Jackson Parish Journal begins fourth year of publication

On the first Wednesday of April in 2020, the Jackson Parish Journal (JPJ) published it’s very first edition to an online audience of seventeen viewers comprised mostly of family and friends. Next week the digital media source for Jackson Parish will celebrate the beginning of it’s fourth year in business. 

Available for viewing at no cost through Google, Facebook, Twitter and direct email the JPJ now publishes every Sunday and Wednesday. Providing news, sports and information pertaining to Jackson Parish the viewership now numbers close to 8,000 according to the most recent statistics.

Publisher, Ben Ledbetter, is appreciative of the growth in viewership and support that has been received by the business community. 

“It seems like only yesterday that the first edition of the JPJ was published as the enthusiasm and desire to be a dependable source of what is going on in Jackson Parish is as strong, if not stronger, as the first day this venture began.”

“Words simply can’t express how appreciative I am for each and every patron who views the JPJ each week and for the local business community and civic organizations that have shown their support through advertising.”

Ledbetter looks forward to the future and ongoing growth opportunities that he hopes will soon come to fruition. 

“It was a big day when the JPJ went from being published once a week to twice. As the network of information continually grows, the plan is to eventually publish three times a week.” 

“Plans are in the works to begin livestreaming civic board meetings and sporting events so that people will be able to see first hand what is taking place. It is also hoped that soon an increase in staff will be realized.”  

The Jackson Parish Journal is one of 11 digital media newspapers under the Journal Services, LLC umbrella representing the parishes of DeSoto, Natchitoches, Lincoln, Red River, Winn, Bienville, Jackson, Webster, Claiborne and Sabine as well as Shreveport / Bossier City. 

Growth continues as an announcement will soon be made that an Alexandria / Pineville Journal will begin publication with further expansion into central Louisiana currently being discussed. 




Chamber of Commerce reminds of upcoming events

A fun and entertaining next few weekends are in store for residents of Jackson Parish and surrounding areas as the calendar turns to April. No fooling…..

The activity starts with Spring Fling on Sunday, April 2nd. Great deals will be abound all over Jonesboro as downtown merchants will open their doors to the public who have the opportunity to search for that special Easter outfit and other items of interest.

Highlighted by special church services in honor of the resurrection of Jesus, it will be the area children doing the searching for hidden eggs the “long” weekend of April 7-10 as families and friends celebrate the Easter holidays.  

It’s back to downtown Jonesboro for a full day of activities the next Saturday, April 15th as the annual Sunshine Festival takes place. The plethora of scheduled events starts at 10:00am with a Childrens’ Parade along Jimmie Davis Blvd. aka “Main Street” where prizes will be awarded to the best decorated and “tricked” out trike and bike. 

At the same time the always entertaining Antique Car Show will kick off at  Jay Mallard Ford. The Jackson Parish Heritage Quilting Guide will also be displaying their creations at the Jackson Parish Museum, located at 402 Cooper St., from 10:00am – 2:00pm.

Local performers will get your toes to tapping beginning at 10:30 am with a free concert that will take place in the “Pocket Park.” One block over in the Tony Rome Park, children will enjoy playing at the “Bouncy House” and slide as well as mingle among their favorite species of animals at the petting zoo.

Vendors will also be all on site all day long with delicious food for the partaking and arts and crafts for the viewing and purchase.  

Quitman beats Weston to clinch share of district 1B in baseball

There is something to be said about simply putting the ball in play. You never know what might happen. Case in point is what took place this past Monday in Quitman’s 8-3 victory over parish and district 1B rival Weston, which clinched the Wolverines at least a tie for the district championship. 

After Weston scored three in the top half of the inning to take a 3-2 lead, Quitman took advantage of four Weston errors, two wild pitches, two free passes and a passed ball to score six in the bottom half to put the game away, that saw 9 of the total 11 runs scored in the fifth inning. 

