I’ve about had a belly full of this year and what 2020 has thrown at us. First, the coronavirus has essentially shut us down. When it began, we were housebound, almost afraid to peek out the door when someone knocked, especially if they weren’t wearing a mask.
Grocery shopping took place on-line as we ordered from the grocery store, drove there at the appointed time and a friendly sales person, adorned in mask and gloves and in some cases a face shield brought our groceries and placed them in the car telling us politely to stay in the car.
On Sundays when we ordinarily put on our Sunday clothes and headed to church to greet our friends when handshakes and maybe a hug, that all went out the window because at first, services were restricted to listening to the sermon on-line. After church, it was common practice to head for a favorite restaurant for lunch. That all came to a screeching halt and we had to become accustomed to “take out”, getting in line with a hundred other vehicles with folks who, like us, just wanted to eat.
I could go on and on about what we’ve endured for the past six months but doing so is unpredictable and depressing so let’s talk about something that is more predictable. Let’s talk weather.
One event weather-wise we experienced in north Louisiana was anything but predictable. Who would have ever thought we’d have a Category 1 hurricane to reach this far inland? We are still suffering from the effects of Laura with all the damage it caused. Instead, why not look at some things that are easier on which to hang our hat?
I grew up in the country and was blessed with a mama who was as good at predicting weather as some of our meteorologists. If mama said something was going to happen, it usually did just as she said.
A favorite is one that I have watched down through the years that has proven to be basically right on the money….”if it thunders in February, it will frost on that same day in April”. To be honest, it doesn’t always frost on the predicted day but in nearly every case, there will be a significant cool down around that date. She also predicted, usually correctly that there will be chilly weather around Easter.
There is a prediction shared with me by my friend Neil Shaw, meteorologist for Shreveport’s KTBS Channel 3 who doesn’t always have to rely on his computer and maps to predict weather. Shaw said he received this information from an old gentleman who, like my mom, didn’t need a weatherman to tell him when changes would be coming; he just looked at the natural order of things and when they happened, you could mark it down.
Shaw told me that the gentleman’s prediction was that when you begin seeing yellow butterflies flitting across the road, there will be a frost some 30 days later. He added that he has watched this for the past several years and it has proven to be basically true.
Taking note, I saw my first yellow butterfly September 10 so I have marked my calendar to see what the weather will be like on October 10. That should be the second Saturday of squirrel season so you can bet I hope that’s right; nothing is more special to a squirrel hunter than to feel the chill in the air and the absence of mosquitoes.
Shaw noted that the reason for this may have something to do with the lessening of daylight hours and cooler nights in September that trigger the little butterflies to begin their flight, the same criteria that causes hummingbirds to begin their migration across the Gulf to spend the winter away from the cold temperatures.
It will give us something to do other than ordering the latest designer mask to see if the butterflies know what they’re talking about.
FISHING REPORT 9-16-20
BUSSEY BRAKE – Bass fishing has been good with mostly 2-5 pound fish caught on Baby Brush Hogs, plastic worms and lizards Bream are fair. No report on crappie or catfish. For latest information, contact the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
BLACK BAYOU – Bream are fair; others are slow. Contact Honey Hole Tackle Shop 323-8707 for latest information.
OUACHITA RIVER – The river is fairly high but at a stand-still. Bass are in the mouth of the cuts hitting soft plastics. Crappie are best in the river lakes fishing shiners or jigs 9-10 feet deep in 15 foot water. For latest information, contact the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE D’ARBONNE – The lake is currently around 3 feet down during the drawdown. Some crappie are being caught on the flats on shiners or jigs. Bass are where there is some current from feeder creeks connecting with the lake. Crank baits, spinners and soft plastics are picking up a few. Bream have slowed while catfishing is good on cold worms or night crawlers. For latest reports, call Anderson’s Sport Center at 368-9669 or Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE CLAIBORNE – Striper fishing continues to make the most news with fish schooling and hitting shad imitation lures or trolling white bucktails or spoons beneath the schools Bass fishing has been fair while a few bream are being caught along the sea walls on crickets or worms. The crappie have slowed down this week. Alligator season is ongoing with several tags filled with the largest being around 8 ½ feet. No report this week on catfish. For latest information, call Tim Loftin at Kel’s Cove at 927-2264.
CANEY LAKE – Bass fishing has been best targeting breaking schools with topwater lures. Also some bigger fish to between 6 and 10 pounds have been caught on Brush Hogs and trick worms in fairly shallow water. Crappie fishing has been fair with some caught beneath the Hwy 9 bridge on shiners or jigs. Bream have been fair this week. No report 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.
LAKE POVERTY POINT –Catfishing is fair for smaller sized fish. No report on bass, bream or crappie. For latest reports, call Poverty Point Marina at 318-878-0101.
LAKE ST. JOHN – Bass have been fair to good with some nice ones to around 8 pounds caught on topwaters early and soft plastics later in the day. Bream and catfish are fair; crappie are slow. For information, call Ken Mahoney at 318-201-3821.
LAKE YUCATAN – The water is falling and fishing has improved with lots of bass and catfish reported. Crappie are slow to fair but some nice slabs have been caught. For information, call Surplus City Landing at 318/467-2259.
LAKE BRUIN – No report. For information, contact Carlos Gray at 318/766-0075.
The first thing that comes to mind when you look at the 43 man roster of the 101st edition of Jonesboro-Hodge football is that the Tigers are young. Most of the time that would cause concern but in this case it is not such a bad thing as the youthful Tigers are much more experienced than those normally their age.
Case in point is the offensive backfield where two juniors and a sophomore will help the Tigers weather any defensive storms thrown at them. Junior Tydre Malone is the rain maker and returns off a stellar sophomore campaign where in just six games at the helm threw for 871 yards and 10 scores.
The thunder of the group is Sophomore Lajavion Nichols, who at 6’0”, 200 pounds was the power in the Tiger rushing attack (96-430) last year showing the ability to blast his way through the line even when there was no open space. Speedy Brantrel Thompson (42-232) is a lightning bolt that is a threat to score from anywhere on the field.
The leading receivers from a year ago is junior Justin Calahan (18-250)and Senior Conelius Boston (9-72) who are going to be counted on heavily to help make up the nearly 2000 yards in receiving that departed from a year ago.
Others expected to make contributions are Javious Holden, Chase Leonard, Davion McGuire, JaMarriyea Lewis, Datre’vien Bowie, Devontae Mozee, Savantez Phillips, Raynold Bolds, Omarrion Jackson, Manuel Hernandez and Amar Williams.
At tight end is Senior Connor Webb (6’2”, 205) and Junior Javeon Andrews (6’4”, 225) who bring good size and athletic ability. Sophomore’s Dominick Strickland and Ed’Tavious Drayton are also expected to be in the mix.
