Journal offering three $3,000 scholarships at NSU for undecided 2022-23 students

Students who aren’t sure where they’ll go to college this fall are encouraged to apply for the Journal Services NSU Scholarships, which will award three new Northwestern State University students up to $3,000 in the next school year.

Applications are being accepted beginning today through midnight June 8. A link to a simple online application form is available at the bottom of this story.

The scholarships are designed to assist Class of 2022 high school students who haven’t settled on a college choice, as well as students currently enrolled at other higher-education institutions who are considering transferring to NSU in Natchitoches.

They are being provided by Journal Services, LLC, the business that serves local and area residents by providing the framework for the Winn Parish Journal. Journal Services, LLC, is based in Natchitoches and supports 12 journals covering north central and northwest Louisiana.

“We know there are students who haven’t decided yet where they’ll go to college this fall. We know that in many cases, money is a key factor in making college accessible,” said Bill Vance, general manager of Journal Services, LLC. “We are providing three game-changing scholarships bringing eager students to NSU to take advantage of the excellent academic programs here, and to live in a community where there are plenty of opportunities to find part-time jobs and to have a great student experience.”

A successful applicant from Winn Parish will join 206 other local students who attend Northwestern. Among the university’s 81,000 alumni, 738 currently live in Winn Parish.

Applicants are asked to provide their high school GPA (and college GPA if applicable), and also, report their ACT score along with listing honors, extracurricular activities and other relevant information on the form. That information will provide a basis for selecting the three winners.

The scholarship awards are for $1,500 cash per semester in the 2022-23 academic year. To renew the scholarship for the Spring 2023 semester, winners must post at least a 2.7 Fall semester GPA at NSU.

Scholarship winners must live in Natchitoches Parish during the upcoming school year. They are also required to have in-person, face-to-face instruction for 75 percent of their classes in 2022-23.

Students who have already accepted financial aid awards from Northwestern are not eligible to apply.

APPLICATION:  To Apply – Click Here

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Remember This? A Flight of Fancy

By Brad Dison

Mary and her husband, George, attended a dinner party at Anna’s home.  Anna’s husband was away on business so she convinced her brother, Hall, to be her escort at the formal affair.  It was a big to-do.  All of the men wore dress suits or tuxedos.  The women wore “dinner dresses,” which differed from evening party gowns and reception gowns in the kind of fabrics used.  Anna wore a white satin dress with matching gloves.  The dinner party guests made small talk in the hall until the butler announced, “Dinner is served.” 

The men escorted the ladies into the dining room and to their designated seats.  The guest list was long, but Anna made sure that Mary sat at her table.  Mary and Anna were strong-minded women, and became fast friends when they met the previous year. 

As etiquette necessitated, the meal was doled out in multiple courses.  No one refused a course regardless of whether or not they intended to eat it.  If a course did not suit their fancy, they used their utensils and pretended to eat it while making small talk.  Each course lasted a certain number of minutes.  The plates or bowls for each course were promptly removed at predetermined times whether or not the guests were finished eating.  Everything was done with military precision.

During the multi-course dinner, Anna realized that Mary was becoming impatient with the formalities.  Mary, somewhat of a tomboy, always preferred trousers to dresses.  Mary enjoyed the freedom of movement trousers provided although she recognized that all of the other females wore dresses.  She may have recognized it, but it certainly did not alter her decision to wear trousers.  On this occasion, however, Mary wore a fine dinner dress with a mink coat (which she probably borrowed) because she would never have turned down Anna’s dinner invitation. 

Mary had had enough.  She was enjoying her conversation with George, Anna, and Hall, but the steady stream of servants and all of the rules of etiquette were just too much.  The dinner seemed to last forever.  Finally, Mary hatched a plan.  She suggested to Anna that they sneak out of the party and take a short evening pleasure flight.  To Anna, it seemed like the perfect adventure. 

To the surprise of the wait staff, Anna, Hall, George, and Mary excused themselves from the dinner party with the simple explanation that they would return shortly.  The other guests continued with their dinner as if nothing had happened.  The foursome drove to the airport and boarded an Eastern Air Transport’s twin-engine biplane.  The pilot and co-pilot taxied the plane onto the runway and took off. 

