Boil Advisory for Town of Jonesboro lifted

It is now safe to drink the water in Jonesboro once again. Per a statement issued by Jonesboro Mayor Leslie Thompson on Wednesday morning the boil advisory that had been issued for the water in Jonesboro has been lifted. 

“I have just received notification that we can now lift the boil advisory,” said Thompson. “I want to thank our Public Works Department and all those who have put in countless hours to make our water safe to use once again. I also want to thank the public for their patience and for coming together to help those in need during this time of crisis.”

Public Hearing regarding upcoming Sales Tax Election set for Monday, March 8th

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Interested Jackson Parish residents are asked to set their calendars for Monday, March 8th to plan to attend the first of the two Public Hearing’s regarding the upcoming Sales Tax election. The hearing is scheduled to begin at 5:15pm at the Charles H. Garrett Community Center in Jonesboro, located at 160 Industrial Avenue in Jonesboro and will proceed the regular monthly session of the Jackson Parish Police Jury. 

On the future ballot will be the request to have the Sales Tax increased by one cent above the current 9.45% rate that is added to every dollar spent on the purchase of products from retailers to individual consumers. The need for the additional amount is for help in defraying costs of operating the Solid Waste Department that is in critical financial shape due to the overwhelming burden caused by the natural disasters (floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, winter storms) over the past twelve months.

“I am just like anyone else in that I don ‘t like the idea of having to consider raising the sales tax,” said Police Jury President Amy Magee. “What I hope our residents understand though is that without this additional help the way our Solid Waste Department is currently being run will be forced to change dramatically.”

Over the next several weeks the Jackson Parish Journal will take a deep look at how and where exactly the tax will be applied, why it is deemed necessary and what will be gained if the tax passes, as well as, what will have to be sacrificed by residents if the tax fails. 



Quitman girls take two and boys win first of year, JHHS and Weston continue to struggle

The rich of the Jackson Parish High School’s spring sports programs continue to get richer. The poor? Well, here’s hoping for better days ahead and soon. The jewel of the diamond so far in the early stages of the season continues to be the Lady Wolverines of Quitman who crushed Castor in their doubleheader on Tuesday. At Jonesboro-Hodge, the result for the baseball team against East Beauregard wasn’t as bad as last week against Cedar Creek, but not by much and at Weston the Lady Wolves once again saw an early lead disappear keeping them still searching for their first win of the year. Kudo’s to the Quitman baseball team for winning their first of the year after two losses. In other contests that were slated for Tuesday, both Saline squads and the JHHS softball team had their games postponed while Weston baseball continues to wait for their season opener on March 5th.

Quitman 18 Castor 0 (Game 1) While the 2 1/2 inning contest that was called due to the “mercy rule” that went into effect after Castor batted three times and was more than 15 runs down wouldn’t rank very high in the grand scheme of things it did have significant meaning as 8th-grader Cali Deal pitched her first no-hitter of her varsity career and second straight shutout. The “lanky lefty” faced 11 batters in all, striking out five, walking one, hitting one and had two reach by errors. 

It wasn’t that her performance on the mound was needed though as the juggernaut offensive attack was at it again, this time to the tune of 18 runs on 16 hits in just two innings of work. Once again the Lady Wolverines swung heavy lumber to collect six extra base hits with Madison Kaye “Big Bopper” Brymer leading the way with her second home run in as many games, getting 4 RBI and scoring three. Madeline Vail went 3/3 with a double, 3 runs scored and an RBI and Deal helped her own cause by getting 3 hits that included a pair of two baggers and 2 RBI. Freshman leadoff batter Madison Chaplin, who knocked in two and scored two, continued to exhibit her combination of power and speedwith a triple and stolen base while 7th grader Maggie Guyotte hit a double, scored twice and got an RBI. Skylar Hall and Averie Williams both went 2/2 with 2 runs scored and Karley Huckaby got a hit, scored a run and knocked in three.


WP – Deal (2-1)
2B – Deal 2, Guyotte, Vail
3B – Chaplin
HR – Brymer
RBI – Brymer 4, Huckaby 3, Chaplin 2, Deal 2, Bell, Guyotte, Vail, Williams
SB – Leach 2, Chaplin, Williams

Quitman 15 Castor 2 (Game 2 It is amazing that any school and especially a Class B team can have such a wealth of young talent. Right behind an 8th grader pitching a no-hitter comes a 7th grader striking out 12 and allowing no earned runs against a team that was undefeated coming in and a perineal state tourney team. Not only did Maggie Guyotte, who has been the winning pitcher in all three of her starts dominate on the mound, she blasted a home run as well in her only official at bat. 

