Opportunity: Benefits Coordinator and Payroll Assistant


  • Technical College, Associate Degree, or Bachelor’s degree in Accounting (preferred).
  • Proficiency in computer skills
  • Computer Literate (Word, Excel, MS Office)


Responsibilities of the Benefits Coordinator and Payroll Assistant include: Assisting Accountants, Managers, and the Director in the Accounting Department to maintain accurate employee benefit and payroll records.

  • Assist Payroll accountant to prepare payroll runs and payroll reporting.
  • Assist in setting up new hires and maintaining employee record.
  • Processing documents as required for the department.
  • Organize payroll benefits enrollment periods.
  • Work through accounting-related issues with external vendors.
  • Be lead contact with vendors such as TRSL, First Financial, etc., to maintain accurate benefits data.
  • Assist Accounting Department with assigned bookkeeping duties.
  • Lead person in communication with any district employees and their problems with the handling of their payroll.
  • Manage Strong Start Program.
  • Responsible for wage verifications.
  • Other duties as assigned.


DEADLINE:     Wednesday, November 16, 2023, 4:00 p.m. 


Linda G. Page, Director of Personnel
Natchitoches Parish School Board
310 Royal Street, P. O. Box 16
Natchitoches, LA 71458-0016
Phone: (318) 352-2358

Website:  npsb.la

APPLICATION:   Application packets should consist of a letter of application, resume’, original transcripts from institutions awarding degree, (3) job related references.

Hiring an attorney after an accident

Why Hire An Attorney For Your Accident Claim?

Sometimes folks who have been in an automobile, truck or motorcycle accident resulting from another person’s negligence ask us:  “Why should I hire an attorney, can’t I just deal with the insurance company and handle the claim myself?  That way I don’t have to share whatever money I receive with a lawyer.”  

Our answer to that question often is:  “Well, you could handle it yourself, but would you handle your own brain surgery if you needed it, or would you hire a brain surgeon?”

Of course we are joking with this answer but really only half-joking.  While handling accident claims is certainly not brain surgery, maximizing the claimant’s recovery requires a certain amount of skill, training, and experience. When you truly analyze it, it becomes a “no brainer.”  (Pun intended).  Hire a lawyer! 

Dealing with experienced insurance adjusters and attorneys:

If you are trying to handle personal injury claims yourself and you think, because of the insurance company TV commercials you’ve seen, that you are going to be “In Good Hands,” or treated “Like a Good Neighbor,” then you’ve got another thing coming.  

Billion dollar insurance companies get to be billion dollar insurance companies by limiting the amount of claims that they pay and you must remember that the insurance adjuster that you would deal with in an accident claim works for the insurance company and his job is to minimize the amount his company has to pay to settle claims.  The less money he or she can pay out on a claim, the better he or she has done the job.  Typically, that adjuster is going to be very good at his or her job.  It’s all he or she does all day everyday; work to save the company money.

Why hire an attorney to handle your claim?:

Actually, studies have shown that, on average, personal injury claimants who hire an attorney receive an average of 440% more compensation than those who handle claims themselves!  (Source:  Martindale-AVV0 Attorney Compensation Report)

How should you choose an attorney?:

The first thing you should do is your homework.  There are many attorneys in today’s market saturating the airwaves with ads showing them doing things like standing on top of an 18-wheeler, throwing axes, fighting alligators  and the like.  It seems as if every other billboard on the highway is pictures of an attorney begging for you to dial his easy-to-remember phone number.  

We feel that in small towns and more rural areas, attorneys from the area, if they are otherwise qualified through skill, training and experience, have a distinct advantage over out of town attorneys such as those heavy advertisers out of New Orleans, Baton Rouge and the like.

While we feel that judges are generally going to be fair and impartial no matter who the attorney is, it doesn’t hurt to know and have a personal and professional relationship with the judge so that at least you have a feel about how the judge rules on certain things and the type of evidence that will most impress the judge.

You would hope that on a close issue the judge has to decide, you would at least get the benefit of the doubt.

Additionally, it doesn’t hurt to personally know law enforcement officers and medical professionals in your area, all of whom can be critical in helping you put together and present a successful case for your client.

Why Hire the Harrington Law Firm to handle your accident or injury claim?

At the Harrington Law Firm, we regularly handle accident claims against insurance companies and deal with them on a daily basis.  We are knowledgeable and experienced in how to investigate a claim and best present it to the insurance company, or if necessary to the Court to maximize our clients’ recovery.  

We feel that it is vital to form personal relationships with our clients, and they often tell us that we “treated them like family.”  We have combined nearly 60 years of handling personal injury cases in this area and have obtained many millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for our clients over the years.  We feel that in a mostly rural area like the one in which we live in, or in small towns, the best way to advertise your services is through results and reputation.  

At the Harrington Law Firm, we have worked very hard to establish a reputation for handling accident and personal injury cases of all types in this area of the state, obtaining fair and equitable judgments and settlements for our clients, and along the way, treating our clients with dignity and respect.  

It is because of this we believe, that many of our new clients come from referrals by former clients.

We know that we are on the insurance company’s radar, and know that those companies keep statistics on law firms and how they handle their claims, and whether or not they are willing to go to court, if necessary.  They know that if the Harrington Law Firm is handling the claim, that we will make them pay!  We have even had insurance adjusters hire us to handle claims for their family members.  

Martindale-Hubbell, the world’s largest attorney rating service and the “Gold Standard” of attorney’s rating services, after conducting a poll of other attorneys in our area, has given the Harrington Law Firm an “AV Preeminent” rating which is the highest possible rating that a law firm can receive, and means that we are included in the top ten percent of all law firms in the nation.  We are very proud of that fact.   (Source:  Martindale-Hubbell.com)  

We handle injury cases on a contingency basis, meaning we don’t get paid unless you get paid!

If you’ve been injured in an automobile, motorcycle, big truck accident as a result of someone else’s negligence, or if you’ve suffered as a result of a medical malpractice or a slip and fall, give us a call at the Harrington Law Firm at 352-5900.  You’ll be glad you did!  (First initial appointment is free.)

NSU Calendar for Nov. 5-11

Here is a look at the week of Nov. 5-11 at Northwestern State University. 

Nov. 5 – NSU Black Alumni Sunday Funday Brunch and Day Party, Onyx Wine and Cigar Lounge, 312 Texas Street, noon – 5 p.m. 

Nov. 5 – Theta Chi Alumni Corporation Meeting, 2 p.m. 

Nov. 5 – Men’s Chorus and Cane River Singers, Magale Recital Hall, 3 p.m. # 

Nov. 5 – Theta Chi Chapter Meeting and Initiation of Pledge Class, 4 p.m. 

Nov. 6-10 – First Gen Week, all campuses 

Nov. 6 – Shreveport Campus Fall Health Festival, Shreveport Nursing Campus, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 

Nov. 6 – Men’s basketball vs. Dallas Christian, Prather Coliseum, 6:30 p.m. 

