Podcast: Marcus Jones joins Billy West LIVE

PART ONE
Marcus Jones joins Billy West Live and discusses his Interim Appointment as President of Northwestern State University.

The interview includes Marcus’ educational background and experiences teaching and in administration of higher education.

Marcus answers questions about his vision for the immediate future of NSU and increasing on-campus enrollment for Students in Natchitoches.

PART TWO

Marcus Jones answers questions related to his commitment to higher education in general and specifically related to keeping NSU competitive in Division 1 Athletics, especially football.

Marcus also discusses the position of permanent President of NSU and whether or not he will be a candidate for that position. Marcus also discusses his views on whether a terminal degree is necessary or required to be the permanent President of NSU.


Many Police Officer Stops Severe Domestic Violence Situation

Many Police Officer Matt Cook and Officer Evan Eddington were in the right place at the right time shortly after midnight when a woman approached Officer Cook outside the back of a local convenience store.

The woman said she was driving from Alexandria to Lufkin Texas when her boyfriend became physically abusive, took her cell phone and said he was going to wire her mouth shut, torture her and set her on fire.

She convinced him to let her pull into a Many convenience store and then walked out the back door of the building after she saw a police officer in the back parking lot.

When officers approached her vehicle parked in front of the store, the man had fled. A search was conducted in the area by Many Police and Sabine Sheriff’s office and Eliezer Rodriquez was found on the roof of a local business by Officer Eddington.

He was arrested and charged with false imprisonment, battery on a dating partner and flight from a police officer. Rodriquez has a lengthy criminal history of aggravated assault on police officer, burglary and drug charges in other states. He is currently in custody at the Sabine Parish Detention Center.


NSU will host Destination Science Camp June 21-25

Northwestern State University’s School of Biological and Physical Sciences will host Destination Science Camp June 21-25. The camp is intended to be an immersive experience that will provide workshops in anatomy, physiology, microbiology, chemistry, physics, veterinary technology, drone technology and natural science.

The camp is for fifth-eighth grade students ages 10-14 and 9-year-olds heading to fifth grade.

“The camp will have some formal instruction, laboratory time and structured activities, but at the end of the day attendees will unwind by competing in quiz bowls, playing board games, eating snacks, and watching movies,” said Dr. Chris Lyles, department head.

The cost is $125 per attendee. Registration includes lab coat and safety googles. Campers must bring their own lunch, but the camp will provide an afternoon snack. Attendees can be dropped off starting at 8:30 a.m. in the lobby of Bienvenu Hall and picked up in Room 211 between 5 – 5:30 p.m. in Bienvenu Hall.

For more information or to request a camp registration packet email Lyles at lylesc@nsula.edu or Whitney Golden at goldenw@nsula.edu. The camp is hosted by the NSU chapter of the American Society of Microbiology and sponsored by the Natchitoches Regional Medical Center Foundation and the Natchitoches Area Jaycees.


Notice of Death – June 1, 2021

SABINE:
Doyle Steven Simpson
October 26, 1950 – May 29, 2021
Service: Thursday, June 3 at 10 am at Warren Meadows Funeral Home Chapel

Grady Delane Wren
October 10, 1943 – May 23, 2021
Service: Saturday, June 5 at 1 pm at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home Chapel

Kenneth Ray Tilley
April 14, 1974 – May 28, 2021
Service: Thursday, June 3 at 2 pm at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home Chapel

NATCHITOCHES:
Thomas Alton Manry
January 29, 1937 – May 21, 2021
Service: Saturday, June 5 at 2 pm at Oasis of love Fellowship, located at 7681 Hwy 1 By-Pass in Natchitoches

Rosa Jones
May 28, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Henry Keith
May 22, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Carl Smith
June 21, 1955 – May 21, 2021
Arrangements TBA

L. J. Smith
May 23, 2021
Service: Wednesday, June 2 at 11 am at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church in Winnfield

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

Obbie Gillie, Jr.
March 23, 1943 – May 30, 2021
Arrangements TBA


Angler’s Perspective – Find Your Own Fish!

