Fantastic Finish! Tigers rally for victory over Franklin to earn semifinal berth

There are games and then there are games. Some are even special games. Then there are the tiny few in the history of a program that are  games such as Jonesboro-Hodge’s stirring 29-28 come from behind victory over Franklin in the LHSAA Class AA Quarterfinals.

Those are the ones that are remembered forever by the special play or event that took place like “The Pass” (JH vs Springhill-1987) or “The Interception” (JH vs Bunkie – 1988). You can now add “The Drive” to the list. 

It was a game for the ages that was topped off in exhilirating fashion for Tiger fans by an incredible 14 play, 98 yard drive for a touchdown with just 36 seconds left in the game. The score narrowed the 28-13 second half deficit the Tigers faced to only 28-27 with an all important decision awaiting.

Would head coach Terrance Blankenship kick the extra point to tie or go for the win with a two point conversion attempt. There was really no doubt in Blankenship’s mind but the decision was made easier when Franklin jumped offside to move the ball to only a yard and a half out. 

“There was no doubt that after we made that score we were going for the win instead of playing for a tie,” said Blankenship. “First of all we were on the road and secondly I didn’t want to see their quarterback anymore.”

J-H lined up in it’s “jumbo” package, where they put lineman Cartavious Waters in the backfield as a fullback. Senior QB Tydre Malone, who had a tremendous game iwth two TD’s passing and two TD’s running took the snap and burrowed in for the two points setting off a mad celebration in the stands and along the sidelines. 

“This has been a special season for our team as they have had to overcome many very tough things that were thrown at them,” said Blankenship.  “This game was an example as it seemed like everything that could go against us did but guys just refused to let the season end.” 

Tigers have multiple lives!  It is said that a cat has nine lives. This Jonesboro-Hodge Tiger team used up 15 or so just in this one game – but they prevailed. Example: Nine times Franklin fumbled , eight times the ball bounced right back to them, even twice on one play. JHHS fumbled twice and lost them both as the ball hit a players pad and bounded far away. 

Three times in the fourth quarter, Franklin started drives inside JHHS territory, incluidng twice inside the Tigers 25 yard line. A touchdown would have won it for Franklin on any one of the drives. On the first drive, JHHS forced a punt. The Tigers fumbled the return setting up Franklin at the JHHS 24 yard line. JHHS held on 4th down and took over at their own five yard line. Three and out set up a Tiger punt that went all of 15 yards giving Franklin another close shot, this time at the JHHS 20 yard line. Once again JHHS held on downs setting up the game winning drive. 

A tale of two quarterbacks! JHHS head coach Terrance Blankenship was told before the contest that Franklin quarterback Zylan Perry was a special talent. The versatile athleted that runs a legitimate 4.44 in the 40 yard dash proved his worth and then some.

“That kid is one of the best athletes I have ever had to try and stop,” said Blankenship. “After it is over, I will still say try and stop because we didn’t come close to that, maybe slowed him down a little at the end of the game.”

Perry rushed for 131 yards on 24 carries and two touchdowns and threw for 137 more and another score. It wasn’t so much the yards he made but how he made them. Time and again, the Tigers would have the elusive speedster in their grasp only to see him do a magic act Two of the scores came on fourth down where Perry simply improvised to make the play for the score. 

JHHS has a good quarterback as well. Actually according the Tiger all time record book and after the game Friday, you should classify Tydre Malone as great. It was his poise and leadership on “The Drive” that led to two fourth down pass play conversions. It was also his pocket awarenes when after looking for a receiver he took off and ran it all the way to the two yard line. Malone also ran in a pair of toucdowns but also passed for two more. One was on the first drive of the game on a 36 yard completion to Chase Leonard and the other a 43 yard strike to Devontae Mozee. 

The victory improved the Tigers record to 11-2 on the year. It isthe first time since 1993 that a Tiger team has won 11 games in a seaosn and will play in the semi-finals for the first time since 1990. Standing in the way for a trip to the dome for the Class AA state championship is #6 Amite, who upset #2 General Trass by a score fo 20-2 and will host the Tigers this Friday night. 

#7 JHHS (11-2)768829
#15 Franklin (8-4)1666028
1st quarter

Scoring summary:
1st quarter: JHHS – Leonard 36 yd pass from Malone (Leonard Kick)
1st quarter: FHS – Perry 64 yd run (Perry to Johnson pass)
1st quarter: FHS – Alexander 3 yd pass from Perry (Perry run)
2nd quarter: JHHS – Malone 5 yd run (run failed)
2nd quarter: FHS – Perry 21 yd run (run failed)
3rd quarter: FHS – Gray 5 yd run (run failed)
3rd quarter: JHHS – Mozee 43 yd pass from Malone (Thompson run)
4th quarter: JHHS – Malone 2 yd run (Malone run)

First downs1715
Rushes / Yards30 / 13232 / 156
Passing (A-C-Yards)16/23 – 2039/20 – 137
Turnovers / lost2/29/1
Penaties / Yds10 – 678-51
3rd down conv.2-143-11
4th down conv.4-44-9

JHHS Individual Offensive Stats:

Passing: Malone 16/23-203, 2 TD’s
Rushing: Malone 17-77, 2 TD’s; Thompson 13-55
Receiving: Mozee: 5-82, 1 TD; Calahan 6-65; Leonard 3-55, 1TD; Thompson 2-1

JHHS Indvidual Defensive Stats: 

Total tackles: Atkins 10, Jones 10, Waters 9, Leonard 8, Lewis 8, Andrews 7, Smith 7, 
Solo tackles: Atkins 9, Waters 9, Lewis 6, Andrews 4, Jones 4
Sacks: Waters 1, Andrews 1
Tackles for loss: Waters 3, Andrews 2, Drayton 1, Smith 1
Interceptions: Mozee 1

2021 Christmas Festival Parade Grand Marshal Dipak Patel honored with coffee greet

What an exciting day it was in Jonesboro as the Christms Wonderland in the Pines Festival kicked off beginning with a coffee for Parade Grand Marshal Dipak Patel, owner of the Budget Inn in Jonesboro.  Several local dignataries, including Jonesboro Mayor Leslie Thompson, Jonesboro Police Chief James “Spike”  Harris and Jackson Parish Police Jury President Amy Magee among others, paid homage to Pital for his unwavering dedication to the community. Following the event there was a concert performed by the children’s choir in the veterans Park, then the parade, and fireworks. 

Quitman boys and girls fall to Cedar Creek in final pre-holiday action

It will be a welcome break for the Quitman boys and girls basketball teams to get a chance to stay at home over the Thanksgiving holiday. They haven ‘t had the opportunity to do that much so far this season and the road has been unkind.

This is evidenced by their 56-47 and 44-30 losses in the boys and and girls contests against Cedar Creek in Ruston, dropping the boys to 2-6 on the road and the girls to 3-5 in games away from the friendly confines. Overall the Wolverines are 5-6 on the season while the girls have posted a 5-7 mark. The schedule in the short term doesn’t get any easier either, as six of the next eight playing dates have Quitman traveling again leading up to the 2022 portion of the season.

