Sabine Parish community rallies to clean up litter

Sabine-Trash Cleanup 2018 (3)


The Sabine Parish community joined together with the Sabine Leaders Against Litter at its Spring Trash Bash on March 24.

Individuals and businesses alike picked up trash to beautify Sabine.

MidSouth Bank – Toledo Town branch employees Tracy Garcie, Kathy Tarro and Christine Key

Walgreens Manager Kenny Lashley and employee Phyllis Voisin

Ann Gasaway, Dorothy Gasaway, Sha’Cory Neal, Loretta Maxie, Cory Carhee, Geneva Thomas, JaMauri Thomas, and Tisha Thomas of the Yellow Pine community in Florien

Nicolas Oswalt and Shasta Cox of Spring Market in Zwolle

Phillip and Alexis Danley picked up trash near Buckeye Landing

Lynne Cuccia, Gladys Masselvander, Doug Warrick, Chuck Cuccia, Astrid Brown, Lanell Brumley, and Steve Brown collected a total of 17 bags of trash on Walkerville Road

Toledo Bend Lake Association members Bobby and Linda Ward picked up litter on Hwy. 191 North of Toledo Town

Girl Scout Troop 540

New residents in Elim Estates teamed up with Dana and Ricky Yeldell to pick up Carter Ferry South

Toledo Bend Lake Association members came out in force, picking up 37 bags of trash from the roadside along Hwy. 191, from Hwy. 6 (Toledo Town) to the Lanana Bridge

Members of the Toledo Bend Citizens Advisory Committee picked up litter on Hwy. 191 S. This organization also funded safety vest for all parish volunteers.

Sue Berry-Williams, Kristi Harris Kor, Hanna Kor, Dutch Kor, Arriannah Ward, Sarah Green, Lane Green, and Pastor Anthony Lowe cleaned up in Florien! They picked up a total of 33 bags of trash and 77 Busch beer cans.

Ricky Yeldell picked up bags of litter along the roadside at Lanana Bridge

Movies in Many will feature ‘The Zookeeper’s Wife’ April 7

The ZooKeepers Wife.png


Movies in Many will feature The Zookeeper’s Wife as the first free film of April. It is playing at the Many Community Center at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 7.

Admission to this true life story is free. This World War II story about two heroes is sponsored by Mayor Ken Freeman, the Town of Many and the Many Cultural District Advisory Committee.

Movies in Many are a goal of the sponsors to bring entertainment to citizens and residents of Many and the surrounding area.

Heroism can come from the most humble places.

That’s the message behind The Zookeeper’s Wife, the movie that tells the story of Antonina and Jan Żabiński’s heroic acts that saved around 300 Jews after Poland was invaded during World War II. Based on the book of the same name by Diane Ackerman, this big-screen adaptation finds Jessica Chastain playing a compassionate woman who helped save hundreds of lives alongside her zookeeper husband.

“Antonina was an ordinary woman who opened her doors to strangers,” Chastain said.“She sacrificed her safety, she sacrificed the safety of her children and everything that she loved to protect others. She created a sanctuary of her zoo, and not only did she save their lives, but she brought love and fostered hope and bolstered their spirits.”

Jan and Antonina lived at the Warsaw Zoo with their young son Ryszard and were compelled to protect the Jewish population from the German invasion. After Warsaw was bombed in 1939 and the majority of their exotic animals either died or were confiscated by German zoologists, the Żabińskis started hiding Nazi victims in the empty animal cages once the Warsaw Ghetto was established.

The couple devised a plan to turn the zoo into a pig farm in order to keep it operational, and it became just one of several ways Jan began smuggling people out of the ghetto. After he got permission from the Nazis to use the garbage inside to feed the pigs, the zookeeper would hide people in barrels underneath the garbage and bring them to the zoo. Jan also had access to the ghetto as a worker of the labor union and he would bring people out one or two at a time, pretending they were his workers. Once they got back to the zoo, the Żabińskis gave them identification and helped them find a place they could flee to.

But while most only remained for a few days, and mostly stayed in the various cages, the Żabińskis also housed families in their basement and home. Stephania Kenigswain Stibon‘s family hid in the zoo for over two months — the longest time anyone stayed. Stibon was just 7 months old when the war started and was 3 when her mother escaped the ghetto with her brother in 1943 and sought solace with the Żabińskis. The holocaust survivor tells how Antonina devised a clever system of signals to alert the houseguests of danger when German soldiers were nearby.

“I remember that we ran around the house when we could, because usually we were in the basement or in the cages,” Stibon recalls. “But what I remember most is that the Germans used to come from time to time, and when the people at the gate saw them coming, they gave a signal to the villa and Antonina used to sit by the piano and start to play and my brother and I knew we had to hide. My brother would always say, ‘Come, come, we have to hide so they don’t kill mom.’ ”

Though Tiroshe was too young to fully understand why they needed to hide, she says she clearly remembers fearing that the soldiers would kill her mother if they were found. Out of the 300 Jews the Żabińskis housed, only two didn’t survive the war.

The Żabińskis carried on with their life during this time, with Antonina giving birth to their daughter Teresa in 1944, near the end of the occupation. Jan also stayed active in the resistance and led the underground Polish army against the Nazis. He stockpiled weapons in the cages that weren’t used to hide people and was even captured and sent to a German prison in 1944. The zookeeper survived, however, and the family was reunited at their zoo after the war, reopening it in 1949. Jan resigned as director two years later.

Antonina, who died in 1971, and Jan, who died in 1974, were recognized by the State of Israel as the Polish Righteous Among the Nations for their actions. The Warsaw Zoo remains open in Poland.

But while they saved hundreds of lives, Teresa said her parents didn’t see themselves as heroes. “My parents told me that they did only what should have been done — it was their obligation to do that,” she says. “They were just decent people. They said decent people should do the same, nothing else. I’d like as many people as possible to understand what actually happened here in Warsaw during the war, and how much humanity and love can do.”

Photography Class set for April 7

Photo Class.png


Photography fans will be able to learn all they want to know about taking pictures if they attend the Happy Hours photography classes on the second Saturday of April, May and June.

