David Choate of Saline, age 47, has died as result of a single car accident in Bienville Parish. According to a State Police report, just before 9:00am on Monday, April 25th, the Mercury Sable auto Choate was driving went off the road on LA Hwy 9, just south of LA Hwy 155 and struck a tree. Choate was not wearing a seatbelt and pronounced dead at the scene. Police do not believe the driver was impaired at the time of the crash, however routine toxicology tests were performed and sent for analysis. The crash is still under investigation.
Just before 9:00am on Monday, April 25th on LA Hwy 9, just south of LA Hwy 155. State police say 47-year-old David Choate of Saline was driving his Mercury Sable north on LA Hwy 9 when his vehicle went off the road and into a ditch and struck a tree.
Choate was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash and was pronounced dead on the scene.
Is it possible to win without winning? For an answer to that poser all you had to do was be in Castor on Tuesday where the Class B Northwest Louisiana Regional Track Meet that was held.
It can’t be exemplified any better than the scenario that unfolded in the girls 1600-meter race. At the beginning, QHS senior Lillian Crawford immediately fell far behind the leaders. As the competitors rounded lap one and then lap two, it was obvious that she was not going to win the race.
On the backstretch of lap three, Crawford started making up distance. First, she passed one, then as she started the “bell lap” she passed another. Heading into the final curve two more went by the wayside. By the time she crossed the finish line there were only two others that had finished ahead of her.
Totally spent from her exertion to the point she was almost wobbling coming off the track, Crawford spotted her track coach Bradley Speir standing close by. With renewed energy she embraced him with an exuberant hug and with unbridled emotion cried out….
“I MADE IT TO STATE!”
That was what this meet was all about.
Finish first, second or third in an event and the competitor qualified for the Class B state track meet that will be held May 5-7 on the campus of LSU in Baton Rouge. By the way, Crawford shaved an incredible 20 seconds off her best time ever in the event and then followed that up by coming in third in the 3200 meters as well.
Oh yeah! You can definitely win without winning!
Crawford wasn’t alone to experience the thrill of turning in a career best that resulted in qualifying for state. Another of note, was Lexie Millien of Weston. Down to her last attempt in the long jump, it was do or die time. Miss the length needed and the season is over.
What made the pressure even greater was she had never leaped before what she needed to record. Down the runway she came, planted her foot on the board and soared into the air. By the time she landed, Millien had eclipsed her previous best this season by almost a foot. The result was a second-place finish and a trip to Baton Rouge.
In all there were 23 Jackson Parish athletes from Quitman and Weston High School that finished either in second or third place. Sure, each gave their all to win their event. Who wouldn’t like being able to say that they were a Regional Track Meet Champion? Yet by qualifying for the state meet each won something far more dear. They won an opportunity to compete for a state title.
A win without winning? You bet!
There were actually four from Quitman and one from Weston that did win their event and even more impressively the Quitman girls won the Regional Meet team title. With 13 representatives competing in 13 events the Lady Wolverines will be in prime position to bring home the Class B state team championship.
Class B Regional Track Meet Winners
Sebastian Guin (QHS) – Boys Shot Put Brian “Peanut” Lay (QHS) – Boys Pole Vault Ansley Folks (QHS) – Girls Pole Vault Kaleigh King (QHS) – Girls 300 Hurdles Jalexiah Claridy (WHS) – Girls Shot Put
State Track Meet Qualifiers
Bailey Keys (QHS) – Javelin (2nd), Shot Put (3rd) Nathan Harvey (QHS) – 110 Hurdles (3rd) Darin Allen (WHS) – Javelin (3rd) 4×200 Relay (WHS) – Eli McBride, Gage Albert, Daniel Albert, Daniel Watlington (2nd) 4×100 Relay (WHS) – Eli McBride, Kaden Shirley, Gage Albert, Daniel Albert (2nd)
For the first time ever since the LHSAA started using the Power Points Ranking System (PPRS), Quitman High School enters the chase for the Class B baseball crown as the #1 seed. Neighboring Jackson Parish and District 2B rival, Weston, earned the #5 seed.
The outstanding seedings allowed both schools the opportunity to have a first-round bye and host at least the regional round matchup for the right to continue the journey to the state tournament that will be played at McMurry Park in Sulphur on May 11-14.
Quitman awaits the winner between #16 Singer and #17 Lacassine, while Weston will play the winner of #12 Holden and #21 Stanley on date yet to be determined but between Thursday, April 28th and Tuesday, May 3rd.
For fans wishing to view a local first round game, Saline High, the #15 seed, will host #18 Maurepas this Wednesday. The winner of that one will travel to District 1B champion and #2 seed Choudrant in the regional round.
Even though he was there only a short time, Chase Frasier left an indelible mark on Weston High School. As an educator and coach, he was a favorite of students and fellow faculty alike before he was tragically taken in an automobile accident in 2020.
While the young father and husband is no longer on this earth, his spirit still is felt and thanks to a wonderful community of people, his goal of preparing the student body for life after high school is still obtained.
The avenue that is used today is the Chase Frasier Memorial Scholarship that is given to a Weston High School senior who best exemplifies what it means to be a true student athlete.