Nov. 6 – Percussion Ensemble Concert, Magale Recital Hall, 7:30 p.m. # 

Nov. 7 – Wellness Fest, WRAC, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 

Nov. 7 – NSU Chamber Choir and Lyrica Concert, Magale Recital Hall, 7:30 p.m. # 

Nov. 8 – Phi Beta Delta Language and Culture Series lecture on Kenya, Room 107, Russell Hall, 5:30 p.m. $ 

Nov. 8 – Euphonium-Tuba/Trumpet Studio Concert, Magale Recital Hall, 7:30 p.m. # 

Nov. 9 – Chamber Winds Performance, Magale Recital Hall, 7:30 p.m. # 

Nov. 10 – Journalism and Media Day, 8 a.m. – noon 

Nov. 10 – NSU Elementary Lab Veteran’s Day program, School Gym, 8:30 a.m. 

$ – Admission charge to attend 

The 2023 Classic on the Cane Continues 34 Years of Musical Excellence!

Dancing, flag twirling, marching and music were the order of the day as 24 high school bands with several hundred musicians from every corner of Louisiana as well as East Texas converged on Northwestern State University’s Turpin stadium for the 2023 Classic on the Cane High School Band Competition. The competition, a longtime tradition among band programs in Louisiana and elsewhere, is in its 34th year. The Classic on the Cane is a superb opportunity for the bands to showcase their abilities and spend a day in friendly competition with fellow musicians.

Each marching band gave a half-time type performance and was graded on several factors relating to marching, performing and musicality. The east side of Turpin stadium was packed end to end with the band members’ families and supporters who enthusiastically waved signs and cheered their favorite bands.

The Many Tiger Band, 29 members strong under band director and local historian Scott Dubose, brought a superb, high energy show to the event. The Tiger Marching Band’s signature sounds are as much a part of fall in Sabine parish as the clash of football pads. Their hard work and dedication can be plainly seen each time they take the field.

The 265 members of NSU’s Spirit of Northwestern band gave the last performance of the evening, a high energy production of Broadway numbers that drew repeated applause from the crowd. It is a sign of both NSU’s excellence and service to our state that many of the band directors at the competition are NSU alumni.

The Classic on the Cane has been a fixture of the high school marching band scene for the past 34 years. The Natchitoches Parish Journal is looking forward to seeing some of the superb young musicians at the competition coming to NSU to continue their education. We are looking forward to next year’s contest!

Ponderings: Anyone want a dog?

By Doug De Graffenried

Yesterday at Trinity Methodist Church we hosted our annual Trunk or Treat event. It was massive. There were kids everywhere, adults too.

Toward the end of the event, one of our youths came to me with a puppy. The puppy is a very young little guy. There were a group of our High School girls who were approached by a lady who said, “I’m not going home with this puppy.” The lady gave the puppy to the girls and vanished into the throng of people. You know what happened next. The girls all called their dads with the query, “Can we keep it?” Because the dads were not here, they were firm in their puppy adoption denial. Finally, one dad said, “Take the puppy to the preacher, he’ll take it.”

I took the puppy. I know the drill! The puppy has a nice puppy carrier with a soft bed inside. The puppy got warm milk and puppy food. While I’m writing this, the puppy is at the vet being checked out and given shots.

Last night, the puppy met the two other dogs occupying our home.

Rolo and Chester are not small dogs. Both are Pitbull mixes. They play rough when they play with each other. They are both terrified of this puppy. He is a little terrier mix. They are not sure what to do with him. Last night, there was sniffing, tail wagging, and lots of dog bowing. If you have not seen the bowing position of a dog wanting to play you have missed something. 

The dog slept in his doggy carrier and each time he whimpered both big dogs were right there making sure I heard the puppy and tended to him. The very strange thing was that the puppy was in the bed on my pillow when I woke up this morning. I guess I have some reflex action that took care of the crying puppy during the night.

The puppy doesn’t have a name, yet. If I keep him, his name will be Nick. That’s right, since it is LSU week, I’m naming the puppy Nick Saban! If you don’t like that name, I have a puppy you can adopt and you can pick a better puppy name!

I am not a dog whisperer. Each time I have brought a dog home, I am reminded that my life was broken down on the side of life’s road, a savior named Jesus reached down from heaven, righted my life, and invited me to follow Him. I do love dogs and who can turn their back on a puppy? But for me it is theological. 

Nick Saban (the puppy) reminds me of being lifted out of my lost condition and finding a home where I am loved.

Has Jesus rescued you?

‘Must Saw TV’

The brutally sad and tragic death news of writer and extremely talented actor Matthew Perry this weekend brought to mind happier times when reality, an acquired taste for sure, was moved to the back burner every Thursday night for “Must See TV.”

In the post-Cheers, post-The Cosby Show landscape of NBC Thursday night programming, Perry and the gang took over the TV comedy series world with Friends, and the addition of Seinfeld made it a one-two punch lethal for other networks. Icing on the cake was ER, a drama like spicey forerunners Falcon Crest or Dynasty or Dallas, only set in an emergency room where George Clooney was breaking hearts and mending wounds, all at the same time. (Mostly everyone on ER wore scrubs: what a break for Wardrobe.)

Hard to believe it’s been — 30 years ago? Seinfeld moved to Thursdays in the fall of 1993-94, then Friends came along to join it and ER. An NBC TV exec dubbed it “Must See TV,” and for millions, it was.

My spousal unit, a Friends disciple, says she never missed it. I will never forget getting the cold vocal cord shoulder in a late-’90s Thursday night call to Ramz, as close to a brother as anyone I have. The chillingly brief conversation went something like, “Must See TV night. Thursday. Call you tomorrow.”

Long distance and everything. And not a big TV watcher, I had no idea. Completely out of touch with TV-watching America, was I.

I love Seinfeld, but I’ve caught them all on reruns. Any Friends or ER episode I’ve seen has been by accident. (Chandler was Matthew Perry and Joey was that other guy and Ross was The Guy Who Was Briefly In Band of Brothers and one of the girls was Monica and I don’t know the other two. Blissfully ignorant.)

I was way in the minority because America was NBC’s best friend on Thursday nights in the 1990s. Friends at 7. Then something to get you to Seinfeld at 8—might be The Single Guy or Boston Common or Suddenly Susan, just some sort of half-hour bridge—then something else to get you from 8:30 to 9 when ER aired.

Remember: not everyone had a VCR then. Most did, but many didn’t, and if you had one it was expensive and the size of an ice chest. And often didn’t work well.

No one had a DVR.

(I knew the 1980s monster hit L.A. Law was in trouble when David Spade, during a Saturday Night Live! skit (back when SNL was must-see TV), said, “L.A. Law. Didn’t watch it. Didn’t tape it.” Tons and tons of water cooler talk involved whether or not you “saw” a show or at least “taped” it. “You mean you forgot to TAPE it?!”)  

No one under 35 or so will grasp this, but if you didn’t see or tape a show in the fall, it was gone until spring reruns. So, you HAD to see it. Must See TV.