The decisive frame started with Riley Duck drawing a walk and then advancing to third on a passed ball and wild pitch. Ian Tilley followed with a ground ball single to knot the score at 3-3 and went to second on another wild pitch. Hudson Pullig got hit by a pitch and Kace West grounded into a fielders choice that forced Tilley out at third but a throwing error allowed Pullig and West to advance a base.

The heads up running paid immediate dividends as John Reagan Hasley hit a clutch single to give Quitman a 4-3 lead and then took second with no throw. Once again Weston hurt their cause when Pete Simonelli hit a grounder to the pitcher who attempted to get West out at the plate but the ball got away. Hasley came all the way around from second to score as well to up the lead to 6-3 with Simonelli going to second. Logan Ponder followed with an infield single and again good baserunning led to a run as Simonelli scored on an errant throw to the plate allowing Ponder to move up to second. Cam Deal then reached on grounder to third that was misplayed setting up a Blake Carter single for the 8th run and 6th of the inning. There is something to be said about putting the ball in play. 

Quitman took a 1-0 lead on back to back singles by Ponder and Deal setting up a Riley Duck RBI single with two outs. The lead went to 2-0 in the bottom of the fourth when Hasley walked and Simonelli reached on a fly ball to right that fell for an error, one of five miscues the Wolves made on defense in the contest. Ponder walked to load the bases  and Deal drove in Hasley by making contact and hitting a sacrifice fly. 

To the Wolves credit they immediately rallied in their next at bat when Colton Blundell hit a one out single, Bryce Zehr and Tait Henderson walked and Cole Tolar stroked a single to left scoring two. After a balk moved the runners up a base Cooper Delaney hit a sac fly to give Weston the lead. 

Blake Carter was the benefactor of the big inning to gain the win after five innings of work. Ponder pitched the final two innings striking out five. Delaney also pitched well for Weston, giving up only one earned run before leaving after four innings. Both Drew Browning for Weston and Carter for Quitman hit doubles in the contest. 

The two will square off again on Wednesday, March 29th at the JPRD where either Quitman will win district with an undefeated record or Weston, which now sits one game back, will tie for the title.  

Weston (10-11, 2-1)0000300375
Quitman (7-10, 3-0)100160x810 0
WP – Carter, LP – Browning
2B – Browning (WHS), Carter (QHS)
RBI – Tolar (WHS) 2, Delaney (WHS), Ponder (QHS), Deal (QHS), Carter (QHS), Duck (QHS), Tilley (QHS), Hasley (QHS), Simonelli (QHS)
RS – Hasley (QHS) 2, Ponder (QHS), Deal (QHS), Duck (QHS), Pullig (QHS), West (QHS), Simonelli (QHS), Blundell (WHS), Zehr (WHS), Henderson (WHS)
SB – Deal (QHS), Carter (QHS)

Lady Wolverines rally falls short at Cedar Creek

Quitman had the tying run on base in both the sixth and seventh inning but rallies from 5-1 and 7-3 deficits fell short as Cedar Creek saddled Cali Deal with her first loss of the season in the 9-8 victory.

The first loss after 14 straight wins offset an otherwise brilliant day at the plate for Deal who torched Cedar Creek pitching for two home runs, a triple, three RBI and three runs scored. Maddie Kaye “Big Bopper” Brymer also had a great day at the plate by going 2/4 with a home run, driving in four and scoring a run. Madison Chaplin scored twice and Maggie Guyotte drew two walks and got a hit. Hallie Kate Pullig also hit a double but with Furr and Lee getting three hits each and Smith hitting a home run, Quitman fell for the first time after 20 wins in a row. Cedar Creek, ranked 5th in Division IV among “select” schools improved to 12-9 on the year. 