Offensively it was a Freshman leading the way as Madison Chaplin got three hits, including a double and her second triple of the day, drove in four runs, scored three and stole two bases that upped her total to 11 on the year. The afore mentioned 8th grader, Cali Deal, got a single and her team leading, fourth double of the year while scoring three times and driving in one and Madeline Vail upped her team leading average to .619 with two hits, scored three and drove in two. Madison |Kaye Brymer knocked in three to give her 20 on the young season and Averie Williams scored two with a hit and a stolen base. Karley Huckaby also got a hit, stole two bases and scored a run. 

Castor (2-2)00110223
Quitman (6-1)4452x15103

WP- Guyotte (3-0)
2B – Chaplin, Deal, Vail
3B – Chaplin
HR – Guyotte
RBI – Chaplin 4, Brymer 3, Vail 2, Deal, Guyotte, Naron
SB – Chaplin 2, Deal 2, Huckaby 2, Brymer, Vail, Williams 

East Beauregard 17 JHHS 2 (baseball): The Tigers scored one more run and gave up one less but the result was still the same – a “mercy rule” thumping. Seven walks by Tiger pitching and five errors combined with ten East Beauregard hits over the first three innings put J-H in a 15-0 hole before they scored their first run. It was in the fourth inning that Drew Davis got a single, which amounted to the second straight game the Tigers have been held to just one hit. Bryce Ethridge reached base twice via a walk and getting plunked to score one one of the two Tiger runs on the day with Chandler Harvey getting the other after drawing a base on balls. Ajay Tew knocked in a run and walked. The Tigers stole five bases on the day with one each by Davis, Harvey, Ethridge, Tew and Logan Smith.

East Beauregard (3-0)10410217110
JHHS (0-2)00200216

WP- Farmer
LP – Davis
RBI – Tew
SB – Davis, Ethridge, Harvey, Smith, Tew

Georgetown 13 Weston 3 (softball): Georgetown sent 15 batters to the plate in the fourth inning to score 11 runs on seven hits and three walks to erase a 2-1 Weston lead that sent the Lady Wolves to their fifth straight loss to open the season. Taylor Chatham led off the Weston first with a hit and scored on a Lexi Barmore triple. Jacie Ledford scored her on a ground out to stake the home team to a 2-0 advantage. Georgetown cut the lead in half in the second before their 11 run onslaught decided things. Chatham would score again in the fifth on Macie Hall’s groundout after her second hit of the game and Barmore would go 3/3 but that was all the damage that could be mustered other than wasted singles by Ledford, Mallory Tolar and Mary Catherine Hay.

Georgetown (1-2)01011113152
Weston (0-5)20001391

LP – Tolar (0-2)
3B – Barmore
RBI – Barmore, Hall, Ledford

Quitman 13 Negreet 0 (Baseball) Ian Tilley struck out 9 and gave up just two hits in five innings of work to record his first shut out of his career and help the Wolverines to their first victory of the year after two losses. Luke Morgan collected a pair of hits and drove in two to lead the Quitman attack that got six hits on the day and was aided by 8 Negreet errors. Cam Deal also got a hit and drove in a run and Camden Barnett walked twice and drove in a run.

Negreet (0-3)00000028
Quitman (1-2)4243x1361

WP – Tilley
RBI – Morgan 2, Barnett, Deal


Jackson Parish School Board names School Health Advisory Council

Seven representatives were selected to be on the School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) by the Jackson Parish School Board at their regularly scheduled monthly meeting that was held at the Jonesboro-Hodge High School Cafeteria on Monday, March 1st. Attending was Dennis Clary – President, Gloria Davis – Vice President, Mary Saulters, Wade McBride, Gerry Mims and Rickey McBride along with Superintendent David Claxton, Financial Manger Kristi Bass and Secretary Sharron Mosely. Absent was Calvin Waggoner.

Named to the council was: Jason Spangler – Jackson Parish Hospital, Shaquondra Bradley – Physical Education Teacher, Tracy Taylor – Physical Education Teacher, Jessica Shultz – School Nurse, Kasie Woods – Counselor, Wendy McDougal – Parent and Gloria Davis – School Board member.