Cedar Creek 56 Quitman 47 (boys) Even though the Wolverines outscored Cedar Creek 13-4 in the second quarter the 19-5 lead that the Cougars took after the first frame was to much to overcome. Carter Hill, Hayden McClusky and Davis Walsworth did all the early damage for Creek with eight, six and five points respectively on their way to all ending in double digits in scoring. Logan Ponder and John Pabaya scored six and five in the second quarter to draw Quitman to within five at the half on their way to 16 and 20 points by games end. Pabaya’s point total is a new season and career best.

Quitman (5-6)51392047
Cedar Creek (3-0)19492456
QHS scoring: Pabaya 20, Ponder 16, Manning 5, Caskey 5, Duck 1; CCHS Scoring: Hill 19, Walsworith 14, McClusky 10, Norris 8, Middleton 2

Cedar Creek 41 Quitman 30 (girls) Six points by Lizzie McAdams and five more from Alice Fuir led the way to a 17-2 second quarter advantage for Cedar Creek that in all reality put the game away. Cali Deal and Brayli Stewart scored four each and Emma Carter added a basket to give Quitman a 10-6 first quarter lead. The Cougars allowed just four Lady Wolverines to score with Stewart leading the way with 15 followed by Deal with nine. Bethany Leach added four to go along with Carter’s basket to round out the scoring. Sarah Adams led Cedar Creek with 13, just one ahead of McAdams. Millie Venters added eight, Fuir 7 and both Ellie Dickerson and Ava Hartwell made a third quarter basket.

Quitman (5-7)10210830
Cedar Creek (3-0)61713841
QHS scoring: Stewart 15, Deal 9, Leach 4, Carter 2; CCHS scoring: Adams 13, McAdams 12, Venters 8, Fuir 7, Dickerson 2, Hartwell 2

Area action:

Saline 71 Arcadia 69: Saline jumped out to a five point, first quarter then held Arcadia at bay to take the narrow win over their larger Bienville Parish rival. Ethan Roberts led three Bobcats in double figures with 21 followed by 18 from Titus Jackson and 14 from Titus Malone. Kenton Lee Crawford came up big at the end by scoring seven of his nine points in the fourth quarter. Stephen Brown helped Saline to the early lead with all five of his points in the first frame. Shawn Staggs and Jacob Jones chipped in with two points each. Abney led Arcadia with 32. The victory improved the Bobcats to 4-7 on the year while Arcadia fell to 2-2. 

Saline (4-7)1717172071
Arcadia (2-2)1219172169
SHS scoring: Roberts 21, Jackson 18, Malone 14, Crawford 9, Brown 5, Staggs 2, Jones 2; AHS scoring: Abney 32, Carr 14, Jones 13, Crawley 7, Pringle 2, Nelson 1

Jackson Parish Recreation Board makes plans for 2022

The Jackson Parish Recreation Board looked to the future and made operational plans for 2022 at their regularly scheduled monthly meeting held at the Banquet Room of the Jackson Parish Golf Course on Monday, November 15th.

The panel of Ricky Cash, Brandon Lamkin, Rodney Potts and Sullivan Stevens decided to set 2022 board meeting on the third Monday of month at 6:00 pm, excluding holidays along with approving to retain the Law Office of Steven M. Gatlin as their legal counsel. In additional action the Winn Parish Enterprise was selected as the official journal of the Board. Brent Barnett, Jeff Hairston and Chris Womack were absent from the proceedings.

After the minutes and financials from October were approved, Recreation Director, Tommy Smith, gave an update on some of the ongoing programs of the Jackson Parish Rec Department (JPRD) including the archery/shooting range and basketball. He also presented the board with an email received from Mr. Jonathan Plunkett thanking the JPRD for allowing the LACC to have their race at the sports complex, located on Hwy 4 East.

Two more agenda items were tabled including the decision on a bid from DG&E Logging for timber cutting at the Golf Course until more information is received from the bidder on time and date of the project. Also tabled was the purchase of playground equipment for the Village North Hodge until more is learned on what the total cost of equipment and installation would be.

In final action the board agreed to schedule a budget hearing for 11:30am on Monday, December 20, 2021 in the Banquet Room of the Jackson Parish Golf Course followed by the regularly scheduled monthly meeting to be held at 12:00pm.


W Co-Founders Note — There is some concern around the Designated Writers home office that the news you are about to read could result in his own private bathroom and one of those “Reserved 24 Hours a Day” parking spots. But even so, it’s a small price to pay for such a large honor for our boy Teddy. Fear not — your subscription rate to DW will not increase now that we have a “distinguished” member on staff.

NATCHITOCHES – Acclaimed north Louisiana writer Teddy Allen and influential central Louisiana reporter, editor and publisher Garland Forman Jr. have been selected for the 2022 Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.

The duo will be inducted in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame next June, LSWA president Raymond Partsch III and Hall of Fame chairman Doug Ireland announced Tuesday.

Allen, who has been north Louisiana’s preeminent feature columnist for over 30 years, has been nationally recognized for his writing while working in Shreveport, New Orleans and Ruston. Author of three books, Allen has been a focal figure for the university communications department at his alma mater, Louisiana Tech, since 2008, and has been part of the Hall of Fame selection committee for two decades-plus.

Forman is the only person to serve as president of both the Louisiana Press Association and the LSWA. While winning hundreds of state writing and editing awards including news, sports and outdoors coverage from both organizations, the Pineville native and Louisiana Christian University alumnus has been a pivotal leader for the LSWA and for over 25 years has been on the Hall of Fame selection committee.

The DSA honor, to be made official next summer in Natchitoches, means Allen and Forman will be among an elite 12-person Class of 2022 being inducted in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. They were selected from a 29-person pool of outstanding nominees for the state’s top sports journalism honor.

The Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism recipients are chosen by the 40-member Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame selection committee based on nominees’ professional accomplishments in local, state, regional and even national circles, with leadership in the LSWA as a beneficial factor and three decades of work in the profession as a requirement.

Distinguished Service Award winners are enshrined in the Hall of Fame along with the 455 current athletes, sports journalists, coaches and administrators chosen since 1959. Just 69 leading figures in the state’s sports media have been honored with the Distinguished Service Award since its inception 39 years ago in 1982.

Allen and Forman will be among the 2022 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Class to be spotlighted in the annual Induction Ceremony on Saturday evening, June 25, at the Natchitoches Events Center. The Induction Ceremony culminates the 2022 Induction Celebration beginning Thursday afternoon, June 23, with press conference at the Hall of Fame museum at 800 Front Street in Natchitoches.

A pair of six-time Pro Bowl NFL linemen, New Orleans Saints’ offensive guard Jahri Evans and Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams, join the late Tony Robichaux, No. 1 on the wins list for state college baseball coaches, among a star-studded group of nine 2022 competitive ballot inductees.

The LSHOF Class of 2022 also includes two of the greatest women athletes in LSU history, three-time national champion gymnast Susan Jackson and two-time first-team All-America softball pitcher Britni Sneed Newman. Williams, who helped the Tigers’ football team win the 2003 national championship, is joined by another of LSU’s all-time great linemen, the late Eric Andolsek, and pro rodeo great Steve Duhon among the 2022 inductees.