With more anglers on the water today than in the previous 20 years, one thing has become very apparent. A lot of anglers cannot find their own fish! Now let’s address the main problem…overcrowded lakes. It is insane, the number of boats on our area lakes and waterways compared to twenty years ago. The recent pandemic is also a major contributor to this issue as well. Boat’s sales soared in 2020 with many people not working and schools being shut down. A big majority of Americans all across the country took to the lakes and outdoors which is a great thing! Nothing bad can come of getting folks, old and young alike, out in the great outdoors. I mean what’s the worst thing that can happen?

Well let me give you an idea and a few examples. First, overcrowded boat ramps! It amazes me at how seven days a week, you have to wait in line just to launch your boat. Just two short years ago, you could go to any boat ramp Monday thru Thursday and NEVER have to wait to launch or worry how far you’ll have to park your truck and trailer after you launch your boat. Many of today’s lakes, especially Sam Rayburn or sometimes at Toledo Bend, it might be necessary to request an Uber just to get back to the ramp after parking your truck and trailer. Several times this past year I’ve seen people parked almost a mile from the ramp they launched at. It’s insane!

Now that we’re on the water and ready to go fishing, now let’s crank our motor and head to our favorite spot. Oh wow… guess what, after you run 5 miles up the lake dodging jet skiers and pleasure boaters who have not had a boater safety course, you arrive at your favorite spot, and someone is already there. It’s the same person who saw you yesterday catching fish there. Shocker…but that’s exactly how it is today. There are more people scouting and spying on other anglers like detectives trying to solve a murder mystery. I mean I’ve seen guys using binoculars and watching other anglers at a distance only to wait until they move and then swoop in and mark that location with their electronics so they can return on another day. Tournament anglers are especially targeted and it’s even worse if you have an advertising wrap on your boat. But one thing I’ve done several times just to throw off would be scouts and detectives, is to fake hook sets and I’ve gone as far as to pretend I just caught a fish by leaning over the side of the boat and acting like I’m releasing a fish. It’s quite amusing to watch who moves into the area I just left. I think anyone who has a pair of binoculars in their boat is pathetic.

Next, are what I call “GPS robbers.” These guys are the worst and most unethical anglers on the water. If they see a well-known angler, guide or pro, they will ride up and down the lake looking for these good anglers and will shut down and idle towards the area they are in and hit their GPS button on their electronic units to mark the spot so they can come back later after the angler leaves. While I have never shot anyone before, this is the one thing that I might consider as a consequence for anglers who practice this technique.

Bass fishing is hard enough today with so many anglers competing for a limited number of fishing spots. It just makes an angler mad when you have people on the lake spying on other fishermen and looking to raid their best spots, especially the guides who work very hard to build a reputation for catching fish. This is how they make a living, and it affects their pocketbook when other anglers pull up on their best spots and catch fish. If you are one of those who needs help finding fish, hire a guide and let him show you how to read your electronics so you can find your own fish. It’ll be the best money you ever spent and well worth your time. Till next time, find your own fish and don’t forget to set the hook!

Steve Graf
Owner/Co-host
Hook’N Up & Track’N Down Show


Free admission Saturday at 2 for LSU baseball hero, Olympic medalist Warren Morris, at LSHOF museum

Twenty-five years ago, Warren Morris hit a home run to win the College World Series for the LSU Tigers.

Then he hit the world stage, as a member of Team USA in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.

Morris, an Alexandria native and resident, will share memories of both experiences Saturday afternoon at 2 o’clock in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum at 800 Front Street in Natchitoches.

Admission is free to hear Morris field questions about his baseball career, which carried him to the major leagues, and his perspective on the Olympics. The second baseman helped the United States earn a bronze medal and is the final Olympian to visit the museum this month in a four-part “Olympic Glory” series.

Morris was an unlikely hero for LSU, because after a breakout sophomore season, he had been sidelined for most of his junior year with a broken bone in his wrist and was not nearly 100 percent when he returned for postseason play. But with two out, the tying run on third and LSU trailing Miami 8-7, Morris lined the first pitch he saw inches over the right field fence for his only home run of the season, giving LSU the 1996 College World Series championship almost exactly 25 years ago – June 8, 1996.

