Trifold Tragedy! Three local teenagers perish in single car accident

The town of Jonesboro is still reeling from the fatal crash on Monday that took the life of three local teenagers, two who were students at Jonesboro-Hodge High School and left another with life threatening injuries. According to the report provided by Michael Reichardt of Louisiana State Police Troop F on July 26, 2021, shortly before 3:45 p.m., Louisiana State Police responded to a single-vehicle fatal crash on Works Road just west of LA Hwy 818 in Lincoln Parish

The initial investigation revealed a 2012 Kia Optima, driven by 19-year-old Lajermanique Nichols of Jonesboro, was traveling east on Works Road. For reasons still under investigation, the vehicle began to rotate, traveled off the road and struck a large tree.

Nichols, along with her brother,17-year-old Lajavion Nichols of Jonesboro and 16-year-old Javious Holden of Jonesboro, were unrestrained and ejected from the vehicle. All three were pronounced dead at the scene. A fourth occupant, identified as 18-year-old Edward Kary, was also ejected and sustained life threatening injuries. He was transported to a local hospital. No further report of his condition was available at time of publication. 


Brad Roller named Operations Manager by Jackson Parish Police Jury

Brad Roller has been named as Operations Manger of the Jackson Parish Police Jury. The action was one of four agenda items that was approved at the Special Called meeting that was held on Tuesday, July 27th in the Nathaniel Zeno Jr. meeting room of the Jackson Parish Police Jury (JPPJ) Administration Building. 

As Operations Manger, Roller will be responsible for applying for and working on federal and state grants that are available. His salary, which was not announced, will be payed out of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) meaning no addition in salary will be made to the budget. 

Board members Todd Culpepper, Lewis Chatham, John McCarty, Amy Magee (President), Tarneshala “Niki” Cowans, Regina Rowe and Lynn Treadway also agreed to enter into a lease agreement with LA Machinery. The low bidder won the contract after submitting a cost of $4,062.00 per month per grader or $8,024.00 for both. Also agreed upon was to add a Certified-Fit-for-Duty exam to the Return-To-Work policy as well as re-classifying Maintenance Supervisor Bubba Anderson to Level II. 

Doug Ireland – A passion for his profession

NOTE: This is the seventh part of a series published exclusively in the Jackson Parish Journal that celebrates the achievements of the six athletes and three Special Award winners that represent the Class of 2021 that will be inducted into the Jackson Parish Sports Hall of Fame (JPSHOF) on August 7th. This week: Doug Ireland

For better or worse. For richer or poorer. In sickness and in health. Till death do us part…. The statement is what two people in love quotes when pledging their undying devotion to each other. Jonesboro native, Doug Ireland, has never spoken those vows, yet you would be hard pressed to find anyone who has had a longer and more passionate love affair. In a sense you could say he has been married for over 40 years. The object of his affection is his work. Ireland did not have just one “love” but several.

When you combine them all together you come up with not only an inductee into Class of 2021 Jackson Parish Hall of Fame but also on August 28th, the 2021 recipient of the Louisiana Sports Writers’ Association’s Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism earning him a place in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.

First love! In his youth Ireland had a raging passion for athletic competition. As a Freshman at Jonesboro-Hodge High School he not only participated in, but excelled in both football, where he earned a varsity letter and baseball, where he was a starter on the baseball team and earned a letter in football. Then in the fall of his sophomore year he suffered a devastating injury to his knee. 

Through intensive rehabilitation Ireland defied the odds and came back in time to start again for the baseball team. Unbelievably that summer he suffered another setback, this time blowing out his other knee. Undaunted Ireland spent countless hours of rigorous rehabilitation to work his way back to once again start for the baseball team as a junior.

In doing so he earned the nickname of “Penguin” by his teammates because through his efforts to strengthen his knees his thighs had grown so big that when he walked he actually kind of “wobbled” resembling the way a penguin shuffles. Ireland continued to passionately train and spurning the recommendations of many who said he should quit, he gained another letter in football in his senior season which saw JHHS finish as the 1977-78 Class 2A state runner. This was followed by him also earning All-District honors in baseball. 

Second love! Unable to bridle his passion for sports, while on the “shelf” and unable to play, Ireland assisted local sports writing legend, Raymond “Doc” Jeffries, in the press box by compiling stats during the games. Jeffress also noticed the 14 year old had a tremendous talent for writing and took him under his wing to become another “Doc’s Disciple.”  This led to him doing Jonesboro-Hodge game recaps and writing a column for the Jackson Independent through the duration of his high school days giving birth to one of the most distinguished and illustrious careers of any sports writer in the history of Louisiana. 

Third love! This actually could be listed as his first love since the roots of this relationship date back to when he was only 12 years old. One of Ireland’s favorite pastimes while watching a sporting event on television was turning down the volume and broadcasting the game. That grew into him becoming the youngest “disc jockey” for the local radio station KTOC in the 1970’s. Upon entering college he became a play by play broadcaster as well as hosting a weekly sports show, something that he still does today every so often.

Fourth love! One of his most productive “romances” Ireland has nourished during his career was as a newspaper sports journalist. After earning his journalism degree at NSU, and spending three years as the first-ever assistant SID for fellow Class of 2021 inductee Dan McDonald, at UL-Lafayette, Ireland became an award-winning sports editor of the Natchitoches Times. 

From there he joined the Alexandria Town Talk sports staff in 1987 which first allowed readers from all over the state to enjoy his unique style of writing which made a reader feel like they were actually at an event. In an 18 month period Ireland captured 15 top three finishes in the annual Louisiana Sports Writing Association Awards contest. This included an LSWA record of nine overall awards and six first places in the 1987-88 competition. He followed that up six more awards, including two firsts, in the 1988-89 contest. Perhaps the best tribute that could be given to his style of writing was the comment that a reader gave regarding his coverage of the famous LSU vs Auburn “Earthquake” game.

