SPSO Searching For Information Regarding Stolen Items

MANY, La – On Friday, May 21st, SPSO put a post out to the public in search of information regarding stolen items from Toledo Town.

Detectives are requesting your help identifying this subject.

He took items from Toledo Town & Tackle without paying on the afternoon of Friday, May 7, 2021. The subject left the store in a dark gray newer model GMC Yukon.

If you have any information, contact Detective Seegers, Sabine CID, at 318-590-9475.

If you wish to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 318-256-4511 or submit a tip through our Sabine Parish Sheriff App.


Governor Signs Updated Public Health Emergency Order Ending Most Restrictions

Following months of improvement in COVID-19 hospitalizations and with nearly three million vaccine doses administered, Governor John Bel Edwards on Tuesday signed an updated public health emergency order that removes all remaining business capacity restrictions and the vast majority of masking requirements. This week, Louisiana hit its lowest level of COVID-19 hospitalizations since the very early days of the pandemic.

Since March 2020, the Governor has issued public health emergency orders that allowed the state to effectively respond to the COVID-19 threat, support local governments and slow the spread of COVID-19 to protect Louisiana’s ability to deliver healthcare. At the peak of hospitalizations, during the third COVID-19 spike in January 2021, as many as 2,069 people were hospitalized statewide at one time.

“For nearly 15 months, Louisiana has operated under necessary public health restrictions designed to save lives by slowing the spread of COVID-19,” Gov. Edwards said. “Thanks to the wide availability of vaccines and the 1.4 million Louisianans who already have gone sleeves up and after hitting a new low in hospitalizations, the order I have signed today contains the fewest state-mandated restrictions ever, though local governments and businesses may still and should feel empowered to take precautions that they see as necessary and prudent, including mandating masks. To be clear: COVID-19 is not over for our state or for our country. Anyone who has gotten the vaccine is now fully protected and can enter summer with confidence. Unfortunately, people who have not yet taken their COVID-19 vaccine remain at risk as more contagious COVID variants continue to spread and as we enter into hurricane season. Because you never know when you may have to leave home and utilize a shelter as the result of bad weather, I encourage all people to take the COVID-19 vaccine as the first step to getting prepared and keeping you and your loved ones safe.”

Masks will be required in educational settings until the end of the current academic semester at which time state and local oversight boards will set their own masking policies. The Louisiana Department of Health will continue to revise guidance and masking recommendations for summer camps, following CDC guidance. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced that it was safe for vaccinated people to not wear masks in most settings.

Under order of the State Health Officer, masks continue to be required in healthcare settings, which is a federal mandate. In addition, masks are required on public transportation and in jails and prisons, as per federal guidance.

Local governments and businesses may choose to have stronger restrictions than the state does and the Governor encourages Louisianans to respect all local or business mandates, especially when it comes to masking.

The Governor, the Louisiana Department of Health, the CDC and numerous public health officials recommend that unvaccinated individuals continue to wear a face mask in public and when they are with people outside of their households to reduce their likelihood of contracting COVID-19.

Right now, there are three safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines widely available in nearly 1,500 locations across Louisiana. All Louisianans 18 and older are eligible for any of the approved vaccines. Louisianans between the ages of 12 and 17 are eligible for the Pfizer vaccine only.

According to the CDC, more than 1.4 million Louisianans are fully vaccinated, around 30.5 percent of the population. The most vaccinated population, by age, is people 65 and older. Nearly 72 percent of people 65 and older in Louisiana are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

To get your questions answered, find a provider or event near you, get your appointment scheduled or speak directly with a medical professional, just call the COVID Vaccine Hotline at 855-453-0774. The hotline is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 8 p.m. on Sunday.

NSU’s nurse anesthesia program earns full accreditation

Northwestern State University’s nurse anesthesia program received full accreditation by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs. The program is approved for five years, the maximum accreditation period for a new program, and was also approved to offer distance education didactic courses. NSU’s nurse anesthesia program joins 124 accredited nurse anesthesia educational programs in the country and was one of seven in capability review during the 2020-21 year.

“Accreditation of this magnitude and scope is certainly no easy task. The fact that this accreditation was obtained during the midst of a pandemic only added to the complexity of the process,” said Dr. Joel Hicks, dean of NSU’s College of Nursing and School of Allied Health.

Northwestern’s nurse anesthesia program builds off the tradition of excellence established by the CoNSAH.

“For almost 75 years, the College of Nursing at NSU has prepared thousands of nurses and advanced practice nurses for entry into the healthcare workforce. Now, our fully accredited nurse anesthesia program means that even more advanced practice nurses will be moving into an area of healthcare with a critical demand,” Hicks said.

