Jackson Parish Sports Hall of Fame selects Class of 2021

Six new members will join the Jackson Parish Sports Hall of Fame this August 7th. Three more will receive special recognition during the induction ceremonies that will be held in the banquet room of the Jackson Parish Golf Course Club House.

The Class of 2021 will include: Bob Garrett, Floyd Miles, Tyjuan Hayes, Wayne Alford, Tommy Logan and Phil Cockerham. Special Awards and recognition will be given to Coach Clyde Berry, Doug Ireland and Dan McDonald.

Jackson Parish Chamber of Commerce Director Wilda Smith states that there will be a social hour at 6PM & program beginning at 7 PM. New inductees will receive six free tickets; former inductees will receive two free tickets. Any additional tickets needed must be purchased or reserved prior to July 7. We encourage all former & new inductees to please make contact with us so that we know how many seats we have available that others might be able to purchase a ticket for $15.00 each. 

IJ Allen Memorial Scholarship winners announced

The Jackson Parish School Board IJ Allen scholarship committee, along with the IJ Allen family, would like to congratulate the recipients of the 2021 IJ Allen Memorial Scholarship. This memorial scholarship is awarded each year by the Jonesboro State Bank to deserving graduating seniors of the Jackson Parish schools. Three tiers of scholarships are awarded. The following are this year’s recipients:

Lake Vines
Lake is a recent 2021 graduate of Quitman High School. His parents are Christopher Vines and Summer Huckaby. His future plans are to attend Louisiana State University and major in Biological Sciences then further his education by attending medical school in hopes of becoming an Ophthalmologist. He was awarded $6,000.


Jolea Simpson
Jolea is a recent 2021 graduate of Weston High School. She is the daughter of Eddie Joe and Marcie Simpson. Jolea’s future plans include attending Louisiana Tech University in the fall and obtaining her undergraduate degree in psychiatry then furthering her education to achieve a doctorate in psychiatry. She was awarded $4,000.


Savannah Dowden
Savannah is a recent 2021 graduate of Quitman High School. She is the daughter of Steve Dowden and Lori Boone. Her future plans include attending the University of Louisiana at Monroe in the fall and pursuing a doctoral degree in pharmacy. She was awarded $3,000.



Congratulations to these extraordinary Jackson Parish students on their many accomplishments and wish them the best as they pursue their future plans. Also, thanks to the IJ Allen family for continuing to support our students.






From CHD to MVP: The saga of Asante Belton

Former Jonesboro-Hodge High School graduate Asante Belton has been named pre-season Most Valuable Player of the National Basketball League – United States division. In last season’s action Belton scored 36 points for the Baytown Bobcats in the playoffs leading to his preseason selection as 1st team ALL-NBL and MVP.

“I am hoping that this is the year I get called up to go overseas,” says Belton. “I want to leave the United State with a championship.”

For Belton to be playing at all, much less being considered as a possible Most Valuable Player of a league designed to prepare athletes for professional basketball is incredible.

“I was born with Congenital Heart Disease (CHD),” reflects Belton. “The doctors told my parents I wouldn’t the age of five.”

His journey is the perfect example of what can be achieved simply by never giving up on your dream. From the get go, Belton had to overcome one adversity after another. Due to the numerous doctor’s visit’s, and surgeries Belton never got the opportunity to play a complete season in junior high or high school. Yet each year whenever he was able he would be practicing with the team, doing what he could, when he could.

“What I remember about Asante is that he never really got the chance to play a full year due to his condition but whenever he was healthy enough he would be there for practice,” said JHHS head coach Allen Tew. “Even though he knew that he wasn’t going to play he would still come to practice and give it all he had.”

After graduating high school in 2014 Belton continued to work hard on his dream of playing basketball professionally. Through a regiment of medicines and a monitored diet Belton stared adding weight to his 5’7″ frame. The stronger he got, the more encouraged he became and the harder he worked.

“I remember the day that I knew I had been given an opportunity that others didn’t have,” said Belton. “I woke up and realized that I wasn’t supposed to be here. Not just playing ball but be alive. It made me more passionate about pursuing my goal of playing professionally. I also knew that I could be an inspiration to others as well and started to look for opportunities to speak to others.” 

Belton earned a spot on the Alexandria Armor of the American Basketball Association (ABA) in 2017-18. He played in two games and didn’t score a point. In 2019 he became a member of the he Baton Rouge Timberwolves of the United Basketball Association (UBA) as a backup point guard.  All the while he was growing stronger inside and out.  

In 2020 and now packing a solid 180 pounds on his diminutive frame he  joined the Baytown Bobcats of the NBL-US where it all finally came together. Belton moved into the starting lineup and since the small point guard has been delivering gigantic numbers, including his 36 point career high effort in the 2020 playoffs. 

“It is kind of hard to believe that after all the surgeries and setbacks when I was young that here I am at the age of 19, healthy as an ox and not only making a living doing what I love, but being considered one of the best in the league at it” said Belton.

That league that he is now a premier player of is the National Basketball League which is a unique American based Exposure League. It is designed to bridge the gap between USA, Asia, Caribbean, African and European basketball, in order to provide opportunities for professional players to showcase their talent on a global platform. The  2021 season will feature 18 teams in seven states including Belton’s Baytown squad. 

“The Bobcats are built for my style of play,” said Belton. “I am looking to finish what I started last year and get our team a championship and hopefully a shot at playing in a professional European league next year. “

More than anything Belton hopes his journey inspires others who have it hard coming up or have adversities that they have to overcome. 

“My message is DON’T GIVE UP! I don’t care if you don’t have money, support or even good health, as long as you don’t give up on your dream and keep your faith, you will succeed.”

I am living testimony that if you want it bad enough you can overcome anything. I always felt I had a dark cloud over me but now I am starting to see the sun.”

Here’s hoping that not only does Belton get to see sunny days ahead but also the bright lights of professional basketball arenas all over the globe.  


Officials stress fireworks safety during 4th of July holiday celebration

On Friday, July 4th, the United States of America will celebrate the 243rd year of becoming an independent nation. No one wants to put a damper on enthusiastic celebrations of Independence Day but before setting off those fountains and missiles, a little bit of planning and common sense can prevent a lot of problems.


