Several years ago Gregory Harris wanted to be a councilman because he wanted to do his part to make Chatham a better place to live. That same desire is the reason he ran for Mayor. Obviously the residents of his hometown agreed with his plan as they gave him 61% of the vote to allow him to become the first African-American Mayor in Chatham’s history.
While Harris is proud of that fact it wasn’t the reason he wanted to sit in the highest governmental seat of the town but rather because he had some definite goals that he wanted to see Chatham achieve. He is also very appreciative that now he will get an opportunity to be of service as Mayor as evidenced in the prepared statement he has provided to his friends, neighbors and fellow residents.
To the Citizens of Chatham
I am grateful to all of you for the outpouring of support you all showed me in my run for Mayor. I will do my best to make you proud that you have elected me to serve you. I would ask that you join me in the effort to clean up the town, produce better drinking water and have a better relationship between Town Hall and the citizens so we can make Chatham be known as the best little town in north Louisiana.
Gregory C. Harris – “Mayor for ALL the people of Chatham”
On February 6, 1911, Dutch was born in an apartment above a bank in Tampico, Illinois. Soon after his birth, Dutch’s father quipped that he looked like “a fat little Dutchman.” He nicknamed him Dutch. As a toddler, his mother cut his hair in the fashionable style commonly called the “Dutch boy” haircut, which only reinforced the nickname. At eight years old, he, his brother Neil, and his parents Jack and Nell, moved to Dixon, Illinois, a city of about 9,000 people located approximately one hundred miles west of Chicago. The city was named after a John Dixon, owner and operator of a rope ferry service on Rock River, which runs through the city. Just north of Dixon is Lowell Park, a picturesque public area on the west bank of the Rock River. Residents and visitors to Dixon, including Dutch’s family, flocked to the park for picnics under the shade trees, whiling away the time on its sandy beach, fishing and swimming in the river’s normally calm waters, and hiking its numerous trails.
Dutch was popular and athletic. He made good grades in school and thrived at sports. He won varsity letters in five major sports. Dutch knew that if he wanted to go to college he would have to earn and save money for tuition. On one of his many fishing trips at Lowell Park, he secured a summer job as a lifeguard. On his first day as a lifeguard, Dutch saved a man’s life. The man swam in the Rock River and quickly found himself in trouble. Dutch saw that the man was struggling and rushed to his aid. Dutch pulled the man to the shore and “pumped the water out of him.” Rather than being thankful for Dutch saving his life, the man contended that he “had been in perfect command of the situation.” All Dutch had done, according the unappreciative man, was cause him a lot of embarrassment.
Dutch’s athleticism was an asset to Lowell Park. In 1927, his first year as a lifeguard, Dutch saved 11 lives. By July of the following year, Dutch had saved 13 more lives. In the seven years he worked as a lifeguard at Lowell Park Dutch saved seventy-seven lives. Dutch went above and beyond what was expected of him as a lifeguard. He taught others how to recognize when someone was in trouble, how to safely retrieve them from the water, and how to perform CPR. He also taught people how to swim and how to practice waterfront safety. In addition, he helped Boy Scouts earn merit badges in swimming and lifesaving.
Dutch earned enough money from his lifeguard job to attend Eureka College in Eureka, Illinois. He kept his lifeguard position during the summers to pay for tuition. While at Eureka College, Dutch got the part of Captain Stanhope in the college production of Journey’s End. He earned praise for his portrayal of the captain, but Dutch’s ambition was not to become an actor. He was determined to become a sports announcer. In 1932, Dutch graduated from Eureka College with degrees in sociology and economics.
After college, he fulfilled his dream of being a sports announcer and worked for radio station WHO in Des Moines, Iowa. In the Spring of 1937, Dutch covered the Chicago Cubs’ spring training camp where he met Max Arnow, the casting director for Warner Brothers. Max was impressed by Dutch’s good looks and his unique, well-trained voice. Max asked Dutch to do a screen test for Warner Brothers. Dutch agreed but had little expectation that Warner Brothers would be interested. To his surprise, Warner Brothers offered him a long-term acting contract based on Max’s screen test. Dutch left his job at the radio station and moved to Hollywood where he immediately began filming. In the Fall of 1937, Warner Brothers released three films which featured Dutch. In the following year, Dutch appeared in ten more Warner Brothers productions. Between 1937 and 1965, Dutch appeared in over eighty film and television productions.
Even with a career change and a move from Illinois to California, Dutch was unable to escape from his lifeguarding days at Lowell Park. In the Summer of 1938, Dutch was walking on one of the beaches near Hollywood when a young woman stopped him. They had a brief conversation in which she said that she, too, was from Illinois. She gave him a quick kiss, and said, “Thank you.” She was the seventy-seventh person Dutch had saved while working as a lifeguard at Lowell Park. A couple of years later, Dutch received a fan letter from a Miss Ledrine. She wrote, “You may not remember me but you pulled me out of Rock River at Lowell Park about ten years ago. I owe my life to you.”
Dutch usually tried to distance himself from the heroic tales people told about him. “The less I’m reminded of life saving the better I’ll like it.” In 1940, Dutch told a reporter, “It’s a strange thing, but the reaction of most people when they’re saved from drowning is resentment and humiliation at having been in such a helpless plight. I learned it the hard way.” “The only time I rescued a beautiful girl her heart belonged to somebody else. The only rewards I ever got were a pair of bathing trunks for hauling in one of my best friends and $10 for finding a man’s lower teeth on the river bottom. The rest of the time, all I got was abuse.” The abuse failed to hinder his efforts. During his seven years as a lifeguard, not a single person lost their life to drowning at the park.
In recognition of Dutch’s service as a lifeguard, Lowell Park named his favorite fishing spot Dutch’s Landing. In 1981, some 54 years after he saved his first drowning victim, Dutch got a new job. You see, Dutch, the man who saved seventy-seven lives as a lifeguard, was the nickname of the 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan.