Free from the stuffy dinner party, Mary and Anna were truly enjoying themselves.  As the plane leveled out, Mary suggested that they, Mary and Anna, take their adventure to the next level and fly the plane.  Anna, not one to back down from a challenge, eagerly agreed.  This was her chance to fly.  Anna had applied for pilot’s license but her husband persuaded her not to take flying lessons because he dreamed that she had crashed an airplane. 

Mary and Anna told the pilot and co-pilot that they were going to fly the airplane for a few minutes.  No record exists of George or Hall’s reaction to their decision to commandeer the airplane.  Neither Mary nor Anna would take no for an answer, so Mary traded places with the pilot and Anna with the co-pilot.  For a few brief minutes, the two ladies, still in dinner gowns and mink coats, flew in the skies between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland, before returning to the airport.  Elated, the foursome returned to Anna’s dinner party just as the dessert course was being served.  The other patrons of the dinner party welcomed them back and continued with their own conversations. 

Mary and Anna were thrilled with their flight of fancy.  No one would expect the First Lady of the United States, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, to leave a dinner party at the White House and take a flight with Mary.  Five years later, Mary and navigator Fred Noonan disappeared somewhere over the Pacific Ocean while attempting to circumnavigate the globe in an airplane.  On January 5, 1939, Amelia Mary Earhart was declared dead in absentia.           



1. “Amelia Earhart and Eleanor Roosevelt Flying from Washington, D.C., to Baltimore,” Pioneers of Flight, accessed May 17, 2022,,women’s%20and%20world%20peace%20movements.

2. “Pilots in Evening Gowns: When Amelia Earhart and Eleanor Roosevelt Took to the Skies,” A Mighty Girl, accessed May 17, 2022,

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East Bound and Up

Louisiana Tech’s baseball team, proud of its “rally trains” that often opportunistically chug across the tracks beyond J.C. Love Field’s outfield fence, found itself last weekend in need of a rally bus.

Or two.

Or more.

The 12-hour one-way trip to play Charlotte in North Carolina in the final three-game series of the regular season began mid-morning Tuesday aboard a pair of busses. This happens at a school Tech’s size many times each season. Few charter flights at mid-majors.

Most people don’t appreciate the grind of sports travel. You just think it’s hard getting to the family reunion and not losing your mind or getting in a fistfight once you’re there. That’s a ride for a quarter on a drugstore pony compared to moving an entire team from Point Home to Point Lord-Help-Us-All.

Flying commercial with a baseball team is stressful for lots of reasons — cost, long layovers or delayed flights, and mainly airport check-in folk who, God love them, are not usually prepared for the amount of equipment a team needs to transport.

You can get through a line faster at the world’s worst DMV. But say what you will about the DMV, they don’t make you take your shoes off to walk inside.

The friendly skies my ass.

But a bus, you can control. Until you can’t.

And that’s what happened.

I was tagging along with the team and, having driven to Carolina and back many times, knew my butt would be numb. Didn’t know my mind would be too.

Tech’s first leg was to Hoover, Alabama. Six hours, practice, sleep, Wednesday ride the next six hours, practice, sleep, play Thursday and Friday, play Saturday morning and ride all night the 12 hours back to Ruston.

It worked out that way and wasn’t bad, most things considered — unless you consider what should have been a Silver Streak-like, stop-at-Cracker-Barrel-for-lunch, Straight Shot to Hoover.

Unfortunately, you do have to consider it, and it was stupefying.

Our drivers stopped in Tallulah for an emergency kidney transplant. (Check that: for a soda pop.) Then we stopped an hour after lunch and only 80 minutes from Hoover because one of the busses needed to rest for 15 minutes or it might “explode.” Something about calibration or restoration but more likely a fabrication, which in this case was driver talk for “I need a heater and another soda pop.”

We were eastbound, but down. Uneasy riders.

