Demon great Gary Reasons to serve as CST analyst for LHSAA Prep Classic

NSULA– Gary Reasons first made a name for himself on the playing field at Turpin Stadium.

A three-time All-American and College Football Hall of Fame inductee based on his exploits as a Demon, Reasons will enjoy another homecoming when the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s Prep Classic takes place on the Northwestern State campus Dec. 27-30.

Reasons will be the color analyst for all nine Louisiana state high school championship football games that will be replayed on Cox Sports Television. A two-time Super Bowl champion with the New York Giants, Reasons has served as the color analyst on numerous television broadcasts involving his alma mater.

“What a tremendous honor it is to be broadcasting all nine LSHAA state championship games this year, and it is extra special that this year the games will be played at Northwestern State,” Reasons said. “I remember seeing Natchitoches and Demonland as a high school athlete and I know the players competing, fans attending, and those viewing our telecasts will enjoy the games, the scenics we’ll show, and hopefully some of my personal thoughts on what should be a tremendous slate of games.”

Reasons will be joined on the broadcast crew by Jeff Palermo (play by play) and Ronnie Rantz (sideline).

Like Reasons, Rantz shares Natchitoches ties, serving as the President and CEO of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Foundation. The foundation provides financial and marketing support to the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum, located in downtown Natchitoches, while also hosting statewide events that raise awareness of the brand of the hall.

The four-day Prep Classic kicks off with two games Sunday – the Class 2A championship between Many and Kinder at 1 p.m. and the Division I championship between C.E. Byrd of Shreveport and Catholic-Baton Rouge at 6 p.m.

State Fire Marshal Offers Safety Tips Ahead of the New Year Holiday

BATON ROUGE- As another fireworks sales season begins, the State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFM) wants to encourage all Louisiana residents to not only be safe when using fireworks, but knowledgeable when buying them and prepared if considering attending a public fireworks display during this pandemic.

Ordinarily, the SFM would encourage families to choose to enjoy public fireworks displays over creating their own. However, many public fireworks displays are either being canceled or altered due to the concerns over COVID-19. In the event a public display is still being offered in your area, and your family is considering attending, make sure every member of your household wears a face covering, aim to provide your own seating and ensure that seating is spaced six feet from the nearest individual or group of individuals.

If your family has, instead, chosen to purchase fireworks in order to stay safer at home, ideally with only the members of your household, know that there is no prohibition on the sale of retail fireworks at the state level as a result of COVID-19. However, state law does still require wholesale and retail fireworks business operators to be appropriately licensed by the SFM in the parishes and municipalities where they are legally allowed. The sales season extends through January 1.

A retail fireworks business falls under the Modified Phase 2 guidance for “Shopping Malls/Retail Stores,” which details requirements such as a maximum limit of 50% of the total capacity of the structure or tent while maintaining a social distance of six feet between employees and customers, the wearing of face coverings by employees and customers as well as explicit sanitation requirements. The full guidance can be accessed on For businesses that operate with counter sales only, where fireworks are displayed and sold from behind a counter, requirements include maintaining a distance of six feet between customers and the wearing of face masks by employees and customers, especially when interacting. Owners should also maintain access to hand sanitizer for employees and customers engaged in sales which require the handling of money, credit cards, etc.

Lastly, we want everyone to enjoy fireworks in the safest way possible. According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), fireworks started an estimated 19,500 fires in 2018, including 1,900 structure

fires, 500 vehicle fires, and 17,100 outside and other fires. These fires caused five deaths, 46 civilian injuries, and $105 million in direct property damage.

To avoid becoming part of these statistics, the SFM advises:

Detonating devices at least 200 feet away from structures, vehicles and rubbish
Never allowing children to light fireworks
Never operating fireworks while impaired
Lighting devices one at a time and monitoring embers released with a bucket of water or hose nearby
Discarding detonated items by wetting them down to prevent reignition and not disposing of them in a trash container immediately

Gov. Edwards Extends Modified Phase Two Order to Slow the Spread of COVID during Louisiana’s Third Surge

Gov. John Bel Edwards extended his modified Phase Two order on Dec. 22, including Louisiana’s statewide mask mandate, to January 13, 2021, as hospitalizations have exceeded the level reached during the second surge in July.

