Hofmann earns first-team All-Canadian honors

Logan Hofmann’s Northwestern State baseball career consisted of four starts and 28 innings pitched.

That sample size was enough for Hofmann to earn All-American honors earlier this year, and on Thursday, pick up an honor reserved for Canadian players in college baseball.

Hofmann, a native of Muenster, Saskatchewan, was named a first-team member of the 21st annual Canadian Baseball Network’s All-Canadian Team. A panel of 62 scouts, coaches, executives, former players, writers and broadcasters voted on the teams, which include any Canadian who played college baseball at the NCAA, NJCAA and NAIA levels.

In his lone season as a Demon before being drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the fifth round of June’s Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, Hofmann went 4-0 with a 0.00 ERA across 28 innings, striking out 38 batters. He tied for the national lead in ERA, but no Division I pitcher threw more innings and posted a perfect ERA.

A 5-foot-10, 190-pounder, Hofmann was named second-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball Magazine before Pittsburgh selected him with the 138th selection in June’s draft.

OPPORTUNITY: NPD is accepting applications for Reserve Officer Training

The Academy will begin on Feb. 15, 2021 and will last approximately 9
weeks. Classes will be held Monday through Thursday beginning each
night at 6 p.m. at the Natchitoches Police Department Training Center.
If accepted, cadets in the academy will undergo training in areas such
as search and seizure, building clearing, traffic stops, firearms and
defensive tactics.

If you are interested in applying you can pick up an application at
The Natchitoches Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division
located at 416 Shady Lane or contact Reserve Commander, Lieutenant
Jeff Townson at (318) 357-3852. Applications can be obtained Monday
through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Applicants must
have a high school diploma, be at least 18 years of age and pass a
background check.

This is a great opportunity for citizens to serve
their community in a positive manner.

Notice of Death – December 10, 2020

Thomas Harold Dew of Many, Louisiana
June 7, 1937 – December 7, 2020
Service: Monday, December 14 at 2 pm at Warren Meadows Funeral Home Chapel

Roger Freeman
July 8, 1957 – December 7, 2020
Service: Saturday, December 12 at 2 pm at The Life Church

Nancy Jane Parrie
January 28, 1941 – December 6, 2020
Service: Friday, December 11 at 10 am at St. Joseph Cemetery

Barbara Jean Ennis Thomas
February 21, 1933 – December 2, 2020
Service: Friday, December 11 at 10 am at Aimwell Baptist Church

Margaret Ann Holmes
April 26, 1954 – December 10, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Randall Pitts
January 12, 1953 – December 08, 2020
Due to restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, a celebration of his life will be held at a later date.

Ruby Lucille Ferri
October 02, 1925 – December 02, 2020
Services are pending due to Covid 19.

Shirley Ann Remo
December 6, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Charlotte Ann (Davis) French
August 28, 1949 – December 07, 2020
Service: Friday, December 11 at 10 am at Blanchard- St. Denis

Jeffery Daniel Williams
December 09, 1969 – November 27, 2020
Service: Saturday, December 12 at 10 am at Blanchard St. Denis Funeral Home

Arthur M. Hardy
December 8, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Lisa M. Lemoine Gordon
September 15, 1965 – December 05, 2020
Service: Saturday December 12 at 12 pm at the Pace Community Center, located at 2148 Highway 1226 in Natchitoches

Lee Arthur Brown
December 8, 2020
Service: Saturday, December 12 at 12 pm in the Evergreen Baptist Church Cemetery in St. Maurice

Willie E. Valrie
December 5, 2020
Service: Saturday, December 12 at 11 am at the First Baptist Church on Amulet Street in Natchitoches

Herbert Dickens
December 3, 2020
Arrangements TBA

O V Jackson-Hall
December 1, 2020
Service: Friday, December 11 at North Star B. C. in Powhatan and burial will take place at Evergreen B. C. in St. Maurice

Jewerline Duncantel
December 1, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Antonio “Tony” Demars
December 15, 1969 – November 26, 2020
Visitation: Saturday, December 12 from 8:30-10:30 am at the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home, located at 318 North Street in Natchitoches
Service: Saturday, December 12 at 11 am at the Lawrence Serenity Sanctum

Billie Ray “Bill” Berry
September 12, 1938 – December 09, 2020
Service: Friday, December 11 at 11 amin the Southern Funeral Home Chapel

James O. “Jlynn” Atkins Jr.
August 22, 1946 – December 07, 2020
Service: Saturday, December 12 at 2 pm in the Southern Funeral Home Chapel

Bessie Jane Allen
March 19, 1916 – December 7, 2020
Service: Friday, December 11 at 11 am in the chapel of the Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home in Coushatta

Stolen Checks recovered

Sheriff Aaron Mitchell announces quick actions by Sabine and Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Detectives uncover stolen checks from a local business.

City Bank in Campti, LA notified Toledo Center Floor Covering in Many that someone was trying to cash one of their business checks for $2000. Detectives from Sabine and Natchitoches were notified and a male and female were arrested in Natchitoches Parish.

A former employee had allegedly taken six checks from Toledo Center Floor Covering. All six checks have been recovered and additional charges and arrests are pending.

Sheriff Mitchell thanks Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Detectives for their help with the case.