In order to best prepare, here are a number of recommendations for any resident hoping to light a few firecrackers of their own this weekend. First and foremost, know the local laws. Remember, just like with driving and boating, alcohol and fireworks are not a good combination. A mishap can lead to serious injuries and a trip to the hospital.

Quality control on many fireworks are not up to the standards. Be careful using any brand. Finally, remember that not only your pets, but also surrounding neighbor pets have a hard time with fireworks explosions. Be mindful of this and move fireworks away from heavily residential areas.

Across the nation, July 4th is not only the busiest day of the year for fireworks, it’s the busiest day of the year for fires. About 40 percent of Independence Day structure fires are the result of fireworks, according to the National Fire Protection Association. About 250 people go to emergency rooms.

Sparklers are a good example of how people underestimate the danger of fireworks. Sparklers burn at about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals. They can quickly ignite clothing and leave young children with severe burns. According to the NFPA, sparklers account for more than 25 percent of emergency room visits for fireworks injuries.

The State Fire Marshal’s office suggests following these recommendations:

· Confirm fireworks are legal where you live; purchase fireworks only from licensed retailers.

· Only use fireworks in a large open space that has been cleared of flammable materials.

· Always keep young children away from fireworks; if teens are permitted to handle fireworks, they should be closely supervised by an adult; always wear eye protection.

· Make sure to have a garden hose or a bucket of water nearby in case of a fire.

· Only light fireworks one at a time; never try to re-light fireworks that have malfunctioned



Bowhunters ASA State Qualifier Tournament has big turnout

The ASA State Qualifier archery tournament  that was hosted by the Jackson Parish Bowhunters and shot at the Jackson Parish Sports Complex range located at 5254 Hwy 4, east of Jonesboro was a huge success that had 40 shooters from all ages participate.

“Our archery club is centered around fun for family and friends, says Jonathan Futrell.  “We want to keep the tradition growing and make sure it is introduced to the next generation. We would love to have more people come join us and become members.”

The Jackson Parish Bowhunters is a 3-D Archery Club. Membership fees are $60 a year per family. Tournaments are usually held on the first Saturday of every month during the archery season. Our next event will be a club tournament on Saturday, August 7th . Details for that event can be found on our Facebook page – Jackson Parish Bowhunters Archery club.  Please give Heath Hall (318) 245-3136 or Johnathon Futrell (318)-548-4135 a call for further details.

Results of ASA State Tournament Qualifier:

Men’s Known 50: 1st Lee Johnson – Score 208; 2nd Gavin Joy – Score 196
Senior Known: 1st William Sanders – Score 188; 2nd Earl Steele – Score 145
Men’s Known 45: 1st Justin Gill – Score 212; 2nd Jason Daniel – Score 208; 3rd Slade Daniel – Score 202; 4th Lucas Byrd – Score 191; 5th Chris Hamilton – Score 171
Men’s Known 40: 1st David Constance – Score 214; 2nd Scott Thomason – Score 188
Senior Men’s Open: 1st Buzz Townsend – Score 208; 2nd Michael Graves – Score 189
Super Senior Known: 1st Randell Hatten – Score 214; 2nd Kenneth Ambrose – Score 192; 3rd James Daniel – Score 169
Senior Hunter: 1st Keith Simmons – Score 190
Men’s Hunter: 1st Rodoldo Galit – Score 202; 2nd Daniel Laffitte – Score 178 3rd Cody Williams – Score 156
Women’s Known 40: 1st Hannah Joy – Score 202; 2nd Tracy Hamilton – Score 179
Young Adult Open Male: 1st Shane Rowe – Score 210
Young Adult Open Female;:1st Allison Johnson – Score 127
Women’s Hunter: 1st Tara Proffitt – Score 175
Youth Open Boys: 1st Dayne Bennett – Score 200; 2nd Easton Hall – Score 194; 3rd Max Milton – Score 191;4th Alan Simmons – Score 184; 5th Jacob Robertson – Score 156
Youth Open Girls: 1st Nadjia Proffitt – Score 208
Eagle Open Boys: 1st Hayden Constance – Score 195; 2nd Ayden Byrd – Score 182
Eagle Pin Boys: 1st Luke Rowe – Score 125; 2nd Eli Rowe – Score 112
Eagle Pin Girls: 1st Allie Middleton – Score 135
Junior Eagle Open: 1st Remington Williams – Score 165; 2nd Reece Johnson – Score 116; 3rd Brandon Lafitte – Score 99; 4th Tucker Williams – Score 87
Novelty Shot (Long Range) Distance- 74 Yards- Boyd Sanders

Former JHHS baseball coach Wayne Johnson hangs up his spikes after 41 years

Many legendary LHSAA coaches have Jonesboro-Hodge High School on their resume. Some such as prep football coaching Hall of Famer, Don Shows and basketball coaching great Casey Jones, had their first head coaching jobs at JHHS. Then there are others such as recent retiree, Wayne Johnson, who spent quality years as a Tiger. 

Johnson hangs up his spikes after 41 years of calling signals from the third base coaching box where he compiled an amazing record of 889-270 as a head baseball coach. Included is the distinction of leading five separate programs to the state semifinals, winning two state championships (St. Frederick – 1982, Cedar Creek – 2000), three state runner-up finishes and over 30 district titles. 

“Well the beauty of my coaching career is the mission Jesus laid out for me, ” said Johnson. “[It] was the people involved the relationships you make with the people that’s what you miss a lot. Becoming successful and winning is secondary, really for me. It’s what you can do for other people. And, winning kind of comes along behind that …”

Wayne Johnson entered the profession of high school coaching in a unique way in that he never spent a single season as an assistant coach.  He did have several assistants of his go on to become head coaches in their own right such as Ben Haddox at Cedar Creek and Paul Guerriero at Neville High. His departure from the coaching ranks is in a way a coach dreams of.

“Every coach would like to go out on top, and we had such a great year,” said Johnson, who spent his final season coaching at Mangham. “We won consecutive district titles and was in Sulphur playing for the state championship. You ask yourself after 41 years if not now when?”