Because there were too many hitches in too many git-a-longs, we finally worked out a compromise with the drivers. It was something like, “Can we borrow the keys?” They drove and there were no more unscheduled stops. Probably just a misunderstanding.


The Bulldogs lost to Charlotte’s 49ers, the hottest team in the league at 11-1 against Conference USA opponents in their most recent four series, in Game 1, 11-3. Most things considered, semi-embarrassing. But as they’ve done all season, the ’Dogs rebounded to win the next two, 8-3 and 14-5, making the ride home much less painful.

The busses might have stopped, but they didn’t slow Tech down. Pretty resilient, these Bulldogs.

Funny thing about a baseball team. On the road, they stumble into a restaurant or truck stop and fan out in their street shorts and tees and the people inside don’t know if the carnival is in town, if the roadies for Motley Crue are hungry, or if the church men’s group is stopping for gas and a Peanut Pattie on the way to help clean up after a hurricane. All shapes and sizes, these baseball guys.

But on the field, if you’ve watched them play, who they’ve become is easy to recognize. Tech bussed to Hattiesburg, Miss., Tuesday — you get the feeling they’d have walked if necessary, so eager are they to play — to begin the Conference USA tournament today. They’re 38-18 overall, 20-10, and second place in the league. A tournament title is on the line, maybe a berth in next week’s regionals.

Their coach says his guys are just ready to get the show back on the road.

“This time of year, you need to be playing loose, having fun, and we seem to be doing that,” Lane Burroughs said. “I don’t know how we’ll do this week. But I can assure you of this: these guys aren’t ready for the season to end.”

They don’t want to stop anymore.

Contact Teddy at

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My Opinion – 2000 Mules Documentary Substantiates 2020 Election Fraud

By: Royal Alexander

A mere 42,918 votes sprinkled among Wisconsin, Arizona, and Georgia clinched the White House. (National Review, 12-15-2020).

Many have believed the 2020 presidential election was stolen on election night, Nov 4, 2020.

 But now we have verifiable evidence that refutes The Big Lie of the Left that the election was “the most secure election in history.”  Criminal investigations must be opened now, and subpoenas issued, on the federal and state level to pursue this damming trail of evidence.

True the Vote founder, Catherine Engelbrecht, had the perfect response to the claim of the Left that the 2020 presidential election had no significant voter fraud.  “You don’t need a whole lot of fraud.  You just need a little in the right places over time.”  Her stunning and irrefutable observations jump off the screen in filmmaker and commentator, Dinesh D’Souza’s, compelling and unnerving new documentary 2,000 Mules.

 The film premiered in selected cities in early May and is now being screened more widely across the country. 

 Using cutting-edge technology, the film proves that the 2020 election was highly fraudulent and likely stolen—not just from Donald Trump but from the American people.

How was this unprecedented political theft accomplished? The old-fashioned way—by stuffing ballot boxes. 

As outlined by Deroy Murdock in The Daily Signal, an affiliate of the Heritage Foundation:

“True the Vote researchers Engelbrecht and Gregg Phillips analyzed 10 trillion cell phone geo-tracking signals captured during the closing weeks of the 2020 general election campaign.”

What did the 10 trillion cell phone geo-tracking signals, the pings, and 4 million minutes of local government security camera video recordings of these drop boxes reveal?

According to Murdock,

“This investigation’s results are staggering.  Cameras capture one mule after another traveling from box to box to deposit successive fists full of ballots.  One mule in Atlanta slid ballots into 28 different collection bins.  Most mules left just a few ballots in each box over several weeks, leaving eyebrows unraised.  But in Gwinnett County, Georgia, 271 people visited one box on Oct. 12, 2020.  That day, 1,962 ballots were inserted—10 times the normal number.

These mules were not just overzealous political operatives.  Corrupt activist groups reportedly paid them per ballot delivered, which is universally illegal.”  (The mules’ identities reveal that many have criminal records).

So, was there enough fraud to change the outcome? Unquestionably, YES.

 Again, a mere 42,918 votes sprinkled among Wisconsin, Arizona, and Georgia clinched the White House. (NR)

And again, as Englebrecht points out, “You don’t need a whole lot of fraud.  You just need a little in the right places over time.” 

