Shred Day is Saturday at Jonesboro State Bank

Hopefully you have already gathered up all the documents you want to discard of safely. If you haven’t time is running out as “Shred Day” is this Saturday from 10am – 2:00pm. Local residents and businesses are encouraged to come to 109 Jimmie Davis Blvd for the annual event sponsored by Jonesboro State Bank / Pledge 10 to take advantage of the free opportunity offered to protect yourself from possible identity theft. 

J-HMS announces Faculty/Support Members and Students of the Month for October

Each month Jonesboro-Hodge Middle School selects a Sudent of the Month for the 6th – 8th grade. Winners are chosen from who best exhibits P.A.W.S. behavior, which stands for:
Prepare yourself
Act Respectfully
Work Together
Safety First

Winners for the Month of October are: 

Alyssa Watts – Sixth Grade
Vanessa Clifton – Seventh Grade
Timothy Sellers – 8th Grade

Also to be congratulated as faculty and staff member for the month of October:

Faculty of the Month: Kristopher Cash, 8th Grade Math
Support of the Month: Mary Davis, Title 1 Paraprofessional

8th Grade boys basketball wins one of three 

The eighth grade boys beat Ringgold last Thursday but then ran into trouble against Arcadia and D’Arbonne Woods Charter. Raiden Searcy scored nine and Dwayne Palmer added eight and the Junior Tigers held Ringgold scoreless in the 2nd and 3rd quarters to take the 27-7 victory. Jason Blackburn chipped in with five, Dylan Hayes scored 3 and Jamarcus Dozier tallied two to round out the scoring.

A 15-3 first quarter deficit was too much to overcome in the 39-13 loss to Arcadia. Jason Blackburn paced the locals with 11 points followed by one each from Dylan Hayes and Dwayne Palmer. Against D’Arbonne Woods the junior locals trailed by only two after the first quarter but DWC methodically pulled away for a 32-17 victory. Jason Blackburn once again was top point scorer with eight. Dakota Knox added three while Kyron Atkins, Dylan Palmer and Raiden Searcy scored two each. 

Seventh grade boys split pair of games

Every player on the 7th grade team scored for JHMS who also held Arcadia scoreless in the first and third quarters to take 32-25 victory. Jamarcus Dozier led the way with 9 followed by 8 form Jeramiah Jefferson Tyson Burks scored 5 with both John Self and Troy Baugh adding four each. Derrime Malone and Dylan Hayes hit a basket each to round out the scoring. A 17-4 third quarter by D’Arbonne Woods spelled doom  in the 40-20 loss. Dylan Hayes scored 8 and Tyson Burks added six to lead JHMS. Micah McGee finished with four and Jeramiah Jefferson two. 

Junior Girls beat Ringgold, fall to Arcadia

The JHMS girls team split a pair of one sided affairs beating Ringgold 30-12 and losing  to Arcadia 29-11. LaKayla McGuire scored 14 in the victory with Jalenya Jackson adding seven. Jessica Jacobs scored 4, Makenley Ray 3 and Ralei Bradford two. Against Arcadia, LaKayla McGuire scored 7 but two points each by Jaiden Jenzant and Shacoria Mallard was all that could be additional mustered.

QHS/WHS Junior High Cross Country meet held at JPRD

Quitman and Weston High Schools combined to host a K-8 Cross Country meets this past Saturday at the Jackson Parish Recreation Department Complex.  Schools competing were Quitman, Weston, Cedar Creek, Ruston Home School Association and Cypress Grove Elementary. 

Top Ten finishers in the various divisions from QJH and WJH (places in parenthesis)

7th-8th boys: (1) Taylor Huddleston – QJH (2) Brayden Smith – QJH, (3) Gage Horton – QJH, (4) Taden Thomas – QJH, (6) Rylen Reynolds – QJH, (7) Tyler Huddleson – QJH, (9) Jayden Harts – QJH, (10) Ty Henderson – WJH
5th-6th boys: (3) Mathew Odom – QJH, (4) Jack Thomas – QJH, (10) Waylon Sullivan – QJH
5th-6th girls: (3) Addison Phares – WJH, (10) Elsie Flynn – WJH
3rd-4th boys: (1) Noah Spillman – Quitman, (4) Joseph Rachel – Quitman, (7) Shepard Norred – Quitman, (8) Jaxen Culpepper – Weston, (9) Aiden Marsh – Weston
3rd-4th girls: (2) Audrinna Martin – Quitman, (3) Karlee Altheimer – Quitman, Anna Pardue – Weston
K-2 boys: (1) Asher Norred – Quitman, (2) Shelby Johns – Weston, (3) Kutter Blalock – Quitman, (6) Andrew Seymore – Quitman, (8) Eli Jones – Weston, (9) Drake Montgomery – Weston, (10) Remington Davis – Weston
K-2 girls: (1) Abigail Sullivan – Quitman, (2) Kaine Stassen – Weston, (7) Madi Spillman – Quitman, (10) Johanna Holland – Weston

Special thanks to Kristi Tolar of Sasse Lynn Shenanigans, LLC and Cherie Odom for the carousel of pictures shown below. For many more pictures of the meet click here:

Police Jury Finance Committee to hold meeting on Friday

The Jackson Parish Police Jury (JPPJ) |Finance Committee of Chairperson Tarneshala “Niki” Cowans, Amy Magee and John McCarty will hold a meeting at 12:00pm on Friday, October 29th. The group which is meeting each week during the month of October will hold session in the Nathaniel Zeno Jr. meeting room of the JPPJ Administration Building.

