Two arrests made, two at large following memorial melee at Jonesboro park

What started as a birthday memorial celebration for Lajermanique Nichols, the Jonesboro teen that was one of three killed in a horrific car accident in 2021, turned into a major crowd disruption resulting in two arrests made and two others still at large.  Also three Jonesboro Police Department Officers sustained injuries. 

Arrested and charged with Disturbing the Peace, three counts of Battery of a Police Officer and three counts of Resisting by Force was Demije M. Patterson and Tracy Hampton III, both of Homer, LA.rayonjarnae stewart

Still at large and being sought is Rayonjarnae Stewart and Justice Castro, who were handcuffed and put in a Jonesboro Police Department (JPD) unit but escaped with aid from members in the crowd while Officers were attempting to break up the disturbance.

justice castroAccording to JPD Asst. Police Chief Warren Johnson a large crowd was in attendance this past Sunday, March 19th, at Congo Park located at 200 Pearrie Street in Jonesboro honoring Nichols on what would have been her 21st birthday. During the event a physical altercation started between two females which when JPD Officers attempted to defuse the situation became an all out brawl.

Jonesboro Mayor James “Spike” Harris has issued the following statement.

“Due to the unfortunate situation that occurred there will be no further unsanctioned events held at any public parks within the city limits of Jonesboro until further notice.”

The Jonesboro Police Department requests that if anyone has any knowledge of the whereabouts of Stewart and/or Castro please call 318-259-2164 or come by the JPD, located at 100 4th Street in Jonesboro. 

This information has been provided by a law enforcement agency as public information. Persons named or shown in photographs or video as suspects in a criminal investigation, or arrested and charged with a crime, have not been convicted of any criminal offense and are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

QHS Softball Tourney this weekend at JPRD Sports Complex

Twenty four (24) of the top softball teams from all classifications will descend on the Jackson Parish Recreation Department Sports Complex this Friday and Saturday for the third annual Quitman Lady Wolverine Softball Tournament. 

Games will take place on all four fields of the JPRD Complex, located at 5254 Hwy 4, east of Jonesboro with the first contests beginning at 3::30pm on Friday followed by games at 5:30 and 7:30pm. Highlighting Friday’s schedule of 12 games for local fans is Weston taking on Montgomery at 3:30pm on Field 2 and host Quitman, ranked #1 in Division V,  playing Oak Grove, ranked #7 in Division IV. 

Saturday will see a total of 19 games played with the first contests set for 9:00am and the tourney finals scheduled to start at 5:00pm. Quitman will play Class 4A Evangel at 3:00pm and Class 5A Parkway at 5:00pm, while Weston will take on Parkway at 3:00pm and Winnfield at 5:00pm. 

Additional local prep baseball and softball schedule for Wednesday – Friday

Wednesday, March 22nd:
Quitman vs Doyline (Softball) 3:30pm

Thursday, March 23rd:
Weston vs Doyline at JPRD (Baseball) 5:00pm
Quitman at Castor (Baseball) TBA

Friday, March 24th:
Weston at Many (Baseball) 5:00pm

2023 QHS Softball Tourney Schedule 

Hidden History! Explosive Mystery of Jackson Parish Courthouse

On March 16th, local historian Brad Dison recorded a YouTube video that investigates the connection of three grave sites and the mystery behind the 1936 explosion of the Jackson Parish Courthouse.  

“Someone sent me to the Jonesboro Cemetery and had me find the connection between three specific headstones, those for the graves of Luther Barnes, Ona Mae Barnes, and Jack McCain,” quoted Dison. “Find out the explosive connection in this episode.”

To view the episode click here. 

Prep Baseball Results: Quitman/Weston win district openers

Both Quitman and Weston opened district 1B play in grand style on Tuesday by “ten run” ruling Castor and Doyline respectively. It was the second game in two days for both with Weston stomping St. Mary’s of Natchitoches and Quitman falling to former district foe Choudrant on Monday. Also on Monday, Jonesboro-Hodge lost to Simsboro in a game played at the Jackson Parish Recreation Department Sports Complex. 