The homer is considered the greatest moment in College World Series history and ranks highly on any list of great Louisiana sports moments. It is featured in the LSHOF museum’s “Great Moments” film.

Morris had starred the previous summer for Team USA, and remained on the squad for the Olympics in Atlanta, an experience he says was as stirring as the CWS game-winner. Those who attend his appearance this Saturday afternoon will find out why he feels that way, and will be able to ask questions and meet him.

Five-time Olympic volleyball player Danielle Scott entertained the audience last Saturday afternoon at the museum. Earlier speakers in the Olympic Glory series were 1972 USA Olympic boxer Tim Dement (May 15) and two-time Olympic medal-winning high jumper Hollis Conway (May 8).

Photo of Morris in USA Olympic jersey – USA Baseball


Notice of Death – May 27, 2021

SABINE:
Pauline Lee Shaw
December 31, 1923 – May 25, 2021
Service: Friday, May 28 at 10 am at Fort Jesup Cemetery

Justin Toby Morvan
January 8, 1986 – May 26, 2021
Service: Saturday, May 29 at 2 pm at Pleasant View Baptist Church

Earl Wayman “Sam” Tarpley
October 1, 1939 – May 26, 2021
Service: Saturday, May 29 at 10 am at Siloam Baptist Church

WINN:
Kevin Ray Jordan
December 14, 1963
Service: Saturday, May 29 at 11 am at Southern Funeral Home

NATCHITOCHES:
Charles Dewayne LaCaze
July 27, 1965 – May 25, 2021
Service: Friday, May 28 at 2 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home in Natchitoches

Thomas “Tommy” Lonadier
February 20, 1968 – May 19, 2021
Service: Saturday, May 29 at 2 pm at Pace Recreational Center, located at 2138 Hwy 1226 in Natchitoches

Elnora Gillie
April 14, 1950 – May 23, 2021
Service: Saturday, May 29 at 2 pm in the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel, located at 318 North Street in Natchitoches

Henry Keith
May 22, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Earl Tucker Sr.
August 25, 1960 – May 22, 2021
Service: Saturday, May 29 at 11 am at the Evergreen Baptist Church, located at 8260 Hwy 71 in St. Maurice

Carl Smith
June 21, 1955 – May 21, 2021
Arrangements TBA

L. J. Smith
May 23, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Henry Braxton
May 18, 2021
Service: Saturday, May 29 at 11 am at the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel

Margaret Carter Cooper
November 2, 1961 – May 10, 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


Governor Signs Updated Public Health Emergency Order Ending Most Restrictions

Following months of improvement in COVID-19 hospitalizations and with nearly three million vaccine doses administered, Governor John Bel Edwards on Tuesday signed an updated public health emergency order that removes all remaining business capacity restrictions and the vast majority of masking requirements. This week, Louisiana hit its lowest level of COVID-19 hospitalizations since the very early days of the pandemic.

Since March 2020, the Governor has issued public health emergency orders that allowed the state to effectively respond to the COVID-19 threat, support local governments and slow the spread of COVID-19 to protect Louisiana’s ability to deliver healthcare. At the peak of hospitalizations, during the third COVID-19 spike in January 2021, as many as 2,069 people were hospitalized statewide at one time.

“For nearly 15 months, Louisiana has operated under necessary public health restrictions designed to save lives by slowing the spread of COVID-19,” Gov. Edwards said. “Thanks to the wide availability of vaccines and the 1.4 million Louisianans who already have gone sleeves up and after hitting a new low in hospitalizations, the order I have signed today contains the fewest state-mandated restrictions ever, though local governments and businesses may still and should feel empowered to take precautions that they see as necessary and prudent, including mandating masks. To be clear: COVID-19 is not over for our state or for our country. Anyone who has gotten the vaccine is now fully protected and can enter summer with confidence. Unfortunately, people who have not yet taken their COVID-19 vaccine remain at risk as more contagious COVID variants continue to spread and as we enter into hurricane season. Because you never know when you may have to leave home and utilize a shelter as the result of bad weather, I encourage all people to take the COVID-19 vaccine as the first step to getting prepared and keeping you and your loved ones safe.”