“Ireland’s article was so descriptive that while reading the recap of the final play, I swear I could actually feel the ground shake.” 

For those who are not familiar with the contest, when LSU scored to win the game on the last play of the game, the crowd roared so loud and shook Tiger stadium so much that it actually registered on the Richter Scale at the LSU Seismology Department. 

Fifth love! In 1989 Ireland returned to NSU to become the Sports Information Director (SID). His 1992 Demon football media guide won Best in the Nation for Division I-AA from the College Sports Information Directors of America, and a 1997 historical feature marking Demon great Joe Delaney’s induction in the College Football Hall of Fame was second in a national CoSIDA contest.

Ireland added dozens of LSWA awards for writing and publications as the Demons’ SID, including 33 since 2000. In February 2008, he was presented the “Distinguished American Award” by the S.M. McNaughton Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame. Ireland was also named the Alexandria Town Talk’s Cenla Sportsman of the Year for 2012, an acknowledgement of his dual roles with the Hall of Fame and NSU Athletics. In 2016, he won the LSWA’s Story of the Year award as a correspondent for the Natchitoches Metro Leader and was also the recipient of the Southland Conference, 2016 Louis Bonnette Sports Media Award for impact in the NCAA Division I league. Ireland was also chosen for the 2020 “Mr. Basketball” award from the Louisiana Association of Basketball Coaches. After thirty years, Ireland ended his SID career in the summer of 2019 allowing him to nurture yet another romance of his, one that is still going strong after 30 years. 

Sixth love! When Ireland became the SID at NSU in 1989 he also became the Chairman of the Louisiana Hall of Fame that was housed in the hall of Prather Coliseum at Northwestern State. Never content to be satisfied with the status quo, Ireland spearheaded efforts leading to construction and the 2013 opening of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum in Natchitoches, which was declared the National Architectural Project of the year. Ireland managed all aspects of the annual Hall of Fame selections and inductions from 1990-2010, and since has continued to coordinate elections while collaborating with LSHOF Foundation leaders to stage the Induction Celebration each year. 

No, Ireland has never said the vows of marriage but we should all be so lucky to have such a torrid, passionate relationship. We are extremely lucky though to have been able to catch the thousands of “bridal bouquets” that he tossed our way.

Jackson Parish School Board to hold “Special Meeting” on Wednesday

The Jackson Parish School Board (JPSB) has announced a “special meeting” to be held at the Board Room of the JPSB Central Office located at 315 Pershing Hwy. in Jonesboro. Time of meeting is set for 9:00am. Two agenda items (shown below)  will be discussed and considered by Board members: Gerry Mims, Rickey McBride, Wade McBride, Dennis Clary  (President), Gloria Davis, Mary Saulters and Calvin Waggoner. 

Agenda for special called meeting of the Jackson Parish School Board

1. Invocation – Gloria Davis
2. Pledge of Allegiance – Wade McBride
3. Call to Order
4. Consider approving policy revision to: BC – School Board Meetings
5. Discussion of the Budgets for the 2021-2022 fiscal year of the General Fund and the Special Revenue Funds.
6. Superintendent Comments
7. Adjourn

The History of Jackson Parish – The growth of Jonesboro!

Ever wondered when Jackson Parish began to be settled and why it was called such? What about how the town of Jonesboro actually got its name? Maybe you curious about how Jonesboro became the parish seat or even things like how the early settlers made their money or got around back. You are not alone. Over the next several weeks a series entitled “Blast from the Past” will be published exclusively in the Jackson Parish Journal designed to help shed a light on these questions and more. This week – The growth of Jonesboro

In 1910 enabling acts were introduced to the Louisiana legislature providing for the parish seat to be moved from Vernon to Jonesboro. It finally passed and in 1912 the courthouse was built. in 1926, T.H. Bond, was the Sheriff and the District Attorney was W.J. Hammon. His predecessor was Julius T. Long, who filled that office from 1912 to 1920. Judge S. D. Pearce presided over the district court with J.C. Shows being the clerk. The parish treasurer was A.H. May who was not only efficient in the discharge of his official duties but the leading spirit in all matters tending toward the civic uplift of the parish. He particularly devoted his time and talent toward the preparation of constructive publicity about the parish and engaged in the organization of a Chamber of Commerce. A.C. Morris was the parish agent being well versed in the field of agriculture and turning the Jackson Parish Fair into one of the best in the northern tier of the state.

There were two banks in Jonesboro, the Jackson Parish Bank and the Jonesboro State Bank. Through interviews conducted with employees of each, the Shreveport Times published the background of the banks and their financial state in 1926. 

“The Jackson Parish Bank, now under the direction of President A.E. Simington, was established in 1904 with a capital of $12,500.00 and deposits the first year aggregating $50,000.00,” said cashier, Wilbur C. McDonald. “Today our resources total $531,502.05 and deposits come to $468,339.62. During this entire period we have declared annual dividends, even during the World War, of 8% to 25%, In 1912 we declared a dividend of 100% and sold $10,000.00 in additional stock. Our losses have been very small during the period of 1904-1920 amounting to only $250.00.”

The Jonesboro State Bank opened for business in 1913. The bank President was O.E. Hodge, who lived in Ruston and was the largest lumberman in that section. He was also a senior partner of the Hodge, Hunt Company which had reported holdings of over 50,000 acres of timber in four parishes and owners of one the largest mills in the state, located in Hodge.