Those days are gone forever, of course. No comedy shows anymore, much less comedy nights. No variety shows. Those days gave way to the DVD and to the glorious option of streaming (which I’ve fully embraced) and to what is falsely billed as “reality TV.” The only real reality TV is sports, and I’m not so sure even THAT’S true when it comes to the NBA playoffs — but that’s another story. And definitely not Must See TV.

Contact Teddy at teddy@latech.edu

Son of a Preacher Man

By Brad Dison

Vincent Damon Furnier was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1948.  Vincent’s father, Ether Moroni Furnier, was a preacher in The Church of Jesus Christ.  His paternal grandfather, Thurman Sylvest Furnier, was also a minister in the church and became president of the organization in the mid-1960s.  Unsurprisingly, Vincent was active in the church.  Most people, even Vincent, expected him to follow in the family business and become a church leader, maybe even a preacher, but a series of events altered the trajectory of his life.   As the saying goes, “The Lord works in mysterious ways.” 

As a child, Vincent struggled with a series of illnesses.  Vincent’s father moved the family from Detroit to Glendale, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix.  The drier climate had the desired effect as the illnesses that plagued Vincent vanished. 

In Glendale, Vincent pulled away from the church.  Children sometimes need to find their own way in life, and so it was with Vincent.  By his twenties, Vincent had stopped going to church altogether although he expressed an interest in returning to church.  He explained, “I’m afraid my appearance would be embarrassing for my father.  I don’t mean that he would be embarrassed, and he would never tell me.  But I don’t think his congregation would like it.”  Vincent’s appearance certainly drew attention.  Vincent wore makeup and bought all his clothes from the Salvation Army.  He sometimes wore his sister’s hand-me-down clothes or something his mother made for him.  Vincent disliked anything that looked new.  When he bought clothing for his girlfriend, he shopped in antique stores. 

Vincent’s life changed forever in 1964 when he and four fellow cross country teammates, Glen Buxtin, Neal Smith, Dennis Dunaway, and Michael Bruce, participated in Cortez High School’s annual Letterman’s talent show.  Vincent and his teammates called themselves the Earwigs, but there was a problem.  Other than Glen Buxton, who played guitar, none of the others played musical instruments.  To circumvent their lack of talent, the Earwigs dressed to resemble the Beatles, complete with wigs, and pretended to play instruments while a record played Beatles songs.  Vincent, the Earwigs’ lead singer, sang parodied lyrics to the Beatles songs.  For example, one of the songs they mimed and parodied was “Please Please Me.”  In it, rather than singing “Last night I said these words to my girl,” Vincent sang “Last night I ran four laps for my coach.”  The reception was better than anyone expected.  Vincent and his teammates won the talent show.  Because of their strange success, they decided to form a real band.  Vincent’s friends learned to play instruments and Vincent began to write songs and to improve his singing voice and stage presence.  In his high school yearbook, Vincent said his ambition was to become “a million record seller.”  

Vincent and his friends performed under various band names from the Earwigs to the Spiders and Nazz with minor success.  Finally, Vincent and his friends decided that they needed a gimmick to succeed.  They settled on a band name which sounded innocent and wholesome, which was in direct contrast to their stage shows.  The band became somewhat successful, but with that success came pressure, drugs, and alcohol.  Vincent became an alcoholic and drug addict.  It is likely that Vincent has died more times than any other human in history.  On multiple occasions, Vincent has died seven, eight, sometimes ten times in a single evening.  Each time, he was brought back to life.  Finally, after decades of drug and alcohol abuse, Vincent found a new addiction which took the place of drugs and alcohol.  Vincent became addicted to golf.  The son and grandson of preacher men also became a born-again Christian.  The Lord works in mysterious ways.

For some of the band members, their dream had become a nightmare.  After a decade of performing together, the band fell apart.  Vincent wanted to keep performing but disagreements with the other band members meant that Vincent could not use the band name.  Finally, Vincent found a loophole.  The only way he could perform under his old band name was to legally change his name to the band name.  In 1973, Vincent legally changed his name.  Under his new name, Vincent has sold more than 50 million records.  His deaths, as mentioned earlier, were not due to illness or overdose.  He continues to die multiple times an evening in various ways as part of his elaborate stage show.  You know Vincent Damon Furnier, who became addicted to drugs and alcohol, then became a born again Christian and avid golfer, as Alice Cooper. 


1.      The Ottawa Journal, August 20, 1971, p.12.

2.     Albany Democrat-Herald, April 19, 1975, p.33.

3.     The Baltimore Sun, April 26, 1975, p.10.

4.     Concord Monitor, July 29, 2004, p.6.

What’s wrong with people?

In my early 60’s, my level of patience is deteriorating rather quickly. The one area really being tested is with the human race and their level of disrespect and stupidity.

It’s no secret that I too have had my share of crazy moments, and I’m not proud of them. But we live in a time when it seems some people have forgotten how to act. Courtesy has disappeared from the American vocabulary.

About a month ago, I was fishing the American Bass Anglers (ABA) two-day divisional championship on Lake Sam Rayburn. It was during our morning takeoff that one guy decided to make it all about himself instead of being courteous.

Takeoff is where the tournament director calls out boat numbers as anglers head out for a day of competition. These takeoffs take place next to a boat dock as anglers drive their boats past the dock with their livewells open. As the boat passes the dock, the director makes sure competitors have no fish in their livewell and that their aeration system is working properly. It’s called a rolling start and is common among tournament circuits.

Our tournament director, Chris Wayand, who does an outstanding job, was getting ready for takeoff when he approached a fellow fishing off the dock. Chris explained to the man that he was about to release the boats for the tournament, and they would be driving by the dock where he was fishing. Chris asked the man if he would like to reel in his line while we drove by so that no one would cut his line with their boat motors.

This is where things went south. The boat dock fisherman went off on Chris with an outburst of foul language, saying he had just as much right to fish off that dock as we did to drive by it.

Chris agreed that he did have the right to fish off the dock, but explained the competitors would be out of his way in 10 to 15 minutes. Chris was polite and never raised his voice even after the guy was rude and inconsiderate.

Recognizing that the dock fisherman was not going to reel in his line for takeoff, Chris made an announcement to the tournament anglers and asked that we try and veer away from the dock as quickly as possible so as not to run over the man’s fishing line.

As Chris began to call boat numbers and anglers idled by the boat dock, it was about boat Number 3 that the moment got ugly. Boat 3, with some inexperience on board, managed to run over the dock fisherman’s fishing line and cut it. The angler jumped out of his chair and ran down the dock cursing Chris Wayand while shaking his finger in Chris’s face.

The angler peppered the air with a string of curse words to express his displeasure with his line being run over and the idea that we tournament anglers think we own the lake.

While none of us actually had ownership over any part of Lake Sam Rayburn, this old man (probably in his mid 70s) was still giving Chris a piece of his mind as I approached the dock as boat Number 11 during takeoff.

If I could have the opportunity to talk with this gentleman, I would ask him a couple of questions. Why was he so uncooperative and refused to show a little respect for our takeoff that morning? Why was he so set on continuing to fish, knowing that the odds of him catching a fish were near zero while bass boats were driving directly over his fishing area?

