Be Still and Know…..

May is all about moms and I am very blessed to share Stephanie McKinney’s story with you this week. She is teacher in Natchitoches Parish who cherishes the fact that she can use her past hurts and life lessons to assist parents and students as they go through the same things that God has delivered her from. These are Stephanie’s words…..

Beyonce praises it but it is very challenging to go from a, what you thought, happy family of four to a single mom raising two boys ages 13 and 8.

When I was married, I worked as a Teacher’s Aide in my hometown in Texas. I brought home about $800 a month. It was fine when I was married because he had a good job. I just worked to pay a few bills and then had some fun money leftover. After the divorce, I was broke. I had a house note, all the bills, and two sons to raise. I received a little child support. And my parents helped when needed but they couldn’t do much financially.

But guess what?

Every month my bills were paid, we never did without meals, and I had a little left over so we could continue to do occasional fun things. Every single month. I worried how I was going to make it happen? How can I pay my bills not to lose my home? I had so many worries and fears but God always provided. I vividly remember, I was down to my last few dollars and my monthly paycheck was still a week away. Thankfully, every bill was paid that month but I still needed gas money and one of the boys needed something for school. I could either get a few dollars in gas or give the money to my son. I chose my son. I always chose my sons.

I would have enough to get back and forth to work but we couldn’t go anywhere else. When I opened my wallet to give him the money, tucked behind my few one dollar bills there was a twenty dollar bill. He knew what I needed and He provided it for me. I swear it wasn’t there before. I cried thankful tears for hours

A year after the divorce, I decided to go to school for my teaching degree. I had an amazing group of teachers and administrators helping me and encouraging me. Every time I thought I couldn’t make it, one of them would step in, without even knowing it was needed, and encourage me to keep pushing.

My entire college education was provided by grants and it would have been impossible otherwise.

It took me longer than the average person because I had to work while raising two kids alone. But, with God, I made it. My whole reason for wanting to be a teacher is because my oldest son has a learning disability. In third grade he was considered a bad kid. Talking and disruptive, the whole nine yards. He’s actually a great human, but the teachers only saw the bad. In fourth grade, he had amazing teachers who knew right away that he didn’t have ADHD, he had a reading comprehension problem. They helped guide us through what accommodations he needed and it helped tremendously.

I remember crying in the meetings thinking that I somehow let my baby down. They assured me that I hadn’t and that we would all get through it together. And we did. I learned many things I could demand for him. I learned to push him when he needed it but mostly, I learned to stand up for his rights. It took a year but he got on the right track.

God laid it on my heart to get my degree so I could help other mom’s get through that.

I wanted to be there to hug them when they are scared when educators are telling them, “Something isn’t right with your child.” I can say, ”I honestly know how you feel. I promise, we will get through this.” Even though the chips were stacked against me, God knew what He had called me to do and He provided the path for that to happen. Next year, I will be doing SBLC full time on my campus, and I truly believe this was my calling from the beginning.

Divorce is hard. Being a single mother is hard. I would honestly do it all over again. I’ve learned so much about myself.I have wonderful memories of just me and my boys all piled into my full size bed for the first few months after he was gone because we all wanted to be close to each other. Memories of special times, birthdays, holidays, and just regular days. My sons and I have a very close bond that is unbreakable. It is because of what we went through together and what they saw me go through alone. With God’s help, I picked myself up, and pushed on because not doing so would have negatively impacted their lives and they deserve better than that. God made sure the three of us came out of top.

If I had to give advice to women going through a divorce or separation, it would be this: It’s hard. There are times you want to scream, cry and be angry. Keep your dignity and your pride. Hold your head up. You’re walking through darkness right now and it might seem like you’ll never come out of it, but I promise you will. And the other side is so much better than your past life. Just keep moving, reach out for help when needed, pray, and always remember, you not only have God but you also have a lot of people who support you that He has placed along your path. They are there for a reason. And if you don’t have anyone like that, I’ll be happy to hold your hand until the sun is shining on you again.

One verse that held true during that time was this, “The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want.” Because I never once, did I want.

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” – Psalm 23:1

“Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” – Psalm 46:10


Download Now: GoNatchitoches App

The Natchitoches Historic District Development Commission (NHDDC) and its partners kick off Spring and Summer celebrations and encourage residents and visitors to download the GoNatchitoches app. The app serves as your one-stop-shop trip planner and a community calendar that serves as an interactive way to map out everything visitors and residents want to see and do in Natchitoches.

