The Natchitoches Parish Library will be close Dec. 24-27 and Dec. 31- Jan. 1st.

Police Chief gives holiday shopping tips: Christmas is just around the corner and during this time of the year there are steps that can help ensure a safe holiday season. Police Chief Micky Dove offers these helpful holiday shopping tips:
•Do not leave purchased items visible in the car. Leave them in the trunk.
•While shopping during the evening hours, park in areas of the parking lot that have adequate lighting. Consider shopping with someone rather than going alone.
•Keep the amount of cash you have at a minimum or separate into pockets or locations on or about your person. This way all of it is not lost if your purse or wallet is misplaced or stolen.
•Keep track of credit/debit cards and keep receipts to compare to your monthly statement.
•Use your hand and/or body to obscure or shield the keypad while you enter PIN or Card Numbers into card machines.
•Always report suspicious people or activity to the police department.
Following these simple safety tips can reduce shopper’s vulnerability and minimize the possibility of being victimized.
“As your Chief of Police my sincerest hope is that you and your entire family have a safe and blessed holiday season,” said Dove.
To report a suspicious person or suspicious activity call (318) 352-8101 or in case of emergency dial 911.

Top Notch Fitness and members of the Rock Island Baptist Church are sponsoring a Christmas toy drive for children up to 11 years old in the community. Developmental and learning toys can be donated to promote a positive environment. Included batteries with any toy that requires them. Only non-violent toys will be accepted. To donate call (469)803-7496 or email topnotchsportsperformance@yahoo.com

Pianist to teach lessons at L.P. Vaughn: Dr. Samuel Stokes, Natchitoches pianist and composer, will teach private piano lessons and a keyboard class at the L.P. Vaughn Elementary Middle School “School of Fine Arts” beginning Jan. 15 for 12 weeks. Stokes teaches piano and voice in the talent music program for the Natchitoches Parish Schools, where his original children’s musical, “Beau the Amazing Blue Mouse”, was premiered by the Northwestern State University Middle Lab School in April.  Stokes is the music composition instructor for NSU, where his new work “Caer Cadarn” is in rehearsal by the NSU Horn Choir for a performance at the Southeast regional meeting of the International Horn Society.  Registration for Stokes classes and 10 others is Monday, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:15-5 p.m. at the music room (139) of L.P. Vaughn School.  Other group classes will include art, guitar, and drama.  Private lessons will include piano, trumpet, trombone, violin, flute, clarinet and drums.  A recent addition, if there is interest is public speaking. Cost for the school is $240 for Natchitoches Parish School District schools, with the exception of L.P. Vaughn students who will receive a 90 percent scholarship.  L.P. Vaughn student enrollment will be limited to the first 50+ students who enroll. Classes are scheduled for two hours after school on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 3:30-5:30 p.m. No registration will be held over the Christmas school break.  L.P. Vaughn School music teacher Danny Von Kanelis the coordinator of the School of Fine Arts. Sandy Irchirl is the middle school principal and Cynthia Cole is the elementary principal. The School of Fine Arts has been approved by the Natchitoches Parish School Board. The school is for 3rd-12th grade students in Natchitoches Parish schools.
 
NCHS JROTC cadets win awards:
 
http://matchbin-assets.s3.amazonaws.com/public/sites/1127/assets/4O6P_NCHS_JROTC.jpgThe Natchitoches Central High School JROTC Chief Battalion participated in the Festival of Lights Christmas Parade. They were awarded the “Best Marching Unit” trophy. From left are Cadet Captain Bryanna Paige; Cadet Major Victoria Thompson; Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Zykelia Thompson; Cadet Major Courtney South and Cadet 1st Lieutenant Alyssa Milner.
 
http://matchbin-assets.s3.amazonaws.com/public/sites/1127/assets/JP7J_NCHS_JROTC_Cadet.jpgThe NCHS JROTC Chief Battalion “Cadet of the Quarter” selects the top three cadets. The cadets are questioned based on current events, military customs and courtesies, how to wear the JROTC uniform properly, and their leadership skills. Points are awarded for each category. This month’s winner is Cadet Private Aimsley Unbehagen.
 
SWEPCO will trim trees: AEP Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) is spending more than $17 million on tree trimming in its Valley District through 2015 to improve reliability and service.  The SWEPCO vegetation plan for its eight-parish Valley District was approved by the Louisiana Public Service Commission (LPSC) in May and additional trimming began in July. Contract tree crews worked in Campti, Colfax, Derry, Gahagan, Hicks, Hornbeck, Kingston, Leesville and Logansport. SWEPCO will spend up to $7.5 million in 2014, and up to $10 million in 2015, primarily in the company’s Valley District, which includes the Natchitoches, Mansfield and Hornbeck areas. SWEPCO serves 228,000 customers in 11 parishes in Louisiana. SWEPCO acquired Valley Electric Membership Cooperative (VEMCO) and its 30,000 customers in October 2010. Commission staff and SWEPCO developed the vegetation plan with savings from the expiration of a Valley power supply agreement. “This means no increase in rates from the increased tree trimming,” adds Campbell.
 
The City of Natchitoches Recreation Dept. presents an after school tutoring program at the John Below Center in Breda Town. The program is free to anyone between the ages of 5-12. The program days and times are Monday-Friday from 3-7 p.m. For more information, call Regina Layton at 318-357-3891.
 
 MLK teaches HiSet prep:The MLK Center in Natchitoches offers HiSet Preparation classes. Earlier this year the HiSet replaced the GED Test required to earn a high school equivalency diploma. The change is statewide. The classes are free and open to the public. The class is designed primarily for students with the state recommended ninth grade or above reading level. Students are required to take a reading assesment after enrollment. Classes will be Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9-11 a.m. Students should be 19 years or older. New classes and enrollment will start every eight weeks. The next session will run January through February. For information call 357-3891.
 
First United Methodist Church Natchitoches will offer financial peace university courses Sunday evenings at 5:30 p.m. For reservations call 318-357-8296. For more information visit www.FUMCLA.org
 

Items for deployed military troops can be dropped of at any of the four Bank of Montgomery Branches. The project continues year-round with boxes to be prepared for Halloween and Christmas. The Shreveport Chapter of Operation Support Our Troops (OSOT) needs help with their on-going collection of items that can include instant hot chocolate mix/coffee/tea, tuna in foil packs, instant oatmeal/grits, Ramen noodle and instant cup-a-soup in any flavor except pork, chocolate candy, especially Hershey’s Kisses, white tube socks, artwork made by school children and notes or letters.

NPSOs’ Arrest report for Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Arrested were: 

  1. Anthony James Gauthier – WM (20) – 204 Sandra Street, Natchitoches, LA – Criminal Damage to Property
  2. Melody Lane Ferrier – WF (32) – 1177 Highway 480, Campti, LA – 2 Counts of Contempt of Court