributing Author to an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007

– Recipient of the Diversity Award five times by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior (2021) and the U.S. Geological Survey (2020, 2017, 2015 and 2014)

– Recipient of Minority Student and Faculty Enhancement Award (2003), National Urban & Community Conference for Minority and Underserved Communities

– First female in the United State to direct a state fish and wildlife agency

– Invited lecturer at Harvard, Stanford, West Point, Columbia, Princeton, Wheaton, U.S. Council on Foreign Relations, Royal Institute of Foreign Affairs (UK) and other respected institutions

– Appointed by the White House to Co-Chair a $2.4 billion Global Change Research Program

– One of three generations to attend and graduate from NSU

– Long Purple Line inductee in 2011

– NSU Foundation Board from 2012 until present

– Service on approximately 70 other Boards, Committees and Science Panels

There are those who say Dr. Burkett does not have enough experience in academia to get the job. But her supporters say a lifetime spent in academia does not a leader make. They feel her stronger administrative skills are by far more desirable.

“As I have during every position I have every held, I would pour my energy, passion, and experience into leading NSU,” Dr. Burkett shared with the UL Board.

Her career is an achievement-filled example of commitment to excellence, intellect, an extraordinary work ethic and integrity.

When she left state government, the Baton Rouge Morning Advocate captured the great loss that was felt with an editorial cartoon depicting a bear sitting on a stump reading a newspaper with a headline about her departure. “Who will take care of me now?” the bear is lamenting.

Dr. Burkett has been published in dozens of peer-reviewed journals and definitive, encyclopedic publications (about 100 entries are listed on her CV) and one may doubt that is a complete list. She is that prolific. She also serves as Editor of the international scientific journal Regional Environmental Change and on the Editorial Board of Ethics in Science and Environmental Politics.

Dr. Burkett has given scores of media interviews ranging from The New York Times and US News and World Report to Louisiana Public Broadcasting and The Economist magazine. Those are only a few of the more recent examples. So, supporters say, she certainly has the experience and the wherewithal to represent NSU not only nationally, but around the world, and to represent it very well.

Dr. Burkett is a licensed Arborist, Master Gardener and holds a Private Pilot’s license. In addition, she is a beekeeper who harvests her own honey. She is a current member of the Louisiana State Museum of Geoscience Associates, (Charter Member); Louisiana Wildlife Biologists Association, (Life Member); American Association for the Advancement of Science and International Society of Arboriculture.

“To top it all off, Dr. Burkett is genuinely a nice person,” Laurie Gentry of Many shared on the supporters’ Burkett for NSU President Facebook page. “If you don’t know a lot about her, that’s because she is not the sort to self-promote or aggrandize her truly amazing achievements. Her work speaks for itself. The report she helped author which won a Nobel Prize is credited by many scientists and policymakers as being the catalyst for environmental change worldwide. Northwestern State University needs that kind of leadership.”

The UL System Board of Supervisors is welcoming input on whom they should select as NSU President. To send a letter of support, email northwesternpresidentialsearch@ulsystem.edu. Email will be forwarded to all Board Members. They are Vice Chair Elizabeth Pierre of Monroe, Parliamentarian Jimmy Clarke of Lafayette, Barry Busada of Shreveport, John Condos of Lake Charles, Steve Davison of Ruston, Lola Dunahoe of Natchitoches, Thomas Kitchen of Metairie, Mimi Methvin of Lafayette, Alejandro “Al Perkins of Prairieville, Dana Peterson, Virgil Robinson Jr. of New Orleans, Mark Romero of Lafayette, Kristine Russell of Thibodaux, Joe Salter of Florien, Brad Stevens of Hammond, and Southeastern Louisiana University Student Board Member L’Oreal Williams.

“I pledge to work with our Board of Supervisors, faculty, administrators, alumni, and Natchitoches community and, most importantly, the students of our wonderful university in leading NSU to achieve new levels of success with all of our endeavors. …I cannot think of a more important investment of a lifetime of hard work and experience other than serving as the President of NSU,” Dr. Burkett shared.