“We opened with total resources of $24,000.00 and deposits the first year of the same amount,” said cashier, Paul F. Stinson. “Today our resources are $266,159.28 and deposits are $234,978.25. Our capital stock is $15,000.00 and surplus $15,645.00. We now have over 900 accounts and growing every day.”

Fundraisers in place to defray costs in Shanda Ables Campbell cancer battle

Her fight is our fight! That is the battle cry for local residents and many others who have joined forces to give spiritual and financial help to Shanda Ables Campbell who has been diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. The daughter of Laura and J.T. Ables of Jonesboro is now in Little Rock, AR where she is undergoing extensive chemotherapy in hopes of defeating the dreaded disease. 

shanda ablesI want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for the outpouring of love and support you’ve shown for myself and my family,” relayed Shanda in a Facebook post this past week.  “To everyone that has prayed, put me on prayer lists, bought raffle tickets, donated money, purchased t-shirt’s, called , sent text, donated food, brought chemo care packages by… I love you all. I just can’t truly express how grateful I am. Your thoughtfulness and support has made this so much more manageable.” 

What is Multiple Myeloma? Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cell. Normal plasma cells are a type of white blood cell that helps make up your immune system. If a plasma cell becomes cancerous, it multiplies rapidly. This is multiple myeloma. Multiple myeloma is considered treatable, but generally incurable although the life expectancy has improved dramatically over the last several years due to new treatments but it is a costly process.

Donations are appreciated but there are also some nice ways of showing your support through the purchase of these products and items shown below:
(1) Shanda Strong T-Shirt – Sizes available are Adult XS – 2XL. Cost is $30.00. Payments made through Venmo (ShandaStrong) or contact Beth Buccola through her Facebook page
(2) PRAY T-Shirt – Youth and Adult sizes available. . Cost is $28.00. To order contact Jaime Coke Wolfe through her Facebook site. 
(3) Raffle Tickets – Great prizes awarded for the $20.00 cost of ticket. Purchases of tickets can be made through:
Venmo: theresa_scott23 or Nichole Garrett
PayPal: theresa209 or 3185187534 (choose “friends and family” as option when submitting money)
Apple Pay: 3185187534



Weston’s Mattie Beaubouef wins three awards at National BETA Club competition

Earning the right to be in your schools scholastic achievement club – COOLl! Representing your school in a national competition – AWESOME! Coming home from Disneyland with three awards from the National BETA Convention – PRICELESS! 

That is what Weston High School student, Mattie Beaubouef, did recently when she came home with two second’s and a fourth place finish at the National BETA Club Convention held at the Walt Disney Resort in Florida. Beaubouef won second in mixed media and service learning showcase and took fourth in drawing.

“We are so very proud of Mattie” said Weston High School Principal Ritchie Tolar. “She worked hard for this and deserves her recognition.”

BETA Club members must maintain a 3.5 grade point average, take part in school activities and show leadership and service characteristics. The National Convention usually draws roughly 20,000 student from across the nation during the eight days of competition.


Lady Wolverine softball team to host golf tournament Saturday, July 31

The Quitman High School softball team will host their third annual, 2-man scramble, golf tournament on Saturday, July 31st at the Jackson Parish Golf Course. Cost is $150.00 per team. Tee time is set for 8:00 am but you are asked to arrive 30 minutes early to allow for pairings to be made. A lunch will be provided. For more information contact QHS softball head coach Justin Dodson at (318) 237-6579 or sign up at the Golf Course. Proceeds go to help defray expected expenses of the upcoming season. 


Madison Stringer is 2021 D.A.R.E. essay contest winner of Northwest LA District

Quitman resident, Madison Stringer, has been selected as the Northwest District of Louisiana winner of the 2021 D.A.R.E. Essay contest. The daughter of Josh and Kasey Stringer and grand daughter of Sonya Andrews and Steve Stringer and Carl and Penny Morris is a 7th grader at Cedar Creek High School in Ruston.

Stringer wrote about the knowledge that she gained from the D.A.R.E. program which was selected as the overall winner for Lincoln Parish. The essay then advanced to compete with schools from Caddo, Bossier, DeSoto, Natchitoches, Sabine, Bienville, Lincoln, Claiborne, Webster and Red River Parishes. Shown with Stringer in photo is Deputy Byron Feduccia who is the School Resource Officer and D.A.R.E. instructor for Cedar Creek.

Quitman High School Class of 1970 holds reunion

If getting together once is good and twice is better, then three times is “thrice as nice.” Especially when you are sharing a good time with the ones you graduated high school with 51 years ago. That is what 11 members of the Quitman High School Class of 1970 did recently when they met for the third time over the past several weeks to remember the ‘good ole days. ” 

Can you name the ones in the picture? For a hint here are the first names of each: (Front row) Richard, Reanee, Penny, Gayle, Jeanette, Lynn. (Back Row) Vicki, Danny, Karl, Jackie, Bill.

QHS baseball team tours La Tech Department of Kinesiology

It is one thing to work out and get in good shape. It is another to understand why you do certain exercises and to understand the mechanics of human movement. That is what the Quitman High School baseball team got to experience this past weekend thanks to David and Jessica Szymanski who gave them a tour of the Louisiana Tech Department of Kinesiology Human Performance Lab. 

Not only did the Wolverine club gain information on how to workout correctly which they hope will lead to being stronger and faster athletes but also learned more about the field of Kinesiology and where this can be a professional career. Types of normal professions a Kinesiologist will pursue include: Athletic Trainer, Chiropractor, Massage Therapist, Physical Therapist, Recreational Therapist and Occupational Therapist. 

