Thursday, December 3, 2009

Vice Mayor Adele Zucker retires

by KELLI FONTENOT
Published Dec. 1 in The Heights Observer



After nine years as Vice Mayor for University Heights, Adele Zucker will leave office this month. Her contributions include keeping a close eye on neighborhood services and never having to cut staff, something she attributes to frugal management by the mayor and previous councils.

Looking back, Zucker says she is proud of her accomplishments.

“To be reelected six times, I think that says I served the residents well. Because of them, I’m here, and I just love the city. It’s a great city to live in and bring up your children,” she says.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

At the farmers market

by KELLI FONTENOT
Published Aug. 13, 2009 in The Jambalaya News

A familiar sight – juicy green watermelons piled high in the back of a pickup truck – lures shoppers to the end of Bilbo Street at the Charlestown Farmers Market early Saturday morning.

Scotty LeBleu of DeQuincy has been selling these Charleston Grays and Jubilees from Singer for a few months, but he plans to grow his own watermelons next year. It’s a good thing, too. When he came to the market in the spring with his homegrown lettuce, customers couldn’t get enough.

“It stays fresh much longer,” he says. “I picked it like the day before. That’s what’s so good about the market – everything’s fresh.”

Buying natural produce from local vendors is also a simple way to go green. Farmers markets offer products that are not tainted by hormones or pesticides. Unlike a supermarket, a farmers market takes place outdoors and requires a minimal amount of electricity. The vendors live nearby, so they consume less fuel than it would take to transport goods from a farm across the country.

The Charlestown Farmers Market has moved three times since its opening in March of 2005, but it now takes place each Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. behind the Historic City Hall Arts and Cultural Center in Lake Charles. It is one of about 4,800 farmers markets currently operating in America, according to the U.S. Agricultural Marketing Service.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Go Green - Not Broke

by KELLI FONTENOT
Published July 2, 2009 in The Jambalaya News

In some cases, going green is synonymous with going broke.

Hybrid cars and organic produce are expensive, but there are ways to conserve precious energy that will also keep you from emptying your wallet.

A recently completed housing development in Lake Charles is providing a new way to find out just how much energy – and money – people can save by going green.

The developer will have the opportunity to study and compare electric bills of a house with average fixtures to figures from an identical house with energy-efficient upgrades, according to CJ Tech’s Charles Abshire, the electrical contractor.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

SAB hits wall with Facebook

by KELLI FONTENOT
Published March 25, 2009 in The Current Sauce

With Student Activities Board elections around the corner, some prospective representatives-at-large may face a conundrum concerning electronic promotion on the social networking Web site Facebook.

Marquis Montgomery, a senior Computer Information Systems major, is one of 30 NSU students running for a SAB rep-at-large position.

"I started an event on Facebook just to campaign and kind of get my name out there," he said. "That way, if somebody wanted to find out about my platform, they could just send me a message."

Last week, candidates applied for positions and received a set of campaign guidelines. One rule states that candidates who relied strictly on fliers and face-to-face campaigning must take down all signs that are within 50 feet of the polls on the day before the election. Failure to do so may result in disqualification and removal from the race.

But because there is currently no rule concerning the use of social media in the campaign, some students may encounter confusion when election day comes. Montgomery said he does not think the SAB executive board will require students to delete their Facebook events or groups on the day before the election.

"I don't think it applies to Facebook; I think it has to do more with the campaigning that's done on campus," Montgomery said.

Many students, though, access Facebook in on-campus computer labs. Some students use their cellular phones to check Facebook while in the Student Union. If the SAB decides to hold candidates responsible for electronic media's impact on voters on the day before the election, many of them may be disqualified from the race.

Phi Mu groundbreaking site





Criminal justice department offers tuition assistance to reserve officers

by KELLI FONTENOT
Published March 18, 2009 in The Current Sauce

Only four students have submitted applications for the newly implemented Reserve Tuition Assistance program, which gives $500 awards to criminal justice majors who add firsthand crimefighting experience to their resum├ęs.

Joe Morris, head of NSU's criminal justice department, said students who work 100 hours as part of the program will receive $500 toward tuition per quarter.

