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Several Natchitoches folks were happy to see Joanna Cassidy when she was in town a few weeks ago and helped her celebrate her birthday at a local restaurant. She had just wrapped seven episodes of “NCIS: New Orleans” and was on her way to Los Angeles. Joanna said she couldn’t bear to be this close to Natchitoches and not drop in to say hello before returning to Los Angeles.

Kathy Hudson and Patricia Todd provided a huge birthday cake for the occasion. Harlan Harvey shared this photo of Patricia, Laura Wiggs, Joanna and Kathy. Joanna is a movie and television actress who owned a home here for several years. She fell in love with the town when she was shooting a movie here and bought the Laureate House on Poete Street.

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Although she sold the home, she still has a great affinity for Natchitoches and friends she made. JT found the following write up on “TV Insider” and thought it would be of interest to those who know Joanna and are fans of “NCIS: New Orleans.” We saw Pride’s mother (played by Joanna Cassidy) in the NCIS: New Orleans Season 5 finale, but she was only a hallucination. However, that will change in the Season 6 premiere.

In “Judgement Call,” Pride (Scott Bakula) must cut his vacation short when Hannah (Necar Zadegan) is suspended for breaking protocol during a joint investigation with the FBI. As the promotional photos for the episode reveal, that vacation appears to be visiting his mother — and he’s brought Rita (Chelsea Field) with him! The CBS drama should get back to its roots in Season 6. “[His mother is] kind of the missing link for Pride in terms of his heart and his heartbreak,” Bakula told TV Insider prior to the finale in May.

“Hopefully there’ll be more after this season with her and again, the road to finding his mother really opened up when he lost his dad.” “NCIS: New Orleans” Season 6 Premiere, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 10/9c, CBS. We’ll be watching, Joanna.

JT spotted this new piece of art on the riverbank and thought it was rather cool from a distance. He grabbed his camera and trotted down to get a better picture, only to discover it was simply chairs stacked in a unique way.

Goes to show you, beauty is in the eye of the beholder….and JT needs new glasses.

It was just a short sentence in the weekend paper about Governor John Bel Edwards giving the parish the remaining funds for the Courthouse Security plan…but boy it spoke volumes. The phrase was, “The Governor set aside politics and did what was best…” JT did a little reading between the lines.

So here’s the backstory as they call it. Outgoing Parish President Rick Nowlin was really pushing hard to get this project done before he leaves office. That’s not uncommon for elected officials to get something big done on their way out the door. However, he didn’t help the parish’s cause any when he publicly endorsed an opponent of the Governor in the October elections.

JT can only imagine the headaches it caused our legislative delegation. He would have loved to be a fly on the wall when that request was presented to the Governor. He can just hear the Governor’s initial reaction….You want me to give almost a half million dollars to your parish president, who has endorsed a candidate against me? Are you kidding me?

This is one instance where Governor Edwards truly deserves the credit…and he certainly did put the needs of Natchitoches Parish over politics. We also should give thanks to our legislative delegation and other community leaders for their assistance in getting the project funded.

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While the Governor deserves our thanks, he joked down in Grant Parish he wasn’t sure he wanted to be remembered for another project he helped get completed. It was a $2.8 million wastewater treatment project. In announcing the money, Governor Edwards joked, “Now don’t think of me every time you see this sewer project.”

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It appears Natchitoches may be on the verge of landing a Hobby Lobby. Reportedly, the deal is close and it would be located off Keyser Avenue between Blanchard St. Denis Funeral Home and Chili’s.

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There’s a silver lining to the coverage of Hurricane Dorian. JT was reminded that at least…for a while…President Donald Trumps’ tweets were not the constant topic of all the networks.

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The first official week of high school football starts this week and only one of our three teams is at home. Natchitoches Central is hosting North DeSoto. St. Mary’s is on the road against Tensas and Lakeview is at Ringgold. The NSU Demons will host Midwestern State Saturday in their first home game of the season.

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