The Last Request

On Wednesday, June 19, 1957, workers drilled, moved and crushed the earth at the Rattlesnake Uranium Pit Mine, 37 miles north of Monticello, Utah. 46-year-old James W. Rodgers normally worked outside the open pit mine and had only been moved inside the mine that very day to help in drilling operations. 33-year-old Charles “Chuck” Merrifield operated a power shovel, a bucket-equipped machine used for excavating earth or fragmented rock. June 19 was the first day that James and Chuck worked together.

At about 3:30 p.m., Dee Gardner, a truck driver at the mine, saw James walk from the pit to the red pickup truck assigned to James for working in the mine. The truck was owned by the mining company and painted a high-visibility red for safety. James told Dee and other workers nearby, “I guess I’m going to have to kill him (Chuck) before I leave this job.” James retrieved a .38 caliber revolver from the truck and headed back into the pit. James walked back past Dee and toward Chuck’s power shovel. Another mine worker told Dee, “I guess Rodgers is going to scare Chuck with a gun.”

At the power shovel, James motioned for Chuck to get off of the machine. Chuck stood up, put one foot down out of the cab, and James began firing his pistol. The first shot was not aimed at Chuck and hit the ground. A split second later, James aimed the pistol at Chuck and fired until the revolver was empty, with each shot taking effect. Chuck fell to the ground. Dee was afraid to move because he “felt Rodgers didn’t like [him] either.” James turned to Dee and other witnesses and said, “Well, I guess that takes care of that.” James put the pistol back in his belt and walked toward the pickup truck. He passed another mine worker as he neared his truck. James calmly told him, “Well, he asked for it and he got it.” James got into the pickup truck and drove away. Chuck died within a few short minutes.

Law enforcement officers in Utah set up roadblocks on the main roads in the area but James had taken a back road into Colorado. Utah law enforcement officers notified Colorado police near the Utah line of the shooting and told them to be on the lookout for the bright red mine truck. A policeman near Cortez, Colorado, about 100 miles east of the mine, recognized the vehicle immediately and initiated a traffic stop. The officer told James that a lot of policemen were looking for him, to which he replied, “Yes, I guess you are.” The officer arrested James without incident. He was armed with a .22 caliber rifle and the .38 caliber pistol he used in the shooting. James reassured officers that he “wasn’t going to shoot anybody else.” While in custody, James eagerly confessed to killing Chuck.

When questioned about the shooting, James told reporters, “I can’t tell you why I did it. He’d been getting on my nerves for some time, and I knew it was going to lead to serious trouble… But I just can’t explain why I did it. He came at me one time with a wrench in his hand and I thought he was going to hit me. He didn’t, but I felt he didn’t like me, and he kept on needling me. Not anything in particular, but all the time. I just couldn’t take any more of it. But I can’t tell you why I shot him.”

In court, James pled not guilty by reason of insanity. His attorneys argued that James was suffering from Syphilis which impaired his mental processes. The disease, his attorneys argued, had deteriorated his brain, which affected his thinking and reasoning capabilities. After two trials and a host of appeals, James was ultimately found guilty and sentenced to death by firing squad.

In the early morning hours on March 30, 1960, Sheriff Seth Wright and prison warden John Turner sat with James and waited for daylight, the time of his execution. The sheriff held a black hood that would be put over James’s head during the execution. James looked at the hood and asked the sheriff, “What you got there?” Sheriff Wright replied, “something to keep you warm.” “Don’t worry,” James answered, “I’ll be where it’s warm pretty quick.” When it was time to go to the prison field, Sheriff Wright asked if he was ready. James quipped, “Yes, give me an hour’s head start.” Just before the five riflemen “blasted him into eternity,” Sheriff Wright asked James if he had a last request. “Sure,” James replied, “how about a bullet-proof suit?” His request was denied.

Arrest Reports (July 17 – 27)

H.W. Morris (Chatham, LA) – Switched tags
Michael Waldroup (Eros, LA) – Warrant 
Ladaysia Celestine (Lake Charles, LA) – Improper Lane Change, Possession of Marijuana
Garry F. Gay (Eros, LA) – Criminal Trespass, Disturbing the peace
Latrica A. Atkins (Arcadia, LA) – Bienville Parish warrant
Johnathan C. Haynes (no listing) – Ouachita Parish warrant
Dexstine C. Snell (Jonesboro, LA) – Simple battery, Simple criminal damage to property, Disturbing the Peace
Marta Mayfield (Ponchatoula, LA) – Jackson Parish Bench Warrant
Kyle Sanders (Jonesboro, LA) – Warrants 
James Whitman (Jonesboro, LA) – Failure to appear
John O. McCarty (Chatham, LA) – Hit and run (no injury), Reckless operation
Amanda Walsworth (Jonesboro, LA) – Driving under suspension, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
Nathan A. Richardson (Eros, LA) – First degree rape, Domestic abuse battery, First degree feticide
Oscar Grimsley (Jonesboro, LA) – Execution of sentence x2
Robert Lee Harvey (Quitman, LA) – Simple damage to property, Careless operation
Marshal G. Johnston (Jonesboro, LA) – Execution of sentence
DMarcya T. Jackson (Jonesboro, LA) – Simple criminal damage to property

Classifieds! Services offered, Items for sale, Public Notices

To have your service business shown or list items you have for sale, send email to:

Quality Electrical & Controls Service:

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 or Richard Andrews: (318) 475-5136. “Call us when you want the job done right.”

4T Exterior Cleaning:

House wash, Metal roof wash, gutter cleaning, concrete, deck, and brick/ patio cleaning. For free estimates call Trevor Hall at (318) 475-0347 or email

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 or Josh Henry (318) 480-1596.