Zwolle Arrest made

The Zwolle Police Department would like inform the citizens of Zwolle that an arrest has been made with respect to narcotics being sold on our streets.

Micheal Russell was arrested and charged with Attempt Possession of Schedule I with Intent to Distribute and Attempt Possession of Schedule II with Intent to Distribute.  Russell was booked into the Sabine Parish Detention Center.

Chief Thomas commends his officers for the great work. 

2020 Football Prep Classic Moving to Northwestern State University

The relationship between Northwestern State University and the Louisiana High School Athletic Association has been established across three-plus decades of NSU hosting the state cross country championships.
Thanks in part to that long-running agreement, the LHSAA announced Tuesday its 2020 state high school football championships have been relocated to NSU’s Turpin Stadium from Dec. 27-30.

“I know I speak for our mayor, Ronnie Williams, and our university president, Dr. Chris Maggio, when I say we are very grateful for the opportunity to host this four-day high school football championship event,” said Director of Athletics Greg Burke. “While hosting NSU and high school football games are second nature to our staff, this will be different in that there will be nine football games over the course of four consecutive days. Then you factor in COVID-19 and the emphasis that must be placed on health and safety and it changes our normal approach to hosting games. Yet, our ultimate focus will still be laser focused on providing the best possible experiences for the teams and fans who will be visiting our campus and historic city.”
The nine-game championship slate was moved from its traditional location of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans because of what the LHSAA termed COVID-19 capacity restrictions, financial responsibilities and risk of cancelation.

Natchitoches becomes just the third different city to host the state football championships since the 1980s when the Superdome Prep Classic became a staple of the Louisiana sports calendar.
Shreveport’s Independence Stadium hosted the 2005 title games after the Superdome was left unplayable by damage from Hurricane Katrina.

“We are thankful Northwestern State University stepped up to host our football championships,” LHSAA Executive Director Eddie Bonine said in a statement. “We are saddened to be leaving the Superdome this year but look forward to our return in 2021. We are certain Northwestern State University will provide a first-class experience for Louisiana student-athletes.”


Mary’s Christmas Card List

By Brad Dison

Sending Christmas cards has been a yearly tradition since John Callcott Horsley designed the first Christmas card in 1843, the same year Charles Dickens published A Christmas Carol. Each year, people send festively decorated Christmas cards to friends and relatives. Cards come in innumerable varieties. They often contain religious sentiment, a poem, a prayer, Christmas song lyrics, a Bible verse, but the most traditional greeting is “Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.” These small, simple Christmas cards always seem to lift spirits and spread Christmas cheer.

Unfortunately, sending Christmas cards has been declining steadily in the twenty first century. Many people have abandoned traditional Christmas cards in favor of ecards, emails, video chatting, text messaging, and a host of other electronic mediums. However, there is something special about sending and receiving traditional Christmas cards which modern technology cannot replace. This is the true story of Mary’s Christmas card list.

In about 1918 or 1919, Samuel and Mary began courting, as they referred to it at the time. In 1919, Samuel proposed to Mary and, to his delight, she accepted. With their betrothal, Mary would inherit a last name which, at the time, they thought was a rather unfortunate pairing with her first name. Several newspaper reporters heard of their upcoming nuptials and the unique name combination and wanted to do a feature story on their marriage. Embarrassed by the name combination, Mary and Samuel declined their offers and shied away from reporters. On August 24, 1919, Samuel and Mary wed, and she took Samuel’s last name. Practical jokers telephoned Mary at all hours of the night and bombarded her with wise cracks and insults about her name. Some members of the Assembly of God Church in Racine, Wisconsin, her own church congregation, joined in on the fun at Mary’s expense. For a while, Samuel and Mary considered legally changing their last name to Thompson to avoid mockery, but they ultimately decided against it. Mary had to accept her new name.

Eventually, Mary’s and Samuel’s embarrassment of her name eased somewhat. In 1936, Mary sent Christmas cards to a few handicapped persons to lift their spirits during the holidays. The recipients of Mary’s good deeds were overjoyed at her act of kindness. Mary signed her unfortunate name to the cards and the recipients were even more delighted. Many of the recipients sent thank you letters to Mary for thinking of them. The following year, Mary added more names to her Christmas card list. Just as before, she got an overwhelming response. Each year, the number of Christmas cards Mary sent grew exponentially.

Mary never expected anything in return for her Christmas cards and always looked forward to sending them out. “If I know I can make a few people smile at Christmas time, then I am more than repaid,” Mary declared. “Tears come to my eyes when I receive letters telling of the happiness that my simple cards bring.” Over the years, several radio show hosts interviewed Mary about her Christmas card campaign. In 1954, she appeared as a guest on the “Welcome Travelers,” a Chicago based television show. In that same year, Mary was named “Racine’s Mother of the Year.” Multiple national magazines included feature stories about Mary and her lengthy Christmas card list.

The increase in publicity resulted in an increase of Christmas card and stamp donations. Various societies around the world provided Mary with the names and addresses of people they thought needed a little Christmas cheer. People from all over the country helped Mary’s Christmas card campaign with donations including civic organizations, manufacturers, scout troops, school children, and hundreds of her friends in Racine, Wisconsin. Many of the donors were or had been recipients of Mary’s Christmas cards and wanted to help Mary give others the same joy they had when they received a card.

