What is known is that on Sunday, June 21, 2020 a man drowned at the State Park on Caney Lake. From there on out the details get sketchy as local law enforcement agencies and emergency responders have not provided any information despite several attempts to reach them.
One unnamed source indicated that the reason no information has been given is that the Jackson Parish Sheriff’s Office (JPSO) is still trying to determine the identity of the deceased who is believed to not be a resident of the Parish.
According to an eye-witness a man was seen going under while swimming and then retrieved from the water. CPR was provided by a concerned citizen who then gave way to Ward 4 Emergency Responders and Wildlife and Fisheries agents. From there the deceased was transferred to the Jackson Parish Hospital where it was determined he had expired.
Governor John Bel Edwards announced this past Monday that Louisiana will stay in Phase Two of reopening, as the number of COVID-19 cases and related hospitalizations have started to rise in several regions across the state.
“It goes without saying that this is not the direction that we want to be headed in,” said Edwards. “We have to reduce case growth and hospitalizations. So today, I’m announcing that we will not be moving to Phase Three when the order expires at the end of this week.”
Louisiana is ranked seventh out of 23 states across the country experiencing an increase in COVID-19 positive cases. Edwards said that the Phase Two order issued back on June 4, 2020, will be allowed to expire on Friday and that a new order will be released later this week, possibly on Thursday. Gov. Edwards did say that the new order will be in effect for 28 days.
As of Monday, the state has reported a total number of 50,239 cases and 3,004 deaths while in Jackson Parish the numbers showed 187 positive test cases, 95 active cases, 15 deaths and one still being hospitalized. Seventy seven have recovered.
Effective July 6th personal property and business owners in the Town of Jonesboro will see a reduction in the cost of insurance. This is because the town has now earned a Class 3 rating by the Property Insurance Association of Louisiana (PIAL).
“I am very pleased to announce that the cost of insurance for personal and business property in the Town of Jonesboro will be less beginning next month,” said Jonesboro Fire Chief Brandon Brown. “I give thanks to our city government for allowing us to get the necessary equipment we needed as well as the full time fire firefighters we have on staff and the many dedicated volunteers who have helped us in reducing response time. “
The PIAL is a private, non-profit association comprised of all insurance companies licensed to write fire and certain coverages in the state of Louisiana. They are responsible for the evaluation of municipalities and fire districts to determine a Protection Classification as well as determine the Building Code Effectiveness Grading classifications fire protection capabilities.
Factors in determining what rating is earned is how up to date a municipalities fire-fighting equipment is, how much training has been provided and completed by staff and volunteers, response time shown and how effective a Fire Department is in absolving the situation.
Below are listing of arrests made by the law enforcement officers representing Jonesboro, Hodge, North Hodge, Quitman, Chatham, Eros and Jackson Parish from the dates of June 16th to June 21st
1. Martavius Wyatt (Hodge, LA) – Cruelty to a Juvenile, Child Desertion 2. Brandee Brazil (Hodge, LA) – Issuing of Worthless Checks (X4), Careless Operation 3. Megan Deville (Jonesboro, LA) – Cruelty to a Juvenile, Child Desertion 4. Othelle Hogan (North Little Rock, AR) – Simple Criminal Damage to Property, Simple Battery 5. Leonard Rhodes (Jonesboro, LA) – Simple Criminal Damage to Property 6. Kolby Williams (Quitman, LA) – Theft 7. Michael Willis (Hodge, LA) – Out of date Inspection Sticker, Window Obstruction, Driving under Suspended License, Possession of Schedule I drug, Possession of Schedule II drug 8. Donnie Ray Burns (Jonesboro, LA) – Criminal Trespass 9. Landon Austin – (Quitman, LA) – Simple Criminal Damage to Property 10. Stoneshia Anderson (Jonesboro, LA) – Simple Criminal Damage to Property
For boating enthusiasts it is one of the most enjoyable times you can spend on the open water. Lots of fun and enjoyment will be had by all but you need to register as soon as possible to be a part of the annual Boat Flotilla that is part of the 4th of July Jackson Parish Freedom Celebration.