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. 

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:

5G Exterior Cleaning:

“Service you can trust at affordable prices” Commercial and residential cleaning services. Be it commercial buildings, homes, driveways, patio’s, truck’s and trailers, no job to big or small. For free estimates call or text: Ty Garrett at (318) 243-7772 or send email to: 

Swimming Lessons:

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

Motorcycle for sale:

hemphill bike2006 Heritage Soft Tail Classic. Has approximately 25,000 miles on it. Needs tires. Installed saddle bag stiffeners. Runs excellent. Screaming eagle exhaust. Asking $3500.00. If interested or for more information call or text: Ronnie Hemphill at (318) 475-2100.


Book for sale: 100 year history of JHHS football 

jh bookA year-by-year description of the first 100 years (1919-2019) of JHHS football. Included is summary of early beginnings, yearly results, rosters, updated 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:


Public Notice

Ward 4 Fire District Board to discuss resignation of President and Fire Chief

Members of the Ward Four Fire Protection District will consider several agenda items at the Monday, July 26th meeting including the resignation of the Fire Chief and Board President. The meeting will take place at 7:00pm at the Ward Four Central Station located just past Weston High School at 261, Hwy 505.

Additional items to be discussed is the proposal by the Weston Water System, 2021 Parcel Fee and the consideration to fill the vacancy on the board. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, if you need special assistance in taking part in a meeting of this fire district, please contact the district office at 318-259-6672 and describe the assistance needed. 

Tyjuan Hayes – A leader of men

NOTE: This is the sixth part of a series published exclusively in the Jackson Parish Journal that celebrates the achievements of the six athletes and three Special Award winners that will be inducted into the Jackson Parish Sports Hall of Fame (JPSHOF) on August 7th. This week: Tyjuan Hayes.

Researchers estimate that at least 10 percent of the U.S. population has a fear of the number 13 and even more have a specific fear of Friday the 13th.  Throughout history, the number 13 has been associated with bad luck and misfortune, so it’s only natural that people are dubious. There is even a word in Webster’s Dictionary that describes the fear of the number – triskaidekaphobia.

Yet the only quarterback in Jonesboro-Hodge High School history that has three state championships on his resume, two of which he was the starter, wore #13. Doesn’t sound like the number was unlucky for Class of 2021 Jackson Parish Sports Hall of Fame inductee, Tyjuan Hayes. Then again luck had nothing to do with it.

“Tyjuan is one of the smartest players I have ever had the opportunity to coach” said former Jonesboro-Hodge head football coach Joey Pender during the 1989 season. “The way he plays is the way our offense plays.”

That was quite a statement at the time especially considering that the Tiger boasted another JPSHOF member on the team in running back Norman Bradford, who many consider the best running back in JHHS history. Giving credence to the statement was the fact that Hayes was named the Most Valuable Player of the 1988 state championship game in his first year as a starter. 

In the 1989 season Hayes led JHHS to their third straight title earning first team Class 2A All State honors along the way, as well as, being named to the 1st team Composite Academic All State team, a first for any JHHS football player. A further testament to his prowess in both athletics and in the classroom was him being  the first player in Jackson Parish history to be awarded the prestigious News Star, Buddy Blair Award which is annually given to the stop student athlete in northeast Louisiana. Hayes also received the John Thrasher Scholarship given to the Jackson Parish student exemplifying Academic Achievement and Leadership. 

Hayes was the perfect example of a leader. Successful leaders are expert decision makers. They facilitate or empower their colleagues to to be successful. They focus on “making things happen” at all times and provide decisions or activities that sustain progress.

To give a better perspective of his well-rounded ability on and off the field. Hayes was a President of the National Honor Society and Class student body for multiple years as well as President of the Key Club, which was the future business leaders organization. His athletic prowess was even more impressive. 

In his senior season alone, Hayes not only was first team All State in football but was first team All-District in basketball and baseball as well as placing 3rd in the district meet in track. He represented JHHS in the Louisiana High School All Star game. The year before he was a mainstay on the Tigers Class 2A state runner-up basketball team and led JHHS deep into the playoffs in baseball as a pitcher and shortstop. 

Upon his completion of high school Hayes accepted an offer to play quarterback for the University of Southwestern Louisiana (USL) now known as the University of Louisiana (UL) where he was a three year letterman. In 1991 Hayes became the second quarterback in the long history of the school to lead the team in rushing. Hayes graduated college from Grambling State University with an Electronics Engineering Technology Degree and is presently working in the oil and gas industry in Houston, TX.








Jackson Parish residents on Vixen Water system encouraged to boil water

Residents in the far eastern part of Jackson Parish that are on the Vixen Water System are still encouraged to boil their water before consuming. On Tuesday, July 20th, a partial boil advisory was first issued recommending that people who lived from Harris Loop moving west to Hwy 499 and all adjoining roads boil their water for at least one full minute. As of Sunday, July 25th there has been no issue removing the boil advisory. 

JP 10u All Stars falls in extra innings at state tourney

It is a long way to Morgan City from Jackson Parish. For the twelve young men and their families who ventured there to represent Jackson Parish in the Dixie Boys 10u state tournament last weekend the return home probably felt even longer, but it shouldn’t have.

The local All-Stars certainly made their presence felt in the swamplands. Over the three games Jackson Parish scored 30 runs. A “standard” Dixie Boys game goes six innings. Multiply that times three and you come to 18 innings. In 16 innings Jackson Parish was either tied or held a lead.