Baton Rouge-Episcopal High School track and field/cross country coach Claney Duplechin enters the Hall next summer still active, with his teams capturing an astounding 64 LHSAA crowns in his career. Rounding out the Class of 2022 is the late Dr. Eddie Flynn, who as a Loyola-New Orleans student won the 1932 Olympic welterweight boxing gold medal for the USA, the last gold medal for an American boxer for 20 years.

The 2022 inductees will be showcased in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Museum, operated by the Louisiana State Museum system in a partnership with the Louisiana Sports Writers Association. The striking $23 million, two-story, 27,500-square foot structure faces Cane River Lake in the National Historic Landmark District of Natchitoches and has garnered worldwide architectural acclaim and rave reviews for its contents since its grand opening during the 2013 Hall of Fame induction weekend.

The selection of Allen and Forman was announced Tuesday by LSWA president Raymond Partsch III.

“We could probably fill a wing of the Hall of Fame with the amount of hardware that Teddy and Garland have won in their storied careers, which is saying something. But for me, what stands out about this year’s DSA honorees is how they are truly two of the most unselfish individuals that you will be blessed to encounter in our business,” said Partsch.

“From Teddy stepping up to serve as master of ceremonies for the LHSOF Induction year after year to Garland’s tireless work with both the LSWA and LPA, their sacrifices and behind-the-scenes efforts have been immensely valuable to both the LSWA and the LSHOF. We have been truly blessed to have both Teddy and Garland to be a part of our state’s storied sports history and there is no better way to honor them than having them inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.”

One of Louisiana’s more beloved writers, of sports and other things, Allen has piled up awards from the LSWA and many other entities since the mid-1980s. He worked for the Shreveport Journal and The Times in Shreveport, then for the Times-Picayune in New Orleans, first covering LSU and then expanding his role to step into the slot as primary columnist as the iconic Peter Finney gradually downshifted his contributions. Recently joining the Online Journals group of 10 northwest Louisiana parish publications, headlined by the Lincoln Parish Journal and the Natchitoches Parish Journal, Allen was previously a featured columnist for Gannett’s north Louisiana papers over the last three decades.

After returning to Shreveport with The Times in the early ‘90s, Allen moved east to his beloved alma mater, Louisiana Tech (bachelor’s 1982, master’s 1984), in 2008 as a writer and editor in the university communications department. Over the last decade, he has done radio broadcasting for Tech sports (football color analyst, and recently, some baseball play-by-play) and serving as a master of ceremonies for many events at the university and for the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony for the better part of the last two decades.

He has multiple times won prestigious honors including the Associated Press Sports Editors national feature writing award and the LSWA Story of the Year, Columnist of the Year, and Sportswriter of the Year awards. For his general interest columns, he has earned both the Ernie Pyle Award as the top columnist in Mississippi and Louisiana and been named Columnist of the Year in the LPA.

Allen’s work has been featured in the Poynter Institute’s annual “Best Newspaper Writing.”

He is co-founder of, an online publication including columns, features and video segments.

For four-plus decades, Forman has developed a reputation for being one of the most honored, well-respected sports journalists in not only Central Louisiana but the entire state.Forman started reporting while a student at then-Louisiana College in the late 1970s. That led to freelance work for both the Eunice News and Ville Platte Gazette in 1980. Seven years later, Forman was named managing editor of the Bunkie Record and remained there until the fall of 2018 when he was named publisher of the Ville Platte Gazette and six other papers.
Now based in Ville Platte, he currently oversees 13 weekly newspapers as publisher for the Louisiana State Newspapers group across north and central Louisiana.

The 2022 Induction Celebration will kick off Thursday, June 23, with a press conference and reception. The three-day festivities include two receptions, a youth sports clinic, a bowling party, and a Friday night riverbank concert in Natchitoches. Tickets for the Saturday night, June 25 Induction Ceremony, along with congratulatory advertising and sponsorship opportunities, are available through the website.

Anyone can receive quarterly e-mails about the 2022 Induction Celebration and other Hall of Fame news by signing up on the website.

The Induction Celebration weekend will be hosted by the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Foundation, the support organization for the Hall of Fame. The LSHOF Foundation was established as a 501 c 3 non-profit entity in 1975 and is governed by a statewide board of directors. For information on sponsorship opportunities, contact Foundation President/CEO Ronnie Rantz at 225-802-6040 or Standard and customized sponsorships are available.

Parent speaks out after her child injured due to unsportsmanlike play in high school game

editors note: During the Quitman vs Hicks boys basketball game in the Saline Tournament last weekend an unfortunate incident took place that ended up in Quitman player Ty Simonelli being injured. Below is response from the perspective of his mother April, who also coaches at Quitman High. 

Thank you all for the calls, messages and the prayers. Ty hit his head pretty hard tonight after a Hicks player flipped him over his back. JPH took great care of him and the CT scan was negative!

Now for what I want to say as a mama…ty simonelli 1

There is no room in sports for that kind of unsportsmanlike conduct. If you’re a coach and encourage or allow your players to disrespect the game of basketball and other players like that, you need to find a different career path. Ty could have been paralyzed or even killed in that one play tonight. Is that really worth winning one game in high school basketball??? Oh yeah and the Hicks player walked away while laughing. 

But on the other side of that same coin are coaches who do teach sportsmanship and worry more about what kind of people their players are becoming than points on the scoreboard. While this was all going on, our girls and Saline’s girls’ team stopped their pregame talk to come together to pray for Ty.

THAT is what it’s all about. So many Saline parents have messaged me checking on him and it means so much to me. We can be competitors on the court or in the field and still be caring and compassionate toward each other. Thanks again for all of the love and prayers for Ty

Best in floats and decorated vehicles in 2021 Christmas Parade announced

It was obvious that hours and hours of preperation went into the many spectacular floats and vehicles that were decorated for the 2021 Christmas in the Pines Parade that took place on Saturday. Below are the ones selected by the judges as being the best in each catergory. 

Cars & Trucks
1st place Abigail Temple
2nd place. MaKenize Henderson
Float Business
1st place. Jackson Parish Hospital
2nd place. Vanguard Realty
3rd place Uptown Tanning
Float church
1st place Centerpoint Methodist
2nd place Brown Grove Baptist
Float Family & Friends
1st place Ladies of the Lake
2nd place. Richard Lowery Family
3rd Lajaesha Bailey

Jonesboro-Hodge boys open season Tuesday by hosting Quitman

The Jonesboro-Hodge Tigers will begin tip off their 2021-22 basketball campaign this Tuesday, November 30th when they host neighboring Quitman. The game is slated to begin at 7:00pm or just after the girls teams from both schools play.
The opener will mark a school record 15th season overall for head coach Allen Tew, that includes 13 as the head boys basketball coach. It also will be the first home game for new girls basketball coach Kiyyah Deloney who won her inaugural effort as the Lady Tiger’s head coach with a win over Red River (Coushatta) in the Lakeview Tournament. Both the boys and girls teams from Quitman enter the contests with a 5-6 records.