Professional photographer Teresa Hunter of Leesville is teaching the comprehensive, hands-on photography class which will meet again on Saturday, April 7. The creative class is held from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Many Historic Depot Museum.

The April 7 afternoon class is sponsored by Many Mayor Ken Freeman, the Town of Many, the Depot Art Guild and the Many Cultural District Advisory Committee.

The photography class is one segment of the sponsors’ efforts to bring the creative arts to the citizens of Many and Sabine Parish. Other creative arts classes taught on Saturday afternoons include painting, crafts, and jewelry making.

Hunter, a commercial photographer well known for her creative photographs of people and animals, agreed to teach the class because she thought people would really like to learn about their cameras and how to take better pictures.

The April 7 class will focus on learning the basics: ISO, F-Stop, and shutter speed. The fee for the three-hour class is $25. Persons interested in taking the class should call Hunter at 337-396-6750 before to reserve a place.

Two more classes, on May 5 and June 2, will complete the four-class offering. The May class will focus on composition rules, background, and people in photos. The June class will feature lighting and a course overview, as well as a class show of work done during the four-months of classes.

The photography class is one segment of the sponsors’ efforts to bring the creative arts to the citizens of Many and Sabine Parish. Other creative arts classes taught on Saturday afternoons include painting, crafts, and jewelry making.

Remembering Some of His Dogs From the Past

By Joe Darby


The loss of our rat terrier Mosby a couple of weeks ago has gotten me to thinking about the dogs that I’ve had throughout my life. It’s been a pleasant, but bitter-sweet journey in rememberance. I’d like to share some of my recollections with you, if you please.

My first dog was a black cocker spaniel. My two older sisters had taken me to a movie. It was a Van Johnson flick that had a couple of retrievers in it and one of them was named Fetchit. Well, wouldn’t you know Mother and Daddy had taken the occasion of their kids’ absence to go to the pound and adopt the spaniel, as a surprise.. My sisters and I promptly named her Fetchit, of course.

She was supposed to be the family dog, but she quickly decided that I was her special guy. I was about 5 or so at the time. She became my constant companion, going out to play with me, sleeping in my room at night and generally being my full time shadow. I even have an old black and white photo somewhere of Fetchit and me on my large tricycle, with her looking as if the trike was hers and she was giving me a ride.

Fetchit lived until I was in my mid teens. By that time her facial hair had turned almost all white and she had lost weight, but she was still going fairly strong. We took her to get a hair cut and grooming and while carrying her to the car, she wiggled and I dropped her. She seemed okay at the time, but a few days later we found her dead. I fear she may have suffered internal injuries from the fall, but perhaps it was just her time. I don’t know. But she was my first great dog.

The next notable pup I had was a Dachsund who was supposed to be named Fang, but a little nephew started calling him Honky for some reason and that’s the name that stuck. The little wiener had more personality than any other two or three dogs put together. He could sit that long little body up perfectly straight to beg for a scrap of food. And, oh, he loved to drink out of a Coke bottle, hardly spilling a drop.

He’d often bolt out the front door when it was opened and run down the street. With my long legs against his little short ones, I could catch up with him fairly easily. When he heard my running steps right behind him, he stop, give up, roll over on his back in the middle of the street and look at me as if to say, “Well, fancy meeting you here.”

He slept with me at night and another great photo I have is one Mother took of me and
Honky fast asleep, with my arm wrapped around his little wiener body.

He too lived to a ripe old age and passed away peacefully.

Then there was Nelson, named after Nelson Stokely, the LSU quarterback of the mid 1960s. I lived in an apartment complex in the New Orleans area and this little medium sized yellow mutt hung around the complex. We just sort of adopted each other and when I’d get home from work, I’d whistle for him and he’d coming running out from behind some apartment building or other, wagging his tail and grinning (I know they say dogs can’t grin, but…) from ear to ear. Then he’d follow me into my apartment, I’d feed him and we’d settle in for the night.

There was a young family in the complex who had also taken a shine to him and they were about to move into a house of their own. They asked if they could take Nelson with them, who would have kids to play with and a nice fenced in yard. I knew Nelson would have a better life with them, so I said they could have him. And they promised to keep his name as Nelson.

I have a few more dogs that I’d like to tell you about, but I think I’ll save those stories for next week. And don’t forget to give your dog an extra hug today, okay?

Town of Many Easter Party to feature movie: The Dog Who Saved Easter

Dog who saved easter

The Dog Who Saved Easter is the feature film at the Town of Many’s annual Easter party for the children and their families from Many and Sabine Parish. It will be shown on Saturday, March 31, at 7 p.m. at the Many Community Center.

It’s Easter and everyone’s favorite K-9 is back! The Bannisters are heading out on a family cruise and sending Zeus to doggie day care. Everything is going according to plan until . …. . You’ll have to see the movie to find out how Zeus saves the Easter holiday.

Physical comedy, sight gags, and of course the cuddly heroes will make The Dog Who Saved Easter a welcome addition to your family’s Easter holiday plans.

Children will receive an Easter favor from the Town of Many, Mayor Ken Freeman, and the Many Cultural District Advisory Committee. They are the sponsors of the free Easter movie.

Admission is free, and concessions are only $1 each.

Make your plans to see this Easter movie on March 31. It’s a great way for the family to enjoy the Easter holidays.

Janice Lynn Potter

Janice Potter

Funeral services for Janice Lynn Potter, 36, of Robeline, LA, will be held on Friday, March 30, 2018 at 3:00 PM at The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints with Bishop Jared Vincent officiating. Burial will follow in the Prospect Cemetery. Visitation will begin on Thursday, March 29, 2018, at 5:00 PM at Warren Meadows Funeral Home, Many, LA.

Janice Lynn Potter was born on Tuesday, July 7, 1981 in Alexandria, LA. She passed away on Saturday, March 24, 2018 at Tulane Medical Center in New Orleans, LA. She was preceded in death by her father, Joseph Wallace Potter; maternal grandparents, John and Polly Harris; paternal grandfather, Wallace Potter; and her grandmother, Lois Daniels.

