Saline man dies in single-vehicle crash

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.

QHS girls win Class B regional track meet

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….


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

Boys division

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)

Girls Division 

Lajaesha Bailey (QHS) – Discus (3rd)
Emma Carter (QHS) – High Jump (2nd)
Summer Grillette (QHS) – Pole Vault (3rd)
Lillian Crawford (QHS) – 1600 Meters (3rd), 3200 Meters (3rd)
Madi Chaplin (QHS) – 100 Meters (3rd), 200 Meters (3rd)
Lily Kate Odom (QHS) – Triple Jump (3rd)
Maddie Grace Giddens (QHS) – 300 Hurdles (2nd)
4×100 Relay (QHS) – Bethany Leach, Emayshia Wiley, Kaleigh King, Chaplin, Giddens (2nd)
4×200 Relay (QHS) – Leach, Wiley, Chaplin, Giddens (2nd)
4×400 Relay (QHS) – Kinley Walker, Megan Kelley, Odom, Giddens (3rd) 
Lexie Millien (WHS) – Long Jump

Neighboring Saline High had two qualify for the state meet in Georgia Robinson, who came in third in the 100 Hurdles and Titus Malone who finished second in the long jump. 


Class B baseball playoff brackets released

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. 

Seth Peterson awarded Chase Frasier Memorial Scholarship

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. 


Landin & Taylor Chatham place second at NELAHS Top Ten Championship

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. 


Forest Haven Employee Spotlight shines on Administrator, Sandra Billings

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.

Youth baseball/softball league game scores and schedule

Game scores of Monday, April 18th and Tuesday, April 19th

7-8 Boys Division:

Uptown Tanning 12 Jonesboro State Bank 10
(UT scoring) N/A -names not provided on scorebook (JSB scoring) Andrew Seymore 3, Brock Craighead 3, Grant Griffen 2, Kutter Blaylock, Clay Burton
Cubs 17 5A Pump and Hose 4
(Cubs scoring) Brendon Perot 4, Mason Tolar 4, Grant Williams 3, Bentley Hall 2, Ridge Lewter 2, Jake Walker, Ryder Pardue, Bradley Keeney (5A Pump and Hose) Paxton Wamer 2, Remington Davis, John Hilburn,  
Klassy Klean 8 Jackson Parish Hospital 5
(Klassy Klean Scoring) Eli Jones 2, Jeremiah Jones 2, Jase Tinsley 2, Rhett Emmons, Jaxon Anderson (Jackson Parish Hospital Scoring) Avery Buchan 2, Wyatt McGrew 2, Nash Moak 

9-10 Girls Division:

Leach Lawn Care 15 Pardue Builders 11
(Leach Lawn Care Scoring) Ella Simonelli 3, Lily LaBlance 2, Mallory Malone 2, Briley Hasley 2, Jayna Woods 2, Brenna Lowery, Skylar Giddens, Karley Whitehead, Kynleigh Leach (Pardue Builders Scoring) Mykenzie Maloy 2, Ava Canerday 2, Maggie Wall 2, Bailey Tinsley 2, Landry Horsfall, Camryn Ashley
Bucket Boat 17 4T Exterior Cleaning 5
(Bucket Boat Scoring) Bella Blewer 3, Amelia Staggs 2, Rachel Bandy 2, Faith Burns 2, Brayleigh Norman 2, Molly Henderson, Kellyn Brister, Charleigh Newton, Jaley Wilson (4T Exterior Cleaning) Tessa Reeves, Ainsley Brooks, Teggan Hall, Anna Phelps, London Burks
Ruffled Feathers 8 Barksdale Fed Credit Union 1
(Ruffled Feathers Scoring) Presley Carpenter 2, Ryleigh McCormick 2, Kate Keiffer, Ryan Wyatt, Autum Kohler, Haylen Pendarvis (BFCU Scoring) Charlee Mauthe
Grit & Grace 13 Family Pharmacy 5
(Grit & Grace Scoring) Emma Gray 2, Lainey Elmore 2, Charley Linton, Scarlett Aucoin, Ella Siddan, Halle Coody, Elliot Savage, Kember Cuthrell, Savannah Porter (Family Pharmacy Scoring) Brooklyn Keiffer, Ashlyn Pate, Scarlett Parks, Jayd Giddens, Madi Spillman