The forming of the SHAC is in accordance with Louisiana School Health Law, RS.17:17.1, Section D, which states: “Each
city, parish, and other local public school board shall establish a school health advisory council to advise the board on physical
activity for students, physical and health education, nutrition, and overall student health. The council may advise the board on
issues relative to compliance with school vending machine restrictions, use of physical fitness assessment results, and school
recess policies. The council members shall be appointed by the school board and shall include parents of students and individuals
representing the community. All council members shall serve without compensation.”

Board members also rescinded a motion that was made in the June, 2020 meeting due to the company that had won the quote to provide 500 Chromebooks and Cases for all parish school not being able to deliver. A new quote for 500 Dell Chromebooks and White Glove service in the amount of $117,000.00 was then awarded to Computer Discount Warehouse – Government (CDW-G) to be paid from Strong Start GREEF or Formula funds. In a corresponding move, Sleeve and Licenses for the 500 Chromebooks in the amount of $18,003.09 were purchased from SHI to be paid for out of the same funds. 

Additional purchases included a 26-foot, 4×2 Diesel Powered, 2021 International Refrigerated truck from Old River Truck Sales in the amount of $123,996.00 to be paid as follows: 
$61,998.00 from School Food Service funds
$61,998.00 from Parish Wide District funds

Authorization was also given to Superintendent Claxton to purchase Textbooks/Curriculum teaching resources  and consumables for the 2021-22 school year, not to exceed $350,000.00 and acceptance of the low quote of $5,710.00 by Danny Monk for material and labor to paint the old gym at Quitman High School to be paid from Quitman District Funds. 

The meeting was adjourned following Superintendent Claxton announcing the summer program survey has begun, he expected vaccines for teachers and employees to be available next week and advertising for the position of Transportation/Maintenance Supervisor will take place soon. Gratitude and thanks were also expressed to the National Guard and Brad Roller for their help in  securing and delivering 18 pallets of water.  



Weston High School FBLA members makes dedication to former student Lexi Wise

In 2019, Weston High School lost sweet student, Lexi Wise, in an accident. In her honor, members of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) at the school, along with Lexi’s family and friends, have converted a storage area into a space forever to be remembered as “Lexi’s Closet.”

FBLA members cleaned out the closet and painted with Lexi’s favorite color, mint green. Lexi’s family added to the closet and filled it with jackets, pants, school shirts, backpacks and much more to help Weston students who may not have the basics for school. Family and friends hope to allow Lexi’s memory to continue through serving the Weston community with Lexi’s Love from Above.


Quitman High sweeps top honors on 2B All-District Girls Team

To the victors go the spoils! The 2020-21 Quitman High School girls basketball team reaped the benefits of one of the most successful regular seasons in school history this past week by sweeping top honors of  MVP and Coach of the Year, as well as, having the entire starting five earning designation to the 2B All-District girls team. 

Named as Most Valuable Player in the district was Clara Womack. The sharp shooting, senior earned the award after averaging 14.3 points, 4 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game and being one of north Louisiana’s top three point specialist.  Yet her statistics told only a small part of why she was a good choice as district MVP  according to Kyle Leach, who led the Lady Wolverines to a 23-2 regular season record and a 6-0 mark in district 2B and earned Coach of the Year honors.qhs all district

“Clara is a good enough shooter that she could have had one of the highest scoring averages in the state,” said Leach. “That wasn’t what was important to her though. She was focused on what was best for our team which is rare to find and I am thankful to have the opportunity to be her coach. Our staff and our players are going to miss her.” 

Also earning first team honors was Leach’s sophomore daughter Bethany who averaged 13 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2 assists per game. District runner-up Simsboro also had two named to the first team in Alexia Hester and Ikea Brown, who had the top two scoring averages in the district. Kylee Portilloz of Choudrant rounded out the first squad.

Two each from Quitman and Weston were selected to the second team proving the future is bright at both Jackson Parish schools, including the rare selection of an eighth grader from each in Briley Peterson from WHS and Cali Deal from Quitman. Tenth graders Emma Kate McBride (Weston) and Brayli Stewart  were also named along with Katie Wiley and Aly Thomas of Choudrant. Earning honorable mention was Quitman’s Emma Carter, Mallory Tolar and Mary Catherine Hay from Weston and two from Simsboro, Tytiana Jones and Laila Abney.