Agenda items include a review of month-to-date financials, Purchase Orders and recommended budget amendments as well as a review of the 2021 budget amendments and 2022 budget items.
It is possible that a quorum of the Police Jury will be in attendance at the meeting but no official action of the Police Jury as a whole will be taken.

In accordance with the Disabilities Act, if you need assistance, please contact Gina Thomas at (318) 259-2361, ext. 3, describing the assistance that is necessary.

Rosabelle, Believe

Erik Weisz was born on March 24, 1874 in Budapest. When Erik was four years old, his family emigrated to the United States. The family settled in Appleton, Wisconsin and changed their last name to the German spelling Weiss. Erik adopted the German spelling Ehrich. To lessen confusion, this article will refer to him by his birth name, Erik.

Erik’s family moved often to find work. His father, Mayer Samuel Weisz, was a Rabbi who was often in search of employment. In 1882, they moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Five years later, they moved into a boarding house in New York City. To help earn money for the struggling family, young Erik held several jobs. At nine years old, Erik made his public debut as a trapeze artist under the name “Ehrich, the Prince of the Air”. Erik often performed in small tent acts, dime museums and circus sideshows, usually with another performer to double the draw and to share expenses. For the rest of his life, Erik’s world revolved around entertaining and amazing crowds of people.

In 1894, while performing with his brother, Theodore, Erik met another sideshow performer named Wilhelmina Beatrice “Bess” Rahner. Within a short time, Erik and Bess married. They performed together for the remainder of Erik’s career.

On October 21, 1936, Erik lectured before the male student body of McGill University in Montreal. Topics of his lecture included his ability to withstand immense pain without so much as a wince. Following his lecture, he answered questions from the students. One student asked if it was possible to painlessly pass needles through his cheek. Rather than verbalizing an answer, he took out a hat pin and ran it through his cheek. He showed no sign of pain. At the end of his lecture, Erik invited them back to his dressing room for further discussion if they were interested. To his surprise, many of the students took advantage of the invitation, including Jocelyn Gordon Whitehead.

During the discussion in Erik’s dressing room, Whitehead remarked, “You would hardly feel a blow in the stomach, would you?” “Certainly no,” Erik replied. Erik was unprepared for what came next. Before he could tighten the muscles in his stomach to lessen the blow, Whitehead gave Erik “two short-armed punches to the pit of his stomach.” Erik shuddered because, as he told the boys, he was not prepared for the punches.

While giving his final performance in Montreal on the following night, the crowd noticed that Erik doubled over in pain several times. Ever the showman, Erik fought through the pain and finished his performance before a cheering crowd. Erik complained of severe stomach pains, something that had never bothered him before.

A few days later, while performing alongside Bess in Detroit, Michigan, Erik collapsed. After he regained consciousness, to the surprise of everyone present, Erik continued with his act. After the show, Erik checked into a local hospital. On the following day, doctors operated on Erik for appendicitis. Following surgery, Erik showed symptoms of swelling of the tissue that lines the abdomen called peritonitis. Erik’s peritonitis was linked to his burst appendix. Erik underwent a second surgery to save his life from the effects of peritonitis. Despite their best efforts, they were unable to save Erik. He lived long enough to say his final goodbyes to his family and friends who surrounded his bedside.

Bess was saddened by her husband’s passing but she held out hope that she would soon be in contact with Erik. “Long before he died,” Bess explained, “we agreed that whoever should go first would try to return to the other. We agreed upon a message, phased in code. It was known only to the two of us. The compact was to last 10 years and no longer. After that period, the one of us still alive was to abandon hope either in the possibility of the survival of the dead, or their ability to communicate with the living.” Bess said, “In his last hours, he said to me: ‘Beatrice, I’ll come to you somehow, even though I have to go through hell.”

On the first anniversary of Erik’s death at 8:30 p.m., the exact time of Erik’s death, Bess held a séance in an attempt to contact her beloved Erik. She anxiously awaited a communication from Erik which said “Rosabelle, Believe”, the code words she and Erik had decided upon. The words did not come. She repeated the séance on the second anniversary of Erik’s death, then the third and fourth. News of the séances spread throughout the world and other people began holding séances to try to contact Erik. In 1936, on the tenth anniversary of Erik’s death, Bess prepared for the final séance to contact Erik, as per their agreement. At 8:30 p.m., Bess and other believers in psychic phenomena, one of which was a Los Angeles superior court judge, gathered on the roof of a Hollywood hotel to try to make contact with Erik one final time. They were not the only ones trying to contact Erik. People held simultaneous séances in sixteen cities in the United States, England, Australia and Canada, but no lights flickered, no objects moved without explanation, and no one heard “Rosabelle, Believe.” All was quiet. Bess never received the message from Erik that she so longed to hear. On February 11, 1943, seventeen years after Erik’s death, Bess died from a heart attack. She never remarried.

People still hold séances each year on the anniversary of Erik’s death to try to make contact with him, but all attempts have failed. Erik was an illusionist, stunt performer, and is most remembered as an escape artist. He died on Halloween night in 1926. On this Halloween night, if your lights flicker or you hear a strange sound, it may just be Erik trying to make contact with the living world. You may not recognize the name Erik Weisz, but you certainly know him by his stage name…Harry Houdini. Happy Halloween!

Friday final day for 4-H dues, Shooting Sports and Junior Leaders

Friday, October 29th, is the final day to sign up for 4-H this year, as well as, register for Shooting Sports and Junior Leaders events. If you have already signed up for 4-H but havne’t paid dues they must be received by 4:00pm at the 4-H office. If you have any questions or not sure if you still owe please call at (318) 259-5690.