For some reason the dock fisherman decided to try to make a point by refusing to cooperate and show a little courtesy to avoid a confrontation. Instead, he CHOSE to make a public scene and show everyone just how uncooperative he could be.

What is wrong with people today? Why do some folks choose to be selfish rather than use just a little common sense? Why can’t people be respectful and get along? Where did we as a country lose our respect for one another?

But this one incident is just an example of the country we live in today. The attitude too often is: IT’S ALL ABOUT ME!

‘Til next time good luck, good fishing and let’s all try to get along and regain respect for each other.

Contact Steve at sgraf26@yahoo.com

Notice of Death – October 31, 2023

Anne Lace Stevens
May 8, 1948 — October 21, 2023

Janie Margrette Strebeck Doolittle Calvert
June 20, 1929 — October 30, 2023
Service: Saturday, November at 1 pm at Crossroads Baptist Church, located at 111 Crossroads Church Road in Marthaville

Helen R. Cyiark
October 27, 2023
Arrangements TBA

Demons on Fire: Anna Claire and Karrigan Rowse

Who is messier? Who’s the better driver? More responsible? Which one is which? Twins Anna Claire and Karrigan Rowse are fraternal, but their resemblance in looks, voices, interests and friendly personalities — and tendency to speak in unison — is so striking, they could be taken as identical.  The two Northwestern State University seniors grew up in Lake Charles, graduated from Barbe High School in 2020 and began their college journey during the COVID-19 pandemic. They are the oldest of five children with two sisters who are 18 months apart in 12th and 10th grade, and a younger brother in fifth grade.

NSU was not initially on their radar, but a nudge from their grandfather, Jackie Self of Leesville, a 1979 graduate of NSU, pointed them in the right direction. They are now completing clinicals at Rapides Regional Medical Center and will collect their undergraduate degrees in nursing during commencement exercises on Dec. 13.

Anna Claire and Karrigan sat down with NSU staff to talk about growing up twins, their plans for the future and their experiences at NSU.  They conversation has been condensed and edited for clarity.

Do you often get mistaken for one another? 

In Unison:  Every single day.

Who is older?

Anna Claire:  I’m older by a minute and I make sure she doesn’t forget it.

What attracted you to NSU?

Karrigan:  When we came here, our recruiter was nice and we met [Director of Recruiting and Enrollment Management] Van Erikson and he was super nice and we met Dr. [Chris] Maggio, who was president at the time, and all of them made us feel like we weren’t just a number. They wanted us here because of who we were and what we can contribute to Northwestern. The nursing program is also really good. They were really personable to us when we came.

Anna Claire:  I could say the same thing.  We came together.  We didn’t want to stay too close to home. We stayed at NSU, which was the best decision that we made.

You started college during COVID. Can you talk about some of the challenges and how going to college during COVID met with your expectations? 

Anna Claire:  We graduated during COVID, which was very weird.  We didn’t expect to ever have to do anything like that but I think we made the most of it. We got to do Freshman Connection, even though it was different.  We joined a sorority, so we got that experience. We joined the BCM [Baptist Collegiate Ministry], we joined other clubs. We still made the most out of it, even though it was a very different experience than we were expecting.

Karrigan:  I think we didn’t know what to expect coming in.  It was everyone’s first time doing things like that, so it was comforting to know we weren’t the only ones that had to deal with that.  Everyone else around us was also dealing with that, too.

What are some of the other things you are involved in?

Karrigan: Alpha Lambda Delta and I’m a presidential ambassador for the Recruiting office.

Anna Claire:  I work at the WRAC as a personal trainer.

When did you realize you wanted to become a nurse?

Anna Claire: I always had the feeling that I wanted to help people that couldn’t help themselves and I also knew that I wanted to go into something with kids, too, but also wanted to go into healthcare.  We did babysit a lot throughout our high school experience, and we still do that now.  Getting the opportunity to work with kids and also work in the healthcare field was something that I always wanted to do.

Karrigan:  When our little brother was little, he was always in and out of Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, so I think that made me want to be a nurse, seeing how the doctors and nurses treated us as a family and the comfort that they brought us made me want to do that for somebody else.

Can you talk about your experiences in clinicals?

Anna Claire: I’m in pediatric ICU. I’m leaning more towards pediatrics right now, not really the critical care side. I feel like when I do become a nurse, I’ll get more critical care experience and I will be comfortable in that aspect but as of right now I just want to do pediatrics.

Karrigan: I’m in the nursery. I didn’t think that I wanted to be a nursery nurse. I really always leaned towards pediatric but now that I’m doing my preceptorship in clinicals in nursery, that may be something that I’m going to consider whenever I graduate.

Do you have employment lined up?

Anna Claire:  We’ve talked to nurses at Rapides and management, so we did apply and we’re just waiting to hear back. That’s where we want to end up when we graduate to get more experience.  Our goal is to go to Texas Children’s in the future to work.

Do you think you will always work in the same hospital?

Karrigan:  Right now, just because we’ve done everything together and there’s not anyone else in the picture, I think it’s good.  For cheaper rent, if we ever were to move to Texas, which has always been a goal.  It’s cool that we get to do things together and I think we should stay together as long as possible because when we’re older and we do get married and have kids we’re not going to see each other as much we’re trying to enjoy the time that we have together.

In addition to your majors, what are some other ways that you are very much alike?

Anna Claire:  We like to go to concerts.  We have the same music taste. We like to work out.

Karrigan:  We always have a workout buddy. We like to travel, so we go on spontaneous trips sometimes.

Do you have disagreements or arguments?

Both:  Yes.

Anna Claire:  I think it’s evident, we literally do everything together. But we’re trying to get better at not arguing. It’s just we’re together 24/7.

Karrigan:  We do separate a little bit two days out of the week but we’re just together a lot and we’re just tired, so we just get argumentative.

Do you have the same friend group?

Both:  Yes.

Anna Claire: We did a summer camp two summer ago with WinShape and we got to be apart, which was great. We’ve always been known as The Twins, but we were actually known as Anna Claire and Karrigan which we really liked, and we got to meet new friends and have new memories apart and it made us value our time together a lot better.

What are some other things you’ve done to forge your own identities?

Silence. Staring at each other.

Are there some things that one of you really likes that the other doesn’t? 

Staring at each other. Silence.

Karrigan: A lot of people think twins are completely different but we’re more like the twins that are way more alike than we are different.

Anna Claire:  But we’re not inseparable. We can do our own things.  We don’t need each other 24/7 but we are more alike than we are different.

What are some things that each of you does that the other doesn’t do or an interest you have?

Staring at each other.  Quiet discussion, then speaking simultaneously.

Anna Claire: We always have a buddy with us.  We don’t go places alone.   

Karrigan:  We just have a built-in buddy everywhere we go and everything we do.

So, you are basically best friends.

Both:  Right. Exactly.

What’s the best thing about being a twin?

Both:  You always have someone with you.

