Gloria C. Davis Announces Re-Election Bid for Jackson Parish School Board Member

To the citizens of Jackson Parish, I, Gloria Davis, am seeking a second term for District 5 of the Jackson Parish School Board. As you may know, my husband is the late David L. Davis and our children are Keith, Davy and Daveitra. I am the proud grandmother of Skyla, Chance, Tyree and D.J.

I have always been concerned about all of our children and have long strived for positive and worakable solutions to enhance the educational process. I remain committed to working hard and making the difference that really matters to our students, parents, teachers and members of the educational communities. We need to rebuld our schools stronger than before the pandemic. I need your support to continue thse important efforts. 

As a current member of the School Board, we provided our schools with some much needed physical and human resources. The physical resources included, but not limited to, replacing flooring for the Jonesboro-Hodge High School auditorium, installing softball field lighting at Quitman High School and improving restrooms at Weston High. 

Automated External Defilbrillators (AEDs) with Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) were provided for all schools, Central Office and the Bus Barn. Also, we employed a speech therapist and established a Student Service Center at each school. This action will enhance communication development skills and provide academic support to assist in strengthening some of the weaknesses among our students. 

I invite you to get involved. I need your support. Your vote will enable me to continue serving and help make the educational difference. GET IN THE FLO – VOTE FOR GLO – VOTE #60 on Tuesday, November 8, 2022


Cali Deal pitches summer league team to 14U National Championship

Cali Deal set a goal this spring to lead her Quitman HIgh softball team to a state championship. That didn’t pan out. Instead, she pitched her summer league Texas Bombers Gold 14U – Malpass team to the 2022 Alliance Fastpitch Tier I National Championship. Not a bad trade off. 

To say that the sophomore phenom and her Bomber teammates had a great ride over the past few months is an understatement. Over the summer the elite group played all over the nation and compiled a 40-4 record. The 6th ranked team in American won the Texas Fastpitch League and then culminated the 
season by winning the national title by beating former #1 ranked Athletics Mercado two out of three games in the 80 team tourney played in Chino Hills, California. 

Played in the format comparable to the college baseball playoffs, the Bombers advanced through the regionals, super-regionals and elite eight to advance to the championship series played on the Cal State-Fullerton campus. 

Not only did Deal pitch her team to victory in both games she did it in a must win situation. Athletics Mercado won the first game of the best two out of three series in dominating fashion, taking a 10-2 victory. 

Then Deal entered the circle in game two. Seven innings laters the series was evened as Deal gave up only two hits, struck out six and didn’t allow a single earned run in the 3-1 victory. That set the stage for a winner take all one game title match. With her team down, Deal entered the contest in the fourth inning.  and gave up only two earned runs the rest of the way in the 11-6, come from behind victory.

By virtue of her stellar peformance Deal was named to the All-Tournament team.

Her statistics over the summer season against some of the best softall players in the nation in her age group was as impressive as her national championship tournament showing. Deal finished with a 13-2 record with one save to her credit. In 89.1 innings the left handed flame thrower struck out 99 batter and compiled a minuscle 1.881 ERA. Included were two shutout and a combined no-hitter.

 


Public Works Dept. employees denied pay raise

The Town of Jonesboro Public Works Department employees won’t be getting a pay raise. The reason? They just got one last year. That was what Jonesboro Mayor Leslie Thompson told those in attendance, many who were the same employees hoping to hear their financial position would improve. 

Thompson opened the agenda item discussion by stating that even though this was on the agenda of the Board of Aldermen meeting held on Tuesday that the decision was his and not the Town Council’s. He went on to say that there was no way that he could approve a pay raise at this point when the town was in the financial condition it was. 

“It wouldn’t be in the towns best interest at point,” said Thompson. “I can’t in good conscious approve a pay raise that with our current financial condition can’t be sustained over the next several years.”

Thompson further stated that everyone knew that the town couldn’t give raises and bringing it up again after he had already had declared last month no raises would be given was just playing politics. 

“There are some people who wanted this on the agenda again so I would be forced to say in a public forum that they wouldn’t be getting a raise simply to try and make me look like the bad guy,” said Thompson. ‘I’m am not going to play politics just because an election is coming up. I have already given these employees a raise just last year and we can’t do it again this year.”