2B All District First Team

Clara Womack – MVPQuitman
Bethany LeachQuitman13.02.22.0
Alexia HesterSimsboro17.212.0
Ikea BrownSimsboro15.2
Kylee PortillozChoudrant14.28.3

2B All-District Second Team

Brayli StewartQuitman12.04.01.0
Cali Deal Quitman
Emma Kate McBrideWeston11.03.94.1
Briley PetersonWeston11.76.81.0
Katie Wiley Choudrant11.74.84.0
Aly ThomasChoudrant11.03.62.0

Louisiana reaches vaccination milestone, expects new Johnson & Johnson vaccine soon

A milestone was reached on Monday when the state of Louisiana went over the one million mark in COVOID-19 vaccinations. In additional news from the Louisiana Health Office the state expects to get 37,900 doses of the one-shot, easier-to-use Johnson & Johnson vaccine sometime this week.

“We are hopeful over the coming weeks and months that this third vaccine will help ease supply constraints and bring America and Louisiana one step closer to ending this pandemic,” said state Health Officer, Dr. Joe Kanter.

Hospital systems are ready for the vaccine that experts are calling a “game-changer.”

“These vaccines are safe. They are extremely effective and they prevent death from COVID,” said Dr. Sandra Kemmerly, System Medical Director of Hospital Quality, Infectious Disease Specialist with Ochsner Health.

Experts said the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a more durable vaccine, which makes it easier to handle. It can last up to three months in the refrigerator, whereas the other vaccines must be stored at very cold temperatures.

Vaccination Statistics for state of Louisiana as of March 1, 2021

Current Phase of DistributionPhase 1B, Tier 1
Providers Enrolled2069
Total Doses Administered1,025,411
Initiated Vaccine Series 657,265
Completed Vaccine Series368,146

Eligible to receive vaccinations under Phase 1B, Tier 1

Hospital employees at Tier 1 & 2 facilities
Staff and residents of long-term-care facilities
First responders who will serve as vaccinators, e.g., EMS, fire personnel and law enforcement
Seniors 65 and older
Dialysis providers and patients
Ambulatory and outpatient providers e.g., urgent care providers and staff, dentists
Professional home care providers and their patients
Interpreters and support providers employed in healthcare
Individuals who are deaf and blind
Health-related support personnel, e.g, lab staff, mortuary staff, pharmacy staff
Schools of allied health students, residents and staff
Law enforcement and other first responders
Louisiana Unified Command Group
State and local essential COVID emergency response personnel
Some elections staff

Locations in Jackson Parish where vaccinations are available:

Mitchell’s Pharmacy, 202 E Main Street, Jonesboro, LA 71251
Jackson Parish Hospital, 165 Beech Springs Road, Jonesboro, LA 71251
Jackson Parish Health Unit, 228 Bond Street, Jonesboro, LA 71251
Walmart Pharmacy, 184 Old Winnfield Road, Jonesboro, LA 71251

There is no cost for vaccinations but an Administration fee may be billed to recipients insurance.

James Taylor still loving being in the “game”

There is an old adage that says “You can take a player out of the game, but you can’t take the game out of a player” In regard to sports the meaning is that for various reasons there always come a time when someone isn’t able to compete anymore but the love of competition never dies.

Former Jonesboro resident James Taylor, is a perfect example. During his years at Jonesboro-Hodge from 1981-84, Taylor was an accomplished athlete who left an impressive resume. From 1981-83 he compiled a sparkling 32-5 record as top singles player for the JHHS tennis team earning him team MVP honor in 1982 and “83 as well as being named to the Class 2A All-State team in 1983. As a member of the basketball team he earned letter for three years and was named team Co-Captain in 1984 also receiving 1st team All-District honors and being named to the All-North Louisiana team and earned Class 2A  All-State Honorable Mention designation. 

The main reason he excelled in those two sports in high school, as well as, being a 7-time summer league All-Star in baseball was that he simply loved being in “the game,|” – any game. It didn’t matter if a contest was played indoors in a gymnasium, on a tennis court, football or baseball field or simply in the backyard, Taylor loved to compete and loved being a part of the competition. He still does! That is why today, the son of James D. and Cloteal Taylor of Jonesboro, is still active in multiple high school sports activities Not only is he active but still excels at what he does and actually appears to be getting better with age. taylor

“I was fortunate to be raised by parents who taught me that to get what I wanted I had to work for it,” said Taylor. “I applied that to playing sports when I was young, still live by that today and try my best to teach that to the players that I coach.” 