Six from Jackson Parish Sheriff’s Office graduate from North Delta Training Academy

Six Jackson Parish Sheriff Office (JPSO) Deputies were part of 41 law enforcement graduates representing 14 agencies across north Louisiana who have earned their POST certification. Completing the 18 weeks of physical training and rigorous examinations at the North Delta Training Academy are Carlos Jackson, Trevor Tolbert, Justin Bass, Mandy LaBlance, Jeremy Dark and J.D. Maxwell. The graduation ceremony was held on Monday, November 22 at the Ouachita Parish Sheriff Office Rifle Range The JPSO congratulates all the local graduates on a job well done.

Atkins named K104 Scoreboard Show “Impact Player of the Week”

Jonesboro-Hodge linebacker, Xavier Atkins, has been named “Impact Player of the Week” by the panel from the K104 Downs Law Friday Night Scoreboard Show. By virtue of his 17 tackles, 2 for loss, a forced fumble and a sack in the Tigers 28-18 second round playoff victory over Mangham, Atkins was chosen over 12 others being considered.

Atkins not only had a big game last week but has had a season for the ages. The sensational sophomore has obliterated school records for total tackles (195), solo stops (166) and tackles per game (17.7). More impressivley the 6’1″ 185 pounder leads the entire state, regardless of classification in all three of the those categories and is second in the nation, just six behind the leader, in solo stops and seventh in overall tackles.

Those totals will continue to climb after Jonesboro-Hodge defeated Franklin this past Friday to advance the Tigers to the Class AA semi-finals for the first time since 1990 where they will travel to #6 Amite.


Thanks to a mom who loved birds, I developed an interest in songbirds as a kid growing up in Goldonna. When she heard the song of a bird with which she was not familiar, she would reach up on a shelf, pick up her tattered bird book, summon my brother, sister and me to follow her to the yard to try and find the bird that was singing a new song.
Once the bird was located, mom would thumb through the pages of her book until she found it. She’d show it to us and explain what it was and why it was here. With that humble beginning, I learned to love song birds, especially in trying to identify them.
There are still some species that visit my yard I’m not sure of, especially those that hang out in the thickets and woods just over the fence. I pretty well know the ones that have a taste for the bird seed I keep at my feeder. I’m talking about regular visitors such as cardinals, tufted titmice, Carolina chickadees, blue jays and red bellied woodpeckers. I will occasionally spot one foraging in the trees across the fence I can’t identify. I see some of these especially during the spring migration when all sorts of warblers pass through this area.
We are undergoing a transition in the bird world right now as some species head south for the winter while others are just arriving from northern states. We have said goodbye to the hummingbirds that spent the spring and summer sucking up on the sugar water we fed them. Others that were here but have departed include the fun-to-watch purple martins.
I could write a book about my frustration of trying to attract martins to my boxes. When I was growing up, martins would build nests in anything you hung up for them. As an adult, I have installed state of the art martin boxes, attractive gourds – you name it – and have yet to attract any. The lucky folks who have martins every year have had to bid them adieu until next spring; they’ve moved on to the tropics for the winter.
Other species that have moved on include the indigo buntings, painted buntings, blue grosbeaks among others. One we seldom see but love to hear it sing is the wood thrush; they’re gone too. While some are leaving our area, folks interested in keeping up with birds have perhaps already seen some of those that spend the winter with us. I have already spotted a pretty little bird with a slate gray back and white underside on the ground around my feeder. It’s one I grew up calling a “snow bird”, but in reality, it’s a junco.
Another I’ll be looking to see any day now is a white throated sparrow, a bird slightly larger than most sparrows but true to the name, has a white throat with splash of yellow around the eyes. Another bird I occasionally see in winter is the hermit thrush. These birds with rusty tail and olive brown back, white underside covered with spots, have the tell-tale habit of slowly raising its tail several times a minute.
Some of the birds spending the winter in these parts are seldom seen until we have snow. Once we get those rare snows that cover the ground, at least two species show up in my yard, birds I never see any other time. One is the Eastern Towhee, a pretty little black, orange and white bird that lives in the thickets and is virtually out of sight until it snows. Another I have seen during periods of snowfall is the fox sparrow, a rather large sparrow, brownish on top with a white breast accented by a dark spot in the center.
I’m sure any reader who follows me who is a card carrying ornithologist will snicker at my rather lame attempt to describe and use proper names on some of these. Let ‘em snicker; I just enjoy watching and feeding them and attempting to figure out what they are.


BUSSEY BRAKE –Crappie are scattered and fair. No report on bass, bream or catfish. 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
for latest information.
OUACHITA RIVER – Crappie fishing has been best fishing around the deep tops in the river,
fishing 15 feet deep in 20 foot water on shiners or jigs. Bass are fair in the cuts and in deep holes
on soft plastics, crank baits and Rat-L-Traps. For latest information, contact the Honey Hole
Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE D’ARBONNE – Most of the crappie have migrated to the deep channels with best
catches made fishing jigs or shiners 17-18 feet deep in25 foot water. Bass are also moving deep
with best catches made on deep diving crank baits, soft plastics or jigs. Bream fishing is slow
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 are no longer schooling on top as the shad have moved to deep
water. Trolling white bucktails could pick up a few. Bass to 3-4 pounds have been caught fairly
deep with Chatter baits working best. No report on catfish or bream. For latest information, call
Misty at Kel’s Cove at 331-2730 or Terzia Tackle at 278-4498.
CANEY LAKE – Jigging spoons bounced off the bottom in deep water are producing catches of
yellow bass. Bass are better on the deeper points and some to around 8 pounds are being caught
on deep diving crank baits and oversized plastic worms. The crappie have moved deep with best
catches made on shiners or jigs fished out from the dam and around the Highway 4 bridge. No
report this week on bream or 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 fair to good with mostly smaller fish being
caught. Crappie are fair around the coves on the north end and also the south end with Bobby
Garland jigs working best. No report on bream or bass. For latest reports, call Poverty Point
Marina at 318/878-0101.
LAKE ST. JOHN – The lake is down two feet and fishing overall has been quite slow. For
information, call Ken Mahoney at 318-201-3821.
LAKE YUCATAN – The water level is fairly stable but except for a few bass being caught,
fishing is generally slow. For information, call Surplus City Landing at 318/467-2259.

Services offered, Items for sale, Legal/Public Notices, Advertisments for bids

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Book – “100 year history of JHHS football” 

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

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Quality Electrical & Controls Service:


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

Dirt Cheap Lawn Care, LLC:

dirt cheapLicensed and Insured! Any type of lawn care work done at reasonable prices. For quotes or to schedule service call Owner – David Hammock at 318-533-7133 or go by 209 Talbot Street, Jonesboro, LA. “If you don’t look good, we don’t look good!”

4T Exterior Cleaning:

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

Harris Yard Beautification Service: 

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


Jackson Parish Recreation District Board Meeting Minutes

The Jackson Parish Recreation District met in regular session on Monday, November 15, 2021 at 6:00pm in the Jackson Parish Golf Course Banquet Room in Jonesboro, Louisiana. Members Present: Mr. Ricky Cash, Mr. Brandon Lamkin, Mr. Rodney Potts and Mr. Sullivan Stevens. Absent: Mr. Brent Barnett, Mr. Jeff Hairston and Mr. Chris Womack.