9-10 Boys Division:

Traina’s 8 Mercy Medical 4
(Traina’s Scoring:) Mason Thomas 2, Jake Moak 2, Tripp McBride, Connor Tatum, Benn Patton, Colt Powell (Mercy Medical Scoring) Raylon Bradford 2, Jaxon Culpepper, Cason Rogers
Ables Farms 10 HD Remodeling 5
(Ables Farms Scoring) Hayden Essmeier 2, Noah Spillman 2, Jake Emmons 2, Bentley Ponder, Jackson Ables, Shan Stallings, Roland Carpenter (HD Remodeling Scoring) Shepard Norred 2, Brayden Carmichael 2, Lukas Bandy 2, Aiden Reed, Dane Clifton

11-13 Girls Division:

Southern Kustoms 9 Listle Real Estate 9
(Southern Kustoms Scoring) Gabby Edwards 2, Alivia Anderson 2, Sienna Box, Molly Beaubouef, Jadyn West, Darynee Bearden, Jaylin Williams (Listle Real Estate Scoring) Genna Ford 2, Raeliegh Medaries 2, Jennale Hall, Malena Listle, Kinley Aldy, Megann Golden, Adeline Jacobs
Barksdale Fed Credit Union 15 Farm Bureau 7 
(BFCU Scoring) Lily Jones 2, Carlynn Waters 2, Brenna Lamkin 2, Adysen Breeland 2, Skylar Lamkin 2, Hallay Taylor, Avery Watson, Emma Toms, Makayla James (Farm Bureau Scoring) Kaylee Friday 2, Carlie Slayter, Breelyn Boone, Kyleigh Maxwell, Addi Faber    

11-13 Boys Division:

Johnny’s Pizza 9 Centric Fed Credit Union 2
(Johnny’s Pizza) Bryce Tolar3, Ty Henderson 2, Eli Henderson, Kolt Keiffer, Liam Weaver, Peyton Lowe (CFCU) Jayden Brown, Emmanuel Hopkins 
VP Oil Change 11 Elite Roofing 5
(VP Oil) Tucker Goss 2, Dawson Griffin 2, Jake Vail 2, Will Dupree 2, Cail King, Tanner Allen (Elite Roofing) Conner Moak 2, Leyton Younse, Asher Shultz, Kobe Williams

Thursday, April 28th

3-4 Wee BallJim NeatherlandGrit & GraceT Ball 16:00pm
YankeesJonesboro State BankT Ball 26:00pm
MitchellsTigersT Ball 17:00pm
MaxwellsRed SoxT Ball 27:00pm
9-10 BoysMercy MedicalTrainasField 26:00pm
HD RemodelingAbles FarmsField 27:30pm
9-10 GirlsLeach Lawn CarePardue BuildersField 36:00pm
Bucket Boat4T Exterior CleaningField 37:30pm
11-13 Boys Centric Fed Credit UnionJohnnys PizzaField 16:00pm
Elite RoofingVP Oil ChangeField 17:45pm
11-13 GirlsListle Real EstateSouthern KustomsField 46:00pm
Barksdale Fed Credit UnionFarm BureauField 47:45pm

Friday, April 29:

5-6 Tee BallRyca EnergySix PointT Ball 16:00pm
Jonesboro State BankPeoples BankT Ball 2 6:00pm
Jonesboro Animal ClinicCubsT Ball 17:00pm
CardinalsJ&L WorksT Ball 27:00pm
7-8 Boys5A Pump & HoseUptown TanningField 16:00pm
Jackson Parish HospitalJonesboro State BankField 26:00pm
Klassy KleenCubsField 27:30pm
7-8 GirlsBarksdale Fed Credit UnionRuffled FeathersField 36:00pm
Grits & GraceFamily PharmacyField 37:30pm

An A+ for Dr. B, Tech’s original Smooth Operator

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.

Contact Teddy at


Six Jackson Parish high schoolers become Certified Nursing Assistants

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. 

A pinning ceremony will be held soon. 

Betty Decou and Charlotte Bailey have book signing Thursday, April 28th

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 win Caney Creek Bass Club 15 Fish Shootout

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.

LOFSA provides listing of available scholarships

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.