Weston 13 Doyline 0: (Tuesday) Cooper Delaney was utterly dominant as he no-hit Doyline while striking out ten in five innings. Jacob Gill led the offensive attack with a 3/4 performance that included his first home run of the year, 4 RBI and two runs scored. Drew Browning also hit his first “tater”, one of his two hits on the day, knocked in three and scored three times. Bryce Zehr (2B, RBI, RS), Colton Blundell (RBI, RS, SB) and Cole Tolar (2B, RBI) also added two hits each. Sawyer Watkins (RBI, RS, SB) reached base three time via a hit and two walks, while Delaney and Tait Henderson each got a hit and coaxed a base on balls. Braden Theriot chipped in with a hit, RBI and a run scored. Layton Garrett scored twice and Drew Williams once to round out the attack that saw Weston compile 15 hits and 7 walks against Doyline pitching. 

Weston (9-10, 1-0)0037313150
Doyline (2-11, 0-1)00000002
WP – Delaney, LP – Spears
2B – Zehr, Tolar
HR – Gill, Browning
RBI – Gill 4, Browning 3, Blundell, Zehr, Tolar, Theriot, Watkins
RS – Browning 3, Garrett 2, Gill 2, Williams, Blundell, Zehr, Henderson, Theriot, Watkins
SB – Blundell, Watkins, Garrett

Quitman 11 Castor 1 (Tuesday) Blake Carter struck out 9 and limited Castor who had won 8 of 10 coming in to only a first inning run.  Six Quitman batters collected a hit with Cam Deal getting two in three at bats and scoring three runs. Logan Ponder also scored three times while Carter knocked in three both Riley Duck and Ian Tilley, who also scored twice, got 2 RBI each. Hudson Pullig who got a hit and got hit twice, one of five Quitman batters to get plunked on the day, chipped in with an RBI and a run scored. The Wolverines also stole 9 bases on the day with Deal, Ponder and Pullig swiping two each. 

Castor (8-3, 0-1)10000162
Quitman (5-10, 1-0)302511181
WP – Carter, LP – Young
RBI – Carter 3, Duck 2, Tilley 2, Pullig
RS – Deal 3, Ponder 3, Tilley 2, Pullig, Carter, Lay
SB – Deal 2, Ponder 2, Pullig 2, Duck, Tilley, Carter

Weston 11 St. Mary’s 1 (Monday) Weston scored 7 runs in the second inning to blow the game open and Bryce Zehr gave up one run and one hit over five innings as Weston put an end to a 3 game losing streak. Zehr helped his cause by getting two hits, including a double, scoring twice and knocking in a run while Braden Theriot knocked in three, Jacob Gill two and both Tait Henderson and Blaine Graham scored two runs. WHS was the recipient of six St. Mary’s errors and coaxed 9 free passes with Henderson, Cole Tolar and Cooper Delaney getting two each. 

St. Mary’s (11-8)10000116
Weston (8-10)2711x1160
WP – Zehr, LP – Scarborough
2B – Zehr, Gill, Blundell
RBI – Theriot 3, Gill 2, Zehr, Henderson, Graham
RS – Zehr 2, Henderson 2, Graham 2, Theriot, Gill, Blundell, Delaney, Williams
SB – Henderson

Choudrant 13 Quitman 2 (Monday): One of the hardest thing to do in sports is beat a team three times in a row. Especially when the one you are trying to complete the tri-fecta against the defending state champion and current #1 ranked team in Division I among “non-select” schools. By pounding out 14 hits and scoring six runs in the top of the third and adding five more over the next two innings, Choudrant made sure that they would salvage a game out of the three game set. Conversely QHS managed just four hits, including a Cam Deal double off winning pitcher Eddie Callendar. Deal and Ponder both stole two bases for the Wolverines.

Choudrant (14-4)2062313140
Quitman (4-10)10100240
WP – Callendar, LP – Ponder
2B – Deal
RS – Ponder, Deal
SB – Deal 2, Ponder 2, Carter

Simsboro 12 JHHS 2 (Monday) The Tigers lost their third straight after winning two of the previous three to fall to 2-8 on the year. Simsboro continues their three year resurgence improving to 10-5 just two seasons removed from not winning a game all year and barely breaking .500 last year. No game stats were reported. 