The Vice President, Mr. Cash, called the meeting to order. The invocation was given by
Mr. Potts and Mr. Stevens led the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.

Mr. Cash opened the floor for public comments. There were no public comments.

Motion Mr. Stevens seconded Mr. Lamkin to approve minutes (October). All in favor. Motion carried.

Motion Mr. Potts seconded Mr. Lamkin to approve financials (October). All in favor. Motion carried.

Mr. Smith gave board update on some of the ongoing programs at the sports complex including archery/shooting range and basketball. He also gave the board an email from
Mr. Jonathan Plunkett thanking the JPRD for allowing them to have their LACC race at the sports complex.

Motion Mr. Potts seconded Mr. Lamkin to table bid from DG&E Logging, Inc. for timber at the golf course until more information is received from bidder on time and date of project. All in favor. Motion carried.

No action was taken on the finish mower.

Motion Mr. Potts seconded Mr. Lamkin to table playground equipment for Village of North Hodge until more information is received on total job cost and installation. All in favor. Motion carried.

Motion Mr. Cash seconded Mr. Stevens to set 2022 board meetings for every 3rd Monday of each month at 6:00pm excluding holidays. All in favor. Motion carried.

Motion Mr. Potts seconded Mr. Cash to declare Winn Parish Enterprise as the official journal for 2022. All in favor. Motion carried.

Motion Mr. Potts seconded Mr. Lamkin to approve resolution to retain the Law Office of Steven M. Gatlin, L.L.C. for 2022. All in favor. Motion carried.

Budget hearing scheduled for Monday, December 20, 2021 at 11:30am in the Jackson Parish Golf Course Banquet Room followed by the regular scheduled meeting at 12:00 noon.

Motion Mr. Potts seconded Mr. Lamkin to adjourn meeting. All in favor. Motion carried.

“Road to Dome” takes unexpected path for Tigers

Jonesboro-Hodge knew that after their second round victory over Mangham that they would be making a trip to south Louisiana for their quarterfinal matchup. They just didn’t expect to be going where they are. The Tigers “Road to the Dome” got extended a little when #15 Franklin upset #2 Loreauville in a battle between fellow district 7-2A members.

On paper the matchup seemingly puts the Tigers in a favorable position, despite having to travel about as far south as can be done before reaching the Gulf of Mexico. JHHS head coach Terrance Blankenship knows his squad has their work cut out for them though if they can advance to their first semi-final appearance since 1990. 

“Their win over Loreauville may have been viewed as an upset but this team is very good and as dangerous as any stll playing,” said Blankenship. “Their quarterback is easily the best athlete we have seen this year.”

Opponent overview: Franklin sports a 7-3 record after finishing in third place in district 7-2A. Statistically the Hornets average scoring 34.6 point per game while giving up 20.6 points. After a 1-2 start to open the season where they lost 19-12 to Patterson and 47-42 to Loreauville 47-42 in the first district game of the year to fall to 1-2, Franklin has since won six of their last seven. This includes an opening round, 54-7 victory over D’Arbonne Woods Charter, who gave JHHS a district 1-2A loss, and the second round revenge over the #2 seed in Class AA.  Their only loss during that span was to Ascension Episcopal 66-38, who finished second in district 7-2A play behind Loreauville and was a Divison III quarterfinalist. 

Formidable foes: To give an idea of the talent that Franklin quarterback Zylan Perry possesses and how important he is to their team, you only have to look at the stats he compiled in the loss to Ascension Episcopal. Perry carried 17 times for 209 yards with two TDs, completed 10 of 19 passes for 227 yards and two scores, ran for a 2-point conversion, threw for two more, and scored on a 50-yard interception return.

“I can’t say enough about how good No. 3 is,” AEHS coach Matt Desormeaux said of Perry. “He’s a special player. I don’t know how many missed tackles we had on him. He made things happen.”

As a junior, Perry accounted for over 2400 all purpose yards and 25 touchdowns on his way to 1st team 7-2A status. Sporting elite 4.44 speed in the 40 yard dash, the versatile athlete, who is also an all-stater in track, is over 2000 all purpose yards again this year.

Others to watch for is running back Zamarrion Webber and wide receiver Jayshaun Johnson who have demonstrated game breaking ability all season as well. Dejuan Rudolph (5’11”, 271 lbs.); Tayshaun Johnson (6’0″, 225 lbs.) and Michael Moses (5’9″, 264 lbs.), anchors a strong line upfront on both sides of the ball. 

Franklin Faults: One disadvantage Franklin has is that there are only 32 players on the roster of which 12 are Freshman. As result just like the Tigers round one opponent Oakdale, virtually all eleven starters play both ways. This has proven a difficult challenge against teams that can move the ball up and down the field. Another problem Franklin has faced this year has been playing against teams that have good passing attacks. This plays right up the Tigers alley.

Keys to victory:

(1) Stop Perry from having special performance. The first and foremost is also the most obvious. JHHS must limit the Franklin quarterback to minimum production. A great athlete is hardly ever totally stopped you just hope to slow them down. 

(2) Defense must “stay in their lane.” It will be imperative for the Tigers defense, especially the guys up front to maintain their “lane integrity” and force play back to the middle of the field. Franklin has several players with the ability to take it to the house once they get to the outside. 

(3) Must make opportunities count. The Tigers got by with missing early opportunities to score in the first two playoff games. The deeper you get the less chances luck like that will hold out. JHHS should have many chances against Franklin. How well they make them count will play a big factor in moving on. 

How to get there: While it is a long way down there, the roughly 3 1/2 hours of driving time that Google Maps shows, looks to be actually done with ease. After driving to Alexandria on Hwy 167 South, you get on Interstate 49 south and basically stay there the whole way as once in Lafayette, I-49 turns into Hwy 90, which takes you all the way to Franklin.

Driving instructions:

Hwy 167 South to Alexandria
Hwy I-49 South to Lafayette
Hwy 90 East to Franklin
Turn left onto LA 3211 / Northwest Blvd. (go 1.8 miles)
Turn right onto Main St. (go 0.9 miles)
Turn left onto Cynthia St.
Arrival address is 1401 Cynthia St. 

Spectator bus chartered: Spangler Tours has confirmed a spectator bus will be available for fan transport to Franklin, La for the JHHS football game this Friday! If you’re interested, we have to move fast as it is a 56 passenger bus and your seat will be confirmed with payment on a first come, first serve basis. Payment of $45.00 per person must accompany reservation which will run thru Thursday, Nov 25. To make payment use: Cashapp $LatonyaAustinMoss, instant message Latonya Austin Moss on Facebook or bring cash.

Calling on all businesses! In support of JHHS Tiger Football team, all businesses are asked to express their support this week by decorating their store front in red, blue, and white.

Send Tigers South in Style! The Tigers will be heading to Franklin, La on Friday, Nov 26 @ 11am. The community is asked to join together to see them off in style. A lineup of supporters will take place from the intersection of Hwy 167 and Hwy 4 and continue along Hwy 167 South toward the Jackson Parish line. Bring your posters & balloons!!!!