For more Real Stories about Real People …with a Twist, order your copy of “Remember This?” at http://www.BradDison.com or from Amazon.com.
Dixon Evening Telegraph, July 23, 1928, p.1.
The Pittsburgh Press, August 7, 1938, p.30.
The Dispatch (Moline, Illinois), August 21, 1939, p.11.
Dixon Evening Telegraph, January 17, 1940, p.3.
Dixon Evening Telegraph, May 28, 1940, p.9.
Woodford County Journal (Eureka, Illinois), June 13, 1940, p.3.
It is a pretty safe assumption to say that the future looks bright for the basketball and softball programs at Quitman High School for many years to come. The results of the recently completed fall season for Quitman Junior High is what leads to the optimism as the girls basketball team went undefeated, the softball team dropped only one of eight contests and the boys finished the season with a winning record.
Junior High Girls basketball: Under the direction of Kyle Leach the junior girls finished the fall campaign with a perfect 5-0 record after beating Weston and Summerfield twice each as well as knocking off Cedar Creek. The junior Lady Wolverines averaged 31.4 points per game while holding their opponents to an average of only 13 per contest for a 17.6 point winning margin average. Recap of season scores:
Oct 6th – Quitman 27, Weston 12
Oct 12th – Quitman 34, Summerfield 16
Oct 15th – Quitman 28, Weston 19
Oct 19th – Quitman 36, Cedar Creek 10
Oct 22nd – Quitman 32, Summerfield 8
The Junior High girls also had two inter-squad scrimmages that showed the balance on the team with the Blue team beating the White 22-17 in the first meeting on Oct 8th followed by the White team beating the Blue 34-23 on Oct. 27th.
Junior High Boys Basketball: The Junior Wolverines beat Summerfield twice and Cedar Creek once to offset dropping a pair of contests to Weston. On the season Quitman averaged nearly 35 points per game while giving up 30 per contest that included only 24.8 allowed in the three victories.
Oct 6th – Weston 37, Quitman 22
Oct 12th – Quitman 55, Summerfield 30
Oct 15th – Weston 41, Quitman 37
Oct 19th – Quitman 38, Cedar Creek 28
Oct 22nd – Quitman 32 Summerfield 16
Junior High Softball: Head Coach Justin Dobson was all smiles following his teams fall campaign that saw the Junior Lady Wolverines end up with a sparkling 7-1 record. Quitman was completely dominant in almost every game in almost every phase.
Offensively Quitman finished with a 9.2 runs per game average while the defense committed only four errors all year. Neither compared to the utter dominance provided by the lefty/righty combination of Cali Deal and Maggie Guyotte who combined to throw 3 no-hitters, 1 one hitter and pair of 2 hitters while striking out 48 batters in 24 innings for an average of 2 per inning.
Offensively the Lady Wolverines were led by Guyotte who hit an incredible .813 batting average after getting 13 hits in 16 plate appearances that included 4 doubles, 3 triples and 7 RBI. Zoee Williams was next with 8 hits in 13 at bats which came to a .615 average and included a team leading 8 RBI. Deal had a triple and two home runs in only five official at bats for a .600 average that also netted 4 runs and 5 RBI.
Marlee Bell, Karley Huckaby and Emma Walker batted .429, .417 and .400 respectively with Cassidy Davis and Jaleigh Burns coming in with .333 and .300 averages. Emma Harper hit .286 and tied the team with 8 runs scored followed by Jana Potts (.250), Anna Leach (.222 and 8 RS) and Addison Fenn (.125) Kallie Bell didn’t have a hit in only three at bats but scored two runs.
Want something to do but don’t know what is going on? Maybe you want to attend a special event, meeting or go to a ball game. The Jackson Parish Journal is hoping this site will be of value to you. See below for activities and events that are taking place during the rest of the month of November.
Nov 11th: Meeting of the Jackson Parish Chamber of Commerce (12:00 noon at Johnny’s Pizza)
Nov 12th: Ambulance Service District Meeting (12:00 pm)
Nov 12th: Prep basketball – Hornbeck at Weston / varsity boys and girls – 6:00 pm
Nov 12th: Prep basketball – Quitman at Castor / JV, varsity boys and girls – 5:00 pm
Nov 13th: Prep football – North Caddo at JHHS (Homecoming / Senior Night) – 7:00 pm
Nov 13th: Prep basketball – Quitman at Family Community Christian / varsity boys and girls – 6:00 pm
Nov 16th: Recreation District Board Meeting (12:00 pm)
Katherine Elizabeth Davis March 26th, 1920 – Nov 5th, 2020
Centenarian Kathryn Elizabeth Davis (Mamaw Kat) of Hodge, Louisiana, passed from this life November 5th, 2020, at Forest Haven, leaving this endearing epitaph, “God is in control.” The family is thankful to our Lord for helping our matriarch reach her century goal with the devoted care of Odessa Livingston.
Kathryn was born, March 26th, 1920, in Jackson Parish, Louisiana, to Joe and Maggie Barbara Jane Lowery and reared by William Pinckney Boddie and her mother after her father’s untimely death. She was preceded in death by siblings: Odessa, Irene, Nedra, Jo Lexi Lee, Emmit, and John; her husband of seventy-three years, Virgil J. Davis; son, Tommy L. Davis; grand-daughter, Melani Davis.
Kathryn is survived by Linda & Mark Estes, of Austin, Texas and Tami & Curtis Preece, of Sugar Land, Texas; Glenda Davis of Sugar Land, Texas, Ben Ledbetter, of Jonesboro, Louisiana; six grandchildren: Whitney Robinson, of Saline, Louisiana, Lauren Ledbetter, Kate Starkes, and Jed Estes, of Austin, Texas, Dena Keller, of Sugar Land, Texas, and Rocky Davis, of Jonesboro, Louisiana; and ten great-grandchildren: Amber Davis, of Jonesboro, Louisiana, Trent Ledbetter, Ella and Jack Robinson, of Saline, Louisiana, Logan Keller, of Sugar Land, Texas, Brayton, Ever, and Beckett Estes, and Titus and Davis Starkes, of Austin, Texas.
