Four JHHS seniors to play in LA Gridiron Bowl on Thursday

Tydre Malone, Javeon Andrews, Justin Calahan and Devontae Mozee will suit up for one final time as teammates in the 2021 Louisiana Gridiron Football (LGF) All Star Bowl Game. The contest will be played on the campus of Southeastern Louisiana University (SLU) in Hammond, LA on Thursday, December 30th. Kickoff is slated for 5:00pm.  

The “Fab Four,” which led the Tigers to a share of the district 1-2A championship and a Class AA state semifinal berth, will be representing the West team in the annual contest that began in 2018. JHHS head coach Terrance Blankenship will also be participating as a coach. The four day event allows the top seniors in the state to have opportunity to perform in front of a plethora of college coaches in attendance before playing in East vs West contest.

Boil Advisory in Chatham expected to be lifted by Friday

Hopefully by this Friday, December 31st, residents that use the Chatham Water System won’t have to boil their water anymore. Lending to the wishful thinking is the expected receipt of an “all clear” report to be received by Chatham Mayor Greg Harris from the state water department this Thursday.

“From my understanding the state has finished with the test samples we sent in last week and now it is just a matter of us receiving the report that will officially allow us to rescind the boil advisory,” said Harris.

The Town of Chatham has been under a water boil advisory since Tuesday, December 21st, when a leak was noticed in a main line that caused fear of possible contamination of the water supply.   

Short handed Tigers stuff Arcadia 64-55

Head coach Allen Tew knew that with four of his main rotational players out, in order for his Tigers to get past Arcadia this Tuesday that a couple of players were going to have to step up. He got what he hoped for and then some. 

JHHS jumped out to an 8-1 lead and never looked back for the 64-55 victory as eight players tallied, including a few who set new season high’s in scoring. One was Zion Gray who led the Tigers with 16 points. Another was dimunitive guard, Edward Beard, who lit Arcadia up in the second quarter with a pair of threes and all nine of his points in the contest. 

It was Savantez Phillips, who finished with 12 that got the Tigers off and running with six points in the first quarter.  Cameron “Smoke” Leonard (7 points), little brother Chance and Jarrious Lumpkin (6 points) also got first quarter baskets.

The victory improved JHHS, ranked #5 in Class AA by the LHSAA, to 7-2 on the season heading into a Thursday contest at the William Britt Classic in Saline.  The Tigers will play the host team, who stepped in after Class C’s top ranked team, Calvin, was forced to withdraw due to COVID quarantine precautions. Arcadia fell to 4-10 after dropping their sixth straight. 

JHHS (7-2)1417191164
Arcadia (4-10)515181755
JHHS scoring: Gray 16, Phillips 12, Beard 9, Chase Leonard 7, Lumpkin 6, Tew 5, Price 4, Chance Leonard 2

Household Income in Jackson Parish 20.9% below state median

(Stacker) – Americans on the whole were doing well financially heading into 2020, with major markers like unemployment reaching 50-year lows. The pandemic changed all that: During the second quarter of the 2020 fiscal year , our nation’s real GDP fell by a whopping 31.4%, a number that hasn’t been seen since the Great Depression. As the economy makes its comeback, things are still a far cry from the way they were in 2019.

One marker that has sped far past its 2019 position is that of income inequality in the United States . Low-wage industries were decimated by the pandemic, leaving millions without work or in positions they were overqualified for. Meanwhile, nearly one in five households across the United States earn less than $25,000 a year, while more than 6% have an annual income that falls below $10,000.

Where you live can make a big impact on your financial situation. Stacker compiled a list of the lowest-earning parishes in Louisiana using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Of the 64 parishes in the state Jackson Parish ranks #43 in regard to median income with an average of $39,139.00 per household.  This is 20.9% below the state median and 37.7% below the national median.

Additional income data shows that 15.5% of the households in Jackson Parish earns more than $100,000.00 per year, which ranks as #2,232 among all parishes/counties in the nation. Conversely, 19.5% of the households in Jackson Parish earns less than $15,000.00 which is the 292nd highest percentage among Parishes/Counties in the nation. 