The nurse anesthesia program admission cycle is now open. The deadline for completed applications is August 1, according to Dr. Aimee Badeaux, director of doctoral studies and nurse anesthesia program coordinator.

“The nurse anesthesia program begins in January each year and is a nine-semester graduate program, culminating in the baccalaureate-prepared registered nurse’s preparation for entry into practice in the advanced practice role of nurse anesthetist,” Badeaux said.

“Without the expertise and guidance of Dr. Badeaux, accompanied by Dr. Katrina O’Con, assistant coordinator, this accreditation would not have occurred. As an incoming administrator in the College of Nursing and School of Allied Health, I am thankful for their leadership within our college, as they have recruited a world-class faculty to teach within the program,” Hicks said.

Hicks thanked NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio and Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Greg Handel for support that enabled the college to recruit and hire nurse anesthesia leaders from around the nation as faculty; Dr. Dana Clawson, immediate past CoNSAH dean, and Senior Director of Nursing Dr. Pam Simmons, for their vision and leadership in initiating the program.

Hicks and Badeaux also acknowledged the community and clinical partners.

“When the program initially met with the Council on Accreditation to discuss NSU’s intent to develop a nurse anesthesia program, the COA noted that clinical partnerships are typically the most challenging aspect of starting a new program,” Badeaux said. “This was not the case for our program as we were extremely fortunate to have long standing clinical relationships within the College of Nursing and School of Allied Health that served as a foundation for our nurse anesthesia partnerships.”

For more information on the nurse anesthesia program, as well as other programs in NSU’s College of Nursing and School of Allied Health, visit https://nursing.nsula.edu/nursing-programs/.

Opportunity: CDL Vac/End Dump Operators

POSITION: CDL Vac/End Dump Operators

DESCRIPTION: Southern Fluid Solutions LLC is a locally owned and operated company with positions open for Vac/End Dump Operators. Responsibilities include; operating a tanker or end dump truck to haul off oil field waste.

• 2 years of driving experience
• Valid CDL
• Pre-employment drug screen

Benefits available after 90 days

CONTACT: For more information call 936-598-2500 or visit www.southernfluidtx.com

Blowing Off Steam

By Brad Dison

Blowing Off Steam is an oft-used expression to describe someone who is doing or saying something to relieve built-up feelings or energy. Sometimes the person exerts a sudden act of verbal or physical violence. This expression has its roots with steam engines. Steam engines use boilers to boil water. The boiling water produces steam pressure, which, when channeled properly, can propel vehicles including pre-diesel train locomotives and water vessels. When functioning properly, safety valves on the engines release or blow off steam to keep the boilers operating at a safe pressure. When not functioning properly, the boilers are unable to release the built-up steam and the pressure increases until the boilers rupture which creates a massive explosion.

In the mid-1850s, steamboats which travelled along the Mississippi River were seen by many as romantic. Children and teenagers idolized the crew of these large vessels, especially the pilots. Steamboats were at the height of technology and offered thrilling adventure with a twinge of danger. Like so many other young men, Henry dreamed of working on a steamboat and eventually becoming a steamboat pilot. Henry’s older brother was a crewman on the sidewheeler steamboat Pennsylvania, and, in the first week of June of 1858, got Henry a job on the same vessel as a “Mud Clerk.” This was an entry level position with no salary but would become a paid position once the crewman proved himself. On June 5, 1858, Henry’s brother and the Pennsylvania’s pilot got into an altercation which resulted in Henry’s brother’s resignation. Following his brother’s departure, Henry knew he would have to work even harder to impress the pilot.

On Sunday, June 9, 1858, the Pennsylvania left New Orleans, Louisiana bound for St. Louis, Missouri. It was Henry’s first trip as a member of a steamboat crew. Although the work was grueling, Henry was ecstatic. On June 13th, four days into the trip, the Pennsylvania neared Ship Island, about sixty miles south of Memphis, Tennessee. The crew noticed that the steamboat’s boiler was building up pressure to a dangerous level. The safety valves had failed. The crew tried to manually open pressure release valves, but the pressure continued to climb. At about 6:00 a.m., the Pennsylvania’s boiler exploded. Within an instant, red-hot metal shrapnel, wood splinters, and scalding hot water violently shot in every direction.

A survivor of the explosion wrote, “The boilers seemed to be heaved upward and forward parting the cabin at the gangway and rendering the upper works of the boat from that point forward a complete wreck. When the steam and smoke had cleared up from the wreck, there indeed was a mournful spectacle to be seen by the few survivors. The boilers and smokestacks were twisted together like hungry serpents, locking in their hot embrace scores of human beings, dead and dying. Some were killed instantly; others were buried beneath the rubbish to await the advance of the flames which as yet slumbered in the hold.”