Quitman (21-5)10240108113
Cedar Creek (12-9)232200x9131
WP – Brashear, LP – Deal (14-1)
2B – Pullig
3B – Deal
HR – Deal 2, Brymer
RBI – Brymer 4, Deal 3, Chaplin
RS – Deal 3, Chaplin 2, Guyotte, Brymer, Hall

Britton’s Grandfather’s Photo

Britton set a goal for himself that would terrify the toughest of people. He wanted to become the youngest person to climb the tallest mountains on each of the world’s continents, what mountain climbers refer to as the “Seven Summits.”

At the time, less than 100 people had ever accomplished this feat. When asked why he would make such an attempt, Britton said, “I dreamed of throwing myself at a goal, at a challenge that seemed so insurmountable in the face of the odds, that I was willing to risk death in the name of success.”

By 2001, Britton had climbed Denali, Aconcagua, Elbrus, and Kilimanjaro, four of the seven highest mountains. By 2004, Britton had conquered Mount Kosciuszko in Australia. In January of 2004, Britton reached the summit of Vinson, the tallest mountain in Antarctica. On January 23, on the day Britton returned home to Greenwich, Connecticut, his 76-year-old beloved grandfather, Bob, died. Britton was crushed.

Britton had just one more mountain to go to become the youngest person to reach each of the Seven Summits, Mount Everest. Within weeks of tackling Vinson, as he began packing for Earth’s highest mountain above sea level, Mount Everest, Britton’s thoughts kept returning to his grandfather.

“His memory will be pushing me to strive even harder than I’ve ever strived before,” he said. “He really just pushed me to push the boundaries and seek the outer limits of whatever I was doing.”

To honor his grandfather, Britton packed a photo of Bob to take to the summit of Mount Everest.

Finally, in March of 2004, Britton began his climb up Mount Everest with Bob’s photo in his pack. For two months, Britton and his team struggled through winds which reached up to 125 miles per hour, had to use ladders tied to each other to cross 50-foot deep and 30-foot-wide crevasses, and, had to wear oxygen masks when the air became too thin to breath.

At one point, a falling boulder barely missed hitting his face by only a few inches. On May 24, Britton became the youngest person at the time to reach the Seven Summits. While atop the summit, Britton removed his grandfather’s photo from his pack and carefully buried it on Mount Everest.

Britton grandfather was certainly an inspiration to his grandson Britton, but he also inspired and entertained millions of children on television. From 1948-1952, he was Clarabell the Clown on the “Howdy Doody Show.” From 1953-1955 he was Corny the Clown on “Time for Fun,” and from 1954-1955 he was Tinker the Toymaker on “Tinker’s Workshop.”

From 1955 to 1985, Bob hosted a children’s television program for which he is most remembered. The photo which remains atop mount Everest is of Britton Keeshan’s grandfather, Robert James “Bob” Keeshan, but you and I know Bob as Captain Kangaroo.

Jonesboro Board of Aldermen hold Special Session on Tuesday

 The Jonesboro Board of Aldermen held a special session on Tuesday, March 28th to introduce an Ordinance that will allow the transfer of ARPA money from an existing budget line item into another one.

Specifically,  Aldermen members agreed to amend Ordinance 2205-005 pertaining to the 2022-23 Budget of Water Revenues and Expenditures in order to move forward with $47,095.38 of federal money being transferred into the 2022-23 Budget of Revenues and Expenditure for the Town of Jonesboro as ordained through Ordinance 2022-004. 

The result of the action would be the creation of two new line items in the budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year so that a proposed agreement with Enterprise Leasing to update the towns fleet of vehicles would have money earmarked under the following designations:
Enterprise Fleet – $31,180.50
Public Works: Enterprise Fleet – $15,914.88

In additional action board members, Devin Flowers, Robbie Siadek, James Ginn and Nia Evans-Johnson approved the move of a mobile home to the end of First Street in Jonesboro. Robert Hunter was absent. 


As April approaches, area focus turns to Major League Fishing Event on Caney

On April 24th – 28th, Caney Lake will be the site of the Heavy Hitters Major League Fishing Tour Event. Just in case you don’t know how humongous it is in the sports world that this is taking place, then here are a few analogies.