The 2022 representative is Seth Peterson, who has been a standout in the Weston High School athletic program and in the classroom. Presenting Peterson with the scholarship was Frasier’s mother, Kristi.
“It makes me proud to represent Chase through the awarding of this scholarship,” said Frasier. “Congratulations, Seth!”
Peterson plans on attending Louisiana Tech University in the fall.
For the past couple of months Landin and Taylor Chatham have had a “family outing” almost every other weekend. Unlike what is the norm of such occasions though this pair of siblings has been teaming up to wreak havoc on area lakes in north Louisiana to vault to the upper echelon of the year-long Northeast Louisiana High School (NELAHS) Anglers Championship.
Representing Weston High, the pair was at it again on Saturday, April 23rd at Corney Lake in Bernice, LA where they checked in a five fish stringer that weighed 12.07 pounds to finish in second in the year ending NELAHS Top Ten Championship.
By virtue of their showing the pair ends the year in fourth place in the final standings. West Ouachita’s Hagen Carter and Gage Struben, who won the last tourney of the year retained their top ranking in the series. Finishing in 9th place overall was another pair of Jackson Parish anglers, Hayden Davis and Maddox Duck of Quitman.
The NELAHS will hold an end of season banquet at 6:00pm on Monday, May 2nd at Morris Marine, located at 410 Downing Pines Road in West Monroe.
The Forest Haven Employee Spotlight for April is our Administrator, Mrs. Sandra Billings. Mrs. Billings joined the Forest Haven team over 21 years ago, bringing with her several years of Long-Term Care experience, having previously been the Director of Nursing at Pinehill Nursing Home in Quitman.
Mrs. Billings is extremely dedicated to her residents and staff and maintains constant contact with the facility to ensure that the daily operations are completed above the standards.
In her time away from the facility, Mrs. Billings enjoys being a participant in her church activities at Chatham Baptist, and working in her yard. She refers to her time on her lawnmower as her “meditation and de-stress time”.
Mrs. Billings and her husband, Michael, enjoy spending time with their twins, Lexi and Larkin while they participate in equestrian events all over the United States. They also have two daughters, Mauri and Micah, and two sons John Lee and Kalon, along with four grandchildren.
Our team at Forest Haven is honored to have Mrs. Billings as the captain of our ship, and continue to depend on her knowledge and insight as we navigate the uncertain waters of our world’s most recent pandemic.
His mind is cracker-jack sharp but the frame of our favorite orthopedic surgeon is failing him now, a casualty of hard work and 80-plus years, roughly a half century of that used to heal the wear and tear on his patients, including thousands of student athletes at Louisiana Tech when he was its team doctor from 1973-2013.
The University’s most recent recognition of Dr. Billy Bundrick was Saturday when a life-sized statue of “Dr. B” was unveiled and dedicated by the softball field named in his honor — Dr. Billy Bundrick Field.
The players affectionately call the field “The Billy,” a playful nickname its honoree heartedly approves of since Dr. B has always been about competition and winning and spreading the joy.
The University could dedicate 10 statues and probably still fall short of recognizing all Dr. B has done for the school. A three-time football letter winner and the team’s captain in 1959, Dr. B made a career of taking one for the team. Dr. B, his remarkable and imminently likeable assistant Spanky McCoy, and longtime Tech athletic trainer Sam Wilkinson formed a mortal but formidable holy trinity to combat frayed nerves, hurt feelings, busted ligaments, and broken bones for three decades.
“It’s unbelievable how good Dr. Bundrick was to Louisiana Tech and how much he’s meant to us,” Wilkinson said.
Former athletic director Jim Oakes, who, as Tech’s lead football manager in the mid-’70s had a front row seat to Dr. Bundrick’s influence, called his friend “the greatest sports medicine doctor to ever serve a university athletic program.”
Dr. B is a Tech Athletics Hall of Famer, a former Alumnus of the Year, and everything in between.
“The numerous honors he’s earned only scratch the surface of his significance to us,” University President Dr. Les Guice said. “His greatest contribution has been in the service of others.”
He did it one knee and one back and one foot at the time, each stitch a soft-spoken encouragement.
Dr. B’s biggest fan, physically and figuratively, is likely Karl Malone, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer; his family’s donation made the statue a reality. Bundrick has been an advisor to Malone, a quiet encourager and his most trusted confidant, since before Malone was the famous “Mailman.” In the flamboyant NBA, Karl always had a posse of one: Dr. B.
If that’s hard to understand, or if you’ve never seen a 6-foot-9 teardrop, you could have seen one Saturday as Malone’s emotion for his friend was evident.
“You,” Malone said to a smiling Dr. B, “are my hero.” He spoke for many in the crowd.
Walking to the soccer pitch next door or to The Billy, Tech’s student athletes would be wise to consider the statue and copy what it represents, a monument to caring and leaving it all on the field, the definition in bronze of a selfless and smooth operator.