Fyzical Therapy to celebrate 20th year of being in Jonesboro

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. 

Going Bass Fishing? Caney Lake listed as one of best spots in North Louisiana

(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.

The full report can be viewed at


Weston High School reminds to BE THE “I” IN KIND

Throughout March, Weston High School celebrated the memory of Lexi Wise through a month-long kindness celebration. Over the course of the four-week period, Teachers made note of the names of students who demonstrated special acts of showing kindness.lexi4

The following students were rewarded for kind acts: Zyla, Harmony, Braxton, Ayden, Miriam, Bradley, Teegan, Tanner, Grady, Kalea, CJ, Addison, Kari Beth, Eli, Bryce, Asiel, Bradley, Alyssa, & Meredith.

Top winners were Addison Phares and Ayden Treadway with the grand prize winner being Teegan Hall.

The faculty and staff at Weston High School would like to offer a very special thank you to the Wise family for sponsoring the month long of activities. 

Jay Mallard Ford partners with PRE-ETS to employ two JHHS students

Two JHHS students, David Johnson and Isaiah Turnage, have begun their journey in the auto service industry at Jay Mallard Ford. This accomplishment came about through a partnership with JHHS and Dr. Danielle Williams who through her agency implemented the PRE-ETS (Pre-Employment Transition Service) Program at the school.

This program implements: Job Exploration Counseling, Work Based Learning, Counseling Opportunities (Transition / Post-Secondary Education), Workplace Readiness, and Instruction in Self Advocacy!

Jonesboro-Hodge High School would also like to thank, Ms. Celina Newman (La. Workforce Commission), and Dr. Williams’ father, affectionately known as “Big Coach”!

JSB / Pledge 10 Spring Grant goes to JHMS for Library renovations

Plans are being made at Jonesboro-Hodge Middle School for library renovations in an effort to create a more engaging atmosphere, known as the “Tiger Den”. This has been made possible through a JSB /Pledge 10 Spring Grant in the amount of $8,500.00.

“Our goal is that we will be able to engage students more deeply and encourage parents/community members to become more involved in the educational process,” said JHMS Principal, Danielle Copeland. “Thanks to Jonesboro State Bank selecting our school to receive this grant we are looking forward to taking a major step in completing that objective.” 

Applications being taken for Paula Jones Williams Memorial Scholarship

Paula Jones Williams Memorial Scholarship applications are now being taken for Jonesboro-Hodge High School Seniors planning on attending an accredited 2 or 4-year University/College, or a Vocational-Technical College.

The scholarship which was established in 2021 is in memory of Paula Jones Williams who was a Jonesboro-Hodge High School graduate and beloved educator in the Jonesboro-Hodge Schools for 34 years.

The deadline for the application is April 30th. Applicants will be contacted for in-person interviews at Jonesboro-Hodge High School after review. Donations for future recipients can be made to the Paula Jones Williams Scholarship Fund at Jonesboro State Bank.

For a link to the online application click here.

4-H team from Gracepoint Christian Academy wins 3rd in state food challenge

Gracepoint Christian Academy in Jonesboro took 11 students to Alexandria on Wednesday, April 19th for the Louisiana 4-H Food Challenge competition. The three, shown in the banner above, competed in Division 2 made up of 7th-8th graders and came home as third place winners.  

Each team had 40 minutes to cook a dish and present it to judges. They also were required to calculate calories and cost for the meal created using a mystery ingredient prescribed by the judges and normal “grocery store” items.  From the ingredients, team members are challenged to create a healthy dish while practicing proper food safety, food preparation, and communication skills. 

The contest objectives were to develop and demonstrate: cooking skills, decision-making skills, stress management, critical thinking, and public speaking skills.
To use sound nutritional knowledge when planning meals.
To provide a competitive group cooking experience for 4-H members grades 4-12.  

