COVID-19 Update: First Two Deaths Reported in Jackson Parish

Ever since documentation regarding COVID-19 was made available Jackson Parish had been able to make the claim that nobody had died locally from the epidemic. That is no longer case. According to reports issued on April 27th by the Jackson Parish Sheriff’s Office (JPSO) two people are now listed as having succumbed to the Coronavirus.

Further updates show that 64 positive cases have been determined to date with 59 of those still being active. Five have been hospitalized and three have recovered. The names of the two who fell victim have not been released.

“I encourage people not to let your guard down just yet as it appears that in Jackson Parish we have not met our peak,” said Sheriff Andy Brown. “The numbers continue to rise. Please continue to use personal protective equipment if you get out in areas where other people are gathered.”

According to information provided by the Louisiana Department of Health on April 28th, there are now 27,286 cases shown statewide but the rate of growth slowed over the last week. The number of deaths reported was 1,758.

The majority of those affected continue to be in south Louisiana with Orleans and Jefferson Parishes, which are the two associated with the New Orleans area, combining for 12,515 of the cases and 750 of the deaths. East Baton Rouge Parish is third with 1,787 cases and 125 deaths with Caddo Parish showing the most in north LA with 1,497 cases and 100 deaths.


Laid-off Non-Essential Town of Jonesboro Employees to be Paid

The burden caused by the Coronavirus epidemic has been felt by virtually everyone. Thanks to the unanimous agreement of the Jonesboro Board of Aldermen at least the non-essential workers for the town of Jonesboro won’t be hit as hard as it looked like they would be.

During the special called teleconference meeting that was held on Tuesday, April 23rd, Aldermen Devin Flowers, Robbie Siadek and James Ginn approved Resolution 2020-021 to continue to pay non-essential town employees that had been directed to stay at home under the Shelter- In- Place order issued by Mayor Leslie Thompson. Pete Stringer and Nia Evans-Johnson were absent.

Additional resolutions that were approved is #2020-020 that declared a State of Public Health Emergency for the Town of Jonesboro and #2020-23 regarding the acceptance of a settlement offer made by Midwest Management. Resolution #2020-022 that would have approved Denmon Engineering for obstruction removal at the airport was tabled.

Further action taken was the approval of Jonesboro Fire, Police and Public Works department head reports as well as the paying of February and March bills owed. A signature release involving a claim made by Jason Wigley was also agreed upon. Mayor Thompson also briefly spoke about a proposed mobile home to be set on 7th street and asked the council to table the sale of surplus town items for 60 days.


Public Hearing Set for May 12th

During the tele-conference meeting of the Jonesboro Board of Aldermen held on April 21st a Public Hearing was set for May 12th 2020 at 5:45 PM that is scheduled to be conducted at the meeting room of the Jonesboro City Hall providing current Coronavirus restrictions will be lifted.

The hearing which was decreed through Ordinance #2020-001 was voted for by Devin Flowers, Robbie Siadek and James Ginn. Pete Stringer and Nia Evans-Johnson were absent. This regards asking the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or any other source available to municipalities for reimbursement of wages paid to non-essential town employees affected by the Shelter-In-Place order issued by Mayor Leslie Thompson


Jackson Parish Police Jury Announces Free Face Masks Offering

The Jackson Parish Police Jury has received a donation of re-usable, cloth facemasks from Hanes, Inc. These will be available in each district at the locations listed on the following dates and times. The distribution will be first come, first served.

District 1: Wednesday, April 29th at 3:00 at Quitman Town Hall

District 2: Saturday, May 2nd from 8:00 – 11:00 AM at Chatham Town Hall and from 12:00 – 3:00 PM at Eros Town Hall. The first hour of both locations is reserved for senior citizens only.

District 3: Saturday, May 2nd at 9:00 AM at Weston High School

District 4: Saturday, May 2nd at 9:00 AM at East Hodge City Hall

District 5: Saturday, May 2nd at 9:00 AM at The Old McCarthy building by Triumph Church

District 6: Saturday, May 2nd at 9:00 AM at McDonald Baptist Church

District 7: Saturday, May 2nd at 9:00 AM at the Hodge Shopping Center


Weston High School Alumni Association Announce Postponement of June Reunion

Due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 health crisis, the Board of Directors of the Weston High School Alumni Association has announced that the five year homecoming school reunion which was originally scheduled for June 13, 2020 has been postponed and rescheduled for June 12, 2021.