Six Jackson Parish high school students have earned their certification as Nursing Assistants. By taking classes at JHHS, under Lesley Caskey Duck and earning clinical experience at Forest Haven Nursing Home, LaCourtnee Adams, Baylee Bayles, Jeffreiuna Bradford, Shenique Johnson and Savannah Torres of Jonesboro-Hodge and LaKerria Austin of Weston High School.
Jonesboro residents Betty Decou and Charlotte Bailey, who as author and illustrator has collaborated on the children books The Adventures of the Tree Sprites and My Best Friend Murgatroyd will be featured at the Chatham Branch Library on Thursday, April 28th.
A “meet and greet” of the two retired teachers of the Jackson Parish School System who continue to use their talents to provide inspiration to all will take place from 4:00-6:00pm, where the pair will also be signing their books.
The Chatham Branch of the Jackson Parish Library is located at 1500 Pine Street in Chatham. To learn more or for any questions, please call 318-249-2980.
Dusty and Richie Nomey boated 10 fish that weighed a total of 28.36 lbs. to win the Caney Creek Bass Club 15 Fish Shoot-Out held on Sunday, April 24th. Jared Foti & Chad Beach caught 10 fish that totaled 21.00 lbs. to come in second while the team of Hunter Spangler & Joey Neatherland caught 5 fish that weighed 14.93 lbs. to finish third. Solo fisherman, Chuck McGuire was the final to land at least five fish that weighed in double digits, which netted him fourth place among the eight teams that entered. Dusty Nomey’s 7.69 pounder was the Big Bass of the day with Hunter Spangler winning the 7lb. Pot of the Day with a 6.55 lb. lunker.
The Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LOSFA) strives to be Louisiana’s first choice for college access. Our three-part process allows students to continue their education – beyond high school – by promoting, preparing for and providing equity of college access.
LOSFA is a Program of the Louisiana Board of Regents, administering the state’s scholarship and grant programs, and the state’s Internal Revenue Code Section 529 college savings program. Through outreach services, LOSFA is also active in the dissemination and support of college access information and services with a concentration on assisting students from low-income families and first-generation college attendees, in locating and obtaining the resources necessary to pursue and complete a postsecondary education.
See below for a listing of scholarships available and information on how to apply.
In the early morning hours of 2002, Dr. Jerry Yarborough put the key in the front door of the metal building located 900 Pershing Hwy in Jonesboro. His action officially opened the Jonesboro branch of the Fyzical Therapy & Balance Center for the first time.
All who have enjoyed the fine balance and back care provided by Dr. Yarborough and his staff are invited to attend a special 20th Anniversary celebration that will run from 9:00-10:00 am on Thursday, May 5th.
Using the slogan spelled different because we are different, Fizycal Therapy & Balance Center was founded in collaboration with a medical doctor, physiologists, licensed therapists and service business experts to provide prescribed physical therapy and medically-based physical fitness.
Headquartered in Ruston, LA and serving various locations in north Louisiana and South Arkansas, Fyzical-Jonesboro will be providing special giveaways all through the month of May in celebration.
(Gary McCoy) – Time to give credit where credit is due.
Kudos to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries!
They have just released the results of a year-long survey that will prove to be an incredible resource for bass anglers not only in Louisiana, but for any angler outside the state that might be planning a fishing trip to North Louisiana.
The survey, entitled the Louisiana Annual Tournament Report and Information Project or LATRIP is a pilot project compiling voluntarily submitted bass tournament data. The 2021 report focuses on waterbodies from northwest/northcentral Louisiana and is being used to gauge interest in expanding the effort statewide.
While some might argue that this would only be applicable to those intending on fishing a bass tournament here in our area of the Bayou State the results are beneficial to any that might wonder which of our public lakes have the most potential to catch lots of bass or possibly even the largest bass.
Where Did LDWF Get Their Information?
Information used for this report was voluntarily submitted by bass clubs for analysis by LDWF. If expanded to a statewide project, the data will be used to track trends in bass angling success rates over time and promote Louisiana’s quality fisheries.
The report tracks several metrics, such as the average number of bass weighed per boat, the average bag weight per boat, the percentage of boats with 10+ pound bags, etc., and compares the results for different waterbodies.
For example, should a person want to know what lakes might have the best potential for catching a lot of fish, those lakes where most the most tournament anglers caught their full 5 fish limit would be a great gauge.
Caney Lake ranks right at the top in number and weight of fish caught!
Some of their other findings included:
LATRIP tournaments averaged 31 boats per tournament, including championship tourneys with reduced fields. Approximately 74.87% of anglers were successful at weighing in at least one bass. Anglers brought an average of 2.61 bass to the scales per boat per tournament. The average individual weight was 2.45 pounds for all bass coming to the scales. Anglers’ average bag weight was 6.69 pounds. The average winning Big Bass per tournament was 6.25 pounds across all tournaments. On average, it took 17.58 pounds to win a tournament across all waterbodies included in this analysis. Third Place weights were tracked throughout the year in an attempt to estimate what it would take to “be in the money.” Average 3rd Place weight for all tournaments was 13.60 pounds. Only 2.18% of boats weighed in more than 20 pounds of bass. It was estimated to take 220.72 angler hours to catch a 5+ pound bass.