 True the Vote discovered that, in the five states, some 2,000 mules averaged 38 drop-box visits in the weeks before Election Day and estimates that 380,000 fraudulent ballots resulted.  Coming from heavily Democrat areas, these almost certainly were overwhelmingly pro-Biden ballots.  

—In Arizona, 200 mules typically approached 20 boxes each.  Disqualifying these 20,000 unlawful ballots would evaporate Biden’s 10,457-vote win in Arizona.

—In Georgia, 250 mules stopped at 24 boxes and inserted five ballots per encounter.  Rejecting these 30,000 illegal votes would eliminate Biden’s victory margin of 11,779.

 —In Pennsylvania, 1,100 mules in Philadelphia alone encountered 50 boxes.  Vacating these 275,000 illegitimate votes would eradicate Biden’s 80,555-vote victory.

[I note that an AP “fact checker” on the movie suggested that perhaps the pings were Fedex drivers driving by every day on their route, but D’Souza states the pings are within feet of drop boxes and the mules went all over Atlanta, but only to drop boxes, not to other points, so it’s not plausible it was commercial drivers.  Also, they were going in the middle of the night which Fedex drivers don’t do.]

Undoing this political and constitutional evil would have removed these three states from Biden’s total.  The Electoral College count would have then shifted to 259 for Biden and 279 for Donald Trump.  This would have earned Trump four more years as president.

 One of the core constitutional and political principles of America is that our government governs with legitimacy only by and with the “consent of the governed.”  The only power it has over us is the power we have explicitly granted to it.

 This means that to ensure our God-given—not government given—fundamental rights, the U.S. Government was instituted by citizens to protect themselves from threats and dangers—both foreign and domestic—and from the government itself. 

 2000 Mules asks—and answers—serious political and constitutional questions concerning the legitimacy of the government that is now exercising power over us.

 As all Americans can see from their daily struggles, this illegitimate government is now in the process of intentionally destroying our economy, robbing us of our energy independence, stealing from us our right to be safe in our neighborhoods and homes free of the surging crime wave, denying us freedom of speech, and refusing to protect us from a foreign invasion on our southern border.

 And, at the same time, this government weaponizes the Department of Justice against parents—whom it labels “domestic terrorists”—for resisting the racism of Critical Race Theory; and refuses to confirm or deny—or condemn—reported plans to provide ‘gender reassignment surgery’ (also known as genital mutilation) to children, without parental consent; and supports a war on pre-born female (and male) children through taxpayer-funded dismemberment and saline poisoning abortion up to the moment of birth, going far beyond the legal scope of Roe v. Wade.

 Numerous polls clearly establish that this is simply not the government to which the vast majority of Americans have consented.

 I believe that the November midterm elections will begin the peaceful, constitutional process of restoring a “government by consent of the governed” to the American people.  

 In the meantime, we must continue to speak out, resist and fight for the country we love. 

Royal Alexander is an attorney, writer, and former politician in his native Shreveport, Louisiana. In 2007, he was the Republican candidate for Louisiana Attorney General. In addition to his law practice, Alexander is an opinion writer, a guest lecturer at public events and education forums, and a frequent guest on various TV and radio outlets.

The views and opinions expressed in the My Opinion article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Winn Parish Journal. Any content provided by the authors is of their opinion and is not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual or anyone or anything.

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Obit: Kristy Cathey Salter

September 3, 1954 – May 16, 2022

Krista Kay “Kristy” Cathey Salter, age 67, of Natchitoches, Louisiana, peacefully passed away on May 16, 2022, after a long battle with liver and kidney disease.  A private funeral for family and close friends was held to honor her life at Aulds Funeral Home in Shreveport, Louisiana, on May 18, 2022.

Kristy was born on September 3, 1954, to Laris and Era Pullig Cathey. She grew up in Hodge, Louisiana, and graduated from Jonesboro-Hodge High School in 1972. She went on to attend Louisiana Tech University where she was a member of Sigma Kappa sorority.