East Carroll Parish has the lowest household income average in the state (HIA) at $22,346.00, with 37.6% making less than $15,000.00. This is the third highest percentage in the nation. In regard to neighboring parishes, Claiborne Parish has the second lowest HIA, Nathchitoches Parish – 4th, Bienville Parish – 6th, Lincoln Parish – 14th, Caldwell Parish – 17th, Winn Parish – 18th. 

‘Oh, Think of the Places You’ll (Hopefully) Go!’

As we wrap 2021, which will go down in history as no one’s favorite year ever, especially if you who won the lottery but couldn’t collect it because you didn’t wear a mask to the presentation of the Big Fake Check and therefore were executed on site, probably by being beaten to death with the Big Fake Check, we must stress this:

Everything is going to be OK. Eventually. (I think? I’m pretty sure. Maybe … )

But — and the “but” is important here because the longer you live, the more you realize there is always a “but” (literally) or a “butt” (figuratively) that can mess things up. For everybody.

And by “mess things up,” I mean turn the world upside down. When grownups get involved — especially grownups with egos the size of any hemisphere you wish to choose — it is never a good thing.

Never never ever.

The hair-pulling-out frustration of the past two years has been that the people who have titles and are supposed to be “in charge” of such things and advising us — WE are paying them, for goodness’ sake — keep contradicting themselves with their scientific instructions, then them blaming US for not following orders.

I don’t mind “following the science” if they can tell me what the actual science is. I just don’t want to follow THEM. If science could speak for itself, then we’d be getting somewhere.

But it can’t, so we are stuck with the usual suspects, regular people in high places — remember, they are regular, make-mistakes people — who keep changing their minds. I realize we live in the most fluid situation ever; it would just be nice if once in a while, these Important People who act they Know Everything would be less dramatic in their relaying of information and would, now and then, say something like, “Uh, I was wrong.” We’d even settle for, “I could possibly be wrong.”

Or if they would laugh once in a while … either at themselves or at this sometimes-happy, sometimes-heartbreaking situation. At least then we could tell whether or not they’re robots.

Wouldn’t that be refreshing?

All that to say I am glad Dr. Seuss passed away in 1991 at the rich old age of 87 and is not around to see this. He was a man of few words because he wrote for children. The Cat in the Hat, which I have read at least 2,457 times, and I still have my original, colored-in copy to prove it; GREAT book — is 1,626 words long. (That’s roughly two Teddy columns.) It uses just 236 different words, and the two longest words are only two syllables.

Like me, it is almost 65 years old, having been published in March of 1957. (I am only three or four syllables/years behind.) Unlike me, it is still a source of rich joy.

But Dr. Seuss could not have explained the past two years with just 236 words. Though he was a working man’s genius, he’d have needed to invent a whole other alphabet to sum up 2021, which, to quote an old Christmastime favorite, Is Beginning to Look a Lot Like 2020.

His final book was published by Random House in 1990. Oh, the Places You’ll Go! repeats his constant theme of encouragement to young people (and their parents?), a message to inspire and find the success that lies within. Dr. Seuss was always trying.

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
Any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

Except not so much in these pandemic times, which are now endemic times, which the higher-ups are having trouble admitting. Sigh … Been a tough time for everyone. But as we’ve nervous-laughed our way through it, together, though brow-beaten most every day, here we are on the brink of a New Year.

So far, so good. Pretty shaky!, but so far, so good.

And no matter what the smarty pants people too proud to check their egos at the door say, Dr. Seuss was right:

You’re off to great places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So … get on your way!

Contact Teddy at


Incredible amount of resources and services offered by Jackson Parish Library in 2022

Whether you want to plug into a Mifi Mobile Hotspot, do some Genealogy, print out a school report or learn about what Medicare services you have available all you have to do is visit your Jonesboro or Chatham Branch of the Jackson Parish Library.

The amount of resources and services available is incredible, especially in such a rural area as Jackson Parish. This is due mostly to the tremendous leadership of Director Floyd Knox and Assistant Director Judy Robertson, who have diligently worked to make the Library a “one-stop shop” when it comes to educational and helpful resources and services. 

What makes it even better is that once you find the resource you are looking for one or more of the many dedicated professionals will be right by your side providing assistance in making sure you are reaching the full capacity that you desire. 

See below for all the different resources and services that are availabe for 2022.