Taylor Huddleston named Spring Sports Standout of the Week

It didn’t take long for freshman Taylor Huddleston of Quitman High School to establish himself as the premier long distance runner in Jackson Parish. After finishing in the middle of the pack in the first two meets of the year, Huddleston exploded onto the scene at the Castor Invitational by winning the 1600 and 3200 meter races and coming in second in the 800 meters. 

As result of the near tri-fecta of long distance races Huddleston, who has only three varsity meets under his belt, has been named the Jackson Parish Journal Spring Sports Standout of the Week for March 12th – 18th. VP Racing logo

This award that is being sponsored by VP Raceway FastLube of Jonesboro, honors the best weekly performance by an athlete from JHHS, Quitman or Weston High School in the spring sports of baseball, softball, track, tennis or golf. 

Honorable Mention:

Jalexia Claridy: (Weston High)  – Senior field specialist staked her claim to being tops in Jackson Parish in the discus and shot by winning both events at the Castor Meet. With a throw of 90′ 07″ won the discus by a whopping 18 feet and grabbed gold in the shot put with a toss of 32’6.5″ a solid foot and a half further than the competition. 

Nathan Harvey: (Quitman High)  – Another Freshman that has made his name known in the hurdles by winning the 110 meter hurdles by nearly a second and a half and coming in third in the 300 meter hurdles. Also ran a leg on Quitman’s third place 4×200 relay team. 

Bryan Lay: (Quitman High) – The junior Pole Vaulter won the Castor Meet by a foot and a half over the next closest competitor. Even more impressively, his vault of 13 feet set a new school record and tied one of the oldest track and field records in Jackson Parish history, that was first set in 1963. 


Community Health Fair and Block Party set for Saturday, March 25th

The Spring Into Health Community Health Fair and Block Party will be held from 12:00 – 5:00 pm in downtown Jonesboro this Saturday, March 25th. Sponsored by Pine Belt Multi-Purpose CCA, Jonesboro State Bank, Louisiana Healthcare Connections and Louisiana Department of Health, attendees will  learn from a variety of vendors on how to better care for your mental, physical, emotional and financial well-being.

Free offerings and activities that will be available are:

Mental health assessment
Financial literacy
Live music
Line dancing
Kid zones
Inclusive play area
Food trucks

For more details send email to

Chatham/Parker wins NELAHS event; places 2nd at SAF state tourney

This past weekend proved “twice as nice” for Landin Chatham of Weston High School and partner Jessie Parker from West Ouachita High as the pair landed a first and second place finish in two tournaments that were held at the same time.

With a five fish stringer of 13.08 pounds the pair won the third leg of the Northeast Louisiana High School Anglers (NELAHS) tour event and came in second place in the Student Angler Federation (SAF) state championship tourney. Pacing the outstanding finishes was a 6.11 lb. lunker that took top prize for Big Bass in the NELAHS tourney. 

By virtue of their conquest of Lake D’Arbonne, Chatham and Parker now lead the year to date point standings in the NELAHS Angler Trail with a total of 530.25 points.  which is nearly 15 points ahead of the next highest team. 

Maddox Williams from Saline High and partner Eddie Hyatt from Lakeside High in Sibley finished second in the NELAHS event and third in the SAF state tourney which was won by Caleb Johnston and Colin Cosenza of Many High School with a catch of 13.13 lbs. 

Hayden Davis and Maddox Duck of Quitman High School finished in 10th in the NELAHS tourney and  15th in the SAF event. The teams of Addison Ledford/Hailey Chatham and Joseph Irvin/Landon Pierce, both representing Weston High School, finished in a tie for 44th in both events. 

NELAHS Angler Trail Results

SAF State Championship Tourney Results

JPL events feature Bookmobile, Book Fair and Balloon Easter Egg Hunt

Three extra special events are scheduled for this Thursday – Saturday (March 23-25) at the Jonesboro Branch of the Jackson Parish Library. Beginning the festivities is the dedication of the new Bookmobile from 1:00 – 4:00pm on Thursday where local residents that submitted artwork displayed will be recognized.

On Friday, the second annual Book Fair will take place where local authors will be on hand from 1:00 – 4:00pm for a “meet and greet” and sale of their books. The weekend culminates in the annual Balloon Easter Egg Hunt from 9:00 – 11:30am on Saturday. Attendees are invited to bring their Easter baskets and dive in to a room full of balloons and find filled Easter Eggs, have their picture taken with the Easter Bunny and enjoy an Easter craft. 