Sponsored by The Caney Lake Community Foundation boats will line up for the “water parade” at 9:30 AM at Hook’s Marina where judging for the “Best Float” will take place. The flotilla will then depart and follow the Smith Branch Shoreline.
A couple of years ago, Kay wanted a flower bed in a certain section of the front yard. The spot was perfect; it would get just the right amount of sunlight and shade for the lantana she had planned for the bed to grow lush and beautiful.
There was only one problem; the area she chose was already occupied. It was wrapped up in saw briars. I was assigned the task of removing the briars to make room for the lantana.
Have you ever tried to get rid of saw briars? You can cut them down to the ground and before long, they take off again. The solution is to dig up the root. Frankly I was shocked when I unearthed the root from the first briar I tackled. It was the size of a volley ball, big and white and almost scary looking.
Eventually, I was able to dig up all the roots and now the little bed is saw briar-free but it took quite an effort to make that happen.
Just exactly what is this plant? It has at least three names. I always called it saw briar while more professional plant gurus refer to it as green briar or if they really want to get fancy, smilax.
If you live anywhere in the country, I’ll bet you have it growing around the margin of your yard. It practically forms a border of my yard and if you happen to walk through a vine, you come out with blood dripping because two of the three names indicate what it is. Briar.
As obnoxious as the plant is to home owners, it’s a super source of protein for wildlife, especially deer.
One night I happened to look out the bedroom window and saw movement beneath the security light in our yard. There stood a doe and she was munching on a strand of saw briar growing there. After she moved on, a second deer came along to clean up the greenery the first deer had left.
I ran across an article recently that was singing the praises of this plant that provides up to 30% protein in spring and 10% in the fall. Many wildlife biologists consider green briar to be one of the most important native plants used by deer. Hunters sometimes manage thickets of the plant growing on their hunting lands since deer relish it as a favorite browse species.
In addition to retaining leaves all year long, the plant produces fruit-like berries consumed by not only deer but a variety of birds and wild turkeys.
Since I have your interest in utilizing green briar as wildlife food, is it possible to transplant it to areas where you hunt? You can’t find a commercial source for the seeds or roots (which technically are called rhizomes) but you can dig up the roots and plant them where you prefer. Most who have tried this method of transplanting find that the relocated plants take off with good results but you need to protect the new growth from over-browsing by deer and rabbits.
Late in deer season after a few freezes have killed most native forage plants making them unpalatable for wildlife, green briar just keeps on keeping on.
One biologist suggested that well-fertilized green briar thickets make good food plots and should be included in a wildlife management plan.
You need some root stock? My wife is eyeing another spot in the yard where she wants a flower bed, a spot wrapped up in briars. You want ‘em? You can have ‘em, just come dig ‘em so I won’t have to.
After taking almost nine months to adopt a town budget last year it took only the June 9th public hearing and corresponding Town of Jonesboro Board of Aldermen meeting to agree to accept Ordinance #2020-002 which provided the city with an operating budget for the next 12 months.
After a short discussion Board members Nia Evans-Johnson, Devin Flowers, James Ginn, Robbie Siadek and Pete Stringer unanimously accepted the proposed budget provided by Mayor Leslie Thompson that showed the city to be operating on $3,123,199.00 in estimated revenue.
Estimated expenditures were shown to be $3,198,711.00 which gave the town a one year deficit in funds estimate of $75,512.00 but ending the fiscal year with a $461,976.71 positive balance after coming into the new term with a $537,488.71 beginning fund balance.
Resolution #2020-025 which allows for Denmon Engineering to move forward with the Municipal Airport project was also passed. Ordinance #2020-003, which would give the Council a raise, earned a Public Hearing set for July 14,2020 at the Jonesboro City Hall.
In final action following reports by the heads of the Fire, Police and Public Works departments the council agreed to look into the current Peddlers Licensing Agreement as well as declare surplus items.