Johnson led JHHS to three consecutive district championships and consistent deep runs in the playoffs each year during his tenure in the mid 1980’s after winning his first state title as St. Frederick’s in Monroe in 1982. When Johnson thinks back on that championship run, the first thing that comes to mind is the group that convinced him to stay.

“That team was really unique because Jonesboro-Hodge kept wanting to hire me as head baseball coach at that time,” Johnson said. “I was going to take it and some of the players came to my house and talked me into staying. It’s relationships like those that Johnson holds dearest. As he reflects on his career, that’s the first thing Johnson thinks about.

“I’ve been so blessed,” Johnson said. “God has blessed me so well. We won close to 30 district championships, and that’s not even easy to do. We’ve been through so many things in so many different communities. I attribute (the success) to the great people that I was associated with. They all became my friends and a part of my family.”


Who Is The Greatest Bass Angler Of All Time? – (Part 2)

This week we continue our quest to determine who is the greatest bass angler of all time. In the previous article we revealed and made a case for three anglers in Denny Brauer, Aaron Martens and Edwin Evers. Again, our criteria are based off the recent list by B.A.S.S. of the ‘All-Time Money Winners.” But before we get to the top two on this list, we have to take a look at some of the old timers who made bass fishing what it is today. Guys who were around when it all began in the late 1960’s like Bill Dance, Roland Martin and Rick Clunn who all dominated the pro tour in the beginning and took full advantage of their early success.

No name or person in the history of bass fishing is more recognizable than Bill Dance with his University of Tennessee baseball cap. To give you an idea how popular that cap is, I ran into Bill at the International Fishing Show known as ICAST in Orlando a few years ago and his PR director had one of Bill caps in his hand while Bill toured the show. I ask him what the extra hat was for, and he said it’s in case someone comes by and snatches his hat off his head. I asked if that had ever happened, and he said yes quite often. When it comes to marketing, no other cap is as recognized as the one Bill Dance wears. His show “Bill Dance Outdoors” is the longest running fishing TV show in history broadcasting since January 5th,1968. Bill does an outstanding job of introducing new tackle and techniques to the public though his show. He’s not just another pretty face for TV, but in his hay day, he was one of the best anglers to ever wet a hook and dominated the tour early on. But he retired from tournament fishing at a very young age in order to focus more on his TV show and sponsor promotions. He pretty much put Strike King Lures on the map and has help make them the leading tackle company in the world.

Let’s look at Roland Martin…another of the all-time greats who many will say IS the greatest angler of all time based on the fact that he won 9 Angler of the Year Titles. No one even comes close to that and the fact he won 19 B.A.S.S. events and 19 runner-up finishes. He was in the money 63% of the time as he accumulated over $1 million in winnings during a time when the money was nothing like it is today. If he would have fished in this new era of today with that kind of dominance, his earnings would have exceeded over $4 million in tournament winnings alone not including endorsements and merchandise sales. The only thing that haunts Roland Martin today, is the fact that he never won the Bassmaster Classic. A tournament that just seemed to elude his grasp time and time again. Just a little info about Roland (who resides in Naples Florida) is he loves to turkey hunt and tarpon fish. His son Elite Series Pro Scott Martin has also been very successful in his own right with an FLW Championship under his belt and a very popular TV show called “The Scott Martin Challenge.”

Rick Clunn is another angler whose name always comes up as the greatest of all time and at one time had the title of the GOAT.. Just like NFL quarterbacks who are judged by the number of Super Bowls they’ve won, bass fishing professionals are judged by how many Bassmaster Classics they’ve won. Rick Clunn and Kevin Van Dam lead that list with four Classic wins to their credit. (More on KVD later) Now Rick is a different bird who has always flown a little different route than most other anglers. When other anglers would zig, Clunn would zag. In the beginning and during most of his career, Rick separated himself completely from other pros and I mean literally by staying at campgrounds outside in a tent. He avoided hotels where he felt anglers talked too much and got into each other’s head. He avoided what he called “dock talk.” Rick’s philosophy included a form of meditation known as zenning. It was his way of becoming one with nature. He always felt like the closer he was with nature, the better he could connect with the bass and as Rick would say “become one with the fish.” Over his career, Rick has accumulated over $2.6 million dollars in winnings.

Now let’s looks at the real GOAT (Greatest Of All Time)…Kevin Van Dam. This guy took bass fishing by storm in 1987 and made his presence felt his first year as a touring professional. Allegedly the story goes that he walked up to Rick Clunn (who was the GOAT at that time) and introduced himself as Kevin Van Dam and that he was the guy who was going to start kicking his a#$. Whether this is true or not, it illustrates Van Dam’s confidence in his abilities to catch fish and win tournaments. His mental toughness has far exceeded all other anglers of his generation. If you look at winnings alone, Van Dam has collected over $6.4 million dollars in winnings which is double his closest competitor. He has won 4 Bassmaster Classics (the Super Bowl of bass fishing) and has won more B.A.S.S. events than any other angler in history with 25 and has 16 runner-up finishes to his credit. Over his career, he has been in the money 80% of the time which is an amazing stat in itself. KVD has also capitalized on the business side of bass fishing as well as the lead spokesperson and bait designer for Strike King Lures. There’s not a bass angler in America that does not have at least one KVD endorsed lure in their tackle box. So, you can debate this all you want, but it’s pretty clear based off statistics alone and money earned that Kevin Van Dam truly is the greatest bass fisherman of all time. I hope you’ve enjoyed this breakdown of bass fishing all-time greats. Whether you choose to agree or disagree, it’s hard to argue against KVD. Till next time, don’t forget to set the hook!

Steve Graf

Jackson Parish Library hosts painting day and summer reading performers

Looking for something to do this Wednesday thru Friday. You don’t have to go any further than either the Jonesboro and Chatham Branches of the Jackson Parish Library. Beginning on Wednesday at the Jonesboro Branch “Painting with Sharon Dousey” sessions will begin at 10am for adults 18 and up and again at 2pm for “the age group 8-18.

On Thursday, the scene shifts to Chatham where at 2:00pm, Curtis Pierre, otherwise known as the “Samba Man” will entertain members of the summer reading program following a performance to the Boys and Girls Club at 10am. On Friday, Pierre brings his entertainment to the Jonesboro Branch for two shows at the same 10:00am and 2:00pm times.