Kathryn (Sister Kat) is also survived by her loving church family, Hodge United Pentecostal Church, currently pastored by Jeff and Christy Stroud, where she was a member for more than 70 years.
Kathryn always had fond memories of her time as a student at Louisiana Tech, where her three children graduated. She particularly loved fishing on Black Lake and nights spent at Driskill Mountain during hunting seasons.
Private interment was held Monday, November 9th, 2020, at Gayla Traina Memorial Cemetery, Jonesboro, Louisiana under the direction of Edmonds Funeral Home in Jonesboro.
Dollie Elaine Phillips Dec 11, 1951 – Nov 06, 2020
Mrs. Dollie Elaine (McCarty) Phillips, age 68 of Jonesboro, joined hands with her Savior Friday, November 6, 2020. She is a member of Hodge Assembly. She enjoyed working as a deputy in the Jackson Parish clerk of court, as well as a paralegal for 25 years. She loved to shop, she loved her grandchildren and especially to shop for her grandchildren. Mrs. Dollie adored being a Mamaw. She was a special woman who loved her family and her family was her heart.
Mrs. Dollie is survived by her husband, Reverend Geary Phillips; children, Kyle Phillips (Nicole), Courtney Whitehead (Robin); grandchildren, Kinleigh Harvey, Cooper Harvey, Karley Whitehead, Presly Phillips, Amber Che, Noah Lucas, Shawn Lucas; great grandchildren, Ariana Che, Alani Che, Stevie Lucas, Nora Lucas, Eli Lucas; brother, Ronnie McCarty; mother in law, Marzell Phillips; a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Funeral services were held at Hodge Assembly on November 8th with Reverend Diane Putman officiating. Burial followed in Gayla Traina Cemetery under the direction of Southern-Edmonds Funeral Home.
Mrs. Dollie’s family would like to express their appreciation and thank the staff and administration of Forest Haven for the loving care they provided for the last 8 years.
Mattie Mae Stewart April 07, 1925 – Nov. 07, 2020
Mrs. Mattie Mae Stewart, age 95 of the Weston community, was escorted by angels through the portals of heaven and into the presence of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Saturday, November 7, 2020 following a period of declining health. Mrs. Stewart was a native of Lisbon, Louisiana and has lived in the Weston Community for most of her life.
Mattie Mae was a very industrious lady who retired from the Lab at the Hodge Mill in 1990. She was a hard worker who tirelessly looked after her family with love and encouragement. Her hobbies included crocheting for family and friends, playing cards, holding garage sales and going to garage sales, selling her peas and sweet potatoes, visiting with her friends on the telephone and working on her Prayer Quilt Ministries. Mrs. Stewart loved her church, Springhill Baptist and her church family. She had a very unique gift of making everyone feel special.
Such a precious lady she was. Just the mentioning of her name to someone that knew her would send their minds back to a “moment”. A moment where she affected them, a moment where she encouraged them to feel better about themselves. Because that is who she was. A very selfless person who was always more concerned about someone else’s well-being rather than her own. She is in Heaven now….but many will miss her presence here.
Mattie Mae is survived by seven children: Rev. Jesse Henderson & Dianna, Dianne Self & John Dell, Bill Stewart & Linda, Debbie Hinman & Gary, Cheryl Mosley & Roy, Pam Mosley & Garry and Leamon (Peanut) Stewart & Regina; 18 grandchildren; 31 great-grandchildren; 2 great-great-grandchildren; brother, Leamon Clements. She was preceded in death by her husband, Jack Wesley Stewart; an infant son; parents, Jessie (Bud) and Mattie Clements.
In order to honor mother in the safest way possible, the family has prayerfully chosen to celebrate her life with a private, family only, service. Please continue to keep her family in your prayers.
Claude Droddy April 14, 1924 – Nov. 07, 2020
Private family services with military honors were held for Claude Droddy, age 96 of Jonesboro, Monday, November 9, 2020. Mr. Droddy was a native of Merryville, Louisiana and was a long-time resident of the Jonesboro area. Claude was a car salesman who honorably served his country during World War II in the U.S. Army and earned two purple hearts for his service. He possessed a wonderful sense of humor and loved to spend time with his family and friends. His greatest joy in life was his family and he was proud of each and every one of them. Grandchildren, Austin Myers and Destiny Lemoine gave wonderful memories of their grandfather at his services.
Those left to cherish his memory are his children, Cindy Plunkett & Paul, Pam Trosclair & Paul, Debra John & Tommy, Claude E. Droddy & Lolly; 13 grandchildren; 25 great-grandchildren; a host of other relatives and friends. Mr. Droddy was preceded in death by the love of his life, his wife Dolline Droddy; children, Charlotte Leach, Mark Shane Droddy; parents, Pinkie and Pearl (Thompson) Droddy.
There was a large number of voters, in fact a record number, that cast their ballots where residents of Jackson Parish represented a part of a multi-parish judicial district but the margin of victory in most were very small with the exception of one, especially in the races that involved Jackson Parish residents.
2nd Judicial District Judge: In the races for the two 2nd Judicial (Jackson, Bienville, Claiborne) District Judge seats and the accompanying District Attorney race the difference was at best roughly 5% with one race seeing only 357 votes separate the two candidates.
Division A: In that one, which was between two Jackson Parish residents vying to replace retiring Judge Jenifer Clauson for the seat of Judge in Division A (Claiborne Parish Courthouse) Walter May won the seat over Darrel Avery. The difference was the 1584 votes that May beat Avery by in Bienville Parish which offset the 1253 advantage Avery had in Jackson Parish. The Claiborne Parish vote was virtually a tie with May earning 26 more ballots.