This led to further bantering by board members, the Mayor and Public Works Department Director Calvin Wortham over the role that being able to read the broken water meters that are all over town would play. 

“If the Board would have agreed to purchase new water meters three years ago when  it was first proposed we wouldn’t be in this position today,” reasoned Thompson.

Board of Aldermen representative Robbie Siadek then reminded Thompson that what was being proposed was electronic meters which had never worked in the first place and they couldn’t afford them at the time.

“You are right by saying if we had purchased meters back then we wouldn’t always be in financial trouble,” said Siadek. “But that is if we had purchased manually read meters like I suggested.”

More back and forth followed until Wortham then attempted to get the meeting back on track by stating that they weren’t here to talk about meters but rather or not the employees would get a raise. Approval of the July bills and financial followed. 

Board members Devin Flowers, Nia Evans Johnson, Siadek, Pete Stringer and James Ginn then went into executive session where they could discuss the Stringer vs Town of Jonesboro lawsuit. After returning a motion was made for Mayor Thompson to authorize special counsel to meet with the attorney for Renee Stringer to hold a settlement meeting. Mayor Thompson was also approved to authorize a settlement offer based on what was proposed in Julyby a 3-2 vote with Flowers, Johnson and Saidek giving approval Stringer and Ginn voted against the move. At that point Ginn left the meeting.

Isreal Smith and Sirena Jackson was then approved to be moved from part time to full time per the request of Jonesboro Police Chief James “Spike” Harris. In final action, Janice Simmons, who has been seving the town as Deputy Clerk was voted to be named Town Clerk. 

 

A star was born! Quitman’s Ty Simonelli exceeds expectations

The coaching staff led by Joe Lockhart, hoped that Ty Simonelli would step up to lead Quitman High School to a successful baseball season this past spring. Hoped for, but not something that was being counted on. 

They knew he could hit and run as evidenced  by his .373 batting average and 23 stolen bases he registered as a junior. What they were really hoping for was that he would be able to transfer the strong right arm he diplayed in the outfield to becomd an effective pitcher. There was really nothing to justify the hope other than in the two innings Simonelli had pitched he struck out four batters.

He had always dreamed of being a top flight pitcher and knew that just wanting to be one didn’t get it done. This knowledge was constantly reinforced his parents, April and Michael Simonelli, both who were coaches. All summer long and through the fall and winter, Simonelli worked hard to prepare himself for his opportunity. 

It is said that the difference between a starter and a star is the work that is put in when the coaches aren’t looking. The work paid off.  Simonelli became a star for his Quitman team, helping them end the regualr season as the top ranked team in Class B for the first time in school history and advance to the Class B state semifinals.

His final season stats on the mound is a little deceiving as Simonelli finished with only a 4-3 record in 8 starts. A closer look though reveals more.  His losses were by one run to 20 game winner, Class 3A South Beareguard, district 2B rival Weston, when they were ranked #1 in the state and in the Class B state semifinals against Converse. Victories came against Class 4A Grant and Minden, a shut out of Class B state champion Choudrant and a 2-1 duel against Singer and the pitcher considered one of the best in the state regardless of classification. 

Simonelli not only was effective at making batters miss but with a bat in his hand as well. For the season he led the team with a .403 batting average that included five doubles and incredible 7 triples, while scoring a team high 37 runs, driving in 21 others and swiping 20 bases. 

The result was being selected to the first team in district 2B and being named first team Class B All State by both the Louisiana Sports Writers Association (LSWA) and the Louisiana Baseball Coaches Associaiton (LBCA). Topping off all the accolades was his being offered a scholarship to continue playing at Bossier Parish Community College. 

Simonelli ends his high school career with one final honor. On October 1st, at the 2022 Jackson Parish Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony, he will be recognized as the male Athlete of the Year from Quitman High School. The starter became a star. It will be fun to watch his meteoric rise continue. 