Over one third (18) of the 43 man roster is made up of offensive and defensive linemen that have lots of beef but is relatively short on experience. Leading the way is behemoth Skylar Livingston (6’2”, 330) who already has attracted college attention. Senior Phillip Beard (6’0”, 205) is a returning all-district performer as well as (6’1” 225) Chase Bryant.
Sophomore Peyton Smith (6’2”, 235), Senior Quiyontae Henderson, are also expected to contribute heavily along with Juniors LaVontae Burks (5/10”, 190) Aiden Price (5’11” 220) and Terry Williams (6’0” 200). Others that are looking to be in the rotation are sophomores Chaunasy Bryant, Calen Jones, Josh Tatum, Austin Knotts, Cartavious Waters and Freshmen Jayden Qualls, Quirese Howard, Demerrius Jones and Braylon Edwards.
As the case in most small schools the majority of offensive players will also be doubling up on defense where the Tigers are going to have to replace eight of the top twelve leading tacklers from the 2019-20 campaign.
Sophomore LaJavion Nichols brings back the most tackles with 56 from a year ago followed by 33 from Connor Webb. Jamarriyea Lewis, Davion McGuire, Peyton Smith, Skylar Levingston, and Javious Holden also registered double digits in tackles.
The coaching staff is led by Terrance Blankenship who will be leading the charge for the eighth consecutive season. Assistants are Carlos Hicks, Anthony Anderson, Kris Cash, Justin Durbin, Robert Hunter and Ethan Roberts.
For a complete listing of the 2020-21 Jonesboro-Hodge roster see below.
The nation is mourning the death and great loss of a legend, legal scholar, and brilliantly acclaimed jurist in Ruth Bader Ginsburg (eighty-seven years of age) who sat on the bench of the highest court in the land for 27 years. She was called to her final resting place on Friday September 18th, 2020. While I did not know her personally or never had the pleasure of meeting Justice Ginsburg, I wished I’d had a moment to be in her presence to thank her for enriching the many lives that she touched and embraced, women across the nation and people of color like myself. We are grateful that she knew us and never forgot the struggles we face in obtaining equal justice. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was well acquainted with rejection and discrimination and fought to the very end of her life for equal rights, protecting the environment, advocating for gender equality for the LGBTQ community, voting rights for minorities, protecting one’s right to quality health care and justice for all people.
Justice Ginsburg’s work on the United State Supreme Court, as the second female to serve is truly remarkable. She was not uncomfortable being called the notorious RBG for she felt that she and the notorious BIG had a lot in common, both fought fearlessly for equal justice and fairness for all citizen. Whatever can be said or spoken of other United State Supreme Court Justices must be multiplied many times over when referring to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
A lady of small physical stature but a giant in her efforts to achieve equality for women, her fight to preserve our Constitutional rights guaranteed under the 14th&15th amendments such as equal voting rights for citizens of color, health care protection for those with pre-existing conditions, upholding a woman’s right to abortion provided under Roe v. Wade , and advocating for the renewal of the 1965 Voting Right’s Act. Without a doubt Justice Ginsburg stood on the right side of history and the name Ruth Bader Ginsburg will resonate and live on through the ages. Well done!!
Justice Ginsburg, having tasted the chill and bitterness of discrimination because of her gender and ethnic background of being Jewish, and having been rejected or passed over time and time again for job opportunities that were reserved for white men, and because she was a woman, those deliberate acts of discrimination and intolerance set ablaze a fire in her very being that prompted and motivated her to wage a fierce and life time battle against injustice, using the courts as a weapon. She never retreated from her convictions and as many of those who worked closely with her have indicated, she worked tirelessly and without ceasing to break down and remove barriers of injustice and intolerance.
When I thought about the human aspect of what happened to Justice Ginsburg, I began to reflect upon the discriminatory practices that have been visited upon people of color over the last four hundred years and are still prevalent in society today. Justice Ginsburg believed that all lives mattered and her decisions on the court reflected that philosophy and belief. May we be inspired by the work of Justice Ginsburg and vow never to give up on justice. We owe her a great deal of gratitude to RBG and we must continue to be encouraged to fight for justice and equality for all
As the nation pauses to mourn, honor and celebrate the legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, may we reflect upon her goodness, commitment to justice and racial equality, the contributions and heroic deeds demonstrated by this great American icon and trailblazer, who is being described as a voice for the voiceless, those who have no one to speak for them. Someone referred to her as being the feminist voice, which she offered and the influence of empowerment she instilled in each one of us. What Ruth Bader Ginsburg gave to the world is something that is so desperately needed and should be nestled in the hearts and souls of people for years to come. Rest in peace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. You have truly left an indelible mark on the annals of history. We will remember you with the utmost respect and gratitude throughout the ages.
Republican Darrell Avery announces that U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) has endorsed him to become the next district court judge for Claiborne, Jackson, and Bienville parishes (Division A).
“Darrell Avery is a conservative who understands that judges interpret law, not write it from the bench. His experience, fair-mindedness, integrity and values make him an ideal choice for district judge, and I am proud to endorse him,” said Dr. Cassidy, Louisiana’s senior U.S. Senator and highest-ranking Republican in the state.
Cassidy’s endorsement is the latest sign that Republicans and conservative voters are lining up behind Avery in his bid for judge. Avery is seeking to fill the seat of retiring Judge Jenifer Clason.
“The people of Claiborne, Jackson and Bienville parishes want a judge who shares their values. I believe in protecting the Constitution and honoring our Christian principles, and I have the ability to see all sides of a case,” said Avery. “Senator Cassidy recognizes that I’m the best candidate for judge, and I thank him for his support.”
Avery has 38 years of well-rounded legal experience as a felony prosecutor, defense attorney and civil litigator. He represents numerous municipalities and boards throughout the Second Judicial District, and he maintains a private practice. He attends Siloam Springs Community Church in Jackson Parish.
The Jackson Parish Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a decorating contest for parish businesses. Normally this would coincide with the annual Halloween in the Park festivities but due to restrictions as a result of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic this has been cancelled this year.
That doesn’t stop businesses from putting their best “decorations” on display though as the contest, which runs through the months of September and October will go on as planned. Winners will be announced on Halloween Day, October 31st. To enter contact Chamber of Commerce director Wilda Smith at 318-426-6511 or go to the Jackson Parish Chamber of Commerce Facebook page.
Early sign up for Christmas Parade encouraged
People who are interested in participating in the 2020 Christmas Parade are encouraged to sign up early. The annual parade is expected to take place on Saturday, November 28th. There will be some changes this year such as no horse drawn carriages allowed for health and safety reasons due to COVID-19.
“We are asking for everyone to contact the Chamber of Commerce as early as possible to reserve your spot,” said Chamber Director Wilda Smith. “This will help the parade go off without a hitch.”