The GoNatchitoches app provides a new way to explore what Natchitoches offers, including upcoming events, popular attractions, restaurants, tours, lodging, shops, landmarks, and much more. Users can view it all at once or search by categories like Attractions, Dining, Arts & Culture, Lodging, and many others.
See a festival you don’t want to miss? Click “Add,” and the event will be added to your plan, and you’ll be sent a reminder.

That restaurant everyone keeps telling you about? Click “Add,” and you won’t forget to try it.
Want to invite some friends? Share your plan with them via social media, email, or SMS text message.
Need a reminder for upcoming events? Turn on the push notifications for the app!
No need to waste time or another sheet of paper. With this planner, GoNatchitoches can help you get organized and maximize your time so that you can have more fun in Natchitoches.

Already on your way to Natchitoches or live here? Download the app for your iPhone or Android and take your plan with you! Just type “GoNatchitoches” in the search box of your app store.

The “GoNatchitoches” project is a coalition between the Natchitoches Historic District Development Commission, the City of Natchitoches, Cane River National Heritage Area, Northwestern State University, the Natchitoches Parish Tourist Commission, the Natchitoches Historic District Business Association, the Natchitoches Chamber of Commerce, and the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts.


Opportunity: Bus Drivers

POSITION: Bus Drivers – Ecco Ride

DESCRIPTION: Ecco Ride is now accepting applications for Bus Drivers in Natchitoches Parish.

· Health, Life, Dental, Vision, 401K

· Drivers have daily minimum, plus charter opportunities

· Air-conditioned buses

QUALIFICATIONS: Must be 21 years of age with a clean driving record, no criminal background, pre-employment drug screen, ability to obtain a CDL Class B license with P and S endorsements, and a passion for children and giving back to the community. Full training is provided.

CONTACT: Call to learn more 318-352-6465 or apply online at http://www.eccoride.com


USA boxer Tim Dement recalls the 1972 Olympic Games Saturday at La. Sports Hall of Fame

USA Olympic boxer Tim Dement, a Bossier City native, will be the featured guest Saturday afternoon at 2 for a free Olympic Glory program at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum in Natchitoches, to share his memories of the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.

Dement will take questions and talk in the museum’s Atmos Energy Gallery. Admission is free beginning at 1 o’clock. The museum is located facing the traffic circle at the north end of Front Street.

He competed in the flyweight division at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. Dement, a 17-year-old underdog, beat Bobby Hunter during the 1972 Olympic trials in the flyweight class, shocking the world and becoming a favorite of ABC Television’s Howard Cosell.

In Munich, Dement finished ninth overall at the 1972 Olympic Games, losing his second bout to Calixto Pérez. He became a Bossier Parish sheriff’s deputy and has retired after a long law enforcement career, but remains active as a coach and mentor in the Shreveport-Bossier boxing community. He was recently involved in hosting the USA Boxing Association Championships held in Shreveport.

The Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum is bringing four world-class Olympians to the museum as part of a month-long lecture series called “Olympic Glory.” The program will inspire conversations about the role of sports in American culture and how the values of discipline, determination, sportsmanship, teamwork, respect, perseverance, and doing your personal best mirror the values necessary to achieve success in everyday life.

“Olympic Glory” is supported through a Rebirth Grant from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities and the Friends of Louisiana Sports and History (FLASH). The four-part series will involve interviews between Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Chairman and FLASH president Doug Ireland and Dement, along with two more Olympians from Louisiana. The programs began last Saturday with two-time Olympic medalist Hollis Conway, who grew up in Shreveport and lives in Lafayette.

On May 22, Baton Rouge volleyball icon Danielle Scott (1996, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympics) is the featured guest. The series concludes May 29 with Alexandria’s Warren Morris, the LSU baseball legend who medaled in the 1996 Atlanta Games a few weeks after hitting the walk-off home run giving the Tigers their 1996 College World Series championship.

The Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum, 800 Front Street, Natchitoches, is open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays. Normal admission, not charged for programs like the Olympic Glory series, is $6 for adults, $5 for students, seniors, and active duty military, and free for children six and younger. For more information, visit LaSportsHall.com.