Each June, Mary began signing cards and addressing envelopes. For her to complete her task, Mary had to address and sign a minimum of forty cards per day for the six months preceding Christmas. She never allowed anyone else to sign her name or address the envelopes. Her only shortcut was using a rubber stamp to imprint her return address. She sorted and tied the cards in bundles according to states and countries. In mid-December, Samuel happily delivered her avalanche of cards to the Racine post office. At the height of her Christmas card campaign, during World War II, Mary added a large number of American soldiers to her list of recipients and sent out over 7,000 Christmas cards. Wounded soldiers in armed forces hospitals were always first on her list. Mary’s was considered the longest Christmas card list in the world.

In addition to her Christmas card campaign, Mary still found time each year to prepare her house for Christmas for her 5 children and their spouses along with her twenty-five grandchildren. As Mary grew older, it took more of a toll on her body to ready all of the Christmas cards.
“My own difficulties aren’t going to hamper me,” she told reporters. “It really is a relief when the job is over. I always get writer’s cramp in my right arm, neck and back.” Each year until her death, regardless of physical pain or handicap, Mary sent out Christmas cards to every name on her list.

Once Mary overcame the embarrassment of her unique name, a name she and Samuel once considered unfortunate, she used it as a way to spread the Christmas spirit. She no longer saw her name as a hindrance, but as a gift. “I feel that God gave me my name so I can carry out this work. I know how happy an unfortunate person can feel by receiving a friendly card from a stranger, especially one with the name… ‘Mary Christmas.’”

1. The Hanford Sentinel (Hanford, California), December 24, 1952, p.21.
2. The Journal Times (Racine, Wisconsin), September 30, 1959, p.1.
3. Find A Grave. “Samuel Christmas.” Accessed December 1, 2020.
4. Find A Grave. “Mary Christmas.” Accessed December 1, 2020.

Pardon Of Gen. Flynn Ends A Grievous Abuse Of Justice

By Royal Alexander/Opinion

This has all been so dishonest. So false, damaging, and harmful. Such a lie. And all due to the irrational hatred of President Trump—which is ultimately not about the president at all but about the disdain of the elites for his supporters and our American values.

The FBI is supposed to investigate crimes, not fabricate them. The FBI is not supposed to target an American citizen—a highly decorated military officer at that—and then hatch a plan and create a crime. Gen. Flynn was set up, ambushed, and essentially framed.

Robert Mueller knew the truth about the Russia collusion witch-hunt but continued his fraudulent probe anyway. The FBI knew in early 2017 that its investigation was unjustified for several reasons, not least because it had already established that the Steele dossier was fake. James Comey, as sanctimonious as he is disingenuous, then leaked classified information to falsely create the appearance of a need for a special counsel. Mueller then grabbed on to the fateful interview—entrapment if I’ve ever seen it—of Gen. Flynn at which agents tried to both trap him in a lie and threaten to prosecute his son if he didn’t plead guilty to the charge of lying to the FBI. Facing bankruptcy, Flynn agreed to this abuse of power to protect his son.
Recall the facts:

1) evidence that would have exonerated Gen. Flynn was never provided to his defense counsel, a cardinal constitutional and statutory violation that makes clear investigators were targeting him.
2) The FBI had already conducted a counterintelligence investigation of Gen. Flynn that resulted in it concluding there was an “absence of any derogatory information” to justify investigating any further and the case was set to be closed.
3). However, before the case was closed with, again, no evidence of wrongdoing, the FBI began a criminal investigation. Why? What basis was there to interview Flynn on Jan. 24, 2017? (an action DOJ has conceded had no “legitimate investigative basis”).
Why question him about his conversation with the Russian Ambassador when the FBI, as is its practice, already had a verbatim transcript of the call? And, in a highly illegal and unethical action, FBI agents actually discussed whether the goal of the interview with Gen. Flynn was to “get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired.”

4). Further, one of those FBI officials advised Gen. Flynn he did not need an attorney with him—which is inappropriate and dangerous, not least because Flynn was apparently still the subject of an investigation; they also did not provide him the standard warning that lying is a crime, nor refresh his recollection by use of recordings or a transcript; He was also encouraged not to report the FBI’s desire to speak with him to either the DOJ or to the White House—including the White House Counsel Office (either or both of which would very likely have advised him not to take the meeting or, at a minimum, have an attorney with him when he did);

5) After the interview, with agents not having gotten what they needed to successfully execute the perjury trap they were trying to set, there were multiple “edits” made of the official report of the Flynn interview. This, notwithstanding that one of the interviewing agents concluded that Gen. Flynn “did not intentionally lie”; however, that agent’s impression seems later to have “changed.”

I’m not minimizing his guilty plea but consider the circumstances. All accounts are that this ordeal was very hard on him and his family and his legal defense cost him millions of dollars he didn’t have. So, there are personal reasons he may have wanted it to end and a false plea was the way to do so. But that’s not really the issue. The issue is the abuse and fraud committed by federal officials. That’s why DOJ dropped the case after concluding Gen. Flynn’s rights were egregiously violated.

