Jonesboro Man Dies in House Fire

State Fire Marshall (SFM) Report –  Around 1:30am on Tuesday, October 26th, the Jonesboro Fire Department responded to a call at a home located inthe 1200 block of Cox Street. First Responders arrived to find the body of a man, who later was identified as John Newman III, in the living room of the home. 

Following an assessment of the scene, deputies determined the fire began in the utility room area around the home”s breaker box. While an exact cause of the fire remains undetermined at this time, an electrical malfunction within the home’s aged wiring system is suspected.

Deputies have been unable to determine if the victim had been experiencing any electrical issues that may have alerted him to any impending fire danger. However, generally, there are several signs including blown fuses, and flickering lights that can usually provide residents with warnings about electrical trouble. If these occur it is recommended to disconnect power from the troubled area of the home, contact a licensed electrician to evaluate the situation and make any neeed repairs.

It is also recommended , especially in older homes, that an electrical safety certificate inspection be conducted on a home’s system every ten years. In addition it is recommneded to have a smoke alarm and/or sprinkler system installed to provide an alert in the event of a fire and help to safely escape, limiting the threat to life and property. 

The SFM’s Operation Save-A-Life partners with local fire departments to install smoke alarms for free for families that need them. To learn more about Operation Save-A-Life, or to register for a smoke alarm installation, click here:

Tigers triumph over Titans 26-22

What a difference a week makes. Friday before last, the Jonesboro-Hodge football team was reeling from a disheartening Homecoming defeat that also dropped the Tigers to the cellar in district 1-2A play. Today the Tigers are sky-high after traveling to hight touted North Caddo in Vivian and coming away with a stirring 26-22 victory that has once again put visions of a district championship within reach. 

With the victory the Tigers improved to 7-2 on the year, by far the best year in head coach Terrance Blankenship’s nine year tenure while competining in Class 2A. Better yet J-H improved to 1-1 in district play, the same record that North Caddo has, who still has a very important district game to play when they end the year at D’Arbonne Woods, who is a surprising 2-0 in league play. A victory by North Caddo and a win by Jonesboro-Hodge over Lakeside gives JHHS, North Caddo and DWC 3-1 records with final standings being decided by the tie breaking formula set forth by the LHSAA.

The victory was also very important in Power Point rankings as JHHS leaped three spots from #8 to #5 taking the spot that North Caddo,  who is now 7th in the state had owned. In head coach Terrance Blankenship’s eye the triumph over the Titans was also one of the sweetest he has ever been associated with as a head coach.

“It has been a wild year for sure, especially now as we have gone from the worst loss I can remember to by far best win all in seven days,” laughed Blankenship after the game. “We played like we are capable this week and we had to as North Caddo is a very good team with a lot of talent.”

According to script: Blankenship warned his players before hand that North Caddo was unlike any team they had played all year and easily had more speed than anyone they had faced. Just two plays into the game theTitans gave JHHS a little proof of what he was talking about when 1000 yard gainer, K.J. Black, burst around the left side of the line and race untouched 55 yards to give the Titans a 6-0 lead with just 47 seconds off the clock. 

Tigers respond: It wasn’t quite as fast but after just five plays and 2:24 later the Tigers answered when Tydre Malone, who was under constant pressure from the stout North Caddo defensive line, scrambled to his right and lofted a perfect pass 47 yards down field that Devontae Mozee caught in stride before dragging two defenders the remaining five yars into the end zone.Chance Leonard’s XP attempt was blocked leaving the game tied. 

Miller Time: North Caddo wide receiver Omarrion Miller is rated as one of the top junior receivers in the nation. The LSU commit showed he is the “Real Deal” when on back to back plays to open the second quarter he reeled in passes of 33 and 34 yards, both times with Tigers hanging all over him. His second catch gave North Caddo a 14-6 lead.

Play of the game: North Caddo had beaten JHHS the last four time they played and looked primed to make it five straight as they moved to the Tiger two yard line with just 30 seconds left in the half. A Titan TD would be devastating to the Tigers morale but Mozee proved he is a “Prime Time Players” as well. The versatile senior stepped in front of a pass at the Tiger one yard line and outraced the entire Titan team 99 yards to paydirt to bring JHHS to within two instead of being down by two touchdowns. Tydre Malone sprinted around the right end to easily convert the two point conversion sending JHHS and North Caddo into the half tied.

“That play not only made the difference in that game but probably our season,” reflected Blankenship. “If they had scored just before the half to go up two scores, that would have made it very difficult for us. Instead we score to tie and get the ball first in the second riding that wave.”

Capatlizing on field position: JHHS started their first drive of the second half on the Titans  41 yard line. The Tigers moved the ball but got stalled on the North Caddo 17. A quick three-and-out by the defense set the Tigers up at the Titan 41 yard line again. This time it took only one play as Tydre Malone split the Titan rush and blasted upfield for the score to go up 20-14. It marked the first time in seven quarters of play that JHHS had led in a agme. 

Once again the Tiger D rose to the occassion and force a punt after only three plays. Actually it turned out to be a “throw” as the punter mishandled a bouncing snap and just picked it up and heaved it down field. The result was JH took over at the North Caddo 38 yard line. Five plays later, the M&M combinaiton struck again with Malone finding Mozee in the corner of the endzone for a 14 yard completion. Again JH failed to convert the point after but the Tigers now had a 26-14 lead.

Remember the Titans: JHHS was sky high but Omarrion Miller quickly brought them back to earth by taking the kickoff all the way to the J-H 12 yard line. The Tiger defense dug in and forced a 4th and 12 but with three players hanging all over him Miller wrestled in a TD pass. Another pass to K.J. Black for two points closed the margin to 26-22. 

Inch is worth a mile: Clinging to the four point lead and desperately not wanting to give North Caddo another chance JHHS was looking at fourth and an inch at their own 39 yard line with 1:32 left in the game. Make it game over. Don’t and North Caddo has only a short field to traverse. What to do? Go for it and make it – Game Over! Don’t make it and North Caddo has a short field to traverse. Punt? Miller was back there. 

Blankenship decided to go for it. Or at least it looked like J-H would. Instead with just one second left on the play clock, Malone went under center and gave a “hardcount” that worked to perfection as North Caddo jumped offsides giving J-H the first down and the victory. What would have happened if they hadn’t bitten onthe fake?