Two of the three games played though were not “standard” games. Far from it. Were it not for an untimely bad bounce here or a break there, Jackson Parish could have easily been 3-0 after three games instead of the 1-2 record that they exited the tourney with.

To recap, in the first game of the four day event Jackson Parish fell to St. Mary Central by a score of 10-9. Next came a 13-2 romp over Ville Platte followed by a gut wrenching 9-8 loss to Blanchard in an incredibly long contest that lasted over 3 hours. 

St. Mary Central 10 Jackson Parish 9: Talk about going through the gamut of emotions. First, there was the joy of scoring eight runs in the top of the fifth inning to take a 9-3 lead after being two runs down. This was followed by the anticipation of heading into the last inning with a 9-6 lead after two outs were made. Then the feeling of unbelievability as three St. Mary runners scored on a triple to tie the score. Numbness followed when the runner on third scampered home on a passed ball to give St. Mary a 10-9 lead, which held up. Finally a bewildering feeling took over when thinking back that “eight was not enough.” 

The breakout inning for the locals got started with Hayden Seymore walking and going to second on Dawson Griffin single. Kolt  Keiffer plated them both with a double to right that tied the score at three. Tucker Goss reached third on an error that scored Keiffer and then scored on a beautiful bunt hit by Eli Henderson who scored on two errors and a passed ball during the at bats of Jake Moak and Leyton Younse who walked and got hit by a pitch. Asher Rhodes walked to load the bases setting up a Seymore smash to second in his second at bat of the inning that was misplayed that allowed two more runs to cross. Walks to Griffin and Keiffer gave JP a seemingly safe 9-3 lead but the inning ended with three left on base. Jackson Parish managed only three hits in the contest but were recipients of 8 St. Mary errors and 14 walks. St. Mary got only four hits of their own but took advantage of 9 base on balls. 


2B – Keiffer
SB – Rylan Mauthe, Bryce Tolar

Jackson Parish 13 Ville Platte 2: Any drama in this one was gone after three innings with JP holding an 8-2 lead. Wait, you say, didn’t the locals have a six run lead in the first game? Yes but this time five more in the top of the six put any chances of a rally to bed. 

Doubling down! Jackson Parish pounded Ville Platte pitching for 8 hits, five of those which were doubles. This added to 12 free passes allowed while Hayden Seymore, Tucker Goss and Jack Moak limited their foe to just two hits and struck out 11 paved the way for the easy win. Kolt Keiffer and Dawson Griffin got two hits and scored two runs with Bryce Tolar scoring twice and knocking in a pair. Asher Rhodes reached in all three of his at bats, via a base hit and two free passes and scored three runs. Leyton Younse knocked in a pair. 


2B -Tucker Goss, Dawson Griffin, Eli Henderson, Kolt Keiffer, Bryce Tolar 

Blanchard 9 Jackson Parish 8 (9 innings): Four times Jackson Parish fell behind. Four times they rallied to tie or take the lead and came, oh so close, to making it five that would have won probably the most exciting game that they have played in their young lives.

Jackson Parish outhit Blanchard 12-10 and Blanchard made five errors to three for JP. The locals also got nine free passes. That comes to 26 runners on base. Stats like that usually mean victory but there was another stat that came back to bite the locals, that being the 15 of those were left holding the bag including having the bases loaded in each of the 8th and 9th innings. Every inning JP left at least one on. 

Down by two after Blanchard’s first at bat Bryce Tolar and Hayden Seymore scored to tie it up. Deuce Thomas scored Leyton Younse in the second setting up a Kolt Keiffer double, an Eli Henderson triple and a pair of singles by Younse and Tolar to give JP a 6-4 lead heading into the top of the sixth. Then two singles and an error gave the two runs back setting up extra innings. 

Another error gave Blanchard a 7-6 lead in the seventh but Bryce Tolar smashed a two out double to left to score Henderson and tie the game but JP failed to advance Younse from third. Four walks put JP behind again in the eighth but after Dawson Griffin walked JP got a break when with two outs a ground ball to short was booted allowing |Griffin to come around and knot things up once again. 

Three more walks, two with two outs, set up a single that scored another run in the ninth but once again Jackson Parish looked ready to answer. With one out Younse walked and Tolar doubled putting up runners in scoring position. Sadly that is where they were when the third and final out of the three plus, hours contest was over.


2B – Tolar 2, Goss, Keiffer
3B – Moak

The History of Jackson Parish – The founding of Jonesboro!

Ever wondered when Jackson Parish began to be settled and why it was called such? What about how the town of Jonesboro actually got its name? Maybe you curious about how Jonesboro became the parish seat or even things like how the early settlers made their money or got around back. You are not alone. Over the next several weeks a series entitled “Blast from the Past” will be published exclusively in the Jackson Parish Journal designed to help shed a light on these questions and more. This week – The founding of Jonesboro!

Joseph Jones and his wife Sarah migrated to north Louisiana in 1850. When they first arrived, five years after Jackson Parish had been created they patented land in Bienville Parish before selling his holding in 1860 and establishing a home in the vicinity of where the town of Jonesboro is now situated. they are considered as the first people to settle in what is now the Town of Jonesboro. 

There were only two small log cabins in the area at the time, one being on the hill where the courthouse stands and the other on the ridge of what is now the Jonesboro Cemetery. That became the first “meeting house” and was known as Macedonia Baptist Church. Both church and school services, although irregular, were held there. From 1860-1902 the original building had been replaced twice. The latter date marks the time when both church and school were moved to new and separate locations.

The great forest of virgin timber that had been a hindrance to farming activities of the pioneers became and asset with the advent of the timber industry after a group of men organized what was known as the South Arkansas Lumber Company. Bill Culbert and W.W. McDonald Sr. were sent here as timber estimators and buyers.