“Christmas Wonderland in the Pines” holiday fesitval activities begin Saturday




Sheriff Andy Brown
Andrew Brown 
Dean Rushing
Brenna Cannady (C-4 Trucking) 
Pamela Jack
Ricky McDowell group riding for God’s Little children
Dirt Bikes
Odie Bradley 
Trey Loyd 
Trey McNeal
Titus Nash 
Ronnie Madere
Trucks & Cars
Belinda Harville
Fire Trucks
Brandon Voss Ward #2 

Leaving from First Baptist Church – Remember you must have your number on a sheet of paper taped to the window of the passenger side of the vehicle.

1. Chief James Harris
2. Jonesboro Fire Truck Chief Brandon Brown, Engine #3, Rescue Asst Blalock Ladder Capt. Wilkerson
3. Honor Guard
4. Grand Marshal
5. Mayor–Jonesboro Lesile Thompson
6. Mayor—Chatham—Gregory Harris
7. Mayor-Eros—Kelly Gryber
8. Mayor Hodge
9. Mayor-East Hodge Hal Mims
10. Mayor North Hodge
10 Quitman Mayor Joe Vail
12 Senator Jay Morris
12 A Rep. Jack McFarland
13 JHHS – Miss Mary Christmas – Tyriana Sly
14 JH Middle Miss Mary Christmas – Miss Jaidon Venzant
15 Quitman-Miss Mary Christmas – Lajaesha Bailey
16 Weston-Miss Mary Christmas – Sarah Bond
17 Richard Lowery family 
18. Alice McWain
19 Amy’s Gymnastics – line up on 7th St.
20 Amy’s Gymnastics – line up on 7th St.
21 Tammy Gunter Vanguard Realty
22 Vanguard Realty
23 Ladies of the Lake 
24 CenterPoint Methodist Church
25 Jonesboro Animal Clinic
26 Jackson Parish Hospital 
27 QUITMAN Homecoming Court Homecoming Queen—Faith Odom
28 QUITMAN Homecoming Court Senior—Emily Borland
29 QUITMAN Homecoming Court Senior-Kaylee Ford
30 QUITMAN Homecoming Court Junior—Gracie Nalley
31 QUITMAN Homecoming Court Junior—Brayli Stewart
32 QUITMAN Homecoming Court Sophomore-Ellie Burris
33 QUITMAN Homecoming Court Sophomore -Abigail Temple
34 QUITMAN Homecoming Court Freshman-Cali Deal
35 QUITMAN Homecoming Court Freshman—Jaleigh Burns
36. JH Middle School Cheer leaders
37. JH Middle School Homecoming Court
38 Weston Homecoming Queen -Taylor Courtney Paige
39 Weston Homecoming Court Senior – Mary Catherine Hay 
40 Weston Homecoming Court Senior – Mattie Claire Beaubouef
41 Weston Homecoming Court Senior – MaKenzie Henderson
42 Weston Homecoming Court Junior – Heili Bryant
43 Weston Homecoming Court Junior – Emma Katie McBride
44 Weston Homecoming Court Junior – Kinleigh Harvey 
45 Weston Homecoming Court Sophomore – Lainee Trosclair
46 Weston Homecoming Court Sophomore – Carroll Ann Foshee
47 Weston Homecoming Court Freshman – Anslee Aldy & Olivia Marsh 
48 Lil Angels Day Care-Sharon Satcher
49 Brown Grove Baptist Church
50. Mercy Medical
51 Uptown Tanning
52. World Finance
53 John Cagle
54 Itty Bitty Boutique
55. Zachary Pepper & Connor St. Hayride
56 Ward #3 Freddy Tolar
Showing the Lights shine Brighter
57 Jonesboro Fire truck Tanker #1 Asst. Chief Siddon
Tayla Jackson 

Calahan, Smith earn “Aaron’s Ace” Award

Justin Calahan and Peyton Smith of Class AA quarterfinalist Jonesboro-Hodge wore the home red jersey’s this past Friday night. This past Monday, they were presented with another red top. This one indicated that they had been named an “Aaron’s Ace”

The two earned the weekly award given to a top athlete from northeast Louisiana by KNOE-TV sportscaster Aaron Dietrich following their performance in the Tigers second round Class AA playoff game against Mangham. 

“Really happy for those two to get the recognition,” said JHHS head coach Terrance Blankenship. “They have been kind of flying under the radar all year but are very important to our team. We wouldn’t be in the position we are in without them.”

Calahan was responsible for two tiimely touchdowns and an important two point conversion. His first score, which was a 20 yard pass reception improved the Tigers lead to 13-6. His second, which came as result of a 45 yard interception return once again put JHHS by a touchdown after Mangham had narrowed the score to 13-12. As the holder on the Tiger extra point kick attempt with JH up by eight at 26-18, Calahan instead rose up, wheeled around and headed for the endzone. Seeing his path was blocked the heady Senior drew up and lofted a pass that was caught for the two point conversion that put the Tigers up by an all important “two scores.”

Smith finshed the game with 10 tackles from his defensive tackle position that kept one of the most prolific runners in north Louisiana, who had gained over 1500 yards rushing this season, in check. His impressive performance gave Smith 105 tackles on the year and continued a late season surge that has propelled the towering junior to the top of the leaderboard in the entire state regardless of classification in tackles among defensive linemen.

To see the Aaron’s Ace’s segment click here:


Blind Ambition! Limited sight doesn’t stop outdoor enthusiast, Tyler Harvey

(Ben Ledbetter – Jackson Parish Journal)

The crosshairs of the scope settled just behind the shoulder of the deer. The young man reached up and slowly traced his hand down along the stock of the .308 rifle. He slipped his index finger inside the trigger guard and slightly drew pressure. As had been practiced many times before, the countdown started. Three! Two! One! KERPOW! WHUMP!

He knew the shot was true by the sound but he didn’t see the big doe lying in the middle of the lane. He couldn’t. Tyler Harvey is legally blind!

His hunting companion, Brent Mize, saw the result though and was almost beside himself with joy. Ecstatically, he started pounding Harvey on the back in congratulations.

“Dang near knocked the breath out of me,” recalled Harvey.

Mize lifted the rifle again and peered through the scope to view the downed prize. That was not all he saw either. Surprisingly, roughly forty yards further down the line stood another. Even better, this one had horns.

“Tyler!” whispered Mize. “You aren’t going to believe this but I am looking at a spike just past where the doe is. You want him?”

“Heck Yeah!” answered Harvey.

What Mize didn’t know was that Harvey had always wanted to come home with a buck and doe after a hunting trip. He had taken part in killing a deer in other hunts he had gone on before but never had the chance to get two in one day. This was “bucket list” territory.

They quickly took their position again with Mize settling the rifle to his shoulder and drawing aim. Sitting behind and just to the right, Harvey reached around and found the trigger. Again, the countdown proceeded. Harvey slowly squeezed…..

“Let’s go get ‘em!” shouted Mize, who this time refrained from the physical congratulatory expression.

“I told him don’t go beating on me again,” laughed Harvey.