Having the worlds greatest bass anglers fish the crown jewel of Jackson Parish is like:

(1) Hosting a Major League All-Star game
(2) Hosting an NFL Pro-Bowl game
(3) Hosting an NBA All-Star game

Think that is exaggerating things? Not really when taking things into comparative context. Each of the above events include the best of the best in their respective sport. So does this one. Not only that, and this is not the opinion of local’s but the actual participants who just so happen to be the best angler’s in the world, Caney Lake is one of the best, if not the best lake they have ever fished a tournament on. And that was just from one day’s experience last year. This time around the MLF will be here for five days. 

While there is still roughly a month to go before the tournament starts it is important to make plans now. With that in mind, Jackson Parish Watershed Commission Vice President Gary Joynor has provided a very nice Pre-Tourney Announcement. 

To All:
The Jackson Parish Watershed Commission, Jackson Parish Tourism Board, The Jackson Parish Recreation Department and Jackson Parish Chamber of Commerce are excited to announce, that Major League Fishing is coming back to Caney Creek Reservoir with the Heavy Hitters, April 24th-April 28. This event includes the “All Stars” of Major League Fishing.

A very special thanks to: Discover Monroe-West Monroe and the Louisiana Office of Tourism for hosting the event. For more information go to: https://www.monroe-westmonroe.org/…/bass-pro-tour…/

The anglers will be launching from the Spillway Launch site that week. According to the tournament director, the professional anglers will be arriving 6:00am to 7:00am each morning and the daily ceremony will start at 7:30am in which the national anthem, prayer and angler announcement and send off will begin. Anglers will start fishing at 8:00am and stop at 4:00pm. They will start arriving back at the spillway launch site shortly after 4:00pm.

The spillway parking lot and spillway boat launch will be closed April 24th-28th for safety of the professional anglers, event staff and spectators. Parking will be available on the Hooks Marina Side in the grass area and Levee side on the grass area behind the spillway parking lot as well as down the spillway road.

We will make parking accommodations for special needs each morning and evening of the event. (Shuttle’s Will be Provided to and from Vehicles if needed). Just let us know when you check in at the “Welcome Tent”. The “Welcome Tent” will be set up at the entry to the parking lot. Everyone, please register at the “Welcome Tent” to be included in the daily door prize drawings. Boaters are welcome to dock at the spillway site and register as well. You do not have to be present to win a prize.

The Caney Lake Community, Jackson Parish residents and MLF fans showed great support and enthusiasm toward the MLF Knockout Round event held February 9th, 2022. The anglers and event staff appreciated the support so much they decided to come back for (5) days this year. With that said, we need your help to make this year even bigger than last year as we are expecting many kids, young adults and adults over the (5) day event.

We are seeking donations for our daily door prizes from anyone willing to donate. Any monies donated will be used to buy gift certificates/cards at local businesses. Any individual or local business who is willing to donate money or prizes should please contact, Sharon Dousay a local Caney Lake resident and artist who will be coordinating the drawings and gifts.

Everyone that donates money or items will be recognized for their contribution. If you would like to donate you can Private Message her on Facebook or tag “Sharon Creed Dousay”. Another option is sending an email to visitjacksonparish@gmail.com and the information will be relayed to Sharon. You can start donating anytime now so we can prepare for this amazing event held on our beautiful Caney Creek Reservoir.

Sports Hall of Fame Board mulls nominations for Class of 2023

The Jackson Parish Sports Hall of Fame (JPSHOF) Board held their regularly scheduled monthly meeting on Monday, March 27th at the Hall of Fame building located at the Jackson Parish Recreation Department Sports Complex. 

Highlighting the agenda was the consideration of 16 nominees for enshrinement as the Class of 2023 in the JPSHOF. In corresponding action it was decided to hold the annual Banquet, where new members will be presented, on October 7th. 

