Winter Weather forces postponement of School Board and Police Jury meetings

The winter storm that dumped several inches of snow on Jackson Parish was a beautiful sight to see but caused several regularly scheduled, governmental meetings to be postponed to a later date. Included is the regularly scheduled meeting of the Jackson Parish Police Jury (JPPJ) and the public hearing that was to be held just prior, as well as the monthly meeting of the Jackson Parish School Board (JPSB).

Also affected were the Jonesboro Board of Aldermen meeting that instead of taking place Jonesboro City Hall was held via phone conference on January 12th and the District 2 Fire Protection Board meeting that was scheduled for this past Tuesday that at present has no new meeting date established.

New meeting dates have been set beginning with the JPSB now convening on Thursday at the Jonesboro-Hodge High School cafeteria. Committee meetings start at 5:30pm followed by the January meeting of the Board.

The Jackson Parish Police Jury and the public hearing that is scheduled beforehand will now take place on Tuesday, January 19th at the JPPJ Administrative Building, located at 160 Industrial Drive in Jonesboro. The public hearing, where comments on  the recommendations involving the William Shows Road, Choctaw Road, McKeaver Road, Springfield Road and St. Clair Road, will begin at 5:15 pm followed by the monthly meeting of the Police Jury.



Area prep teams trying to make up for lost time

The gymnasium lights will be on almost every night over the next seven days as area prep girls and boys basketball teams will try and make up for lost time. Many in the Jackson Parish Journal coverage area, which has broadened to take on schools within a 30 mile radius of Jonesboro, will play an additional Thursday game this week instead of the normal Tuesday/Friday schedule that is usually prevalent this time of year. For some it is the beginning of district play that will be notated in the schedule below with a (D). Most will be playing final tuneups before their “second season” begins.

See below for complete area coverage contests: (Girls games start at 600PM with boy’s games following)

Thursday, January 14th

Arcadia vs Lakeside
Calvin at Winnfield
Cedar Creek at Tensas – (D)
Choudrant at Saline
Dodson vs Downsville
Quitman at Castor
Weston at Atlanta

Friday, January 15th

Arcadia vs Haynesville (D)
Calvin at Central-Jonesville (D)
JHHS at Lakeview
Lincoln Prep vs Homer (D)
Ruston at Ouachita (D)
Saline at Negreet
Simsboro at Lakeside
Weston vs Forest
West Ouachita at ASH (D)
Saturday, January 16th
Cedar Creek vs Sicily Island (D)

Tuesday, January 19th

Arcadia at Magnolia School of Excellence (D)
Calvin at Georgetown (D)
Cedar Creek at Delta Charter (D)
Choudrant at D’Arbonne Woods
Dodson at Quitman
JHHS vs Simsboro
Lincoln Prep at Plain Dealing (D)
Ruston vs West Monroe (D)
Weston at Castor
Winnfield vs Red River (D)
West Ouachita vs Pineville (D)

Area Prep Girl Standings

District 2-5AOverallDistrict 
West Ouachita7-30-0
West Monroe6-20-0
District 1-2AOverallDistrict 
North Caddo1-20-0
D’Arbonne Woods2-80-0
District 3-2AOverallDistrict
Red River3-70-0
District 1-1AOverallDistrict
Calvary Baptist1-10-0
Plain Dealing3-50-0
Lincoln Prep1-60-0
District 2-1AOverallDistrict
Oak Grove7-11-0
St. Frederick1-00-0
Sicily Island0-30-0
Cedar Creek10-20-1
Delta Charter3-30-1
District 1BOverallDistrict
District 2BOverallDistrict
District 4COverallDistrict
Central – Jonesville6-70-0

Area prep boys standings

District 2-5AOverallDistrict
West Monroe7-10-0
West Ouachita5-50-0
Ouachita Parish6-80-0
District 1-2AOverallDistrict
North Caddo4-140-0
D’Arbonne Woods1-80-0
District 2-2AOverallDistrict
Red River0-00-0
District 1-1AOverallDistrict
Calvary Baptist13-50-0
Lincoln Prep2-70-0
Plain Dealing1-60-0
District 2-1AOverallDistrict
St. Frederick6-42-0
Oak Grove1-01-0
Sicily Island1-20-0
Cedar Creek6-50-2
District 1BOverallDistrict
District 2BOverallDistrict
District 4COverallDistrict

5. Lincoln Prep 2 7 0 0
6. Plain Dealing 1 6 0 0
7. Haynesville 0 3 0 0

District 4C
1. Calvin 3 1 0 0
2. Georgetown 2 9 0 0
3. Harrisonburg 2 6 0 0
4. Central – Jonesville 2 10 0 0
5. Atlanta 1 4 0 0


Weston High grad Justin Huckaby receives Doctorate Degree

Will there ever be a cure for blindness? In today’s world of ever growing medical solutions to age old problems this is surely a possibility. One person who has now dedicated himself to learn how reverse or even prevent inherited forms of blindness is former Weston High graduate, Justin Huckaby.
The son of Jeff and Anita Huckaby recently took the role as scientist at an ocular gene therapy in Durham, NC after receiving his doctorate degree in biomedical medical engineering from the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill.

Huckaby received several fellowships and awards while at UNC, including a Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation, Dissertation Completion Fellowship from the UNC Graduate School, and PhD Student Research Achievement Award from the UNC Biomedical Engineering Department.
After graduating from Louisiana Tech with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering in 2015, Justin began studying in molecular pharmaceutics at UNC’s Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Over the next five years he designed, produced, and tested dozens of antibody-based molecules to be used in conjunction with drug and gene delivery systems for enhanced standard of care in localized and systemic diseases.

His ground breaking research resulted in numerous scientific papers being published in top-tier medical journals and also a patent on a gene transfer system. As further testament to how well he is respected in his field Huckaby has received over 200 citations from other professionals in the medical field.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if one day there is a cure for blindness? It would be one of the most important medical advances that there ever was that the entire world would benefit from. For the local population it would be made even better knowing that it was a former Weston High student and Jackson Parish resident that was the one responsible.