Survivors scrambled to aid the wounded. The pilot and some surviving crew members commandeered a local flatboat and, after nearly half an hour, returned to the drifting wreck. The crew loaded survivors and victims onto the flatboat. Using buckets, survivors had nearly extinguished all of the small fires in the forward part of the Pennsylvania when a much larger fire suddenly erupted in the middle of the ship. The heat from the fire was so intense that the crew on the flatboat had to abandon their rescue operation. Survivors, many of whom were wearing cork life vests while others grabbed anything which would float, jumped into the swift current of the Mississippi River. The fire aboard the Pennsylvania burned the steamboat down to the waterline.

The current carried the flatboat and the floating survivors down the Mississippi River. Up ahead was Ship Island, which was mostly underwater due to high rainfall. The crew aimed the flatboat toward the island. Survivors who had enough energy swam to the island. The burning steamboat, survivors who were too weak to swim, and others who were less fortunate, coasted down the river past the island.

Henry had survived the initial blast, but his body was scalded by the boiling water from the steamboat’s boilers. Survivors loaded Henry onto the flatboat and transferred him to Ship Island. Henry’s brother stayed with him in the hospital, but there was little hope for his recovery. On June 21, 1858, eight days after the explosion, Henry died from his wounds. He was just nineteen years old.

Henry’s brother regretted getting Henry the position on the Pennsylvania for the rest of his life. He wrote, “My poor Henry — my darling, my pride, my glory, my all, will have finished his blameless career, and the light of my life will have gone out in utter darkness. O, God! This is hard to bear … “

Henry’s brother continued to work on steamboats until the Civil War crippled the shipping industry in the south. Following the war, Henry’s brother entered into an entirely different career field. Had Henry’s brother not argued with the ship’s pilot, he too would have been on the steamboat when it exploded, and he might not have lived to write the literary classics “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”. Henry’s brother was Sam Clemens, who is known around the world as Mark Twain.


1. The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, Louisiana), June 14, 1858, p.1.
2. The Greenville Journal (Greenville, Ohio), June 23, 1858, p.2.
3. WorldHistoryProject.org. “Henry Clemens (Mark Twain’s Brother) Dies While Working On Steamboat.” Accessed May 18, 2021. worldhistoryproject.org/1858/6/21/henry-clemens-mark-twains-brother-dies-while-working-on-steamboat.
4. Julia Keller, “Death of Sibling Crucial Moment,” Chicago Tribune, December 29, 2005, chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-2005-12-29-0512280422-story.html.
5. Find A Grave. “Henry Clemens.” Accessed May 18, 2021. findagrave.com/memorial/21751/henry-clemens.

Supreme Court Agrees to Hear MS Abortion Case

By Royal Alexander/Opinion

This past Monday the Supreme Court agreed to hear the legal defense by the state of Mississippi of its limit on abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Mississippi’s law prohibits abortion when “the probable gestational age of the unborn human being” is “greater than” 15 weeks “except in a medical emergency or in the case of a severe fetal abnormality,” which is defined in the law as a condition that is determined to be “incompatible with life outside the womb.”

We should note that polling over the decades since the Roe v. Wade abortion decision in 1973—that “found” a right to abortion in the 14th Amendment—reflects that two-thirds or more of the American public believe an abortion should largely be illegal in the second trimester.

We should also note that the Roe Court in 1973, in an “exercise of raw judicial power” as described by Justice Byron White in that decision, illegitimately federalized the abortion issue thereby removing from each state the determination of abortion. In its arrogance, the majority of the Roe Court thought it was “settling” the abortion debate. The exact opposite has occurred. The issue is as divisive and polarizing today as it ever was.

This action by the Supreme Court in Roe violated our constitutional system of co-federalism that exists between the 50 states and the federal government. In Roe, the Supreme Court purported to find a fundamental right to abortion in the liberty clause (i.e., “Life, Liberty or Property” may not be deprived from us “without due process of law”) of the 14th Amendment. One can understand how the liberty interest in the 14th Amendment could reasonably allow for a “zone of privacy” free from state (or federal) intrusion regarding matters such as intimate adult, family or marital privacy and relations, sexuality generally, and contraception. However, no plausible or credible reading of the liberty clause can be understood to confer a right to abort the life of a separate and distinct unborn baby.

From a democratic and constitutional perspective, the correct outcome would be for the Supreme Court to allow each of the 50 states to decide the abortion issue for themselves as was the case before 1973. Liberal states like New York or California would likely continue with virtually unlimited access to abortion while conservative states like Mississippi and Louisiana would place strict limits or ban the practice.