We should find it chilling that this official abuse could be inflicted on any American. These core due process violations are damaging to all of us and will continue to have ramifications long after Pres. Trump is gone.
Mueller, Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok and Brandon Van Grack, who dishonestly signed his name to the plea agreement; These people, to name a few, deserve the nation’s scorn and a criminal prosecution of their own actions which, unfortunately, is unlikely. However, as American citizens we should never forget this abuse occurred. If it can happen to someone of Gen. Flynn’s stature and position, it can happen to any of us.

The views and opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Sabine Parish Journal. If you have an article or story of interest for publishing consideration by the SPJ, please send it to SPJManyLa@gmail.com.


Phase I Auction Allocates $9.2 Billion to Close the Digital Divide in 49 States and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

WASHINGTON—The Federal Communications Commission announced on Dec. 7 that millions of rural Americans in 49 states and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands will gain access to high-speed Internet service through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Phase I auction. Auction results released today show that bidders won funding to deploy high-speed broadband to over 5.2 million unserved homes and businesses, almost 99% of the locations available in the auction. Moreover, 99.7% of these locations will be receiving broadband with speeds of at least 100/20 Mbps, with an overwhelming majority (over 85%) getting gigabit-speed broadband. CCO Holdings, LLC (Charter Communications) was assigned the most locations, just over 1.05 million. A total of 180 bidders won auction support, to be distributed over the next 10 years.

A broad range of providers successfully competed in the Phase I auction, including cable operators, electric cooperatives, incumbent telephone companies, satellite companies, and fixed wireless providers. And the FCC’s structuring of the reverse auction yielded significant savings, as competitive bidding among over 300 providers yielded an allocation of $9.2 billion in support out of the $16 billion set aside for Phase I of the auction. Importantly, the $6.8 billion in potential Phase I support that was not allocated will be rolled over into the future Phase II auction, which now can draw upon a budget of up to $11.2 billion in targeting partially-served areas (and the few unserved areas that did not receive funding through Phase I).

“I’m thrilled with the incredible success of this auction, which brings welcome news to millions of unconnected rural Americans who for too long have been on the wrong side of the digital divide. They now stand to gain access to high-speed, high-quality broadband service,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “We structured this innovative and groundbreaking auction to be technologically neutral and to prioritize bids for high-speed, low-latency offerings. We aimed for maximum leverage of taxpayer dollars and for networks that would meet consumers’ increasing broadband needs, and the results show that our strategy worked. This auction was the single largest step ever taken to bridge the digital divide and is another key success for the Commission in its ongoing commitment to universal service. I thank our staff for working so hard and so long to get this auction done on time, particularly during the pandemic.”

The auction used a multi-round, descending clock auction format in which bidders indicated in each round whether they would commit to provide service to an area at a given performance tier and latency at the current round’s support amount. The auction was technologically neutral and open to new providers, and bidding procedures prioritized bids for higher speeds and lower latency.

The auction unleashed robust price competition that resulted in more locations being awarded at less cost to Americans who pay into the Universal Service Fund. The 5,220,833 locations assigned support in the auction had an initial reserve price of over $26 billion over the next decade; through vigorous competition among bidders, the final price tag to cover these locations is now just over $9 billion, with the vast majority of locations receiving gigabit broadband—far above the 25/3 Mbps minimum level of service that providers could bid on in the auction.

Providers must meet periodic buildout requirements that will require them to reach all assigned locations by the end of the sixth year. They are incentivized to build out to all locations as fast as possible.

The Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Phase I auction is part of a broader effort by the FCC to close the digital divide in rural America and focus limited universal service funds on unserved areas that most need support. In October 2020, the Commission adopted rules creating the 5G Fund for Rural America, which will distribute up to $9 billion over the next decade to bring 5G wireless broadband connectivity to unserved areas in rural America.

More information on the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Phase I auction is available at https://www.fcc.gov/auction/904, including complete auction results and a map of winning bids.

Notice of Death – December 8, 2020

Nancy Jane Parrie
January 28, 1941 – December 6, 2020
Service: Friday, December 11 at 10 am at St. Joseph Cemetery

Jack Corley
February 23, 1949 – December 5, 2020
Visitation: Thursday, December 10 from 12-2 PM at The Corley Farm. A private family service will be held at a later time.

Barbara Jean Ennis Thomas
February 21, 1933 – December 2, 2020
Service: Friday, December 11 at 10 am at Aimwell Baptist Church

Maria Elisa Hariel
May 18, 1922 – December 6, 2020
Service: Thursday, December 10 at 3 pm at Friendship Nazarene Cemetery

Charlotte Ann (Davis) French
August 28, 1949 – December 07, 2020
Service: Friday, December 11 at 10 am at Blanchard- St. Denis

Jeffery Daniel Williams
December 09, 1969 – November 27, 2020
Service: Saturday, December 12 at 10 am at Blanchard St. Denis Funeral Home

Arthur M. Hardy
December 8, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Lisa M. Lemoine Gordon
September 15, 1965 – December 05, 2020
Service: Saturday December 12 at 12 pm at the Pace Community Center, located at 2148 Highway 1226 in Natchitoches