In the 1930s, the small village of Saline, Louisiana, had a population numbering around 600 people, mostly farmers and sawmill workers. Its main claim to fame was its watermelons. The sandy soil provided the best environment for growing watermelons. The Saline Truck Growers Association began holding a celebration in the village each July to coincide with the watermelon harvest. People from all over the region converged at Saline to join in the festivities. Some reports estimated 8,000 people attended Saline’s second Watermelon Festival. For a small village of only 600 people to have an influx of several thousand people must have been a sight to see.
In 1932, Saline’s mayor and vice president of the Saline Truck Growers Association H.E. Sudduth shipped the two largest melons of the season by rail to then presidential nominee Franklin Delano Roosevelt and vice-presidential nominee John Garner. The melons weighed in at 110 pounds and 90 pounds respectively. Local farmer Webby Driggers grew the prized 110-pound melon. A few weeks later, Mayor Sudduth received a letter which stated:
“I have been a long time in writing to thank you for the most delicious watermelon which you sent me some time ago. Will you please extend to the association my appreciation of their sending me this extraordinary fruit? We have all enjoyed it, and are regretful that it is gone. Please also thank Mr. Driggers, and extend to him my congratulations. Very sincerely yours, Franklin D. Roosevelt.”
All good things must come to an end. In July, 1933, Saline had a major incident which most people, even those who have lived in and around the small village all of their lives, have forgotten. Those who have not forgotten the event rarely speak of it. People arrived for the annual festival on foot, by wagon, by automobile, and by train. During the celebration, several conspirators pulled knifes at a predetermined time and slashed over 500 unsuspecting victims. Rather than running away, the crowd gathered closer. The conspirators slashed into the bodies of their victims and removed their insides. Let me remind you that this story is true and apologize for its gory nature. The wild crowd reached for the random bits and pieces of the poor victim’s insides and shoved whatever they could grab into their mouths. Men, women, and boys and girls of all ages ate the pieces of raw red meat, the heart being the most sought after.
Sheriff Henderson Jordan, mostly remembered as a member of the posse which two years later ended the crime spree of Bonnie and Clyde, compared the slashing affray to the murders credited to England’s Jack the Ripper. One eye witness told the sheriff, “It was just slash, slash, slash. There weren’t many out of the 500 that weren’t hurt.” By the next morning, no evidence of the murders could be found. The conspirators disposed of the what remained of the victims’ bodies in an undisclosed location. Sheriff Jordan and his deputies spoke with several eye witnesses and questioned the conspirators but made no arrests.
Although watermelons have remained a staple crop from the area around the small village of Saline, the 1933 watermelon festival was the last of its kind held for fifty years. Five decades later, after many of the citizens who were present at the slashing had died, citizens of Saline revived the watermelon festival with moderate success. Without most of them knowing it, festival goers celebrate each year the slashing that occurred in the small village on that hot July day in 1933. If you visit the village during the festival, you will see all sorts of depictions of the slashing victims including signs, t-shirts, face paintings, and other paraphernalia. The slashing victims were watermelons.
Sources: The Shreveport Journal, July 29, 1932, p.14. The Shreveport Times, July 29, 1932, p.2. The Shreveport Journal, August 19, 1932, p.3. The Shreveport Times, July 4, 1933, p.4.
On Sunday June 7th a group of protesters headed by Ms. Ja’Keshia Lard held a peaceful Black Lives Matter march and protest in honor of the death of George Floyd. The march began at the site of the old abandoned Jackson High School, where I along with thousands of African American students attended. The protest concluded on the steps of the Jackson Parish Court House in downtown Jonesboro. While I was unable to participate in the march due to physical constraints and limitations, I attended the rally held at the courthouse and was quite surprised, pleased and moved almost to tears at seeing such a large number of young people participating in the march and rally, continuing the struggle against injustice and the senseless killing of African American citizens.