The necessity of a railroad was recognized and since the same company owned sawmills and the Arkansas Southern Railroad, construction southward was begun going first through Ruston and then Punkin Center. During the clearing of the right of way a “tent store” was set up a short distance off the Vernon-Gansville Road, which was the main thoroughfare of the settlement, just southeast of where the old Rundell Junior High School stood between 3rd and 4th street in Jonesboro. This was the first store to locate in the community and was given the name of the “The Rag Store” because it was a tent. Mr. Carson McDonald brought his general mercantile business from Rochester and built the first frame store across the road from the “Rag Store.”

Mr. J. Stark Cargill purchased 160 acres of land from Dr. W.S. and Mary E. Jones, heirs of the late Richard Henry Jones where the saw mills and a town for employees was built. Almost simultaneously the railroad was completed to the Old Vernon Road Crossing.

Many people came to help build up the area. Mr. M. Jackson, with the help of W.S. McDonald Jr. surveyed for the railroad and mill. T.M Dodson had the original contract for building the railroad with grading of the road bed let to Billy Dodson. Sam Neal, Jim Palmer, C.E. Andrews and Tom Clark were sub-contractors on the road. Oscar E. and David L. Stinson supplied timber for bridge construction and W.S. McDonald Sr. furnished teams for hauling and grading as well as cleared the right of way from Quitman to Wyatt. The first train was brought to Macedonia in 1900 made up of 27 cars with the first regular freight train arriving later that summer.

Meanwhile, resident engineer W.P. Bullock began to lay out streets, avenues and blocks completing the task in December of 1900 according to the map on file at the Office of the Clerk of Court. The streets were named numerically running east to west as follows: First, Second, Third, Fourth, Main, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth. The Avenues running north to south were named after individuals.
(1) Hudson Avenue – W.D Hudson, office manager for the South Arkansas Lumber Company
(2) Polk Avenue – Named for a stock holder
(3) Bullock Avenue – Named for W.P. Bullock (see above)
(4) Cooper Avenue – Named for Mr. Cooper who was water well driller for the mill.
When the town was resurveyed in 1902 Bullock Avenue was changed to Allen Avenue honoring Jackson Parish Tax Assessor W. H. (Billy) Allen.

Mr. Cargile also gave the new town a block to be designated as the “Public Square” thinking that with the railroad in place the town would one day be the parish seat and would need an imposing court house. Dr. Jones also sold the 22 acres where the original Macedonia Baptist Church and cemetery was located to W.W. McDonald Sr. who then in turn donated the land to the town to officially become the site of the cemetery and church.

The name Macedonia didn’t meet the approval of mill officials as the name of the new town. There was a custom in those days for new towns to be named for the baby girl of the community and as Dr. and Mrs. W. S. Jones was only one family residing in the immediate vicinity before the influx of industrial workers the name of the baby of the family, Stella Blanche, was brought up.

Stella was quickly rejected as it was found that another woman by the same name was in jail for murdering her husband and town leaders didn’t want the unfavorable publicity that was sure to follow. Blanche was also not able to be used as there was already another location in Louisiana by that name.

It was then decided that the town would bear the last name of the family from whom the land was purchased. Jones and Jonesville proved to be already taken leading C.C. Henderson, President of the Arkansas Southern Railway and South Arkansas Lumber Company to decree the town would be name Jonesboro. The Post Office Department accepted and confirmed the name Jonesboro, Louisiana on January 16, 1901. 

Next: The growth of Jonesboro!

When Nature Shows Off Her Little Ones

Being an outdoors-oriented person brings with it a number of satisfying things. You get to sneak out in the woods during hunting season and try to outsmart whichever wild game species you’re hunting. Our lakes, ponds and streams are laden with bluegills and bass and catfish and goggle-eyes just waiting to come home with you for a swim in Lake Crisco. The catching is exciting; the eating divine.

There are times, though, when we’re out and about without gun or rod and nature’s youngsters enthrall us as they go about doing what little wild critters do. Last Sunday as Kay and I were approaching our driveway after church, something caught our eye in the pasture across the road. A doe was standing there with a tiny fawn nursing her not
15 yards from the pasture fence. We were mesmerized as we watched the doe prance away, the fawn in shaky pursuit, apparently not having finished lunch. Movement under the fence caught our eye and there on unsteady legs stood a second fawn that instinctively dropped to the ground to hide in the sparse grass.

Kay took my cell phone and approached to within three feet of the day old fawn and was able to snap a photo before the little fellow, scarcely larger than an house cat, stood and wobbled as best it could toward mama who slowed down to wait for her baby. You could pay good money to be entertained at a concert but it wouldn’t have even come close to matching the thrill we got from observing that scene.

Once while raking pine straw from my yard, I noticed a small burrow with a little lump showing in the straw at my feet. Thinking it could have been a snake making the hole and lump, I carefully moved the straw a bit and observed a tiny bundle of fur. A newborn cottontail rabbit no larger than a tennis ball crouched motionless. I picked up the tiny rabbit for a moment to show it to my wife before carefully placing it back in its burrow. I got my yard raked but there was one particular foot square patch of straw with a burrow and lump that remained untouched.COON

I was turkey hunting in Texas several years ago on a ranch that had lots of turkeys. Having built a crude blind from mesquite logs and branches alongside a dim ranch road, I settled in to try and call in a gobbler. After nearly an hour of hearing nothing, I crawled from my blind on all fours to sneak a peek down the road to see if I could spot a gobbler. Having seen none, I turned to crawl back to my blind ten yards away when I heard a loud “PUTT”. Turning slowly, my gaze met that of eight juvenile gobblers – “jakes” – standing with necks outstretched trying to identify what that
crawling lump of camouflage was. As I slowly made my way back to the blind, I turned and to my surprise, the jakes were following me! Curiosity lured them to within a few yards of my blind before suspicion prevailed as they walked back the way they came, putting loudly as they left.