The Governor also declared an emergency for the elections in February, March and April of next year, per a request from the Secretary of State.

“While we have seen minor improvements, no one should feel good about our current COVID situation in Louisiana. We have too many new cases, too many people in the hospital and, sadly, too many Louisianans continue to die of this illness. Just this week, we reported the highest number of deaths since July. Aggressive mitigation is recommended by Louisiana’s public health experts and the White House Coronavirus Task Force, and it is absolutely critical that all of our people take every action they can to slow the spread of COVID,” Gov. Edwards said. “All Louisianans are at risk, but those who are 65 or older or who have health conditions that make it more likely that they will have severe COVID complications should be incredibly careful in the coming days and weeks and should avoid any indoor place other than their home where there is not universal masking.

“I cannot stress this enough: the holidays this year simply cannot look the same as they have in previous years,” Gov. Edwards said. “Having holiday parties where people from various households gather together, especially indoors, is dangerous and could lead to the spread of COVID and the loss of family members and friends. This year has been tragic and sad and we finally have the hope of better therapeutics and a vaccine, which means the end of the pandemic is in our sights. Now is not the time to let down our guard simply because it is Christmas or New Year’s Eve.”

Gov. Edwards’ extended order will be in place through January 13, 2021.

Louisiana’s statewide mask mandate remains in place. Louisiana’s COVID-19 restrictions include the below:

All Louisianans are encouraged to avoid gatherings of individuals not part of their households.
All businesses, private and public sectors, are encouraged to use remote work where they can.
All restaurants are limited to 50% of their indoor capacity. Restaurants should move as much dining outdoors as they can. Social distancing is required.
For bars in parishes above 5% positivity, bars are closed to indoor sales and consumption but open for outdoor consumption at tables only and at 25% capacity, with a maximum of 50 people. Social distancing is required. Take-out and delivery will still be available.
Retail businesses may open at 50% capacity, except for essential businesses, as defined by federal guidance from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.
Gyms may be open at 50% of their capacity.
Places of worship will remain at a maximum of 75% of their capacity or the number of people who can physically distance with at least six feet between each immediate household, whichever is less.
Barber and beauty shops, and nail salons may open at 50% of their capacity.
Movie theaters may open at 50% of their capacity.
Indoor gatherings at event/receptions centers are limited to 25% capacity or up to 75 individuals.
Outdoor gatherings at event/reception centers are limited to 25% capacity or up to 150 individuals when strict physical distancing is not possible.
All sporting events will be capped at 25% capacity.

Notice of Death – December 22, 2020

Louise Posey Booty
July 02, 1938 – December 19, 2020
Service: Wednesday, December 23 at 11 am at the First Baptist Church of Coushatta

Barbara Nell Jordan
June 04, 1949 – December 20, 2020
Service: Tuesday, December 29 at 2 p.m. at Rocky Mount Church

Joseph Antee
December 22, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Bobby Gene Dalme
May 22, 1938 – December 19, 2020
Service: Wednesday, December 30 at 10 am at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

Eva Lee Antilley Beasley
September 25, 1927 – December 20, 2020
Service: Wednesday, December 23 at 2 pm at Blanchard St. Denis Funeral Home

Willie Brown
January 8, 1965 – December 21, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Reva Darlene Dalton
August 10, 1959 – December 18, 2020
Service: Wednesday, December 30 from 5-7 pm in the chapel of Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

Clyde Shoemaker
February 04, 1934 – December 19, 2020
Service: Wednesday, December 23 at 10 am at Hickory Grove Congregational Methodist Church in Robeline

Bobby Jean Parker
August 9, 1955 – December 21, 2020
Arrangements TBA

McTavish Raymond
June 22, 1972 – December 21, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Richard Williams
December 17, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Sophia Willoughby Washington
December 15, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Elijah Calhoun
February 11, 1960 – December 11, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Faris Cooper Wyatt
February 27, 1931 – December 20, 2020
Service: Saturday, December 26 at 2 pm at the Southern Funeral Home Chapel