Lady Tigers inspiring effort comes up short to Arcadia

If the Jonesboro-Hodge Lady Tigers turn their season around in the 2022 portion of their schedule you can look back to the third and fourth quarter of the Arcadia game played on Tuesday as the catalyst.  JHHS lost the contest 66-57, which dropped their season slate to 2-9 but what lends promise to a better future was their inspiring second half play.

The contest started as expected for a team which hasn’t played in 11 days. JHHS couldn’t connect and fell behind 18-8 after one period and 39-20 at the half but the second half was a different story primarily through picking up the intensity on defense and riding a wave of threes by Xabrianna Jackson. Behind five trey’s in the second half alone (she hit a career best 8 in the game) and 23 of her season high 39 points, Jackson helped JHHS shave ten points off the lead in the final two quarters. Keaisiah Andrews also came up big in the second half with all 8 of her points as JHHS put up a season high in points to date. Arcadia improved to 7-9 on the year after breaking a six game losing streak.

JHHS (2-9)812191857
Arcadia (7-9)1821141166
JHHS scoring: Jackson 39 (8-3’s), Andrews 8, Kimble 3, Z. Hoggro 2, Malone 2, McGuire 2

Pat’s Proof

45-year-old A.R. “Pat” Patterson was a successful businessman from Fairfax, Virginia. In his spare time, he and Findall Marbury, a naval architect and friend, designed a small motorboat. As the design process neared completion, they hatched a plan. They wanted to build the boat and take it on a 1,000-mile trip from Washington D.C. to Jacksonville, Florida. For two weeks, they shaped ¼ inch boards and glued them to a light wooden frame. They used a special glue to seal the boards together to prevent leaks. They installed a lightweight awning to protect them from the sun’s rays. When the boat was finished, it was 15 feet in length, and weighed 150 pounds. Pat, alone, weighed 160 pounds. They mounted a used 10-horsepower outboard motor to the boat and made arrangements for the 1,000-mile maiden voyage. Pat’s total investment in the boat was about $35. Just before they were to begin their trip, Marbury was transferred away from the Washington D.C. area. Pat’s 10-year-old son, Tommy, begged to take Marbury’s place, but Pat decided to make the trip alone.

On Wednesday, June 22, 1960, Pat loaded the boat with a pump, some extra glue and cotton wadding, a folding chair, and began his journey. He set off near the Francis Scott Key Bridge on the Potomac River in Washington D.C. at full speed. Pat’s route would take him down the Potomac River, through Chesapeake Bay, and through various inland waterways which allowed him to stay in sight of land most of the way. He expected the trip to take about three weeks.

On Thursday, June 30, eight days after he began his trip, Pat reached Hampton, Virginia. The trip was taking longer than he had expected. On several occasions, Pat’s boat struck objects in the water and sprung leaks. “I started out full speed and with not too much caution,” Pat said, “but when I hit a stake in the Chesapeake Bay—well, I was careful from then on. The hull split like an innertube.” Pat patched the leaks with glue and wadding, sometimes without ever taking the boat to shore, and continued on his journey. He usually spent about 12 hours on the water before making port. At one port, a reporter asked him how he dealt with the loneliness. Pat responded that he was too busy to become lonely.

Pat’s closest call on his journey did not come from leaks or fear of sinking, but from something he had not anticipated. Pat reached Fernandina Beach, Florida, just a few miles from his journey’s end at Jacksonville, and pulled his boat out of the water. He left his 10-horsepower “kicker” on the boat. Just a few feet away was another boat in the water. Some convicts had escaped and made their way to Fernandina Beach in search of a boat to steal. They looked at Pat’s beached boat and motor and looked at the one in the water. They quickly decided to take the one in the water to save time. They paddled away and left Pat’s boat on the beach.

On Thursday, August 11, 1960, Pat finally made it to Jacksonville, Florida. The trip he thought would take him three weeks took him 50 days. Part of the time was spent fixing leaks. Much of his time on shore dealt with newspaper reporters and curiosity seekers. When Pat beached the boat in Jacksonville, a reporter asked him if he was planning to return in the boat. Pat replied that he planned to return home after a few rrest, but not by boat. He made it clear that he had no plans for another boat trip anytime soon.