For years, I have fed birds in my yard and I really enjoy the relaxation and enjoyment I get from identifying those visiting the feeders. One night several years ago, I stepped to the porch and saw movement under one of my feeders. It was a young raccoon getting his fill of the free buffet. I began walking slowly toward him, talking softly as I went and I was able to approach to within a couple of yards of the ‘coon before it slowly turned and left. For weeks, I’d see the
‘coon and we had this little “meet and greet” every night until he eventually left for good.

Baby deer, rabbits, turkeys and ‘coons – it’s absolutely amazing the show nature’s little ones can provide if we slow down and let it happen.


CANEY LAKE – Bass fishing has been fair with best catches made fishing the deeper drops with drop-shot rigs, Shaky heads and jigs. Crappie are still around the deeper tops with shiners or jigs working best. Catfishing is fair fishing a variety of baits around the piers and boat docks. Some bream are still around the beds and hitting crickets and worms. For info contact Hooks Marina at 249-2347, Terzia Tackle at 278-4498 or the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
OUACHITA RIVER – Bass have been best on Baby Brush Hogs, lizards and Wobbleheads around the mouth of the cuts. Crappie are fair fishing the edges of the sloughs and creeks on shiners or jigs. For latest information, contact the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE D’ARBONNE – Bass fishing has been best in the deeper sloughs with Rat-L-Traps and soft plastics picking up a few. Crappie are still on the flats with some caught on jigs or shiners fished 6-12 feet deep in 15-18 foot water. Bream fishing is still fair to good around the beds on worms and crickets while channel cats are biting cold worms off the banks. For latest reports, call Anderson’s Sport Center at 368-9669 or Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE CLAIBORNE – The bream are still biting fairly well on crickets and worms around bedding areas. Bass fishing has been best in deeper water with some caught on jigs. Look for stripers schooling and hitting topwater lures when they’re on top and trolling white bucktails when they’re down. Crappie have been better at night around the lights in 20 foot deep water. Catfishing has been fair on cold worms fished beneath jugs or noodles. For latest information,
call Kel’s Cove at 927-2264 or Terzia Tackle at 278-4498.
BUSSEY BRAKE – Bream fishing continues to be good on worms and crickets. Crappie and bass are slow to fair this week. No report on catfish. For latest information, contact the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
BLACK BAYOU – Bream fishing has been good on worms and crickets. Bass have been fair around the grass and brush on Wobbleheads, jigs and spinners. Crappie are scattered and fair on shiners or jigs. Contact Honey Hole Tackle Shop 323-8707 for latest information.
LAKE POVERTY POINT – Catfishing has been good, a few bass to around 5 pounds have been caught while crappie and bream are slow. For latest reports, call Poverty Point Marina at 318/878-0101.
LAKE ST. JOHN – Catfishing has been fair while other species are slow. For information, call Ken Mahoney at 318-201-3821.
LAKE YUCATAN – The water is on a rise that has shut down the fishing this week. For information, call Surplus City Landing at 318/467-2259.

Tuesday is made for movies at Jackson Parish Library

Want to watch a movie without having to pay the exorbitant costs that the theaters are charging these days? Then the Chatham or Jonesboro Branch of the Jackson Parish Library is where you want to come to on Tuesday, July 27th for “Movie Mania” time. Viewing is Cirque De Soliel World’s Away at 3:30 at the Jonesboro branch and Raya and the Last Dragon to begin at 4:00pm in Chatham. No registration is required and refreshments (popcorn and drinks) are available.  This is just part of a tremendous schedule of fun and activity slated for the last week of July. See below for schedule and times of events. 


Story Time:  Mrs. Terrye invites area children to come to the final “Creation of a Fantasy World” activity for the month of July this Tuesday and Thursday at the Jonesboro Branch. Activities that include the designing of a felt Giraffe on canvas and making of a Giraffe mask are scheduled this Tuesday, July 27th, at 10:00am and 2:00pmand again on Thursday, July 29th at 2:00pm.  

Mystery Craft Challenge: Jonesboro Tweens and Teens (Ages 8 & up) register now for the opportunity to take part in the Mystery Craft Challenge on Wednesday, July 28th at 2:00pm. Completed crafts will be on display in the Library throughout the month of August. 

Fitness Class: At 9:00am on Wednesday, July 28th, a fitness class will be held at the Chatham Branch. 

Kona Ice truck coming: What better way to spend a summer afternoon than partaking of a Kona Ice treat. On Thursday, July 29th the Kona Ice truck will be at the Jonesboro Branch from 1:00 – 4:00pm and again at the Chatham Branch on Friday at the same time. 

Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo: Do you like to see Lions and Tigers? Come be entertained by northeast Louisiana’s only zoo at 10am and 2:00pm at the Jonesboro Branch on Thursday, July 29th and again at 2:00pm on Friday, July 30th at the Chatham Branch. 

Bookmobile Schedule: (Mask required at all times)

Monday, July 26th:
10:00am -12:00pm (Clay)
1:15pm – 2:15 pm (St. Rest)
2:35pm – 4:35 pm ( Caney Creek)

Tuesday, July 27th:
9:30am – 10:30am (Boys and Girls Club)
2:00pm – 4:00pm (Pearrie Park)