Before this past football season he was already considered one of the best defensive coordinators in prep football circles after a 30 year career. This is evidenced by the fact that in 2018 and 2019, Taylor was named Defensive Coordinator (DC) of the prestigious Louisiana Gridiron All-Star Bowl game, leading his team to victory both times. As impressive as that is, it fails in comparison to what he accomplished this year as the DC for General Trass High School, formerly known as Lake Providence High. Wait a minute, you say! How does being a coordinator for a Class 2A high school rank above being the DC for an All-Star game that annually has the top senior players in the state participating?

Anyone who knows anything about high school football knows that for years, heck even decades, that General Trass High School is not what has been considered a prep football power. Your talking about a school where winning seasons are rare or at least was before Taylor got there. This past season the Panthers went 8-3 during the regular season, which is the third consecutive season the Panthers have had a winning season. That hasn’t taken place but just a few times in the long history of the school. Impressive right? How about this? Their appearance in the Class 2A semi-finals this past November is the first time that has ever taken place. 

While his coaching resume is impressive indeed it is what he has accomplished as a LHSAA baseball umpire that is simply mind boggling. It all started at the Southside Ball Park in Jonesboro in 1982 when Jackson Parish Recreation Department Director Bobby Lolley asked the high school sophomore if he would help umpire the bases at a Dixie Youth game. Thirty nine years later he is regarded as one of the top umpires in Louisiana. Want proof? For 34 years Taylor has been an umpire out of the Monroe region for the LHSAA, the last decade being assigned only to the top games of the week. During that time he has been requested to umpire over 200 playoff and 11 state championship games. From 1994-99 he also umpired SWAC conference games and was selected to call the 1997 exhibition game between the New York Yankees and Grambling State University.

For nearly 50 years now athletics has been a driving force in Taylor’s life. Whether it was running around on a basketball or tennis court as a youth, standing on the sidelines as a football coach or behind home plate on a baseball field in his latter years, that burning desire to be associated with competition  has always been the same. He may no longer play the game, but the game is and always will be in him. 

Jackson Parish Library marches into new month

A new month brings a new schedule of activities at the Jackson Parish Library (JPL). Unfortunately only the Jonesboro branch will be open for the near future as repairs are continuing at the Chatham branch following the damage to pipes that ruptured during the winter storm that reeked havoc on the area in late February. As a reminder to those who were scheduled to return books or other items to the branch while it has been closed, no fines will be accessed. 

WIN A T-SHIRT: The Jonesboro Branch opened the month by celebrating the March 2nd birthday of Dr. Seuss. To help celebrate the JPL issues a challenge to all readers up to the 4th grade to read as many Dr. Seuss books as possible until March 13th. For those who read ten or more books the JPL will issue a commemorative Dr. Seuss T-Shirt. 

Celebrate the month of “special days”– Did you know that the month of March has more special days than any other. Twelve of the 31 days in March are dedicated to an event or a person and that doesn’t include Palm Sunday, Daylight Savings Time starting or the beginning of Passover and the Spring season, which all takes place as well. A list of “special days” are shown below, several which will have information about or resources corresponding to the day available for your review. 

March 2Read Across America Day
March 3World Wildlife Day
March 4National Cereal Day
March 10 Harriet Tubman Day
March 11Inventors Day
March 14Pi Day
March 15Susan B. Anthony Day
March 17 St. Patrick’s Day
March 20World Storytelling Day
March 21World Poetry Day
March 30National Pencil Day
March 31National Crayon Day

Learn about the COVID-19 vaccine – Do you have questions concerning the COVID-19 vaccine? By appointment only, Ms. Jeanette White from the Office of Public Health will be available at the Jonesboro branch every Monday and Thursday at 1:00pm to answer any questions you may have and provide information. To secure an appointment either call (318) 259-6601, (318) 332 – 9204, send fax to 318-259-1146 or send email to:

Pine Belt Multi-Purpose representative available for consultation – By appointment only, Client Service Manager TyAnne Williams is available for consultation every Wednesday from 9am – 12:00pm. You can receive help with Unemployment Application Assistance, SNAP Benefits Application, Medicaid/Medicare Enrollment, Social Security Benefits Application and Social Security Card Applications. Information on Financial Counseling Courses, Commodities Distribution and Senior Food Boxes will also be provided. To secure an appointment please call 318-259-6444.

