NSU announces holiday closures: Northwestern State University will be closed Nov. 24 - 28 for the Thanksgiving break. Administrative offices will reopen and classes will resume Monday, Dec. 1.

The Wellness, Recreation and Activities Center will be open through Wednesday, Nov. 26 and will be closed Nov. 27 - 28. The WRAC will reopen Saturday, Nov. 29.

Watson Library will be closed Nov. 22 – 30. Watson Library will reopen Monday, Dec. 1 at 8 a.m.

Trial postponed for man accused of murder: 
Many Judge Stephen Beasley has agreed to postpone the trial of Robert Barthelemy, a former Natchitoches City policeman accused in the murder of Tony Procell of Many. The trial date on the charges of first degree murder were originally set for Sept. 28 but Beasley reset the trial for Jan. 19 after Barthelemy changed his plea from not guilty to not guilty by reason of insanity. Barthelemy allegedly kidnapped Procell from his home in Many and drove him to Winn Parish where he was killed and left in a wooded area. Authorities searched for Procell for several days while exploring false leads offered by Barthelemy that he had left Procell alive in Kisatchie National Forest.
Former Saint to visit La. Sports Hall: Former New Orleans Saints kick returner/wide receiver Michael Lewis will host a meet and greet at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum Nov. 25 at 6 p.m. Lewis, one of a select few NFL players to never attend college will also promote his book “Dreams: The Michael Lewis Story” as he will talk to participants on his long journey to the NFL from a stint in the Arena League and as a beer delivery man. For further information, call the museum at (318) 357-2492.

Phi Beta Lambda prepare 38 shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child: Northwestern State University students in Phi Beta Lambda, a society for business students, prepared 38 shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child, an international crisis response and relief organization.

Tickets to make debut: The new ticket system for the Natchitoches Christmas Festival will debut at “Turn on the Holidays.” Each ticket will hold a $1 value and go toward the purchase of food or entertainment items. Working to create a cohesive partnership with vendors, eight ticket dispensers, one bill changer and three trailers will be setup for festivalgoers to use. Lee Waskom, executive director of the Christmas Festival Committee, said the long-term investment will help assure vendor accountability and raise the bar of the overall festival experience. The festival sold tickets in 2011; however staff handled the sales, costing the festival a high number of labor hours and created long lines. This year the automated system will facilitate a “buy any time” availability for tickets. Staff members will watch the machines during the festival to ensure that they are user friendly. Each of the eight machines are capable of pushing out 4,000 tickets, which are non-refundable, but are accepted all six weeks of the festival. Stores on Front Street and festival armband booths will also sell 21 ticket packets for $20. Waskom is confident that the machines will be able to handle 100 percent of the business during the festival weekends. “We want the festival to be kid oriented and we want everyone to have a great experience,” said Waskom. “The ticket machines are just an extra step to improving the festival’s overall standards and creating a larger, stronger crowd.” For information go online to natchitocheschristmas.com.

 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.

Turn on the Holidays in your neighborhood: Natchitoches residents can win the Christmas Spirit Stick by lighting up according to chairperson  Marian Keator. The Natchitoches Christmas Festival, sponsored by the Historic District Business Owners Association, is hoping residents will show their holiday spirit by brightly lighting their homes, streets and neighborhoods.  Two people or entities will be selected each week to receive Spirit Sticks as Keator travels the City looking for potential winners. She says there is no formal entry process and that the promotion is an effort to light up the City. Pictures of winners will be published in the Natchitoches Times.
For more information, call Keator at 357-0964.

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.