 

 

 

 

 


Change made in JHHS football schedule

A change has been made to the 10 game regular season that Jonesboro-Hodge High School will play this season. The alteration isn’t with any of the teams that the Tigers will play but rather the date of the game against Pineville. Instead of playing the contest on Friday, September 30th as was origionally scheduled the Tigers will now host Class 5A Pineville on Thursday, September 29th at Caldwell Peacock Stadium. 

The Tigers will begin the 2022 fall campaign by competiing in a scrimmage against visiting Grant High on Friday, August 19th. The contest will start at 6:00pm. JHHS will then kick off the Saturday (August 27) portion of the annual Bayou Jamb where they play Class 4A, Franklin High School out of Winnsboro at 1:00pm. This years gathering of top teams from north Louisiana for the season opening jamboree will, for the first time, take place at Joe Aillet Stadium on the campus of Louisiana Tech University.

The regular season begins with the Tigers traveling to General Trass High in Lake Providence for a Friday, September 2nd contest followed by a home game against West Ouachita, one of two Class 5A schools on the schedule. The Tigers will then trek to Bunkie  on September 16th, before JHHS comes home to play two games in six days against Lincoln Prep (Sept. 23) and Pineville (Sept. 29).

That leads to the district 3-2A schedule that finds JHHS on the road for three straight games beginning with Red River (Coushatta) on Oct. 7th followed by a trip to Mansfield on October 14th and culminating with going to 2021 Class AA state runner-up Many, 

JHHS will return home to celebrate Homecoming on Oct. 28 against Lakeview and then close out the regular season on Nov. 9th by welcoming arch rival, Winnfield, to Caldwell Peacock Stadium for Senior Night. 

Kick off time for all regular season games is at 7:00pm

2022 Jonesboro Hodge High School Footbal Schedule

DATETIMEPLACEOPPONENT
August 196:00pmHomeGrant (Scrimmage)
August 271:00pmLa TechFranklin Parish (Bayou Jamb)
September 27:00pmAwayGeneral Trass
September 97:00pmHomeWest Ouachita
September 167:00pmAwayBunkie
September 237:00pmHomeLincoln Prep
September 297:00pmHomePineville
October 77:00pmAwayRed River
October 147:00pmAwayMansfield
October 217:00pmAwayMany
October 287:00pmHomeLakeview (Homecoming)
Novmber 47:00pmHomeWinnfield (Senior Night)
District 3-2A game shown in bold print

Motorists Urged to Exercise Caution as Schools Resume Across the State

On August 17th the 2022-23 school year will begin in Jackson Parish and motorists are urged to drive with extra care. Also, be especially aware of school zone speed limits, school buses loading or unloading children, and children walking or biking to school.

Louisiana State Troopers along with local law enforcement will be patrolling school zones throughout the state, and speeding will not be tolerated while school zone speed limits are in effect. Most school zones have a reduced speed limit from 7:00-9:00 am and 2:00-4:00 pm. However, some zones are marked with slightly different times, and it is the responsibility of motorists to be aware of these speed zones and to reduce their speed accordingly.

A school bus is designed to be the safest vehicle on the road, but the greatest risk to our school-age children is the loading and unloading of children at bus stops. As a reminder to motorists, all vehicular traffic must stop no less than 30 feet from a school bus when the stop signals on the bus are activated. A vehicle approaching a stopped school bus from the opposite direction does not have to stop when traffic is separated by a divided median, but must remain cautious of the children boarding or exiting the bus.

Additionally, motorists are encouraged to remember that:

•Louisiana Law states that no person shall operate any wireless communication device, which includes texting and any social media, while operating a motor vehicle during the posted hours within a school zone. School zones across Louisiana are hands-free zones, so put that cell phone down while driving

• School crossing guards have the authority to direct vehicles through intersections when traffic lights are red and to stop vehicles when the traffic lights are green. Motorists who are approaching school zones are urged to pay attention to the school crossing guards for hand instructions.

Motorists should expect traffic congestion and possible delays near school zones. It is important for each driver to be patient with the increased traffic and allow extra time to arrive safely at their destination. Remember to always buckle up and insist that ALL occupants in the vehicle are buckled up as well. Keeping these safety tips in mind will help assure a safe school year not only for our children, but for the motoring public as well.