Anna Claire: We study together.  I wish our brains could just go together when we take tests because one of us knows something the other doesn’t, but it’s good that we bounce off each other’s ideas.

Karrigan:  I don’t think we could get through nursing school without each other. I think nursing school is hard as it is and since we do have each other it makes things so much easier, knowing you’re not the only person going through the struggles that you’re going through.

Is one of your more assertive than the other?

Anna Claire:  One of us is more outgoing than the other, people have said.  

Karrigan: I think more I’m assertive.  I like to be right.

Anna Claire:  Yeah, she is.

What have been some of your most memorable experiences at NSU?

Karrigan:  For me, since I work in the Recruiting Office, I get to work N Side View Day.  When I did go to N Side View I got to see all the people who influenced me to come to Northwestern and I think it’s cool that when I work N Side View Day, I get to meet future students. When they come to NSU I’ve already made that connection with them, so it’s cool to build a relationship before they even come to Northwestern.

Anna Claire:  I’d say my best memory is I joined Tri Sigma, so getting my Big and my Little and knowing that I can go to them for anything and they can come to me for anything.

What would you say to someone deciding to come to NSU for Nursing school?

Karrigan:  I would say I felt home at Northwestern, and I have other friends that go to other schools and I feel that I’ve gained a lot more knowledge and the experiences, since we do get to travel to other hospitals and we do simulations and things and it’s given me a lot more confidence in myself that I didn’t have prior to coming to Northwestern. Nursing school and Northwestern have taught me that I don’t know everything and I’m very prepared for what’s to come in the work force. 

Anna Claire:  I’d say the same. They prepare you for the real world. You’re not going to know everything, but it does get you prepared and you feel more comfortable when you have instructors that challenge you and you also need to go into nursing with an open mind because you have to go every field. You have to go through your med/surge, pediatrics, so be open to what specialty you want to do because that may not be what you want to do.

‘We just got beat by a better writer today …’

Just once I’d like to see the tables turned in a sports interview.  

I’d like to hear a sportswriter sort of look down and, not defeated but definitely dejected, mumble into the microphone after a poorly written game story, “I just didn’t have my good verbs today. No movement with my action verbs at all. I was missing early in the story with my helping verbs so I couldn’t really set up what’s been my bread-and-butter action verbs like ‘pitched’ and ‘hit.’ It is what it is, I guess…” 

Just once…

Part of sports is that familiar give-and-take between players/managers and writers/broadcasters before and after games, familiar and routine as batting practice or pregame warmups. 

Monday night after a Game 7 rout by Texas in the American League Championship Series, baseball’s and Houston’s much beloved Dusty Baker, manager of the defending World Series champs but losers in Monday night’s series-deciding game, deftly dodged questions about some of his in-game decisions, decisions that landed somewhere between strange and bizarre, especially for a future Hall-of-Famer who played 19 seasons and has since managed teams to more than 2,000 wins. 

Dusty said something about fans having been “spoiled around here, as far as winning,” how the Astros have “nothing to be ashamed of,” how they were beaten “by a better team tonight.” And on like that. Which is fine. No excuses, but no real explanations either. 

Just to keep things even, writers should have to do the same now and then. Instead of hanging around the batting cage—let’s say we’re talking baseball here—maybe now and then the manager comes to the press box and says to the writer, “Your game story this morning, it seemed flat. Sally’s story in The Tribune, it was like reading music. Felt like I was at the game. What’s your evaluation of what happened?” 

Writer: “Look, Sally’s a good writer and she was the better typist last night,” the writer says, studying his shoes. “I had some opportunities in my lead and didn’t take advantage of those. As the story went on, I had decent command of my nouns, even the Proper Nouns, but my verbs were all over the place. I let that one adjective get away from me in — I think it was the third graph — and after that it seemed I couldn’t find my rhythm or my butt with both hands. 

“It’s like I told the staff after the paper came out, I’ve got to do my job, sure, but we’ve got to have good layout too, maybe a few graphics … it takes a team. This isn’t a one-man show. But the bottom line is I’ve got to do better. I can’t just throw my laptop out there and expect to win.” 

Coach: “Any thoughts on how home press box proved to be no advantage at all this series?” 

Writer: “That’s writing. That’s just writing. My splitting an infinitive and giving a clause away when I hung that preposition late didn’t help, but I think the fight was there: we just didn’t execute at the level we’re capable of.” 

Coach: “Your pronoun use has been a strong suit all year. Do you think you landed those today?” 

Writer: “My subjective pronouns were as good as they’ve been all year. But somewhere around the eighth sentence, my objective pronouns were flat as a crewcut and the one time I used a possessive case and then a nominative clause, well, those weren’t worth donating to the homeless. Anything else guys?” 

Coach: “Thanks, Writer. Good luck tomorrow.” 

Writer: “Thanks guys. I appreciate y’all. Just wasn’t our day. But we don’t have anything to be ashamed of. Outside of getting the final score wrong … Sorry about that. Wish I had that one back.” 

Contact Teddy at teddy@latech.edu 

Abraham’s Almost Forgotten Novel

By Brad Dison

American Journalist Christopher Hitchens once said, “Everyone has a book inside them, which is exactly where it should, I think, in most cases, remain.”  Abraham had published several books, but when he got to his seventh novel, most people thought it should have remained inside his own mind and not in print.

Abraham was the manager of the Lyceum theater in London’s West End.  As manager, Abraham held a position of prestige, but his salary as manager did not necessarily reflect his position.  To supplement his income, Abraham wrote reviews of plays and books.  He also published poetry, stories which were serialized in newspapers, and novels.  He had no aspirations to become famous, he wrote whatever he thought would sell well.  Most of his published works were in the romance genre.  His seventh novel, however, was something altogether different.

Despite many popular reviews, Abraham’s seventh novel was not the runaway success that he had hoped for.  He had spent years researching the book and had handwritten over 100 pages of notes on the project, but it sold poorly compared to some of his other published works.  When he died on April 20, 1912, he had made little income from his seventh novel, and it was no longer in print.  When newspapers in Europe published the news of his passing, the articles listed several of his popular novels but his seventh novel was rarely included among them.      

In 1927, Abraham’s seventh novel was used as the basis of a stage play which was better received than the novel had been.  Based on the play’s success, Universal Pictures purchased the rights to the book for $40,000.  Adjusted for inflation, $40,000 in 1930 would be almost $750,000 in today’s money.  Abraham’s widow, Florence Balcombe, made much more money from the seventh novel than her late husband had.  Universal Pictures took a giant risk with the film.  Production costs totaled nearly $400,000.  The film based on Abraham’s seventh novel was released on February 12, 1931.  Universal Pictures executives were relieved when, unlike the novel, the film became a hit.  Domestically, it earned more than $700,000, almost double its production cost.  The film added a new character into worldwide popular culture which is instantly recognizable.  The film also spawned new interest in Abraham’s seventh novel.  Since the film’s release, Abraham’s book has never been out of print, and it has become one of the most famous works of English Literature.  Abraham’s novel has been adapted for film more than 30 times so far, and his characters have appeared in all forms of media.  Abraham could never have imagined how popular his creation would become. 