Pat became somewhat of a celebrity because of his journey. On February 15, 1961, Pat was a guest on I’ve Got a Secret. In this show’s format, guests shared a secret with the show’s host Gary Moore. A four-person panel had a limited time to ask the guests questions to try to uncover their secret. What was Pat’s secret? The ¼ inch boards used in the construction of his boat were waterproof …cardboard. Pat made the trip in his cardboard boat as part of a promotion for his company to prove that the cardboard boxes his company produced were truly waterproof.

Arrest Report (December 21 – 27)

Skylar S Dye (Jonesboro, LA) – Possession of Marijuana
Timothy A Andersson (Jonesboro, LA) – Possession of Schedule II drug, Possession of drug paraphernalia, Illegal possession of a firearm in presence of controlled dangerous substance
Tanika L Smith (unknown) – WC Warrant
Antonio Caldwell (Bossier City, LA) – Failure to Appear on Speeding charge
Casey Ramsey (Jonesboro, LA) – Failure to Appear on Disturbing the Peace charge

Death Notices

Doris Adcock Walsworth
September 26, 1934 – December 22, 2021

walsworthFuneral services for Mrs. Doris Walsworth, age 87, of Quitman were heldTuesday, December 28, 2021, at Hodge Baptist Church in Hodge, LA with Rev. Norris Curry and Rev. Keith Thomas officiating. Burial followed in Quitman Cemetery in Quitman, LA under the direction of Owens Memorial Chapel Funeral Home in Ruston.

Mrs. Walsworth passed away Wednesday, December 22, 2021. Visitation will be held from 12:30 PM, Tuesday until time of service at the church. Doris was an active member of Hodge Baptist Church. She worked as a postal clerk in Hodge for many years. She was still active as bookkeeper for the Bear Creek Water System upon passing. Over the years, she developed and cherished many relationships within the community.

Doris is preceded in death by her loving husband, Robert Carl; her two sons, Bobby and (infant) Randy; her parents, Henry and Lurline Adcock; her brothers, Stanley and Royce; her sister, Jeanie Jordan.

Left to cherish her memory are her son, Terry, and his wife, Alece; granddaughters, Jessica Sims and her husband, Drew; Beth Freeman, Doris’ sister, Pat Vail; great grandchildren, Madelyn Freeman, Case Sims, Luke Sims; and many nieces and nephews.

Pallbearers for the service were Len Adcock, Kerry Jordan, Ricky Howard, Robbie Howard, Roy Scoggins, Todd Scoggins, Scott Adcock, Mike Walsworth, Bubba Walsworth, Donny Jordan and Bruce Adcock. To leave an online memorial message for the family, please visit

Freddie Joe Capps
June 26, 1942 – December 26, 2021

cappsMr. Freddie Joe Capps, age 79 of Chatham, was escorted through the portals of heaven December 26, 2021. Mr. Capps was a faithful member of the Chatham Methodist Church who volunteered at the Chatham Food Bank for many years and then later at the North East Louisiana Food Bank. He served many years as Treasurer of the men’s club and thoroughly loved spending time outdoors with his hunting, fishing and just enjoying God’s creation. He was very family centered and loved spending time with his family. He was strongly opinionated and would freely share it. He was a Braves fan and always had a pocket knife in his pocket. He will be greatly missed.

Those left to cherish his memory are his wife of 55 years, Doris Fay Capps; children, Freddie Joe Capps, II, Kristi Capps Emanus & John, John Harvey Capps & Caroline; grandchildren, Mallory Emanus, Kourtney Emanus, Amelia Emanus; great grandchild, Anastasia Farris; sister, Freida Peel & Danny; a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. Mr. Capps was preceded in death by his parents, Fred Jewel and Jonny Mae (Nalley) Capps.

Friends may visit with the family 4:00pm ~ 7:00pm Wednesday, December 29 at the Edmonds Funeral Home Chapel. A memorial service will be held 11:00am Thursday at the Chatham Community Church in Chatham with Rev. Lala Ball officiating.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers that donations be made to:

The Food Bank
of Northeast Louisiana
4600 Central Avenue
Monroe, LA 71203

Phone: (318) 322-3567
Fax: (318) 322-1620

Boil advisory in Chatham still in place

The Town of Chatham Water System is still under a boil advisory. All residents are urged to boil your water for at least one minute before consuming until further notice. This past Tuesday, December 21st, a boil advisory was issued after it was discovered there was a leak in a main water line that could have caused possible infiltration of contaminants in the line.