Forest Haven Nursing Home named Chamber of Commerce Business of the Month

The Jackson Parish Chamber of Commerce has selected Forest Haven Nursing & Rehabilitation Center as the Business of the  Month for the month of August. Shown left to right in the banner above is Steve Williams RN DON, Odessa Livingston CNA, LaShonda Nash CNA, Brenda Poland CNA, John LaBlance LPN, Sandra Billings RN NFA, Darrell Avery, President JPCC.

Recognized as one of Louisiana’s most innovative leaders in quality long term care, Forest Haven was the first facility in the area to have an in-house nurse practitioner.  The multiple time National Quality Award award winner is a leader in the profession in electronic medical records and both physically and mentally interactive engaging activities for the residents. 

Forest Haven in located at 171 Thrasher Drive in Jonesboro. Tours can be arranged by calling 318-259-2729.


Don’t ask for whom the school bell tolls…

We couldn’t afford a bicycle then, so I learned early how to stick my thumb out in the wind and hitch a ride in a pickup or on a tractor the two miles into our rural Carolina town for my first-grade classes.

My parents believed in tough love.

They were Old School, even though I was the very definition of New School.

Since they had to walk to school uphill 16 miles and back home, again uphill, for 17, they figured I was getting off easy by having to flag down a ride for just two measly miles. “And FLAT miles at that!” I can hear them say, maybe tough lovingly.

Of course, modern kids have gotten soft now and don’t hitchhike to school as they once did. Don’t get me started. . .

Here’s something else that’s changed, and not for the better.

No matter how “bored” or out of sorts you might have gotten with school back then — and even those of us who actually secretly sort of liked school and realized it was “good for us” wanted to run away now and then – we knew the Start Game and the End Game. And that helped.

The Great State of South Carolina and all us little children there cut a deal with each other: the state owned us from right after Labor Day until Memorial Day. No questions asked. You’d get a day at Thanksgiving and Easter and a few days at Christmastime, the Super Bowl Week of being a kid, but the rest of the time, your denim-covered butt was in a desk at Lake View Elementary.

BUT … they could not touch us from Memorial Day until Labor Day. No one even SAID “school” during June, July and August. We were a hands-off, school-free zone.

Summer, with all its bee stings and scraped knees and bologna sandwiches, was ours.

We could play AND we could make all the money, picking cucumbers or driving a tractor or, depending on how low you were to the ground, picking up tobacco sticks at the barn if your leg wasn’t long enough to reach the clutch on a Farmall yet.

Just thinking about it makes me want to kick off my shoes and go run in the grass and step on a nail and have to go get a tetanus shot. (Even summer had its risks. But the risks were worth it.)

Somewhere along the way, it was decided by Grownups that school would start Early, and so children are back at school this week even though it’s just now double-digits in August. (We’re talking dates, not temperature.) There will be “breaks” and the number of days spent in class will be the same now as they were back when I went to school, back when only four vowels and 22 consonants had been invented.

And maybe it’s better that way, but you ask people from our generation, and we’ll tell you being out for three months solid was the way to go, that even the thought of hitching a ride to school in August was a two-thumbs-down deal.

Contact Teddy at teddy@latech.edu


Forgotten “treasure” discovered at Jackson Parish Hospital

It wasn’t gold or jewels that was located by staff members at the Jackson Parish Hospital but the “treasure” that was recently discovered brought back memories that you just can’t put a price tag on. 

What was located during the recent renovation efforts was a forgotten Cook Book that is believed to have been printed aroound 1987. Entitled Food Favorites of Jackson Parish Hospital the collection of cuisine contains cherished recipes from Employees, Physicians, Ladies Auxillary and friends of the Hospital fropm that day. Recipies show ways to cook meats, vegetables, salads, casseroles, breads, cakes, cookies, desserts and even wild game. Also included are household and cooking hints. 

“In the process of renovating the hospital we’ve come across a number of items relating to the history of this facility ranging from notes embedded in the walls by the origional builders to old newspaper articles,” said Morgan. “What has been the most cherised find of all though was this old cookbook that was stored away.” 