SNAP Program assistance – Ms. Jerlissa Elzy, who is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Outreach Coordinator is available for assistance with Food Stamp Applications and redetermination as well as helping with a simplified report by calling 318-237-7764 or 318-322-3567.

Hear clearly to live fully – You are invited by Brown Hearing Center to participate in a market research program at the Jonesboro Branch on from 10:00am – 4:00 pm on Wednesday, March 17th to evaluate a new digital hearing instrument. To secure an appointment call 888-781-3978.

Children’s Programs

Art Classes: March art classes will take place every Tuesday and Thursday from 4:00pm – 5:00 pm at the Jonesboro Branch. please come by the Jonesboro Branch. You can also come by any day to pick up art work supplies and instruction in conjunction with the “Grab and Go” program as long as your child is registered. Registration for April classes will begin on March 15th. You can either call at 318-259-5697 or come to the Jonesboro Branch and speak with Ms. Terrye Shackleford.

Reading Eggs and Math Seeds program: If you would like to enroll your child in this education enrichment program please contact: Terrye Shackleford at 318-269-5697. Please be prepared to provide a cell phone number that can be used for a text to be received that will contain your child’s username and password for the program. Please note that this program is NOT HELD AT THE LIBRARY but is for use at home. As a requirement you must have internet service at your home to participate. Your child can work on an iPad, Laptop, Computer or Kindle of any kind. There is no cost to participate. 

Homework Louisiana – Powered by and found at this online service is very beneficial in providing assistance with school studies for students of all ages. 

Outreach Services

Monthly personalized delivery of books, audiobooks, magazines and more are available to residents of Jackson Parish, including Nursing Home residents and in-home daycares.

Additional Services and Resources

Binge Box – Checkout multiple movies for one week that counts as only one checkout. 

Vox Books  (Books that talk) – The first audio books that live in print books. The attached VOX Reader transforms an ordinary print book into an all-in-one read along. No need for computers, tablets or CD’s. Simply push a button to listen and read. 

Flipster – An easy to use resource for viewing best selling digital magazines. 

Freegal Music – Service that provides access to virtually every song ever recorded in over 100 countries. Includes catalog of legendary artists and over 40,000 music videos. 

Chilton Automotive Guide – A must for those do-it-yourself auto repair projects. Provides detailed sketches and instructions on virtually every repair job and new parts installation for all makes and models of automobiles. 

PrinterOn – Printing can be done from your Smartphone or Tablets through this free app by sending an email along with attachments to: or

Fax and copy services: Available at both branches. Pricing dependent on size. 

Jonesboro Branch information:

Address: 614 South Polk Avenue
Phone: 318-259-5697
Fax: 318-259-3374
Hours of operation: Monday – Friday (8:00am – 5:30pm), Saturday (8:00am – 12:00pm)

Chatham Branch information:

Address: 1500 Pine Street
Phone: 318-249-2980
Fax: 318-249-2981
Hours of operation: Closed until further notice

Student Athlete of the Week announced by Jackson Parish High Schools

The Student Athletes of the Week at Jonesboro-Hodge, Quitman and Weston High Schools have been named for the week of March 1st – 7th. Congratulations go to Yahzmynne Andrews of Jonesboro-Hodge,  Madison Chaplin of Quitman and Quetzal Webster of Weston.

Yahzmynne is a senior and plays basketball at Jonesboro-Hodge High School, Madison is a freshman and plays softball at Quitman High School and Quetzal is a freshman cheerleader at Weston High School. Weekly award winners are chosen each Monday by select faculty members at each school who they felt best demonstrated what it means to be a “student athlete” the week prior. The award is sponsored by the Jackson Parish Hospital.


Beech Springs Baptist Church Rummage Sale benefitting St. Jude’s raises most money ever

If you didn’t know already, Jackson Parish is a great place to live. A great example of why is the way residents came together to help their friends and neighbors who suffered from the effects of the hurricanes and winter weather. While that deserves commendation, what is so very unique about residents of the “piney woods” and earns even greater praise is the recent help given to people they most likely will never meet.