J-H falls to Ruston in overtime

All the ingredients needed for an upset of Class 5A Ruston was there. Jonesboro-Hodge out-rebounded the taller Bearcats, who sported a pair of 6’8” post players, held their leading scorer to just three points and was at the line twice with just seconds remaining with a chance to secure the win. The effort was there. The execution wasn’t.

As result 11-1, Ruston escaped with a thrilling 60-55 overtime victory this past Friday night that continued the best start in Bearcat history in recent memory. The heartbreaking loss dropped Jonesboro-Hodge to 3-4 on the year and riding a two game losing streak.Three times in the final 24 seconds the Tigers had the visitors, coached by Jackson Parish native Ryan Bond, on the ropes with chances to put the game away at the end of regulation but failed to deliver the knock-out blow each time.

First was when J-H went to the line with 23.3 seconds where two made free throws would have stretched the Tigers lead to four points. One was made which allowed Ruston’s Joshua Dean to tie it up with 6.8 seconds to play when his desperate, off-balance trey on the baseline found nothing but net. J-H also missed the front end of a one and one situation with 5.1 seconds left that most likely would have sealed a win and then after getting the ball back on a turnover with 3.3 seconds to play couldn’t control an inbounds pass sending the game into overtime.

In overtime Freshman sensation Jamadrion Lillard, who led Ruston in scoring with 19, drove for a basket and made a free throw to give Ruston a three point lead but J-H came right back to tie on a Javeon Andrews trey. After Ruston scored again the Tigers had three shots to either take the lead or tie but two three pointers and a layup went awry allowing Ruston to nail down the win when Dillon Wilson made a layup for a four point lead with just second remaining.

It looked like the Tigers would blow Ruston out of the gym as Malone and Calahan each hit a pair of trey’s to pace J-H to a surprising 20-9 lead. Ruston came back strong in the second behind 12 points from Lillard to take a 30-28 lead into the half and held a 43-41 lead after a sloppily played third quarter setting up the hectic final frame.

J-H made nine three pointers in the contest led by five from Malone who finished with a game high 20 points but suffered mightily at the line where they made only 8 of 18. Conversely Ruston had six trey’s and ended up with an 8 of 13 performance at the charity stripe.

The game also had an interesting side bar involving the two coaches. When Bond, who has over 260 coaching victories, most of them at Weston, squared off against Tew, who has won over 160 games while at Jonesboro-Hodge it marked the first time that a game was played where the coaches had that many combined victories earned in Jackson Parish.

JHHS (3-4) 20   8 13 11 3 – 55
RHS (11-1)   9 21 13   9 8 – 60
JHHS scoring: Malone 20, Calahan 10, Andrews 7, Nichols 5, Joe 4, Holden 4, McGuire 3
RHS scoring: Lillard 19, Thomas 14, Dean 12, Wilson 5, Pilgreen 5, Jones 3, Belton 2

Quitman holds D’Arbonne Woods to eleven points

When first year coach Quitman head coach Mike Black addressed his team at their initial practice this year he promised them that before the season ended they would be a very good defensive team. It hasn’t taken that long.

Already this year the Wolverines had forced a team into the lowest points total allowed in over two decades when they beat FCCS 67-14. They bested that this past Friday with a 41-11 thumping over Class 2A D’Arbonne Woods. This is not a misprint. Eleven points were all that was scored on only four made baskets and a free throw. WOW!

Offensively the Wolverines were led by 14 points from Cooper Williams, fresh off his heroics against Saline the Tuesday before (see below) and Josh Smith, who equaled D’Arbonne Woods total team output in the first two quarters before first Black started emptying his bench.

Quitman also got production from John Pabaya with six and L.D. Manning with four along with Blake Carter, Shane Rowe and Eli Walker who scored two each. With the victory Quitman improved to 7-3 while D’Arbonne Woods dropped their seventh in a row to fall to 1-8.

QHS (7-3) 10 18 7 6 -41
DWC (1-8) 5 3 2 1 – 11
QHS scoring: Williams 14, Smith 11, Pabaya 6, Manning 4, Carter 2, Rowe 2, Walker 2
DWC scoring: Godina 6, Davis 3, Roberson 2

Theriot sets new career scoring mark for Weston

When most of the upperclassmen quit the team over the Christmas holidays, Weston was left with only seven players of mostly inexperienced underclassmen that suddenly were thrust into the rotation. As expected growing pains are being experienced, like in the 66 – 61 loss to Kilbourne this past Friday, but as the old saying goes for every dark cloud there is a silver lining.

Were it not for the current situation, freshman Brandon Theriot may have not had the chance to prove his worth like he has over the last two games where he has led the Wolves in scoring with 19 and 18 establishing new career highs each game. Same goes for another freshman, Tate Henderson, who led Weston to a victory a few games ago by scoring a career high 18 and reached double figures again on Friday with 10 as did Kaden Shirley who chipped in with 10.

There has also been the resurgence of elder statesman Davis Tolar, who with more playing time is developing a deadly three point stroke that found the bottom of the nets three times on his way to 18 points. Eli McBride only scored four but did a great job in distributing that allowed Weston to have four players reach double figures.  While the Wolves lost to fall to 6-11 on the year, the positive was that after allowing 8-2 Kilbourne to take a 36-23 lead into the half, Weston started to put it together to narrow the 13 point deficit to just five by games end.

WHS (6-11) 10 13 20 18 – 61
KHS (8-2)    16 20 16 15 – 66
WHS scoring: Theriot 19, Tolar 18, Henderson 10, Shirley 10, McBride 4
KHS scoring: Wilson 26, Schmitz 14

In additional games played this past Friday among schools in the Jackson Parish Journal’s newly expanded coverage area: Calvin beat Dodson 70 -54, Ouachita Christian slipped past Cedar Creek 43-40 and Choudrant got by Gibsland-Coleman 72-66.