“Glad we didn’t have to find out,” grinned Blankenship. 

Just win baby! For the third straight game the Tigers got out gained by a wide margin and had less first downs. Still J-H has won two of the three and came within a penalty on a two point conversion from having a chance to win all three. How is that possible? 

“Naturally I would like to see us do better statistically,” said Blankenship. “Still I would rather let the other coach win the stats sheet as long as my guys win on the score board.”

Jonesboro-Hodge (7-2, 1-1)6812026
North Caddo (6-2, 1-1)680822

Scoring Summary:

1st quarter: NCHS – Black 55 yd run (2 pt NG)
1st quarter: JHHS – Mozee 52 yd pass from Malone (XP NG)
2nd quarter: NCHS – Miller 34 yd pass from Thomas (Thomas 2-pt run)
2nd quarter: JHHS – Mozee 99 yard INT return (Malone 2-pt run)
3rd quarter: JHHS – Malone 41 yd run (XP NG)
3rd quarter: JHHS – Mozee 15 yd pass from Malone (XP NG)
4th quarter: NCHS – Miller 8 yd pass from Hodge (Hodge to Jackson pass)

1st Downs1012
Rushes/Yards31 / 9234 / 229
Total Yards239324
Penalties 6-418-52
Tuirnovers 01
3rd down conv.4-152-12
4th down conv.2-43-11

JHHS Offensive Game stats:

Passing: Malone 6-16-147, 2 Td’s, 
Rushing: Malone 17-75, 1 TD; Thompson 10-20
Receiving: Calahan 2-73; Mozee 2-67, 2TD’s; Thompson 2-7

JHHS Defensive Game stats:

Total Tackles: Atkins 17, Waters 8, Andrews 7, Chance Leonard 6, Smith 5, Mozee 5
Solo Stops: Atkins 14, Caters 5, Andrews 4, Chance Leonard 4
Tackles for loss: Atkins 2, Chance Leonard 2, Andrews 1
INT’s: Mozee 2 (1TD), Gray 1

Prep Basketball season tips off for local schools

The LHSAA boys and girls basketball season begins this week with Weston High School doing the honors of tipping off the year on Monday, November 1st when they travel to Summerfield. Quitman High will play the first home game of the year for area schools on Tuesday as they welcome Epps.Game time is slated for 6:00pm for the first of both contests which will be a girls/boys doubleheader. 

Quitman boys throttle Weston 33-10 in season opening Jamboree

L.D. Manning and John Pabaya scored 24 of Quitman’s 31 points and the Wolverines held Weston to just 2 field goals in 16 attempts to take the season opening Jamboree played at Quitman High. As in normal Jamboree rules the game was played in two halves which was the equivalent of two quarters. The Wolverines opened up a 17-7 first half lead before dominating the second half by a 16-3 margin. Ty Simonelli scored four, Shane Rowe 2 and Logan Ponder 1 to round out the Quitman scoring. Eli McBride, Seth Peterson and Ryan Feirn tallied for Weston. 

Girls play to entertaining 29-29 tie

Quitman made four free throws down the stretch to tie up Weston in a very entertaining affair that found both teams take leads and then battle to come from behind. Neither team shot the ball very well from the field but it wasn’t from lack of effort as the two neighboring parish schools combined to take 81 shots in the two quarters of play. That included 15 each from behind the arc. 

Quitman’s Bethany Leach led all scorers with 11 followed by 9 from teammate Cali Deal. Mary Catherine Hay and Briley Peterson topped Weston with 8 apiece followed closely by Emma Kate McBride with seven. Brayli Stewart added six for Quitman. 

School Board to consider stipend for employees, tutors and staff

Stipends for employees, tutors and staff members will be considered by the Jackson Parish School Board (JPSB) at their regularly scheduled monthly meeting that will be held on Monday, November 1st, at 11:00am in the meeting room of the JPSB central office, located at 315 Pershing Hwy in Jonesboro.

The session with open with JaKeshia Robinson Lard addressing the board after the minutes from the October meeting gets brought up for approval. Addtional items to be discussed are payment to La. Delta Community College for Fall 2021 Dual Enrollment tuition, the purchase of 30 Dell All-In-One desktop computers and two (2) Pluxoptix S12C mobile vision screeners.

Also up for discussion is payment of $24,700.00 to LocoRobo Innovations Inc. for registration fees and purchase of drone equipment needed for students in Grades 8-12 at all schools and to provide K3 Literacy Training to a total of 50 educators at Jonesboro Hodge ElementarySchool, Quitman High School and Weston High School.

The stipends slated for discussion carry parameters for each as shown.
Employees – Pay a monthly attendance stipend to employees that have perfect attendance each month (0 days missed). The payment amounts would be as follows: Certified staff and staff required to have a degree (IT
Department, Nurses and Business Office Staff) $500.00 and for support staff $300.00, effective October 1, 2021.
Tutors – For students in grades K-8 at Jonesboro Hodge Elementary School, Jonesboro Hodge Middle School, Quitman High School and Weston High School. Employees are to be paid a rate of $30.00 per hour for certified staff and $15.00 per hour for support staff.
Staff – Pay a one-time compensation stipend in the amount of $2,000.00 for certified staff and staff required to have a degree (IT Department, Nurses and Business Office Staff) and $1,000.00 for non-certified staff.

Beauty and the Beast theme of Jackson Parish Library “Spooktacular”

The Jonesboro Branch of the Jackson Parish Library closed Friday afternoon in celebration of the 5th annual Halloween Spooktacular. If you didn’t attend you missed a real treat. No, this is not in reference to the free candy that was given out by the JPL staff but the jaw dropping backdrops and special effects brought forth through lighting and design that literally took your breath away as you walked through the exhibit that went from one end of the Library to the other. 

As you went from room to room you literally forgot you were in the Library but instead felt like you had been transported to the set of the iconic Disney movie “Beauty and the Beast.” Surely the Library had hired a professional design group to set this up right? Wrong! Every item and detail was designed, put together and built by members of the incredibly talented local staff.

“We started working on this in September,” said Herman Bonnett, who was one of the three main set designers along with JoAnna Gibson and Judy Robertson. “It was a lot of work but to see how it came out made it all worth it.”