Bienville 3,867 2,283
Claiborne 2,813 2,787
Total 9,601 9,244
Division B: The winner of the Division B Judge race (Jackson Parish Courthouse) who will take the place of retiring Judge Jimmie Teat was Bienville Parish native Rick Warren who outpolled Jackson Parish resident Yumeaka Robinson Washington. Warren won Bienville and Claiborne parishes by 426 and 539 votes respectively. Washington polled best in Jackson Parish where she lost by only 108 votes.
Bienville 3,471 3,045
Claiborne 3,244 2,705
Total 10,365 9,292
District Attorney – 2nd Judicial District: In a repeat of the race four years ago Incumbent District Attorney Danny Newell, who resides in Bienville Parish beat Jackson Parish native Chris Bowman. It was a 917 vote advantage in Claiborne Parish that propelled Newman to the victory. Both candidates won their home parishes by similar totals with Newell getting 760 more of the Bienville Parish votes compared to Bowman winning Jackson Parish by 630 votes.
Bienville 3688 2928
Claiborne 3562 2645
Total 10,547 9,500
4th Judicial District – Associate Justice of LA Supreme Court: It was the Associate Justice seat in the 4th District of the Louisiana Supreme Court which is made up of 20 northeast/central Louisiana parishes that had the widest margin of victory. That is where Jay McCallum of Farmerville outpolled Shannon Gremillion who hails from Ferriday by a 56.69% – 43.31% advantage with the actual vote total showing 122,443 for McCallum comparted to 93,531 for Gremillion. In Jackson Parish, McCallum won by a count of 4,505 – 2,000.
For the most part residents of the state of Louisiana were in solid agreement on the parish by parish sports wagering proposal and the constitutional options presented to them on the November 3rd ballot. That can’t be totally said of the residents of Jackson Parish who ended up going against the grain of the state on three of the eight items.
While Jackson Parish voted against allowing sports wagering, residents won’t have to go far if they want to place a bet once the system is in place. There are several parishes nearby available such neighboring Bienville, Lincoln and Ouachita. Actually, 56 of the 64 parishes in the state approved to allow sports wagering.
There were also two constitutional amendments that received a solid majority of YES votes throughout the state but had more NO votes in Jackson Parish. Below is a full recap on the Constitutional amendments and proposition voting results statewide and in Jackson Parish
#1 – Declare no right to and no funding of Abortion in the LA constitution.
Statewide Yes 1,275,112 No 778,973
Jackson Parish 5,545 1,843
#2 – Amends determination of fair market value of oil or gas well.
Statewide Yes 1,158,710 No 827,491
Jackson Parish 3,556 3,618
#3 – Amends use of budget stabilization fund
Statewide Yes 1,097,144 No 885,279
Jackson Parish 3,443 3,726
#4 – Limit expenditure limit for state general fund
Statewide Yes 856,529 No 1,079,571
Jackson Parish 2,965 4,077
#5 – Authorizes cooperative endeavor tax measures
Statewide Yes 727,345 No 1,221,197
Jackson Parish 2,654 4,394
#6 – Increases income limit for homestead exemption special assessment level
Statewide Yes 1,225,629 No 745,995
Jackson Parish 4,321 2,826
#7 – Creates Louisiana unclaimed property permanent trust fund
Statewide Yes 1,267,363 No 702,900
Jackson Parish 4,208 2,880
Act 215, 2020 – Authorize Sports Wagering Activities in Jackson Parish
It is called the second season and for Jonesboro-Hodge it begins this Friday night when the Tigers venture to Farmerville to play D’Arbonne Woods in the district 1-2A opener for both teams. Game time is set for 7:00 pm.
The contest is not only the first district game of the year for the Tigers it also marks the first time in head coach Terrance Blankenship’s eight year tenure that J-H, which has a 2-2 season record, begins district play not having a losing record. That along with the fact that even though the Tigers got beat by Class 4A Huntington last week played possibly their best ball of the season has Blankenship optimistic about the Tigers chances of getting off to a good start in 1-2A play.
“This is the time of the year that we all point to,” said Blankenship. “Even though in the LHSAA system power points carry more weight in the playoff seeding than district titles when it is all said and done you always want to be known as a district champion. I believe our coaches have done a good job in preparing our guys for the next three games.”
Series history! Jonesboro-Hodge, who was the very first opponent D’Arbonne Woods ever played in varsity competition in 2015, has a 3-0 all-time advantage over one of Louisiana’s newest programs now going on their sixth year of competition. Last year D’Arbonne Woods was Homecoming fodder for the Tigers who won by a 66-6 margin, easily their best win of the year.
D’Arbonne Woods to date! This year D’Arbonne Woods, who has won only six games over the last four years after winning five in their inaugural season comes into the contest with a 1-3 mark under head coach Thomas McBroom but has done a good job in holding opponents to low scoring totals.
After beginning the year with a 28-6 loss to Class 4A Northwood, D’Arbonne Woods rallied to beat Beekman Charter by a 36-30 score. A 14-0 loss to new LHSAA member River Oaks was followed by a 20-0 setback to Class 2A Lakeview out of Campti.
While the defense has for the most part kept D’Arbonne Woods close to their opponents offensive production has been the bane so far this season as they average only 163.8 yards per contest and scored only six touchdowns. Five of those came in their only victory and D-Woods is currently on a nine quarter failure to score string.
What offense they have been able to produce has been fueled by senior QB Luke Chapman who leads the team with 215 yards passing and 98 yards rushing. Junior Gavin Rawls leads the team in rushing with 192 yards in three games which comes to a 64 yards per game average. Junior Alden Auger is the leading receiver with 134 yards on 7 receptions.
JHHS to date! Conversely it is the Tigers defense that has been the bug-a-boo. J-H comes into the district opener after giving up 107 points in their last three games, two of which were losses. Offense has been no problem at all as J-H is averaging 302.50 yards per game. This is broken down into 165.21 yards per game rushing and 137.25 yards per game passing.