Calvin, Quitman at top of JPRD baseball summer league standings

The coaches from each of the six schools that are represented in the Jackson Parish Recreation Department Summer baseball league will tell you that the final scores of each of the contests that are played don’t really matter. After this is supposed to be just summer work being done in the setting of a glorified scrimmage. 

Still they keep score and as long as scored are kept then there is a winner and a loser to each game resulting in league standings. Well sorta! As the games don’t really count the archiving of the results isn’t exactly east to understand either so whether this is important or not, completely correct or not, here is the unofficial standings as of game played Monday, June 28th.

Unofficial standing of baseball league

Quitman 3-1

Game to be played on Thursday, July 1:

Game TimeHomeVisitorField

Game to be played Thursday, July 1st

4:30pm Cedar CreekWest Ouachita#3
4:30pm DownsvilleMontgomery#4
6:00pm West OuachitaPlainview#1
6:00pm WestonChoudrant#2
6:00pm CalvinCedar Creek#3
6:00pm QuitmanSimsboro#4
7:30pm MontgomeryPlainview#1
7:30pm DownsvilleSaline#2
7:30pm CalvinSimsboro#3
7:30pm QuitmanChoudrant#4

“Quail Forever” workshop series set for July 1st at C H Garrett Community Center

Beginning at 6:00pm on Thursday, July 1st, the second in a six part series entitled “Quail Forever” will be presented at the Charles H. Garrett Community Center in Jonesboro. The series is sponsored by the USDA, Trailblazer Organization and The Habitat Organization. 

Quail Forever Biologists discuss how you can incorporate wildlife management on your property. Hand sanitizer and masks will be available per request. Additional meetings that are scheduled are shown below. 

July 6th – Lincoln Parish Library, 910 Trenton St., Ruston, LA
July 13th – Ringgold Libarary, 2078 Hall St. Ringgold, LA 
July 20th – Wildlife & Fisheries Department, 9991 Hwy 80, Minden, LA 
July 27th – Union Parish Police Jury, 303 E. Water St., Farmerville, LA

Please RSVP by calling (318) 639-3235.

Results of Jackson Parish 9u All Stars at District 8 Tourney

Jackson Parish got beat by Sabine 11-6 and Alexandria 12-8 in a pair of closely contested games in the District 8 Dixie Youth 9u All-Star Tournament played in Many, LA. Competing for the locals were: Jayden Burns, Ryan Sandifer, Waylon Sullivan, Noah Spillman, Hayden Essmeier, Drew Cantrell, Dane Clifton, Andrew Brown, Cason Rogers, Jacob Emmons, Jensen Waggoner and Spencer Strickland. Coaches were; Juddy Rogers, Jedd Essmeier and Marty Cantrell.

Sabine 11 Jackson Parish 6: The locals raced out to a 5-1 lead after three innings but fell victim to walks and errors  in the fourth and fifth innings that turned the tide. Highlights of the contest and players of mention were:

Noah Spillman pitched 2 2/3 innings with 5 k’s and got a hit.
Jensen Wagner turned a nice defensive double play to end the 3rd.
Cason Rogers- single and 2 runs
Waylon Sullivan- 2 runs
Ryan Sandifer- single, 2 RBI
Jake Emmons- single
Drew Cantrell- BB
Spencer Strickland- BB
Dane Clifton- 2-2, Run
Alexandria 12 Jackson Parish 8: Cason Rogers hit a grand slam but 12 runs by Alexandria was to much to overcome as the locals bowed out of tourney play after two games. Noah Spillman  struck out 5 and Ryan Sandifer added a pair of K’s on the mound. Additional batting highlights were;

Hayden Essmeier- BB, R
Noah Spillman- 2 BB, 2 R
Waylon Sullivan- 2 BB, Run
Ryan Sandifer- BB
Jensen Waggoner- Single, BB
Jake Emmons- BB
Jayden Burns- 2 BB
Spencer Strickland- single, Run
Dane Clifton- BB, R


Remember This? Oscar at Sea

In May of 1941, several months before the United States officially entered World War II, Nazi Germany’s battleship Bismarck and a heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen scoured the Atlantic Ocean on a raiding mission to thwart Allied shipping between the United States and Great Britain. On May 24, the two ships entered into battle with two Royal Navy ships, the British battleship HMS Prince of Wales and the battlecruiser HMS Hood, nicknamed “the Mighty Hood,” in what is now referred to as the Battle of Denmark Strait.

The battle has been memorialized in books, songs, films, and other media including Johnny Horton’s 1960 hit song “Sink the Bismarck.” In the song, Johnny Horton sang that “The Bismarck was the fastest ship that ever sailed the sea, on her deck were guns as big as steers and shells as big as trees,” followed by the war cry “We gotta sink the Bismarck cause the world depends on us.”

Within the first ten minutes of the battle, one of the Bismarck’s “shells as big as trees” struck the Hood near one of its ammunition magazines. Within seconds, the Hood exploded with a violent shudder and sank. In less than thirteen minutes after the Hood fired its first shot, as Johnny Horton sang, “The Mighty Hood went down.” Only three of the Hood’s 1,418 sailors survived the sinking.

News of the Hood’s fate was devastating to British moral, but they soon rallied. The Royal Navy was determined to sink the Bismarck. It became their prime target. Prime Minister Winston Churchill ordered all ships in the region to search for the Bismarck.

Within hours, the British fleet located the Bismarck. Bi planes from the Royal Navy’s Ark Royal dropped torpedoes on the Bismarck. The first torpedo struck the Bismarck but only caused minimal damage. The second torpedo struck near and jammed the Bismarck’s rudders. The Bismarck was unable to steer but kept moving in a large circle. The battle continued throughout the night and into the morning of May 27, 1941. Continuous attacks by several British ships destroyed the Bismarck’s guns. At 10:40 a.m., the Bismarck disappeared beneath waves. Of the 2,200 aboard, only 114 survived.

Hours after the sinking of the Bismarck, sailors aboard the British Ship Cossack saw Oscar sitting on a piece of floating wooden wreckage. Oscar was the only survivor of the Bismarck to be picked up by the British Ship.