Union Parish 66 Saline 51 (Thursday) 

A coach will tell you there is no such thing as a moral victory but a statement was made nonetheless by Saline in the contest that was much closer than the final score indicated. For three and a half quarters Class B Saline gave Union Parish all they wanted before the only undefeated team in Class 3A used their impressive athleticism to pull away at the end .

“You always hate to lose but I think the effort the guys showed is something we can build on,” said Saline head coach Klint Robinson. “Got to give Union credit, they are a very athletic and a well-coached team.”

On the strength of a full court, ball hawking defensive effort and a run and gun, frantic offensive attack Union took a 30-19 at the half. Saline came out of the break to win the third quarter 22-13 to close the gap to two and then pulled even early in the fourth but Union’s athleticism won out in the end.

Ethan Roberts led the Bobcats with 19 points followed by Titus Jackson’s 13, which all came in the second half. Additional contributors were Titus Malone – 7, Blake Clifton – 4, Ryder Blanchard and Kenton Lee Crawford – 3 and Rafe Martin -2. With the loss Saline fell to 3-4 on the season.

SHS (3-4)    4 15 22 10 – 51
UHS (10-0) 7 23 13 23 – 66
SHS scoring: Roberts 19, Jackson 13, Malone 7, Clifton 4, Blanchard 3, Crawford 3, Martin 2
UHS scoring: Wallace 17, Walters 15, Harris 13, Holly 10, Conville 8, Gipson 4

Tuesday – Jan 5:

Tigers tie dubious school records in loss to Neville

Is it possible for a basketball goal to have a change in attitude? While that is obviously a silly question, it sure seemed like it this past Tuesday night in the Tigers 36-24 loss to Class 4A Neville. The baskets were receptive enough in the early going but from then on the rims got down-right nasty, refusing to let virtually anything come through them, especially for Jonesboro-Hodge.

Ed “Robbie” Kary scored all five of his points in the contest and Tydre Malone scored four of his team leading nine in the first quarter to give J-H an 11-8 lead. Neville bounced back with 14 points in second to take a 22-16 halftime lead then it got real ugly as the two teams COMBINED for only 22 second half points, with J-H getting only eight of those.

“It is hard to take when you give up only 36 points and lose,” said J-H head coach Allen Tew.

While the Tigers would just as soon forget about their performance it does have historical meaning as it tied a couple of school records, albeit, dubious ones. When J-H tallied only a pair of Cameron Joe free throws in the fourth quarter the Tigers tied one of those records that can never be broken of not scoring a single basket during a quarter. Another like record was also tied when the Tigers finished the game without a single player reaching double figures in points.

The paltry point total also goes down as the fewest the Tigers have scored in a game during head coach, Allen Tew’s twelve year reign. The previous low took place in 2014 in a 52-25 loss to Booker T. Washington out of Shreveport. With the loss J-H fell to 3-3 while Neville improved 7-4 on the year.

JHHS (3-3) 11   5 6 2 – 24
NHS (7-4)    8 14 5 9 – 36
JHHS scoring: Malone 9, Kary 5, Tew 4, Calahan 4, Joe 2
NHS scoring: Armstead 10, McCrarey 8, Keys 6, Arthur 5, Jones 5, Sledge 2

Depleted Weston suffering through growing pains

It was one of those happy but sad situations for Weston freshman Braden Theriot following Weston’s game against Castor this past Tuesday evening. Theriot was happy after scoring 18 points to set a new career high in scoring but sad that the Wolves fell 72-55 to former district rival Castor.

Eli McBride and Davis Tolar also had good nights for the Wolves scoring 16 and 11 respectively while Kaden Shirley added six and both C.J. Stewart and Tate Henderson scored two apiece to round out the scoring. The short-handed Wolves, who dressed only seven players for the second game in a row dropped to 6-10 on the year.

The victory was Castor’s first of the season after opening with five straight losses. Another first for the Tigers were having four players reaching double figures in scoring led by Jamarian Clark’s game high 26 points. Tate added 22 and both Gage Jordan and Austin Cooper had ten. Cade Young also scored four.

WHS (6-10) 13 14 10 18 – 55
CHS (1-5)     11 23 15 23 – 72
WHS scoring: Theriot 18, McBride 16, Tolar 11, Shirley 6, Stewart 2, Henderson 2
CHS scoring: Clark 26, Bates 22, Jordan 10, Cooper 10, Shirley 4

Williams heroics lift Quitman past Saline

Cooper Williams, who finished the contest with 11 points, hurt Saline in the first quarter by making a pair of three pointers but it wasn’t anything compared to the pain he dealt in the end with his third. It was the kind of scenario a player dreams about as with just a couple of ticks left on the clock Williams swished one in from behind the arc to break a 43-43 tie and give Quitman the narrow victory.

The victory stopped a two game slide and improved the Wolverines season record to 6-4 in Mike Black’s first year at the helm. Making up for lost time, Saline was playing for the second night in a row after getting in only four games over the first two months of the season due to Coronavirus complications at the school.

Saline took a 17-13 first quarter lead on the strength of two trey’s from Titus Jackson, who finished with 10 and seven of Titus Malone’s 11 points. The balance shifted in the second quarter in Quitman’s favor as the Wolverines had seven players make a shot, led by L.D. Manning’s three-pointer and allowed Saline only a Kenton Lee Crawford trey to give the Wolverines a 26-20 halftime lead.

Ethan Robert scored 9 of his 11 points in the second half and Ryder Blanchard hit a pair from behind the arc to help Saline rally. It was the nine points in the second half by Josh Smith, who finished with a game high 12 that kept Quitman ahead before Cooper, who scored 11, nailed the proverbial coffin shut.