Tydre Malone has completed 29 of 63 passes for 549 yards with 6 TD’s while the thunder and lightning combination of tailbacks Brantrel Thompson and LaJavion Nichols has accounted for 341 and 243 yards respectively with a combined 7 touchdowns.
Justin Calahan, who also has 2 special teams scores, including a new JHHS school record 94 yard punt return for a score last week, leads the receiving corp with 9 catches for 159 yards and 3 TD’s. Close behind in yardage is JaMarriyea Lewis who has 153 yards on 5 grabs for an outstanding 30 yard per catch average. DaTrevien Bowie is also averaging over 30 yards per catch with 94 yards on 3 receptions. Devontae Mozee has corralled two touchdowns as well.
Defensively middle linebacker LaJavion Nichols is one of the leading tacklers in north Louisiana after averaging nearly 14 tackles per game that includes 6 tackles for a loss. JaMarriyea Lewis leads the team with 2 interceptions while freshman Xavier Atkins and senior Connor Webb have one sack apiece.
Keys to victory!
Don’t be overconfident! Just because the Tigers won 66-6 last year and have never lost to D’Arbonne Woods in school history J-H must play to their potential.
Continue to improve! J-H showed tremendous improvement last week. If they are going to be a district title contender they must continue to do so each week.
Playmakers must make plays! J-H has a decided talent advantage this week but that only helps if the playmakers do what they are capable of.
Flip the script this week. Last week J-H wasn’t expected to win. This week they are. The Tigers played well in the underdog role. The question now is how willl they do as a solid favorite? The guess here is that Blankenship and staff has J-H ready to peak at the right time. JHHS 48 D’Arbonne Woods 6
With the pandemic and political unrest festering across the world, it may be difficult to even think about finding fun things to do. Nasty stuff is going on that is causing us to focus on just keeping our heads above water and doing our best not to let negatives take over.
It’s time to take a deep breath and realize that we’re still who we were prior to the anxiety and concern caused by the spread of COVID. It’s time to think about relaxing and calming activities, things like hunting and fishing.
Deer season is going full swing in Louisiana and scores of hunters are relaxing and enjoying just being out in the woods and at least for a little while becoming one with nature.
Then there is fishing. Although bluegills have slowed down quite a bit here in early November, other species are still going strong. Bass fishermen are enjoying the thrill of playing games with their favorite fish. One of the more popular species is crappie. With weather transitioning from hot to warm; from cool to cold, what is the best way to find and catch these popular fish that are now on the move?
Louisiana Tech graduate, Jerry Thompson, founder and owner of Living The Dream Guide Service on Toledo Bend knows that to provide success and ample action to satisfy the one thing that keeps him in business, that being his customers, his guides have to keep up with the crappie as they make their move from where they were a month ago to where they are now and where they’ll be a month from now.
“As water temperatures slowly drop, crappie are making their move. They are pretty much gone from the brush piles that attracted them all summer as they make their way to their winter habitat in the deeper channels. To be honest, fishing is generally tougher until they get to where they’ll be spending the winter,” Thompson said.
Thompson said that anytime they start migrating, there are certain areas along the migration route that his guides target.
“We’ll start picking up fish around the bridges and points. You won’t catch the numbers you would when in summer the fish are bunched up around brush. You pick up a few in one spot and move to another to catch a few more. Our guides just keep on the move to pick up some here and there but we have found that this time of year, the crappie we catch tend to be larger,” he said.
Thompson started his guide service twenty years ago on Toledo Bend at the urging of some friends he had taken fishing who saw the potential he had to make such a venture pay off.
“This February 20 years ago, I bit the bullet, sold everything I owned, bought me an old 30 foot travel trailer. I set myself up to be able to make it a couple of years just to see if I could make it work. I actually came to Toledo Bend to guide bass fishermen because fishing for bass was my first love. It didn’t take me long to realize there was a market for guiding crappie fishermen,” Thompson continued.
“I decided to give it a shot, bought an old pontoon boat and started taking groups of people. Crappie fishing was the key to our having the success we are now experiencing.”
Today, Thompson’s business features 12 guides that serve both bass and crappie clients. He is in the process of constructing a marina off Highway 6 on the lake.
“It went from a dream to what we have today,” he said. “It’s pretty awesome to actually be doing something you envisioned and seeing it work out the way it has. This is why the name of my business, Living The Dream Guide Service, is so appropriate; it’s pretty awesome.”
BUSSEY BRAKE – Bass fishing has been good this week with quite a few caught on spinners and crank baits chasing shad around the pads . Crappie fishing is fair around deep water off the boat dock on shiners or jigs. A few bream are being reported. No report on catfish. For latest information, contact the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
BLACK BAYOU – Bass are fair around the grass on jigs and soft plastics. Bream and crappie are slow. Contact Honey Hole Tackle Shop 323-8707 for latest information.
OUACHITA RIVER – Bass have been fair fishing shad imitation lures around the mouth of the cuts. Crappie have been best fishing the river lakes on jigs with Green Banana, Cajun Cricket and Silver Shad working best. For latest information, contact the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE D’ARBONNE – The lake level has risen after recent rains. Reports are that gates have been opened again to get water levels down to drawdown level. Crappie have been fair in the channel fishing 15-18 feet deep in the deeper holes. A variety of hair jigs have picked up some fish. Bass are in the channels with crank baits and soft plastics picking up some. A few bream have been caught deep on night crawlers. Catfishing is good on 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 – Bass fishing has been good on the drop-offs along channel edges with some to 3 and 4 pounds caught on crank baits. The crappie bite has slowed with a few caught around the deep tops on shiners or jigs. Striper fishing has slowed down while catfishing has been good on trotlines baited with chicken livers or blood bait. Bream are slow. For latest information, call Tim Loftin at Kel’s Cove at 927-2264.