See below for a sampling of the sets that were created.

Founder of Salem Baptist Church one of Jackson Parish’s earliest settlers (part two)

Jackson Parish was founded in 1845. In 1850, Wade Pool who is shown above and the founder of Salem Baptist Church, moved to a location in the eastern part of Jackson Parish on a crossroad of the “Old Natchitoches Road” which ran from Monroe to Natchitoches. Geographically, where he settled is just west of Eros, north of Chatham and east of Vernon about 15 miles southeast of Ruston and 25 miles southwest of Monroe.

Wade Pool was born in 1825 to Mary (Wright) Pool and Stephen Caldwell Pool. Exactly where he was born is debatable but it is known that it was either in East Feliciana Parish in Louisiana or Amite County, Mississippi which share a common border. The reason for the debate is due to the way records are listed which lead credence to both locations being possible birth places.

By 1836 Wade’s family had resettled in Catahoula Parish. Around 1845, when Wade was at the age of 20 he is thought to have traveled to Texas with his favorite uncle Baxter Pool. Five years later, Wade moved to Jackson Parish where it is said that he bought a full section of land but since the Courthouse burned records of this transaction was lost.

A blacksmith by trade, Pool set up his shop in front of his house. In August of 1850 a group of farmers met there with the intent of organizing a church, which they decided to call Salem Baptist Church.
It is not known exactly where the name Salem came from but according to an article written by Vera Canady in 1960 it is believed to have been in honor of a preacher who was banished from a colony named Salem for preaching religious freedom.

For several years thereafter Wade’s blacksmith shop was where the church held services, with Wade serving as the Church Clerk, as there was not a church or school located anywhere near there. Eros did not have its beginning until some 48 years later, in 1898.

Now at the age of 30 and still a bachelor, it was in 1855 that Wade would begin to notice his future wife Elizabeth Temperance Pierson (shown below) who was 16 years younger than him and lived about three miles away. As fate would have it the Civil War broke out and Wade joined the Confederate States Army. When Wade returned in 1865, after being a prisoner of war and “paroled” to Monroe, LA, the pair was married.

In 1874, the Pierson family donated two acres of land to the Salem Church where a log house was built (shown below) . Not only were church services held on the site but Mrs. Mary Collins, wife of Sam Collins also taught school there. A spring, that was located behind the structure and still known today as the old “Church Spring” furnished water to the church and was where baptisms were held.

Around 1886, just a few hundred yards from where Wade Pool had his blacksmith shop, a new church was built with a small room in the back for a classroom where the present day structure is still located. In 1893 another structure was built following a fire to the original building, which was used until 1949 (shown below)when the present building was first built just four years after Richard Pool was born.

Knowing the history of the church and the Pool family makes it easy to see why restoring Salem Baptist Church is so important to Richard Pool. It also makes it easy to see how his tremendous act of benevolence is intertwined into his dedication to God, Country and Family.

Sealed bids for Hodge baseball field being recieved until Monday, November 1st

The Village of Hodge is accepting sealed bids until Monday, November 1st for the purchase of the old Hodge baseball field, located just north of the Hodge Baptist Church. Bids will be opened and taken into consideration at the November 2nd town council meeting that is slated to begin at 5:00pmat the Town Hall. The sale of the field was approved at a special Town Council meeting that was held on October 12th after it was determined the location didn’t serve a purpose for the Village anymore.

Many years ago the field was one of the more focal points of sporting activities in Jackson Parish dating back to the 1940’s. Amateur, high school and semi-pro baseball and softball teams routinely used the facility for over 50 years that was complete with a large parking area, spacious stands behind home plate, concession area, hurricane fencing and lights on the field on top of 60 foot poles.

Age and heavy usage finally caught up to the facility and without any repairs or improvements made it was finally deemed unsafe for use. The stands, fencing and light poles were torn down and removed leaving just a vacant, grassy lot that the Village of Hodge had to maintain, which according to Hodge Mayor Gerald Palmer had become burdensome.

“Years ago it served a great purpose for our community but all that is gone away now,” said Palmer. “Now it is nothing but an area that we have to spend labor and fuel to keep it mowed so it won’t become an eyesore.”

Jackson Parish Hospital celebrates Halloween with Costume Contest

The Jackson Parish Hospital celebrated the Halloween weekend with a costume contest among the different departments and individuals to the great fun of all who participated. Winning first place was the ER Department, and their Alice in Wonderland theme followed by the Kool Aid Man – Dr. Jason Thomas.

With a Wizard of OZ theme the Revenue Cycle Department  of Kelsey Thomas, Edwina Diffey, Cassidy Walters Hall, Zerada Poland, KaDana Leonard, Kay Welch, Chantel McNeal, Samantha Taylor, LaWanda Sanders and Kara Brown
Addtional divisions that participated and their themes were:
50’s girls- CandicenRyan Leach clinic
Scary clown- Central Supply
Witch – Dietary
Zombies- Radiology
Coronavirus – Paige Head Parker

See below for some of the creative costumes that were displayed:


Grace Church joins “Sunday Service” schedule

In an effort to assist Jackson Parish residents in being able to “go to church” when they are not actually able to take in a service at their favorite place of worship the Jackson Parish Journal (JPJ) is pleased to host “Sunday Morning Service.” The hope is soon Churches from all over the parish will partner with the JPJ so that their services shown will be able to be accessed each Sunday. To include your church for “Sunday Services”  contact the JPJ at (318) 480-1206 or email to:

See below for the church services available for your enjoyment. 


Jonesboro First Baptist Church

Click on link below and follow the steps outlined.

1. press RESOURCES tab located on the tool bar at top of the page
2. press RECENT VIDEO icon
3. press arrow to play

Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church 

Click on following link:

Sweetwater Baptist Church

click on following link:

Grace Church

click on following link:


May God’s blessings be granted unto you!

Quitman Jr. High Softball goes finishes fall season undefeated

It was already believed that Quitman High School would have a good softball season this spring. Judging by the way the Quitman Junior High team played this fall, the Lady Wolverines are going to be good for years to come. Really good!