At first, the sailors on the Cossack were unsure what to do with Oscar. They put Oscar, not in the brig, but in a room where they could keep a close eye on him. With each passing day, the crew gave Oscar more and more freedoms. Before long, Oscar was performing the same task on the Cossack for the Royal Navy that he had performed on the German Bismarck. He was working for his country’s enemy.

On October 23, 1941, the Cossack was escorting a convoy of ships from Gibraltar to the United Kingdom. Unbeknownst to the crew, a German submarine U-563 had spotted the ship. Without warning, an explosion rocked the Cossack. The German U-boat had fired a single torpedo and disappeared. The Cossack was damaged and unable to steer but stayed afloat. Two days later, a tugboat from Gibraltar arrived and towed the Cossack toward land. On the following day, October 26, a storm moved into the area. The tugboat was unable to keep the tow line attached to the Cossack in the high sea. On October 27, the Cossack floundered to the turbulent sea and sank into the Atlantic Ocean. 159 crew members died as a result of the ship’s sinking, but not Oscar. He was among those rescued by the HMS Legion. The Legion transported the survivors to Gibraltar.

The crew of the Cossack spoke so highly of Oscar that he was not jailed for being an enemy combatant but was put to work on the HMS Ark Royal aircraft carrier. Two weeks after Olive joined the Ark Royal, on November 13, a German U-boat fired a torpedo at the aircraft carrier. The explosion shook the ship. Several of the crew were launched into the ocean by the blast but only a single crew member died. It took nearly three hours for the Ark Royal to sink. In that time, the HMS Legion was able to rescue all of the Ark Royal’s crewmen. As had happened when the Bismarck sank, sailors found Oscar clinging to a floating board.

Oscar’s days at sea were over. For reasons which remain unclear, the Royal Navy transferred Oscar to the seamen’s home in Belfast, Ireland. Oscar never returned to Germany but stayed at the seamen’s home for the remainder of his life. From May until November 1941, Oscar had survived the sinking of three ships. His job in the German Navy and then in the British Navy was an important one, pest control. You see, Oscar was not a typical sailor. Oscar was…a cat.

Local Business and Personal Services


The commitment of the Jackson Parish Journal is to bring the most current news, sports and information about Jackson Parish to local viewers or those who are interested in local activities. In an effort to continue to promote Jackson Parish a Business and Personal Services section has been formed to allow local individuals and business service companies located in Jackson Parish introduce their services to viewers. Call 318-480-1206 for more information or send email to: jpjjacksonla@gmail.com

Sanders Pressure Washing Service

Residential, Commercial, Patio’s, Driveway’s, Log Trucks, etc… All professionally done at great prices and with quick turnaround. For a free estimate call: Kyle Sanders at (318) 475-5430 or send email to: kylesanders28@icloud.com

Quality Electrical & Controls Service:

“Call us when you want the job done right.” Over 60 years of combined Licensed and Certified experience in Residential, Commercial, Industrial, Control Panels, Electrical, HVAC and Inspections service. Located at 5039 Hwy 4 East, Jonesboro, LA. For free estimate contact:
Billy Earl Wilhite: (318) 475-2403
Richard Andrews: (318) 475-5136

4T Exterior Cleaning:

House wash, Metal roof wash, gutter cleaning, concrete, deck, and brick/ patio cleaning. Call (318)475-0347 or email Trevor.hall62@yahoo.com

B3 Lawn Services:

No job to large or small. For complete lawncare and select landscaping services contact:
Todd Lowe (318) 623-8532
TJ Wilkerson (318) 480-1328
Josh Henry (318) 480-1596
email: littleballgame93@yahoo.com

Harris Yard Beautification Service: 

For all your lawn and landscaping needs contact Greg Harris at (318) 245-2349. Free estimates and professional service guaranteed. Based out of Chatham. 

Swimming Lessons:

A Pipes family tradition continues. Call Pamela at 318-533-2983. Cost is $65.00

Free PediaSure:

Individual has more Children’s Nutritional drink than they could ever use and is offering at no cost to anyone in need. Lots of extra cases of 1.5 calorie PediaSure available. 8 oz. cans – 24 to the box. Contact Mary Blood at (318) 259-2750.

Book for sale: 100 year history of JHHS football 

A year-by-year description of the first 100 years (1919-2019) of JHHS football that includes summary of early beginnings, yearly results, rosters, team and individual records and a gallery of pictures. Perfect gift for that grandfather, father, uncle or cousin who would enjoy remembering their “glory days”. Cost is $25.00 per book plus $3.00 shipping and handling. To order call (318) 480-1206 or send email to: jpjjacksonla@gmail.com


Public Notices


A Public Hearing will be held July 13th, 2021 at 5:30 p.m. to discuss the purposed Ordinance #2021-006 Tax Collector Salary. An ordinance amending section 2 of the code of ordinances of the Town of Jonesboro to amend section 2-73 fixing the compensation for the Town Tax Collector; providing an effective date therefore and providing for matters related thereto.


Body found in pond suspected to be of missing person Jimmie Thompson

Authorities have found human remains in a pond off Ed Barnes Road in Jackson Parish. According to the Jackson Parish Sheriff’s Office (JPSO), they suspect the body to be Jimmy Thompson, who was reported missing on June 20, 2021, by his family members. Thompson was last seen on May 5, 2021, around 9:30 p.m. Deputies say they have been searching the Ed Barnes Road area since Thompson was reported missing and that the remains will be sent off for forensic autopsy and full identification. No foul play is suspected.

Fake KKK fliers used in attempt to smear Chatham woman

As reported on KNOE-TV on Thursday, June 24th, residents in Chatham woke up Thursday morning to an unpleasant surprise on their front lawns. Jackson Parish Sheriff Andy Brown says bags containing a rock, and a picture of a woman urging people to join the Ku Klux Klan were distributed to around 20-30 Chatham residents.

“I think it’s pretty much a cowardly act on the part of whoever put these out here to try and slander this person,” Brown said.

He furthers said this was not the first time this has happened in Chatham.

“Another individual, about a week ago had the same type bag, rock, and a picture in it labeling somebody a pedophile,” he said. 

Brown believes the incidents are related. As for the woman in the picture, he says she is not a member of the KKK.