You may check the association website at westonalumni.net or its Facebook page “Weston High School Alumni Association” for updates and other association business and activities. We ask that you please stay safe during these trying times and follow all regulations that are in place so that we may all get together again as soon as possible.


House of Raeford Farms Assists Local Residents

This is not a story about Chicken Little. This is about chicken a lot, as in lots of lots of chicken – a whole 18 wheeler trailer full. Thanks to a decision made by the management of the House of Raeford Farms, which owns a chicken processing plant in Arcadia, this past Wednesday from 10 AM till 1 PM the residents of Jonesboro and Jackson Parish had the opportunity to buy cases of chicken for pennies on the dollar.

The event took place at the Charles H. Garrett Community Center in Jonesboro where traffic formed early and at time stretched out of the parking lots, down Industrial Drive and even out to Highway 167. Hundreds of local residents flocked to the location for the purchase capabilities available sometimes waiting as long as 30 minutes for the opportunity to stock up and enjoy huge savings.

In a statement prepared by Raeford Farms it was noted that because of the “Stay-at-Home restrictions caused by the Coronavirus that people all over the nation were stocking their freezers with meat products more than normal. As result there have been shortages of chicken in the marketplace.

The House of Raeford got creative and in order to assist the general population decided to bring their chicken products to areas easily serviced by locations in refrigerated truck trailers. This way the public could practice social distancing while doing their shopping by driving right up in their vehicle to a person stationed alongside prepared to take their order and place it in their auto.

Three locations in North Carolina (Creedmoor, Raliegh, Wallace)and two more in South Carolina (Easley, Monetta) were also selected for the April 22nd sale where everything from boneless breasts and thighs to tenders and wings were available in 40 pound cases. The sale continued April 23rd and 23th in Monroe as well as various North and South Carolina locations.


Reasons Your Stimulus Check May Never Come

Coronavirus stimulus checks have started being deposited into bank accounts, and paper checks have begun going out. If you’re waiting for the money the CARES Act provides, you may be frustrated if your payment hasn’t yet arrived. While direct deposits are being made quickly, just five million paper checks will go out weekly, so it could take until August or September for them all to arrive. For others, coronavirus funds may never come. Here are six reasons that could happen to you.

  1. You earn too much – The CARES Act placed an income limit on who could receive coronavirus stimulus funds. If your income is $99,000 as a single filer, $198,000 as a married couple with no kids, or $146,500 if you file as head of household with one child you won’t get any stimulus funds.
  2. You didn’t file a recent tax return – If you didn’t file a tax return in 2018 or 2019, the IRS won’t send you a payment. However, you can go online to complete a simple form that’s been created for non-filers to provide their information. If you complete it and show you’re eligible, you’ll be able to receive the stimulus money.
  3. You just started getting Social Security or railroad retirement benefits – If you just started getting your retirement benefits in 2020, the IRS won’t have information from your benefits provider. You’ll be in the same situation as every other non-filer and will need to use the IRS form to let the service know you’re entitled to the stimulus money.
  4. You are claimed as a dependent -The CARES Act doesn’t provide an extra $500 in funds for adult dependents — only for children under 17. But it also excludes anyone claimed as a dependent from getting their own stimulus check.
  5.  You or your spouse doesn’t have a Social Security number – A valid U.S. Social Security number is required to receive stimulus funds. While citizens and green card holders with Social Security numbers can qualify for a payment, those without this form of ID are left out in the cold.
  6. The IRS has old information – If the IRS has an outdated bank account or address on file for you, it could end up sending your money to the wrong place. If your old bank account is closed, the stimulus funds will be returned, and the IRS will send a paper check (eventually) once it’s notified. This will go to the address on file from your most recent return.

Correct the problem if you can – There are lots of reasons you might not get a stimulus check that can still be corrected if you act quickly. If you’re able to, complete any required forms on the IRS Economic Impact Page now to claim your share of the money aimed at helping you through this economic and public health crisis.


Obituary – John Ed Quarles – Age 89

Mr. John Ed Quarles, age 89 of Jonesboro, passed from this life into his heavenly life on Monday, April 27, 2020. Mr. Quarles was hard worker that was ingrained with a strong work ethic that he proudly passed on down through the generations. He was the kind of man who began his day before the sun and his day did not end until after the sun went down. Mr. Quarles was happy to help in his church in any way he could. He was an avid fisherman, hunter and he loved to garden. He was a devoted family man that enjoyed time spent with his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. He will be greatly missed by all who loved him.