PHOTO:  Tim Dement (at right, in white USA gear) is shown competing in the 1972 Munich Olympics.


NPSB Opportunity: Instructional Specialist

POSITION: INSTRUCTIONAL SPECIALIST
NSU Elementary / Middle Lab School

QUALIFICATION:
● Valid Teaching Certificate
● Master’s Degree in Education (preferred)
● Minimum of five years of teaching experience with evidence of successfully impacting student achievement, particularly those who have the greatest needs.

JOB SUMMARY:
The Instructional Specialist is a critical lever in improving student achievement. The role of the Instructional Specialist is to build teacher capacity and deepen teachers’ understanding of instructional practices as related to Louisiana Student Standards and Data-Driven Instruction.

SALARY: Salary based on teacher pay scale with applicant’s years of experience, and the addition of a substantial Instructional Specialist stipend.

TERMS OF EMPLOYMENT: 9 Months

DEADLINE: Thursday, May 20, 2021

WHERE TO APPLY:
Linda G. Page, Director of Personnel
Natchitoches Parish School Board
P. O. Box 16
Natchitoches, LA 71458-0016
Phone: (318) 352-2358
Fax: (318) 352-8138

APPLICATIONS: Application packet should consist of the following:
● Resume’
● Evidence of successful teaching experience (for example, VAM, Student
Performance Data, COMPASS, CLASS, etc.)
● Original transcripts from institution(s) awarding degree
● Three professional letters of recommendation, one of which is from your immediate supervisor

Submit a ten-to-fifteen-minute video clip of a model lesson involving students or
professional development session involving teachers where the applicant is leading the
event (share link via Google Drive to lpage@nat.k12.la.us).


Northwestern State comes up short against SFA, slated to play Sam Houston in elimination game Friday

By Bud Denega, Sports Information Graduate Assistant

HAMMOND – The Northwestern State softball team came up short Thursday night against Stephen F. Austin in its second game of the Southland Conference tournament. But it wasn’t for a lack of opportunities.

The Lady Demons pushed runners into scoring position numerous times but lacked the critical hit. That resulted in top-seeded SFA claiming a 4-1 victory over No. 4-seeded NSU.

“There are a lot of great things in that game,” head coach Donald Pickett said. “But against the best team in the conference, you’ve got to play your best game, and those were the things we didn’t do.”

Northwestern State (23-21) falls to the losers’ bracket. The Lady Demons battle No. 6-seeded Sam Houston at 1:30 p.m. on Friday. Stephen F. Austin (35-10) advances to play No. 3-seeded McNeese at 4 p.m.

The Lady Demons put themselves in positions to score for a majority of the night. And the first inning was the one instance where they took advantage.

Freshman infielder Keely DuBois laced a single down the left-field line in the top of the first that staked NSU to the early 1-0 advantage. Unfortunately for the Lady Demons, DuBois big hit didn’t become contagious.

Aside from the first inning, NSU put a runner in scoring position in the third, fourth and fifth innings. The most threatening was the top of the fifth when the Lady Demons put the first three runners on but couldn’t muster a run.

NSU made SFA starter Kassidy Wilbur — the Southland Conference Player and Pitcher of the Year — grind to improve her record to 30-4. She went all seven innings, allowing one earned run on five hits with 10 strikeouts.

Junior Jensen Howell received the start for NSU. She lasted two innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits with one strikeout, dropping to 6-10 on the season.

Freshman Kenzie Seely entered in relief, and pitched another strong outing. She tossed the final four frames, surrendering zero earned run on one hit with one strikeout.

The Lady Jacks scored the pair off Howell in the second to take a 2-1 edge. The tacked on single runs in the third and fifth innings, respectively.

NSU enters its game against Sam Houston having beaten the Bearkats twice during the regular season.

Photo: Beverly Vincent


Angler’s Perspective: Wrapping Up a National Championship

In April, I fished the American Bass Anglers Ray Scott National Championship on Lake Chickamauga in Tennessee. This is a four-day event you have to qualify for by finishing in the top ten overall in your division. There are divisions all over the United States especially the Eastern half of the country from Texas up to Minnesota over to Maine and down to Florida. For me, this makes my fifth Ray Scott Championship that I have qualified for in the last 6 years.