According to committee member, Susan Duck Horton, the annual rummage sale that was put on by Beech Springs Baptist Church in Quitman this past Saturday designated to primarily benefit the children of St. Jude’s Regional Hospital,  raised over $1,300.00  which is more money than ever before in the nine year history of the event. 

“We had a great turnout and we really want to thank everyone for their tremendous support,” said Horton. “Not only did the members of the congregation show up, as they always do, but this year we had more new people come than has ever come before.”

To think that this was achieved when just about everybody involved has suffered greatly themselves over the past 60 days is astounding. Great appreciation goes to the members of Beech Springs Baptist Church and to all of those who took part in this wonderful cause. The way you blessed others is one of the main reasons why it is a such blessing to call Jackson Parish home. 

Former Jonesboro resident Dana Bellefontaine honored by Zachary, LA based medical center

Former Jonesboro resident Dana (Wink) Bellefontaine has been named Lane Regional Medical Center 2020 Most Valuable Player of the Year. The JHHS and Louisiana Tech graduate is the Infection Control Person at the Zachary, LA based hospital. Now residing in Baton Rouge, the mother of three (and a son-in-law) is married to Billy Bellefontaine, also a former Jonesboro resident and JHHS graduate.

“It was such an honor to be recognized as Lane’s Employee of the Year. It was so unexpected considering the talents of all the nominees. I couldn’t do the job I do without the help of all the Lane family. A special thanks to my co-workers in Quality Resources for always having my back and being there for me as we navigated a year of Covid.”

Her MVP nomination stated: As the infection control person at Lane, Dana has been involved in all aspects of the Covid-19 infection control response at the hospital and clinics. Behind the scenes, Dana was making daily phone calls to our patients to discuss their Covid-19 test results, as well as calling all post-op patients to identify if patients had developed signs and symptoms of Covid-19. She ensured all of our staff had the most up-to-date information on how to safely navigate a new and unknown virus. She is responsible for reporting all infection statistics to the appropriate agencies and was, and still is, always willing to help any department with questions and education as it relates to infection control practices. Throughout these past few—very stressful months—Dana, as always, had a smile on her face and a positive, helpful attitude each day. Dana is not only an essential part of our Lane team, but has done an outstanding job of ensuring the safety of our patients and staff during this health pandemic.

What’s in a name?

In 1907, Marion Robert Morrison was born to Clyde and Molly Morrison in Winterset, Iowa. Before his tenth birthday, the Morrison’s moved to Glendale, California, where his father worked as a pharmacist. Marion excelled at Glendale High School. He was an overachiever who did well in academics as well as in sports. He played on the football team, was on the debate team, contributed articles to the school’s newspaper, and, in 1925, was the president of his senior class.
Marion’s impressive high school transcript earned him a football scholarship to the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. The scholarship covered tuition, $280/year, and, because he was on the football team, his scholarship included one meal a day during weekdays. Eugene Clarke, a longtime friend and teammate of Marion, said “we sort of had to scratch around for our other meals and for all of our meals on weekends.” Eugene added with a grin, “We were always pretty hungry by Monday morning.”

Marion’s schoolwork ethic was just as strong at USC as it was at Glendale High School. Marion and several of his high school friends joined Sigma Chi fraternity. During one college party, a fight broke out. Marion cleverly filled his mouth with ketchup. When several guys turned their sites on Marion, he put his fists up and allowed the ketchup to flow slowly from his mouth. Rather than hit Marion, the guys felt bad for him and let him go. Marion’s quick thinking all but ended the fight. Then, Marion started to laugh. Realizing they had been had, the guys started the fight anew with Marion as their main target.

During the summer between Marion’s sophomore and junior year, Marion went bodysurfing with friends in the Pacific Ocean. Surfers generally use a surfboard or some other type of floatation device to surf high waves. Bodysurfers, on the other hand, use no floatation device, but use only their bodies to ride the waves. Bodysurfers swim out into deep water and watch for a powerful advancing wave. The bodysurfers turn and swim back toward the beach. Once the wave reaches them, they hold their bodies in a rigid position with their backs slightly arched, which allows them to ride the wave. Marion bodysurfed a large wave only too well. He rode the wave into shallow water and struck the ocean floor with such force that it broke his collarbone. His afternoon of bodysurfing ended his football career and, more importantly, his scholarship. Marion was in financial trouble. He owed more money than he made at his various odd jobs. He owed his former fraternity money for membership dues in addition to room and board. Unable to afford tuition and fraternity fees without the scholarship, Marion was forced to drop out of college.