Saline (3-3) 17   3 11 12 – 43
QHS (7-4)    13 13 10 10 – 46
SHS scoring: Roberts 11, Malone 11, Jackson 10, Blanchard 6, Crawford
QHS scoring: Smith 12, Williams 11, Everett 6, Carter 5, Ponder 4, Manning 3, Walker 3, Pabaya 2

Ruston beats Richwood in battle of native coaches

A win is a win! Gotta believe that is how Ruston head coach Ryan Bond felt after the Bearcats clawed their way to a 43-40 victory over Richwood this past Tuesday night despite suffering through one of their worst performances of the year.

For the second straight game Jonesboro native Rollin Belton, who recently committed to Marist College in New York, was a catalyst for the Bearcats. He was one of a precious few who actually had a good night finishing with 9 points and a team leading 11 rebounds. Freshman Jamadrion Lillard also came up big by scoring ten and grabbing 8 boards on the night where points were a premium.

While the play of the game wasn’t anything to write home about it did have an interesting local flavor to it. Bond and Richwood head coach Terry Martin represent two of the better players who ever graced the hardwoods in and around Jackson Parish while at Weston and Shady Grove respectively as well as being the last two from Jackson Parish to play professional basketball.

Additional area results: Simsboro beat Summerfield 79-21, Dodson gouged Georgetown 77-61, St. Fredericks beat Cedar Creek 43-37 in district 2-1A play and West Ouachita beat Choudrant.

The Importance of Good Service

Thank the good Lord above…2020 is behind us and once again we have hope! Hope for a new year and that 2021 will be our celebration year as we conquer COVID- 19. While we’re not out of the woods yet, there’s optimism that we will take control of this awful virus that has literally crippled our country.

While so many suffered financially, physically and mentally, there were some who benefited greatly especially in relation to the great outdoors. Boat manufactures, RV and ATV dealers absolutely flourished. They achieved record numbers in sales, numbers that have never been seen before as many people headed for the outdoors in order to get away and escape the grind and mental strain the Coronavirus brought to our world.

With all the success within the outdoors industry in 2020, that means there will probably be a crash in 2021. Dealers are a little nervous about this year and the fact that so many people bought boats, RV’s and ATV’s that sales will fall off for 2021.

Dealers will have to rely on the one thing that truly makes all outdoor dealers successful….service! Service in most cases is the number one reason people buy from a particular dealer. Just like anyone in the car business will tell you, service carries sales. A great service department with quality mechanics, who know how to fix and maintain their products, will trump other dealers who can’t offer that.

Nothing frustrates me more when I take my boat, vehicle or ATV into the dealer (where I bought them) and they can’t fix my issues, especially when it comes to repairing my outboard engine. Not all mechanics are created equal. Just like in any other field, good mechanics can be hard to find. Today’s outboards are so technical and computer driven, that the day of the shade tree mechanic is over. Without the proper equipment to evaluate your motor, no mechanic can really diagnose your problems.

I want to deal with a service department and people that I can trust. I want to know that when I drop off my boat, car, RV or ATV, that someone is not going to try and fix things that don’t need fixing or charging me for things they did not really service. This has happened to me a couple of times.

Once a mechanic told me that he greased my boat trailer bearings on my annual service, only to find out two weeks later as a bearing went out, that this was not the case. Yet they charged me for it! I’ve also discovered that my batteries were not serviced properly (water added) when a week later one went out and as I checked them myself, I found all my batteries low on water!  Once again, I was charged for a service that was not performed!  Burn me once shame on you, burn me twice, shame on me!

So be careful and make sure to hold your dealer responsible for doing a good job with all your service work. Boats, ATV’s and RV’s are very expensive and require proper maintenance. Don’t allow your dealer to cut corners on service work. Hold their feet to the fire and accountable for everything you request on service work. Make sure to keep a log book of all the service work done to your unit. This comes in handy when you decide to sell your boat, RV or ATV. A maintenance log can go a long way in making a sell as it shows proof that you took good care of and performed routine maintenance on your unit.

Till next time, best wishes for 2021 and as always, don’t forget to set the hook. Make sure to tune into the Hook’N Up & Track’N Down Show every Wednesday live from 11:00 till 1:00 and Saturday mornings from 6:00am till 8:00am on KWKH – The Tiger – found at AM 1130 on the dial. You can also follow through our Facebook page or YouTube Channel.

Backcourt bombs lifts Quitman to victory

When Clara Womack and Bethany Leach start dropping bombs it usually means bad luck for their opponent. That was the case this past Friday night as both nailed four, 3-pointers in the first three quarters to lift Quitman to a resounding 58-36 victory over D’Arbonne Woods. The victory which ran the Lady Wolverines record to a sterling 12-2 was the fifth in six games against teams from higher classifications.

Six points from Brayli Stewart, who finished with 10 and was one of four Lady Wolverines to score double digits and five from 8th-grader Cali Deal, who added 11 on the night, was instrumental in pacing Quitman to a 17-11 first quarter lead with Womack and Leach both adding a three pointer.

Womack, who led Quitman with 18 points was the first to do serious damage to the Lady Timberwolves, who fell to 2-8 on the season, with a pair of threes and 10 points in the second to help lift Quitman to a commanding 33-16 lead at the break. After the break it was Leach, who finished with 15, dealing the pain with her third and fourth trey’s of the contest allowing head coach Kyle Leach to empty his bench in the final frame.

QHS (12-2) 17 16 13 12 – 58
DWC (2-8)  11   5    8 12 – 36
QHS scoring: Womack 18, Leach 15, Deal 11, Stewart 10, Williams 2, Vail 2
DWC scoring: Skains 10, Skoskie 7, Fine 6, Hayes 5, Newcomb 4, Phelps 2, Smith 2

Balanced attack leads Weston to dominating win

The season has reverted into “crazy eights” for Weston as for the 8th time Weston has even their record which now stands at 8 -8 after the dominating 66-24 victory over hapless Kilbourne, who dropped their 12th consecutive game without a victory.