She is survived by her parents, James and Joan Daniels of Robeline, LA; sisters: Joyce Scott of Robeline, LA, Jodi Stone and husband Randy of San Antonio, TX, Joanie Potter of Robeline, LA and Jamie Cotton and husband Chris of Robeline, LA; brother, John Potter of Many, LA; grandmother, Elouise Potter of Many, LA; step-brothers: Chris Daniels and wife Melinda of Marthaville, LA, Tommy Daniels and wife Janice of Alexandria, LA and Phillip Daniels and wife Wendy of Mansfield, LA; special nieces and nephews: Preston Scott, Reagan and Ethan Stone, Joseph Hilton, Seth Potter, Caden Miller, Connor Vanhook, Christian Potter, Keegan Cotton, Kathryn, Asheleigh and Dylan Daniels, Cordell Daniels, Emily and Abby Daniels; along with a host of friends.

Pallbearers: Tommy Coburn, Matina Dorsey, Yancy Vallery, Chris Cotton, Randy Stone, Phillip Daniels, Kenneth Coburn and Jeff Potter.

Online condolences may be made to the family at


MidSouth Bank awards $7,000 in SNAP funds to Campti homeowner

SNAP-Campti donation photo 2018


MidSouth Bank awarded a $7,000 grant to Campti homeowner Cora Coldiron to make safety repairs to the structure of her home.

The funding was made available through the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) of Dallas’ SNAP program.

Coldiron was able to repair and replace damaged floors, windows and doors.

“I look forward to working with FHLB on an annual basis in obtaining grant funding to assist homeowners with making structural repairs to their homes,” said MidSouth Bank Community Outreach Development Specialist LaCarsha Babers. “Although funds run out quickly, our goal is to assist as many households as we possibly can.”

Eligible expenditures under the program include repair/replacement of a leaking roof; replacement of sheetrock due to rotten, molded or damaged walls; and repairs or installation of a wheel chair ramp and/or modifications to make to the home handicap accessible.

SNAP is not a home improvement program; rather, it is a grant for home repairs, rehabilitation and modifications. Home rehabilitation or modification projects must be structurally necessary, or made for the safety of the special needs resident.

Although funds for 2018 have been exhausted, MidSouth Bank expects to have funding available again in 2019.

About MidSouth Bancorp, Inc.
MidSouth Bancorp, Inc. is a bank holding company headquartered in Lafayette, Louisiana, with assets of $1.9 billion as of December 31, 2017. MidSouth Bancorp, Inc. trades on the NYSE under the symbol “MSL.” Through its wholly owned subsidiary, MidSouth Bank, N.A., MidSouth offers a full range of banking services to commercial and retail customers in Louisiana and Texas. MidSouth Bank currently has 48 locations in Louisiana and Texas and is connected to a worldwide ATM network that provides customers with access to more than 55,000 surcharge-free ATMs. Additional corporate information is available at


Sabine Parish, Toledo Bend among Retire Louisiana Certified Retirement Communities

Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser, along with the Louisiana Office of Tourism, are proud to announce that eight communities from across Louisiana are officially Louisiana Retirement Certified Areas. The Encore Louisiana Commission worked for over three months on naming these specific locations across the state that are now certified and focused on bringing retirees to enjoy their “encore” at life.

“These eight communities represent all of Louisiana and what we have to offer,” said Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser. “With nearly 76 million baby boomers nearing retirement in the coming years, many states are working to draw them to their areas, and we thought we should take advantage to not only grow tourism but help spur economic development.”

The eight communities that have been certified include: Lafayette; Lake Charles; Natchitoches; Ruston and Lincoln Parish; Toledo Bend and Sabine Parish; Shreveport-Bossier City; Houma and Terrebonne Parish; and Thibodaux.

Criteria that was used in selecting the first eight communities included: climate; demographics; tax structure at the state and local levels; local housing availability; public safety and crime index; employment and volunteer opportunities; healthcare and medical services; public transportation; recreational areas; and festival and fairs, just to name a few.

Each of these communities have demonstrated qualities that make them premier locations for retirees. Part of being certified as a retirement area includes state-level marketing effort inclusion, networking opportunities and possible grant funding to support the program and help it grow. More communities will be chosen in the coming years as the program expands in order to attract a larger number of retirees.

The Encore Louisiana Commission was mandated by the Legislature in 1999 as the Louisiana Retirement Development Commission to market and promote Louisiana as a retirement community state. In 2009, the Legislature renamed the commission as the Encore Louisiana Commission with the goal of setting guidelines and requirements in developing criteria for a destination to become a Louisiana Certified Retirement Community. For more information visit


Freshman honor society inducts 233

ALD induction


The Northwestern State University Chapter of Alpha Lambda Delta welcomed 233 new members at the annual induction ceremony on March 25. Alpha Lambda Delta recognizes the best and brightest members of the nation’s first-year college students. Students in Alpha Lambda Delta must have a grade point average of at least 3.5 after their first semester of full-time enrollment at Northwestern State.

Professor Emeritus of Journalism Thomas Whitehead was the featured speaker.

Alpha Lambda Delta first-year honor society was founded in 1924 at the University of Illinois and has over 280 chapters in the United States. The local chapter of Alpha Lambda Delta was established at Northwestern State University on March 10, 1965. The mission of the Society is to encourage superior academic achievement; to promote intelligent living and a high standard of learning and to assist students in recognizing and developing meaningful goals in society.

Officers for 2018-19 are Nicholas Hopkins of Bossier City, president, Elizabeth Coleman of Napoleonville, vice president, Arielle Martignetti of Barksdale, AFB, secretary, Joshua Johnson of Bossier City, treasurer, William Tradewell of Jena, scholarship chair, Hannah Sedatol of Natchitoches, webmaster, Andrianne Dore of Forest Hill, historian, Chloe Rouleau of Leesville, editor, Meredith Phelps of Natchitoches, service chair, and Claire Leming of St. Francisville, faculty liaison. Hopkins is the first male president of NSU’s chapter of Alpha Lambda Delta, which became open to male members in 2012.