We want to commend the group of young organizers who hosted the march in honor of George Floyd. The protest drew a fairly large crowd of black and white citizens and received support from the Jackson Parish Branch of the NAACP, headed by President Windy Calahan. All did an outstanding job in hosting such an event. The rally included an opening prayer, readings by several youths, and observance of eight minutes and forty seconds of silence in honor of George Floyd whose life was snuffed out by white police officer Dereck Chauvin on Monday, May 25 in Minneapolis Minnesota. Following the senseless killing by the police officer with his knee on Floyd for nearly nine minutes, protests for justice for George Floyd have gone viral and have popped up all over the world. Protesters have taken to the streets in peaceful protest.
Noting that it has been years since a protest march or rally was held in the Town of Jonesboro, in an interview with Ms. Ja’Keshia Lard, I asked her to comment and enlighten readers on the rationale for hosting the march and rally. She noted: “the protest march was organized to give her generation a productive voice against systemic racism, police brutality, social and economic inequality that affect Black people all over world. Protesters gathered to take a stand against and condemn over four hundred years of oppression. We marched in solidarity as a community of color; black, brown, yellow and white to acknowledge that America has not done enough to aid African Americans in overcoming the never ending struggles of discrimination and racial injustice suffered by black people each day. We marched to honor the legacy of Dr. King, Rosa Parks, Malcom X, and Emmett Till. We marched to mourn the tragic loss of George Floyd, Breanna Taylor, Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Alton Sterling and a host of others whose lives were ended by corrupt police officers .My generation is ready to stand for righteousness in a world that is full of wrong. Black lives do matter”
As we stood and as some sat on the steps of the Jackson Parish Court House, as we listened to speeches being made by local leaders, listening to the hopeful presentations being given by young black kids, black and white kids holding and waving banners, containing hand written slogans such as “Black Lives Matter, Justice for George Floyd, No justice, No Peace,” I began to have flash backs from stories told to me by my grandmother and confirmed by the late .Mr. Harvey Johnson. Both told me that in the early part of the nineteenth century seven black men were lynched in Jackson Parish. In 1925 three black men were lynched on the lawn of the Jackson Parish Courthouse, while four more were lynched at other locations throughout the parish.
Jackson Parish has had a long history of racial tension and unrest and has been in the lime light dating back to the early nineteen twenties when three black men were lynched on the grounds of the old Jackson Parish Court house. The history of racism continued through the sixties and seventies when African American citizens successfully sued the federal government and gained the right to vote in local and national elections in Jackson parish. During the summer of 1960, Governor John McKeithen (Big John) was forced to come to Jonesboro where he met with a crowd of concerned Black community leaders in the cafeteria of Jackson High School. He came with the intent and hope to quell what had become a volatile situation that could have easily erupted and led to civil unrest or a major and serious racial crisis. Governor McKeithen handled the situation and many demands were met.
Dr. Herbert Simmons, Jr. is an associate Professor, Department of Criminal Justice, Grambling State University, former President, Grambling State University Faculty Senate and former Chair, Department of Consumer Education and Resource Management, Howard University, Washington, D.C.
It doesn’t matter how many fish you catch sometimes you just get tired of fishing in the same old hole. Even when it seems you are pulling them in on seemingly every cast it is the bane of fishing. You just have to ‘move around”.
Often times it is satisfying enough to simply go to another part of the body of water you are on but invariably there are the times when you simply have the “urge to splurge”. You load up the boat and head to new horizons.
This usually happens this time of year so with that in mind this week we have provided a much larger and expanded fishing report so that no matter where you might want to go in Northeast Louisiana you can feel confident about your chances.