Police Jury accepts Registrar of Voters Angie Roberts resignation

The Jackson Parish Police Jury accepted Registrar of Voters, Angie Roberts, resignation at their regularly scheduled meeting held on Tuesday at the Charles H. Garrett Community Center.

Jury members also voted to adopt an Opiod Resolution and a Jackson Parish Recreation Board Resolution requesting approval from the State Bond Commission for sale of Limited Tax Bonds not to exceed $1.5 million dollars.

In further action, Jury members: Todd Culpepper (President), Lewis Chatham, Amy Magee, John McCarty, Tarneshala “Niki” Cowans, and Regina Rowe increased the reimbursement to JPPJ employees for a CDL physical examination not to exceed $150.00, approved an overtime day for Solid Waste employees on Saturday, April 8th, and extended the services of Kenneth Folden & Associates for 45 days. Lynn Treadway was absent.

The session opened with Jackson Parish Ambulance Service District (JPASD) Director Aaron Johnson providing an update on what has taken place at the JPSAD.

“We had 3810 responses this past year, which is close to normal of what we see each year,” said Johnson. “We also were able to conduct 13 various teaching endeavors at our new training facility and have expanded our crew area and climate control storage area. 

Johnson also stated that he is very pleased with the working relationship that the JPASD and the Jackson Parish School District has

“I think it is awesome that we have had seven students take classes which will be of great benefit to them if they decide to pursue a professional career in EMS once they graduate.”

The Jury followed by approving minutes of the Road Committee which reported the 2023 Revised Maintenance Program showing an increase from $200,000.00 to $300,000.00 and the 2023 Road program increasing from $700,000.00 to $800,000.00. 

The minutes of the Parish Clean Up Committee was next to be adopted with Juror Magee offering suggestions for the April 15th Clean Up Day. Permission for Mr. Paul Riley, Parish Engineer, to advertise the 2023 Road Program was then agreed upon.

Following approval of department head and committee reports it was agreed to add a new employee at the Health Unit and Brandon Lamkin was reappointed to another term on the Jackson Parish Recreation Board. 

In the first of three addendums to the agenda President Culpepper was granted authority to sign a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement with the Town of Jonesboro in regard to the DOTD Grant and Sidewalk Project. Also agreed upon was health insurance for JPPJ employees to remain the same and a cost of living increase of 2% be granted as well as a company being hired to assist with grinding activities at the Solid Waste Department. 


Rec Board approves COA with Village of Chatham

At their regularly scheduled monthly meeting held on Monday, March 20th, the Jackson Parish Recreation Board agreed to enter into a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement (COA) in the amount of $10,000.00 with the Village of Chatham. 

The move by Ricky Cash (President), Jeff Hairston, Brandon Lamkin and Rodney Potts followed a presentation by Jackson Parish Watershed Commission Vice President who was at the meeting on behalf of the Village of Chatham. Board members Brent Barnett, Sullivan Stevens and Chris Womack was absent 

Joynor showed the quorum a photo of the existing fishing pier on Chatham Lake and adjacent areas on to the left and right. before detailing what work would be done. This includes installing a new seawall on both sides of the pier equipped with handrails for a total of 185 feet, providing SP2 rock for the parking area and constructing a flower bed. 

In additional action the board passed a Resolution for the issuance of Limited Tax Bonds for the Pavilion Project agreed to allow the President to sign an engagement letter and the Secretary to sign a commitment letter. 

JPRD Director Tommy Smith then gave an update on programs at the Sports Complex followed by a report on the Golf Course, which included a request to have additional grass sodded on the new driving range.

Following a discussion about the Purchase Order policy in place the session was adjourned.   

Prep Softball Recap: Lady Tigers continues resurgence

The turnaround is simply astounding! After winning only one game in each of the last three seasons and opening this year with six straight losses, the JHHS girls softball team under first year head coach Matthew Pearce has won five of their last seven.  This includes their latest victory, a 13-3 win over Class 3A Wossman on Tuesday to improve their record to 5-8 on the year.  