New members listed by hometown are as follows:

Alexandria — Markeyla Anderson, Morgan Bryant, Ian Grant, Whitney Joffrion, Hunter Lewis, Jennifer Miranda, Madeline Mitchell, Christopher Warren;

Anacoco — Kinsley Blakeway, Nicole Fitzgerald, Tyler Stephens;

Anchorage, Alaska — Sydney Bulot;

Baker — Cherish Netter;

Ball — Will Salinas;

Barksdale AFB — Arielle Martignetti;

Baton Rouge — Diamanisha Betts;

Belle Chasse — Denim Reeves;

Benton — Laurel Chambers, Jackson Mathews, Jadyn Sepulvado, Torea Taylor;

Bossier City — Hannah Brooks, Katie Briggs, Cassie Bailey, Jonathan Castillo, Toby Fontenot, Sydney Gootee, Nicholas Hopkins, Anqumesha Jeter, Joshua Johnson, Haley Joncas, Jami Rivers, Johnathon Schluter, Tori Spraggins, Giselle Trejo, Rheagan Rowland;

Boyce — Devin Hilliard;

Campti — Paige Cason;

Central — Christian Chustz;

Chopin — Jewel Woods;

Cincinnati, Ohio — Kristin Byone;

Clayton — Ruben Smith;

Colfax — Camren Bell, Michael Dupre;

Coppell, Texas — Jada Freeman;

DeBerry, Texas –Sarah Britt;

DeQuincy — Hayden Robertson;

DeRidder — Maygin Chesson, Sheridan Douglas, Alphonse Engram, Kailey Wisthoff;

Des Allemands — Claire Schouest;

Deville — Hailie Coutee; Kinley Deville;

Dike, Texas — Brynn Offutt;

Elton — Maia Lacomb;

Florien — Blake Cook; McKenzie Kuhlow;

Folsom — Shaylee Laird;

Forest Hill — Andrianne Dore, Rafael Sierra, Leslie Winners;

Fort Lauderdale, Florida — Abigail Pangallo;

Fort Polk — Kaitlyn Pajinag;

Glenmora — Melissa Lanier;

Gonzales — Bailee Ramey;

Gramercy — Amber Theisges;

Grand Cane — Bailey Patton;

Greenwell Springs — Madison Shade;

Greenwood — Char’TArian Wilson;

Gretna — Codi Vernace;

Hahnville — Imani Butler;

Haughton — Cooper Hollis, Makenzie Rains;

Houma — Alexis Dardar, Corinne Paris;

Iota — Morgan Gotte;

Jacksonville, Florida — Jhane Wheeler;

Jefferson — Jaleia Parker;

Jena — Candace Decker, William Tradewell;

Jennings – Aimee Boothe, Alyson Brown, Kelsey Fitzgerald, Ka’Tierra Lewis, Lindsay Orgeron;

Keithville — Miranda Coffey;

Lafayette — Christina Poole;

Lake Arthur — Hannah Worley;

Lake Charles — Brandi Hansard, Jordan Mulsow;

Lakeland — Brett Rollins;

League City, Texas — Emily Ornelas; Lacee Savage;

Leesville — Dakota Abrams, Tyana Ellis, Gabriella Haymon, Katherine Johnson, McAllister Kylie, Alayna Moreau, Chloe Rouleau, Lana West;

Little Rock, Arkansas –Tara Lane;

Livonia — Ryann Bizette;

Loanake, Arkansas — Rachel Terry;

McKinney, Texas – Tyler Gatewood;

Mandeville — Shannon Roussell;

Many — Rachel Bensinger, Jocelyn Cannon, Brittney Garcie;

Maringouin — Laura Scronce;

Marrero — Lorn Bourgeois;

Marthaville — Dylan Daniels, Emeri Manasco;

Maurice — Jenna-Clair Courville, Adam Courville;

Maybank, Texas — Dustin Huffman;

Mer Rouge — Tequilla Winston;

Metairie — Holly Schiler, Sadye Treadway;

Minden — Erin Dotson, Lamonica Smith, Madison Tanner, Heather White;

Monroe — Tia Smith;

Morringsport — Abigail Wolfe;

Napoleonville — Elizabeth Coleman;

Natchez — Dalton Dark;

Natchitoches — Jackson Carroll, Katlynn French, Corey Gallion, Kaitlin Hatten, Abagael Kinney, Thomas Matuschka, Renwick McPherson, Brittany Miller, Sabrina Miller, Kylie Nix, Victoria Peterson, Meredith Phelps, LaKendria Remo, Gracy Rowell, Lessie Rushing, Lamairea Scott, Hannah Sedatol, Mackenzie Stanley, Catherine Stevens, Huey Virece, Jordan Williams, Rylee Wyer;

New Iberia — Kira Tobias, Madison Willett, Destinee Leger, Alexis Trosclair;

New Llano — Summer Atkins;

New Orleans — Karina Santiago; Julian Shum;

Noble — Joshua Ray;

Opelousas – Caleb Allen, Taryn Campbell, Taylor Guillory, Lauren Hebert, Diamond LeBlanc, Alexia Rubin, Maggie Williams;

Paradise — Kaitlyn Dunn;

Pineville — Taylor Bailey, Riley Bell, Alexzandria Boyd, Samantha Browning, Caitlin Crawford, Sara Dorsey, Selena Ferguson, Landon King, Carlee Lake, Emily Litton, Mikah Smith, Wesley Williams;

Prairieville — Bailey Mohler, Kaylon Wood, Sarah Makin;

Rayville — Jennifer Rogers;

Riverview, Florida –Robyn Larson;

Robeline — Mallary Lester;

St. Francisville — Claire Leming, Hannah Prewitt;

Saratoga, Arkansas – Christie Sain;

Scott — Kristen Prejean;

Shreveport — DayJah Alexander, ShyMiracle Ball, Abigail Davis, Kimberly Dennis, Aaran Gafford, Andrell Green, Heather Jones, Destiny Mitchell, Kariah Sisk-Shaheed, Lindsey Sullivan, Gaylin White;

Simmesport — Taylor Myers;

Slidell — Shakera Dixon, Alexzandra Hattier, Ashley Henry, Rebecca Marr, Olivia Warren;

Starks — Triston Bussell;

Stonewall — Brianna Hasch, Mildred Hooper;

Sulphur — Sophia Cesarini, Rylie McFarlain, Bryttani MacNamara;

Texarkana, Texas — Miles Powell;

Thibodaux — Tierra Johnson, Cierra Winch;

Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania — Brianna Morosco;

Venice, Florida –Alexis Weaver;

Ville Platte — Tre’ Fontenot, Alex Gautreaux;

Waco, Texas — Isabella Hudson;

Washington — Tarik Andrus, Macala Broussard;

Welsh — Macala Broussard;

West Monroe — Timothy O’Neal;

Winnfield — Harli Austin, Erica Burnett, Joshua Goins, Marisa Mercer, Caroline Womack, Kara Grantadams, Elizabeth Parker, Caitlin Womack;

Youngsville — Brette Reaux;

Zwolle — Konner Parrie.