Lee Arthur Brown
December 8, 2020
Service: Saturday, December 12 at 12 pm in the Evergreen Baptist Church Cemetery in St. Maurice

Willie E. Valrie
December 5, 2020
Service: Saturday, December 12 at 11 am at the First Baptist Church on Amulet Street in Natchitoches

Wade Ebert
December 03, 1951 – December 04, 2020
Service: Wednesday, December 9 at 1 pm at United Baptist Church

Ray Orsborn
September 21, 1930 – December 06, 2020
Service: Wednesday, December 9 at 1 pm at Provencal United Pentecostal Church

Mary Nelson Laroux
November 3, 1930 – December 4, 2020
Service: Wednesday December 9 at 2 pm at Cedar Grove Church Robeline

O V Jackson-Hall
December 1, 2020
Service: Friday, December 11 at North Star B. C. in Powhatan and burial will take place at Evergreen B. C. in St. Maurice

Antonio “Tony” Demars
December 15, 1969 – November 26, 2020
Visitation: Saturday, December 12 from 8:30-10:30 am at the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home, located at 318 North Street in Natchitoches
Service: Saturday, December 12 at 11 am at the Lawrence Serenity Sanctum

Rev. Jerry Wayne Wilson
November 1, 1946 – December 7, 2020
Visitation: Wednesday December 9 from 9:30-10:30 am at Kinner and Stevens Funeral Home. Followed by a private graveside service.


Rick and Mary Beth Tarver of Ft. Jesup are the 2020 Honorary Parade Marshals for the Town of Many’s 2020 Christmas Parade on Dec. 19.

Better known as MiMi and Papa Rick to their family and good friends, they are long time educators and are well known for their work with children.

The couple has made their home in Ft. Jesup for more than 50 years. High school sweethearts, they met while students at Many High School. After graduation they headed to Northwestern State University to continue their educations.

Mary Beth and Rick married in 1967. They have three children who kept them busy as the kids grew up. Now they have seven grandchildren who have taken up the task of keeping their grandparents busy as ever.

Mary Beth Tarver is well known as an educator. She began her teaching career at Many High School in 1967 where she taught in the math and science departments until 1991 when she transferred to Northwestern State University’s business department. She still is employed there and teaches computer information system courses.

During her long teaching career she has taught all four of her siblings: Marg, Sis, JoAnn, and Bill. She also taught her three children—Matt, Tori, and

Andy, as well as several generations of Many Tiger and NSU Demon fans.

MiMi spends her time away from the classroom on the family farm caring for their animals—mostly horses. She takes care of her daily chores and each year has conducted horse camps for several generations of young campers.

Mimi’s children say that you will want to come back to life as one of Mimi’s animals if you believe in reincarnation. Her love of animals is one reason she believes so strongly in the work of the Sabine Humane Society where she helps out whenever she can.

Rick Tarver interrupted his college years to join the National Guard. He graduated from Ft. Benning, GA, as a 2nd Lieutenant, served in various command positions and retired after 25 years in the Guard.

He then returned to college at NSU where he earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. Ultimately, he received his PhD in education at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Rick’s teaching career began at Ebarb and then Many Junior High School where he taught and also coached football.

He joined Norm Fletcher of Natchitoches as the voices of NSU Demon football in the 1970s and 80s.

Rick joined NSU as a teacher in the business department in 1997. After25 years of service at NSU, he retired.

His retirement years are spent with MiMi and his grandchildren, keeping him busy doing what a retired service man, teacher and farmer do. Rick does find time once in a while to find a football game or a NASCAR race to watch on the


The Tarvers are longtime and active members of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Many.

Their devotion to their church, their family, and their community for so many years makes them the ideal honorary parade marshals for the 2020 Many Christmas Parade on Dec. 19.

USDA Designates Natural Disaster Areas

Louisiana Producers to Receive Assistance

Baton Rouge, La. (December 2, 2020) – Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Mike Strain, D.V.M., said the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated several parishes disaster areas as a result of damage and losses caused by Hurricane Laura’s strong winds in late August.

A primary natural disaster area is eligible for assistance and has been declared for Caldwell, Natchitoches, Ouachita and Red River parishes.

These parishes are designated contiguous disaster areas: Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Catahoula, DeSoto, Franklin, Grant, Jackson, LaSalle, Lincoln, Morehouse, Rapides, Richland, Sabine, Union, Vernon, and Winn.

According to the LSU AgCenter, damage estimates from agriculture and forestry losses exceeded $1.6 billion.

“So many people suffered losses during Hurricane Laura including our farmers and ranchers. With its devastating Category 4 winds reaching 150 mph, Laura maintained hurricane strength as she pummeled the state,” said Strain. “Any assistance is appreciated to help our agricultural producers to recoup losses.”

Farmers in these parishes are eligible for low interest emergency (EM) loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met. Farmers in eligible areas have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses. FSA will consider each loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability. FSA has a variety of programs, in addition to the EM loan program, to help eligible farmers recover from adversity.

For more information, contact your local FSA office.

Natchitoches Christmas Festival is Saturday

The Natchitoches Christmas Festival will take place this Saturday, Dec. 5.