Registration for Outdoor Olympics close November 1st

Arrest Reports

James A. Stephenson (Chatham, LA) – Simple Criminal Damage to Property, Theft of Utility Service
Destiny J. Jordan (Jonesboro, LA) – Disturbing the Peace
Eric A. Parker (Hodge, LA) – Simple Battery, Home Invasion
Joe Miles (Quitman, LA) – Speeding,  Driving Under Suspension
Adam Gray (Dodson, LA) – Execution of Sentence, No tail lamps, Driving under Suspension
Wilbert Smith (Castor, LA) – DWI – 1st offense, Driving Wrong Way
Thomas Barron (Pineville, LA) – DWI – 1st offense, Improper Lane
Christopher Barr (Hodge, LA) – Execution of Sentence, Illegal carry of weaponPossession of Schedule 1 drug less than 14 grams
Cornelius Graves (West Monroe, LA) – Possession of Schedule II drug
Derrick J. Moore (Cartwright, LA) – Aggrevated Battery with Dangerous Weapon
Randall Sandifer (Quitman, LA) – Simple Burglary, Criminal Damage to Property
Titus L. Allen  Jr. (New Orleans, LA) – Possession of Marijuana with intent to distribute, Illegal possession of Firearm
Elena M. Howell (Ruston, LA) – DWI – 1st offense, Careless Operation, Expired Registration
Whitney L. Kinman (North Hodge, LA) – Driving under suspension, No Insurance, Improper display of plates MVI, License Plate violation 

Jonesboro Mayor Thompson ticketed for failure to comply with decal decree

The two local public servants who took opposing sides over a magnetic decal at the town of Jonesboro Board of Aldermen meeting held on October 12th has done what they said they would do. Jonesboro Police Chief James “Spike” Harris has issued a citation which is in regard to identification of property owned by the public to Jonesboro Mayor Leslie Thompson, who stated at the meeting he would see how much authority Harris had when he issued him a ticket.

Ticket times two! Actually Thompson was ticketed twice. The first resulted from the ultimatum that Harris gave the Mayor at the Town Council meeting, that he had seven days to comply with the law stating that a public owned vehicle must have correct identification. This came after Harris had asked Thompson a month before to put the correct identification on the Mayor’s car instead of a magnetic decal the Mayor had attached to the front doors of the vehicle.

After the time frame was up and there was still no “permanent” marking on the Mayor’s car, Thompson was issued a citation. Two days later, after Thompson told the JPD Chief that by two days later he would have the proper identification put on the car, another ticket was issued when it was proven that he had not followed through with his pledge. The statute actually states that a ticket can be issued daily until the statute was complied with but as Harris states all he wants is to see that the law is complied with.

“I have given Mayor Thompson ample opportunities to do the right thing,” said Harris. “I gave him a month to get the decals done correctly when all that was required was ten days. I then gave him another seven days to once again comply when I didn’t have to. I just want to see things done the way they are supposed to.”

Statute stipulations! Thompson was ticketed according to the publication of Louisiana Laws Revised Statutes, TITLE 49 – State Administration RS 49:121 – Name of board, department, or subdivisions; marking on boat or vehicle; Louisiana public license plates. Part VI – entitled Identification of Property and the corresponding Sections pertaining to this action are as follows:
Section A states that every boat, watercraft, aircraft, automobile, truck, or other vehicle belonging to the state or any of its political subdivisions shall, if required by law to bear a Louisiana license plate, bear such plate and each such vehicle shall ALSO HAVE INSCRIBED, PAINTED, DECALED, OR STENCILED CONSPICOUSLY THEREON, THE NAME OF THE BOARD, COMMISSION, DEPARTMENT AGENCY, OR SUBDIVISIONS OF THE STATE TO WHICH THE BOAT, WATERCRAFT, AIRCRAFT, AUTOMOBILE OR TRUCK BELONGS. Additional stipulations as to the height, width or circumference also apply.
Section D states that the individual whose responsibility it is to place the purchase order for any vehicle or watercraft as herein provided shall be personally responsible for seeing that the agency name is placed thereon as required and shall do so within ten days after the delivery of such vehicle or watercraft is receipted for and prior to delivery of such vehicle to the person or agency for whom the purchase was made.
Section F states that no officer of the state or any of its political subdivisions shall drive or operate any publically owned land vehicle, air craft or water craft not marked in accordance with the provisions of this Section.
Section G states that the head of any department or board of the state or any of its subdivisions who operates any publicly owned and vehicle, water craft or air craft not marked in accordance with the provisions of this Section shall be guilty of a violation thereof and that each day upon which such a violation is committed shall be considered a separate offense.
Section H states that the Attorney General or any district attorney shall institute such action as is necessary to enforce or insure the enforcement of and compliance with the provisions of this Section.

District Attorney issues letter! On October 12th, District Attorney Daniel Newell issued a letter to Mayor Thompson that was CC’d to: Chief Harris and Town of Jonesboro Aldermen: Nia Evans-Johnson, Robbie Siadek, James Ginn, Devin Flowers and Pete Stringer. A copy of the letter was presented by Mayor Thompson to the Jackson Parish Journal which states:
It has come to my attention that the town of Jonesboro purchased an automobile for the Mayor’s use when pursuing town business. It has also come to my attention that the town-owned automobile has not yet had a permanent insignia inscribed thereon.
L.R.S. 49:121 sets forth the requirement that any automobile owned by a political subdivision must have a proper insignia placed thereon by inscription, paint, decal or stencil. I have been informed that you have chosen to utilize an easily removed magnetic decal. The statute does not provide for the use of magnetic decals. The Attorney General in Opinion 07-0072, thoroughly reviewed the language of the statute and determined that the magnetized decals do not meet the requirements of L.R.S. 49:121. I have attached a copy of the statute and Attorney General Opinion for your review.
The statute mandates in Part H that I institute actions necessary to enforce the statute. This letter shall constitute a demand upon you to, within 7 days of the date of this letter, place the insignias required by law on the vehicle owned by the Town of Jonesboro. If you fail to do so, you will receive citations, will have to appear in court and may be fined $25.00 to $50.00 per day that the vehicle has not had permanent decals, at the Judge’s discretion.