“We are playing better and still coming along,” said Pearce. “The girls are focused and looking to improve our record next week where we have five games ahead of us.”

Kyla Hayes, who also drove in three and scored a run , Pam Cribbs (2RBI, 2RS), Zoie Anderson (2RS, RBI) and Sierra Bond (2RBI, 2RS) all got three hits apiece to lead the 15 hit attack. Saige Qualls, Alania Ashcraft, Alivia Anderson and Payge Christesen all scored a run apiece as well. 

The victory offset a poor beginning to the week as the Lady Tigers fell to Simsboro 14-1, who with the victory won their 7th straight to improve to 11-5 on the year. Zoie Anderson scored the lone run while she and Janiyah Walker got hits. 

Quitman 13 Minden 1 (Tuesday) Sensational seventh grader Hallie Kate Pullig connected on her 6th home run in her first year of varsity action and top ranked Quitman patiently coaxed 12 walks as a team to blow away their Class 4A opponent. Averie Williams, who has recently been on a power surge with her fourth extra base hit in the last four games after collecting only one in the previous 17, smashed a triple. Pullig, Skylar Hall, Williams, Maggie Guyotte, who walked four times, and Madison Chaplin all scored a pair of runs each while Cali Deal and Madeline Vail had 2 RBI’s each.  Deal was dominant as usual in the circle for the Lady Wolverines scattering two hits and striking out 14 while allowing only one unearned run in the first inning to win her 11th straight without a loss. Minden, coached by former Weston High star, Shelby Leach, fell to 11-10 with the loss. 

Quitman (17-4)0230531380
Minden (11-10)100000122
WP – Deal (11-0), LP – Ryan
3B – Williams
HR – Pullig
RBI – Deal 2, Vail 2, Chaplin, Brymer, Huckaby, Williams, Hall, Pullig
RS – Pullig 2, Chaplin 2, Williams 2, Guyotte 2, Hall 2, Brymer, Gray, Huckaby

Chamber seeks help to “dress up” Jonesboro for Sunshine Festival

Work has begun in preparation for the annual Sunshine Festival that is slated to take place in Jonesboro on April 15th. Jackson Parish Chamber of Commerce (JPCC) Director Wilda Smith is requesting help from the community to “dress up” Jimmie Davis Blvd. aka “Main Street” as stated in a post made on the JPCC Facebook page. 

As we work towards our Annual Sunshine Festival, our goal is to have the town “dressed up” for the festivities. As well as flowers being planted, we would like to make repairs to the brick flower beds. This is a community-wide effort as we are seeking your help to achieve this goal! Please consider donating for the bricks and flowers. You may donate money for flowers and hanging plants in honor, in memory of, or in recognition of loved ones past and present. This goal needs to be reached prior to the Sunshine Festival so that all visitors and residents can experience the beauty and wonder our community has to offer. Let’s work together to bring the community back to the glory it once was and has the potential to become again. We can only achieve this goal with your help and generosity!

Monetary donations requested: 

Flowers/Hanging Baskets: $35 each
Brick Repairs: all monetary donations appreciated
Flower Beds: $300 needed to replace/plant flowers in 3 flower beds

PODCAST: State Representative Jack McFarland joins Billy West

Jack McFarland, State Representative for Winn, Jackson and parts of Bienville and Natchitoches Parishes talks about his proposed legislation and attempts to relieve local Governments of their budget problems related to fixing our roads and bridges. Representative McFarland also talks about teacher pay raises and the $1.5 Billion surplus and how to be a good steward of that budgetary windfall.

Guyotte named LA High School Athlete of the Week (March 6-12)

Maggie Guyotte turned in an incredible performance during the week of March 6-12. The freshman at Quitman High School, was 10 for 18 at the plate with six home runs and 10 RBIs for the Lady Wolverines. In addition, during that span, Guyotte went 3-0 in the pitching circle. maggie guyotte pic - Copy

For her efforts, Guyotte who entered this week with 17 home runs and 44 RBI, both second best in the state, was voted the SBLive Louisiana Athlete of the Week. This marks the second time that Quitman High School has had a softball player voted as SBLive Player of the Week this year following sophomore Cali Deal being designated earlier in the 2023 season.