This is evidenced by the Junior Girls going undefeated over their ten game fall schedule and really being challenged only once. That was in the final game of the year that took place Saturday against Claiborne Christian that ended in a 7-7 tie. Just a few hours before the Lady Wolverines lambasted Logansport by an 8-2 margin.

On Thursday, Maggie Guyotte combined with Brenna Lamkin and Hallie Kate Pullig to no-hit Montgomery Jr. High and Claiborne Christian in 6-0 and 6-1 victories. The pair of shared no-no’s were the fourth and fifth no-hotters that Guyotte had thrown in the very successful season that saw her give up only one earned run and seven hits, while striking out an incredible 47 batters in 21 innings stretching over 9 games. Brenna Lamkin also never gave up an earned run this season in five games where she struck out 16 in 7.2 innings pitched.

Leading the way offensively for the year was Hallie Kate Pullig who garnered 10 hits in 14 official at bats for a robust .714 batting average that included 2 doubles, 2 triples, six runs scored and 10 RBI. Guyotte was second on the team with a .625 average and led Quitman with 4 triples, 2 homeruns and 11 RBI. Zoee Williams hit .615 and led the team with 3 doubles, while also socking a round tripper and knocking in 7. Avery Watson scored nine runs and hit .571 with Kinsley Ponder scoring five and knocking in five after getting four hits in seven at bats.

Anna Leach hit .462 and led the team with 14 runs followed by Briley Bowers who hit .375 and took a team leading 11 walks. Breanna Lamkin hit .364 with 6 RBI and 5 runs scored and Addison Fenn hit .357 with 6 RBI and 4 runs scored.Allie Robertson scored 8 runs and Emma Walker got three hits including a triple. Emma Toms and Rayleigh Medaris knocked in three runs each.

As a team Quitman hit .449 with 79 runs scored while gathering 62 hits and coaxing 60 base on balls through either walks or getting hit by a pitch.


When I was growing up out on the rural route, falling leaves, southbound geese calling from the skies overhead, me trading short pants and tee shirts for sweats as weather started cooling down meant one thing for this country boy. It was time to go hunting. We were limited in the wild game we were after to basically squirrels. Deer? We didn’t have any. I can remember growing up that if someone in the community reported finding a deer track, most of the community would head to the spot where a deer crossed the road and marveled at the thought that an actual deer had made that track.

Eventually I grew up and although deer had responded to trapping in areas where they had deer and released in our part of the state, squirrel hunting remained my passion. My job transferred me to Claiborne Parish and once squirrel season opened, I had already scoped out the woods around Homer to find where most of the oaks and hickories grew knowing that acorns and hickory nuts would attract squirrels. I soon developed a friendship with James White who also loved to squirrel hunt. However, every year as November rolled around, I’d be left alone as my friend would bid me adieu as he headed out to deer hunt.

James started gently working on me telling me how much fun it was to hunt deer suggesting that I come with him to give it a try. My excuse was that I didn’t own a rifle while he countered with the suggestion that the shotgun I used for squirrel hunting would work fine; I’d just need to substitute buck shot for the # 6 shot I used for squirrels. One thing that started making me think that deer hunting could possibly be fun was the
morning I was squirrel hunting alone when I heard the bawling of a hound in the woods near
where I hunted. I was somewhat upset at the prospects that my squirrel hunting was about to be messed up when I saw movement out front and a big heavy-antlered buck stepped out, stopped to look my way before bounding away. Admittedly, I felt a little tingle that hearing a squirrel cutting a hickory nut never gave me.

I finally agreed to go on a deer hunt with my friend and on November 24, 1967, James picked me up where I joined him and his three sons to hunt deer with Bill Bailey near Summerfield in northern Claiborne Parish. Once we got there, the five of us spread out along a narrow pipeline where I was instructed to sit tight, enjoy the scenery until I heard Bailey’s hounds headed my way.
I was enjoying the scenery and the chill of a November morning when in the distance, I heard the hounds. Then I realized that the bawling of the hounds was growing closer so I started scanning the woods out front when suddenly, a buck appeared on the pipeline in front of me but instead of dashing across like deer usually do, this buck made a turn and headed down the pipeline that would put him directly in front of me at no more than 20 yards. I raised my shotgun and fired. Just to make sure the deer wouldn’t get away, I fired twice more in rapid succession…..BLAM…BLAM…BLAM. The deer collapsed on the spot. I not only killed the buck but shot half his 10-point rack off which I found and later reattached. This was long before the days of cell phones so I had to wait for my friend to show up so I could tell my story.

Once James got there, he admired the buck and congratulated me on getting such a fine deer on my first ever deer hunt, but he had a question; why did I shoot him three times. I countered that he was still standing. James comment still makes me chuckle 54 years later…”Son, you have to give him time to fall.”


CANEY LAKE – Bass are on submerged points next to the deeper holes with deep diving crank baits and oversized plastic worms working best. Crappie are still around the tops but some have started moving to deeper water where most will be once cold weather sets in. Bream are slow to fair on worms and crickets. 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 – Bass have been fair around the grass and trees on crank baits and Rat-L- Traps. Crappie are scattered and fair; bream fishing is fair on worms and crickets. For latest information, contact the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
BLACK BAYOU – Fishing overall is rather slow. Contact Honey Hole Tackle Shop 323-8707.
OUACHITA RIVER – Bass are best in the river lakes on soft plastics and jigs. Crappie are best in river lakes and around tops in the river. For latest information, contact the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE D’ARBONNE – Crappie fishing has been best fishing 12-14 feet deep in 20 foot water on the flats on shiners or jigs. Bass have been in deep water and hitting soft plastics and crank baits with some fairly shallow around the grass on topwaters and spinners. Bass have been fair fishing soft plastics and crank baits around the boat docks early and late. Bream fishing has slowed while catfish are still biting cold worms fished off the banks.. For latest reports, call Anderson’s Sport Center at 368-9669 or Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE CLAIBORNE – Stripers continue to school and are hitting shad imitation lures when the fish are up top. When they go down, white bucktails are working best. The bream have started biting fairly well on crickets fished off the banks. Bass fishing has been fair with some caught on topwater lures fairly shallow. Crappie are mostly in deep water with shiners or pink colored jigs picking up a few. No report this week on catfish. For latest information, call Misty at Kel’s Cove at 331-2730 or Terzia Tackle at 278-4498.
LAKE POVERTY POINT – Catfishing has been good with mostly smaller fish being caught. Crappie are off and on with best catches for some real slabs early mornings around the boat slips. No report on bream or bass. For latest reports, call Poverty Point Marina at 318/878-0101.