Referenced Attorney General Opinion! Mayor Thompson also presented the Jackson Parish Journal a copy of the referenced Attorney General Opinion #07-0072 that District Attorney Newell cites. This was issued by LA Attorney General James “Buddy” Caldwell on March 31, 2008, who responded to an inquiry from the Mayor of the Town of Walker on whether or not magnetized decals meet the requirement set for by L.R.S. 49:121.
Additional information provided that L.R.S. 1:3 states in relevant part that words and phrases shall be read with their context and shall be construed according to the common and approved usage of the language. This is relevant to the Attorney’s General Opinion as the following definition obtained by Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary reads:

In reply to the letters Mayor Thompson’s stated:

“I appreciate what Chief Harris and District Attorney Newell have done, as in their opinion they are following the letter of the law as they are supposed to do,” said Thompson. “They have followed procedure as prescribed based on an opinion by the Attorney General.”

“That was his opinion though and just that. As has been proven many times over an opinion doesn’t make things concrete. I have my own opinions as to the interpretation of what the Statute reads and I believe I have done no wrong. As result, I have decided to allow this to be brought into court so a true and final verdict can be obtained. If it is then determined that I am in the wrong then I will pay the fine and do as instructed with the decals but I believe that what I have done to meet the requirements are satisfactory.”

The date that Mayor Thompson is scheduled to answer the charge is on December 7th at the Jackson Parish Courthouse in Jonesboro.  

Homecoming Humiliation! Tigers shocked by D’Arbonne Woods

It was a scene that Jonesboro-Hodge fans will likely remember for a long time. They only wish they didn’t have to. As the Tigers coaching staff and players slowly trudged off the field, on the visitor’s side D’Arbonne Woods was raucously celebrating with the spattering of fans that made the trip from Farmerville their improbable and shocking 22-20 victory over the Tigers.

The loss, to the supposed Homecoming fodder, dropped the Tigers to 6-2 overall and 0-1 in district 1-2A play. D’Arbonne Woods Charter (DWC), who enjoyed their first victory ever over JHHS and under first year head coach Tommy Tharp, has now equaled the most wins in a season in their short, school history, improved to 5-2 on the year and 1-0 in district play.

“I can’t tell you how disappointed I am in the way we played,” said a disconsolate Terrance Blankenship who lost a district opener for the first time in his nine year tenure. “This is the most demoralizing loss I have ever been associated with in my 21 years of coaching.”

Jonesboro-Hodge entered the contest on a six game winning streak and carrying a #6 power ranking in Class 2A. To their credit, DWC had won four in a row after losing the first two of the year but the level of competition the two schools had played was like comparing apples to oranges. In the end it was the Tigers who came up a lemon.
How did the outcome that KNOE-TV Channel-8, sports director Aaron Dietrich called on the Friday Night Blitz show was the “most shocking score in the state” come about? Was it a fluke? Was it some sort of weird Halloween hallucination? Not in Blankenship’s eye.

“They simply played better than us,” bemoaned Blankenship. “You can’t expect to beat anybody when you make the kind of mistakes we made. It wasn’t just that we made mistakes, but when we made them. Each one was a game changing play.”

Example #1: In the fourth quarter and the game tied at 14-14, D’Arbonne Woods was facing a 4th and 7 and for the first time all night was lined up to punt. Jonesboro-Hodge jumped off-sides setting up a 4th and 2 which the Timberwolves tried for and made.
Example #2: On the same drive, once again the Tigers forced a fourth down. A rush on the QB caused a “dying quail” to be fluttered up that was going to land nowhere near a receiver. Inexplicably a Tiger defensive back steamrolled a Timberwolf receiver and got flagged for a pass interference penalty giving DWC new life.
Example #3: Four plays later, with DWC facing a 3rd and 18 down and distance at the Tiger 28 yard line, once again JHHS pressure on the QB seemed to put JH in prime position to stop the drive. The pass, that went as high as long and looked more like a punt tumbling end over end, took so long to reach its destination at the two yard line that both receiver and defender had to just stand there and wait on it. The Tiger defender was in perfect position to pick the throw off but instead didn’t even make a play for the ball that landed in the receiver’s gut. One play later DWC scored putting the finishing touches on a mind boggling, 18-play, 83 yard drive that took an incredible 12:17 off the clock or the equivalent of an entire quarter
Example #4: Down by eight with just 1:48 left to play the Tigers looked like maybe they would survive after all when Tydre Malone found Devontae Mozee for a one play, 65 yard, touchdown strike. The two point conversion run by Brantrel Thompson, who with 8 rushes for 87 yards and a 28 yard TD reception was one of the few Tigers to have a good night, was virtually uncontested around the right end. Unbelievably on the left side of the field a hold was called negating the points. The next play Malone was sacked and the game was over.

D’Arbonne Domination! DWC had 22 first downs compared to 11 for JHHS. The Tiger defense never gave up a big play but simply couldn’t get the Timberwolves off the field. DWC rushed the ball 59 times for 195 yards. That is just a little over three yards a carry average. What is worse, six times DWC went for it on fourth down. Six times they made it. The number of plays run by the offense carried a decided 63-24 DWC advantage. Perhaps the most telling statistic was the time of possession in the game which showed DWC at 36:34 compared to JHHS who had the ball just 11 minutes and 26 seconds. That is less than one quarter’s worth.