Those left to cherish his memory are his sons, Mike Quarles (Janet), David Quarles (Brenda); stepson, William Peairson III (Debbie); numerous grandchildren, step-grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his 1st wife, Max Quarles; 2nd wife, Janett Quarles; parents, John Edward and Leethie (Harvey) Quarles; 4 siblings.

A private family graveside will be held on Thursday, April 30, 2020 at 2:00PM in Garden of Memories Cemetery with Reverend Wayne Morrow officiating. Burial will take place under the direction of Southern-Edmonds Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers the family has requested that donations be made to the Alzheimer’s Association. A memorial service will be held at a future date as well.

**Due to the circumstances of Mr. Quarles death the family is asking anyone that attends to make sure to use any and all precautions necessary to keep others safe and healthy. Please be advised that we will limit the graveside attendees to ten at a time, guest are required to wear a face mask, children will be asked to be kept within the safety of their own car, and that guests not approach the casket. Thank you in advance for taking these safety measures.


Obituary – Arthur “Art” Leland Brewer – age 97

Arthur “Art” Leland Brewer, born on September 4th, 1922, to Mr. William Brewer and Mrs. Ruth Brewer in Doyline, Louisiana passed away peacefully on April 21st, 2020. He passed the Certified Public Accountant exam in 1958 and opened an accounting office in Bossier City, LA. He later moved his practice to Jonesboro, LA, in October 1959 and retired from practice in October 1987.

Elected to the Jackson Parish School Board in 1968, Art served as president from 1971 until 1973. He also served in many capacities in the Jonesboro United Methodist Church including Treasurer, Member of the Board, and various committees. He was a member of the AICP and served on the Governmental Practice Review committee of the Louisiana Society of CPAs.

Art was a member of Doyline High School graduating class of 1939. He enrolled at Northwestern State University, but his attendance was interrupted by World War II. He served the United States Army from October 1942 to May 1946. He was serving as a navigator on a B-24 Bomber that was in route to the Pacific Theater when Japan surrendered. Art returned to Northwestern to complete his undergraduate degree before enrolling in graduate work for accounting at the University of Texas. He worked for Texas Eastern Transmission Cooperation from 1950 to 1958.

Art was preceded in death by his wife, the former Lucille Johnston, his son, Kim Brewer, his parents Ruth and Will Brewer, his sisters Viva Herring, Helen McDowell, Mary V. Regan, Lemurle Hearron, Emma Ruth Townsend, and brothers John W., Harold, and Henry Clinton.

He is survived by his daughter-in-law Deborah Brewer of Chapel Hill, NC, grandson Kyle and wife Heidi of Seabrook, TX, granddaughter Kacie of Cary, NC, foster son Russell Johnston of Lake Charles, LA, and supportive family members of the Johnston family.

A private graveside service was held at the Gala Traina Memorial Cemetery under the direction of Southern-Edmonds Funeral Home of Jonesboro. A memorial service will be held for friends and family to gather at a later date. Should friends desire, memorial contributions may be sent to the Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home, 904 DeVille Ln, Ruston, LA 71270.


Jonesboro Board of Aldermen Agenda announced

On April 21st at 6:00 pm the Board of Aldermen for the town of Jonesboro held a specially called conference call meeting to discuss items on the April monthly meeting agenda. Most importantly were three resolutions that were proposed by Mayor Leslie Thompson for the council of Devin Flowers, Pete Stringer, Robbie Siadek, James Ginn and Nita Evans to approve.

These resolutions can be clicked on below for full details but to summarize they are as listed:

1. Resolution 2020-020: Declare a state of public health emergency for the Town of Jonesboro

2. Resolution 2020-021: Declare that the Town of Jonesboro employees that haven’t worked since Stay at Home Order was enforced be paid for their time off through FEMA.

3. Resolution 2020-022: Declare that Denmon Engineering be hired to clear and remove obstructions from Jonesboro Airport.

Additional items to be considered are the Midwest Settlement regarding the sale of a piece of property owned by the Town of Jonesboro that was contested, the approval to have a mobile home on 7th street, and the sale of surplus items.