We almost knew the title of Abraham’s seventh novel by a completely different name.  Just before the novel went to the publishers for printing, Abraham made a last-minute decision and changed the title of the novel from “The Un-Dead.”  You and I know Abraham “Bram” Stoker’s seventh, almost-forgotten, novel as “Dracula.” 

Happy Halloween!  


1.     London Daily News, May 27, 1897, p.6.

2.     The Pall Mall Gazette, June 1, 1897, p.11.      

3.     The Morning Post, June 3, 1897, p.2. 

4.     The Standard Union, April 22, 1912, p.3.

5.     The Daily Telegraph, April 22, 1912, p.6.

6.     The Sun, April 22, 1912, p. 9.

Please watch your language!!!

First, I would like to preface this article by saying, please don’t judge me for how this article is written.

I’m only trying to show the verbal nature of a particular co-angler I fished with a couple of years ago and that I do not condone the language she used in a recent American Bass Anglers (ABA) regular season two-day championship on Lake Sam Rayburn.

What made this event unique was the fact that it was the final event in which ABA allowed co-anglers. Let’s define what the term co-angler means. This is an angler who fishes out of the back of the boat and is not allowed to fish off the front deck because it is strictly for the boater/pro. The co-angler is only fishing against other co-angers while the boater/pro is fishing against other boater/pros.

Over the years, I’ve had some co-anglers who were great anglers and I’ve had a few who had no clue what they were doing. Some get in the boat looking to learn while others are there to get your fishing locations so they can come back later and fish everything you showed them. This is a major no-no in the tournament fishing world and there are even rules in place to discourage co-anglers from such behavior. No co-angler is supposed to share the information they learned while fishing with the boater/pro.

But there are no rules in place for off-color language.

In one particular event, I had a co-angler, who we shall call “Karen,” who threw me for a loop and tested my patience. Not because she talked too much, but rather how she talked. Over the years, I’ve only had a female co-angler maybe twice. But for this event, Karen would be my co-angler and would be one I’ll never forget.

On the Friday evening before an event, the ABA tournament director sends out who your partner will be the day of the tournament via a text message, along with their contact information so you can call them and make arrangements on where to meet on tournament morning.

My very first conversation with Karen was one to remember. As I made the call to introduce myself, her response was, “Mr. Steve, how the **** are you?” Rather than continue to go over every conversation we had for our two days together, I’ll cut to the chase. Turns out, she was not able to complete a sentence without an “F” bomb or two thrown in to make her point clearer.

Understand, I grew up in locker rooms and understand foul language. For some, it’s just how they were raised and that’s the only language they know. Hoping Karen would take a hint, I tried to steer the conversation by asking her what church she attended.

Even though I already knew the answer, I was hoping it would bring to light that I’m a Christian and attend church on a regular basis. Now I’m not a saint and have my own issues from time to time with a damn or hell occasionally, but she took foul language to a whole other level. It was by mid-morning on tournament day that I said to myself, “I wish she would shut up!”

Being paired up with someone like this makes for a long day on the water. It’s a true test of one’s patience as she continued with her obscene language all day long. To make this day even worse, we had a late weigh-in time of 4:00 rather than 3:00. So, the joy for me was knowing I had an EXTRA hour of “F” bombs!

But it all came together when she told me how she was raised. Now off the top of my head, I was thinking she came from an abusive home life with maybe an alcoholic parent or maybe she spent time as a child in a juvenile detention center. No. Turns out that she grew up on a bull riding ranch in Texas. Ha! Now it all came together; she was raised by cowboys!

Rodeo cowboys are a species unto themselves and many have their own language limitations. If you ever watch the hit TV series, “Yellowstone,” you’ll understand how cowboys communicate. There’s a reason someone wrote the song “Mama Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys.” Look, I realize it takes all kinds to make up this world, and I’m not one to judge, even though I do.

To wrap up my day with the queen of obscene language, Miss Foul Mouth ended with these comments as she decided that her fishing day was over. As she sat down in the passenger seat on my boat, she made this profound statement, ”Mr. Steve, I’m done and let me tell ya what I need right now. I need a ******* cigarette, a ******* beer and a ******* toilet, and not necessarily in that order!”

I was now beyond the shock value of Karen’s statements but could not wait to get her out of my boat. Rather than make an issue out of what her most recent demands were, while shaking my head, I just decided to say, “Me too!” I pulled the trolling motor up and cranked my engine to head back for the weigh-in. This was something I’d never done before — come in from an event 30 minutes early.

Over the years, I’ve had some long days on the water, but none longer than this one. It just goes to show, you never know who or what kind of person you’re going to get in a Pro/Am tournament. You just hope and pray that Karen is not your partner for the day.

‘Til next time, good luck and good fishing! Please make sure to check out our Hook’N Up & Track’N Down Facebook page for all kinds of tips and tricks to help make you a better angler. Go to hutdshow.com to learn more!

Contact Steve at sgraf26@yahoo.com

Virgie Lee (Moss) Tarpley

May 5, 1946 — October 17, 2023

Virgie Lee (Moss) Tarpley of Many, Louisiana, went to her Heavenly home on Tuesday October 17, 2023, at Grace Nursing Home in Slaughter, Louisiana. Virgie was born to Ernest Moss and Minnie (Hyatt) Moss on May 5, 1946, in Many, Louisiana. A visitation will be held for her on Saturday October 21, 2023, at 9:00 a.m. at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church, 94 Sportsman’s Paradise Road, Many, Louisiana. Her service will begin at 11:00 a.m. with interment to follow in Pilgrim Rest Cemetery. Virgie was married to the love of her life, Floyd Tarpley for 58 years.

Virgie was a teacher’s aide for 32 years at Negreet School where she was known for her famous saying, “I’ll beat you with a wet noodle.” Virgie loved her time at school and touched many children’s lives while she was there.

Virgie was preceded in death by her husband Floyd Tarpley; parents, Ernest and Minnie Moss; her sister, Deal Colton; her brother, Doyle Moss; her niece, Missy Campbell Rivers; her nephew, Bruce Tarpley; brother-in- law, Bobby Tarpley; and sister-in-law, Vivian Tarpley. She is survived by her children; sons, James Tarpley and wife, Leslee of Hemphill, TX, Phillip Tarpley of Many, LA; daughter, Carol Annison and husband, Eddie of Zachary, LA; sisters, Jean Ward and husband, Bob of Halls, TN, JoAnn Withers and husband, Dale of DeRidder, LA, Paige Bodner and husband, Richard of Arlington, TX; her grandchildren, Morgan Tarpley Jacks and husband, Josh of Pineland, TX, Leslie Annison Hutchinson and husband, Brennan of Zachary, LA, Gabe Tarpley and wife, Megan of Florien, LA, Ben Mason and wife, Cassidy of Zachary, LA, David Annison and wife, Maddi of Denham Springs, LA, Ethan Tarpley and wife, Courtney of Many, LA, Austin Tarpley and wife, Kelsy of Lufkin, TX, Alex Tarpley of Many, LA, and Simon Tarpley of Many, LA; great grandchildren, Brycen Jacks and Olivia Jacks of Pineland, TX, Hadley Hutchinson, Colton Hutchinson, and August Mason of Zachary, LA, Elliot Annison of Denham Springs, LA, and Marlee Tarpley and Weston Tarpley of Florien, LA; along with a host of nieces, nephews, friends, and other relatives.