“The book had many of the hand typed original submittals tucked inside,” continued Morgan. “The range of recipies is amazing at it contains dishes that were served to patients to Pigeon Pie and ways to cook Oppossum, Ground Hog and Raccoon.”

Once found it was decided to give honor to those who were a part of the Hospital back then by putting together a modern version of the old treasure. Included in the new edition is the complete history of the JPH, now celebrating it’s 60th year of operation, including residents and public officials who were instrumental in the establishment of the facility in 1962.

Morgan went on to give special credit those instrumental in the creation of Food Favorites of Jackson Parish Hospital.

 Olivion Moore – Spent endless hours reviewing recipies as well as editing and typing the contents of the book.

“Cookbook Committee”of Montez Butler, Olivion Moore, Cherrie Young, Mago Maxwell, Sonya Sims, Phyllis Lowery, Marylin Walker, Kitty Fannin, Lela Mae Butler and Patsy Newsom who shared their expertise in planning the contents of the book.

Current and former employees, physicians, Ladies Auxilary and friend of the hospital for sharing their recipies. 

Wendy Walker for the beautiful art work.

Montez Butler, who conceived the idea of the Cookbook. 

As a way of showing appreciation to the patients who come to the JPH, when they are discharged, a copy of the cookbook will be given to each. 

“I can’t guarantee that every recipie will be the most healthy of foods,” laughed Morgan. “I feel comfortable in saying though that they all will make for good eating.”

 

 


Revival to be held at Friendship Baptist Church from August 14-17

Friendship Baptist Church, located in the Friendship Community on Hwy 4 West between Jonesboro and Saline invites all who wish to attend a Revival that will be begin on Sunday, August 14th and run through Wednesday, August 17th. The event will begin with services on Sunday at 11:00am and again at 6:00pm. 11 am and Sunday evening 6 pm. On Monday through Wednesday, worship time starts at 6:30 pm. The Evangelist will be Rev. Craig Stephens. Everyone is welcome to come and worship.


Jackson Parish Back to School Supply Drive ends Thursday, August 11th

The Jackson Parish Back to School Supply Donation Drive will end this Thursday, August 11th. Residents are encouraged to assist the underpriviledged in our area by bringing donations to the Shawn Murphy State Farm Agency, located at 826 Pershing Hwy in Jonesboro. 

Items that are requested to be donated include: backpacks, socks, belts, lotion, #2 pencils, composition books, pencil pouch, hand sanitizer, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpast and wide ruled notebooks. Any addtional items that can be os use for a student will be gratefully accepted as well. 

Please join with Shawn Murphy State Farm Agency to help the students of today become the future of tommorrow. 


Forest Haven Nursing Home Activity Schedule for Wednesday – Saturday

From observing National Lazy Day to participating in Rhythm Exercise residents of the Forest Haven Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center have a plethora of activities scheduled for the remainder of this week and every day throughout the month of August. Also planned is enjoying snow cones on Thursday, playing Bingo on Friday and the women getting their eyes and nails painted up on Saturday. 

Wednesday, August 10 (National Lazy Day)
10:00 –  Sitting Yoga
2:00 – Rhythm Exercise

Thursday, August 11 (Mountain Day)
10:00 – Solar Power Recharge
2:00 – Snow Cones

Friday, August 12 (Milkman Day)
10:00 – Quarter Bingo
2:00 – Quarter Bingo

Saturday, August 13 (National Bowling Day)
10:00 – Bright Eyes and Pretty Nails
2:00  – Bright Eyes and Pretty Nails


Glynn Harris garners multiple awards from Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association

The Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association celebrated its 75 th anniversary as a writer’s organization this past weekend in Thibodaux at the annual conference of the organization.

Included in the activities taking place was a ceremony where Exellence in Craft awards were presented to outdoor media for their work for the previous year.

Among the award recipients was long-time outdoors writer, Glynn Harris of Ruston, who was awarded first and third places for articles he wrote for area newspapers. In addition, Harris also won a first place award in the magazine short story category for an article published in the Piney Hills Journal.

You can read the Glynn Harris Outdoors column and fishing report in each Sunday’s edition of the Jackson Parish Journal.