Unable to keep up with the faster Lady Wolves, Kilbourne immediately resorted to fouling early on an attempt to keep things close. In the first quarter the strategy worked well with Weston making only five of ten charity shots to allow Kilbourne to head into the second tied at ten. The second frame was a different story as Weston made four of seven free throws and Kilbourne saw their strategy backfire as key players started getting in foul trouble. That allowed the Lady Wolves to make eight baskets in the frame, including a three pointer by Emma Kate McBride as Weston broke things open by a 31-16 margin.

It was all Weston in the second half as the Lady Wolves outscored Kilbournne35-8 to cruise to the victory. Eight players tallied for Weston led by McBride’s 16 and 10 from Briley Peterson. Mary Catherine Hay and Lainee Trosclair added nine each with Lakerria Austin chipping in with eight. Lexi Barmore and Cameron Rushing scored six and Jacie Ledford made a basket to round out the scoring.

WHS (8-8) 10 21 22 13 – 66
KHS (0-12) 10  6   5   3 – 24
WHS scoring: McBride 16, Peterson 10, Hay 9, Trosclair 9, Austin 8, Barmore 6, Rushing 6, Ledford 2
KHS scoring: Allen 9, Allen 4, Baker 3, Shotts 3, Pardon 2, Smih 2, Rauls 1

Ruston runs away from Jonesboro-Hodge

Much taller and deeper Ruston ran away with an easy 60-27 victory saddling J-H head coach Brittani Fields with her second worst loss as the Lady Tigers head coach. It also marked the second game in a row that the Lady Tigers have been held under 30 points and only the third time in the last two years.

Chamya Waters helped J-H keep stay close to the 14-4 Lady Bearcats in the first half that saw Ruston go into the half with a 20-25 lead, by scoring 9 of her team tying high 11 points. Ruston’s depth proved to be simply too much for J-H to overcome in the second half. Eight players scored a combined 40 points to just 12 from J-H who had only eight players dress out and lost normal leading scorer Xabrianna Jackson midway through the second half to a hand injury.

RHS (14-4) 12 8 16 24 – 60
JHHS (6-3)   6  9  7    5 – 27
JHHS scoring: Waters 11, Jackson 11, Hoggro 3, Malone 2
RHS scoring: Evans 12, Spencer 12, J. McWain 11, Foster 9, Hintze 7, Jackson 4, K. McWain 2, McCallister 2

Tuesday games

Weston girls drop second straight

Six times prior this year Weston won the next game after losing one. That streak ended this past Tuesday evening when the Lady Wolves fell to Castor 55-48 for a second straight loss. Emma Kate McBride did all she could to keep the dubious streak alive by nailing three trey’s and finishing with a game high 21 points but slow starts to the first and third quarters where Weston scored only 8 and 7 points spelled doom.

Weston, who dropped to 7-8 on the year, struggled to score for three quarters but did finish the game strong with 21 fourth quarter points bolstered by 8 points from Lakerria Austin’s, who finished with 11 and four of Briley Peterson’s eight points scored in the game. Mary Catherine Hay went 4 of 5 from the free throw line in the first half and Lainee Trosclair nailed a third quarter, trey to round out the scoring.

Led by 18 points from Kaylyn Long, Castor placed three players in double figures and almost had a fourth to even their season slate at 4-4 with a fourth straight win. Kalena Smith added 14 followed by 10 from Ambree Collinsworth and nine from Emma Guice. K. Vise added four first quarter points.

WHS (7-8)  8 12   7 21 – 48
CHS (4-4) 13 12 13 17 – 55
WHS scoring: McBride 21, Austin 11, Peterson 8, Hay 4, Trosclair 3
CHS scoring: Long 18, Smith 14, Collinsworth 19, Guice 9, Vise 4

Big first half propels Quitman past Saline

Quitman became the first girls team in the Jackson Parish Journal coverage area to reach ten wins on the season by racing out to a 40-11 halftime lead in their 62-36 victory over neighboring Saline. The Lady Wolverines improved to 10-2 on the year while Saline is still searching for their first victory after five games.
Bethany Leach scored 17 of her game high 21 points, including four 3-pointers, in the first half to pave the way to the early bulge.

Also helping was Brayli Stewart, who added 8 of her 10 on the night and Cali Deal, who scored six of her total eight in the first two quarters. Quitman also got 11 points from Clara Womack with 11 while Maddie Vail added four and Emma Carter, Ansley Folks, M.K. Brymer and Taylor Harvey scored two each.

The loss overshadowed a career best scoring performance by Georgia Robinson who led Saline with 20 points. Additional contributors were Alana Gray with six and Skylar Hough who made four along. Ava Toms added a trey and Hannah Leggett scored two.

QHS (10-2)     14 26 18   4 – 62
SHS (0-5)          3   8   8 16 – 36

QHS scoring: Leach 21, Womack 11, Stewart 10, Deal 8, Vail 4, Hainey 2, Carter 2, Folks 2, Brymer 2
SHS scoring: Robinson 20, Gray 6, Hough 4, Toms 3, Leggett 2

Lady Tigers misfire against Neville

It had been 32 day since Jonesboro-Hodge played their last game before this past Tuesday night’s contest and it showed as the Lady Tigers couldn’t buy a basket in their 40-26 loss to Class 4A Neville. The point total is the least ever in second year head coach Brittani Fields tenure and marks only the third time in the past decade that so few were scored.

Only nine shots found their way through the nets for J-H, who entered the contest as the 5th ranked team in Class 2A according to the latest LHSAA rankings and dropped their second of the year against six victories. Neville, which is ranked 3rd in Class 4A improved to 9-2 on the season. Chamya Waters led J-H in scoring with 11 followed by ten from Xabrianna Jackson. Zymea Hoggro added three and Sydney Malone a deuce to round out the scoring.