As it turned out, combining to shoot the two deer was the easy part. What proved to be difficult was trying to get them in the side-by-side. Mize recently had surgery on his hand and Harvey suffers from nerve and muscle damage in his right arm. Finally after about four or five attempts the pair succeeded in getting the deer on board.

“It was a chore for sure,” remembered Mize. “I’ve got a bad hand and he has a bad arm. For a little while there I was thinking it would be a miracle if we ever got them loaded up.”

All it really took was just a little coordination of both using their “good side.” The “miracle” had already taken place 21 years ago. That was when Harvey escaped death.

As a ten year old lad, the son of Troy Harvey and Lisa (Worthington) Howard, got run over by a drunk driver while riding his three-wheeler. The damage he suffered was so catastrophic he died on the way to the hospital only to be brought back to life by the paramedics.

Several emergency surgeries followed to repair broken bones, internal injuries and worst of all fluid leaking from his brain. While on the operating table the doctors had to bring him back to life again and again, as they ferociously worked to try and repair the damage.

After many days and multiple operations the prognosis for recovery was still dire.

“The doctor’s told my parents that I would be lucky to survive and that if I did, I most likely would never walk again,” reflected Harvey. “I knew I was going to be all right though.”

How did he know?

“God told me so!” explained Harvey, who then expounded on his statement.

“It was during the last time I had died. I could feel myself leaving my body but then I heard God’s voice tell me, Son, I am sending you back because I want people to see the miracles that I can do. Then I was back in my body.”

For two and a half months, Harvey laid inert in a coma. Doctors and Specialists had warned that even if he survived that he would be incapable of taking care of himself. Then family, friends and the hundreds of well-wishers, got to witness the miracle that God had promised.

“I woke up and walked out of the hospital,” said Harvey with a ‘mile-wide’ smile on his face.

His recovery effort was far from over though. Actually, it was just beginning years and years of rehabilitation and therapy. He now had to learn to live with impaired vision so bad that anything more than a foot away from his face was fuzzy due to unrepairable damage to the optic nerves in his eyes. He also had to retrain the right side of his body to function again due to severe nerve and muscle damage.

Now, 21 years later, Harvey walks about a mile back and forth to work where he has been gainfully employed for the past seven years as a Jackson Parish Sheriff’s Office Deputy assisting people that come to the Courthouse.

He still walks with a limp and his right arm and hand is still impaired. He also uses a walking stick to help feel his way around. Despite all that, Harvey doesn’t look at life as he is handicapped. Instead he fells luckier than most.

“Most people go through their whole life wondering what their purpose on earth is,” explained Harvey. “I am fortunate in that I know I am here so that people can see the miracles that God can do and does.”

With all that Harvey has achieved, there are still a couple of things that he would like to do. One is to take part in a hunt that ended up with a “trophy” buck hanging on his wall. Another is to drive a truck. Can these desires actually become reality? Who knows, but with all that Harvey has overcome in his life there is nothing that seems impossible. Call it a blind ambition!

JHHS wins redistricting appeal, Quitman denied

Jonesboro-Hodge won their appeal to the LHSAA to be moved into a new district while Quitman lost theirs, well, sort of. Both parish schools received the decision this past week along with the second plan for redistricting issued by the LHSAA for the 2022-2023 school years. There is still one more opportunity for schools to submit another appeal that must be received by the LHSAA by Monday, November 29th. 

In the original district plan that would be in place for the next two years, Jonesboro-Hodge had remained in district 1-2A along with North Caddo, D’Arbonne Woods and Lakeside but three additonal Shreveport area schools were added. This brought the number of schools in the district from Caddo Parish to four, which led JHHS administrative officials to ask to be moved to district 3-2A, citing undue travel expenses and burdens on the student athletes. 

The district that JHHS has now been placed in is comprised of holdovers Lakeview, Many, Red River (Coushatta) and Winnfield, along with new comer Mansfield, which dropped from class 3A to 2A. JHHS Athletic Director and head football coach Terrance Blankenship was happy with the decision, not only because of the “official” reasons the school appeled, but also because of the traditional rivalries that will now be re-established. 

“We have a long history of playing these schools,” said Blankenship. “I am especially glad to see us and  Winnfield back in the same district as now that game will take on even more importance other than just a “rivalry” game.”

Quitman had also appealed the original redistricting plan but they had asked to stay in district 2B instead of being moved with fellow former 2B schools Weston and Simsboro to district 1B where they would join Doyline and Castor.  

The reason for the appeal was that the “new” district 2B would be comprised of holdover Choudrant, Downsville Charter and Forest, both who had been moved from district 3B. Quitman had asked to be moved back to 2B in order to make the athletic competition, especially in regard to track and field, be more fair.

The way it was proposed, Choudrant would have the only track program in the district giving the entire team a direct line to regional qualification.  Meanwhile Quitman, Weston, Castor and Doyline, all who has won state track titles in the last several years, would fight in district just to get a few qualified for regionals. The appeal panel agreed that a change must be made but it was Simsboro that got moved back instead of Quitman. 

“I am glad to see that at least they listened and acted on the reason that we appealed the original district plan,” said Quitman principal Billy Carter. 

While the new plan didn’t totally alleviate the glut of traditional premier, Class B, track and field teams in one district it provide an advantage for local fans. If Quitman had been moved to 2B, then the Wolverines and Weston would have been in seperate districts, elimating some of the importance of the local rivalry. 

In relation to other area schools, the plan to reclassify Dodson and Saline back to Class C and compete in district 2C along with Atlanta, Calvin, Central-Jonesville and Georgetown remained in place. Cedar Creek and Lincoln Prep won their appeal as well. The Cougars got to remain in district 2-1A, after originally being placed in district 1-1A, while Lincoln Prep’s request to move out of 1-1A into 2-1A was granted. St. Frederick, Ouachita Christiana and River Oaks, all from Monroe, make up the realigned district. Oak Grove moved up to Class 2A where they will compete in district 2-2A.

There is still one more opportunity for schools to submit another appeal.  The petition must be received by the LHSAA by Monday, November 29th and the submitting Principal has to appear before the LHSAA Classification Committee on Wednesday, December 1st. 

If you’re dead, why even take a shower?

Former Times sportswriter Jim McLain died a little more than three years ago, something I’d forgotten about until I saw him the other day in Shreveport.

It is not often you get to talk to your friends, in person, after they die. But Mr. McLain, a reporter for nearly 40 years and a member of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame since 1995 when he was presented the Distinguished Service Award, is nothing if not durable. Even after he’d died, he’d gone about his business, pro that he is.

Turns out that, according to Jim, the only really good part about being dead and not knowing about it is the being, as he describes it, “blissfully unaware.” But once he found out he was dead, well, it was a bit of a different ballgame.

“I might not have known I was dead for several more weeks if I hadn’t gotten a call from my doctor’s office,” he said.

The woman was pleasant when he answered but confused when, after she asked his name, he identified himself as the proposed deceased. The doctor’s secretary even asked to speak to his wife, who verified she’d been cooking and washing clothes all week for the same 80-year-old she’d been married to for half a century.