The academy for this program will begin at the end of this month.

In a small city such as Natchitoches, seven police officers might seem like a sufficient amount of protection to some, but there are times when the police department needs additional assistance to keep citizens safe.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Pi Kappa Phi dinner pushes for America

by KELLI FONTENOT and TAYLOR GRAVES
Published March 11, 2009 in The Current Sauce

At one of a dozen tables in the Friedman Student Union Ballroom Tuesday night, junior journalism major Cody Bourque leaned over his plate of lasagna to turn on his iPhone without using his hands.
The rest of the people at his table chuckled as they watched him repeatedly hit the touch screen with the tip of his nose.

"I'm updating Twitter," he said.

Across the table, another diner - who was blindfolded - said, "I feel so left out of this joke."

A few people chuckled, but a long pause followed as everyone realized the depth of his comment.

While the statement was offered in jest, it illustrated the alienation that people with disabilities encounter on a daily basis. Bourque explained that his work with such people and their families has inspired him to support Push America.

At Pi Kappa Phi fraternity's benefit banquet for Push America Tuesday night, three people at each table received a colored poker chip. Each color represented a different disability that the person was expected to portray for the rest of the evening. The rest of the people at the table were instructed to help their friends.

'Assassins' trust no one


by KELLI FONTENOT
Published March 11, 2009 in The Current Sauce

The parking lot adjacent to the Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) building was left sparsely populated Monday morning, when it is normally difficult to find a space.

This curious change was due in part to the strategies of several students who are taking part in the second annual "CAPA Assassins" game.

"This is a really great way to meet people because you're trying to find somebody you don't know, or you're looking for someone who doesn't know you," senior liberal arts major Joshua Nuss said.

Nuss, the treasurer of Phi Mu Alpha fraternity, is monitoring the game this year.

Students win at SAB Price is Right"

by KELLI FONTENOT
Published March 4, 2009 in The Current Sauce

The Student Activities Board showed students a glimpse of the ever-fluctuating economy last night with "The Price Is Right," an event modeled after the beloved television show.

SAB Secretary and Treasurer Eddie Higginbotham took command of the microphone at Tuesday's event, channeling the enthusiasm and charisma of a classic game show host. Higginbotham, a junior health and exercise science major, said he thought of Bob Barker while he was in the spotlight.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Graf guides team through game of basketball, game of life

by KELLI FONTENOT
Published Feb. 11, 2009 in The Current Sauce

Jennifer Graf, Lady Demons basketball head coach, said she could only think of one thing she dislikes about coaching basketball.

"It's absolutely beautiful outside in July, and we have to sit in a gym that's about 40 degrees," she said. "I swear, it's freezing cold in there."

Whether she's relaxing on Sibley Lake or attempting to wakeboard, Graf definitely prefers being outside on sunny days.

Seeking refuge from Tuesday's rain in her office in Prather Coliseum, Graf said most of her outdoor adventures take place during the summer because she spends most of her time during the rest of the year focusing on work.

Graf, 30, is now in her fifth season as head coach for the Lady Demons.

LOB pageant winner poised for next competition

by KELLI FONTENOT
Published Feb. 11, 2009 in The Current Sauce

Brittany Pippin, a freshman psychology major, said she never expected to win the title of Miss Northwestern Lady of the Bracelet.

"When they called my name, I just couldn't believe it," she said. "I still don't think it has really set in yet. It's such an honor."

Mandi Ridgdell, the 2008 Lady of the Bracelet, crowned Pippin Saturday at the 2009 LOB pageant in A. A. Fredericks auditorium. Pippin will receive a full scholarship to Northwestern State and will represent the university at the Miss Louisiana pageant in Monroe this spring.

SGA bill deemed unconstitutional

by KELLI FONTENOT
Published Feb. 4, 2009 in The Current Sauce
After weeks of deliberation, the NSU Supreme Court voted Tuesday that the lowering of executive board scholarships was unconstitutional.

A section of the Student Government Association constitution - Article 4, section 4, letter B - was deemed invalid and will remain as such until students have the opportunity to vote on the status of the executive board scholarships in the spring.