A boil advisory is not the same as a boil order. If a boil advisory is issued it is because there is the THREAT of contamination which may have allowed germs to enter into the drinking water. If a boil order is issued it is because it has been ascertained that the drinking water supply is tainted.

“We had a leak in one of the watermains that caused our drinking water to have the possibility of being contaminated resulting in a boil advisory being issued,” said Chatham Mayor, Gregory Harris. “Thanks to the diligence of our public works department the line was quickly repaired but as a precaution the boil advisory will remain in effect until we receive clearance from the state.”

Recommendations during a boil advisory

  1. Use bottled water when possible for drinking, cooking or washing.
  2. If bottled water is not available bring water to a rolling boil for at least one minute. After boiling allow water to cool before use.
  3. Boil tap water even if it is filtered.
  4. Do not use water from any appliance connected to your water line such as ice water from a refrigerator.
  5. When washing hands with tap water be sure to scrub with soap and water for at least 20 second.
  6. When bathing be careful not to swallow any water
  7. Brush teeth with bottled or boiled water
  8. If possible use disposable plates, cups and utensils.
  9. Household dishwashers are generally safe if water reaches a final rinse temp of 150 degrees Fahrenheit as long as the dishwasher has a sanitizing cycle.
  10. When washing dishes by hand use hot water. Then in a separate basin add 1 teaspoon of unscented household liquid bleach for each gallon of hot water. Soak rinsed dishes in solution for at least one minute and let dishes dry completely before use.
  11. It is safe to wash clothes as usual.
  12. Clean washable toys and surfaces with bottled, boiled water or water that has been disinfected with bleach.
  13. Give pets bottled water or boiled water that has cooled
  14. Tap water can be used for watering household plants and indoor gardens.

Xavier Atkins named Co-Defensive Player of the Year by LA Football Report

With Jonesboro-Hodge moving to district 3-2A next season the top two defensive players in the state will be in action when the Tigers take on Many High, at least according to Louisiana Football Report (LFR). That was confirmed on December 23rd, when LFR announced that Jonesboro-Hodge High School sophomore linebacker, Xavier Atkins and Many High linebacker Tackett Curtis was named 2021 Co-Defensive Players of the Year. 

Atkins earned the honor after turning in one of the most iconic season in LHSAA history by making a school record 219 tackles, 180 solo tackles and 27 tackles for a loss as well as having 10 sacks, 2 interceptions, 3 fumble recoveries and a defensive touchdown. Atkins also returned a kickoff for a score for good measure. The tackles, solo tackles and tackles for a loss were the best totals in the state regardless of classification and his solo tackle statistics were listed as the best undisputed total in the nation. 


William Britt Classic in Saline to feature top prep teams including JHHS

Saline High School will host the annual William Britt Classic this Thursday, December 30th featuring some of the finest prep boys and girl’s teams in north Louisiana including a premier matchup between the Jonesboro-Hodge boys team, which has a 6-2 record and ranked 5th in Class AA and Calvin, who is ranked #1 in Class C after winning 17 of their first 18 games.

The six game gala event is named in honor of long time Saline coach, Principal and Bienville Parish administrator, William Britt, who led the Bobcats to seven straight Class C championship games from 1990-96 and four straight Class C titles from 1990-93. His 1990-93 teams set a national record for wins over a four year period that still stands today.

The tourney begins with Class 5A Ruston (10-3) taking on Class AA Red River (6-6). That will be followed by the Calvin girls and Red River girls leading up to the JHHS/Calvin boys tilt. The #3 ranked girls team in Class 5A, Parkway, is then scheduled to play the JHHS girls team with the Saline girls and boys playing rival Atlanta in the final two games of the tourney.

William Britt Tournament Schedule

1:00pm Ruston vs Red River (boys)
2:15pm Calvin vs Red River (girls)
3:30pm Calvin vs JHHS (boys)
4:45pm Parkway vs JHHS (girls)
6:00pm Saline vs Atlanta (girls)
7:15pm Saline vs Atlanta (boys)

New dump site open on Walker Road outside of Jonesboro

The Jackson Parish Police Jury (JPPJ) and Solid Waste Department announces that a new dump site has been opened on Walker Road in Jonesboro. The site, which is surrounded by chain link fencing and has a crushed rock base, contains seven trash bins as well as two additional bins for other materials.