Athletes Like Us

By Reba

Reba_Athletes_MAIN GRAPHIC
It would be deemed a “season-ending injury” even for the most powerful of athletes. A press conference would be called by the coaching staff to discuss how this injury could have happened. Contracts would be reviewed to see if the team owners could continue to pay the exorbitant salary. The whole team would see their hopes for the playoffs go down the drain.

But, for athletes like us this is not the case.

A single mom twisting her ankle in a small land mine that a destructive Jack Russell Terrier dug while mowing does not qualify for the extremes aforementioned. It was painful. I cried. I may have used several four-letter words I’ve been known to resort to at any given moment. I may have seen my whole life flash before my eyes on a highlight reel.

The whirlwind of anxiety that followed was immeasurable. Who would finish mowing for me? How would I drive? Would physical therapy be involved? How would my daughter get to and from various practices and her church activities? How would I make it to the gym everyday…if I were actually going to the gym everyday?

Athletes like us don’t have the option of a day off from parenting.

Prior to my divorce I never gave much thought to the daily workings of being a single parent. Frankly, I never thought I would ever become one. Even though my children have long since left the needy toddler stage there’s still loads of parenting and juggling to be done. When you add more than one child to the scenario the plot thickens. Try being in two places at one time. You will definitely have someone mad at you at all times.

Athletes like us come in all shapes and forms.

Some parents are single for a mere seven and seven hitch. Some parents are widowed. Some parents have been single parents since day one of the birth of their child. Some parents were abandoned by a spouse and left to pick up those remains, plus raise healthy and independent children. Whatever the true reason for living a life of single parenting, it can feel isolating if you don’t reach out to your friends and family for support.

Athletes like us are not very popular. There are no MVP awards in the parenting division.

Single parenting will not win a popularity contest with your children……If you’re doing it right. You are the soul source of the anguish they feel when they hear the word “NO.” When they hear the words “do you think I am made of money,” don’t expect a supportive answer. Don’t look for a round of applause when you have to break it to your child that we cannot have an Alpaca even if Planning and Zoning would allow for it.

Through the years God has blessed me with friends who are literally founts of wisdom and clarity when it comes to raising children. He has opened my eyes recently to look around at the different types of single parents I encounter and use them as my guide when I’m feeling anxious. I see tenacious ladies on a daily basis who choose not fall prey to their thoughts of pity and angst. They choose to focus on their children and raise them to be who God intended them to be. While it’s easy to compare your family to those with a true nuclear unit, we have to avoid that trap at all costs. No one wins that game.

God chose athletes like us to play two positions on the team. Mom and Dad.

Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them- not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; Not Lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.

1Peter 5:2-3

Clean Up Many

Many Liter Plan 2018

The Leaders Against Litter and the Town of Many will hold its annual “Get off your Fanny” and “Sabine Parish Trash Bash” litter campaign this Saturday, March 24. Mayor Ken Freeman believes the first impression is a lasting impression. The Mayor, City Council, Many P.D. and Citizens are committed to making the first impression of our Hometown a positive one.

To accomplish this goal, the Mayor has appointed three litter officers who have been deputized to issue tickets to anyone caught littering with fines up to $500. Signs have been posted throughout the Town stating “We are watching, No Littering, $500 fine”. Trash bags have been mailed to all citizens of Many and placed at local businesses throughout the town to be placed in their vehicles.

Saturday, March 24 from 8 am – 12 pm, citizens will be picking up trash on highways and streets throughout the town and parish. Motorist please be aware and use caution of the citizens that are picking up trash along the streets and highways.

The effort to clean up Sabine Parish is going to be an ongoing project throughout the Parish showing SABINE PARISH PRIDE.

When Was Your Last Eye Exam?




For many people, good vision means good eye health, but that may not always be the case. Regular eye exams can catch problems before it’s too late. If you are age 40 or older and have not had a recent eye disease screening, The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends making an appointment for an eye exam. Prevention is the key. It is an essential step toward preserving vision and keeping eyes healthy, and there is no better time than right now! (

By 2020, 43 million Americans will be at risk for significant vision loss or blindness from age-related eye diseases, such as cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and macular degeneration — an increase of more than 50 percent over the current number of Americans with these diseases. Despite the statistics, many Americans are more concerned about weight gain or back pain than they are vision loss. (

The first step in preventing vision loss is to get a baseline eye exam at the age of 40. This is the age when early signs of eye disease and changes in vision may first occur. For individuals at any age with symptoms of, or at risk for, eye disease (such as those with a family history of eye disease, diabetes or high blood pressure), the AAO recommends seeing your eye doctor to determine how frequently your eyes should be examined. Based on the results of the initial screening, your eye doctor will prescribe the necessary intervals for follow-up exams. (

To schedule your regular eye exam, contact your Natchitoches Hometown Eye Care Team – Louisiana Eye & Laser. Drs. Cheryl Stoker and Brett Bennett along with Drs. Karren Laird Russo and Michael Redmond will be happy to manage your eye care needs. Call 318-352-0444 to see how you can achieve better vision and better eye health.

Louisiana Eye & Laser is located in Natchitoches at the corner of Keyser Avenue and 1055 Parkway Drive (Suite B).