Gracepoint Christian Academy 4-H Food Challenge Contestants

The Colonel’s Speech

Shortly after 8:00 p.m. on October 14, 1912, the Colonel walked through a crowd of well-wishers at the Gilpatrick Hotel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and stepped into the back seat of an open-topped car. He was expected to arrive within minutes at the Milwaukee Auditorium, four blocks away, to deliver a speech. Still standing, he waved to the crowd. One of his two secretaries, Albert H. Martin, stood with him. A man later identified as John Flammang Schrank pushed his way through the crowd, pulled a .38 caliber pistol, and fired from a distance of about 7 feet. The Colonel barely moved. He showed no sign of panic or pain. At almost the same instant that Schrank fired the shot, Albert jumped from the back seat and Captain A.O. Girard, another member of the Colonel’s party, jumped from the front seat onto the man with the pistol. They quickly overpowered Schrank and disarmed him. The Colonel told the men to bring the shooter closer so he could get a good look at him. The colonel gazed into the shooters face and said, “the poor creature.”

The crowd turned hostile toward the would-be assassin. “Lynch him!” they cried, “Kill him!” “Stop, stop!” the Colonel yelled. “Stand back; don’t hurt him!” Only at the insistence of the Colonel did the crowd refrain from tearing the man apart and allow escorts to take Schrank inside the hotel to await the arrival of police. Multiple people asked, “Are you hurt, Colonel?” The Colonel responded with a smile, “Oh, no. Missed me that time. I’m not hurt a bit.” He turned to the remaining members of his party and said, “I think we’d better be going or we will be late.”

They had hardly driven one block when John McGrath, the Colonel’s other secretary, exclaimed, “Look, Colonel. There is a hole in your overcoat.” The Colonel looked at the hole, unbuttoned the coat and felt of his chest. When he removed his hand, his fingers were stained with blood. Speaking to no one in particular, the Colonel said, “It looks as though I had been hit, but I don’t think it is anything serious.”

When they reached the auditorium, the Colonel went into a dressing room. Several physicians made a superficial examination of the wound and suggested that the Colonel leave for the hospital immediately. The Colonel calmly responded “I will deliver this speech or die, one or the other.” The physicians’ protested, but the Colonel walked out of the dressing room and onto the stage. The crowd cheered loudly as the Colonel took his seat and waited for the program to begin.

Henry F. Cochems, a Wisconsin political leader, stepped to the front of the platform and held up his hand. The crowd sensed something was wrong and immediately fell silent. “I have something to tell you,” he said with a trembling voice, “and I hope you will received the news with calmness.” The crowd was deathly silent. “Colonel Roosevelt has been shot. He is wounded.” At this, Mr. Cochems turned and looked at the Colonel.

The crowd’s reaction was anything but calm. People yelled and screamed out of shock. Some of the patrons rushed toward the platform to get a better look at the Colonel. The Colonel stood and calmly walked to the edge of the platform. “It’s true,” the Colonel told the crowd as he unbuttoned his coat and showed them the blood-stained shirt. “I’m going to ask you to be very quiet,” he said, “and please excuse me for making you a very long speech. I’ll do the best I can, but you see there’s a bullet in my body. But it’s nothing. I’m not hurt badly.” The Colonel’s words were met with an outburst of cheering.

The Colonel pulled out his 50-page speech and began his oration. The crowd listened intently to every word the Colonel said. His speech was somewhat quieter than normal and his gestures were more subdued. He spoke for a while and suddenly his voice sank. He seemed to stagger. One of the doctors and another in the Colonel’s party approached him and quietly insisted that he leave immediately for a hospital. The Colonel seemed to regain all of his strength and told them, “I’m going to finish this speech. I’m all right; let me alone.” The Colonel struggled at times as he spoke for well over an hour. At the conclusion of the Colonel’s speech, he looked briefly at the cheering crowd and calmly walked off the platform and into a waiting car.

The Colonel’s driver sped through the streets of Milwaukee to the hospital where a team of doctors were waiting. They whisked him to an operating room and quickly removed his clothing. He insisted that he was not hurt badly and told the doctors that they were taking it too seriously. The doctors continued their work. The entrance wound was easy enough to find, but they were unable to determine the location of the bullet. While they waited for a staff member to retrieve an x-ray machine, the Colonel sat up on the operating table and entertained the doctors with political stories and jokes.