There will be three divisions of floats that will be judged which are businesses, family / friends and churches. Cars, trucks, motorcycles and four wheelers are also traditional parade participants. Entry forms are available outside the front window at the JP Chamber of Commerce office or can be downloaded by going to http://jacksonparishchamber.org/
From the moment he came into the world, people were drawn to Skippy. The youngster was put up for adoption immediately after he was born. Whether Skippy was the name his biological parents had given him or just a nickname remains a mystery. Information on his parentage was either sealed or lost. One day, Henry East met two-week-old Skippy by chance. He and his wife, Gale, were not looking to adopt but there was something special about Skippy. The other youngsters of similar age paid no attention to Henry, but all of Skippy’s attention was on Henry. Within a short time, all of the paperwork was arranged. Henry and his wife adopted Skippy.
Luck was on Skippy’s side. The Easts had Hollywood connections. Henry East worked in the special effects department of MGM, and Gale East was a veteran actress. With proper training, Skippy was sure to eventually work in the film industry. Skippy got his first film role in the 1932 film entitled “The Half-Naked Truth.” Reviews for the young actor were positive, which led to a steady stream of small film roles.
His breakthrough role came in the 1934 film “The Thin Man,” a comedy whodunit featuring personable alcoholic crime-solvers Nick and Nora Charles, played by William Powell and Myrna Loy. Skippy almost lost his big break “by a hair.” Henry had submitted a photo of Skippy to his boss at MGM for a small part in the upcoming film. As a personal favor, his boss agreed to give Skippy a screen test. On the day Henry got the call from MGM, Skippy’s barber was just finishing cutting his hair at the East’s home. The Easts had planned to leave their home as soon as the barber finished. Henry learned later that had they missed the call, MGM would have offered the small role to another young actor.
Skippy’s screen test went better than anyone, especially the director, had expected. Skippy got the part and filming soon began. Skippy was athletic, a natural comedian with boundless energy, and his rough and wiry hair stood out on the silver screen. Even during scenes in which he was just supposed to be a fixture in the background, he was so charismatic and charming on screen that the audience’s attention was drawn away from the lead characters and onto him. Skippy quickly earned a reputation as a scene stealer. Actors and actresses usually saw scene stealers as a threat, but not William Powell or Myrna Loy. Powell was so captivated by the young actor that he tried to adopt Skippy from Henry and Gale East. Stranger things have happened in Hollywood.
Although Skippy was not a veteran actor, he took his cues like a true professional and did most of his scenes in a single take. It was usually the other actors and actresses who flubbed their lines or missed their cues that required multiple takes. Most directors cringed at the thought of working with children or pets, but no one complained about working with Skippy. Even though he was not cast in the starring roles, he got his own dressing room and earned a large salary.
In 1937, Skippy reprised his role in “Another Thin Man,” to much success. Newspaper columnist Harriet Parsons of the San Francisco Examiner opined that Skippy “darn near stole the picture from Loy and Powell.” Skippy’s part, which studio executives originally feared they had miscast, “won the hearts of millions of fans.” When fans saw Skippy in public, they no longer referred to him by his real name but by his most popular onscreen name. Skippy soon became typecast, which most actors and actresses desperately try to avoid. But not Skippy. Like Bela Lugosi following his portrayal of Count Dracula in the 1931 classic “Dracula” (Lugosi so loved the character that he was buried dressed as Dracula), Skippy relished his connection to the character.
Skippy worked with some of the top-billed actors of the 1930s and 1940s, and charmed them all. He appeared in a total of 22 films before he retired from acting. During that time, he shared the screen with such notables as Mary Astor, Bette Davis, Spencer Tracy, George Burns, Gracie Allen, Bing Crosby, Jimmy Stewart, Olivia de Havilland, Ian Hunter, Irene Dunne, Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, Edward G. Robinson, Barbara O’Neil, and a host of others.
Following the successful 1944 film entitled “The Thin Man Goes Home,” Skippy retired from acting. Little is known about his life after 1944. Even his death remains a mystery. When he died, there were no accolades in newspapers, magazines, radio, or television. No obituary appeared in newspapers and no death certificate exists for the actor whose film career began when he was just one year old. There was no conspiracy to hide the details of his death. You see, Skippy was not human. Skippy was a dog, more particularly a Wire Fox Terrier. His most famous roles were as Asta in the Thin Man film series.
The San Francisco Examiner, January 3, 1937, p.22.
Star Tribune (Minneapolis, Minnesota), March 9, 2019, p.E10.
The Jackson Parish Journal is pleased to offer a Classifieds section where you can make announcements, post items for sale, offer job opportunities or professional services and review public notices. Cost per post is $10.00 per week and can be submitted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by text to 318-480-1206.
5.06 acres of land (Price Reduced) – located one mile East of Jimmie Davis Tabernacle on Hwy. 542, Beech Springs Road, Quitman, LA. Call (706)745-3933 for more information.
Facemasks – Show your school pride with special designed cloth facemasks for Jonesboro-Hodge, Quitman, Weston, LA Tech, Grambling, ULM, LSU and the New Orleans Saints. You can even add personal monograms. Adult and children sizes available. Only $5.00-$7.00.Call 318-475-0349
Church Bus – Jonesboro-Hodge United Methodist Church is selling small Bus that is equipped with Handicap accessibility. Engine work needed. Contact Paul Sterns for more information at (360) 399-8347.
Book for sale – “The 100 year history of JHHS football” – An in-depth, year by year review of each season that includes names of players from virtually every year and individual/school records. Cost is $25.00 per copy plus $3.00 shipping and handling. To place your order, call 318-480-1206.
Harris Yard Beautification – Professional Lawn Care provided at reasonable rates. Call Greg at (318) 245-2349
A1 Honey Do, LLC – Boat house, deck building and repairs. A Limited Liability Corporation (LLC). For estimates contact Mark Droesser, Owner at 318-366-7598 “We do what your honey can’t do”.
Jackson Parish Police Jury Meeting Minutes – September 14th 2020
The Jackson Parish Police Jury met in regular session on Monday, September 14, 2020 at 5:30 PM in the Dr. Charles H. Garrett Community Center, 182 Industrial Drive, Jonesboro, Louisiana. Members Present: Mr. Todd Culpepper, Mr. Lewis Chatham, Ms. Amy Magee, Mr. John McCarty, Ms. Regina Rowe, Ms. Tarneshala Cowans, and Mr. Lynn Treadway. Absent: none.
The President, Ms. Amy Magee, called the meeting to order. Mr. McCarty gave the invocation and Mr. Chatham led in the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.
The President recognized Ms. Yumeka Washington and invited her to address the Jury.
There were no public comments.
The President convened the 2020 Tax Board of Review. Mr. Glen Kirkland, Jackson Parish Tax Assessor, presented the appeals.
Motion Mr. Culpepper, seconded Ms. Magee to uphold the 2020 assessments as presented by the Tax Assessor and to deny the changes to the 2020 tax roll as requested by Regency Intrastate Gas, LLC and Range Resources, LLC and to affirm and accept the 2020 tax roll assessment as presented by the Jackson Parish Tax Assessor.