Cheryl Caskey Walters
September 20, 1949 – December 20, 2020
Service: Wednesday, December 23 at 2 pm at Gloryway Church

Mary Fitzgerald
May 22, 1940 – December 19, 2020
Service: Wednesday, December 23 at 10 am at Corinth Tabernacle Cemetery

Sherri Stroud Davison
February 29, 1948 – December 19, 2020
Service: Wednesday, December 23 at 11 am in the St. Maurice cemetery

Glenn Curtiss McElwee
September 26, 1927 – December 21, 2020
Service: Wednesday, December 23 at 3 pm at Bethany Cemetery in Coushatta

Elsie Pauline Harrison
September 02, 1935 – December 21, 2020
Service: Sunday, December 27 at 1 pm at Thomas-Wren Cemetery

Interim Chief of Police for Many is Cheryl Wooley

She was approved by a unanimous vote of the city council after Mayor Ken Freeman nominated her. She will be the first female chief of police in the town’s history and will serve until after a chief is elected in April and sworn in later.

Mayor Freeman said Wooley is well qualified, having served in Oklahoma for 11 years as an agent for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics where she worked state and federal narcotics investigations.

Wooley graduated from East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma. She went straight to work for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics.

In 1999, she left the agency and went to the Oklahoma Dept of Human Services and stayed until 2012 working child abuse and sexual abuse investigations becoming a supervisor in 2008. Wooley currently serves as president of the Board of Directors of Project Celebration.

Freeman pointed out that she met two legal requirements. She has been a resident in Many for more than a year and she has also been a registered voter in Many for more than a yar.

“ We are fortunate to have Mrs Wooley agree to serve because she is so well qualified with lots of years of experience in the fields of narcotics and domestic abuse situations,” said Freeman.

Cheryl Wooley is the wife of Donnie Wooley of Many.

PHOTO: Mayor Ken Freeman,  Interim Police Chief Cheryl Wooley,  Assistant Chief of Police Kyle Cook.

Delta Deadline to Register for FEMA Assistance is December 16

BATON ROUGE, La. —Renters and homeowners in parishes designated for FEMA assistance afterHurricane Delta have until Dec. 16 to register for help.

Federal assistance includes help for temporary housing, rental assistance and repair or replacement of damaged property.

Additionally, grants may be available to help with other expenses such as medical and dental care, childcare, funeral and burial costs, replacing essential household items, moving and storage, vehicle repairs and cleanup.

To see if you live in a designated parish,

For more information or to register for assistance:

Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 (TTY at 800-877-8339).
Visit the FEMA
To find a drive-thru DRC you can text 43362 and type DRC and your zipcode (i.e. DRC 12345).
To receive a link to download the FEMA app:
· Apple devices: text APPLE to 43362

· Android devices: text ANDROID to 43362


Call 211 or text 527435837 to 898-211. For Louisiana evacuees that are now out-of-state, please call 337-310-4636. To get support, this number also is valid for TTY out-of-state users.
Those who use a relay service such as a videophone, InnoCaption or CapTel should update FEMA with their specific number assigned to that service.

For the latest information on Hurricane Laura, Or, for Hurricane Delta, visit Follow the FEMA Region 6 Twitter account at

Facebook to Face the Music: Feds, 46 States Sue

By Royal Alexander/Opinion

The Federal Trade Commission and 46 states sued Facebook, Inc., this past week alleging that the huge social media platform has engaged in buying and freezing out small start-up businesses in order to eliminate competition. Specifically, the broad antitrust case is being brought to force Facebook to sell and/or unload its acquisitions of WhatsApp and Instagram. The lawsuits allege that the lack of competition, in and of itself, has damaged customers, including with weakened privacy protections.

(I note that a few weeks ago the DOJ also brought a case alleging that Google had, through unfair trade practices and monopolistic activities, illegally created a monopoly in its search engine business).

I find these developments to be positive and encouraging both for the reasons alleged in the respective lawsuits, and for others.