The Natchitoches Christmas Festival Committee issued the following details and guidelines as part of the plan approved by the Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office and Louisiana Department of Health:

· Armbands are REQUIRED to enter the Riverbank area on Saturdays ONLY. Adults and children will be required to have an armband regardless of age. This year all armbands will be $10.
· On Saturdays during the Season, Front Street will be closed to vehicular traffic but armbands are NOT required to enter shops and restaurants on Front Street.
· Fireworks and live music will take place each Saturday during the Season. Fireworks will be at 7 p.m. each Saturday.
· Food vendors will be available on the Riverbank seven days a week.
· Masks and social distancing will be highly encouraged throughout the Season.

For a complete list of details regarding schedules and approved activities are currently being updated on our website, http://www.natchitocheschristmas.com.

This event is part of the Louisiana Holiday Trail of Lights, a partnership of eight festive cities celebrating the holidays in North Louisiana.

Dear Single Parent

By Reba Phelps

I wanted to take a brief moment, if you will, to remind you that you are an amazingly strong person who matters and God chose you to be a parent. I know you probably feel alone at times and without help, especially during the midst of the holiday season.

The holiday season tends to have a more complicated set of single parenting issues. Navigating the murky waters of holiday visitation schedules to satisfy both parents and sets of grandparents can sometimes be a Christmas miracle in itself. Try to stay positive and put the children first. You can never go wrong when you put their needs before your own.

Children grow so fast. One Christmas you are changing diapers and hanging the “Baby’s First Christmas Ornament” and before you know it they are driving away. Christmas memories don’t always have to be made on the 25th of December. You have thirty other days in the month to make Christmas magic with your children.

Christmas happens when you have everyone together. If it is not your year to have your children for the holidays, make the most of it. Plan ahead and spend time praying asking God to fill the lonely place in your heart with his love and peace. Visit with family and friends you haven’t seen in a while. You can even volunteer to help the less fortunate or serve at your church.

Sometimes Christmas church services will cause us to lose our joy as well. It is completely unintended but it still happens. Stay strong and focus on the true reason for the season. Try your best not to focus on the perfectly nuclear families with coordinating clothes sharing the pews with you or lighting the Advent Candles. The Advent is supposed to symbolize hope, love, joy and peace.

These are the exact feelings that Jesus wants all of us to feel during the Christmas season. Anything outside of this is not ordained by him. Don’t let your loneliness or bitter feelings steal the real meaning of Christmas from you or your children.

The holiday season offers no shortage of ways to feel downtrodden about your circumstances. My hope is that we will find it in our hearts to count our blessings and not focus on the anxiety of parenting alone and itemizing the things we do not have.

God has also called you to be the leader, and spiritual leader, in your home. He truly does not give us more than we can bare. You can do this. Challenge yourself to capture every negative thought and transform that into thoughts of our savior being born.

As a single parent you are pulled in many different directions. Socially and in your career. Feel free to say no to things during the season that do not bring you complete joy and peace. This year it is actually socially acceptable to say no or take a step back.

He has called you and equipped you to make tough decisions, and they will not always have a perfect outcome. You will not always be popular with your children. But, you must not give up because you have small people living with you that will forever be shaped by the decisions you make and the words that come out of your mouth.

So, when you are up late at night during Christmas holidays putting together a doll house all by yourself, or staying up all night wrapping presents alone, and even stressing out over holiday expenditures….remember, that contentment is a choice. Choose to stay positive. Choose to stay prayed up. Choose to lean on others when you need to. Take someone up on the help they offer. You are not alone. You are loved and you are important enough that God sent his son to all of us.

“Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me.” – John 14:1

LSMSA Job Opening: Student Life Advisor

Looking for a position where you can make a difference in a student’s life?

Put your Bachelor’s degree to work at Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LSMSA) as a Student Life Advisor creating a positive living/learning environment for students.

In addition to programming responsibilities, SLAs are involved in many aspects of campus life with opportunity to sponsor clubs and student organizations or chaperone social and educational off-campus trips.

This is a full-time, live in position and includes free room, meal plan and all benefits afforded to Louisiana State employees including, health, life, retirement, tuition discounts, professional development and many other optional plans.

Bachelor’s degree and desire to work with students is required.

To apply for this position, please send a letter of application and resume to: EMPLOYMENT@LSMSA.edu

NSU to present virtual “Lessons and Carols” Tuesday

The Northwestern State University Chamber Choir will present a virtual performance of the candlelight service of “Lessons and Carols” Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m. The performance will be available at capa.nsula.edu/livestream. Dr. Nicholaus B. Cummins will conduct the Chamber Choir. This is the 30th consecutive year the NSU Chamber Choir has presented this service.

The “Lessons and Carols” is a service based upon a century-old tradition established at Kings College, Cambridge, in England, where it is performed every Christmas Eve to standing room only crowds and broadcast worldwide on the BBC. “Lessons and Carols” consists of nine lessons, readings for both the Old and New Testament of the Bible, all related to the Advent and birth of Christ. Following each lesson, the choir sings a text that relates to each of the readings.

Each December, the Chamber Choir performs their “Lessons and Carols” service. Normally, the performance is held at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.