She is survived by many including her loving and devoted companion, Richard Mutter, of Shreveport, Louisiana; her 93-year-old aunt, Jimmie Lou Carse of Orlando, Florida; her son, Rob Harrell and wife Heather of Marshall, Texas; her daughter, Mary Beth Fair and husband Jack of Natchitoches, Louisiana; her step-children, Lita Hopkins and Scotty Mutter of Shreveport, Louisiana; her favorite cousin, Vicki Carse Rodriguez and husband Jimmie of Orlando, Florida; her sister, Ann Martin and husband Hadley of Ruston, Louisiana; her grandsons, Austin Harrell, Luke Fair, and Beau Fair; and granddaughter, Halle Harrell.

Kristy is preceded in death by her parents; her high school sweetheart and first husband, Robert Ardle Harrell; her second husband of 35 years, John Thomas Salter; her sister, Terri Cathey; and her brother, David Cathey.

Kristy owned and operated her own business for over 35 years which gave her the opportunity to do a great deal of traveling throughout her life.  She had many talents and an innate ability to make things around her more beautiful.  Whether it was hair styling, applying make-up, painting, crafting, monogramming, sewing, wreath making, or interior decorating, she could do it all.

Kristy loved all things pageants.  She assumed the title of Miss Jackson Parish in 1972 and became actively involved in the Miss Louisiana Organization for nearly four decades. She helped contestants prepare for competition, directed many preliminaries including the Miss Super Derby Pageant, and chaperoned several Miss Louisiana winners at the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Kristy was also an avid collector of antiques.  Some of her most memorable times were with her mother at flea markets, estate sales, and auctions buying Depression glass, vintage treasures, bric-a-brac, and her beloved cookie jars.

Kristy would do anything for those she cherished as family and friends. Her four greatest loves in life were her grandchildren, Austin, Halle, Luke, and Beau, who affectionately referred to her a G-Momma.  

Kristy will be fondly remembered for her quick wit and dry humor.  Anyone who knew her always had a funny story to tell about their time together.

The family would like to thank the physicians who took wonderful care of her at the John C. McDonald Regional Transplant Center at Willis Knighton in Shreveport, especially her two favorites, Dr. Gazi Zibari and Dr. Veron D. Browne.  In honor of her life, please register to be an organ donor in Louisiana at or

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Family Seeks Information in Missing Persons Case

A $4,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the verified location and return of Timothy “Timmy” Lee Northcutt.

Northcutt has been missing since July 2nd at approximately 2:30 AM. If you have any information regarding the whereabouts of Northcutt contact Candy Northcutt at 225-290-9306 or Officer David Loftin at the Winnfield Police Department at 318-628-3511.

Name: Timothy Lee Northcutt
Age: 52
Hair Color: Brown Mostly Gray
Weight: 170 +/-
Height: 5’10”
Last Seen: At Lil Brown Bag headed toward Mt. Grace in Winnfield, LA around 2:30 AM

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Winnfield Police Department Arrest Report

Date: 5-17-22
Name: Darrion Simmons
Address: Campti, LA
Race: Black
Sex: Male
Age: 20
Charge: Theft of motor vehicle. Criminal trespassing, Criminal conspiracy

Date: 5-18-22
Name: Cameron C Joe
Address: Hodge, LA
Race: Black
Sex: Male
Age: 18
Charge: 1st Degree Murder

Date: 5-20-22
Name: James B Hanson
Address: Tullos, LA
Race: White
Sex: Male
Age: 42
Charge: Unauthorized entry into a dwelling

Name: Kandice Wise
Address: Dodson, LA
Race: White
Sex: Female
Age: 43
Charge: Theft (1,000)


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Niki Etheridge Speaks to Rotary

Rotarian of the day, Jennifer Vidrine, invited one of her favorite entrepreneurs in Winnfield to speak to Winnfield Rotary Club on May 18, 2022, Niki Etheridge. Ms. Etheridge is a native of Winnfield and currently the owner of Pretty Baked on West Court Street, with big plans for the future!