JHHS (6-2) 8 5 7 6 – 26
NHS (9-2) 13 10 11 6 – 40
JHHS scoring: Waters 11, Jackson 10, Hoggro 3, Malone 2
NHS scoring: Howard 17, Briggs 13, Hardin 8, Anderson 2

Additional area action:

In other area action from this past Tuesday Lincoln Parish went 2-1 on the night with Ruston and Simsboro taking one-sided victories and Choudrant paying the price for playing up in classification. Ruston won their seventh straight and improved to 13-4 by running roughshod over Richwood by a 62-29 count while Simsboro beat Summerfield 49-19. For Class B Choudrant it was a matter of losing and winning as the Lady Aggies dropped the contest West Ouachita 54-37 but won good power points by taking on the Class 5A opponent.


Speech Pathology Clinic plays vital communication role

A person’s ability to communicate clearly is of utmost importance for success in today’s ever evolving world. A Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) is an expert in this field and the Jackson Parish Hospital (JPH) offers a Speech Language Pathology Clinic that provides both inpatient and outpatient services to the residents of Jackson Parish and surrounding areas.

speech pathologistMadonna Caldwell, a 26 year resident of Jackson Parish, has been the SLP at the Jackson Parish Hospital for the last three years. Prior to becoming full time with the facility, the Louisiana Tech graduate who has over 30 years of experience provided the same services on a contract basis for over fifteen years.

SLP’s evaluate patients to determine the nature of communication and swallowing problems. Then a treatment plan is developed and services are initiated to fit their individual needs with their doctor’s approval. People can develop speech, swallowing and/or vocal issues for a multitude of reasons such as:

1. Premature birth
2. Developmental disabilities
3. Genetic differences
4. Hearing loss
5. Strokes
6. Brain injuries
7. Autism
8. Intellectual disabilities
9. Severe or long-term illnesses
10. Diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
11. Head and neck cancer
12. Vocal cord issues, and
13. Breathing problems.

A Speech Language Pathologist working in the medical field is required to hold a Master’s Degree or higher from an accredited university. SLP’s are licensed by the Louisiana Board of Examiner’s of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology as well as being nationally accredited by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

The time to see an SLP is different for children and adults. For children when they are not saying new words on a regular basis, start to follow directions, play with others, make friends, learn to read and write, remember what they are told, stay organized in school and at home, eating and swallowing.

For adults it is when they start to have trouble saying words clearly, thinking of the right words to say, understanding what others are saying, reading or writing words and sentences, remembering people’s names or other information, solving everyday problems, socializing with others, eating or swallowing.
Having problems with any of the above described issues or simply want to have your child evaluated? Contact the Speech Language Pathology Clinic at the Jackson Parish Hospital by calling 318-259-4435 to set up an appointment.

Knox and Robertson strive to take Library to new heights

Over the past several years the Jackson Parish Library (JPL) has made wonderful strides to become the place to go for not only good reading material but many specialized self-help programs for adults and children as well as educational resources. Another great advantage Jackson Parish residents receive while visiting either the Jonesboro or Chatham branch is the warmth and friendliness given by the dedicated staff.

This can be directly attributed to the leadership of Director Floyd Knox and Assistant Director Judy Robertson.
Before becoming Director this past year Knox served the library as the Business Coordinator for four years. He is a graduate of Louisiana Tech University with a major in Finance and a minor in Computer Information Systems. His resume includes many years of experience in the legal and financial industry. When not working hard to continue to improve the JPL the husband of Becky Knox and father of children Hunter and Allynah enjoys spending time with his family, playing the guitar and listening to podcasts featuring history, technology and science. Floyd

“Technology is ever changing and we must stay ahead by exploring new ideas without wasting time, energy and public funds on services that do not meet the long term goals of the Library,” said Knox when asked what his most important task as Director is.

Robertson also plays a big role as Assistant Director, where she lends invaluable experience. Before being promoted last year to second in command, Robertson served the JPL for fourteen years Resource Coordinator. She has also been the staff supervisor, trainer and library board liason. The wife of Charles Robertson and mother of son, Landon and his wife Hannah and daughters Kailyn and Gracie, loves to spend time with her family, cooking and reading. Judy Robertson

“I love working with the staff to bring the highest quality programming to our residents as possible,” said Robertson when asked what it meant to be able to work at the Library. “I also enjoy having the opportunity to get to know the many patrons and seeing the amazement on the children’s faces when they come to one of our special exhibits.”


Upcoming Jonesboro Branch activities

The virtual program, sponsored by the LSU-AgCenter, features tips on how to manage your food dollars, staying physically active and having a balanced calorie controlled diet. Register by calling Cathy Judd at 318-251-5134.
January 14 – Break up with Salt (11:30am – 12:45 pm or 5:30pm – 6:30pm)
The virtual program, sponsored by the LSU AgCenter, provides information on the good and bad that the use of Salt does to your body. Register by calling Cathy Judd at 318-251-5134.
January 20th – Brown’s Hearing Market Research Program (10:00am – 4:00pm)
Participants can evaluate a new digital hearing instrument. This new digital technology is revolutionary in its ability to provide a natural sound experience within a device that is at the same time comfortable, discreet and easy to use. No registration required.
January 21 – Break up with Salt (11:30am – 12:45 pm or 5:30pm – 6:30pm)
January 22 – A New Year – A New You (11:00am – 12:00pm) The virtual program, sponsored by the LSU-AgCenter, features tips on how to manage your food dollars, staying physically active and having a balanced calorie controlled diet. Register by calling Cathy Judd at 318-251-5134.
January 28 – Break up with Salt (11:30am – 12:45 pm or 5:30pm – 6:30pm)

Upcoming Chatham Branch activities

A take home Fitness Class Program is available for check out by calling 318-249-2980

Children programs

Take Home Art Projects and Surprises are now available. To register call the Jonesboro branch at 318-259-5697 and speak to Terrye Shackleford.

Outreach Services

Monthly personalized delivery of books, audiobooks, magazines and more are available to residents of Jackson Parish, including Nursing Home residents and in-home daycares.