The Northwestern Chamber Choir is the flagship choral ensemble at Northwestern State and is comprised of 32 undergraduates encompassing over 15 different majors throughout the university. The choir frequently collaborates with composers and conductors for projects including most recently “For a Breath of Ecstasy,” commissioned from composer Michael Trotta, “The Falling Stars” by Burchard, and “O Lux Beatissima” by Vytautas Miškinis. In 2019, they performed at the Eighth National Conference of the National Collegiate Choral Conference National Conference and placed third and won best compulsory performance in the AVE VERUM ICC in Baden, Austria. The choir was invited to perform in St. Martin’s Church in the Wall for the Czech national night of churches in Prague. In 2018, the choir placed second in the Laurea Mundi Budapest in Budapest, Hungary, and performed concerts in Krakow, Poland. The Chamber Choir plans to release a CD and iTunes recording of the music of Burchard in Fall 2021.

Notice of Death – December 3, 2020

Julius Sepulvado
April 11, 1941 – December 2, 2020
Service: Monday, December 7 at 10 am at St. Joseph Catholic Church

Herbert Dickens
December 3, 2020
Arrangements TBA

O V Jackson-Hall
December 1, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Jewerline Duncantel
December 1, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Shirley Self Bugg
March 1, 1938 – December 1, 2020
Service: Friday, December 4 at 2 pm at Ft. Jesup Cemetery

Eula Dean Ross Corley
January 23, 1930 – November 27, 2020
Service: Saturday, December 5 at 2 pm at Beulah Baptist Church Cemetery

Tommy Ray Horne
October 26, 1967 – November 25, 2020
Service: Saturday, December 5 at 2 pm at Atlanta Baptist Church Family Life Center

Sabine Parish Narcotics Arrests

Sheriff Aaron Mitchell announces the felony narcotics arrests for the month of November 2020. Sheriff Patrol Deputies and the Tactical Narcotics Team were instrumental in these arrests. Sheriff Mitchell continues to honor his pledge to the citizens of Sabine Parish to fight illegal narcotics sales and use.

If you have any information of illegal narcotics or any other crime, please contact the Sheriff’s Office at 318-256-9241.

If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 318-256-4511.

Dennis Monroe Bishop
Possession of schedule II (Meth), Improper lane usage, Modification of exhaust systems.

Michael Ellzy Anderson
Possession of schedule II w/intent to distribute (Meth), Possession of schedule I (Marijuana), Possession of drug paraphernalia, Second or subsequent offenses, Speeding, Taillights required.

Houston Wayne Manuel
Possession of schedule I (Marijuana), Possession of drug paraphernalia, Switched license plates.

Christopher Shane Lewing
Possession of schedule II (Meth).

David Andrew Jackson
Possession of schedule II (Meth), Possession of drug paraphernalia, Failure to signal when turning, Violations of registration provisions.

Anthony Juan Durr
Possession of schedule II (Meth), Possession of schedule IV (Phentermine Hydrochloride), Possession of drug paraphernalia, Operating vehicle while license is suspended, Improper lane usage, Taillights required.

Nicholas Daniels
Sale, distribution, or possession of legend drug without prescription (12 pints of Promethazine), Possession of drug paraphernalia, Improper lane usage, Operating vehicle while license is suspended.

William Shane Anderson
Possession of schedule II (Meth), Possession of drug paraphernalia, Operating vehicle while license is suspended, Headlamps on motor vehicles required, Vehicle license plate required, Owner to secure registration.

Richard Wayne Rutherford JR
Possession of schedule II (Meth), Possession of drug paraphernalia.

Sunnie Rivers
Possession of schedule II (Meth), Possession of drug paraphernalia.

Tommy James Lamperez JR
Possession of schedule II (Meth), Expired license plate.

Daquon Collier
Possession of schedule I (Marijuana) w/intent to distribute, Possession of firearm while in possession of CDS, Illegal carrying of weapons.

Many Christmas Lights

Drive through Many’s Cultural District any night between now and Christmas, and you’ll enjoy the beautiful Christmas lights.

The Town of Many is all decked out for Christmas thanks to some hard-working guys who worked long hours to string up and place all the lights down town.

Some people have asked why the strings of Christmas lights no longer are strung across San Antonio Avenue as they were many years ago. The answer is simple. San Antonio Avenue is also a State highway, and the state no longer allows the lights to cross above the street.

These city workers always make the best of it and have found alternate ways to brighten San Antonio Avenue by circling the light poles with lights, putting up Christmas wreaths, lighted Christmas lanterns and bells. All in all, it’s a cheery drive that promises to put everyone in a jolly Christmas mood.

Many Mayor Ken Freeman said he’s proud of the city crew for their hard work. “We have a great staff and crew,” the mayor said. “I don’t know what we’d do without them. Thanks to their hard work, downtown Many is ready for Christmas.”

Those working for multiple long days to install the Christmas decorations are Jeremy Wilkerson, Joshua Darden, David Smith, Keaton Leach, Mark Oxley, and Christopher Mabou.

This year, to thank these men, Mayor Freeman gave them the honor of officially turning on the Christmas lights. Keaton Leach flipped the switch to light up the town.