“She works for the ambulance service here. She is doing her clinical and is trying to become a paramedic.”

When asked who could possibly be behind the attack the victim says she doesn’t know.

“I have tried to get her to look back in her mind somewhere and maybe come up with somebody who has a problem with her, but she can’t think of anybody,” Brown said.

Once the person responsible is identified Brown said he will pursue a littering charge against them. He also expects the victim to pursue civil charges for slander. If you have any information in regard to this you are asked to contact the Jackson Parish Sheriff’s Office at 318-259-9021. 

For new WHS Softball coach Cecilia Akin there is no place like home

When Weston High School announced that Cecilia Akin would be the girls softball coach in 2022 it completed a journey that ended right where it started – back home. It also allowed her dream to become a reality. She now has the only job she wanted at the only place she wanted to be at.

“This is all I have ever wanted to do,” said Akin. “To be the head coach of the Weston softball team is my dream job.”

Akin credits her former coach and current WHS Assistant Principal, Debbie Pender and her aunt, Kim Shows, who stepped down after one year as the girls softball head coach but will continue to be with the program as Akin’s assistant, with instilling the desire to follow in their footsteps.

“I am here because of the influence Coach Pender and my aunt Kim had on me,” reflected Akin. “They both have made such a difference in my life and have been wonderful inspirations for me.”

Her desire to one day run the softball program at Weston was obviously apparent to both her mentors as well.

“Coach Pender always told me when I was playing that she knew one day I would be back,” laughed Akin. “Aunt Kim also knew that this is what I had wanted to do as well and I am so grateful to her to allow me to be her assistant last year and basically swap places with me now so that I would have this chance.”

As a player Akin was named Class B All State first team in both her junior (2015) and senior (2016) seasons at WHS where she pitched the Lady Wolves to consecutive district titles. Over the two year period she compiled a 36-15 overall record that included a sparkling 14-1 record in district play and a combined 13 shutouts.

After graduation Akin took her talents to Hinds Community College in Mississippi where she was a starting pitcher for two years and earned NJCAA All State honors her sophomore year. From there she transferred to Louisiana Tech where she finished with a degree in English in 2020. Now she is back home where she has always wanted to be and where her heart never left hoping to be able to bring back the winning tradition that she helped develop.

“I want our girls to be able to experience the success and joys of winning,” said Akin. “They have great potential to do so and I am excited to see what we can achieve as a team. “

Jackson Parish Hospital enters into partnership with Culinary Services Group

Ever since their arrival four years ago, providing the best in patient care has been an objective of Jackson Parish Hospital CEO John Morgan and COO Dr. Jason Thomas. The advances made in such a short time have been near incredible through the implementation of some of the most advanced technology available such as Tele-Medicine for our parish schools, 3D Mammography, Artificial Intelligence assisted Computed Tomography and most recently the unveiling of a new futuristic patient wing.

Recently the patient care at JPH took another giant leap forward but this time it wasn’t through any type of new age technology. Instead it was through the improvement one of the more basic services the hospital has to offer, but one that plays no small part in helping patients heal. As of June 8th, patients and staff will have the opportunity to enjoy meals prepared by Culinary Services Group (CSG) and resident Chef John Mayer.

Since being founded in 2008, CSG has become one of the nation’s premier food management services companies that specializes in senior living, behavioral health and hospital food service preparation as evidenced by their inclusion in Food Management Magazine’s Top 50 list. In line with the continued pro-active movement by the JPH administration, their partnership with CSG is the first in the state of Louisiana.jackson-parish-hospital (1)

The difference in food service that CSG and Chef Mayer brings not only revolutionizes food service from a health standpoint but in a simple, old-fashioned attempt to make a patient’s stay as enjoyable as possible. What is now being served isn’t “hospital” food and certainly not in “hospital” fashion.

As an example, imagine you are a patient and it’s breakfast time. Instead of just bringing you your meal, now your Chef will present you with a menu that allows you to make such choices as having your eggs prepared the way you like. Want fried eggs today? Scrambled eggs tomorrow? Would you rather have grits as a side, or oatmeal or cream of wheat? Maybe you want just cold cereal or yogurt? Biscuits or toast? The choice is yours. If you think that’s something, you should see the lunch and dinner menus. If you’re hungry outside of one of the normal meal times, you can also order off the “Always Available” menu with meals such as salads, grilled cheese sandwiches, and hamburgers. Also, under Chef Mayer’s guidance, any type of specialty diet required by doctor’s orders during your stay will be prepared to perfection.

“I believe the intake of food designed to make a person healthier is vital in the healing process,” said Chef Mayer who brings 40 years of food service experience. “What is also important is that they enjoy what they are eating so that they will eat everything they are supposed to.”

Mayer brings another attribute to the proverbial “table” that normally one would hope to get from their Physician and not even consider coming from a food service preparer and that is a good “bed-side” manner.

“I feel it is important to make “rounds” just like a doctor does,” said Chef Mayer. “No one wants to be in a hospital and I want my patrons to know that we are trying to make things as comfortable as possible for them so they can focus on getting better. My hope and desire is that it makes a difference in the way they think of their stay.”

With a philosophy like that it is no wonder that CEO Morgan and COO Thomas, as well as the rest of the Jackson Parish Hospital administration and staff are excited to be now working with CSG and Chef Mayer. The partnership may be among two organizations but the way they both think is one and the same.

Alligator invasion! 2nd gator in two weeks captured in Jonesboro

It makes you wonder what is causing the “invasion”? For the second week in a row an alligator has had to be removed from a place of business alongside Hwy 167N, just north of the “Gate City” area in Jonesboro. Two weeks ago a six-foot long alligator was found on the doorstep of the Jonesboro Family Medicine Clinic. This past Wednesday, a smaller version was picked up in the parking lot between Grace Community Church and the Pizza Hut. Maybe it heard there was a MeatLovers special going on. 

Jonesboro Police Department Assistant Chief, Ciera Murphy, who Police Chief James “Spike” Harris has now dubbed “Crocodile Donetta” after catching and assisting in the relocation of three alligators and Jackson Parish Sheriff’s Office Deputy Michael Simonelli caught the reluctant reptile. After the “scaleback” was secured it was removed and returned to a nearby wetlands area.  