Quick Strikes! How did JHHS stay as close as they did with that kind of one sided statistical disadvantage? The reason was their ability to score lightning quick. The longest drive JHHS had all night was seven plays that covered 50 yards when Thompson and Malone hooked up to give JHHS a 7-6 halftime lead after Chance Leonard made the extra point. Down 14-7 in the third period, JHHS responded again, this time with a three play, 60 yard drive that Justin Calahan took a pass from Malone the remaining 39 yards for the score. Then there was the one play Malone to Mozee strike at the end. All in all the Tigers ran 11 plays that took only 3:10 off the clock on the three scores.

Atkins adds to tackle total! Xavier Atkins continued to provide incredible tackle totals. After tallying 22 total stops the sensational sophomore increased his statewide lead to 131 which is one more than second place Ross Bertrand of Beau Chene. His total of 106 solo stops leads the state by over twenty than his next closest competitor and the only defensive player in the state to go over the century mark. 

Leonard, Lewis and Smith all reach double digits! Cameron Leonard turned in his best performance of season and in his career with 16 total tackles and 11 solo stops. Jay Lewis and Peyton Smith also reached double digits in tackles with 12 each. Cartavious Waters had nine stops includinig one tackle for a loss. 

D’Arbonne Woods (5-2, 1-0)068822
Jonesboro-Hodge (6-2, 1-0)077620

Scoring summary:

2nd quarter: DWC – Alejo 8 yd run (PAT no good)
2nd quarter: JHHS – Thompson 28 yd pass from Malone (Leonard PAT)
3rd quarter: DWC – Rawls 7 yd run (Alejo 2-point run)
3rd quarter: JHHS – Calahan 37 yd pass from Malone (Leonard PAT)
4th quarter: DWC – Rawls 1 yd run (Walker 2-point run)
4th quarter: JHHS – Mozee 65 yd pass from Malone (2 pt run no good)

First Downs1122
Rushes / Yards11/8659/195
Completions/ Attempts /Yards7-13-1731-4-21
Total Yards259216
3rd Down Conv2/47/17
4th Down Conv0/16/6
Time of Possession11:2636:34

JHHS Individual stats:

Passing: Malone 7-13-173 yds, 3 TD’s, 1 Int
Rushing: Thompson 8-85, Malone 3-1
Receiving: Mozee 3-98, 1TD, Calahan 3-47, 1TD, Thompson 1-28, 1TD
Total Tackles: Atkins 22, Cam. Leonard 16, Lewis 12, Smith 12, Waters 9
Solo Stops: Atkins 17, Cam. Leonard 11, Lewis 9, Waters 6, Smith 5
Tackles for loss: Cam. Leonard 1, Waters 1
Interceptions: Atkins 1

Photos courtesy of Jason Strickland

Essmeier honored by Town of Jonesboro

The Town of Jonesboro  was saddened this past Saturday, October 16th with the death of one of its favorite sons, Donald (Don) L. Essmeir. First Responders from the area paid honor to the former public servant and Mayor of Jonesboro by hanging a large flag from the boom of one of the Jonesboro Fire Department trucks over Cooper Avenue during his funeral service held Wednesday, October 20th, at the First Baptist Church in Jonesboro. 

essmeierEssmeier, who most recently lived in Pineville after years of being a resident of Jonesboro, was born on July 10, 1932 and escorted into the presence of his Lord and Savior on Saturday, October 16, 2021. Mr. Essmeier was a kind and loving husband, father, grandfather and friend to many. He was a faithful member and deacon at First Baptist Church Jonesboro, and most recently served his Lord at Philadelphia Baptist Church in Pineville, LA.

Don was born in Canon City, CO on July 10, 1932. He grew up with his parents and three siblings in Colorado and Wyoming, with his family settling in Basile, Louisiana where he graduated high school. After completing his forestry degree at Louisiana Tech University in 1955 he then proudly served his country in the US Army from 1955 until 1957. Immediately following, he was employed by Continental Can Company as an area forester, starting in Savannah, GA before transferring to Hodge, LA.

While working in Hodge he met the love of his life, Julia Blake, at the Jonesboro bowling alley. Just three weeks after they first met he asked for Julia’s hand in marriage. They were married three months later on June 11, 1961 and began to start their family. Being the dedicated worker that he was, Don’s hard work was recognized in the following years resulting in moves to Lufkin, TX, Savannah, GA, Hodge LA and back to Savannah. In 1979 he was promoted to Vice-President of Continental Land Sales. He and his family moved to West Redding, CT where they resided until his retirement in 1985.

After retirement, the family relocated one last time to Jonesboro, LA. Not one to sit around, Don became owner and operator of Jonesboro Concrete Company from 1985 to 1993. The very next year in 1994 Don returned to his forestry roots and joined his dear friend Joe Burns with Burns Forest Products until 1998.

Don loved his community and took an active role in numerous community affairs and civic clubs. He was past president of both the Jonesboro-Hodge Jaycees and the Lions Club. He was an active member of the Boys Club of Redding, CT and a member of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity at Louisiana Tech University. Don was a member of the Jackson Parish Chamber of Commerce, the Louisiana Forestry Association, the Society of American Foresters, the Jackson Parish Tourism Commission and the Louisiana Tech Alumni Association.

While involved in many community service organizations, he freely gave of his time, materials and money to further such projects as the addition to the Jackson Parish Library, overseeing the construction of the new community center and restoring the Jackson Parish Museum. Don served on the board of directors for many of these civic organizations and loved to serve his community, church and the residents of Jackson Parish.