NSU Supreme Court Chief Justice Kyle Domangue and Justice Austin Jesmore headed up the hearing. Jesmore explained that the bylaw clearly violates Article 9, Section 1, part D of the constitution, which states that a two-thirds vote is required for all bills except those concerning the media board and the executive board scholarship.

Ladies prepare for Bracelet battle

by KELLI FONTENOT
Published Feb. 4, 2009 by The Current Sauce

Five of the 10 Lady of the Bracelet pageant contestants met on a Thursday night to make plans for the hectic rehearsal schedule, discuss pageant rules and regulations, and of course, practice answering interview questions.

"What is your favorite book and why?" was one classic.

"I actually really did like Dante's 'Inferno,' but I don't think that will go over really well," junior liberal arts major Shanice Major said.

Sitting around a table in the Student Activities Board office, the contestants laughed and chimed in with some of their beloved titles.

"Somebody's going to say 'Twilight,' I just know it," freshman hospitality, management and tourism major Melanie Kay said.

"I'm in love with Edward Cullen," freshman Brittany Pippin joked. "I would marry him."

"OK, ladies," said Julia Anderson, the pageant coordinator, a patient reminder that they should be concentrating on the work at hand. She announced the dates and times of upcoming rehearsals and committee meetings as the girls pulled out their cell phones.

In jeans and sweatshirts, the girls didn't appear to be organizing a pageant. They were just hanging out, giggling, joking around.

But the contestants have a hand in preparing for - and even publicizing - the event. At the committee meeting, they made lists of locations for posters and attached stickers to gold wrapped mints to promote the event. The girls also composed their talent introductions and folded up T-shirts to sell as promotion for the pageant and Children's Miracle Network.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Judicial hearing delayed

By KELLI FONTENOT
Published Jan. 28, 2009 by The Current Sauce

A technicality forced SGA Chief Justice Kyle Domangue to push back the date for a hearing about the constitutionality of the controversial executive board scholarship bill.

As required by the SGA constitution, Domangue must submit a letter detailing the time, location and subject of such a hearing to everyone whose name is on the bill.

Domangue sent letters to many members of the SGA - including President Cody Bourque - but failed to send it to Dean of Students Chris Maggio.

"That's my fault, and I'll take responsibility for that," Domangue said.

Bill FA08-030 reduced the scholarships of the executive board by a substantial amount.

The president receives $3,000, the vice president $2,000 and the treasurer $1,000 per semester according to the legislation.

But some members of the SGA, including Austin Jesmore, argue that the bylaw is in violation of Article 9, Section 1, part D of the constitution, which states that a two-thirds vote is required for all bills with the exception of a vote concerning the media board and the executive board scholarship.

These two exceptions require a student body vote of approval, according to that section of the constitution.

Rock concert benefits pageant's philanthropy

by KELLI FONTENOT
Published Jan. 28, 2009 in The Current Sauce

Dead By Morning, a local band that includes several student members, is making its long-awaited return to Natchitoches at a Push America benefit concert in the Friedman Student Union this Friday at 7 p.m.

The band's last performance at NSU took place more than a year ago.

Bass player and senior music education major Mitch Moehring said that after touring in Louisiana and Texas, the band is excited to perform for all of their friends in Natchitoches again.

In an interview, band members described their sound as "hardcore," "metal," and "inspirational." Among the bands' favorite fellow performers are The Devil Wears Prada, A Day To Remember, Marilyn Manson and August Burns Red.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Read this article later

by KELLI FONTENOT
Published Jan. 14, 2009 by The Current Sauce


Procrastination typically involves watching television or playing Rock Band instead of doing homework, but some NSU students find more productive things to do while they put off working on major assignments.

Sophomore health and human performance major Brittany Gunner said she thinks procrastination can be positive.

Gunner said she puts off writing papers until the last minute, though many teachers give due dates for their assignments on the syllabus during the first day of class.

"For me, it's a good thing, because when I'm pressured to do something, I do it. At the last minute, when the pressure's on, I'm good at it," Gunner said.

Some students seek the adrenaline rush associated with a final deadline.

To achieve that last-chance excitement, students occasionally work on projects for extracurricular organizations or academic requirements.