Fire, Police and Public Works department head reports were also to be heard and would be asked to be approved as well as February and March bills to be paid. Each member of the Board and Mayor Thompson would give their comments before the close of the meeting. Next week the Jackson Parish Journal will have the results of each of the items listed on the agenda that is shown below.


Coronavirus Update: 36 test positive in Jackson Parish

According to Jackson Parish Sheriff Andy Brown as of April 20th, 2020, Jackson Parish had a total of 36 people who had tested positive for COVID-19. Thankfully no deaths have been reported leaving the parish as one of the least infected of the 64 parishes that have reported to the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH).

The numbers announced are different than the numbers shown by the LDH who shows only 15 cases in Jackson Parish. Statewide the LDH has confirmed 23,928 cases and 1,296 deaths with 7,044 having recovered. Nationwide the count has grown to 794,651 confirmed cases and 42,486 deaths with 71,861 having recovered.

Everyone is still asked to stay home unless it’s essential that you be out. If you have to get out please remember to practice social distancing and follow all other CDC guidelines.

PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR LOVED ONES…………..STAY HOME!

Shreveport Times names LaDamien Bradford as All-Area Player of the Year

The hits just keep on coming…………line from Top Gun

Already this year LaDamien Bradford of Jonesboro-Hodge High School has been named to the boys basketball first team in district 1-2A and in Class AA. Now he has earned the designation as All-Area Player of the Year by the Shreveport Times.

As stated by Jimmy Watson of the Times it is hard to argue with success. Over the last two seasons the Texas A&M signee has led the Tigers to two district titles and a state tournament appearance. This season the 6’4” shooting guard averaged a double-double checking in with 24.5 points per game and 13.3 rebounds while also chipping in 5.5 assists and 3.8 steals.
“LaDamien really stepped up his game the second half of district play,” Tigers coach Allen Tew said. “The team played its best during the last month of the season and the playoffs and that was due not only to LaDamien’s talent, but his leadership and making the young players around him better.”

Joining Bradford on the first team is close friend Chanse Robinson (22.9 ppg, 12.2 rpg) of Lincoln Prep Jakemin Abney (23.8 ppg, 8 rpg) of Simsboro, Devonte Snow (23 ppg. 8 rpg) of Natchitoches-Central, Decari Markray (21.7 ppg, 9.4 rpg) of Doyline, Kenneth Bradley (19.6 ppg) of Red River and Thomas Howell (27.1 ppg, 16.2 rpg) of St. Mary’s in Natchitoches

In an unusual move the Times selected two as Coach of the Year in Michael Normand who led Doyline to a 33-2 record and the Class B state title and Stephen Birch of Pleasant Hill who went 27-9 on the season and played in the Class C title game.


Jackson Parish Chamber of Commerce announces Sunshine Festival postponed indefinitely

The Jackson Parish Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors has made the following decision regarding the Sunshine Festival: Based on the executive decision made yesterday to extend the social distancing until April 30, the festival has been postponed indefinitely. Thank you for your continued support of the chamber and the decisions that are being made regarding our scheduled events and activities.


Gov. Edwards orders schools closed for the remainder of the school year

On April 15th Governor John Bel Edwards signed a proclamation closing K-12 public schools in Louisiana to students until the end of the current school year, with students getting their education via remote learning, as the state continues to fight the spread of COVID-19.

“Closing public schools in Louisiana for the remainder of the year is not a choice I was excited to make, but it is one that is necessary to protect the safety of our children, our teachers and staff and the community at large,” Gov. Edwards said. “But, I want to be clear about something: This isn’t the end of learning, it’s just the end of students physically going to school campuses for the remainder of the semester. Remote learning will continue and, we will all work together to make sure that our students do not fall behind academically. In addition, we expect that school systems will continue to provide nutrition and meals for students.”

“To our students, I want to thank you for learning in such trying times, and I want to thank our teachers for committing to remote learning and keeping a connection with you. It is not lost on me that our parents are being asked to manage so much more than they ever expected they would have to, and I thank them for taking an even more active role in their children’s education than normal,” Gov. Edwards said. “And to our soon-to-be graduates: I do not have the words to tell you how proud I am of you for your accomplishments, especially under such hard and unconventional circumstances. We will properly celebrate you in time, when it is safe. We will all get through this together and we will come back stronger than we were before.”