Honoring her as pallbearers will be James Tarpley, Eddie Annison, Gabe Tarpley, Phillip Tarpley, Ethan Tarpley, and Ben Mason.

Darin Wayne “Bucket” Sonier

November 2, 1967 — October 12, 2023

Darin “Bucket” Wayne Sonier, 55, of Many, Louisiana went to his Heavenly home on Wednesday, October 12, 2023, at his residence. He was delivered into this world on November 2, 1967, in New Orleans, Louisiana to Daryl Sonier and Darlene (Lloyd) Sonier. A visitation will be held for him on Thursday, October 19, 2023, from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. with a rosary beginning at 6:00 p.m. at Kilpatrick’s Rose-Neath Funeral Home Chapel, 9891 Texas Highway, Many, Louisiana. A graveside service will be held on Friday, October 20, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church Cemetery, 307 Hammond Street, Zwolle, Louisiana.

Bucket is a native of Napoleonville, Louisiana but has since made Toledo Bend his home along with his wife, Lisa. He has always been an avid follower of major horse racing events. The couple spent many hours traveling from track to track enjoying the competition between horses and jockeys. Just some of the competitions the couple attended included The Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Breeders Cup, Belmont, and the opening day at Del Mar. Of all the events they attended, The Preakness was his favorite. Years had past and Bucket booked a fishing trip for the couple to Toledo Bend Lake where they fell in love with the area…15 years later they decided to make Toledo Bend their new home and the rest is history!

Preceding him in death are his paternal grandparents, Mr. & Mrs. Emerson Sonier, his maternal grandparents, Mr. & Mrs. William Lloyd, and his in-laws, Mr. & Mrs. Clarence Michel, Sr. He is survived by his parents, Daryl and Darlene Sonier of Napoleonville, LA; his loving wife of 24 years, Lisa Michel Sonier of Many. LA; his sister, Darla Sonier Mirelez and husband, Dan of New Orleans, LA; his sister-in-law, Jamie Michel and husband, CJ of Lancaster, KY; his nieces, Lyllian Mirelez of Baton Rouge, LA, Lucy Mirelez of New Orleans, LA, and Dr. Alex and Mrs. Kamryn Michel Elswick of Lexington, KY; his nephews, Lucas Mirelez of New Orleans, LA, Clark Michel of Lancaster, KY, and Klarye Michel of Evanston, IL; his great-great niece, Kathryn Grace Campbell of Lexington, KY; and his Godson, Clarence “Trip” Michel III of Lancaster, KY; along with a host of friends and other family members.

Honoring him as pallbearers will be his friends, Kevin, Dan, CJ, BJ, and Danny.

Join Sabine Parish heroes on the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Team

By Greg Burke

Sabine Parish residents no doubt take immense pride in home grown athletes like Bo Dowden, Charlie Joiner and Tynes Hildebrand, who have been recognized for their accomplishments through induction into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.

For years, the only point of recognition for those honorees was in trophy cases at Northwestern State University’s Prather Coliseum. In 2013, recognition of Louisiana’s greatest athletes took a monumental step forward with construction of the state-funded 27,000 square foot Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum in Natchitoches’ downtown historic district.

In addition to being open to visitors and for group tours, the museum has hosted events such as the recent 50th anniversary commemoration of singer Jim Croce’s untimely death after performing at NSU, wedding receptions and rehearsal dinners, meetings, and other functions.

The first-ever Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame “Join the Team” membership drive – which research shows is standard for most hall of fame museums – has been initiated to secure resources which can be used to update and upgrade the museum. State funding underwrites basic operating costs for the museum but there are often inadequate funds to enhance the museum, especially in this age of “bells and whistles” (aka “technology”). Log on to LaSportsHall.com and click the “Join the Team” button or text LSHOFTEAM to 41444 to “Join the Team.” Checks can be mailed to 500 Front Street, Natchitoches, LA 71457.

While today’s technology comes at a cost, the “asking price” for Hall of Fame membership can be as little as $10 per month. Member benefits include official Hall of Fame team member gear, the opportunity to win monthly drawings, discounts on merchandise and other amenities. 2023 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame inductees Alana Beard – Shreveport (Southwood High School), Duke University, and 15-year WNBA standout – along with two-time LSU national champion and 14-year Major League Baseball pitcher Paul Byrd, are Honorary Co-Chairs of the inaugural membership campaign.

And if that isn’t attractive enough, members who sign up by December 31 of this year will be entered in a January 1 drawing for the “Ultimate 2024 Hall of Fame Weekend Experience,” which includes two tickets to all induction weekend events, a photo with your favorite 2024 Hall of Famer (Drew Brees…Seimone Agustus…Daniel Cormier…or another inductee…your choice!) and exclusive access to some events. The value of that package is close to $1,000!

The initial goal is a very conservative and surely attainable 100 members. This museum is our state’s pride and joy, a legacy locker room for its greatest athletes that celebrates excellence from all 64 parishes, from Ida to Grand Isle, from Lake Providence to Lake Charles. Statewide ownership will ensure that just as Louisiana athletes are among the best from coast to coast, the same can always be said about its Sports Hall of Fame Museum.

Greg Burke is Director of Business Development and Public Relations for the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Foundation. He was formerly Director of Athletics at Northwestern State University for 26 years. Burke can be contacted at gregburke@lasportshall.com


By Doug De Graffenried

I know you are busy, and I want to get you back to your life, so this is a short article. Do me a favor, think about these things for just a moment.

Years ago, in seminary, they taught us the adult attention span was 23 minutes. In this digital world the your attention span was by-passed after the first sentence. These are quick. They are in no particular Biblical order.

Jesus threw a Temple tantrum.

Jesus was always borrowing things. He borrowed a boat; borrowed a donkey; borrowed an upper room; borrowed a sepulcher.

Jesus invited himself to supper at Zacchaeus’ house. Jesus invited himself to join the conversation on the Emmaus road. Jesus inserted himself into the political conversation in Jerusalem when he mounted a donkey and rode into the city. Jesus inserted himself into many conversations and situations and His imposition gave each person something they were looking for and a relationship that changed their lives.

Jesus spent too much time with children.

Jesus was a serial procrastinator. On at least two occasions, Jesus was late, and it cost someone his or her life. However, Jesus was always on time. Go figure.

As an infant, Jesus spooked a king. As a child he shocked the theologians 

Jesus comforted the afflicted and afflicted the comfortable.