Niki began her career in the consumer services industry during her high school years when she transformed her love of baking into a business by baking cakes for friends and neighbors to make extra
money. She also worked at Kids’ World.

After graduation from high school, Ms. Etheredge obtained her degree in Consumer Services from Northwestern State University. Then she worked with her father-in-law at Mama D’s, following which she once again worked with children at First Baptist’s child care program. In her spare time, she baked cakes for special occasions.

In 2018, Niki took the plunge into the consumer service industry by opening her current business, Pretty Baked, located in the little red building on West Court Street. At first, she served cupcakes and coffee, gradually expanding the menu, and then in January 2020, she began serving lunches. Unfortunately, COVID-19 hit that year causing the shutdown of nonessential businesses, and the coffee, cupcake and lunch businesses closed. Ms. Etheridge modified her business, preparing meals to be taken home to feed families.

Eventually, she was able to reopen the Pretty Baked coffee and lunch business to the public, with various sandwich and lunch specialties including her hot chicken lunch. Recently, she has partnered with the mobile flower company, the Pink Petal, to provide special Mother’s Day treats, and presented an educational session on coffee, teaching about different coffee beans and roasting methods, and different brewing methods, such as cold brew, espresso, and others. Currently, Pretty Baked is open from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. five days a week, and from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. two nights a week.

Niki has plans to grow the business in the future and has already begun seeing those plans blossom. She and her husband have purchased the old bulk depot building on Crawford Street behind Town & Country, and are planning to open an 85-seat restaurant with a full bar, back patio and game area. They will specialize in providing a nice farm-to-table dinner for couples, with all foods sourced locally. Initially, they may have to purchase produce in Ruston but they will have a garden at the depot from which to gather fresh produce for the restaurant right there on the premises.

Pretty Baked will continue to serve the community but will move to the Depot. The dinner restaurant will offer the same items that are now on the Pretty Baked menu, adding to the supper menu, along with steak, fish and pasta dishes. The menu will change every four to five months, depending on seasonal availability and preferences. Ms. Etheridge anticipates the depot building will be ready to open the restaurant by March 2023.

Rotary adjourned its meeting with its motto, “Service above self!”

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Kiwanis April 2022 Terrific Kids

The Winnfield Kiwanis Club recently presented its Terrific Kid awards to students around Winn Parish.

Terrific Kids is a student-recognition program that promotes character development, self-esteem and perseverance. “Terrific” is an acronym for Thoughtful, Enthusiastic, Respectful, Responsible, Inclusive, Friendly, Inquisitive and Capable.

Students work with their classroom teacher to establish goals to improve behavior, peer relationships, attendance or schoolwork. All students who achieve their goals after a specified time are recognized as Terrific Kids. Recognition includes being pinned as a Terrific Kid; a pizza, ice cream or other food-themed party; and presentation of certificates and other giveaways.


Left to right: Macey Ray, Korbyn Wise, Harmonie Sapp, Lovince Solet, Demontrez Sapp.
Principal Wendy Miller, Kiwanian Les Michie

Winnfield Primary School

Left to right: Della Etheridge, Denver Bostick, Bae Smith, Elliotte Ford.
Administrative Assistant Resa Johnson, Kiwanian Joe Evans, Principal Tiffany Martin.

Grade 1
Left to right: Keegan O’Bryan, Marcie Vidrine, Jourdan Guillory, Vivian Costanza.
Administrative Assistant Resa Johnson, Kiwanian Joe Evans, Principal Tiffany Martin.

Grade 2
Left to right: Ayden Abels, Scarlett Admire, Nevaeh Whitaker. Administrative Assistant Resa Johnson, Kiwanian Joe Evans, Principal Tiffany Martin.

Grade 3
Left to right: Krystal Adams, Skylar Hollingsworth, Brandon Marvel.
Administrative Assistant Resa Johnson, Kiwanian Joe Evans, Principal Tiffany Martin.