Youth arrested for making threats at school



The Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office announced that a 7th grader at Ebarb High School was arrested on the morning of March 22 for Terrorizing after a investigation into threats that were made at the school. This is the 8th arrest in the last 6 weeks at schools in the parish for various threats. Due to the suspect being a juvenile no additional information will be released. Sheriff Richardson is asking all parents to talk with their children in regards to threats and the consequences there-of and asking that threats be reported immediately. Sheriff Richardson also stated he has implemented a program in which all of the parish schools will be visited by detectives and students will be cautioned as to the consequences of threats. He also stated that detectives will be asking for feedback from students in regards to concerns that may need to be addressed.

Natchitoches Jazz/R&B Festival Lineup Announced

Festival Lineup

Natchitoches Jazz/R&B Festival Chairman Rodney Harrington is not short on superlatives when describing the lineup for the 22nd annual event which will be held on April 13-14 on the newly renovated downtown Natchitoches riverbank.

“Quite simply,” Harrington said, “it will be The Greatest Weekend of Music in Natchitoches History.”

The fun begins on Friday, April 13th with the traditional Festival opener the NSU Jazz Orchestra, followed by the Louisiana Swamp Donkeys. Also featured Friday night will be perennial Zyedco/Cajun favorite, Wayne Toups, along with “The World’s Greatest 80’s Tribute Band,” LA ROXX.

Saturday will feature a wide variety of music on four stages located around the downtown riverbank area and will culminate later that evening with performances by the hit-making groups Starship featuring Mickey Thomas and Ohio Players, both performing on the brand new main stage.

Harrington says that while the appearance of these headliners in Natchitoches is amazing, there are so many more reasons to come to the Festival earlier in the day and hear some great music.

“I think the whole town is abuzz with ‘Maggie Mania’,” Harrington said when referring to Nashville Country music star, Maggie Rose, who will be performing on the main stage at 3:35 p.m. “Everywhere I go, people ask me what time Maggie is playing and are so excited to have her in Natchitoches.”

Rose, whose single “Pull You Through” is charting on Country music radio and television, has toured with Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Martina McBride, and many others. She has been named by CMT, “One of the Next Women of Country.”

For Aerosmith Fans, Pandora’s Box, dubbed “The Ultimate Aerosmith Tribute” will be performing on the main stage just before Maggie Rose comes on. Kicking off the main stage Saturday will be local favorites The Hardrick Rivers Revue, followed by Gregg Martinez and The Delta Kings.

Harrington said that his band, Johnny Earthquake and The Moondogs, are particularly excited to have the legendary Rick Derringer performing with them again, and that a late addition to the lineup makes Derringer’s appearance even more special this year.

“Rick was a huge hit when he played the Festival four or five years ago, so I guess you could say he is back by popular demand.” Harrington continued, “This year also joining us will be Jon Smith, one of Rock & Roll’s greatest and legendary saxophonists.”

Harrington went on to say that Derringer and Smith were bandmates in Edgar Winter’s White Trash band during the late 60’s and early 70’s, and Smith has gone on to an illustrious career performing with such luminaries such as The Doobie Brothers, Boz Scaggs, Johnny Winter, Toto, and Sarah Vaughn.

Harrington promises that, with over twenty bands performing on four different stages, there will be something to appeal to almost every musical taste. “There will be Rock & Roll, Country, Zydeco, Cajun, Blues, Funk, and, of course, Jazz and R&B,” he said. “In fact, the Beau Jardin Stage features nothing but Jazz all day, so the hardcore Jazz aficionados would never have to leave that spot,”

Natchitoches’ own country music star, Trini Triggs, will once again serve as Master of Ceremonies and will perform at various times during the Festival and as always, local groups including Billy O’Con and Badd Apple, Cane River Soul, and Breaktime for Frances will be spotlighted. Of course, there will be plenty of food and activities for the kids with lots of inflatables.

One new feature at this year’s Festival is the addition of limited reserved seating in the new amphitheater in front of the stage.

“Oh, the reserved seats are going to be fantastic,” according to Harrington. There are just over 500 reserved seats and Harrington says that many of them have been sold leaving just over 200 available for sale. Personal chairs will not be allowed on the riverbank but will be allowed at all outer stages and in a limited area on top of the riverbank.

“If you want to be insured a primo place to sit at the Festival, you better order your reserved tickets today!” Harrington concluded. “There is no doubt they will be sold out before Festival weekend.” Reserved seats can only be purchased online.

For ticket information, a full lineup and more information about the 22nd Annual Natchitoches Jazz/R&B Festival, go to


Crime Stoppers Reward Offered:


Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information in regards to a theft and damage to the B&M ice machine located on the property of Toledo Hardware on Hwy 6 West. Suspect(s) entered the machine on March 20 by breaking and prying the door open and stealing over $500 in cash and change. Crime Stoppers and the owner of the machine is offering rewards for information in this case. Information can be provided to Crime Stoppers at 318-256-4511 or the Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office at 318-256-9241.

Is Modern Technology Too, Er, Modern? Or Perhaps Too Delicate?


For any of you dear readers who have been glancing over my columns for any length of time, you probably know that my attitude to modern technology, as it applies to “electronic devices,” is pretty much one of Bah Humbug.

I mean, first of all, they’re really delicate, aren’t they? Not only are we apparently terribly vulnerable to hacking attacks from the Russians, Chinese or assorted lone genius kooks, but our individual devices break down all too often.

It’s not that unusual for our computer to go on the blink, way beyond any capacity of Mary’s or mine to remedy it. Hence we have gotten to know our computer repairman pretty well. He’s a fine young man and always knows just how to fix our problem. But it seems to me that if computers are so great, why can’t they be a little more reliable.

Let me give you an example. Mary’s writing on a project that’s very important to her. It’s now going through the final phases so she can submit her work to an editor. A couple of days ago, she was typing, using a word processing program. Suddenly, instead of showing one page on the screen, it showed four small pages.

She tried to fix it. I tried to fix it. We called friends and family members who we thought knew something about computers. All to no avail. So of course we brought the thing to our computer man and he fixed it in a day. The remedy was pretty simple, but he admitted that he kind of stumbled on the answer himself. I won’t go into the technical details. That would just make me more disgusted.
Then, to add insult to injury, Mary’s phone went completely dead. It wouldn’t even take a charge.