Masks will be required in educational settings until the end of the current academic semester at which time state and local oversight boards will set their own masking policies. The Louisiana Department of Health will continue to revise guidance and masking recommendations for summer camps, following CDC guidance. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced that it was safe for vaccinated people to not wear masks in most settings.

Under order of the State Health Officer, masks continue to be required in healthcare settings, which is a federal mandate. In addition, masks are required on public transportation and in jails and prisons, as per federal guidance.

Local governments and businesses may choose to have stronger restrictions than the state does and the Governor encourages Louisianans to respect all local or business mandates, especially when it comes to masking.

The Governor, the Louisiana Department of Health, the CDC and numerous public health officials recommend that unvaccinated individuals continue to wear a face mask in public and when they are with people outside of their households to reduce their likelihood of contracting COVID-19.

Right now, there are three safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines widely available in nearly 1,500 locations across Louisiana. All Louisianans 18 and older are eligible for any of the approved vaccines. Louisianans between the ages of 12 and 17 are eligible for the Pfizer vaccine only.

According to the CDC, more than 1.4 million Louisianans are fully vaccinated, around 30.5 percent of the population. The most vaccinated population, by age, is people 65 and older. Nearly 72 percent of people 65 and older in Louisiana are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

To get your questions answered, find a provider or event near you, get your appointment scheduled or speak directly with a medical professional, just call the COVID Vaccine Hotline at 855-453-0774. The hotline is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 8 p.m. on Sunday.


NSU’s nurse anesthesia program earns full accreditation

Northwestern State University’s nurse anesthesia program received full accreditation by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs. The program is approved for five years, the maximum accreditation period for a new program, and was also approved to offer distance education didactic courses. NSU’s nurse anesthesia program joins 124 accredited nurse anesthesia educational programs in the country and was one of seven in capability review during the 2020-21 year.

“Accreditation of this magnitude and scope is certainly no easy task. The fact that this accreditation was obtained during the midst of a pandemic only added to the complexity of the process,” said Dr. Joel Hicks, dean of NSU’s College of Nursing and School of Allied Health.

Northwestern’s nurse anesthesia program builds off the tradition of excellence established by the CoNSAH.

“For almost 75 years, the College of Nursing at NSU has prepared thousands of nurses and advanced practice nurses for entry into the healthcare workforce. Now, our fully accredited nurse anesthesia program means that even more advanced practice nurses will be moving into an area of healthcare with a critical demand,” Hicks said.

The nurse anesthesia program admission cycle is now open. The deadline for completed applications is August 1, according to Dr. Aimee Badeaux, director of doctoral studies and nurse anesthesia program coordinator.

“The nurse anesthesia program begins in January each year and is a nine-semester graduate program, culminating in the baccalaureate-prepared registered nurse’s preparation for entry into practice in the advanced practice role of nurse anesthetist,” Badeaux said.

“Without the expertise and guidance of Dr. Badeaux, accompanied by Dr. Katrina O’Con, assistant coordinator, this accreditation would not have occurred. As an incoming administrator in the College of Nursing and School of Allied Health, I am thankful for their leadership within our college, as they have recruited a world-class faculty to teach within the program,” Hicks said.

Hicks thanked NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio and Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Greg Handel for support that enabled the college to recruit and hire nurse anesthesia leaders from around the nation as faculty; Dr. Dana Clawson, immediate past CoNSAH dean, and Senior Director of Nursing Dr. Pam Simmons, for their vision and leadership in initiating the program.

Hicks and Badeaux also acknowledged the community and clinical partners.

“When the program initially met with the Council on Accreditation to discuss NSU’s intent to develop a nurse anesthesia program, the COA noted that clinical partnerships are typically the most challenging aspect of starting a new program,” Badeaux said. “This was not the case for our program as we were extremely fortunate to have long standing clinical relationships within the College of Nursing and School of Allied Health that served as a foundation for our nurse anesthesia partnerships.”

For more information on the nurse anesthesia program, as well as other programs in NSU’s College of Nursing and School of Allied Health, visit https://nursing.nsula.edu/nursing-programs/.