A roll call vote was taken:
District 1 – Yea, District 2 – Yea, District 3 – Yea, District 4 – Yea, District 5 – Yea, District 6 – Yea, District 7 – Yea
The President moved to the approval of minutes.
Motion Mr. Treadway, seconded Ms. Cowans to adopt the minutes of the August 10th, 30th, and September 3rd Jury Meetings, monthly purchase orders, and the payment of all bills. Motion carried.
The President moved to Committee Reports.
Motion Mr. Culpepper, seconded Mr. McCarty to adopt the following minutes from the August 10th Finance Committee meeting. Motion carried.
August 10, 2020
The Finance Committee met Monday, August 10, 2020 at 12:00 PM in the Police Jury Meeting Room of the Jackson Parish Courthouse, 500 E. Court Street, Room 301, Jonesboro, Louisiana. Members present: Mr. John McCarty and Ms. Tarneshala Cowans. Absent: Mr. Todd Culpepper. Also Present: Mr. Lewis Chatham.
The meeting was called to order by Mr. McCarty. Mr. McCarty gave the invocation and Ms. Cowans led in the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.
There were no public comments.
Mr. McCarty recognized Mr. Glen Kirkland, Tax Assessor and invited him to explain the 2020 millage adoption rates. The Committee discussed the adjusted rates.
Motion Ms. Cowans, seconded Mr. McCarty to recommend the Jury adopt the following 2020 millage rates:
o General Alimony 5.39
o Roads & Bridges 5.23
o Roads, Asphalt, Paving 4.55
o Recreation District 4.63
o Heath Unit 0.80
o Library & Bookmobile 4.90
Motion carried. Motion Ms. Cowans, seconded Mr. McCarty to adjourn. Motion carried.
Motion Ms. Rowe, seconded Ms. Cowans to adopt the following minutes from the August 20th Veterans
Committee meeting. Motion carried.
Veterans Committee, August 20, 2020
The Veterans Committee met Thursday, August 20, 2020 at 12:00 PM in the Police Jury Meeting Room of the Jackson Parish Courthouse, 500 E. Court Street, Room 301, Jonesboro, Louisiana. Members present: Mr. Lewis Chatham, Ms. Tarneshala Cowans, and Ms. Regina Rowe. Absent: none.
The meeting was called to order by the Chair, Mr. Chatham. Ms. Cowans gave the invocation and Ms. Rowe led in the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.
There were no public comments.
The Chair opened the floor for discussion of the 2020 Veterans event.
The Committee discussed the event date, food options, program, and recognition of Veterans. They discussed the difficulty planning the event amidst the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Committee asked the Secretary-Treasurer to try to compile a list of local veterans. The Committee stated that they would like to provide a breakfast service.
Mr. Chatham stated the Committee would meet again in September to make decisions on the items discussed. vMotion Ms. Rowe, seconded Ms. Cowans to adjourn. Motion carried.
Motion Ms. Cowans, seconded Mr. Chatham to adopt the following minutes from the August 21st Operations Committee meeting. Motion carried.
Operations Committee – August 21, 2020
The Operations Committee met Friday, August 21, 2020 at 12:00 PM in the Police Jury Meeting Room of the Jackson Parish Courthouse, 500 E. Court Street, Room 301, Jonesboro, Louisiana. Members present: Ms. Amy Magee, Mr. Lewis Chatham, and Mr. Lynn Treadway. Absent: none. Also in attendance: Mr. John McCarty, Mr. Jody Stuckey, Road Superintendent, Mr. Robin Sessions, Solid Waste Superintendent, and Mr. Paul Riley, Engineer.
The meeting was called to order by the Chair, Ms. Magee. Mr. Treadway gave the invocation and Mr. Chatham led in the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. There being no public comments, the Chair moved on to agenda items.
Motion Mr. Treadway, seconded Mr. Chatham to amend the agenda to include discussion and recommendation to the letter of request from the school board. Motion carried unanimously and the item was added to #6.
The Chair moved item #7 to the top of the agenda.
Mr. Sessions gave an update on the status of the Solid Waste Department and discussed the closure of the recycle program and the state of personnel. The Committee discussed commercial pickup and dumping throughout the parish.
Motion Mr. Treadway, seconded Mr. Chatham to recommend the Jury send a letter to the known commercial businesses notifying them that they cannot dump commercial garbage at the bin sites. Motion carried.
Mr. Riley presented the cost estimate to have the Road Department perform the repair work on Shalimar Road for $42,000. Motion Mr. Treadway, seconded Mr. Chatham to recommend the Jury authorize the Road Department to schedule and perform the repair work on Shalimar Road. Motion carried.
Mr. Riley presented the cost estimate to have the Road Department perform the repair work on Rosco Road for $75,000. Motion Mr. Chatham, seconded Mr. Treadway to recommend the Jury authorize the Road Department to schedule and perform the repair work on Rosco Road. Motion carried.
Mr. Riley presented the cost estimate to have the Road Department perform the repair work on Hatten Road for $10,690.40. Motion Mr. Chatham, seconded Mr. Treadway to recommend the Jury authorize the Road Department to schedule and perform the repair work on Hatten Road. Motion carried.
The Chair clarified that all three estimated repairs would need to go through the Finance Committee for budget amendments. The Committee discussed the planned work on Harris Loop.
Motion Mr. Chatham, seconded Mr. Treadway to recommend the Jury perform the work as originally planned on the asphalt maintenance schedule vs. the changes from the last Committee meeting. Motion carried.
Mr. Riley discussed the progress for reviewing roads for revocation from the parish road system. The Committee requested that he present 10 roads at one time for review with the understanding that the studies would continue and go through all districts.
Mr. Stuckey presented an update on the new drainage crew and the asphalt repairs and maintenance schedule. He discussed the recent new hires and the evaluation process. He presented the Committee with the reports from DOTD on bridge inspections. The Committee discussed the new bridge inspections and ratings.
The Secretary-Treasurer presented the update for the Maintenance Department and discussed the pressure washing at the Health Unit and Community Center. She detailed the electronic work order program proposal and gave an update on the Maintenance staff and current vacancy.
The Committee reviewed the letter of request from the School Board to perform repairs at the Quitman High School parking lot. They discussed that this project would not take precedence over the scheduled work for the Road Department. Mr. Stuckey stated that after they completed asphalt maintenance they would return to their major asphalt repair sites and then start special projects from the Jury and municipal appropriations. He estimated that it would take one week to complete the requested work and that it would have to be when school was out on break. The Committee deferred the request to the Business Session.
The Secretary-Treasurer updated the Committee with the planned work at the Industrial Drive office building and the submission for CARES Act reimbursements.