Dr. Burkett’s
Curriculum Vitae/Resume: https://tinyurl.com/kpbxpjkk


BOM Promotes Blaise LaCour

BOM Bank would like to congratulate Blaise LaCour on her promotion to Community Development Director. Blaise joined the BOM family in July of 2018 as a Marketing Assistant. She is a Natchitoches native, and a graduate of Natchitoches Central High School. Blaise received her bachelor’s in mass communication from Louisiana State University. She attends St. Augustine Catholic Church and enjoys participating in community events. This year, she is serving as the Natchitoches Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Chair. She is also a recipient of the 2021 Natchitoches Young Professionals 4 Under 40 award. In her spare time, Blaise enjoys spending time with her family and friends as well as cheering for the Tigers and the Saints. Congratulations, Blaise!


Monroe’s Chennault Aviation and Military Museum

The Chennault Aviation and Military Museum, located near the Monroe Regional Airport, honors not only the legacy of its namesake, General Claire Lee Chennault, one of the most accomplished men ever to wear our nation’s uniform, but other men and women connected to our state who bequeathed us a legacy of honor and courage.

The Museum is housed in a 1942 era building, one of the few surviving structures of the WWII era Selman Army Airfield, a navigator training base. The area is now the Monroe Regional Airport with the old 1942 era runways still serving after being lengthened for jet aircraft.

As one approaches the museum entrance a bronze statue of General Chennault donated by the Chinese government stands by the entrance. On the other side of the walkway is a memorial to fallen servicemembers, while a static display of various aircraft is across the street. There is a lot to see, even before you enter the museum proper.

The museum is neatly laid out, but absolutely jam-packed with artifacts. There is a room devoted to General Chennault’s life and career. The jewel encrusted dragon robe that was presented to Chennault by the Chinese government is perhaps the most unique item in what is quite an eclectic collection. There are also paintings, his original 1919 pilot wings, uniforms and other memorabilia.

There are displays of items telling the story of the men and women who served in every conflict the United States has fought from the Civil War to the present day. Aside from its varied military collections however, the most eclectic parts of the museum deal with subjects as varied as airlines and moonrocks.

The Monroe airport was the home of a small crop-dusting service that went on to become Delta Airlines. The museum tells the story of the airline’s early days with original posters, schedules, uniforms and other paraphernalia.

Did you know that Monroe, Louisiana is the home to a moonrock brought back to Earth by astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt of Apollo 17? NASA Rock # 70035, formed from a lunar lava flow about 3.8 billion years ago, lies in a display case in the Chennault Museum next to a display honoring space shuttle astronaut and West Monroe native and Jim Halsell.

The Chennault Aviation & Military Museum is an amazing place to visit and a family friendly treat for history buffs of all ages. The museum has no admission charge. The museum’s address is 701 Kansas Lane Monroe, LA 71203 318-362-5540.


TicketSmarter becomes Northwestern State’s official ticketing partner

TicketSmarter has announced a multiyear partnership with Northwestern State athletics, which TicketSmarter will serve as NSU’s official ticketing partner.

TicketSmarter’s online platform will provide Demon fans a seamless experience when it comes to buying and selling tickets.

“Northwestern State is a true representation of the city of Natchitoches, and we look forward to working together to build an enhanced ticketing experience” said TicketSmarter CEO Jeff Goodman. “The partnership with Northwestern State is an extension of our strategy to create valuable partnerships with college athletic programs across the U.S.”

Added Nathan Razo, Northwestern State’s general manager for corporate partnerships: “We are excited to have TicketSmarter as an official partner of NSU Athletics. As we moved toward an emphasis in mobile ticketing, we are excited to offer Demon fans more opportunities and avenues to support NSU Athletics.”

Northwestern State will become one of TicketSmarter’s 250+ partner in college athletics, as TicketSmarter continues to experience growth in the ticketing world. In addition to Northwestern State, TicketSmarter is partnered with several members of the Southland Conference, to connect fans to more live events.

Through the partnership, TicketSmarter will acquire exclusive marketing and sponsorship rights for Northwestern State, while providing Demon fans a safe, trusted platform to buy and sell tickets.

About TicketSmarter

TicketSmarter helps customers from all walks of life experience the power and excitement of live events by giving back through children’s charities and creating helpful partnerships. $1 from every transaction will help our charitable partners, including St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, V Foundation and Quarterbacking Children’s Health Foundation.