The Supreme Court, when agreeing to hear a case, carefully and precisely poses the question it will answer and the issue it will address. This is particularly so in a case like this one that involves a constitutional issue. The Court has stated that the issue in this Mississippi case is “whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional.” In past decades “viability” (being able to survive outside of the mother’s womb) was thought to occur no earlier than 23-24 weeks. As noted below that view has changed.

The Mississippi law has likely chosen the 15-week time period because medical advances have determined that at 15 weeks an unborn baby becomes conscious of pain. The state then has, its legal argument goes, a legitimate and compelling interest in protecting unborn babies who can feel pain. By 15 weeks, Mississippi also argues, the unborn baby has had critical and undeniable physiological development.

Mississippi, like Louisiana, is a state that views unborn human life as sacred, possessing intrinsic dignity and worthy of protection. No doubt the amazing advances that have been made in the field of fetology (study of the fetus, which means “little one”) and sonography (use of sonograms during pregnancy) permanently put an end to the lie that we don’t know whether a baby is growing in the womb. (There is, and at about 21 days has a heartbeat). In fact, it is the powerful, graphic resonance of the unborn baby on the sonogram screen that often convinces the mother to keep her baby.

Two very important things would be accomplished by the Supreme Court upholding and affirming the Mississippi law: one, we would be allowing our democratic system of co-federalism to function by returning the issue of abortion to the states where it belongs; and two, we would be taking another important step in reaffirming the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death.

Notice of Death – May 25, 2021

Cynthia Bourgeois Ward
March 31, 1953 – May 21, 2021
Service: Wednesday, May 26 at 2 pm at Warren Meadows Funeral Home Chapel

Kevin Ray Jordan
December 14, 1963
Service: Saturday, May 29 at 11 am at Southern Funeral Home

Michael Wayne Cason
September 4, 1957 – May 24, 2021
Service: Thursday, May 27 at 10 am at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home Chapel

Elnora Gillie
April 14, 1950 – May 23, 2021
Service: Saturday, May 29 at 2 pm in the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel, located at 318 North Street in Natchitoches

Standley Craig Sandefur
June 21, 1953 – May 21, 2021
No service information listed

Henry Keith
May 22, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Earl Tucker Sr.
August 25, 1960 – May 22, 2021
Service: Saturday, May 29 at 11 am at the Evergreen Baptist Church, located at 8260 Hwy 71 in St. Maurice

Carl Smith
June 21, 1955 – May 21, 2021
Arrangements TBA

L. J. Smith
May 23, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Henry Braxton
May 18, 2021
Service: Saturday, May 29 at 11 am at the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel

Margaret Carter Cooper
November 2, 1961 – May 10, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Phillip Lloyd Gillis
March 13, 1968 – April 29, 2021
Service: Saturday, May 29, 2021 from 1-5 pm at the home of Ryan and Bekah French Home, located at 1615 Williams Ave. in Natchitoches

Local Business Owner Donates Life Vests To SPSO

MANY, La – A local business owner, and citizen of Sabine Parish, is doing his part to keep our local law enforcement officers safe.
The owner of Toledo Town & Tackle, Curt Carver, recently donated four law enforcement life vests to the Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office.
These vests were special ordered and tailored not to restrict motion or duty belts.
Sheriff Aaron Mitchell greatly appreciates and thanks Carver for the donation.
Shown in the image above are Sheriff Mitchell, Carver, Deputy Campbell, Chief Deputy Walker

Many Police Department Makes PSA To Protect Children

MANY, La – With school ending next week comes the rush of children ready to enjoy summer. While playing outdoors is one of the great joys for kids in the summer months, it can also pose a dangerous threat. Children too often find airtight containers to get into for an innocent game of hide and seek, not knowing the risk of suffocation and entrapment that the containers pose.
With this time of year, and risk of danger, fast approaching, the Many Police Department released the following public service announcement to spread awareness and hopefully prevent a tragedy. 
Public Safety Announcement:
Summer is upon us, and children will soon take to the streets and yards in search of adventure.
This is a reminder that all airtight containers such as ice boxes and refrigerators should be properly discarded. Such items may be taken to a recycling center of your choice, or to the Sabine Parish Landfill.
For legal guidance of such items in the yard, read the following:
Sec 9-165: Abandoning or discarding ice boxes or other airtight containers.
It shall be unlawful for any person to leave outside of any building or dwelling in a place accessible to children, any abandoned, unattended or discarded ice box, refrigerator, or any other container of any kind which has an airtight door or which may not be released for opening from the inside of the ice box, refrigerator, or container. It shall further be unlawful for any person to leave outside of any building or dwelling in a place accessible to children any abandoned, unattended or discarded icebox, refrigerator, or any other container of any kind which is airtight and has a snap lock or other device thereon without first removing the snap lock or door from icebox, refrigerators or containers.