Mr. Stuckey asked for clarification on the scheduled work on Garner Road and asked for permission to carry the repairs to the end of the road. Mr. Riley stated that it had likely been a mis-print and the intention was for the repairs to extend to the end of the road. Motion Mr. Treadway, seconded Mr. Chatham to adjourn. Motion carried.
Motion Mr. Culpepper, seconded Mr. Treadway to approve the recommended road repairs on Shalimar Road to be completed by the Parish Road Department. Motion carried.
Motion Mr. Culpepper, seconded Mr. Chatham to approve the recommended road repairs on Hatten Road to be completed by the Parish Road Department. Motion carried.
Motion Mr. McCarty, seconded Mr. Chatham to approve the recommended road repairs on Rosco Road to be completed by the Parish Road Department. Motion carried.
Motion Mr. Treadway, seconded Mr. Culpepper to accept the quote of $28,939.10 from Co-Heir Drainage Products for a culvert and gasket for the repairs on Rosco Road. Motion carried.
The President called for monthly management reports.
Mr. Jody Stuckey, Road Department Superintendent, gave the August 2020 Road report noting that $30,213.91 had been spent on emergency call-outs/off-schedule work, primarily due to Hurricane Laura. He reviewed the work performed by the asphalt crew discussed the work performed by the Road Department to clear the Parish roads of storm debris after Hurricane Laura. Mr. Chatham asked that the Operator on the asphalt machine utilize the umbrella coverage during the day to protect from the heat.
Motion Ms. Cowans, seconded Mr. Treadway to accept the August 2020 emergency/off-schedule reports. Motion carried.
The August 2020 Solid Waste report was available for review in the Jury packets.
The President notified the Jury that the OEP Director had been called to Baton Rouge and that he would give a full report on Hurricane Laura at the next meeting.
The August 2020 Maintenance report was available for review in the Jury packets.
Ms. Gina Thomas, Secretary-Treasurer, presented the August 2020 Financial Report highlighting the actual vs. budget comparisons for all funds. She discussed the outstanding revenues and expenses and gave an update on the contracts and RFPs for storm debris removal.
The President moved on to Other Business.
The Jury reviewed the upcoming Parish Board expirations. The President asked the Jury to review their nominations.
Motion Mr. Culpepper, seconded Ms. Rowe to adopt the following resolution to adopt the Jackson Parish MultiJurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan. Motion carried.
BE IT RESOLVED, by the Jackson Parish Police Jury, Jonesboro, Louisiana in legal session convened that
WHERAS, the Jackson Parish Police Jury adopts the Jackson Parish Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan Update.
WHEREAS, the people and leaders residing within Jackson Parish recognize the threat that natural and man-made hazards pose to people and property; and
WHEREAS, undertaking hazard mitigation actions before disasters occur will reduce the potential for harm to people and property and save taxpayer dollars; and
WHEREAS, an adopted all-hazard mitigation plan is required as a condition of future grant funding for mitigation projects; and
WHEREAS, the Jackson Parish Police Jury participated jointly in the planning process with the other units of local government within Jackson Parish to prepare a multi-jurisdictional hazard mitigation plan.
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Jackson Parish Police Jury hereby adopts the Jackson Parish MultiJurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan Update as the official plan.
The recorded vote thereon being as follows:
This resolution was declared adopted September 14, 2020.
The President announced that the Jury would like to issue Certificates of Appreciation and a Proclamation acknowledging the hard work, dedication, and commitment of the people that assisted, worked, and volunteered in Jackson Parish after Hurricane Laura. A list was presented to the Jury to review and the President announced that they would be given out at the next Jury Meeting.
The President opened the floor for announcements and notifications.
The Secretary-Treasurer announced the winners of the RFPs as follows:
RFP 01-09082020: Debris Removal – Graham County Land Company
RFP 02-09082020: Debris Management and Monitoring – Volkert, Inc.
RFP 03-090802020: Disaster Recovery Consulting – AG Witt
The President asked that the Jury encourage the municipalities that had not done so, to review and pass the resolution adopting the Jackson Parish Hazard Mitigation Plan.
The President opened the floor to Juror Comments.
The President called for the adjournment of the meeting
Jackson Parish Police Jury Special Session Meeting Minutes September 14, 2020
The Jackson Parish Police Jury met in Special Session, Monday, September 14, 2020 at 6:00 PM in the Courtroom of the Jackson Parish Courthouse, 500 E. Court Street, Jonesboro, Louisiana. Members present: Mr. Todd Culpepper, Mr. Lewis Chatham, Ms. Amy Magee, Mr. John McCarty, Ms. Tarneshala Cowans, Ms. Regina Rowe, and Mr. Lynn Treadway. Absent: none. Also present: Mr. John Morgan, Jackson Parish Hospital CEO.
The meeting was called to order by the President, Ms. Magee.
There were no public comments.
Motion Ms. Cowans, seconded Mr. Chatham to enter into Executive Session to discuss the negotiations for the hospital drainage project. Motion carried unanimously.
Motion Mr. Culpepper, seconded Mr. Treadway to return to Open Session with no action being taken. Motion carried.
Motion Mr. Chatham, seconded Mr. Treadway to authorize attorney Bill Carter to make a counter-offer expiring on September 30th. Motion carried.
Motion Mr. Culpepper, seconded Ms. Rowe to adjourn. Motion carried.
Ward Two Fire Protection District Meeting Minutes
The Ward Two Fire Protection District Board of Commissioners met in regular session on September 15, 2020 7:00 pm at the District Office. By Roll Call the following members were present: George Gryder, Alton Fallin, Charles Hopkins, and Mack Williams. Absent was Bill Wheelis. No public attendant.
There were 1-additions 0-deletions offered to the agenda, meeting called to order by Chairman Williams, followed by invocation. Motion entertained by Mr. Williams to accept the agenda as presented with addition to new business from Police Jury, and proceed into business, motion Mr. Hopkins, second Mr. Gryder, motion carried. Motion entertained by Mr. Williams to accept the minutes from August 11, 2020 meeting, motion Mr. Gryder, second Mr. Fallin and Mr. Hopkins, motion carried. Corrections/Approval: None.
In the order of Old Business: Chief Manning delivered the August Fire report for 20 total calls as follows: 2 Fire, 0 Grass/Brush, 0 EMS, 2 MVA, 15 public tree removals and Other 1 good intent smoke detector going off. Fuel report for August was on hand of 202.1 gallons, fuel usage was 124.9 gallons. Apparatus/Equipment Maintenance –windshield replaced in R2 damaged in storm, and gutters cleaned out. Misc. the signs are still in process of being placed around the ward. PIAL – Property is being cleared and road built at new training site. August training 7 members attended. Purchasing agent reports for August 2020 was reviewed. Gap Report was 100%. Motion entertained by Mr. Williams to proceed into new business, motion Mr. Fallin, second Mr. Hopkins, motion carried.