The JPPJ asks residents to use the site as intended which is for household waste and items only as designated on the additional bins. Any other waste items are to be taken to the Solid Waste Department dump site located at 302 Landfill Road, just off of Hwy 542 east of Jonesboro.

Spillway repair completed at Jackson Parish Golf Course

The Jackson Parish Golf Course has seen changes for the better over the last month with one project being completed and two others moving forward. The completed project is the repair of the spillway allowing the focus to be able to turned now to the building of a new golf cart shed and the clearing of timber that is a precursor to the planned additonal nine holes to be constructed. 

With the foundation of the spillway that runs through a dip in the road leading up to the golf course being unstable and starting to crack, a new concrete wall was embedded between the road and the lake and the road was repaved with concrete. 

In regard to the other two ongoing projects, unstable dirt was dug up and removed with new dirt more suitable for the base of the planned new golf cart shed expected to be placed soon. Also work is ongoing on the removal of timber from the northwest section of the golf course where the planned addtionial nine holes will be constructed.  

Patrons will recognize the 2022 Jackson Parish Library staff

You would be hard pressed to find a library in a rural parish that has as creative and dedicated administration and staff as the Jackson Parish Library (JPL). Not only are children and adults alike offered a wide variety of fun and educational programs but a wide variety of services as well. This doesn’t even take into account the many special presentations and features that the unbelievably talented and creative crew puts together. 

As result patrons will be excited about what goes on at the Library in 2022 as it has been announced that the directors and staff of both the Chatham and Jonesboro branches will still be in place for the upcoming new year. 

For those who are not familiar with the people responsible for providing Jackson Parish residents one of the best overall public facilites in the state a “Meet our Staff” pictorial is shown below. 


Population data shows every town in Jackson Parish lost residents over last ten years

Northeast Louisiana is considered for the most part to be a rural area. Populationi figures from 2020 bears that fact out as 12 of the 14 least populated areas in the state are in Northeast Louisiana. What may come as a surprise, with 15,031 residents, Jackson Parish has the highest population among the fourteen with the least, checking in at #51 of the 64 parishes. Neighboring parishes such as Winn, Bienville and Caldwell are just behind coming in at #54, #55 and #59 respectively in the population ranks.

As far as towns go, Jonesboro is shown to be home 4,351 residents, which is more than double than the rest of the towns in Jackson Parish combined and the 120th most populated town/city in the state of the 474 listed.

New Orleans is shown to be the most populated city in the state with 388,424 residents which is an 11.69% increase since 2010. In North Louisiana, Shreveport has the most with 182,616. The town of Mound is the least populated with just 16 residents.

Every town in Jackson Parish shows losses in population over the last ten years with the parish losing a total of 476 residents. The population of Jonesboro is 7.20% less than in 2010, one of three that is averaged a little more than a 7% loss over the last ten year. Hodge showed the highest loss at 9.20% less than ten years ago while Chatham, which is the next most populated town with 540 residents had the lowest percentage of loss at 3.57%. 

Comparative population figures in Jackson Parish in 2020 and 2010

TOWN20202010% CHANGE
Jonesboro4,3714,710 – 7.20%
Chatham540560 – 3.57%
Hodge426471 – 9.55%
North Hodge368389 – 5.40%
East Hodge267289 – 7.61%
Quitman168181 – 7.18%
Eros149155 – 3.87%


Christmas is here but it is sometimes difficult to get a clear vision of what it’s really all about when filtered through clouds of war, political upheaval, famine and disease in every corner of the world. Yet, the time for celebrating the birth of Christ is here and we’re often faced with how to best honor Him in the midst of all that is going on around us.

Our church has an annual food drive where bags of groceries are accumulated from donations and distributed to needy families in the community. A few years ago, Kay and I helped bring a bit of joy to some families in our community. Seeing the faces of children and grateful parents and being able to take a bit of edge off what pain and anxiety they may be facing was worth giving up the few hours we spent.
As we handed out bags of groceries and received heartfelt thanks, my thoughts turned to memories of the season when I was growing up in the country.