Grade 4
Left to right: Anna Huckaby, Kingston McGuire, Atalia Parker. Administrative Assistant Resa Johnson, Kiwanian Joe Evans, Principal Tiffany Martin

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WPSB Committee Meetings Tonight

The Winn Parish School Board Committees will meet in a special called meeting Monday, May 23, 2022, at 5:00 PM in the meeting room of the Winn Parish School Board.

Committee Meeting Agenda
May 23, 2022

Academics and Instruction – Carpenter, Clingan, Howell, Long, McManus
1. Professional Development

Finance and Budget – Long, Harrell, Howell, Martin, Scott
1. Property Tax Information
2. Insurance Renewals

Personnel and Salary – Harrell, Browning, Carpenter, Martin, Riffe
1. Staffing 2022-23

Insurance Claim Review – Martin, Clingan, McManus
1. Wokers’ Comp Settlement

Executive – Walton, Carpenter, Martin
1. Set Agenda

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LDWF Enforcement Division Participating in “Safe Boating Week” May 21-27

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division will be participating in “Safe Boating Week” from May 21-27, which signifies the beginning of the spring and summer boating season.

LDWF will again be reminding all boaters to be safe, responsible and knowledgeable while on the water during this safe boating week.  Safe Boating Week is a time for all boaters to inspect their vessels to ensure that all required safety equipment is on board and that vessels are in good working condition.

LDWF agents will be out in full force as always during the week to perform boating safety checks that includes making sure all personal flotation device (PFD) regulations are being followed and that each vessel has a sober operator.

“Safe boating week is a good time to make sure your boat and all of your safety equipment is ready to go,” said Major Clay Marques, the state’s safe boating law administrator.  “We want to people to have fun on the water, but to do it in a safe and responsible manner.  That starts with wearing a personal flotation device and having a sober operator.”

In 2021, Louisiana reported 26 boating fatalities of which 19 of the fatalities were not wearing a personal flotation device.  So far, in 2022 Louisiana has reported 10 fatalities.

Each vessel should have enough PFDs on board for all occupants.  LDWF regulations also state that anyone 16 years of age and younger must wear a PFD while underway in vessels less than 26-foot long.  For more boating and PFD regulations, please visit and click on the “Boating” tab.

Alcohol use is one of the leading causes of boating crash incidents and fatalities on the water.  Alcohol consumption impairs a boater’s judgment, balance, vision and reaction time.  The penalties for operating or driving a vessel while intoxicated (DWI) are the same as driving a vehicle.  Anyone cited for a DWI on the water or on the road will lose his or her driver’s license and boating privileges for the specified time ordered by the judge in the case.

LDWF also wants to remind anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 that they are required to successfully complete a National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) boating education course to operate a motorboat over 10 horsepower.  Since the safe boating course’s inception in 2003, over 140,000 boaters have been certified in Louisiana.

LDWF offers these classes free of charge statewide.  For more information and to schedule a safe boating course, please visit

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Drawdown for Saline Lake (Natchitoches and Winn Parishes)

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has scheduled a drawdown of Saline Lake (Natchitoches and Winn Parishes) for giant salvinia management, reduction of organic muck, and fish habitat improvement. The drawdown is designed to reduce the further expansion of salvinia as summertime temperatures promote maximum growth.

The water control structure is scheduled to open on June 1, 2022, and the lake should dewater at a rate of 4 inches per day. The water level will be lowered to a maximum drawdown level of 8 feet below normal pool stage, depending on Red River Pool 3 water level. The Saline Lake control gates are scheduled for closure on October 3, 2022, to allow the lake to refill for fall, winter and early-spring recreational activities.

During the drawdown, an estimated 2,500-3,000 acres of water will remain in the lake. Boaters may still access the main waterbody from the Mulligan Inn Boat Ramp with small craft, but caution is advised. Caution is also advised when on the water, as numerous obstructions that are normally not seen are present.

This action is a necessary component of LDWF’s integrated plan to manage overabundant aquatic vegetation and to improve access for recreational activities. An annual cycle of high and low water fluctuation can provide beneficial effects similar to a natural overflow lake system.

For additional information regarding the drawdown, contact Villis Dowden, LDWF Biologist, at (318) 357-3214.

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