In the order of New Business, Financial Report for m/e 08/31/20 was presented. The bill review was completed by Mr. Williams. Presentation of Bills for August was discussed. Police Jury verification of Chairman and Co-Chairman was discussed, Mr. Hopkins made a motion for Chairman of Mack Williams and Co-Chairman Alton Fallin remain as are, motion second Mr. Gryder, motion carried.
The Action List was reviewed-nothing added.
Board members were asked if needed to make any comments, none. There being no further orders of business motion entertained by Mr. Williams to adjourn, motion by Mr. Hopkins to adjourn, second Mr. Fallin, meeting declared adjourned by the chairman at 7:42 p.m.
JACKSON PARISH WATERSHED MEETING MINUTES
The Jackson Parish Watershed District met Thursday, September 17, 2020, at 5:00 PM in the Jackson Parish Sports Complex. Present: Mr. Lavelle Smith, Mr. Jimmy Waggoner, Mr. Jay Mallard, Ms. Vickie Pace and Mr. Daniel Ponder. Absent: Mr. Bert Brown and Mr. Roy Barlow.
The invocation was given by Mr. Waggoner.
The board welcomed Mr. Jimmy Waggoner as the newest member representing Ward 2.
There were no public comments.
Motion Mr. Mallard, seconded Mr. Waggoner, to approve the minutes of August 20, 2020. Motion carried.
Motion Ms. Pace, seconded Mr. Mallard, to pay all bills. Motion carried.
Discussion for a service pole was tabled waiting on information from Dana Butler, Entergy, and Ben Humphries, Delta Process Equipment.
Motion Mr. Mallard, seconded Mr. Ponder, to approve building permits for Mr. Rodney Brown, boathouse at 1276 Ramsey Road, and a seawall for Mr. David Whitlock at lots 23 & 24 of Goss Point Subdivision, both Chatham.
Motion Mr. Mallard, seconded Mr. Ponder, to approve an extension to Mr. Quin Ortego’s existing commercial boat slips. Vote was by roll call: Mr. Waggoner – No, Mr. Mallard – Yes, Ms. Pace – No, Mr. Ponder – Yes, and Mr. Smith – Yes. Mr. Brown and Mr. Barlow were absent. Motion carried.
At 5:12 PM, Ms. Pace left the meeting. Motion Mr. Mallard, seconded Mr. Ponder, to adjourn at 5:22 PM Motion carried.
The next meeting is scheduled for October 15, 2020 at 5:00 PM.
Public Hearing set for October 13th
A Public Hearing will be held October 13, 2020 at 5:45 p.m. to discuss the purposed Ordinance #2020-012. An ordinance amending the Jonesboro Employee handbook regarding compensatory time during Federal and/or State declared disasters.
Jackson Parish Recreation District Board Meeting Minutes
August 17, 2020 Jonesboro, Louisiana
The Jackson Parish Recreation District met in regular session on Monday, August 17, 2020 at 12:00 noon in the Dr. Charles H. Garrett Community Center, 182 Industrial Drive, Jonesboro, Louisiana. Members Present: Mr. Brent Barnett, Mr. Ricky Cash, Mr. Jeff Hairston, Mr. Sullivan Stevens and Mr. Chris Womack. Absent: Mr. Brandon Lamkin and Mr. Rodney Potts. Also present, Mr. Steven Gatlin.
The President, Mr. Barnett, called the meeting to order. The invocation was given by Mr. Cash and Mr. Barnett led the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mr. Barnett opened the floor for public comments.
Mr. Darrell Avery, one of the candidates running for District Judge in Division A, introduced himself. Mr. Barnett moved on to the next item on the agenda.
Motion Mr. Cash seconded Mr. Womack to approve minutes and financials (July). All in favor. Motion carried.
Mrs. Jennifer Hawkins, CPA, discussed the 2019 Annual Financial Report.
Motion Mr. Barnett seconded Mr. Cash to award construction and approve contract with Dodson Enterprises, Inc. for the South Concession Building in the amount of $104,200.00. All in favor. Motion carried.
Mr. Tommy Smith gave board update on some of the ongoing programs at the sports complex including baseball/softball season and archery.
Ms. Rebecca Williams gave board update on the golf course including membership and banquet rentals.
Motion Mr. Hairston seconded Mr. Barnett to approve purchase of 80 acres for $2200 per acre from Weyerhaeuser. All in favor. Motion carried.
Next board meeting is scheduled for Monday, September 21, 2020 at 12:00 noon at the Dr. Charles H. Garrett Community Center, Jonesboro.
Motion Mr. Hairston seconded Mr. Barnett to adjourn meeting. All in favor. Motion carried.
Last Friday Governor Jon Bel Edwards announced that he is moving Louisiana into Phase 3 of the re-opening of the state, which allows most businesses and other institutions more freedom. Just what exactly does that mean? Here’s an outline of what Gov. John Bel Edwards says is now allowable:
Businesses such as restaurants, spas, gyms, etc. will be allowed to open at 75% while still following social distancing guideline.
Bars can reopen on a parish-by-parish basis IF the parish is testing under 5% positivity for two weeks. Parish leaders still have to approve the reopening. Those bars will be at 25% occupancy and open for table service ONLY.
On-premise alcohol sales will end at 10 p.m. for all restaurants, bars, casinos, etc.
Nobody under 21-years-old will be allowed in these reopened bars.
Social gatherings such as weddings or parties will be capped at 50% or 250 people, whichever is lower. The same applies for any outdoor events.
Casinos will stay under Phase 2 rules: 50% capacity.
Sporting events such as high school football will be capped at 25% capacity. Social distancing is required.
Nursing homes will still not allow visitors, but the LDH is working on a new program to facilitate outdoor visits in parishes with under 5% positivity in their testing.
Schools can increase the number of children on buses from 50% to 75%; a typical large school bus can now seat 54 as opposed to just 36 children.
The maximum number of people in a room increases from 25 to 50
Per ordinance 2020-009 set forth by the Jonesboro Board of Aldermen and Mayor Leslie Thompson at their regularly scheduled September meeting, Chapter 32 of Appendix B of the Code of Ordinances of the Town of Jonesboro has been amended that establishes new water, sewage and garbage rates for residents inside and outside the city limits.
The good news is that in most cases there will not be much difference in what folks have been paying all along. That is, unless you use more than 2000 gallons a month or don’t have a water meter that is working. Both of these scenarios will come into play once new meters are installed.
For instance, if your water bill has been for an estimated 2000 gallons per month as has been the norm for the past several years due to the meters not working correctly and you are using more you will soon be paying for an exact amount of water you are using. If you don’t have a correctly working meter as most don’t there is going to be a fee charged for a new one to be installed.
For a complete listing of what costs for services was agreed upon click below.
The public outcry was heard. It just didn’t get any effective action. It did get the attention of Mayor Leslie Thompson who attempted to veto the raise in salary to the Jonesboro Board of Aldermen but when it was all said and done, due process took its course and the salary raise stayed in place.