Covid 19 has had a big impact on this event the last two years and all the protocol that goes with it. Don’t get me wrong, ABA (American Bass Anglers) does a great job with organizing this event. We no longer have a pre-tournament banquet to honor the Anglers of the Year and we don’t have the great door prizes anymore; something the anglers really miss. The night before the event we do a personal check-in and pick up some free product, caps and t-shirts. We still have a meal but it’s in a to-go box and this year we had beef nachos. If there’s one thing anglers can do, it’s eat! This is also when you have to be on guard for fishing information designed to throw an angler off his game. We call this ‘dock talk” and its people who like to talk to hear themselves. While none of us are fishing for a living, we are fishing for thousands of dollars and a new loaded 20-foot Triton boat and the one and only opportunity for one of us to be a true national champion.

Day one was not what I expected as I only weighed two fish for 5.21 lbs. Now even though I felt good about what I thought I could catch, the first thing I noticed as I arrived at my starting spot, was how the water level had dropped. From the time I arrived at Chickamauga on Sunday, the lake was 3 feet low and continued to fall each day. But I was able to find fish in two areas on the northern end of the lake. One was a creek that held some good quality fish, and the other was a spawning flat with fish on beds. As I have said before, tournament fishing is a game of decisions and if you choose wrong, you will take yourself out of the competition. This is exactly what I did by choosing to fish the northern end of the lake instead of south. Now I did pre-fish on the south end with some success but, it was very crowded as there was not a fifty-yard stretch that did not have a boat on it. I don’t fish well in crowds, and it was at this point (day 2 of practice) that I decided to fish north. I really felt good about this decision especially after my day 3 practice with the fish I found. One thing you have to understand about river systems like Chickamauga, the water closest to the dam (south end) remains more stable than the water level up the lake. So, while the south end remained more stable with little effect on the fishing, the northern end had a constant drop in water level every day which pulled the fish out of the areas I had, or they were so shallow I could not even get to them by day two of the tournament. These are not excuses but just the facts as to how all the anglers that committed to going up the lake, struggled to weigh not just quality but even a five fish limit.

I still had a great time on this trip and like my previous five Ray Scott National Championship events, it was a huge success. ABA Tournament Director Chris Wayand does an outstanding job running this tournament and I encourage anyone who wants to fish a really good circuit, jump on board with the ABA Open Series or fish the new ABA Top 150 Solo Tour. By writing these articles, I hope you learn from my mistakes. The one great thing about any sport is that once that event is over (win or lose) you have the opportunity to redeem yourself and get better. Even at 60 years of age and all my experience as an angler, I’m still learning. Remember, it is through failure that we become better. Till next time, don’t forget to set the hook!

Steve Graf
Owner/Co-host
Hook’N Up & Track’N Down Show
And Tackle Talk Live


Notice of Death – May 13, 2021

SABINE:
Jo Ann Richards
March 11, 1957 – May 8, 2021
Service: Friday, May 14 at 10 am at Hornbeck Full Gospel Church

NATCHITOCHES:

Earnestine Durahm
May 10, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Dan P. Roberson
May 12, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Margaret Carter Cooper
November 2, 1961 – May 10, 2021
Arrangements TBA

James “J.T.” Vertner
June 30, 1953 – May 11, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Brenda Gail Rachal Knight
December 01, 1963 – May 08, 2021
Service: Tuesday, May 18 at 1 pm at Christian Worship Center, located at 1513 Hwy. 494 in Natchitoches

Clyde Ray Jackson
October 19, 1951 – May 7, 2021
Service: Saturday, May 15 at 11 am at the Winnfield Funeral Home

Willie Carr
May 23, 1945 – May 07, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Phillip Lloyd Gillis
March 13, 1968 – April 29, 2021
Service: Saturday, May 29, 2021 from 1-5 pm at the home of Ryan and Bekah French Home, located at 1615 Williams Ave. in Natchitoches

Ruben Sawyer
September 13, 1959 – May 04, 2021
Service: Saturday, May 15 at 2 pm at the Lake Street Church of Christ

WINN:
Thompson Beth Ramona
December 25, 1945 – May 11, 2021
Service: Saturday, may 15 at 10 am at the Garden of Memories Cemetery in Winnfield

Robert Hall, Sr
November 7, 1936 – May 4, 2021
Service: Saturday, May 15 at 11 am in the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel, located at 117 MLK Drive in

RED RIVER:
Charlene Pueblo
October 22, 1957 – May 10, 2021
Service: Friday, May 14 at 2 pm at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home Chapel


Sabine Parish to receive $4.6 Million in funds

Treasury Launches Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds to Deliver $350 Billion, $4.6 million allocated to Sabine Parish, Louisiana.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced the launch of the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, established by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, to provide $350 billion in emergency funding for state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments.