Board members Clay Carroll, Ricky Cash, Ben Ledbetter, Harrell Bond, Ted Reeves and Wilda Smith also elected to keep the officers the same as last year and to establish the fourth Monday of every month as the meeting date. Jo Ann Buckner, Jesse James Parks and Jason Spangler were absent. 

Nominations will continue through the next meeting in April before the final decision on who will be enshrined will take place in May. If you have someone you would like to see nominated contact a board member. Please keep in mind that requirements are that a person must be at least five years removed from active participation in sports and must have went to school or coached in Jackson Parish. 

JHHS Class of ’73 donates a Thousand Dollars to new Tiger Band

Remembering what it meant to them to be able to make music, the 1973 graduating class from Jonesboro-Hodge, who recently celebrated their 50th class reunion, has stepped up to ensure that today’s generation of JHHS students would be able to make music of their own. Talk about music to the ears! 

This was done through an incredible generous donation of $1000.00 on March 28th, to JHHS Band Director Trey Porchay by Class of ’73 representatives Randy Lafield and Rhonda Griffin. Talk about music to the ears! 

After years of non-existence the once proud Tiger Band is getting closer to being a reality once again thanks to gifts such as this. Fans of JHHS who wish to see students once again be able to pursue their interest in being in a band are encouraged to join the movement through donation of equipment or funds. 


Jackson Parish Library hosts Easter Eggstravaganza

Peter Cottontail, aka The Easter Bunny, hopped into the Jonesboro Branch of the Jackson Parish Library to the joy of over 140 kids of all ages who were on hand to celebrate the always popular Easter Eggstravaganza. 

Food, fun and entertainment was enjoyed by all this past Saturday, March  highlighted by the opportunity to dive into a room full of balloons that contained eggs with prizes in them. Also each got the chance to have their picture made with the Easter Bunny. 

The administration and staff of the Jackson Parish Library would like to thank all parents and guardians for bringing their children to the event and also wish each and everyone a Happy Easter. 

To see pictures of the children with the Easter Bunny go to the Jackson Parish Library Facebook page. 

Cumpton reaps more recognition at LCU

It could be considered quite ironic that a distinguished history major is so very adept in the modern art of multi-tasking. To be more specific, while Quitman native Shelby Cumpton was representing Louisiana Christian University (LCU) Debate Team at the National Championships in Boise, Idaho, she recorded the presentation of her  interdisciplinary research project that was delivered at the 3rd Annual C.S. Lewis Honors Forum. 

Cumpton was one of ten students to present a research project, entitled “A Language of Resistance: The White Rose and the Use of Framing,” which is the final requirement in fulfillment of the prestigious programs requirements. 

Following the presentations, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Cheryl Clark presented each student with a C.S. Lewis Honors Medallion to be worn at graduation.

“The Honors Forum clearly demonstrates that LCU is providing an unshakeable Christian foundation while expecting academic excellence across all disciplines,” she said. “The students’ interdisciplinary research projects show they understand, recognize and embrace the inseparable connection between their calling and career. 
“Knowing that these graduates are equipped and ready to pursue graduate degrees and professional careers and are our future biochemists, medical professionals, scientific researchers, lawyers, and educators renews my hope for the future. “

The C.S. Lewis Honors Program at Louisiana Christian University is an interdisciplinary
program that is designed for students who perform at the highest academic standards. Its small, seminar-style courses focus on integrating faith and learning through writing, discussion, service learning, and travel. Students enter during their freshman year and complete the honors curriculum as a cohort.

“One of the best things about attending the Honors Forum every year is seeing how the students that I taught early on in the program have matured into deep thinkers and skilled researchers,” said Dr. Christine Reese, chair of the Division of History and Political Science and member of the Honors Council. “Their creativity and passion for their research topics shines through to make the Honors Forum a dynamic celebration of learning. I am grateful for the opportunity that God has given me to work with the superb faculty at LCU to produce a new generation of Christian scholars.”