In 2002 Don was elected as Mayor for the town of Jonesboro and proudly served his community in that position from 2003 to 2007. As much as Don accomplished in his lifetime, his crowning achievement was the way he lived out his faith, always displaying the fruits of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control which were evident in the way he loved his wife, children and grandchildren. He always put others before himself and was a true caretaker, selfless in his thinking and actions.

Preceding him in death were his loving wife of 41 years, Julia Blake Essmeier; parents, Donald and Agnes Essmeier; brother, Charles Essmeier; sister, Dorothy Essmeier Stovall.

Those left to cherish his memory are his wife, Lydia Essmeier of Pineville, LA; his four children, Jedd Essmeier (Paula) of Quitman, LA, Susan Essmeier Grover (John) of Keene, NH, David Essmeier (Lisa) of Dodson, LA, and Kathryn Essmeier Tuttle (Tracy) of Rockwall, TX. His seven grandchildren, Emily Essmeier Carpenter (Jared) of Hodge, LA, Lee Essmeier of Quitman, LA, Ryan Grover (Victoria) of Concord, NC, Chelsey Essmeier O’Donnell (Lance) of Dodson, LA, Bailey Essmeier (Ethan) of Dodson, LA, Julia Tuttle and Noah Tuttle of Rockwall, TX. His 9 great-grandchildren, Hayden Essmeier, Liam Essmeier, Roland Carpenter, Brogan Carpenter, Evangelyn Carpenter, Quin Carpenter, Gideon Carpenter, Emma Vines and Waylon Vines. His brother Sam Essmeier of Lafayette, LA and a host of relatives and friends.

Reverend David Essmeier and Reverend Craig James officiated the funeral services.Interment followed at the Garden of Memories Cemetery under the direction Southern-Edmonds Funeral Home.

Honoring Mr. Essmeier by serving as pallbearers are Casey Blake, Chris Blake, John Blake, Lee Essmeier, John Grover, Ryan Grover, Noah Tuttle and Tracy Tuttle.

Anderson’s and Reeves honored as “JHHS Football First Families”

Steeped in JHHS football lore, members of the Anderson and Reeves family, who represent the most players to play professional football and have the longest tenure of coaching high school and college football were honored during the Homecoming game this past Friday night.

Eight members of the Anderson family and three from the Reeves family were recognized as a “JHHS Football First Family.” This is a new program introduced this year by the Jonesboro-Hodge High School Athletic Department and sponsored by the Jackson Parish Journal designed to bring attention to families who have been a major part of the 103 year legacy of JHHS football.

Representing the Anderson family were Anthony, Stevie, Scottie, Byron, Thyron and Zem along with cousins Carlos Hicks and Terrance Blankenship. From this iconic group three state championships, one state runner-up, one semi-finalist, eight district championships and nine playoff appearances were obtained. Included are 6 collegiate scholarship winners, five professional football players and four high school and college coaches, three of which are currently on the JHHS staff.

No other family has a longer tenure in high school coaching than the Reeves brothers (Alden and Ted) who have a combined five decades plus of experience that included being a part of four state championship teams and a multitude of district championships and playoff appearances. The patriarch of the family, Ira, was an educator and public servant who served for years as a City Councilman and Mayor of Jonesboro. He is recognized as a catalyst in the construction of Caldwell-Peacock stadium and organizer of the Paper Bowl which was held in Jonesboro from 1959-64.

Jonesboro native Tag Rome bestowed prestigious “Golden Arrow” award by ULM

Presented since 1981, the Golden Arrow Award is the highest honor from the ULM Alumni Association. This award goes to someone who has distinguished themselves through personal and professional achievement while serving the Alumni Association, going above and beyond the call of duty over a period of years. This year’s winner is Tag Rome.

The Jonesboro native was bestowed the prestigious award during the annual Alumni Awards Brunch held at the Bayou Pointe Event Center.on Saturday, Oct. 23, as part of ULM’s Homecoming festivities. Rome along with Rising Young Alumni Award winner DeAndre Alexander were then honored at the ULM homecoming football game later that evening.

Anthony “Tag” Rome earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from ULM in 1984 and 1987. He was a member of the ULM football team from 1980-83, receiving the All-Conference, All Louisiana, All American (twice), and all Conference Academic awards. He played professional football for the NFL and CFL. Rome served as assistant football coach at ULM from 1989-96. He was inducted into the ULM Sports Hall of Fame in 1996.

Rome is a true advocate of ULM, having memberships as an Alumni Association Lifetime member, L Club Lifetime member, George T. Walker Heritage Society member, Kitty DeGree Bell Tower Society member – Ouachita Society, and constantly supporting ULM in the Shreveport area where he currently resides.

With this success, Rome is just as dedicated in his career. As a State Farm Insurance agent in the Shreveport/Bossier area, he has developed three different locations, is in the top one percentile of State Farm agents in America, and was recognized by State Farm as a Million Dollar Round Table recipient.



Minor fire extinguished at Jackson Parish School Board Office

A minor fire produced a major scare this past Friday morning at the Jackson Parish School Board Central Office in Jonesboro as result of a short in an electrical line in the roof. According to a report given by Jonesboro Fire Chief Brandon Brown at the scene the Jonesboro Fire Department was called out after a small column of smoke was seen lifting from the roof next to the front entrance of the building.

“We received a call from the Jackson Parish Sheriff’s Office of a fire at the School Board Office to which we immediately responded to,” said Brown. “Upon arriving we were quickly able to locate the origin of the fire which appears to be caused by an electrical problem.”