What Has Happened To The Blue Birds?

If you have followed my writings for very long, there is one thing you’ll notice. I enjoy song birds. I’m not an official “birder” but feeding the little sprites in my yard is something I really enjoy. Something else is high on my list of things about birds that I enjoy and that’s offering them nesting boxes to rear their young.

For years I tried to entice purple martins to a box without success. Growing up, we had no problems at all attracting these sweet singing little mosquito-eating martins and I just assumed when I grew up and had a home of my own I’d have plenty of martins to enjoy. That has not been the case as they have shunned my martin boxes. That’s not the case, however, with another species I have enjoyed watching build, lay sky-blue eggs and hatch little ones. Blue birds,
Eastern Blue Birds to be exact.

There was no doubt that once the weather began warming this spring, I’d see blue birds beginning to do what they have always done; build a nest in my boxes. Alas, it was not to be this year. My boxes have all been empty leaving me disappointed and frustrated. I decided to check around to see if I was the only one with similar experiences. Posting
my concern on Face Book, I was rather surprised at the responses I received.

As of now, I have received more than 40 responses to my query. A few responders reported blue birds in their boxes. The majority, however, seem to have had results similar to mine. From those responding, several reported something rather chilling – literally. The big ice storm, snow fall and frigid temperatures we had in February apparently had a devastating effect on blue birds in our area.

“I found several dead in my boxes,” one said. “I lost almost all my bluebirds due to snow that lasted so long. I believe they starved to death,” wrote another. “I had five freeze in a box trying to roost out the weather” and another reported “I have heard as high as seven dead bluebirds frozen in bird boxes.”

If you think about it, song birds have a precarious time rearing a clutch of young with hazards, from weather to snakes to housecats taking a toll on nestlings in particular. Last year, I started off well when one of my boxes had four eggs that I’d check on periodically. After a couple of weeks, I determined that something was amiss as the eggs were
not hatching. I recall seeing a feral housecat hanging around near the box and I determined that
perhaps the cat caught the mother.

I reluctantly cleaned out the box and within a few days, another pair of bluebirds began preparing a nest and eventually I found five eggs in the box and soon I was pleased to find on fledgling that had hatched out. I checked the box a day or so later and found cracked eggs on the ground and the one that had hatched was dead. I don’t think it was a snake because the eggs and baby bird would be gone; I’m at a loss to know what happened to this nest.

I ended up last season with no bluebirds to show for a couple of efforts and none, not even a nest this year. I can only assume that the absence of nesting this year was the result of the devastating winter storm we had. I hope that those fortunate folks who have successful nests this spring will produce enough to close the gap this year has seen.

”Bluebirds can’t read; neither were they able to nest this year with likely culprit being snow and ice in February.”
Glynn Harris photo  


CANEY LAKE – Bass have been best at night or late afternoons on deep diving crank baits or over-sized plastic worms. Some in the 8-10 pound range have been reported. Smaller fish are schooling and hitting shad imitation lures. Crappie are around the deeper tops and hitting jigs and shiners fished 12 feet deep in 15-25 foot water. Bream are on the beds and hitting crickets and worms. No report on catfish. For information contact Hooks Marina at 249-2347, Terzia Tackle at 278-4498 or the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
BUSSEY BRAKE – Bream fishing has been good fishing worms or crickets around the trees. Bass are fair around the trees on soft plastics and spinners. Crappie are scattered and fair. For latest information, contact the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
BLACK BAYOU – Bass have been fair around the edges of the grass on jigs and spinners. Bream fishing is good around the tupelo gums. Crappie are scattered and fair on shiners or jigs. Contact Honey Hole Tackle Shop 323-8707 for latest information.
OUACHITA RIVER – Lot of current in the river. Best fishing for bass and crappie has been in the river lakes. For latest information, contact the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE D’ARBONNE –Crappie fishing continues to be best fishing the flats in 25 foot water fishing 8-10 feet deep on shiners or jigs with Cajun Cricket, Blue Thunder and Threadfin Shad jigs working best. Bream fishing is good on worms and crickets. Catfishing continues to be good off the banks and on the flats on night crawlers and cold worms. Bass fishing has been best fishing the deeper channel holes and old sloughs on jigs, crank baits. 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 early morning fishing in the back of the creeks on topwater lures. Some are also being caught fishing the points on the main lake with crank baits. At night, fish around the lighted piers with Shaky Heads with finesse worm added. Crappie have been better at night around the lights in 20 foot deep water. Bream are still around the beds and catfishing has been fair on cold worms. at night fishing the lighted piers with crank baits. For latest information, call Kel’s Cove at 927-2264.
LAKE POVERTY POINT – Bass and crappie are fair. Catfish and bream are fair to good. For latest reports, call Poverty Point Marina at 318/878-0101.
LAKE ST. JOHN – No report. For information, call Ken Mahoney at 318-201-3821.
LAKE YUCATAN – The water level is still high but slowly falling with better reports this week on crappie and bar fish fair to good. No report on bass. For information, call Surplus City Landing at 318/467-2259.

High School Summer Baseball / Softball Leagues begins 3rd week of play at JPRD

The third week of play for the High School Summer Baseball and Softball Leagues will take place at the Jackson Parish Recreation Department with a pair of baseball games slated for Monday, Tuesday and Thursday and eleven softball games scheduled for Thursday. Schedule of games are shown below. 

Weekly schedule
Date and TimesHome Visitor
Monday, June 28th – 6:00pmCalvinQuitman
Monday, June 28th – 8:00pm Calvin Dodson
Tuesday, June 29th – 6:00pm DodsonQuitman
Tuesday, June 29th – 8:00pmSalineJHHS
Thursday, July 1st – 6:00pmHaynesvilleJHHS
Thursday, July 1st – 8:00pmHaynesvilleSaline
Thursday, July 1st Schedule
Time and FieldHomeVisitor
4:30 pm / Field 2WestonSaline
4:30 pm / Field 3 West OuachitaCedar Creek
4:30 pm / Field 4 MontgomeryDownsville
6:00 pm / Field 1 PlainviewWest Ouachita
6:00 pm / Field 2 ChoudrantWeston
6:00 pm / Field 3 Cedar CreekCalvin
6:00 pm / Field 4 Simsboro Quitman
7:30 pm / Field 1 MontgomeryPlainview
7:30 pm / Field 2 DownsvilleSaline
7:30 pm / Field 3 SimsboroCalvin
7:30 pm / Field 4 QuitmanQuitman

Louisiana’s lifetime hunting and fishing license to stay but other changes expected

The Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) wants outdoorsmen to know that their lifetime hunting and fishing privileges aren’t going away, but there will be changes. Beginning in June 2022, instead of selling separate lifetime licenses for hunting and fishing, Louisiana will only offer its combination license: a “Lifetime Sportsman’s Paradise” license for $500 that covers both hunting and fishing.