We both have those Jitterbug phones, the ones you’ve probably seen advertised in magazines. Cell phones for old folks, they are. They’re relatively easy to use, have large numbers, etc. Just what we need, right?

Well, we got rid of our landline phone some time ago, so we rely on our cell phones to communicate with the outside world, and Mary felt cut off from her out-of-town relatives. She wanted to go buy a new battery for the device, but I said “let me first call the company and see what they say.”

So, I got a very nice Jitterbug lady on my phone and explained the problem to her. She walked me through the process of removing the battery for a few seconds and then reinstalling it. And, voila, the phone was working again. The battery had somehow become displaced, she explained.

Like I said, these things are delicate, aren’t they? The recent problem with Mary ‘s project was relatively simple. But often our computer completely goes haywire and is unusable, for browsing the Internet or other common uses to which such machines are put.

I admit, our computer is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. How else would I control my Nertflix choices, after all? How would I instantly access Major League baseball scores at midnight? How would I instantly communicate, both for pleasure and for business, if it weren’t for emails? Can you imagine having to tell someone, “No I don’t have an email address. You’ll have to call me or write me a letter.”

Yeah, you can’t really thrive without a computer these days. At least I don’t have a smart phone. My Jitterbug isn’t stupid, but it doesn’t know how to browse websites or anything like that. It doesn’t even know what aps are.

Anyway, after our recent misadventures, we do once again have a working computer and Mary has a working phone. Until the next time they go out, that is.

NSU Wellness Center dedicated in honor of Dr. Randall J. Webb

Webb WRAC portrait


NSU- Northwestern State University dedicated its Wellness, Recreation and Activity Center in honor of the late Dr. Randall J. Webb in a ceremony held Tuesday before a large crowd on what would have been Webb’s 75th birthday.

Webb was the longest-serving president in the history of Northwestern State, holding the position from July 1, 1996 to Dec. 31, 2014.

“For 25 years, Dr. Webb stepped up to a microphone and said ‘This is a red letter day for Northwestern State University.’ And this day truly is,” said Northwestern State President Dr. Chris Maggio. “I am so proud to see so many people here to honor a man who was so special to so many of us.”

Northwestern State students approved a referendum in 1998 to fund construction of the Wellness, Recreation and Activity Center. The $6.9 million project converted the former Intramural Building into a 81,000 square foot facility which was completed in 2004.

“We are honoring a man who did as much for this university as any single individual,” said University of Louisiana System President and CEO Dr. Jim Henderson, who succeeded Webb as NSU’s president. “There are two things about Randy Webb that stick out: his loyalty to the university and his love for students. It defines who Randy Webb was and is that we are naming a building in his honor that was built by students.”

SGA President Tre Nelson experienced an example of Webb’s feeling towards students the first time the two met at a party a few months before Nelson enrolled at NSU.

“He could have spent all his time talking to all the important people at the party, but he took time to get to know an incoming freshman at Northwestern,” said Nelson. “After talking for a few minutes, I found his words so genuine that all my fears about attending the university went away.”

Webb encouraged his friend Lola Dunahoe to serve on the NSU Foundation Board of Directors several years ago. Dunahoe became president of the Foundation board and was later appointed to the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System. Dunahoe called Webb “a scholar, a great leader, an encourager and a Christian gentleman.”

“Everyone at Northwestern had an opportunity to be encouraged by Randy,” said Dunahoe. “He gave his best and expected it out of others. My life was enriched because I was able to call Randy Webb my friend.”

Athletic Director Greg Burke said Webb was a “boss, mentor, advocate, supporter, fan and friend.”

He said Webb never waivered in his support for the athletic program, and had strong views about what the program should be.

“When I interviewed for the position of athletic director, he told me that “we are going to win, our student athletes are going to graduate and we will carry ourselves in the right way,” said Burke. “I learned so much from him.”

Under Webb’s leadership, Northwestern State received unprecedented national and international attention for its academic programs and student accomplishments. University facilities in addition to the WRAC were renovated to better serve students and two record-setting capital campaigns took place.

Enrollment reached record levels during Webb’s tenure as president and exceeded 10,500 for the first time in school history in the fall of 2004. Webb led NSU toward higher admission standards, which has resulted in students at the university having greater academic potential and aptitude. During Webb’s tenure, Northwestern State had the largest graduating classes in the university’s history.

Groups save roses after Hodges Gardens closes

Hodges Roses2018 (2)

With a lot of hard work the Friends of Hodges Gardens and the staff of the Sabine River Authority, State of Louisiana saved the roses from Hodges Gardens. They have been moved to Cypress Bend Park creating the A.J. and Nona Trigg Hodges Memorial Rose Garden. It is a work in progress. Thank you to the SRA for allowing this Memorial Garden to be placed at the Flag Plaza at Cypress Bend Park so that the public may continue to enjoy the beautiful Hodges Gardens roses.

The Act of conveyance of Hodges Gardens by the State of Louisiana to the A. J. and Nona Trigg Hodges Foundation (Foundation) was signed Feb. 20 and recorded at the Sabine Parish Clerk of Court’s office Feb. 22. The Gardens remain closed with no current plans for reopening.

Since the Park closure Oct. 1, 2017, two proposals to continue the operation of the Gardens were developed. The first between the Foundation and the Sabine River Authority (SRA) and the second between the Friends of Hodges Gardens and the Foundation. These proposals were unsuccessful due to the parties being unable to find common ground on what it would take to operate the gardens. The Foundation has made clear it “has no interest in resuming operation of the Gardens in whole or in part.”

The Foundation also stated that once it got out of the business of operating the Gardens in 2007, it shifted its mission and pledged the remaining endowment to the Ecological Forestry Center, the wildlife conservation entity the foundation presently operates. As concluded in 2007, the current focus simply does not allow the foundation to resume operation of the Gardens. Any future requests for information on Hodges Gardens should be directed to the A. J. and Nona Trigg Hodges Foundation, P. O. Box 1832, Shreveport, LA 71166.