In addition to unfair trade practices and antitrust conduct, the censorship we have witnessed from Facebook (and Twitter, for that matter) is stunning. Recall that only a few days before the presidential election, Facebook (and Twitter) blocked access to damaging news regarding Hunter Biden, the son of presidential candidate, Joe Biden, simply because Facebook principals favored Biden for president. The news story involved the discovery of credible evidence in the form of emails revealing that Hunter Biden clearly leveraged his dad’s then-position as VP by gaining favors from his dad that benefited the Ukrainian energy company, Burisma.

Regardless, Facebook immediately stated that it “was reducing [the New York Post article’s] distribution on our platform.” What this really means is Facebook would tweak and alter its algorithms to limit the ability of users to view, discuss or share the Biden article.

(Note, this past week YouTube, the video streaming giant, stated it will remove from its platform all new content that alleges that widespread fraud changed the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. More censorship).

These are perfect examples of why millions of Americans trust neither the national media nor social media. This is the behavior of totalitarian regimes and dictatorships. Not America.

It’s simply insufficient to say that no duty of fairness and evenhandedness is owed by Facebook (as well as Twitter and Google) because the First Amendment only applies to government, not private, actors. Government censorship of speech is not the only kind. Private sector suppression of speech is equally threatening, chilling, and damaging. Democracy can only function with a free exchange of information. These tech giants may not be government actors, but they are quasi-public entities, and they are behemoths. They are essentially monopolies and possess enormous leverage as a result.

Facebook owes a duty of fairness for many reasons, not least because Facebook (and Twitter) directly benefit from a valuable legal advantage contained in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. This law protects it from any legal liability for content published on its site, much of which may be defamatory. Facebook should not be allowed to receive valuable federal benefits on the one hand then also take the position that “we are a private company so we can suppress speech whenever we like.”

Facebook is no longer, if it ever was, a neutral arbiter simply operating an information exchange platform. It has become the equivalent of a media company that regularly makes editorial decisions in the composition of its news feed and in so doing, reflects a distinctly Leftist bent. It remains legally unaccountable for damage done by the content on its platform and has broad discretion to censor 3rd party speech. This is too much. I am hopeful changes to Section 230 will be made to limit the legal protections of Facebook and other social media companies.

Given its special status, Facebook has an obligation to act in the public interest and it is not doing so. I support the Feds either breaking it up on grounds of antitrust and monopoly or Congress removing its Section 230 advantage and regulating it as a public utility. It’s the best way to ensure that free market competition and innovation succeed.

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

A Grand Adventure

By Brad Dison

The Grand Canyon is considered one of the seven wonders of the natural world. The Colorado River carved out the canyon over millions of years. The canyon measures about 277 miles long, 18 miles at its widest span, and reaches a depth of over a mile. Millions of visitors flock to the canyon each year to see the unique landscape. In 2016, the Kleins, 47-year-old Eric, his 46-year-old wife Karen, and their 10-year-old son Isaac were on vacation in Arizona and wanted to see the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. They had driven some thirty-five hours across the country from Easton, Pennsylvania, and the Grand Canyon was to be the highlight of their trip.

It had been snowing for some time on that Thursday afternoon. The ground was blanketed with thick snow but the main roads were clear. Unbeknownst to the Klein family, the snowfall was just the beginning of a larger snowstorm which was heading their way. Being from Pennsylvania, they were unconcerned about driving in snow. They travelled along Arizona Highway 89A until they reached State Route 67, the only main road which led to the North Rim. To their surprise, Route 67 was closed for the winter. Eric used his cell phone and found an alternate route to reach the North Rim. Undeterred by this setback, they trudged ahead. They turned off of the main highway and onto their alternate route. They drove for a few miles until they reached a spot where the road was impassable. They turned their vehicle around and headed back to the main highway. Within a short distance, the vehicle’s tires lost traction in the accumulating snow. The Klein family was stuck.

The Kleins were not too concerned because Eric could use his cell phone to call for help. None of the sources mention Karen having a cell phone. By this time, the snow was falling in thick sheets. Eric tried to call for help but he had no signal. Karen, a marathon runner and triathlete, was in better physical condition than her husband and they decided that she should go for help. Karen wore a parka, a knit cap, and hiking boots, clothes which were not considered snow gear. Karen reassured Eric and Isaac that she would soon return and walked away in the snow. Within seconds, she was out of sight.