Traditional Services

Provided at both branches are the ability to check out Music CD’s, Graphic Novels, Books, Audio Books, Genealogy Resources, DVD’s, Magazines and E-books for your tablet/smartphone. Fax and copy services are also available. Printing can be done from your Smartphone or Tablets through a free mobile printing app by sending an email along with attachments to: or

Jonesboro Branch information:

Address: 614 South Polk Avenue
Phone: 318-259-5697
Fax: 318-259-3374
Hours of operation: Monday – Friday (8:00am – 5:30pm), Saturday (8:00am – 12:00pm)

Chatham Branch information:

Address: 1500 Pine Street
Phone: 318-249-2980
Fax: 318-249-2981
Hours of operation: Monday-Thursday (8:30am – 6:00pm), Friday & Saturday (8:30am-12:30pm)


Breanna Lamkin named MVP at USSSA national softball tourney

It is a safe bet to say that Quitman fifth grader Breanna Lamkin celebrated the time between Christmas and New Year’s Day differently from anyone else in Jackson Parish. Instead of the usual way of enjoying the time away from school by waking up late and lounging around the house, Lamkin was in Viera, Florida competing in a national United State Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) fast-pitch softball tournament for 11 and 12 year old girls.

Not only did the daughter of Brandon and Jeanna Lamkin compete, she played brilliantly over the final four days of the year. So good in fact that she was named the team tournament MVP, as in Most Valuable Pitcher, after leading her Stocking Stuffers team comprised of top youth athletes from Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico and Arkansas to a national runner-up finish.

Lamkin, who plays travel ball with Louisiana Gunsmoke out of Ruston and is a member of the Jackson Parish Recreation Department summer softball league, allowed only six earned in seven games on the hill. Even more impressive she didn’t walk a single batter all tournament, something that is almost unheard of in pre-teen competition.

The Stocking Stuffers earned their place as one of the final eight teams to qualify for the National Title Tournament by going 3-1-1 in pool play after opening with a 10-10 tie with the Northeast representative Candy Canes and beating the Midwest representative Silent Knights 6-1. That was followed by their only loss of pool play which came at the hands of eventual tournament champion Jingle Bells of the South Region by an 11-5 margin. This set up a must win situation to qualify as one of the final eight teams that would compete for the national championship. The Stocking Stuffers cruised 11-3 past the Northeast region representative, Grinch Gang, to easily advance.

Seeded 4th, the Stocking Stuffers won the single elimination tourney opener by taking a 6-4 victory over the #5 seed Little Helpers that was one of two teams in the final eight representing the Southeast Region. Next up was the #1 seed Elves Belles of the Great Lakes region. Lamkin and company pulled off the upset of the tournament favorite in shocking fashion by winning by an impressive 13-1 margin.
That set up a championship matchup with the team that had given the South Region rep their only loss in pool play. It was a much closer game this time around but in the end the Jingle Bells, who had gotten the #3 seed, prevailed once again by a score of 4-2 to claim the crown.

SNAP benefits to increase for next six months

If you receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) you will see an increase in your SNAP benefits for the first six months of 2021. Recently enacted federal legislation may also make more Louisianans eligible for SNAP by excluding both federal unemployment benefits and stimulus checks from consideration as income. It would also expand student eligibility.

President Donald Trump signed a bill on Dec. 27, 2020, that increases SNAP maximum allotments by nearly 15% from January through June 2021, in response to the continuing coronavirus pandemic. The additional benefits for January will be loaded onto current Louisiana SNAP recipients’ EBT cards on Friday, Jan. 8. For February through June, the extra benefits will be loaded at the same time as recipients’ regular benefit amount on their regularly-scheduled issuance date.

The amount of SNAP a household receives each month depends on the number of people in the household and the amount of their net income. The new maximum SNAP allotments for 2021 are as follows:

Household of one $234.00
Household of two $430.00
Household of three $616.00
Household of four $782.00
Household of five $929.00
Household of six $1,114.00
Household of seven $1,232.00
Household of eight $1,408.00
Each additional member: $176.00

Other provisions of the Consolidated Appropriations Act for 2021 may make more Louisianans eligible for SNAP. Unlike the CARES Act in 2020, the latest legislation excludes the federal pandemic unemployment benefits ($300 weekly) from consideration as income or resources in determining SNAP eligibility. (State unemployment benefits would still be counted.)

Receipt of federal unemployment benefits resulted in 44,165 (15.7%) of the 281,289 households who applied for SNAP between March and July of last year being denied food assistance, as the boost in unemployment benefits pushed those families over the income limit. Another 2,185 households who had been receiving SNAP saw their cases closed because of it.

This time, the additional federal benefits will not be counted.
Stimulus checks, also known as Economic Impact Payments, will also be excluded from the eligibility calculation, just as they were with the first round of stimulus. In addition, eligibility for college students has been expanded to include those who are enrolled at least half-time and are either eligible to participate in work study or have an expected family contribution of $0 in the current academic year, as determined by the institution of higher education.

Previously, students from families with an expected family contribution (EFC) of $0 were not automatically eligible for SNAP. The new law changes that. Pending further guidance from FNS, students will need to provide either their FAFSA paperwork which includes their EFC or their proof of eligibility for work study to DCFS when applying for SNAP.

For more information about SNAP benefits changes, visit Information about applying for SNAP can be found at

The Family Secret

In 1936, Walden Cassotto was born into a poor Italian-American family in East Harlem, a neighborhood in New York City. Shortly thereafter, Walden’s family, which consisted of his sister, Vanina “Nina” Cassotto, and mother, Paula “Polly” Cassotto, moved to an Italian Catholic neighborhood in the Bronx, one of the five boroughs of New York City. Polly’s husband, Sam, a petty criminal and drug addict, died in prison before Walden was born. Walden’s family had a secret.

In 1944, when Walden was eight years old, he began suffering from sore throat and fever. Unbeknownst to Polly and Nina, Walden had a bacterial infection called streptococcus, commonly called strep throat. They treated Walden’s sore throat and fever as well as they knew how, but it was far from enough. Lacking proper medical attention, Walden developed an inflammatory disease known as rheumatic fever which severely damaged his heart. The doctor’s prognosis was grim. Walden’s chances of living until the age of sixteen were not good. His heart was so weakened by the fever that Walden only had the slimmest chance of surviving past the age of thirty-five.