Our Christmases were relatively simple, but that didn’t make them any less special. When it came time to put up the tree, we didn’t go to the shopping center and select an artificial one. We didn’t go to a Christmas tree farm and cut our own from a neat row of cloned trees.

We walked out behind the house to the woods with the hope of finding a cedar growing away from other trees. This didn’t happen often; you’d find a tree that looked just right and nicely shaped, until you checked the back side and saw that the oak next to it had robbed it of sunlight, leaving it shapely on one side and skimpy on the other. If this was the best one you could find, you cut it and put the skimpy side next to the wall.

For decoration, there was red roping, icicles and colored balls. We didn’t have strings of lights those early Christmases because there was nothing to plug them into. Electricity hadn’t found its way to Goldonna yet.

My mama’s kitchen was a mixture of sights, sounds and aromas as the special day neared. Dad, my brother and I made sure we saved a couple of wood ducks shot down at the Sand Flats for mama’s special recipe. I recall seeing those ducks, roasted almost black in a Dutch oven, swimming in a dark sea of the richest gravy you can imagine.

There was a pan of dressing mama made from cornbread she’d cooked the day before and set aside. A fat hen provided the broth and zest to the dressing. On the side, there was a bowl of ambrosia, pecan pies, chocolate pies, divinity, fudge and the traditional applesauce cake mama made from homemade fig preserves, raisins and pecans from our tree in the yard.

As we handed out bags of groceries that day, I recalled a parallel event from childhood that made me want to have a part in sharing with other folks this time of year. Before we sat down to our Christmas dinner, Mama would always prepare a big tray from the bounty of our table and our whole family would walk through the pine thicket to the home of an old couple, our neighbors, whose Christmas dinner would have been meager had it not been for mama’s generosity.

Times change, and they do it in the blink of an eye. All the older participants in those early Christmases are gone; Mom and Dad, the old couple down the road. The memories of those events came into focus though, in the eyes of appreciative folks whose Christmas may have been bleak without the provisions we brought them.

If you run into me during the next few days, don’t expect me to greet you with Happy Holidays, Merry X-mas or Season’s Greetings. You’ll hear “Merry Christmas” in honor of the One this day is all about.


CANEY LAKE – A few reports are coming in of some bream being caught down deep using cold worms. Crappie are fair fishing the deep water out from the dam on shiners and jigs with the Double Silver Rainbow working best. Jigging spoons bounced off the bottom in deep water are fair for yellow bass. Bass are better on the deeper points on jigs and soft plastics. 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.
BLACK BAYOU – A few bream are being caught on worms fairly deep. Bass are best around the pads and grass. No report on crappie. Contact Honey Hole Tackle Shop 323-8707 for latest information.
OUACHITA RIVER – Bass have been fair fishing the mouths of the river lakes on shad imitation lures. Crappie have been best fishing around sunken brush and stumps in the river fishing 10-12 feet deep in 20 foot water. For latest information, contact the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE D’ARBONNE – Crappie fishing has been best in the channel fishing 18 feet deep in 20-25 foot water. Jigs and shiners are producing fair catches. Best jigs this week have been the Tomato Seed and Smoke along with shiners. Bass are in the deeper holes in the channel and have been fair on soft plastics and 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 – Crappie fishing has been best at night fishing shiners around the lighted docks with some also caught during the day around submerged brush in 15 foot water. Jigs and shiners a picking up a few. A few stripers have been caught fishing jigs. No report this week on bass, bream or catfish. For latest information, call Misty at Kel’s Cove at 331-2730 or Terzia Tackle at 278-4498.
LAKE POVERTY POINT – Crappie fishing has been fair fishing jigs or shiners in the deeper coves. Catfishing has been fair to good with mostly smaller fish being caught. No report on bass. For latest reports, call Poverty Point Marina at 318/878-0101.
LAKE ST. JOHN – The water is low; launching boats is a near impossibility. No fishing this week. For information, call Ken Mahoney at 318-201-3821.
LAKE YUCATAN – The water is on a slow rise. Several fair to good reports have come in on fishermen catching crappie, bass and catfish. For information, call Surplus City Landing at 318/467-2259.

Death Notices

Jo Ann McKaskle Zabielski
December 22, 1935 – December 22, 2021

Jo Ann McKaskle Zabielski, age 86 of Jonesboro, passed through the Heavenly gates on Wednesday, December 22, 2021. Jo Ann had many talents and hobbies such as sewing, quilting, sculpting and making jewelry. She was a beloved mother, grandmother, great grandmother, sibling and friend.