In the car, Eric and Isaac impatiently waited for Karen’s return. Minutes turned into hours. Eric and Isaac used the car’s heater to stay warm. To save gasoline, Eric would turn the engine off occasionally. When the cold became almost unbearable for him and Isaac, Eric would crank the car again. Eric and Isaac spent a slow evening, night, and morning in the car. Finally, the car ran out of gas.

Eric decided that he and Isaac would abandon the car and try to go in search of help. It was Friday afternoon. Karen had been gone a full 24 hours. Eric and Isaac trudged through the deep snow. Eric regularly checked his cell phone for signal but none was available. Eric saw a high hill a short distance away. He and Isaac climbed the hill and Eric looked at his cell phone. His expectation of having cell signal was almost nonexistent. To Eric’s surprise, his phone had reception. He quickly called 911 and told them of their dire situation. Within a short while, searchers rescued Eric and Isaac. Eric asked about his wife, but they had no knowledge that anyone was missing until Eric’s 911 call. The rescuers took Eric and Isaac to a hospital in Kanab, Utah, where they were treated for exposure. Now they had to find Karen.

Searchers used all of their resources which included helicopters and car-sized snowmobiles in their search for Karen. On Saturday morning, searchers on snowmobiles located her tracks. They followed her tracks for about 26 miles through snow that sometimes reached a depth of three feet. Her tracks led to a cabin at the park entrance station which had been closed for the winter. From the outside, the cabin looked deserted. No lights were on and there was no smoke coming from the chimney. They ran to the cabin, threw open the door, and found Karen lying on a bed in the freezing cold cabin. One of the rescuers said that Karen “was too exhausted to even make a fire.” They took Karen to the same hospital where they had taken Eric and Isaac. Her condition was more serious than Eric’s or Isaac’s, but not life-threatening.

To save her family, Karen walked for more than 24 hours non-stop, for a distance of about 26 miles, in snow up to three feet deep, without proper snow gear. Karen, Eric, Isaac, and the host of search and rescue personnel considered their survival a Christmas miracle because they were reunited on Christmas Day.

1. Albuquerque Journal, December 25, 2016, p.B18.
2. National Park Service. “Grand Canyon National Park.” Accessed December 10, 2020. gov/grca/planyourvisit/north-rim.htm.

Maggio inducted as Barksdale AFB honorary commander

Dr. Chris Maggio, president of Northwestern State University, was one of several community leaders inducted as honorary commanders at Barksdale Air Force Dec. 10. The goal of the honorary commander program is to build and maintain a strong and lasting bond between Barksdale Air Force Base and surrounding communities, while exposing community leaders to important role of today’s military. This is the second year Maggio received the honor.

The U.S. Air Force developed the honorary commanders program to improve community relations with the service. Civilian leaders from around the region are paired with specific units and encouraged to exchange ideas and experiences while building relationships. Maggio was paired with 2nd Bomb Wing leadership.

The military commanders immerse their honorary commanders in the unit’s mission, structure and programs, and invite them to take part in quarterly activities and other events on base allowing the honorary commander to observe their duties and the mission.

Honorary Commanders use their insight into base operations, missions requirements and capabilities to facilitate partnerships with the local community to bridge the military-civilian gap and serve as military advocates within their spheres of influence in the local community.

Notice of Death – December 15, 2020

F. Allen Horton
August 31, 1933 – December 15, 2020
Due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, a private family graveside service in the Catholic Rite of Christian Burial will be held at Memory Lawn Cemetery in Natchitoches on Friday, Dec. 18, under the direction of Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home of Natchitoches.

Sophia Willoughby Washington
December 15, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Gloria Marie LaCaze
July 09, 1940 – December 11, 2020
Service: Wednesday, December 16 at 11 am at Weaver Cemetery in Flora

Elijah Calhoun
February 11, 1960 – December 11, 2020
Arrangements TBA

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

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

Shirley Ann Remo
December 6, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Arthur M. Hardy
December 8, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Tommy W. Lowe
March 23, 1967 – December 13, 2020
Service: Friday, December 18 at 2 pm at Southern Funeral Home