Louisiana is slated to receive $3,011,136,886.60. Louisiana’s “non-entitlement units or local government” programs are slated to receive $315,493,318. Of that, Sabine Parish is set to receive $4.6 million.

Treasury also released details on the ways funds can be used to respond to acute pandemic-response needs, fill revenue shortfalls among state and local governments, and support the communities and populations hardest-hit by the COVID-19 crisis. Eligible state, territorial, metropolitan city, county, and Tribal governments will be able to access funding directly from the Treasury Department in the coming days to assist communities as they recover from the pandemic.

“Today is a milestone in our country’s recovery from the pandemic and its adjacent economic crisis. With this funding, communities hit hard by COVID-19 will able to return to a semblance of normalcy; they’ll be able to rehire teachers, firefighters and other essential workers – and to help small businesses reopen safely,” said Secretary Janet L. Yellen. “There are no benefits to enduring two historic economic crises in a 13-year span, except for one: We can improve our policymaking. During the Great Recession, when cities and states were facing similar revenue shortfalls, the federal government didn’t provide enough aid to close the gap. That was an error. Insufficient relief meant that cities had to slash spending, and that austerity undermined the broader recovery. With today’s announcement, we are charting a very different – and much faster – course back to prosperity.”

While the need for services provided by state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments has increased —including setting up emergency medical facilities, standing up vaccination sites, and supporting struggling small businesses—these governments have faced significant revenue shortfalls as a result of the economic fallout from the crisis. As a result, these governments have endured unprecedented strains, forcing many to make untenable choices between laying off educators, firefighters, and other frontline workers or failing to provide services that communities rely on. Since the beginning of this crisis, state and local governments have cut over 1 million jobs.

The Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds provide substantial flexibility for each jurisdiction to meet local needs—including support for households, small businesses, impacted industries, essential workers, and the communities hardest-hit by the crisis. Within the categories of eligible uses listed, recipients have broad flexibility to decide how best to use this funding to meet the needs of their communities. In addition to allowing for flexible spending up to the level of their revenue loss, recipients can use funds to:

Support public health expenditures, by – among other uses – funding COVID-19 mitigation efforts, medical expenses, behavioral healthcare, mental health and substance misuse treatment and certain public health and safety personnel responding to the crisis;

Address negative economic impacts caused by the public health emergency, including by rehiring public sector workers, providing aid to households facing food, housing or other financial insecurity, offering small business assistance, and extending support for industries hardest hit by the crisis
Aid the communities and populations hardest hit by the crisis, supporting an equitable recovery by addressing not only the immediate harms of the pandemic, but its exacerbation of longstanding public health, economic and educational disparities

Provide premium pay for essential workers, offering additional support to those who have borne and will bear the greatest health risks because of their service during the pandemic; and, Invest in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure, improving access to clean drinking water, supporting vital wastewater and stormwater infrastructure, and expanding access to broadband internet.

Insufficient federal aid and state and local austerity under similar fiscal pressures during the Great Recession and its aftermath undermined and slowed the nation’s broader recovery. The steps the Biden Administration has taken to aid state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments will create jobs and help fuel a strong recovery. And support for communities hardest-hit by this crisis can help undo racial inequities and other disparities that have held too many places back for too long.

For an overview of the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds program including an expanded use of eligible uses, see the fact sheet below.


Southland Conference tournament pushed back, Northwestern State set to play – TONIGHT

By Bud Denega, Sports Information Graduate Assistant

The Northwestern State softball team will begin its Southland Conference tournament a day later than scheduled. Due to inclement weather, the No. 4-seeded Lady Demons will play their first game Wednesday, tentatively, at 1:30 p.m.

NSU will battle the winner between No. 5-seeded Southeastern Louisiana and No. 8-seeded Abilene Christian. That game will take place Tuesday at 8:30 p.m.

By way of earning a top-four seed, the Lady Demons are participating in the double-elimination portion of the bracket.