Main Street Trunk or Treat enjoyed by “kids” of all ages

It just gets better every year. Jackson Parish civic leaders, business owners, orginizations and “kids” of all ages turned out in droves this past Saturday to enjoy the Main Street, Trunk of Treat, put together through the tireless efforts of Nicole Garrett and Brea Nomey. From one end of Jimmie Davis Blvd. to the other and on both sides of the street, displays were set up as families dressed in Halloween costumes paraded up and down receiving all kinds of goodies. The JPCC would like to thank all who participated and helped make this a safe and fun way to “Trick or Treat.”

See below for a small pictorial of some of the fun. 

Sweetwater Baptist Church holds “Back to School” Youth Rally

Sweetwater Baptist Church in Quitman was the host to 110 young adults in grades 6-12 this past Wednesday who participated in a “Back to School” Youth Rally. After enjoying a scrumptious meal the large gathering was first treated to an uplifting praise and worship concert by the “We Are Called” band that precluded the worship service led by Luke Hockenjos of Ruston who delivered an a motivational and inspirational message. Organizers of the rally from the church would like to thank all who participated in helping bring the word of God to the youth and lending their support.

Death Notices

Vinal James Stewart
February 5, 1947 – Augurst 22, 2021

james stewartVinal James ‘Jimmy’ Stewart was born February 5, 1947, in Jonesboro, Louisiana. He was raised in Jonesboro by his grandparents, Vinal and Virginia Stewart and his aunt and uncle, Norma and James Gleason, as a brother to their children, Tommy, Jimmy, and Karen. After graduating from Louisiana Tech University, he moved to Baton Rouge where he graduated from Louisiana State University School of Law. He resided in Baton Rouge until his death from COVID-19 on August 22, 2021, at the age of 74.

“Big Jim” not only practiced law, he was also an accomplished entrepreneur, starting many successful businesses, including Convent Marine and Southern Bulk Carriers. His passions were basketball, reading, and antique cars. He played basketball at Jonesboro-Hodge High School and Louisiana Tech University until a knee injury sidelined him. Later he played on the Ancient Athletes team and was always a serious fan of both college and NBA teams.

He was a prolific reader with interests ranging from science to history, his favorite. He was also quite the antique car buff, owning several through the years. He enjoyed hanging out with his buddies who all know him as his alter ego, “Odell Fern”, a brilliant, eccentric and witty character. However, his pride and joy were truly reserved for his daughters, Kristen Stewart and Katherine Stewart, and his granddaughter, Sage. His wit, brilliant mind, vast knowledge, and love will be missed. To honor Jimmy’s memory, donations can be made to Kelli’s Kloset, 3052 Du Soliel Ct. Baton Rouge, La 70810. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a celebration of his life will be held at a later date.

John Wiseman Newman III
October 20, 1993 – October 26, 2021

newmanJohn Wiseman Newman, III, age 28 of Jonesboro, died in his home’s fire on October 26, 2021. John was born in Monroe, Louisiana on October 20, 1993 to John H. and Renee R. Newman. John loved life and loved the Lord. He was adamant about his faith early in life and was baptized at First Baptist Church in Jonesboro on November 7, 1999.

John loved the outdoors, hunting, and enhancing his marksmanship skills. During high school, he excelled in Louisiana’s 4-H Shooting Sports and Outdoor Skills program. He represented Team Louisiana on the National level for two years and was a 4-H State Ambassador. After graduating, he volunteered on the local, regional, and state levels as a range officer, safety and skills trainer, and mentor to the younger athletes. John had an intense pride in his niece and nephew. He spent a lot of time with Matthew, nurturing his interests and teaching him life skills from an early age. John enjoyed his cars and was extremely well-read. He particularly loved reading and researching military history.

John was homeschooled through his sophomore year. In his junior year of high school, John was honored with the Masonic Honesty and Integrity Award from the Grand Lodge of Louisiana. He completed his junior and senior years at Bethel Christian School in Ruston, earning several scholarships before graduating in May 2011. Only 17 at the time and unsure of a permanent career path, he attended Central Louisiana Technical College in Winnfield, graduating with honors as a Building Technology Specialist in May 2013.

Before he could even drive, he was already working with the Walker Community Water System, reading meters with his grandfather and mother. After getting his driver’s license, that route was his first paying job. John took the state’s water production/treatment/distribution classes as soon as he was able, and in November 2012, earned all three Class I Licenses, becoming an Operator Specialist for the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.

In January 2013, John had already begun the testing and application phases with the United States Postal Service and was hired as a rural carrier, following in his mother’s footsteps. He worked in the Dodson and Ruston offices before securing his favorite, our local Jonesboro office. He walked to work his first day, “…because I can!” He loved the job and was good at it, open to working any position that needed help. In addition to his rural routes, he ran city routes, did custodial duties and vehicle and equipment maintenance. At last count, between home offices and offices he loaned out to, John knew approximately 40 routes. The Jonesboro routes were his favorite. He had a fantastic memory for names and addresses and took care of his people, often going back out after hours to help the needs of elderly customers.

John loved life, seemed to always have a pun for every occasion, and will be truly missed. He was predeceased by grandparents John W. Newman, Jr. and Roberta H. Newman. Those left behind grieving his loss are parents John H. and Renee R. Newman, sister Allison Newman, nephew Matthew Earl, niece Ivy Earl, grandparents Raymond and Vertna Roush, aunt Rebekah Newman, great-aunts, great-uncles, cousins, and a host of friends.

A memorial sevice was held on Friday, October 29th at the First Baptist Church in Jonesboro. 

Mary Eloise Roesemeier
February 06, 1921 – October 03, 2021

roesmeirMary Eloise Roesemeier, age 100, passed away on October 3, 2021 in Titusville, Florida after a lengthy illness following a fall. She was born in Dodson LA, the daughter of the late Wesley and Ione Johns of Jonesboro, and is survived by her sister Gloria Kelly, also of Jonesboro, her daughter Charlene Edwards of Titusville FL, 2 grandchildren Steven Edwards and Tamara Morgan, 4 great-grandchildren Christopher, Andrea, Taryn, and Jeremiah, 8 great-great-grandchildren Kaiya, Andrew Jr., Oliver, Araya, Muzzia, Manasseh, Miriam, Rebekah, several nieces and nephews, and was loved by many who knew her.