Notice of Death – October 24, 2023

Jackson Boyd Fernandez
January 31, 1950 — October 23, 2023
Service: Saturday, October 28 from 1-3 pm at the Blanchard St. Denis Funeral Home in Natchitoches

Fred Phillips
October 24, 2023
Arrangements TBA

Edward C Thompson (Better known as JJ)
January 26, 1954 – October 23, 2023
Arrangements TBA

Melvin Ray Smith
October 9, 1934 — October 22, 2023
Service: Wednesday, October 25 at 1 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

Carolyn Waxham
November 11, 1940 — October 19, 2023
Service: Friday, October 27 at 1 pm at Beulah Methodist Church in Marthaville

Coach Mike & Connie McConathy

Dear Friends,

Our hearts are overwhelmed with gratitude for the support this past year as we ran our campaign for Senate District 31.  I learned much and made many new friends while traveling through 10 parishes!  

I am so thankful for all those who helped, who prayed , who physically worked, and who encouraged me.  I am proud of what we accomplished.

Let’s continue to support Louisiana and each other, our future depends on it.  

May God continue to bless!

Coach Mike & Connie

Most Common Myths About Bankruptcy

At the Harrington Law Firm, we are a Debt Relief agency and we do assist people in filing for Bankruptcy under Federal Bankruptcy Law and also counsel people about non-bankruptcy options when they are suffering from financial problems.

There are lots of “street lawyers” out there who are very quick to give “advice” about the process and the effects of filing for bankruptcy.

First of all, the information those “street lawyers” give you is very likely incorrect. It may be that they or someone they knew filed bankruptcy in the past but bankruptcies are like snowflakes, every one is different. No two financial situations are exactly alike and what may or may not have worked for one person may work the total opposite way for another. In any event, here are some of the most common myths that we come across when counseling our clients about the possibility of filing bankruptcy:

MYTH #1:

If you file bankruptcy you will lose everything you have. That is actually almost never the case. In fact, most of the Chapter 13 Debt Consolidation Bankruptcies we file have the opposite effect. They often allow our clients to keep their property instead of losing it to their creditors.

MYTH #2:

You will never get credit again and you will never be able to own anything again. Both of these myths are absolutely false. We find that in the vast majority of our clients, the filing of bankruptcy actually improves their credit, sometimes dramatically, and that after they finish the bankruptcy, if they otherwise qualify for loans, they can purchase vehicles, homes, and as we like to say: “do anything you’re big enough to do.”

MYTH #3:

Filing will hurt your credit for ten years. This is absolutely a myth. While this may have been true many years ago, our experience has been that our clients’ credit improved dramatically upon receiving their discharge and they start receiving credit cards in the mail and offers from companies wanting to provide them with credit. Of course, we caution our clients to be very careful and conservative before getting themselves in debt again.

MYTH #4:

If you are married, both spouses have to file. This is not the case; we have many cases where one of the spouses in a married couple files while the other one does not.

MYTH #5:

You’ll have to testify in court. This is very, very unlikely. During Covid, the Bankruptcy Courts in our area began conducting the debtors’ meetings with the Trustees by telephone conference and/or Zoom and that continues to this day. That means that you can participate by phone from your home, work or wherever you are. It is rare that a court appearance would be required, and most of those are now are conducted by ZOOM.

MYTH #6:

Even if you file, creditors will still harass you and your family. Upon filing either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, which are the two types of consumer bankruptcies, all of your creditors will be served with what is called the “Automatic Stay,” which is an order issued by the Court prohibiting your creditors from suing you, calling you, writing you, or having any other further contact with you. You will have filed for bankruptcy protection, and protection is what it provides.

MYTH #7:

You can’t get rid of back taxes through bankruptcy. This is not always the case. Although there are some taxes that you cannot discharge through bankruptcy, we are often able to wipe out a good deal of back taxes and even if we can’t, could at least stop the penalties from running and protect our clients from seizures or any other collection efforts by the IRS or the State.

MYTH #8:

Bankruptcy cannot help you get your driver’s license back after suspension for MV fines. Again, this is false. We see many clients who owe thousands in Office of Motor Vehicle (DMV) fines and charges, and who have had their driver’s license suspended. In most cases we are able to file a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, take care of the fines through the plan, and immediately get the suspension lifted.

MYTH #9:

You can only file once for bankruptcy protection. This is definitely not true; debtors can file multiple times for bankruptcy protection.

MYTH #10:

Only deadbeats or bad people file for bankruptcy. This is definitely a myth. We find that our clients see bankruptcy as an absolute last resort and 90+% of our clients file for one of the following reasons: divorce, excessive medical bills, or becoming unemployed or under-employed.

MYTH #11:

When you get behind on your bills and can’t catch up bankruptcy, is your only option. When a client comes to us for a free consultation at The Harrington Law Firm, we discuss all of their options. Often times we will recommend non-bankruptcy options with our clients, such as, allowing us to negotiate with their creditors.

Remember, your first appointment is always free!

In addition to bankruptcy, The Harrington Law Firm handles Automobile Accidents, Medical Malpractice and other type of Personal Injury cases, Successions, Social Security Disability claims, and uncontested Divorces.

The Harrington Law Firm may be reached by calling (318) 352-5900 or going to http://www.theharringtonlawfirm.com

NSU calendar for Oct. 22-28

Here is a look at the week of Oct. 22-28 at Northwestern State University. 

Oct. 22-29 – “Elemental Threads: Contemporary Works by Angelbert Metoyer, Annie Moran and Ayo Scott,” Orville Hanchey Gallery 

Oct. 22 – Soccer vs. Houston Christian, Lady Demon Soccer Field, 1 p.m. 

Oct. 22 – Modern in Motion XI, Texas and Pacific Railway Depot, Remembrance Way, Natchitoches, 2 p.m. 

Oct. 23 – Engineering Technology Symposium and Manufacturing Day for Grades 9-12, Student Union Ballroom, 9 a.m. – noon 

Oct. 23 – Louisiana Piano Series International presents Nadejda Vlaeva, Magale Recital Hall, 7:30 p.m. # 

Oct. 24 – Volleyball vs. Texas A&M – Commerce, Prather Coliseum, 6:30 p.m. 

Oct. 24 – Faculty recital featuring Malena McLaren, clarinet, and Chialing Hsieh, piano, Magale Recital Hall, 7:30 p.m. # 

Oct. 25 – Screening of documentary “Who Yo’ People” and talk by filmmaker Dr. Lindsay Gary, Ora G. Williams Digital Media Center, Room 142 Kyser Hall, 5:30 p.m. 

Oct. 25-29 – “The Wedding Singer,” A.A. Fredericks, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 25-28, 2 p.m. Oct. 29 

Oct. 26 — “Outspoken: Collaborations in Story and Song,” Magale Recital Hall, 7:30 p.m. # 

Oct. 27 – Drums Along the River, Downtown Riverbank, 6:30 p.m. 

Oct. 28 – ACT Testing, Kyser Hall, 8 a.m. 

Oct. 28 – Classic on the Cane Marching Band Contest, Turpin Stadium 

Oct. 28 – Guest recital featuring Dr. Jeremy Dowden, trombone, Magale Recital Hall, 5:30 p.m. #