CANEY LAKE – Bass fishing has been best in the deeper channels on drop-shot rigs and swim baits. Some have also been caught around the grass on Flukes with lots of average sized bass caught. Schools of shad have moved into the grass and the bass have followed them in. Crappie continue to be fair to good on shiners or jigs fished around the deeper tops with the Double Silver Rainbow, Blue Thunder, Blue Chrome and Lights Out working best. No report 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 – Crappie are slightly improved around the boat slips especially early mornings and late afternoons on jigs. Catfishing has been good with a 18 pound blue cat reported. For latest reports, call Poverty Point Marina at 318-878-0101.
LAKE ST. JOHN – Bass fishing has been fair; catfishing is fair while bream and crappie are slow. For information, call Ken Mahoney at 318-201-3821.
LAKE YUCATAN – The water is rising rapidly and fishing has come to a standstill. For information, call Surplus City Landing at 318/467-2259.
LAKE BRUIN – Bass, crappie, bream, stripers and catfish are all slow this week. For information, contact Carlos Gray at 318/766-0075.
Ask any coach and they will tell you there is no such thing as a “moral victory”. Still Jonesboro-Hodge head coach Terrance Blankenship wasn’t too upset about the Tigers 30-26 loss against Class 4A Huntington this past Friday night.
“I am not happy that we lost this game as it was one we could have won,” said Blankenship. “Still I am happy with our effort. Huntington has a very good team with a lot of college prospects and we played them basically even. The only difference in the game was a couple of two point conversions.”
The loss dropped the Tigers to 2-2 on the season in their final tune-up before district 1-2A play begins while Huntington, who is listed in the LSWA Class 4A poll as receiving votes, improved to 4-1 on the season.
There were several positives that the Tigers can draw upon from the game. The first was the play of the special teams which allowed J-H to take an initial lead for the first time all season following a first quarter 94 yard punt return by Justin Calahan and the ensuing two point conversion to give J-H an 8-0 lead after one period of play.
RECORD BREAKER! The return was the second of the year for Calahan, the first being a 70 yard, kickoff return for a score in the season opener against Delta Charter. More importantly the 94 yard return is the longest ever in the 101 year history of Tiger football surpassing the former long of 90 yards set by Morris Douglas in 1988 against Jena.
“We normally don’t like our returners to field a ball inside the 10 yard line, said Blankenship with a chuckle. “It was the kind of play where I was like don’t…. don’t…. Go Justin Go!!! To his credit he has great field vision, thought he had a chance to make a big play and ended up taking it to the house.”
SEASON LONG RUSING TD! Another positive was the performance turned in by power back LaJavion Nichols who rushed for 101 yards on 13 carries including a 67 yard sprint that gave the Tigers a 14-8 lead in the second quarter.
“We knew LaJavion had the potential to have this kind of game,” said Blankenship. “He has given us a good effort each game but in all the others the defense would key on him. I am glad to see him finally have a chance to show what he can do.”
BACK AND FORTH SECOND QUARTER! After Nichols scored Huntington answered with a score to take a 16-14 lead. J-H then responded with the first of Tydre Malone’s two TD passes when he hit Calahan for his second score of the game to give J-H a 20-16 lead. Huntington then took A 22-20 halftime lead following their second straight 18 yard completion for a touchdown.
SEASON LONG PASSING TD! For the second time in three weeks the Tigers were trailing by double digits late in the game only to make a last ditch rally. Unfortunately this time it wasn’t enough to steal a victory like against Rosepine but it did result in the longest passing touchdown of the season when Devonatae Mozee took a Malone aerial 58 yards to paydirt to narrow the margin to the final 30-26 score.
“We hit on several long plays in the game,” said Blankenship. “When we play error free football we can be dangerous.”
DEFENSIVE ADJUSTMENTS PAY OFF! It may not look like it judging by the 30 points the Tigers gave up but the defense played much better following the 41 and 36 points given up in the previous two games. One of the big reasons was the adjustments made by defensive coordinator Carlos Hicks who moved some people around and introduced a freshman to the mix.
Freshman Xavier Atkins who got his first extended look of the season led the team with 9 tackles and 4 assists including a sack and a tackle for a loss. Also coming up big was Manuel Hernandez who was moved to outside linebacker. LaJavion Nichols continued his good play at middle linebacker with 7 tackles and 4 assists as well as a tackle for a loss. Ed’Tavious Drayton added six stops.
“We still have some things to clean up but overall we made some good strides on both sides of the ball this week to become the team we want to be,” recapped Blankenship. “I am excited about where we are heading into district play.”
JHHS (2-2) 6 14 0 6 – 26
HHS (4-1) 0 22 0 8 – 30
JHHS – Justin Calahan 94 yard punt return (2 pt. conversion)
Huntington – 5 yard run (2 pt. conversion)
JHHS – LaJavion Nichols 67 yard run (2 pt. conversion NG)
Huntington – 18 yard pass (2 pt. conversion)
JHHS – Justin Calahan 26 yard pass from Tydre Malone (2 pt. conversion NG)
Huntington – 18 yard pass (2 pt. conversion NG)
Huntington – 6 yard pass (2 pt. conversion NG)
JHHS – Devontae Mozee 58 yard pass from Tydre Malone (2 pt. conversion NG)
JHHS passing stats:
Tydre Malone 7/20 185 yards 2 TD’s
JHHS rushing stats:
LaJavion Nichols 13/101 1 TD
Justin Calahan 2/10
Ed’Tavious Drayton 5/4
Tydre Malone 4/(-4)
JHHS receiving stats:
Devontae Mozee 1/58 1 TD
JaMarriyea Lewis 1/45
Justin Calahan 2/32 1 TD
Cornelius Boston 1/24
DaTrevien Bowie 1/17
LaJavion Nichols 1/9
Xavier Atkins 9 tackles 4 assists 1 sack 1 tackle for a loss
LaJavion Nichols 7 tackles 4 assists 1 tackle for a loss
Just after 9:00 p.m. on Sunday night, December 8, 1963, nineteen-year-old Wayne and twenty-four-year-old John were enjoying dinner in Wayne’s room of the South Lodge, a motel in Lake Tahoe on the California-Nevada border. They were performers in the world-renowned Tommy Dorsey Orchestra and were due to take the stage at 10:00 p.m. While eating, someone knocked on the door and announced, “Room service. I’ve got a package for you.” Without a second thought, Wayne got up from the table and walked to the door. He turned the handle on the door and two gun-wielding men burst into the room. The armed men told Wayne and John to keep quiet and forced them to the floor. “Where’s the money?” they asked. Wayne and John only had $12 in cash between them. The men took the $12.00 and ransacked the room in search of more money. When they failed to find the large amount of money that they had expected, one of the men bound John’s wrists with adhesive tape, then taped his mouth shut. They taped Wayne’s hands but not his mouth. One of the men told John “You stay there for ten minutes and don’t make any moves if you want to see the kid again.” The other man forced Wayne out of the motel room. As they men left the room, John heard one of them tell a third person, “We’ve got him. We’ve got to get to Sacramento.” John, still on the floor, heard a car crank up and drive away into a snowstorm. He heard the unmistakable sound of snow chains on the car.