CANEY LAKE – With the weather turning warmer, bass are beginning to school with some topwater action taking place in breaking schools. Some bigger fish are being caught fishing the channel drops with deep diving crank baits or big plastic worms. Crappie fishing has been fair around the deeper tops sitting in 15-18 foot water. Shiners and jigs are picking up a few. Bream fishing continues to be good fishing the shallows with crickets and worms. No report this week on catfish. For latest information contact Bateaux on Caney Lake at 259-6649, Hooks Marina at 249-2347, Terzia Tackle at 278- 4498 or the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
BLACK BAYOU – Bass fishing has been fair around the grass. Bream fishing continues to be good on crickets and worms. Crappie are slow to fair in deeper water. Contact 323- 8707 for latest information. OUACHITA RIVER – Bass fishing has been fair at the run-outs with current on spinners, topwaters and crank baits. Bream are in the back waters and river lakes and hitting crickets and worms. Crappie fishing has been best fishing jigs or shiners in the river lakes. For latest information, contact the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE D’ARBONNE – Bass have been best fishing up the creeks around grass beds. Spinners, soft plastics, especially Carolina rigs and frogs are working in the grass and around the edges. Some have moved to the deeper channel holes and hitting deep diving crank baits and soft plastics. Crappie are on the flats and have been fair on shiners and jigs fished 8-10 feet deep in 12-14 foot deep water. Bream are around bedding areas and hitting crickets and worms around the lake. Catfishing has been good on set hooks baited with bream with lots of smaller channel catfish caught fishing off the banks with cold worms and night crawlers. For latest reports, call Anderson’s Sport Center at 368-9669 or Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE CLAIBORNE – Crappie are still biting jigs and shiners around the deep tops with best results coming early mornings. Bass have been slow to fair this week. Catfishing has been good on both trotlines and limb lines for flatheads with noodles and trotlines working on channel cats. The bream are biting worms and crickets just off the banks in 5 foot water. Stripers are slow. Below the spillway, a good many bream, crappie and catfish are being caught. For latest information, call Tim Loftin at Kel’s Cove at 927-2264.
LAKE POVERTY POINT –Catfishing continues to be good on cut shad and cold worms. Bream fishing has been good on worms and crickets. Crappie are slow to fair on shiners and jigs. No report on bass. For latest reports, call Poverty Point Marina at 318-878-0101.
LAKE ST. JOHN – No report. For information, call Ken Mahoney at 318-201-3821.
LAKE YUCATAN – Water is high but beginning to fall. No fishing reports this week. For information, call Surplus City Landing at 318/467-2259.
LAKE BRUIN – Bream fishing continues to be good. Bass, crappie and catfish are all fairly slow. For information, contact Carlos Gray at 318/766-0075.
Louise Ponder Bott Tolar March 07, 1922 – April 06, 2020
Louise Bott-Tolar, age 98, passed away after a long life on April 6, 2020 in Parker, CO. She was born Elsie Louise Ponder on March 7, 1922 to Homer and Pearl (McMillan) Ponder and the oldest of twelve children: JoEllen (Jo) Ponder-Guffey, Beatrice Pearl (Bea) Ponder- Ayers, Laura “Mable” Ponder- Adams, twin sisters Vera Edle and Era Estelle Ponder, Hazel “Evelyn” Ponder-Jordan, Homer Gerald (Buddy) Ponder, Edsel Morris (Ed) Ponder, Billy Wayne Ponder, Velda Rae Ponder-Pennington, and Benola Joy Ponder-Robinson.
After growing up in Quitman she moved to Shreveport and went to work for Film Arbor Company, a film processing firm. There she met Charles D. Bott and married in 1955 and raised three children together. She later went on to have a long career with Sears and Roebuck. After working in various departments, she spent the last working years in the corporate level as a manager in the Sears Credit department before retiring after 35 years. When she wasn’t working, you would find her quilting, writing or reading. An avid reader, it was not uncommon for her to read 2-5 books a week. She was also a faithful member of Parker Church of Christ.
Louise leaves to cherish her memory, son Charles Phillip Bott and wife Karen; siblings Buddy and his wife June, Edsel and wife Carolyn, Billy Wayne and wife Nancy, Velda and husband Russ, Benola and husband Jerry; brother-in-law, Jim Jordan. She was affectionately known as “Grandmother” and “Mimi” to seven grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and 4 great-great-grandchildren as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; twin sisters Vera and Era, and sisters Jo Ellen, Beatrice,Mable and Evelyn; husbands Garland Eiland, Charles Bott and Maj. James “Jim” Tolar, daughter Elise Louise Eiland-Looker and son Garland “Butch” Eiland Jr.