Polly and Nina would have preferred to keep his weakened heart a secret, “but,” Nina later explained “how can you bring up a child without telling him why he can’t jump rope or play ball?”
Walden’s life changed drastically. Polly and Nina became overprotective. Nina remembered that Walden “used to play stickball and he’d go up to hit and someone else would run for him.” Both of them constantly reminded him that he was unable to do certain physical activities because of his weakened heart. “However,” Nina added, “It didn’t keep him from doing what he wanted to do.”

In 1968, when Walden was thirty-two years old, circumstances forced Nina to reveal the family secret to Walden. (Polly, Walden’s mother, had died nine years earlier.) Nina had always hoped no one would ever discover the family secret, especially Walden. Polly and Nina taught Walden to always be honest. Nina declared “We were a very truthful family… Once you tell a lie, that lie must become the truth for the rest of your life,” a lesson she and Polly certainly relayed to Walden constantly in his younger days. With the uncertainty and confusion surrounding the Vietnam War, Walden considered seeking a political office in California. Nina knew that if Walden ran for office, his political rivals would discover the family secret and would use it against him. Nina feared that Walden’s weakened heart would be unable to survive the shock. Unable to deter Walden from his political aspirations, Nina could not avoid the family secret any longer.

Calmly, carefully and cautiously, Nina told Walden that Polly’s husband, Sam, was not his real father. Sam died in prison nineteen months before Walden was born. Walden listened intently. She explained that Walden’s mother had broken off her relationship with Walden’s real father shortly after she became pregnant. Walden’s mother never told his father of the pregnancy. Walden sat in silence and stared at Nina as she continued. She explained that Polly was not his mother. The woman who claimed to be Walden’s mother was, in fact, his grandmother.

Walden was in shock. After a few deep breaths, Nina revealed that she, the girl thought to be his older sister, was his mother. Nina explained that she was seventeen-years-old and unwed when she got pregnant. Rather than having a forced marriage to someone she was not in love with, Nina broke up with him. When they moved into the Italian Catholic neighborhood in the Bronx shortly after Walden was born, Polly and Nina created the story so that the family would not be ostracized in the local community. Nina did not reveal the name of Walden’s real father, nor did she ever.

At first, Walden was understanding and compassionate toward Nina. “You must be the strongest woman in the world,” he told Nina. “No, the strongest person in the world.” Over time, however, Walden became bitter over the family secret. It churned in his mind and “poisoned his relationship” with Nina. “You told the biggest lie a woman could ever tell,” Walden exclaimed to Nina. “You denied your own child!” Everything Walden thought he knew about his family had been a lie. His own family, the people he trusted most, had lied to him his entire life.

Walden ultimately decided not to seek political office but continued working in his original career field. Despite his doctor’s expectations, Walden surpassed his thirty-fifth birthday, but not without complications. Beginning in the late 1960s, doctors often had to administer oxygen to Walden due to his weakened heart. In 1971, Walden had open heart surgery to replace two heart valves. Two years later, at the age of thirty-seven, Walden died in Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, following an open-heart surgery to replace one of the heart valves he received in the 1971 operation.

Walden once said “I’d like to be a legend by the time I’m 25 years old.” Whether or not people considered him a legend when he was twenty-five is debatable. He certainly is a legend now. When he was twenty-one years old, Walden recorded “Splish Splash”, and within a year he recorded and released “Dream Lover”, “Mack the Knife”, and “Beyond the Sea”. You and I know Robert Walden Cassotto as Bobby Darin.

Death Notices

Bessie Ruth Jones McDaniel
January 24, 1928 – January 3, 2021

Mrs. Bessie Ruth Jones McDaniel was born on January 24, 1928 and passed away on January 3, 2021 at the age of 92. She was a native of Woodville, Mississippi, former long-time resident of Baton Rouge and was a current resident of Quitman, Louisiana. Mrs. McDaniel enjoyed her daily activities at the Jackson Council On Aging.

Most of all, she loved her family dearly and will be greatly missed by all who knew her. She is survived by her daughter, Carol Garcie and Russell; grandson, Nicholas Garcie and Raegan; great-grandchildren, Hannah Garcie, Sarah Garcie and a host of nieces, nephews and extended family.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Eddie McDaniel; parents, Ackland H. Jones and Elizabeth Jones and eight brothers.
Due to Covid-19, private services will be held for Mrs. McDaniel. Rabenhorst Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

William Mack Baude
April 08, 1975 – January 04, 2021

Mr. William Baude, age 45 of Jonesboro, passed away following a period of declining health. William enjoyed hunting when he was able and working on cars. His family will fondly remember his grumpy times as well as the loving times. William loved his family, especially his grandchildren. He was a blessing to his family and friends and will be missed.

Those left to cherish his memory are his children, Will Baude (Shelby) of Burke, Tx, Alexa Baude of Lufkin, Elyssa Baude of Livingston, Tx; grandchildren, Londyn Bailey, Jordyn Bailey, Ariana Sarmiento, Kashtyn Mack Baude; mother and step father, Jefflene and Glynn Smiley; siblings, Candie Cox (Stew), Shayanne Baude, Tamara Baude, Doyle Eugene Baude, Jr. (Heather), Jimmy Dale “JD” Baude, Michelle Torres (Henry), Jessica Cook (Ron), Jana Stukins (Kevin), Kevin Smiley (Florissa). He was preceded in death by his father, Doyle Eugene Baude; grandparents, Mack Treadway, Dovie Dean, C.W. and Betty Green.

After a brief visitation period, funeral services were held on January 8th at Siloam Springs Community Church with Reverend Wayne Morrow officiating. Burial followed in the church cemetery under the direction of Southern-Edmonds Funeral Home.