She was a member of the Jonesboro Hodge United Methodist Church and the Heritage Sewing Guild of Jonesboro for many years. In addition to her love of sewing and quilting, she was an avid gardener who loved her flowers.

Funeral services that were held at Southern-Edmonds Funeral Home Chapel on Saturday, October 30, 2021 was officiated by Pastor Rex Shores. In lieu of flowers the family has requested that donations in memory of Mrs. Mary be made to the Louisiana School for the Blind in Ruston.

Marquita Shankle
December 27, 1951 – October 22, 2021

shankleMs. Marquita Shankle passed away Friday, October 22, 2021 at Northern Louisiana Medical Center after a brief illness. She was a Certified Nursing Assistant for forty-three plus years at Lincoln General / Northern Louisiana Medical Center in Ruston.

Ms. Shankle is survived by her brother, Eddie Shankle and wife, Vickie of Georgia; first cousins, Jerry Shankles and wife Shirley, Don Shankles and wife Mary, Betty Wyatt, Anita Parsley, Johnny Shankles, Charlene Shankles, Elizabeth Shankles; Niece, Lauren Shankle; Nephew, Kyle Shankle and a host of other relatives and friends.

Preceding Ms. Shankle were her parents, Ellis Price Shankle and Willie Nell (Graham) Shankle.

Ms. Shankle loved her dogs and enjoyed caring for them. They returned her love as loyal companions. She enjoyed the company of her many friends and always spent her vacation time in Tylertown, Mississippi where she visited her loving family.

A memorial service was held on Tuesday, October 26, 2021 at the First Baptist Church Chapel in Jonesboro, Louisiana.

C. B. Brown, SR
December 09, 1930 – October 23, 2021

cbrownC.B. Brown Sr., son of Clarence and Ivy Mae Brown, born on December 9, 1930 in Sexton, Sabine County, Texas, succumbed to stroke complications on October 23, 2021 at Rapides Regional Hospital in Alexandria, Louisiana.

Brown attended school through the ninth grade all while learning the trade of carpentry from his father.. He continued to pursue this career, acquiring a crew of his own at a young age and later became known as a master carpenter. In 1951 he was drafted to serve in the United States Marines and was stationed at Camp Pendleton in California. He served a full active term, 1951-1953, for our country. He then met and married Alice Elaine Colley on June 10, 1955.They started their lives in Shreveport, LA then later relocated to Readhimer, LA. They were blessed with three children: Judy, Jan, and CB Jr.

CB loved to share stories of his passions in life; hunting, fishing, and family. CB could sit and tell you every detail from when he killed a deer, caught fish, or found an arrowhead in the woods. He also would remind us on how houses used to be built with square nails and how it made it difficult to get the nail out with the hammer if you messed up. So, you learned real quick to do things right the first time. He used his carpentry skills to make an unknown number of box stands and ladders climbing the highest oaks and pines in Louisiana. One tree in particular, he said that on a clear day you could see all the way to Jonesboro.

He continued working until he was in his seventies and then retired to do what he loved best-hunting, fishing, riding his four wheeler, building things, feeding the deer and fish, gardening, playing multiple musical instruments, visiting with friends, helping others, and spending time with his family- especially his great-grandchildren and grandchildren.

Wow, what an honor to have known such a strong, talented, and caring man who witnessed many changes in our history over the past ninety years. You will forever be missed and always cherished in our hearts.

Funeral services were held on Saturday, October 29th, at the Strange Methodist Church in Readhimer, La. with interment in the church cemetery following. 

Ricky Glenn Springfield
November 03, 1965 – October 25, 2021

springfieldMr. Ricky Springfield, age 55 of Weston, peacefully entered into his Heavenly rest on Monday, October 25, 2021. Ricky was a loving father, brother and a friend to many people. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and all of the outdoor activities. He will be missed by many.

Those left to cherish his memory are his sons, Joshua Glen Springfield & Anita and Hunter Lee Springfield; brother, Richard Springfield & Stephanie; granddaughter on the way, Mary Jane Springfield; a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends; Special Friends, Chance Lemoine and Easton Dubois. Preceding him in death are his parents, Riley & Mary Alice Springfield; brother, Ronald Springfield.

Funeral services were held in the Edmonds Funeral Home Chapel on Thursday, October, 28th Thursday with Bro. James Oddo and Bro. Hudie Beaubouef officiating. Interment followed in the Old Bethel Cemetery near Jonesboro under the direction of Southern-Edmonds Funeral Home.

Honoring Ricky by serving as pallbearers were Clint Allen, Jason Springfield, Butch Springfield, Paul Leedy, Jody Edmiston and Jack Walsworth. Honorary pallbearers are Mike Potts, Moey Lemoine, Danny Potts, Charlie Brown, David Tilley and Richard Morris.

Tigers travel to North Caddo for crucial 1-2A battle

The good news was that all was not lost. The goal of the Jonesboro-Hodge Tigers had of winning the district 1-2A championship is still within reach. The bad news is that now the away game against North Caddo this Friday is a must win and the Tigers are still going to be in need of a little help. 

The contest that was believed by virtually everyone who follows high school football would be the deciding factor in who wins district 1-2A this year takes place at 7:00pm in Vivian. North Caddo will welcome the Tigers sporting a 6-1 overall record and 1-0 mark in district play. The Tigers come in at 6-2 and a surprisingly 0-1 mark after beinig upset by upstart D’Arbonne Woods last week. For all intensive purposes it still is the “defacto district title game.” A Tiger win squares both North Caddo and JHHS at 1-1. Even if North Caddo loses to J-H they will still be a heavy favorite to beat D’Arbonne Woods in the regualr season finale, while it is almost a given the Tigers would beat hapless Lakeside. If all the cards fall into place then JHHS, DWC and North Caddo would all finish with a 2-1 record in district play with the final positioning going according to tie breaker procedures. 