Memorial graveside services will be held 10:00AM Wednesday, June 24, 2020 at Ebenezer Cemetery with Bro. Freddie Shows officiating. Interment will be at the cemetery under the direction of Southern-Edmonds Funeral Home of Jonesboro.
In Lieu of flowers donations can be made to the American Cancer Society or Alzheimer’s Association in the name of Louise Bott-Tolar.
*** In keeping with current health guidelines social distancing will be required***
Claudine Turnbow February 28, 1925 – June 19, 2020
Ms. Claudine Turnbow, age 95 of Quitman, made her journey through the heavenly gates Friday, June 19, 2020 after a period of declining health. Ms. Claudine enjoyed being outdoors, especially working in the yard and gardening. Ms. Turnbow found much joy in her pretty flowers that she grew and took pride in caring for them. She was a member of Sweetwater Baptist Church. Ms. Claudine was a beloved “Mime” to her grandchildren and great grandchildren and she loved spending time with them.
She leaves behind a daughter, Jo Ann Brown Ingram; 7 grandchildren; 10 great grandchildren; a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. Preceding her in death are her son, Jerry Mac Turnbow; daughter, Joy Arnold; parents, Shug and Louie (McMillan) Womack. A graveside service was held on Monday, June 22, 2020 at Sweetwater Baptist Cemetery with Reverend Stuart Toms officiating. Burial followed under the direction of Southern-Edmonds Funeral Home.
A special meeting of the Jackson Parish Police Jury (JPPJ) has been called for 5:00pm on Thursday that will be held in the JPPJ meeting room at the Jackson Parish Courthouse. The meeting is in regard to the hospital drainage project and the associated servitude that needs to be obtained.
The meeting was called following the Tuesday, June 15th gathering of the Project Committee where after entering into executive session it was agreed to ask Attorney Bill Carter to make a final written offer and file an expropriation suit to obtain the servitude.
See below for arrests made by the Jackson Parish Sheriff Office, Jonesboro Police Department, Hodge Police Department and North Hodge Police Department during the period of June 8 – June 14th
1. Jonathan W. Swafford (Monroe, LA) – Simple Burglary 2. Brandon T. Lewis (Jonesboro, LA) – Possession of Schedule I drug 3. Jason Lucky (North Hodge, LA) – Possession of Schedule II drug, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia 4. Krista Michelle McCart (North Hodge, LA) – Possession of Schedule II drug, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia 5. Mertavius E. Wyatt ( Ruston, LA) – Simple Burglary 6. Jeanne Ray (Jonesboro, LA)- Monetary Instrument Abuse 7. Dekota H. Brewer (Jonesboro, LA)- Warrant -Possession of Synthetic Marijuana (2nd Offense) 8. Terrion Atkins (Jonesboro, LA) –Possession of Schedule II drug 9. Kristen Sharband (Chatham, LA) – Possession of Schedule I & II drug, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Parole Violation 10. James Roy Goins (Chatham, LA) – Possession of Schedule I & II drug, Parole Violation 11. Lucas Thomas (Jonesboro, LA) – Theft of Goods less than $100.00 12. Joshua Wray Turner (Jonesboro, LA) – Outstanding Warrant 13. Cameron Hendricks (Farmerville, LA) – Possession of Schedule I & II drug, Possession of Marijuana, Speeding 14. Jared D. Sanford (Choudrant, LA)- Criminal Trespass, Possession of Schedule II drug 15. Christopher Gay (Quitman, LA) – Possession of Schedule II drug (x2), Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
Maybe the state officials knew what they were talking about after all. At least in Jackson Parish it seems that the Phase 2 re-opening of the state that took place on June 5th hasn’t had any adverse effect. This is evidenced by the fact that the Jackson Parish Sheriff’s Office hasn’t reported a death associated with COVID-19 since June 3rd.
In fact all measurable standards being used shows that Jackson Parish looks to be on the road to recovery. Only 16 news cases have been reported in the last 14 days. Active cases have dropped from 103 to 89 and the number of those who have recovered has risen from 45 to 75. Only one person remains hospitalized.