School Superintendent David Claxton was appreciative of the fast response to the problem.

“I am very thankful to the Fire Department for their fast response and their skill getting the situation resolved as quickly as they did,” said Claxton. “Thanks to them we suffered only minor damage to the roof and avoided what could have been a major problem.”

“Pink Out” Pep Rally held at Sonic Drive Inn

Cheer and Dance groups from Jonesboro-Hodge High School, Jonesboro-Hodge Elementary, Jonesboro Hodge Middle School and the JHHS Booster Club, as well as, the JHHS football team and a host of supporters converged on the Sonic Drive In parking lot for an afternoon of fun earlier this past week. The occassion, which was dubbed the “Pink Out Pep Rally” was in effort to show support for the Jonesboro-Hodge High School football team as well as pay homage to Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Sonic Drive In Manager Tancy Harris was pleased to see her company sponser the event. 

“I think it was a great idea,” said Harris. “Not only did we get to come together as a community to show our support for these young men who are representing Jonesboro-Hodge High School but also to show all the women who are suffering with Breast Cancer that we stand united with them.”

Images from “Pink Out Pep Rally”

Forest Haven Nursing Home hosts “Forest Fest” on Monday, Oct. 25th

Click on the interactive banner above to learn more

The Forest Haven Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center, located at 171 Thrasher Drive in Jonesboro, will be hosting the inaugural “Forest Fest” on October 25th.The public is invited to come help residents celebrate Halloween through receiving “treats” from visitors and participants on hand for the event. Twenty four spots are available to claim where you can distribute items from your vehicle, tent or a termporary structure that can contain Hallowen theme related props and while in costume if you desire. Suggested “treats” for the residents include: coloring books, word searches, stationary, lotions and edible individually wrapped goodies. Participants will have the chance to win a $100.00 gift card and a prize for the best decorated pumkin. Hot dogs and drinks will be provided for all. For more information please contact the Activity Department at Forest Haven at (318) 259-2729.

Youth enjoying playing soccer at Jackson Parish Recreation Department Complex

On Tuesday’s and Thursday’s during the month of October, boys and girls from the ages of 4-14 have been enjoying learning the fine arts of playing soccer and enjoying fun competition. Training and games have been played at the Jackson Parish Recreation Department (JPRD) Complex, located on Hwy 4 east of Jonesboro, in an informal setting where after a short training session each evening teams based on the age of the competitors are selected. 

“I would like to thank all the parents and volunteers who have worked so hard this month to help the boys and girls enjoy playing soccer,” said JPRD Director Tommy Smith. “While we weren’t able to host a full league as we wanted to we are very happy that the ones who have attended our sessions have enjoyed great fun.”

Scenes from action last week:

JHHS Touchdown Club announces sale of Tiger football shirts and caps

At the meeting of the Jonesboro-Hodge High School Touchdown Club this past Thursday evening members were shown the JHHS football shirts and caps that are now being sold to benefit the JHHS football program. Cost of the lightweight short sleeve shirt that is white with red sleeves and adorned with JHHS Football lettering on the breast is $30.00 per shirt. The cap which is white with red and blue trim with J-H prominently inscribed sells for $25.00. To place an order, contact any member of the Touchdown Club or call to (318) 480-1206.

It was also announced was that Westrock, Inc. employee, Bennie Cox, was the winner of the Homecoming Raffle sponsored by the TD club. Cox received a free tailgate spot, passes for the game and parking, a full size cooler, 18oz cooler and a half a case of Sprite.

The Touchdown Club would like to thank all who participated in the raffle and invites prospective members to attend the next meeting which will be held at 6:00pm on Thursday, November 4th in the locker room of Caldwell-Peacock stadium on the campus of Jonesboro-Hodge High School.

Library Board to meet Monday at Chatham Branch

The Jackson Parish Library Board will hold their monthly meeting at 4:30 pm on Monday, October 25th at the Chatham Branch, located at 1500 Pine Street in Chatham. The original meeting that was slated for last Monday was forced to be rescheduled due to the inability to achieve a quorum.

During the meeting board members are expected to consider the recommendation for a generator at and air conditioning unit at the Chatham Branch as well as all other bids in relation to the branch renovation project. A review and possible adoption of the updated 2021 budget adjustments and the 2022 proposed budget will also be considered.

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, if you need special assistance, please contact Floyd Knox at 318-259-5697.

Jonesboro State Bank / Pledge Ten reminding that “Shred Day” is nearing

JSB / Pledge 10 sends a reminder that you have six days to gather all your documents that need to be shredded and bring them to the Jonesboro State Bank location at 109 Jimmie Davis Blvd. in Jonesboro. 
We want to help you keep your identity safe. That’s why we provide a FREE Community Shred Day each fall. Your documents will be finely shtedded and the paper will be recycled. That’s a win for all!


“Hog Boss gates LLC, was born out of necessity to trap feral hogs that had gotten out of control on the land that we hunt. My partner and I have dedicated ourselves to building a better hog trap.” With this statement, Scott Hall and his partner, Kory Gilbert, launched their company in the spring of 2017 with headquarters in Bastrop.
This pair of entrepreneurs was honored last weekend when they were awarded the Manufacturer of Excellence Award by the Louisiana chapter of Legends of the Outdoors Hall of Fame.

GlynnIn the three years since the company has been in operation, Hog Boss LLC has trapped and taken off the landscape around the south around 250,000 feral hogs, pesky creatures that have become a serious problem. What is this product and how does it work? Scott Hall explained how he and Gilbert put a plan together that would make trapping and removing feral hogs fairly simple.