Regardless of how the district race ends up the Friday night tilt carries even more weight when considering playoff positioning. This is determined solely on a teams “Power Point” rankings which currently finds JHHS sitting in 8th place and North Caddo controlling the 5th spot. 

A JHHS victory would certainly improve their positioning with the possibility of moving as high as #6 which would be a premier spot as it would mean the Tigers would avoid playing one of the top team in the state in the Quarterfinals. 

“We have been no where close to playing like we are capable the last couple of weeks,” said Tiger head coach Terrance Blankenship. “I am expecting us to be more focused this Friday as the guys know what is at stake.”

Similar attacks! One reason that gives Blankenship encouragement is that North Caddo’s offensive attack is nothing like what has proven to give the Tigers trouble this season. They are not a “smash mouth” team like Winnfield, North Webster, Cedar Creek and DWC but prefers to play a more wide open scheme much like the Tigers incorporate.

“”They are a lot like us as they have a lot of speed and can strike quick” said Blankenship. “While North Caddo will have the most talent on the field of any team we have faced this year we are more suited defensively for their style of attack.” 

Series History! Blankenship is well versed in the North Caddo attack run by John this willbe the seventh time in his nine year tenure he has faced the Titans. Currently the series between the two head coaches leans 4-2 to Kavanaugh including the last four straight, which have given North Caddo a 7-4 advantage in all time meetings that date back to 1939 when the school was known as Vivian High. 

Blue Chipper Watch! It is expected that there will be several college scouts on hand as the game features two of the states leaders in their respective categories. North Caddo features junior, Omarion Miller who is a verbal commitment to LSU and the #2 rated wide receiver in the state in the Class of 2023. Miller, who is the second leading receiver in the state with 974 yards and 13 TD’s according to, has also received offers from Miami, Ole Miss and West Virginia along with a number of smaller schools. TheTigers counter with Sophomore linebacker Xavier Atkins who leads the state with 131 total tackles for an 18.7 tacklets per game average. Atkins also leads the state with 106 solo tackles,which is an incredible 41 more than the next closest competitor. 

How to get there! Hopefully Tiger fans will have a strong presence on hand to show support. It is a long trip though, one that Google Maps estimates to be two hours long. The good news is that once you get to Arcadia and head west you will be traveling on an interstate basically the whole way. until you get close to Vivian. 

Directions to North Caddo High School:
Hwy 147 to Arcadia
West on 1-20 
Take exit 26 for I-220 bypass
Take exit 6 for I-49 north
Take exit 231 to LA-170 west
After roughly seven miles turn left onto Camp Road 
Go 0.2 miles and turn left on Airport Drive
Look for school on left – address is 201 Airport Road

QHS Jamboree against Weston on Thursday one of many activities at both schools

The 2020-21 LHSAAhigh school basketball season gets underway for two of the three Jackson Parish schools this Thursday, October 28th when Quitman and Weston will meet for the annual Quitman Jamboree that is slated to tip off at 5:00pm. Tickets are $7.00 each and can be purchased at the door. 

The contests will carry a stark contrast in regard to coaches. In the boys action it will be a battle between 2nd year head coaches Mike Black of Quitman and Jacob Otwell from Weston. In their first year, Black led Quitman to a 15-7 record and a second round appearance in the Class B playoffs while Otwell’s Weston squad closed the year out at 9-19 and a first round playoff loss.

The girls game pits two of the longest tenured coaches in not only Jackson Parish but in north Louisiana in Kyle Leach of Quitman and Stacy Tucker of Weston. Leach led Quitman to the district 2B title and one of the best regular season records in school history at 23-2 before unexpectantly falling in the first round of the playoffs. Stacy Tucker’s Lady Wolves also lost in the first round to end the year at 13-14. 

The contest between the schools is just one of several activities scheduled at both beginning on Wednesday and running through Friday. Schedule of upcoming events:





Faith Odom named Homecoming Queen at Quitman High School

Faith Odom, daughter of James and Cherie (Mathews) Odom has been named Quitman High School’s Homecoming Queen for 2020-21 during the assembly held on Friday night, October 22nd before the QHS vs Grant game. J

Joining Odom as senior class representatives were her court of Emily Borland, Kaylee Ford and Lainey Herman. From the junior class was Brayli Stewart and Gracie Nalley while Ellie Burris and Abi Temple were sophomore maids. Freshmen Cali Deal and Jaleigh Burns rounded out the equisite collection of young ladies. Also playing a big role in the proceedings was Crown Bearer- Jess Potts and Flower Girl – Ellie Schultz.

Jackson Parish Hospital celebrating Respiratory Care and National Infection Prevention Week

Breathing is not something we generally think about, until we struggle to breathe. This week, October 24-30, some of the unsung heroes in the medical field are celebrated and that includes the Respiratory Team at the Jackson Parish Hospital who has been front line defenders of the COVID-19 pandemic for Jackson Parish residents. Sincere thanks and gratitude is given for the compassion, dedication, and selfless way you have strived to improve the lives of patients, one breath at a time. Thank you for all that you do!

The Jackson Parish Hospital also recognized Infection Preventionist, Sandy Kinman last week during National Infection Prevention Week which ran from October 17th – 24th. Established in 1986, IIPW aims to shine a light on infection prevention each and every year. This year’s theme was “Make Your Intention Infection Prevention.” Thank you Sandy for all of your hard work in keeping Jackson Parish Hospital and our community safe and healthy!


Richard Pool preserving a local historical place of worship

Editor’s Note: This is part one of a two part series about an incredible act of benevolnce that has historical meaning going on in eastern Jackson Parish and the man behind it, Richard Pool! – Ben Ledbetter

God, Country, Family! Those are the three things that Richard Pool has dedicated his life to over the past 76 years. It is the strong ties to this heritage that led him to want to serve his country during a time of war when he was a young man. It is also the internal forces behind his commitment to preserve and refurbish a now defunct and mostly forgotten about church that one of the oldest places of worship in Jackson Parish located in a rural setting on the outskirts of Eros.