“I have heard what you have asked of us,” said Thompson during the Mayors Update portion of the Town Council meeting on September 8th. “Your complaints let me know what I needed to do and what we needed to fix.”
That action was a veto set forth by the Jonesboro Mayor that stood as long as it took for the five member panel of Pete Stringer, Devin Flowers, Robbie Siadek, James Ginn and Nia Evans Johnson to make a motion and vote to override the veto. For the record Councilman Devin Flowers voted against the raise as he had done when it was first established in a prior meeting.
For a full copy of the minutes of the meeting see below or go to Public Notices in the Classifieds Section of the Jackson Parish Journal.
It is not uncommon for a board of an organization to talk about wanting to do something for their constituents but often times that is the only thing that comes out of it – a lot of talk. You can’t say that about the Jackson Parish Recreation Board (JPRB). They have put their money where their mouth is.
At the regularly scheduled August meeting of the JPRB held at the Charles H. Garrett Community Center board members Brent Barnett, Ricky Cash, Jeff Hairston, Sullivan Stevens and Chris Womack agreed to spend over $280,000.00 that will greatly benefit a wide variety of Recreation Department users. Brandon Lamkin and Rodney Potts were absent.
The largest part of the expenditure was $176,000.00 paid to Weyerhaueser for 80 acres of land that sits adjacent to the Jackson Parish Golf Course which Recreation Department Director Tommy Smith hopes will bring to fruition a dream of his since his department took over the golf course several years ago.
“The hope is that with the extra land we will be able to have a full 18-hole golf course for our parish residents,” said Smith. “We already have one of the best 9-hole layouts you can find but this would put us on a new level.”
The second expenditure was the awarding of a construction contract in the amount of $104,200.00 to Dodson Enterprises of Jonesboro for the building of a permanent concession building on the south end of the Baseball/Softball Complex.
“This helps us to complete the original plans we had for out baseball/softball complex,” furthered Smith. “Now all of our fields will have the benefit of a true concession building like the one we have at the front of the complex.”
The next regularly scheduled meeting will be at noon on Monday, September 21st at the Charles H. Garrett Community Center.
I’m a hunter and there is nothing that gets my juices flowing better than to be sitting in my deer stand waiting for a buck or taking a seat on a moss-covered log watching for squirrels.
As much as I am gratified by these activities, I’m never really disappointed if no buck appears or if the squirrels decide to sleep in this morning. Along with packing my firearm when I’m hunting, hanging from a strap around my neck is my camera. I have spent valuable moments observing and photographing other stuff going on around me in the woods. I’ve watched and photographed birds I don’t see around my feeder. I’ve taken images of a spider spinning a web, a caterpillar inching its way along the log where I sit. I suppose you could call me a “wildlife watcher”.
This is why I got really worked up when I heard about a new book just out on the market, one written by a friend and one that last week appeared in my mail box. The author is Rob Simbeck whose home is located in a wooded lot just outside Nashville, TN. While I think of myself as a “wildlife watcher”, Rob has taken it to the limit in his book, “The Southern Wildlife Watcher”. He not only studies the minute details of the wildlife he observes, his reporting of what he sees and learns about critters from eagles to earthworms; from hummingbirds to house flies; from starfish to snakes, leaves nothing to the imagination. For someone to make an earthworm sound interesting, Simbeck sets himself apart from goobers like me who pictures earthworms only as skewered on a fish hook. And I have the audacity to call myself a “wildlife watcher.”
If I should happen to see a beautiful monarch butterfly fluttering around our lantana blossoms, I might say something like, “gosh, what a pretty butterfly!” Simbeck, on the other hand, shares detailed and utterly fascinating information about these incredible creatures. Quoting in part from his book “Four inches from wing tip to wing tip, a monarch weighs half as much as a dollar bill and has a brain the size of a peppercorn. Yet every fall, millions of them, just a few weeks old, begin an epic migration. From Canada and much of the United States east of the Rockies they head south over terrain they have never seen, toward a dozen specks of forest in the mountains of southern Mexico.”
Entomologist Lincoln Brower known for his research and work toward protection of the monarch added, “I couldn’t believe the density and numbers….it was like walking into Chartres Cathedral and seeing light coming through stained-glass windows. This was the eighth wonder of the world.”
With a brilliant foreword provided by well known author and writer Jim Casada, several other notables have provided their endorsement of this fascinating book. Simbeck continues to be active in the country music industry, interviewing scores of folks who have made their mark on the country music scene. He was the former Nashville rep for Bob Kingsleys’s Top Forty Countdown. Some of the more well-known performers endorsing his book include the late Charlie Daniels and Kix Brooks who wrote “When I heard Rob was writing a book about ‘critters’ in the outdoors, I was really excited and I was not disappointed. What a fun read’.”
Author and long time outdoors writer Keith Sutton adds, “His creature biographies reveal fascinating facts about animals what will stir readers to leave their armchairs and go outdoors to observe firsthand the denizens of woods, fields, oceans and streams.”
Simbeck writes in the preface, “I hope to share within these pages the magic I feel when I encounter the natural world, for we are all part of a cosmic Ferris wheel, whirling around together on this pretty blue planet. May this book unite us in that appreciation, and may it connect us more fully to the creatures around us.”
To purchase a copy of The Southern Wildlife Watcher – $18.95 is a bargain for sure – visit your local book store and ask for it. If they don’t have it, they’ll order it for you. Want an inscribed copy? Go to his web site at robsimbeck.com, tell him what you want and he’ll fix you up. You have my guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
BUSSEY BRAKE – Bream have been fair on worms and crickets. No report on crappie or catfish. Bass are fair around the trees and pads on soft plastics and jigs.
BLACK BAYOU – Bream are fair; others are slow. Contact Honey Hole Tackle Shop 323-8707 for latest information.
OUACHITA RIVER – The river has current and fishing is fair. Crappie are fair around the tops in the river on shiners of jigs. Bass are fair fishing shad imitations at the mouth of the creeks and run-outs on soft plastics. For latest information, contact the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE D’ARBONNE – The lake is being lowered five feet with about a 4 inch drop each day. Look for crappie to be on the flats on shiners or jigs, both plastic and hair jigs. Bass are fair where there is current as the water is dropping with crank baits, spinners and Rogues picking up a few. Bream have slowed while catfishing is good on cold worms or night crawlers. For latest reports, call Anderson’s Sport Center at 368-9669 or Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE CLAIBORNE – Bass fishing has been best fishing crank baits or plastic worms around submerged brush in 12-20 foot water. Stripers are schooling and hitting shad imitations, white bucktails or spoons at the mouth of Sandy creek and between Horse and Bear creeks. Crappie fishing is fair around the deeper tops on shiners or jigs. Bream are slow and no report this week on catfish. For latest information, call Tim Loftin at Kel’s Cove at 927-2264.