TicketSmarter is the title sponsor of the TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl with ESPN Events. Additionally, TicketSmarter is the official ticket resale partner of PBR, NJCAA, over 35 collegiate conferences including Pac-12 Conference, and 100+ universities nationwide.

About Northwestern State Athletics:

Northwestern State’s athletic department offers 14 Division I athletic programs, providing opportunities for 375 student-athletes. A member of the Southland Conference, the Demons and Lady Demons are the athletic representatives of Northwestern State University, the longest single-site institution of higher learning in Louisiana – having operated at its current campus since the university’s founding in 1884.

Website: TicketSmarter.com


Notice of Death – September 14, 2021

SABINE:
Jessie Wayne Ezernack
November 1, 1973 – September 13, 2021
Service: Friday, September 17 at 2 pm at New Freedom Fellowship Church

Betty Jo Walker Oxley
January 15, 1936 – September 13, 2021
Service: Thursday, September 16 at 2 pm at Siloam Baptist Church

Euel “Doc” Dillard
November 26, 1926 – September 12, 2021
Service: Thursday, September 16 at 10 am at Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints

NATCHITOCHES:
Emile Crumble
September 06, 1976
Service: Saturday, September 18 at 11 am at the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel, located at 318 North Street in Natchitoches

Linda Dianne Moore Byles
May 26, 1950 – September 09, 2021
Service: Saturday, September 18 at 1 pm at Central Baptist Church Cemetery in Robeline

Gloria Shields
September 12, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Jim McArthur
March 15, 1939 – September 09, 2021
Service: Wednesday, September 15 at 10 am at Central Baptist Church in Robeline

Elijah L. Thomas
January 14, 2006 – September 09, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Felenn Sowell
September 08, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Fannie Willis
September 07, 2021
Service: Saturday, September 18 at 10 am at the St. John Baptist Church Cemetery in Powhatan

Lloyd “REV” Smith
September 07, 2021
Service: Saturday, September 18 at 2 pm in the Winnfield Funeral Home Chapel

Minnie Johnson
September 04, 2021
Arrangements TBA

RED RIVER:
Omacille Nettles Beckham
January 25, 1937 – September 09, 2021
Service: Thursday, September 16 at 12 pm at Bailey Funeral Home Chapel, Haynesville

Ronnie “Boz” Darrell Boswell
March 29, 1942 – September 11, 2021
Service: Sunday, September 19 at 2 pm at Davis Springs Southern Methodist Church


Notice of Death – August 26, 2021

 

SABINE:
James Leonard LaRue
July 8, 1946 – August 23, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Stevie Carroll
October 6, 1941 – August 22, 2021
Arrangements TBA

WINN:
Barry Louis Phelps
September 24, 1957 – August 20, 2021
Memorial service arrangements will be announced by the family at a later date.

Sheri McManus Miller
February 17, 1969 – August 24, 2021
Service: Friday, August 27 at 1 pm at Southern Funeral Home

Annette Brigance Skains
May 10, 1964 – August 19, 2021
Service: Saturday, August 28 at 10 am at the First Presbyterian Church in Winnfield

NATCHITOCHES:
Dorothy “Dot” Roig Knecht
August 06, 1930 – August 24, 2021
Service: Monday, August 30 at 1 pm at Trinity Episcopal Church

John Thomas Colligan
January 23, 1975 – August 19, 2021
Service: Saturday, August 28 at 1 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

Theresa “Terri” Durr
March 12, 1960 – August 25, 2021
Service: Tuesday, August 31 at 10 am at the Bethel Methodist Church

Virginia M. Wilson James
October 05, 1928 – August 25, 2021
Service: Friday, August 27 at 10 am at Beulah Methodist Cemetery in Marthaville

Lori Ann O’Bannon Savell
May 16, 1971 – August 24, 2021
Service: Sunday, August 29 at 10 am at 1st Baptist Church of Provencal

Paul O’Con
April 01, 1933 – August 24, 2021
Service: Saturday, August 28 at 10 am at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

Porcia Hooper
August 24, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Pastor Carl Means
August 23, 2021
Service: Saturday, August 28 at 10 am at the Christian Outreach Center, 106 Brickyard Road, Natchitoches

Sylvia Morrow
August 20, 2021
Service: Saturday, August 28 at 2 pm at the MLK Center of Natchitoches