Those left to cherish her memory are her children, Philip and Twila Little, Karyn Zabielski, Teresa and Kevin Sladovnik; grandchildren, Rebecca Clark, Zachary Sefton,Victoria Leggett-Adams, Veronica Leggett; great grandchildren, Lily Clark, Elijah Clark; siblings, Ricky Buck, Sandra McClelland, Jesse Eric McKaskle, Jerry McKaskle; Aunt, Faye Miller. She is preceded in death by her husband of 49 years, Eugene Joseph Zabielski; siblings, Ralph Gayle McKaskle, Kenneth McKaskle, Vance McKaskle, Doris McKaskle, Stanley McKaskle.

She will be interrred at a later date in Arlington National Cemetery with her beloved husband.

Ronald McCarty
May 15, 1965 – December 21, 2021

Ronald McCarty, age 56 of Jonesboro, passed away on Tuesday, December 21, 2021. Ronald was born Saturday, May 15, 1965 to the union of Horace and Johnnie McCarty and was a lifelong resident of Jackson Parish.

Ronald is survived by his Uncles, Jim Lester and Pat, Sherman Lester and Pauline; Aunt, Katherine Lester. He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Dollie Phillips.

Visitation for Ronald will be held at St. Lucy Catholic Church on Tuesday, December 28, 2021 at 10:00AM until time of services. Funeral services are set to begin at 11:00AM with Father George officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery under the direction of Southern-Edmonds Funeral Home.

Jackson Parish “Students of the Year”named

Every student in the Jackson Parish School System is important to the faculty and staff at their respective schools. The sentimient is shared as well by the administrators and directors of the School Board, Superintendent of Schools David Claxton and School Board members.

Each year though there are special ones that stand out and deserve special recognition. There were several deserving students that received nomination from the schools in Jonesboro, Quitman and Weston but in the end it was these three listed that was chosen to represent the elementary, junior high and high school divisions as “Student of the Year.”

Elementary Division: Elsie Flynn – 5th grade at Weston High School

Junior High Division: Jaidon Venzant – 8th grade at Jonesboro-Hodge Middle School

High School Division: Gabe McMillan – 12th grade at Weston High School

Congratulations to each of the winners!


2021 JHHS gridders re-write school record book

The 2021 prep football campaign that saw Jonesboro-Hodge play in the Class AA state semi finals will  will be rembered as one of the most rewarding in school history. It will take a long time for the memories of the unbelievable tragedy and improbable victories to fade.

Several Tigers will have more than memories to look back on in the future as their names are now forever  etched in the school annals.  It is not unusual to see records broken during a the kind of season that the Tigers had but the sheer number of new marks set and the number of players that set new records is a record in itself. What makes that even more impressive is that many of the records weren’t just broken but shattered by wide margins.


New RecordNameYardage / amount
Career Passing YardageTydre Malone4398
Career Pass CompletionsTydre Malone259
Career Pass AttemptsTydre Malone471
Career Touchdown PassesTydre Malone46
Single Season Passing YardageTydre Malone2553
Single Season Pass CompletionsTydre Malone151
Single Season Pass AttemptsTydre Malone258
Single Season Touchdown PassesTydre Malone36
Single Game Passing YardageTydre Malone319 vs Amite
Single Game Pass CompletionsTydre Malone20 vs North Webster
Single Game Touchdown PassesTydre Malone5 vs Oakdale, Lakeside
Consecutive Games with TD PassTydre Malone14
Career Receiving TouchdownsDevontae Mozee21
Single Season Receiving YardageDevontae Mozee876
Single Season Receiving TouchdownsDevontae Mozee17
Single Game Receiving YardageDevontae Mozee188 vs Amite
Single Game Number of ReceptionsJustin Calahan7 vs North Webster
Single Season Total TacklesXavier Atkins219
Single Season Solo StopsXavier Atkins180
Single Season Tackles per gameXavier Atkins16.85
Single Season Tackles for LossXavier Atkins27
Single Season INT’s Return for TDDevontae Mozee4
Single Game INT’s Return for TDDevontae Mozee2 vs Wes Ouachita