As Richard, Charlotte (his wife of 55 years) and I sat around his kitchen table, I soon understood his reasoning why preserving this little chapel in the woods was so important to him. With great appreciation, I also learned more about this incredibly benevolent man and how the creed of God, Country and Family were intertwined into the fabric of his soul.pool3

For a little background, the Salem Baptist Church was built in 1850 following a gathering of a group of men in the blacksmith shop of Wade Pool, of whom Richard is a fifth-generation descendant of. The purpose of the meeting was that they wanted a place of worship for their families. Wade agreed to donate the land whereupon the men of the area pitched in to provide materials and labor to build the church which flourished as gathering place and worship center for the area families who resided around Eros for over 150 years.

I asked Richard to take me to the church. Upon arriving, the first thing I noticed was that there was a large graveyard on each side of the little building, proving that for many a decade the church had a thriving congregation. While outside, he showed me the new roof he had put on, the new entry way in the front and where he was now redoing the awning on the side.

Upon entering the chapel, it was obvious a lot of work around the pulpit had been done there as well but nothing compared to the kitchen area in the back. This was complete with new interior ceiling, new flooring and a refurbished long counter in front of what looked like new cabinets and appliances. To the side was a stack of lumber that led to the promise of more work ahead. It was easy to see that the $30,000.00 I had been told had been spent on this project was at best a very conservative figure.

Why would a man do such a thing? What reasons could there possibly be that would make a man in his golden years spend his life savings on a church building that no one uses and hasn’t been a place of worship for nearly a decade? With a far-away gleam in his eye that made me think he was recalling another time, Pool began to explain.

“Around nine years ago the membership of the church had dwindled down to where it was just three or four of us left and it was decided that we would quit having services there,” recalled Pool. “For years the building has just sat here empty and it has started to decay from neglect. That really bothered me. I have spent my whole life here other than the two years I went to war and this church has been a major part of my life for as long as I can remember.”

“It was important to my mother that her nine kids were church raised and had a relationship with God. If the doors were open, she made sure that we were there,” laughed Pool. “It wasn’t an easy thing to do either. We had to walk about a mile and a half down a trail through woods to get to the church but rain or shine, every Sunday and Wednesday she would gather us up and off we went.”

“I also learned how important it was to be of service to others through what I saw my Father do for folks at the church. He was always doing something to help someone,” reflected Pool. “Back then, almost everybody walked to church and two creeks had to be crossed. My father hand-built bridges and so we could go over them when the water was up. I also remember him sitting outside in his truck and shining his headlights through the front door so we could see on revival nights.” (Back then the church had no interior lights).

“See all those graves out there?” Richard asked as he waved his hands to both sides of the church. “My father dug with a shovel just about every one of those and never took a dime for it. He knew that no one had any money. What he taught us boys about being of service is the main reason we all enlisted to go to war. We felt that it was our duty to be of service to our country.”

“I realize that there probably won’t ever be church services here anymore,” finalized Pool. “I just want it to be in good shape so that is someone wants to use it for a wedding, reunion, reception or some kind of social event it would be a nice place to go.” 

The ties of the Salem Baptist Church and the Pool family go back much further than just Richard’s childhood. In the Sunday, October 31st edition of the Jackson Parish Journal, PART TWO  will visit the history of one of Jackson Parish’s earliest pioneer families and how the area around Salem Baptist became their home.


Wrapping Up 2021 Fishing Season

Each year during the months of October and November, anglers sit down and look at all the different schedules for the many bass tournament trails that exist. There are so many circuits today that fishermen have to choose what they are going pursue the next year. Anglers today are pulled in so many different directions that it’s almost impossible to fish everything going on.

You have a great selection of team circuits (two anglers in a boat) like Bass Champs, The Texas Tournament Trail and now the Pro Texas Team Trail. The other pro/am tours that are on an angler’s radar for the next season, include the ABA (American Bass Anglers) Open Series, The ABA Solo Top 150, Major League Fishing BFL (Bass Fishing League) and the MLF’s Toyota Series. Each of these has a consistent following and each represent different levels of fishing competition. Many of the same anglers follow at least two of these and a few follows three. The Toyota Series is the best of the best and has some anglers actually make a living following this circuit.

For me, at some point in my career, I have followed each of these, but the two that I focus on now are with American Bass Anglers (ABA). For the last few years, I have fished the Open Series and now the new Solo Top 150 that started this year. The ABA Tour has what they call the Ray Scott National Championship. This is, and continues to be, a great event with anywhere from 175 to 200 pros and co-anglers from all over the country. I have qualified for this event 5 of the last 6 years including next year’s 2022 at Lake Eufaula. ABA does a great job of keeping the cost down on all their tours while trying to accommodate the weekend warriors (working man). Their new Solo 150 Pro Tour is a prime example of that with a $600 entry fee for a two-day event with the chance to win $20,000 dollars. No other circuit offers a better payback than ABA does.

For me, it’s been the tale of two seasons. The first half of the year was not anything special, but I kept myself in contention with hopes of a better second half. At one point, I thought that my season was doomed. But I had a strong finish in the last two ABA Open Series events with a 2nd place finish at Sam Rayburn and a 7th place finish at the ABA Two-Day Championship on Lake Texoma. This landed me a 5th place overall in the Angler of the Year standing for 2021 and qualified me for the Ray Scott National Championship at Lake Eufaula Alabama. This is an event I’m really looking forward to next April!

I’m still currently fishing the new TTO Pro Team Tour with one more event left for 2021 at Lake Sam Rayburn on November 20th & 21st. Even though my tournaments are coming to an end, I will use this time to experiment and learn new techniques or maybe get better at finesse fishing. But one thing is for certain, I do not worry about winterizing my boat as I continue to fish all through the winter months and prepare for 2022. So, this fall, enjoy the fall feeding frenzy and get ready for some of the best bass fishing action of the year! Good luck, good fishing and don’t forget to set the hook!

Steve Graf,

The Salty Brahma celebrates grand opening with ribbon cutting

Tyler and Kenzie McCurdy celebrated the grand opening of their new business The SaltyBrahma on October 14th with a ceremonial ribbon cutting with several members of the Jackson Parish Chamber of Commerce on hand. The newest clothing store in the downtown Jonesboro business district is locateda at 206 Jimmie Davis Blvd. Hours of operation are Monday- Friday 10 AM – 5:30 PM  and on Saturday from 10 AM -1:30 PM.To learn more you can call to 318-476-1869.