With no plan to maintain the formal Gardens, Friends looked for a way to save the roses. With the support of the Foundation, the Friends Board of Directors voted to establish an A. J. and Nona Trigg Hodges Memorial Rose Garden at a site where the public could continue to enjoy them. The SRA offered such a site at Cypress Bend Park. Approximately 180 roses have been moved to this site. Friends of Hodges Gardens are using their remaining fund balance to establish this Memorial Garden. Once the funds have been expended, the Friends of Hodges Gardens will dissolve the organization.

The Friends of Hodges Gardens has nominated Hodges Gardens to the Louisiana Trust for Historic Preservation’s Most Endangered Places List. If accepted, this nomination will provide a platform for state and national recognition of the plight of Hodges Gardens. It is the organization’s hope that such recognition might bring the financial support and professional expertise needed to save and restore the Gardens for future generations.

Hodges Roses2018 (1)


MidSouth Bank Promotes Ken Freeman to Commercial Lender

Ken Freeman 2018

MidSouth Bank has promoted Ken Freeman to Commercial Relationship Manager for its North Louisiana market.

Freeman, who has served as the Mayor of Many for 32 years (earning the distinction as the longest-serving mayor in the state), most recently was Assistant Vice President for Security/Facilities and has 42 years of banking experience. He has been with MidSouth Bank since 1989.

In addition to his lending duties, Freeman will be responsible for business development throughout the region. “Ken has such a deep knowledge and understanding of our local economy and has developed relationships throughout North Louisiana, all of which make him an invaluable member of our team,” said MidSouth Bank Regional President Rhonda Jones.

A Many native, Freeman earned a bachelor of science degree in finance, banking and investments from Louisiana Tech University and completed Southern Methodist University’s SW Graduate School of Banking.

About MidSouth Bancorp, Inc.
MidSouth Bancorp, Inc. is a bank holding company headquartered in Lafayette, Louisiana, with assets of $1.9 billion as of December 31, 2017. MidSouth Bancorp, Inc. trades on the NYSE under the symbol “MSL.” Through its wholly owned subsidiary, MidSouth Bank, N.A., MidSouth offers a full range of banking services to commercial and retail customers in Louisiana and Texas. MidSouth Bank currently has 48 locations in Louisiana and Texas and is connected to a worldwide ATM network that provides customers with access to more than 55,000 surcharge-free ATMs. Additional corporate information is available at


Help attaining benefits is a phone call away


According to the Social Security Administration, a person is disabled if he or she suffers from a mental or physical impairment that will likely result in death, or is expected to last for over a year and that individual is unable to do any job whatsoever full time.

Becoming disabled is understandably one of, if not the most difficult event in someone’s life. Fortunately, a disabled person may be eligible to receive financial benefits from Supplemental Security Income, known as SSI; Social Security Disability Insurance, called SSDI; or both.

C. Edward “Eddie” Harrington at The Harrington Law Firm represents SSDI and SSI claimants on a regular basis. He has a thorough and detailed procedure for developing the claimant’s case and Social Security record.

“Unfortunately, the majority of those who initially file for disability are denied,” said Harrington. “It appears most are even denied by Social Security without them even reviewing all medical records reported by the disabled individual. Many people just give up after denial, which is what Social Security hopes for. However, denial is not the end.”

If an application is denied at the initial determination and the individual disagrees with the decision, he or she must file an appeal within 60 days of the decision. After the appeal is filed, eventually a hearing will be held in front of a Social Security Administrative Law Judge. At this level it’s highly recommended legal counsel is hired for preparation and representation at the hearing.

“The appeals process can involve a lot of government forms, and the time and effort required can be intimidating,” said Harrington. “If you’re applying for SSI or SSDI benefits, or just received a denial of your application, contact an experienced Social Security attorney who is familiar with the system and can help relieve the burden of this often complex process.”

Results may vary. If you’ve been denied for Social Security Disability call Eddie today at 318-352-5900 or visit for more information.

Flavor of Louisiana tickets still available



Tickets are still available for Flavor of Louisiana, Northwestern State University’s spring seafood extravaganza and spring fund raiser. Flavor of Louisiana will feature cuisine prepared by nearly two dozen chefs, restaurants and caterers from throughout the state, including several local favorites, along with specialty cocktails, a coffee and dessert bar, music, baskets, raffles and more.

Flavor of Louisiana is presented by the NSU Foundation in partnership with the Louisiana Seafood Board. Guests can stop at each food station for a tasting of a specialty dish, including options for meat-eaters.

Proceeds from the event support student scholarships and academic enhancement, said Rebekah Burleson, event coordinator.

“With all the delicious offerings that will be available, we are expecting a large turn-out for our second annual Flavor of Louisiana,” Burleson said. “The response from the community has been very positive.

“It takes a lot of teamwork to make an event like this happen and our students, faculty and staff are fully engaged in the planning and execution,” Burleson added. “Whether they are culinary arts students preparing food or those helping with tickets and clean-up, they are more than willing to volunteer with an event to raise funds for scholarships and programming.”

As a new feature, each college will have a booth to raise funds for their individual programs, Burleson said.

Flavor of Louisiana will be at 6 p.m. Friday, March 23 in Prather Coliseum. Tickets are $65 per person or $125 per couple. Sponsorships are available at the $5,000, $2,500, $1,500, $1,000 and $500 levels and include reserved seating and other perks.

Flavor of Louisiana is a highlight of several events planned this week, which include the dedication of the Wellness, Recreation and Activities Center in memory of former NSU President Dr. Randall J. Webb at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 20, followed by a celebration tailgate party at 4 p.m. and baseball game versus Louisiana Tech at 6 p.m. At noon Friday, March 23, NSU will honor outstanding alumni with induction into the Long Purple Line, NSU’s alumni hall of distinction. Tickets for the induction luncheon and program, which will take place in the Sylvan Friedman Student Union, are $20 per person.

Tickets and sponsorship information for Flavor of Louisiana, Long Purple Line induction and other events is available at or by contacting Burleson at or (318) 357-5213.