Cornerstone Christian runner-up in JV and Junior Slice League Playoff Tourney

The Cornerstone Christian Academy (CCA) Junior Varsity and Junior High boys basketball teams ventured to Shreveport this past Monday and Tuesday where they finished in 2nd place in both Slice League Playoff Tournaments. 

(JUNIOR VARSITY) Seeded third after a 7-3 regular season that tied them for second with Heritage in the final standings, CCA opened the tourney by dispatching Northside 54-25 before losing to Heritage by a 33-27 score two hours later. Now in the losers bracket of the six team tourney, CCA beat Shreveport Christian Academy 49-41, ARC out of Monroe 48-30 and regular season league champion Kingston 45-37 in back-to-back-to-back games. This set up a finals match against Heritage which this time Cornerstone won 37-31, forcing a rematch. After playing five straight games without a break, CCA finally ran out of gas, falling 35-20 to claim the runner-up spot of the tourney. 

(JUNIOR HIGH) After compiling a 9-1 record and finishing in a tie for first place in the SLICE League regular season, CCAwon two and lost one to finish as runner-up in the 2023 Slice League Junior Playoff Tournament.

The Eagles opened the five team tourney held at Kingston Academy in Shreveport by beating Heritage out of Mount Enterprise, TX 40-37 before losing in the finals of the winners bracket to co-regular season champion, Kingston 48-30. Once again CCA met Heritage, who had won twice to earn the rematch and once again dispatched their neighboring state foe this time by a 39-21 margin. That set up a rematch with Kingston which beat CCA again.

(VARSITY BOYS) The Varsity boys Slice League Playoff Tournament will be played at Kingston Academy in Shreveport on Friday, March 31st. Cornerstone Christian has earned the #3 seed in the seven team event after finishing third in the regular season with an 8-4 record. The opening game will be held at 9:00am against Provencal with the winner slated to play again at 12:00pm and the loser at 1:00pm.

Hodge Fire Department performs control burn on house

The Hodge Fire Department performed a control burn on a house located on Walter Rodgers Road that is in the Hodge Fire Protection District on Tuesday afternoon, March 28th. 

A control burn service multiple purposes being that it razes an unoccupied or abandoned building or structure that otherwise is an eyesore to the community or possibly dangerous to go nearby or enter into. It also provides for valuable hands on training for fire fighters in a non-emergency setting. 

If you would like to have a building or structure included in the control burn program being conducted in Jonesboro and Hodge, please contact either Town Hall to make arrangements.

New JPRD Sports Complex Welcome Sign erected

The welcome sign is a welcome sight. If you happen to drive down Hwy 4 East, you can’t help but have your attention drawn to the vivid red, white and blue sign that is along the south bound side just a few miles outside of Jonesboro.

To be exact, the address is 5254 Hwy 4, which is the sight of the Jackson Parish Recreation Department Sports Complex. And the welcome sign at the entrance isa welcome sight. 

Created and erected by Sign Design, which is owned and operated by Ronnie Madere out of Quitman, the easily noticed structure replaces the one that was blown down during the horrific tornado that devastated Jackson Parish earlier this year. 

J-HES Wraparound Committee plays big role in Spring into Health Event

The Jonesboro-Hodge Elementary School Wraparound Committee has been instrumental in changing the lives of their students through the programs they orchestrate and the valuable information and education they disseminate. This past weekend they also played a huge role in helping make the “Spring into Health Community Fair and Block Party”  a huge success.

Committee members (shown above) are: Cathy Judd of LSU AgCenter, Deputy Stevenson of the JPSO and JPSB Dare Program, Mr. Wyatt of the Town of Jonesboro, Conchita Doyle of Pine Belt Multipurpose Agency, Mrs. Bergholtz, J-HES School Counselor and Danielle Copeland, J-HES Principal.

As part of the creative programs involved with the Wraparound Program any J-HES student that attended, which there were a total of 20 in all, received bonus points in an effort to increase parental involvement.