By using x-rays and probes, the doctors learned that the bullet had lodged in the Colonel’s chest muscle. It struck no major arteries or organs. The doctors concluded that it would be riskier to remove the bullet than to leave it in place. They were curious to learn, however, what had kept the .38 caliber bullet from penetrating deeper into the Colonel’s chest. As they examined his clothing the answer became clear. The bullet had passed through the Colonel’s thick overcoat, through his 50-page speech which he had folded in half so that it would fit into his pocket which made it 100 pages thick, through both sides of his metal eyeglasses case, through his waistcoat, shirt and undershirt, and finally, into his chest. Had the Colonel written a shorter speech, had he not doubled the speech over and placed in his chest pocket, had he placed his eyeglasses case in another pocket, the Colonel could have been the first former president of the United States to be assassinated. The Colonel’s speech was part of his campaign for a third non-consecutive term as president, which he ultimately lost. The Colonel was… Theodore Roosevelt.

“Sequence of Returns”

Have you heard the term “sequence of returns”? If not let’s set up a time to review and discuss your exposure to this pitfall. Having retirement dollars exposed to market risk while pulling income could be a very costly mistake in later years. Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) are especially risky since the individual has little discretion in taking these funds. These issues and others could significantly reduce the longevity of your funds. Thereby causing you harm as you descend the retirement mountain. Let’s visit about trip planning!

Contact Reinette today!

Luke Morgan, Ty Simonelli ink baseball scholarships

The senior battery mates helped lift Quitman High to the #1 ranking in Class B this spring. This time next year Luke Morgan and Ty Simonelli will be at it again, the difference being they will be playing for their respective colleges. 

In front of a large audience assembled in the gymnasium of Quitman High the pair made it official where they would continue their baseball career. Fortunately for family and friends, both will not be far from home. Morgan is going to Alexandria, LA to play for Louisiana Christian University, formerly known as Louisiana College, while Simonelli will be playing for Bossier Parish Community College (BPCC) in Bossier City.

While Morgan is thought to be the first local baseball player to ever sign with Louisiana Christian, Simonelli is the second from Jackson Parish to sign with BPCC this year alone, joining his friend and Weston High senior Caleb Waters. 

Unheralded at the beginning of the season, Simonelli first burst into the view of college scouts after back-to-back strong pitching performances where he struck out 9 & 10 against Grant and South Beauregard, a pair of top ten teams in Class 3A. The right hander followed that up with a masterful shutout of current #2 and defending Class B state champion Choudrant and then impressively beat Class 4A Minden. In 31 innings the righthander has struck out 51 and walked only 16 to compile a sterling 2.011 ERA.

It is a different story for Morgan. The catcher, who will most probably will play infield at LC, made his name last year when he became what is known as a 40-40 player, by scoring 40 runs and stealing 41 bases. His .500 batting average was also among state leaders. With Quitman playing 16 of their first 17 games against schools from higher classifications, most who had winning records, Morgan still managed to compile a .367 batting average and an 1.010 OPS (on base plus slugging) percentage. While he didn’t reach 40-40 status this season, once again he led Quitman in runs scored and stolen bases. 

Weston whips Grace Christian at Field of Dreams

Weston High beat Grace Christian of Alexandria 10-3 in a battle of Class B stalwarts. While the victory was important in regard to their Class B power point ranking, it failed in comparison to the thrill of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play the game at the site of the 1989 block-buster movie the Field of Dreams. 

Talk about a road trip! On Friday night the Weston team loaded up on a Salters Bus to embark on what is easily the longest trek a Jackson Parish high school has ever ventured to play a game. Roughly 14 hours and 900 miles later the Wolves stepped off the bus and at 2:00pm on Saturday and proceeded to write a script to another story…… a real life one.  

Every production has a star and in this one it was Cooper Delaney, who acted out multiple roles. As the winning pitcher, Delaney struck out 11 and didn’t allow but one hit which came in the top of the sixth inning. At the plate he went 2/4 with three RBI including a second inning home run into the cornfield that gave Weston an early advantage. 

The supporting cast was impressive as well. Caleb Waters and Tait Henderson added three hits each and Davis Tolar reached base in four of his five at bats, scored twice and drove in a run. Drew Browning knocked in three and both Kaden Shirley and Bryce Zehr crossed home plate two times. 

The victory closed out the regular season that saw Weston compile a 17-10 record and finish #5 in the Class B rankings. Grace Christian, who is ranked #2 in Division V, fell to 23-10. 

Prior to the contest, KNOE-TV, Channel 8 in Monroe filmed a segment about the trip and how it came about. To view click here.