Those residents who already own individual lifetime hunting and fishing licenses — which cost $300 each and will be on sale for another year — will be grandfathered in to the new program and won’t see a fee increase. The changes are part of a wide-ranging effort recently approved by Louisiana’s Legislature and Gov. John Bel Edwards to streamline the state’s antiquated licensing structure and increase fees to raise revenue for the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

It’s the first time in two decades Louisiana has tweaked its recreational licensing structure — and with annual licenses set to expire at the end of June, questions about the changes are pouring in, department officials said. Outdoorsmen can rest easy for another eleven months though as the overhaul won’t go into effect until June 1, 2022. 

The new structure will include fewer licenses that cover more privileges, making it easier for those who hunt and fish across multiple categories to comply with the law. The basic fishing license, for example, will increase from $9.50 to $17, but will also cover activities that once involved eight different recreational licenses for crab traps, crawfish traps and other types of fishing. 

Senior citizens who already qualify for discounts also won’t see a fee increase. Those who were born on or before June 1, 1940 will continue to pay nothing, while those born on or before June 1, 1962 will only pay $5. After June 1, 2027, residents 65 and older will qualify for a discounted $20 license. 

Lawmakers agreed to the changes after officials painted a dire picture of the department’s finances. Historically, the agency relied on royalties from oil and gas drilling in its wildlife management areas to sustain its operations. But as production declined, those revenues dried up — dropping roughly $60 million in less than a decade. The restructuring will raise nearly $17 million for the agency in the budget year that starts in mid-2022 and will grow to about $19 million in later years, according to a nonpartisan financial analysis of the bill.

McClinton said that two-thirds of license-holders would see a cost increase of $10 or less. 

Beginning in January, commercial license holders will also see a bump in fees, though those changes will be phased in through 2024. 

Shady Grove High legend Angela Turner inducted into LA Sports Hall of Fame

The 2020 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame (LSHOF) inductees competed on the biggest stages and under the brightest lights across the country and around the world. Each one though had a common bond to rural Louisiana. Five of the seven competitive inductees cut their teeth on dirt courts or in grass fields. All four of the other honorees either grew up in small towns or were shaped by rural Louisiana on their way to wildly successful careers.

Led by local Shady Grove High School and Louisiana Tech legend, Angela Turner (Johnson), seven new competitive athletic members joined the LSHOF on Saturday along with the first Louisiana Sports Ambassador Award recipient, Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership Award winner this year’s Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism recipients.

Additional inductees included: Outdoorsman, Phil “Duck Commander” Robertson, former LSU football coach Nick Saban, eight-time Mr. Olympia world bodybuilding champion Ronnie Coleman, Sweet Lou Dunbar of the Harlem Globetrotters, New Orleans Saints receiver Joe Horn, UL-Lafayette / Chicago Bears cornerback Charles “Peanut” Tillman and New Orleans native Kerry Kittles, a two-time All-America guard at Villanova and eight-year NBA performer.

The hall will also honor Tim Brando as its first Louisiana Sports Ambassador Award recipient, retired University of Tennessee women’s AD Joan Cronan (Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership Award) and Robin Fambrough and Kent Lowe, this year’s Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism recipients.

Turner continued her winning ways while at tiny Shady Grove High School, located just south of the Jackson/Bienville Parish line,  as she helped turned Louisiana Tech into a national power, capturing the final AIAW national title in 1982 before taking the first NCAA women’s championship in 1983. Tech made four Final Fours in her Turner’s tenure, and the mid-range specialist was the Final Four MVP in 1981.

“We might have been a little town and a little school, but we had big hearts,” Turner said of Shady Grove, which helped form a personality being comfortable out of the spotlight with stud Louisiana Tech teammates. “I am thrilled to be joining three players from those Louisiana Tech teams (Pam Kelly, Kim Mulkey and Janice Lawrence-Braxton) and both of my coaches (Hogg and Leon Barmore) in this hall of fame.”

“At that time, we didn’t know the impact we would have on women’s basketball but we did think we could win a title. Pam (Kelly) and I told our coaches and (President F. Jay Taylor) that we were going to win a national championship. We won two.”

The 2020 Induction Class will be showcased in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Museum, operated by the Louisiana State Museum system in a partnership with the Louisiana Sports Writers Association. The striking two-story, 27,500-square foot structure faces Cane River Lake in the National Historic Landmark District of Natchitoches and has garnered worldwide architectural acclaim and rave reviews for its contents since its grand opening during the 2013 Hall of Fame induction weekend.

A 35-member Louisiana Sports Writers Association committee selected the 2020 inductees. The panel considered a record 150 nominees from 31 different sport categories on a 33-page ballot, said Hall of Fame chairman and Jonesboro native, Doug Ireland.

The complete 12-person, Class of 2020 will swell the membership in the Hall of Fame to 445 men and women, including 358 from the competitors’ ballot. This includes 24 Pro Football Hall of Fame members, 18 Olympic medalists including 11 gold medal winners, 11 members of the Basketball Hall of Fame, seven of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players and seven National Baseball Hall of Fame inductees.

There are also 37 College Football Hall of Fame members, nine National High School Hall of Famer’s, jockeys with a combined 16 Triple Crown victories, six world boxing champions, seven Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame members, seven College Baseball Hall of Famer’s, 10 College Basketball Hall of Fame inductees, four NBA Finals MVPs, four winners of major professional golf championships, five National Museum of (Thoroughbred) Racing and Hall of Fame inductees and two Super Bowl MVPs.