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%

THE BLESSED DAY IS HERE

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.

FISHING REPORT


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 JHHS INDIVIDUAL OFFENSIVE & DEFENSIVE RECORDS 

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

Discounted overnight stays offered at Jimmie Davis State Park

BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) – Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser and Louisiana State Parks are offering a discount on overnight stays at Jimmie Davis State Park and other certain Louisiana state parks now until the end of December.

The online discount code NORTHPOLE is valid on new bookings for both cabins and campsites at the following Louisiana State Parks: Chemin-A-Haut, Jimmie Davis, Lake Bistineau, Lake Bruin, Lake Claiborne, Lake D’Arbonne, North Toledo Bend, Poverty Point Reservoir and South Toledo Bend. Tenter Sites is excluded from the promo code. 

“With Louisiana’s mild winter weather, it is an ideal time to explore hike the trails, fish or just relax around a campfire. Our state parks have enjoyed some incredible years recently,” Nungesser said. “We want to make sure we offer our visitors an extra incentive to visit our beautiful state parks.”

For the promo code to work, outdoor travelers must schedule the trip during the cooler months of the year, which are December through February. The code is no longer available on Feb. 28, 2022. The discount is not offered on holidays. When campers book one night, they will get one night free when they use the promo code, NORTHPOLE. For more information click here: https://t.co/Wa7n5hC3L4 pic.twitter.com/e7jJLSz4Iq

 


Local sports history made this past Saturday

As each year passes it becomes more and more rare to have an event take place that happens for the first time ever. That is exactly what happened for Jackson Parish this past Saturday though. The special occassion came about through the efforts of Kelton Moss and Ladamien Bradford, a pair of 2017 Jonesboro-Hodge graduates.

History was made when Moss played in the New Mexico Bowl for the University of Texas-El Paso (UTEP) and Ladamien Bradford played for Louisiana Tech in a basketball game against LSU. It marked the first time ever ithat two former Jackson Parish athletes played on national television on the same day.  Moss and his UTEP team played on ESPN while Bradford and the Dunkin Dogs played on CBS Sports.  

 


To miss a chance like that

“…and this is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket, and lying in a manger.” – Luke 2:12

“Only God could have thought of giving us Christmas,” the pilgrim told me.

“I no longer wonder why the world turns again every year to the Babe born in the innkeeper’s cattle shed,” he said. “A baby bundled tightly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger. Simple enough to be new every year, miraculous enough to be eternal, tender enough to be personal. Only God would have done it that way.”

“No official proclamation. No fuss. No Madison Avenue ad campaign. If man had done it he would have made a great production. But God did it the way God does so many things in the world. The coming of dawn and the setting of the sun are quiet things. Sleep needs no trumpets to announce it. Flowers bloom in silence. Falling snow makes no more sound than the cat’s paw. And so it was with the coming of the Savior of the World. Just the whimper of a baby, asleep on the hay.

“That’s just like God,” the pilgrim said.

“Bethlehem tells us that the loveliness in life is not in the things that we possess, the titles and checkbook balances and plaques on the wall. Bethlehem tells us that the loveliness in life is in our relationships. ‘Come see the baby. Come spend time with us, and come spend time with the baby…’

“That long ago Judean night when Heaven dipped down to Earth, there were no costly jewels, no golden streets, but instead a place where God was at home in a stable…a place where shepherds were as welcome as wise men…a place where, for a moment, nothing in Creation was more important than a donkey who bore on his back a suffering woman, a woman of God’s favor, a woman who stepped into a barn on the brink of the Fullness of Time and into a place where a stable filled with animals was a temple fit for a king.

“That’s so like God. To send his one and only son into a place humble, a place where voices joined in chorus with the first cry of a newborn. There is nothing in the world so new as Christmas, and nothing in the world so old.

“Bethlehem tells us that God is awake while most all the world sleeps. It was while the world lay in darkness that God chose to come down to Earth. He came into a world of darkness then, He comes into a world of darkness now. Isn’t it comforting to know that in a time of darkness and despair, God is always awake, is alive, and is still ruling the universe?

“Christmas asks us to follow the star, to look for the light, and to listen for the baby. Where there is light, there can be no dark, and so it was into the night that the baby came.

“The gift in the manger reminds us that the joy and truth of Christmas can be recaptured. There is nothing in the world like a baby. The whole silly world stops when a baby is born. God, a baby at Bethlehem…

“The wonder of it all…

“There is nothing as tragic as missing something of great importance when there was no reason to have missed it at all. Such was the experience of those who missed the first Christmas and the experience of those who miss Christmas today. One of those was the innkeeper in Bethlehem. He should not have missed it, because he was so close to it. He missed the Greatest and the Most Important Birth in all of history, right in his own backyard. This child of prophecy, this baby sent to restore and to redeem, born right under his nose. But he was so preoccupied with business, with noise and crowds and himself that he missed the first Christmas in history. He had no room.

“What a tragedy, to miss a chance like that.”

Contact Teddy at teddy@LaTech.edu


Dugdemona Farm & Feed celebrates grand opening with ribbon cutting

Patrick & Brandy Willis celbrated the grand opening of their new business “Dugdemona Farm & Feed, LLC” with a ceremonial ribbon cutting on Tuesday in the presence of members of the Jackson Parish Chamber of Commerce, family and friends. Located at 132 Lowery Road in Quitman they will be open Monday through Friday 7 AM to 6 PM and Saturdays at 7 AM to 2 PM. For more information call 318-259-9004.


East holds on to beat West 24-21 in I-20 All Star Bowl Game

The East jumped out to a 17-0 lead and then held on for a 24-21 victory in the fifth annual I-20 All Star Bowl Game played at “Hoss” Garrett Field on the campus of Ruston High School this past Sunday. The victory gives the East squad a 4-1 advantage all time. 

Tydre Malone and Devontae Mozee represented Jonesboro-Hodge for the winning side with JHHS head coach Terrance Blankenship serving as an offensive assistant. The contest annually pits the top senior athletes from North Louisiana, divided into an east and west team, against each other.