Marion had no prospects, no money, and no place to live. A friend of Marion’s convinced his parents to allow Marion to live in a small room above their garage until he got back on his feet. USC football coach Howard Jones helped Marion secure a part-time job as a prop man and day laborer at Fox Studios. Marion had no aspirations at acting. He just needed a job.

In 1928, Marion moved from behind the camera to in front of it when he landed a small movie roll. The small role came with a small pay increase. For two years, Marion played bit parts and an occasional lead part in a few mostly forgettable low budget films. In 1930, he got his first starring role in a movie which had a budget in excess of $1 million. Marion fit director Raoul Walsh’s formula for the part. Raoul wanted an actor who was six foot three or over, had no hips, and had a face which fit in a sombrero, characteristics which Marion had. Fox executives assigned an acting coach to help Marion develop his manner of speaking, walking, subtle movements, and other minor details. Marion detested the strict regimen and failed to take his acting coach seriously. Finally, the acting coach quit with a final harsh remark; “If you live to be 100 years old, you will never become an actor.” Raoul was unconcerned because he believed in Marion’s acting ability. The movie was a commercial flop.

For another decade, Fox executives demoted Marion back to low budget, mostly forgettable films, for which he received little pay. Whereas most big budget movies took months to make, many of the movies Marion appeared in were shot in just a few days. His movie career seemed at an end, but, because of the Great Depression, Marion was glad to have a job. He worked as often as he could, was always on time, always knew his lines, often performed his own stunts, and did whatever was possible to improve the picture. After working on several musical films which required him to lip sync due to his inability to sing, Marion made a single demand. He refused to “sing” on film. Marion was in no position to make any demands, but luck seemed to be on his side.

Legendary director John Ford had an upcoming project for which he thought Marion would be a perfect fit. Movie producers disagreed with Ford, but Ford argued that rather than getting a big star, which would be expensive, they could get Marion “for peanuts.” Ford failed to mention that he had watched several of Marion’s films and saw potential. Finally, the studio relented and Ford cast Marion. During filming, Ford purposefully treated Marion cruelly. Ford wanted to break Marion of his bad acting habits, and wanted the other, more established actors to feel sorry for Marion so that they would help improve his acting ability. Ford’s cruelty paid off as the film was nominated for best picture along with Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and several others. The best picture Oscar went to Gone with the Wind.

Despite not winning the Oscar for best picture, Marion’s status as an actor gradually improved, as did the budget for the films he worked on. Marion eventually became more than a movie star; he became an icon. Despite the fact that he died in 1979, more than four decades ago, Marion has always ranked in the top ten of “America’s Favorite Movie Stars” according to the Harris Poll. Marion is the only person who has never dropped off of the top 10 list since 1993, the first year the Harris Poll was published. Fox executives disliked the name Marion Morrison and decided on a new name. Marion suggested they use his childhood nickname, which they quickly rejected. For the rest of his life, Marion’s devoted fans called him “Duke,” the name Fox executives rejected. Fox executives settled instead on a moniker for Marion which has become symbolic of a tough, honest, all American man. They created the name… John Wayne.

“Tuesday Night Scrambles” set to begin March 16th at JPRD Golf Course

A golf tournament scramble flyer and invitation illustration. Vector EPS 10 available. Type has been converted to outlines in the vector file.

FORE!!! Take notices all you hackers. It is finally time to dust the rust off the irons, limber up your gloves and mark your balls.  You are invited to participate in the always entertaining “Tuesday Night Scramble” beginning on Tuesday, March 16th at 5:30 pm  at the Jackson Parish Recreation Department Golf Course, located at 424 Clubhouse Drive in Hodge, LA,.

If you have never participated in this fun but highly competitive event then you are missing one of the best opportunities you can have playing golf. No matter your handicap, no matter your skill, there is a place for you. Are you a “scratch” golfer? Then you will enjoy the distinction of being the “A” player that gets the kudo’s for leading the team to victory. Are you a “duffer?” What better way to spend a day on the links that playing from prime positions on every shot instead of having to hack your way out of the trees and rough all round. 

Cost to enter is $20.00 per person which not only gives you a shot at earning prizes from the pro shop but also gets you a meal. To participate either call in advance to (318) 259-7247 or sign up by 5:00 pm the day of the weekly scramble in person or by phone.