Mrs. McLain had done that work for nothing, according to the government. A recent Medicare claim filed on behalf of Mr. McLain had bounced back with the notation that, according to the latest records, he was dead.

Sorry. But there you have it. Who said life, or death, was fair?

Jim suggested refiling the claim. Probably a typing error had occurred, he reasoned. But the following Wednesday after the mail arrived, he heard his wife yelling through the shower door, something about the Caddo Parish Registrar of Voters removing him – well, removing his corpse – from the voter rolls. “Hate to say it,” she said, “but it looks like this time, you really are dead.”

Thought No. 1 for Mr. Jim: “Wasted shower.” Thought No. 2: “The government has lost me and if I’m to be found, I have to send out my own search party.” Thought No. 3: “Why am I still hungry?”

He called his local Social Security Administration, hoping to avoid the fiscal pinch of missed checks and the like since, as the Medicare episode had taught him – and as the mutual funds people who wanted to settle his estate would soon tell him – the money gets sort of shut off or redirected once you start showing up dead. This happens to an estimated 14,000 people a year; if the Social Security Administration accidentally kills you, or lists you as dead, it’s good to let them know they have fumbled. You want to get off their Death Master File. You want to be, in the parlance of the agency, “resurrected” or “un-dead.” It’s not too much to ask, and in simplest terms, this is generally what is advised for you to do: go into the Social Security office with proper ID, the forms listing you as deceased, and prove that you have not “got dead.”

Turns out that in Jim’s case, an out-of-state funeral home had turned in his social Security number, obviously by mistake. The problem was quickly solved, a real shot in the arm to Jim but also for his loyal wife, who wasn’t doing all that cooking and cleaning for nothing after all.

Though he never found out how he died, Jim did find out when: March 12. “I have circled the 12th of March on every calendar since,” he said. “The Feds attempted to eliminate me once. They could try again.”

In the spare time that he’s been alive since retiring, Jim has written “Double Team Trap,” a Cold War spy thriller available online. If you pick up a copy he’s sure to sign it for you – if you can get to him before the government does. – August 24, 2014

Contact Teddy at

Amber Kornegay earns Employee Spotlight at Forest Haven Nursing Home

The “Employee Spotlight” for the Forest Haven Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center for the month of November is Infection Preventionist and Quality Assurance/Education Nurse, Amber Kornegay. Amber has been working with the facility for the past 22 years and has been a crucial component of our team during the past year’s pandemic keeping staff and residents safe and apprised of guidelines and education.

Her knowledge base and dedication to learning more about this virus is commendable. Amber has a strong faith in our Heavenly Father and shares it with employees and residents to lift them up and motivate them. She and her husband David, have two wonderful children, Storm and Tori. Amber is a blessing to all and is considered among the best the Forest Haven team has to offer. On behalf of everyone at Forest Haven, we thank you for going the extra mile and look forward to your future with our facility.

Lady Tigers open season with victory over Red River

The Jonesboro-Hodge Lady Tigers beat Red River 43 -31 in the season opener at the Lakeview Tournament to hand new head coach, Kiyyah Deloney, her first career victory. The girls parlayed an amazing 65 rebounds into 26 points in the paint and an 11-2 advantage in second chance baskets. 

Xabrianna Jackson scored 18 points to lead J-H, who held Red River without a point in the first quarter and stormed to a 30-10 halftime lead. Tyya Davis added nine with Zymea Hoggro chipped in with seven. Sydney Malone scored four, Keashiah Andrews 2 and Morgan McGee, Kaelin Palmer and Laila Johnson all hit a free throw to round out the scoring. 

Grandfather’s House

On February 11, 1802, Lydia Maria Francis was born in Medford, Massachusetts. She went by her middle name, Maria, pronounced Muh-rye-uh. She was well-educated and after finishing high school became a school teacher. In addition to teaching, Maria wrote for newspapers and other publications on a wide variety of subjects. She became something of a local celebrity. At 22 years old, Maria published her first book entitled “Hobomok” too much success. Her second book entitled “The Rebels: A Tale of the Revolution”, was set in her home state of Massachusetts. It, too, was successful. She wrote a cookbook, “The Frugal Housewife”, which was considered the authoritative cookbook for much of the United States.

Maria’s passion, however, was for the abolition of slavery. In 1828, Maria married David Lee Child, a Massachusetts lawyer. Together, Maria and her husband edited the National Anti-Slavery Standard in New York. As early as 1833, Maria fought for the abolitionist cause with her “Appeal for that class of Americans called Africans,” the first anti-slavery work printed in book form in the United States. In 1859, when John Brown was arrested for leading an anti-slavery raid in Harpers Ferry, Virginia, Maria wrote to Brown and volunteered to be his nurse. She sent a copy of her letter to Virginia’s governor who denied her request and reprimanded her for her sentiments. The author of her obituary contended that Maria’s writings “undoubtedly had a great effect in helping to create the anti-slavery sentiment of New England,” and noted that “her pen never grew weary in the cause of abolition until the unexpected end was reached.”

Maria is less remembered for her anti-slavery writings and more for a simple poem she wrote about the anticipation she felt at visiting her grandfather’s house near the Mystic River in Medford, Massachusetts. If you visit Medford today, you can still see Lydia’s grandfather’s house and the Mystic River. However, the house looks much different than the one from Maria’s childhood. Maria’s grandfather transformed the small single-story farmhouse into a majestic 2-story home. Sadly, the lush woodland surrounding grandfather’s house has been replaced by residential housing. You will probably recognize her poem though it has been altered with the passage of time. Originally, Maria’s poem spoke of “wood” in the singular usage rather than its plural form, “woods.” Maria’s poem mentions going to her grandfather’s house, not grandmother’s house, and most of us incorrectly associate it with Christmas. Lydia Maria Child’s poem recalls a visit on Thanksgiving Day:

Over the river and through the wood,
To grandfather’s house we go;
The horse knows the way
To carry the sleigh
Through the white and drifted snow.

Over the river and through the wood–
Oh, how the wind doth blow!
It stings the toes
And bites the nose,
As over the ground we go.

Over the river and through the wood,
To have a first-rate play,
hear the bells ring,
Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day!

Over the river and through the wood,
Trot fast my dapple grey!
Spring over the ground,
Like a hunting hound!
For this is Thanksgiving Day.

Over the river and through the wood,
And straight through the barnyard gate,
We seem to go
Extremely slow,
It is so hard to wait!

Over the river and through the wood
Now grandmother’s cap I spy!
Hurrah for the fun!
Is the pudding done?

hurrah for the pumpkin pie!

Jackson Parish Library closed for Thanksgiving – will reopen Monday

The administration and staff of the Jackson Parish Library (JPL) wishes a Happy Thanksgiving holiday to all residents of Jackson Parish and announces that the Jonesboro and Chatham branches will be closed Thursday thru Saturday, November 25-27. Both branches will reopen on Monday, November 29th.

The JPL also reminds patrons that time is running out on the “Food for Fines” program that has been running throughout the month of November but will end this coming Tuesday, November 30th. The program allows anyone with Library fines to receive $1.00 credit toward the amount owed by bringing a non-perishable food item. See below for more information.