As soon as John could no longer hear the car he worked his way free and notified police. John gave investigators a description of two of the kidnappers. John never saw the third man. Within ten minutes of the kidnapping, police had roadblocks all around the area. Several of the roads were blocked by the heavy snow, which limited the number of routes the kidnappers were able to take. The snow also hindered the policemen’s ability to search for Wayne and his abductors. Deputies armed with pistols and sawed-off shotguns searched all of the empty summer homes they could get to in the area, but found no trace of Wayne or the kidnappers.
Wayne’s father flew to Lake Tahoe to assist in the investigation in case the kidnappers called with a ransom demand. On the following afternoon, Wayne’s father received a telephone call from one of the kidnappers. The kidnapper told Wayne’s father to go to a specific service station in Reno, Nevada, about forty miles northeast of Lake Tahoe, and wait by the pay phone booth for a call. Wayne’s father was concerned that he would have to call the kidnappers from a pay phone at some point and made sure he kept ten dimes in his pocket. At the time, a local telephone call cost just ten cents. At the gas station in Reno, Wayne’s father waited as instructed.
Minutes seemed like hours as Wayne’s father anxiously awaited the call. Finally, the phone rang. Wayne’s father told the kidnapper that he wanted to speak with his son to ensure that he was okay. The kidnapper allowed Wayne and his father to speak briefly. The kidnapper told Wayne’s father to get $240,000 and go to Wayne’s mother’s house. (Wayne’s parents were divorced.) Adjusted for inflation, $240,000 in 1963 would be over $2,000,000 today. The kidnapper also demanded that law enforcement officers in California and Nevada relax their roadblocks so that they could return Wayne after the ransom had been paid. Wayne’s father agreed to the ransom demand and immediately left for Wayne’s mother’s house in Los Angeles. Wayne’s father joined his mother, who had been waiting impatiently by the telephone. Finally, the phone rang. The kidnappers allowed Wayne’s father to speak to Wayne again. Once Wayne assured them that he was okay, Wayne’s father agreed to give the kidnappers the money in exchange for Wayne’s safe return.
With the help of the FBI, Wayne’s father gathered the $240,000 in fives, tens, fifties, and hundred-dollar bills. Twice more, the kidnappers had Wayne’s father go to service station pay phones for instructions. Wayne’s father kept checking to be sure he always had ten dimes in his pocket. Finally, the kidnappers told Wayne’s father where to leave the money. An FBI agent acted as courier and delivered the money as the kidnappers had instructed. Wayne’s parents waited by the phone. They clung to the hope that the kidnappers would follow through with their part of the deal and release Wayne unharmed.
Finally, the phone rang. Three days had passed since the kidnapping. One of the kidnappers told Wayne’s father that they had dropped Wayne off at the intersection of Mulholland Drive and the freeway in Los Angeles. Wayne’s father and a myriad of law enforcement officers and agents raced to the area. They searched but found no trace of Wayne. The kidnappers had dropped Wayne off at the location they told Wayne’s father, but fearing the kidnappers would return, Wayne ran as soon as they let him out of the trunk. He ran about two miles from the drop-off location and hid each time he heard a car approaching.
George C. Jones of the Bel Air Patrol, a private security service for exclusive homes in the area, heard someone shout from the darkness behind his car. He looked back and saw a young man standing on the street with a blindfold dangling from his neck. It was Wayne. The security officer knew reporters were surrounding Wayne’s mother’s house. Rather than riding up front in the car with the security officer in full view of the press, Wayne opted to ride in the trunk. After three days of riding in trunks, Wayne agree to one more short trunk ride. The officer drove through the crowd of unsuspecting reporters and through the gate surrounding Wayne’s mother’s house. Once they were out of view from the press, Wayne emerged from the trunk. Wayne saw his father first and said, “Father, I’m sorry.” “Sorry? Sorry for what?” his father replied. Wayne’s father reassured him that he did nothing wrong. Wayne hugged his mother as she cried tears of relief. “Don’t cry, mother. I’m well, I’m in good shape.”
After their reunion, Wayne’s father spoke with reporters about the kidnapping and told them that the following day, December 12, was his 46th birthday. “This is about as good a birthday present as I could ask.” For the rest of Wayne’s father’s life, he carried ten dimes in his pocket just in case of emergencies. On May 18, 1998, thirty-five years after the kidnapping, Wayne’s father died of a heart attack. He still had ten dimes in his pocket. At the funeral, Wayne’s father was buried with a few of his favorite things which included a bottle of Jack Daniel’s Whiskey, a pack of Camel cigarettes, a Zippo lighter, and ten dimes. Wayne’s father was one of the most famous actors, producers, and singers of the twentieth century. Wayne was an actor, bandleader, and singer in his own right. Wayne, who went by Frank Jr., shared his father’s first and last name, Frank Sinatra.