By Dr. Herbert Simmons, Jr./Opinion

Vice President Pence, who heads up the Nation’s Corona Virus Task force, decided that it was time for some fun time and decided that he was going to vacation time in sunny Florida. However, his vacation was called off and plans were scrapped due to an approaching hurricane named Eta. Amid virus numbers climbing as never before, Pence would find time to take a vacation as Americans are dying in record numbers. Republican Governors like Mike Dewine, of Ohio, Larry Hogan of Maryland, are calling on citizens to control their personal lives by wearing masks, avoiding large gatherings at funerals, football games, social events, and practicing good health hygrine. Wearing a mask and taking responsibility for what citizens do in their own personal lives is key for the nation to conquer this virus. Someone commented that “we are fighting a common enemy and it is not Republicans, Democrats or Independents, it is COVID 19”.

It is now past time for President Trump to accept defeat and allow the county to move forward. Political experts and commentators are warning that President Trump’s behavior is putting the nation’s security at risk His only concern seems to be what he WANTS, not what is good for the country,

While President Elect Biden garnered more popular votes and currently has 279 Electoral votes, President Trump is contending that the Democrats stole the election from him, and without any plausible evidence has inundated the courts with frivolous and baseless claims of voter fraud in the red states of Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania, states headed by Republican Governors. From all indication, President Trump has mesmerized his base to the extent that they will do almost anything to support him. I am informed that many Republicans do not want to become engulfed in a political spat with Trump and his base that could impact their election chances in the future. They believe that Trump’s base, which consists of over 70 million voters, could bury them alive, politically.

We are witnessing one of the most shameful and embarrassing moments in the history of the nation all while there is a legion of crises facing the nation. It is hoped and citizens are praying that President Trump will come to his senses and for the sake of our democracy, accept his loss and rejection by the American people and do what is right and best for the country, not what is right for Donald Trump. This ugly fabricated crisis by President Trump must give way to the Biden elect administration which hopefully signals a new beginning for greatness in all peoples.

Dr. Herbert Simmons, Jr. is an associate Professor, Department of Criminal Justice, Grambling State University, former President, Grambling State University Faculty Senate and former Chair, Department of Consumer Education and Resource Management, Howard University, Washington, D.C.

The views and opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Sabine Parish Journal. If you have an article or story of interest for publishing consideration by the SPJ, please send it to SPJManyLa@gmail.com.

Supreme Court Protects Religious Liberty But Battle Not Over

By Royal Alexander/Opinion

“…there is no world in which the Constitution tolerates color-coded executive edicts that reopen liquor stores and bike shops but shutter churches, synagogues, and mosques.” Justice Neil Gorsuch

This Supreme Court decision involves the Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and the Agudath Israel of America, an Orthodox Jewish group, and their opposition to restrictions limiting religious services to ten people in some areas and 25 people in others. Both groups essentially argued that the new Covid-19 regulations imposed by New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, target houses of worship in a much more burdensome and restrictive manner than other non-religious, commercial facilities.

At its core, this decision by the U.S. Supreme Court powerfully underscores the principle that a public health emergency cannot be used as a valid reason to target religious activities with draconian restrictions while allowing secular businesses and commercial entities that are deemed “essential” (and, apparently, even some favored “non-essential” businesses) to proceed in their typical fashion. Rather, the Court makes clear that what is deemed “safe” for liquor stores, bike shops and massage parlors must also be deemed safe for churches and synagogues.

In a succinct and penetrating concurrence opinion, Justice Gorsuch reasoned his way through the issue: “People may gather inside for extended periods in bus stations and airports, in laundromats and banks, in hardware stores and liquor shops. No apparent reason exists why people may not gather, subject to identical restrictions, in churches or synagogues, especially when religious institutions have made plain that they stand ready, able, and willing to follow all the safety precautions required of ‘essential’ businesses and perhaps more besides.”

Hence, Justice Gorsuch continues, “the only explanation for treating religious places differently seems to be a judgment that what happens there just isn’t as ‘essential’ as what happens in secular spaces. Indeed, the Governor is remarkably frank about this: In his judgment laundry and liquor, travel and tools, are all ‘essential’ while traditional religious exercises are not. That is exactly the kind of discrimination the First Amendment forbids.”

It should be highly hopeful and heartening for believers to see a decision like this that resoundingly rejects an action by government that would otherwise undermine and weaken the 1st Amendment’s guarantee of religious liberty. Even in a health emergency, core constitutional rights may not be enjoined by politicians, particularly when they, as here, are imposed in an overly broad, arbitrary, and discriminatory fashion.

However, there is a broader question presented here: How far will this go? Where does government overreach in matters of religious liberty and freedom of conscience end? I note that the largest LGBT organization in America has already demanded that Joe Biden, if he becomes president, remove accreditation of Christian schools that teach and adhere to Biblical sexuality.

My point is that religious liberty has been under attack in this country for decades. In this case, by a mere 5-4 decision—one vote—the Supreme Court has protected religious freedom. However, a 5-4 decision the other way would essentially allow “public health” officials to be given preference—greater authority—over sacred, fundamental constitutional rights that have protected Americans for 244 years. That’s worrisome and concerning.

This decision is very encouraging but we still have a battle in front of us and we will courageously rise to meet it.

The views and opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Sabine Parish Journal. If you have an article or story of interest for publishing consideration by the SPJ, please send it to SPJManyLa@gmail.com.