“We got to playing with electronics and fabricating gates that are cellular operated,” said Hall. “Once a ‘corral’ is set up with feed placed inside, the hogs become accustomed to coming in for the free food. You can monitor when the hogs are in the trap from a camera at the site. Once they’re there, you get a signal on your cell phone that shows the hogs at the site. Once you determine that all the ‘sounder’ (groups of hogs) are in corral, you send a signal to the gate by way of your phone, the gate falls and the hogs are trapped.”

The signal works enabling you to trip the trap from anywhere. One customer had the following testimonial.

“I was on a family vacation in Orange Beach and had gone off-shore fishing. We were 10 miles out in the Gulf when the notification came in that the sow and 10 piglets I’d been after for weeks were finally in the trap. I called the Hogg Boss gate and caught 11 pigs…..and a limit of red snapper!”

More fully explaining how the Hog Boss system works, a brochure produced by the company discusses how the system operates.

“Using any cellular trail camera to monitor the enclosure, you simply call or text your Hogg Boss trap to close the gate from anywhere in the world. Hogg Boss traps gates are designed to capture the entire sounder with one drop of the gate. Our trap gate measures 8 feet wide and the opening is 42 inches tall. Hog Boss trap gates and panels are made right here in the U.S.A. using only American steel.”

How important is it to take as many feral hogs off the land as possible, hogs that are rooting up food plots as well as lawns?

It is necessary to remove 70% of the hogs on a particular piece of property just to stay even with them; they reproduce that fast,” said Scott. “I have had people tell me they’re not worried because they only have a few hogs on their hunting club. Two years later they come to me telling me they wish they had gotten after the hogs earlier because now they are hogs everywhere,” said Hall.

The business is growing, according to Hall and their product is quickly becoming the preferred trap used across the southern U.S. by divisions of the USDA, state and local wildlife agencies, levee boards, farmers, land managers and hunting clubs.

“There’s even a Hog Boss Trap at Cape Canaveral near the launch pads,” he said. For more information and pricing, contact or search Face Book or Instagram. You can also call the company at 1-833-464-2677.


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 – Bream fishing has been fair on crickets and worms. Bass are fair on spinners, jigs and soft plastics. Crappie are scattered and slow. Contact Honey Hole Tackle Shop 323-8707 for latest information.
OUACHITA RIVER – Bass are best in the river lakes and cuts. 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 feet deep in 18-20 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. Best fishing this week has been up Corney creek. 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 – Best news this week has to do with stripers that continued to school and hitting shad imitation lures and when they go down, trolling white bucktails is picking up some. Bream fishing is slow to fair on crickets and worms. Bass fishing has been best fishing topwaters in the shallows or at night fishing around the lights with plastic worms. Crappie fishing is best fishing 10 feet deep in 14-17 foot water on shiners. Catfish are fair on blood bait. For latest information, call Misty at Kel’s Cove at 331-2730 or Terzia Tackle at 278-4498.
CANEY LAKE – Bass are on the points around 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.
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.
LAKE ST. JOHN – The lake is being lowered but the gates have now been closed. Fishing should improve soon. For information, call Ken Mahoney at 318-201-3821.
LAKE YUCATAN – The water is on a slow fall and fishing is fair to good. Crappie are fair but some big crappie fish are being caught. For information, call Surplus City Landing at 318/467-

JHHS Baseball team offering tickets to “Fish Plate” fundraiser through Tuesday

The Jonesboro-Hodge High School baseball team and alumni is holding a “Fish Plate” fundraiser to help defray costs of the upcoming season. You are asked to place your order by Tuesday, October 26th by contacting Katlin Bryant at (318) 533-2149 or Christy Miles at (318) 789-0261.

The plates which will include fish filets, potato salad, baked beans, bread, cake and a drink will be available for pickup at the East Hodge Town Hall on Friday, October 29th from 11:00am – 3:00pm. Delivery is also available upon request. Cost of each plate is only $10.00.

“Sunday Services” to continue through the remainder of the year

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:

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

May God’s blessings be granted unto you!

Jonesboro-Hodge to celebrate Homecoming on Friday

A full day of activities are on hand for Friday, October 22nd, as Jonesboro-Hodge High School celelbrates Homecoming. The day will begin with an assembly in the boys gymnasium beginning at 9:30am where the 2021 Queen and King will be crowned from among Anayah Allen, Javiniti Anderson, Lawinter Bowie, Xabrianna Jackson, & Abrianna Paggett and escorts Javeion Andrews, Antravious ChargoisTyler Bradford, Justin Calahan, Tydre Malone, & Jamarriyea LewisCartavious Waters.

At 1:00 pm the Homecoming Parade will take place followed by the pre-game presentation of the Queen and her Court along with escorts at 6:30pm. Jonesboro-Hodge will then take on D’Arbonne Woods in the district 1-2A opener for both teams beginning at 7:00 pm. At halftime the Anderson and Reeves family will be honored as a “JHHS Football First Family.”

Additional members of the Homecoming Court and their escorts to be introduced are:
Junior Maids: La Kourtnee Adams, Zoie Anderson, Kyla Hayes, Serenity Mallard
Junior Escorts:Tyler Bradford, Edtravious Drayton, Zion Gray, Cartavious Waters.
Sophomore Maids and Escorts: Mikaya Nash, Daraiyna Gray, Mikaya Nash, Daraiyna Gray
Freshman Maids and Escorts: Angel Moss, Ja’Mari Kimble, Ethan Bradford & Za’Narian Palmer

The faculty and staff at Jonesboro-Hodge also welcomes everyone to come “tailgate” with members of your graduating class, along with friends and family who will be set up in reserved spots on the practice field during the day before the game. Admission is required if not already pre-paid.