Citizens can now take a much-needed break from the hype, drama and tension associated with the 2020 Election process that has kept citizens on the edge of their seats for the past several weeks. AMERICA HAS SPOKEN, and it is time to focus on the predicament and dire conditions the nation faces and finds itself currently involved in, a nation where thousands of American citizens are dying daily from COVID 19, hundreds of citizens are being evicted from their homes and apartments due to soaring unemployment, where food lines are stretching for miles and where families are hungry, children are going to bed each night with little or no food to eat.
The 2020 presidential election was an event that chronicled a historical moment in American history where over one million citizens voted early. It was also an election that mesmerized and captivated the attention of citizens for much too long and most Americans could not wait for closure to an event that had become one of the most divisive and polarizing moments in American history, the likes of which had never been seen or hope to see ever again. Yes, the 2020 elections were truly about redeeming the soul of America. Protesters of all colors, genders, religion, young and old, from across the nation have united and are demanding answers to questions such as what plan and strategy does the nation have for defeating COVID 19, what are the plans for handling and fixing soaring unemployment, addressing issues of racial injustice and inequality, overhauling the nation’s broken criminal justice system, mandating quality health care for all, attacking voter suppression issues, advent of white supremacy groups, tackling issues of foreign government interference with our national and local elections, enacting a national mandate to wear masks to protect others, addressing income disparities, and immigration reform just to name a few of the issues that the nation can no longer ignore and dismiss through wishful thinking.
We have and are experiencing over 90,000 COVID 19 infections per day and have witnessed thousands of citizens dying daily from this deadly virus. We have heard too many citizens saying “what the heck, we are done with this COVID virus and I will live my life as I choose”. As Christian brothers and sisters, we are to be reminded of the lessons taught to young Timothy by the seasoned apostle Paul which is believed to be good therapy and instructions for today’s multitudes. Paul cautioned Timothy that the time will come when people will not endure sound doctrine. They will chase after those spiritual leaders who will indulge their flesh, materialism, and lusts. They will turn to fables. They will not glorify God, nor be thankful to Him. They will not even retain God in their knowledge. We are living in moments where citizens have itching ears to hear things that suit their fantasies, (oh the virus will soon be gone, we are turning the curve on COVID, you do not have to wear masks) for they no longer long for the truth, they prefer to follow untrained leaders whose eyes are blinded from the truth, the wolves in sheep clothing, rather than following the hard sciences and the health experts. These followers are many who are determined to live their lives the way they choose even if it means harming others. They have become pleasure and greed seekers.
No one really knew how the Presidential election was going to turn out but many felt that whatever the outcome, this nation, America, needs to repent, fall on its knees and began to pray mightily for deliverance and the ability to keep step with God’s word and commands if it (America) is to survive and prosper. We are presently in a war for survival. We are a divided nation a nation that needs healing, a nation facing enemies on every hand. Elderly folks would often be heard to comment “if it’s not one thing it’s another.” In this war for survival we must fight to win, fight for our values, fight for justice, fight to break down the walls and barriers that divide the nation, fight not to grow weary, not to faint, and fight with all the spiritual strength and armor that we can summon to do God’s will.
Citizens must know that the battle that they are fighting is not against fellow citizens, but with and against principalities, powers, rulers of darkness of this world, and spiritual wickedness found in high places. In this crisis moment and this war for survival, among the many enemies we face, we must acknowledge that we can become our own worst enemy fighting like a man beating the air. Therefore, in this war for survival and the soul of America we must maintain mastery over self, doing things not our way but God’s way. Moreover, there can be no retreat from a mandate to meet the great challenges of this decisive hour, that of coming to the aid of justice.
The nation is racing against time during an era when mountains of events are being swirled and thrust upon it. Fellow citizens we must do God’s work today, the work of being just with one another, providing opportunities for all, doing unto others as we would have them to do unto us, casting our differences into yonder sea of forgetfulness. Let us be about the business and work of loving and forgiving one another as Christ Jesus loves and forgives us. Why? Because God’s word reminds us that night will come when no man can work.
O God, please save America, is our prayer. Trouble our hearts, conscience and spirits as never before to walk upright before thee and our fellow man, deliver us from the mean and evil spirit that is echoing across the land, from the inexpressible hostility and shameful racial divide that is engulfing and sweeping across the nation. America must no longer tolerate poor citizens be they black, white, brown, or yellow who are noticeably being bound by chains of poverty while in the midst of an affluent society. Convict America to break from the status quo and to move with expediency to join a new peaceful, non-violent movement to save our nation and once and for all to live up to the true meaning of an ideology forged and etched in the nation’s declaration of independence. Why? Because all destiny is tied up with America’s destiny.
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.
As a member of the Board of Aldermen, Gregory Harris has been involved with decisions for the Town of Chatham for a long time. As result of the election this past Tuesday he will continue to make a difference for eastern Jackson Parish residents only he will now be sitting in a different chair – the one reserved for the Mayor.
Chatham residents were obviously pleased with the past work done by Harris as a councilman and the direction that he now has planned for the town as he took 141 of the 230 votes cast to outpoll the former Mayor Dwight Cooper (55 votes) and political newcomer Ashlay Blanco who ended with 34 votes.
A new Board of Aldermen was also elected in Chatham where six candidates were vying for five seats. Laverne Mixon was the top vote getter with 149 ballots earned followed by Mike Wilson (107), Marvin A. Davis (102), Sue Proffer (101) and Tonja “Toni” Malone (94). Brian Blanco was the odd man out with 68 votes.
In the two races for the Justice of the Peace both victors won by landslides. In District C it was Eddie Waggoner who gained 1677 of the 2114 votes cast with Matt Palmer coming in a distant second with 256 votes. John Mize was named on 191 ballots. In other Ronnie Clay Madere beat Tommy Faber by a 788-161 margin to claim the District A seat.