CANEY LAKE – Bass fishing has been best targeting breaking schools with Yellow Magic lures in the Japanese Shad or Smoke Shad colors. Some are also being caught deep on Shakey Tails, crank baits or big plastic worms. Crappie fishing has been fair on jigs and shiners fishing around deep brush. No report this week on bream or 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.
LAKE POVERTY POINT –Catfishing is fair for smaller sized fish. No report on bass, bream or crappie. For latest reports, call Poverty Point Marina at 318-878-0101.
LAKE ST. JOHN – Catfishing is fair while bass, bream and crappie are slow. For information, call Ken Mahoney at 318-201-3821.
LAKE YUCATAN – The water is on a slow fall with a slight rise expected next week. Bass fishing has been good while others are slow. For information, call Surplus City Landing at 318/467-2259.
LAKE BRUIN – In a word, fishing overall is slow. For information, contact Carlos Gray at 318/766-0075.
If the past several months has taught us anything about the upcoming LHSAA prep football season it is that if you hear that something is officially in place, it isn’t. The good news is that for a change the “new” news brings good news.
Jonesboro-Hodge High School and the remainder of “select” and “non-select” schools in the LHSAA will now begin their season on the first weekend of October, one week earlier than the “official’ starting date of October 8th that was handed down just one week prior.
Schools will still play only an eight game schedule beginning with the third game of the regular season listed on the regular ten game schedule that was put in place this past spring. For Jonesboro-Hodge it that means an October 2nd trip to Delta Charter in Ferriday.
It was hoped by many local fans that by starting the schedule one week sooner it would allow for the Jonesboro-Hodge vs Winnfield string of 76 years of uninterrupted games to continue but instead it was deemed best by the LHSAA that by staying with a week 3 start a full complement of playoff games could be held.
In additional action by the LHSAA it was deemed to allow practice in full pads for the first time this past Thursday much to the delight of JHHS head coach Terrance Blankenship.
“Now it sounds like football practice out there,” said the Tiger mentor entering his 8th year at the helm. “The guys were excited about it. The season never really gets going for the players until they get to hit someone.”
The Black Lives Matter Movement was created to demonstrate once again the evil and brutality that continues to visit upon people and communities of color and that the nation must finally deal with the issues of racism, lack of affordable housing, high unemployment in African American communities, inadequate health care, racial injustice and systemic, intentional and purposeful discrimination, that has plagued the country from its inception. Over the years people of color have peacefully assembled and petitioned for redress of grievances. Black American citizens have sat in, slept in, stood in, studied in, prayed in. As the Black Lives Movement has done, people of color have waged their struggles nonviolently in the spirit of love, appealed to the fundamental morality of the nation, and the nation’s conscience. The response has been bloodied heads and broken limbs, bombed churches and burned homes, assassinated leaders and murdered followers, broken spirits, crippled hopes, dashed and shattered dreams.
Many white citizens resent the Black Lives Matter Movement and have resorted to drastic measures in tearing down and painting over Black Lives Matter signs contending that all lives matter. We now have armed pro Trump vigilantes and white nationalist caravanning through the town of Kenosha Wisconsin waving flags and firing paintballs at protesters, a young white seventeen-year-old Kyle Whitton killing two protesters and injuring another protester in Kenosha Wisconsin, an outsider from an adjoining state claiming that he came to protect local businesses. These groups are infiltrating peaceful protest marches with the aim of creating chaos, smearing, and casting doubt and dispersion upon the Black Lives Matter Movement.,
The truth of the matter is that all lives cannot matter until Black lives, (people of color) are no longer treated as invisible beings ,until Black people’s lives are no longer routinely snuffed out by demented white police officers, until Black men and women are no longer being pulled over, stopped, harassed, arrested, killed and or beaten without consequences to the perpetrators. If all lives matter why is that only Black men and women are living in constant fear of losing their lives to police brutality, and telling their children do not get in trouble with white police officers who are becoming increasingly more openly aggressive. Residents of communities of color are having to live under the fear and treats that they could be killed any day by a white police officer.
The question is raised, if all lives matter, why is it factual that Black men and women are the targets of racial injustice, killed and murdered in greater numbers than other race citizens, young black men like Jacob Blake being shot seven times in the back by a white police officer (using deadly force) in Wisconsin as his children watched in terror, African Americans are last to be hired and the first to be fired from the job. If all lives matter why is that young African American men like Ronnie Long of North Carolina (and a host of other black males) have been sent to prison for years for crime that they did not commit. Long was sentenced and served 44 years for rape in a prison cell by an all-white jury, when white prosecutors purposely withheld evidence that would have exonerated Long and was recently released at a time when the glow and meaning of life have passed and is of little or no moment. Others question, if all lives matter, why is it that the unemployment rate for Blacks is twice that of white Americans (around 17-19 percent for blacks, and 6-8% for white Americans)? Why is it that African American communities suffer greatly because of blatant acts of racism, poor schools, gerrymandering, black voter’s suppression, lack of quality health care, high incarcerations? Why is it that we see police officers with guns drawn in Black communities against Black citizens, more noticeable why is that it is only in communities of color that you see white police officers handcuffing black citizens including kids, perching their knees on their necks and holding their knees firmly there until the suspect is no longer able to move and breath or in the case of George Floyd, he passed away while pleading “I can breathe”?. If all lives matter, why do innocent citizens find themselves subject to “No knock laws” which allow police immediate access to ones dwelling when they often shoot and kill residents? Finally, if all lives really matter why in heaven are racist vigilantes permitted to apprehend unarmed African American men driving or jogging through a predominately white neighborhood, contending that the person was there to rob, an altercation ensues and the jogger is shot and killed and there is no formal investigation or arrest until several months later when there is public outcry and embarrassment to the local establishment??? In Kenosha Wisconsin we saw a young white male after killing two protest marchers walking in clear view past a patrol of police officers brandishing an automatic weapon and was not stop at all.
The Black Lives Matter Movement has been a voice for people of color, it has been a peaceful protest movement by people of all races, ethnic backgrounds often speaking out against the killing of Black kids by white men and police officers who have no remorse about shooting and killing a Black teenager in Florida, because the teenager disrespected him by not lowering his music. Blacks have been on the receiving end of excessive force throughout the nation’s history. Black Lives Matter must become more than a protest in the streets of America and a national movement, it must become an unstoppable force that stirs the human heart and soul of the nation to overcome past practices and shameful behavior toward people of color. It is very difficult to truly love a country or a person(s) that hate and despises you.
The Black Lives Movement for change appears to be reaching the conscious and soul of the nation. The Black Lives Movement must continue to be the non-violent movement for change. The movement is worthy, believable, and sustainable. We cannot just utter the words Black Lives matter, the nation must live, internalize and act affirmatively on these words. These words must become indelibly etched in the minds and hearts of every American citizen. It is unlike any movement we have seen before; it is a movement that has “staying power”. According to the New York Times, it just may be Americas largest movement in US history.
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.