Traffic Stop Leads to Arrest of Sabine Parish Man

On June 25, 2021, Roy Lee Brumfield was arrested during a traffic stop on a warrant for Possession with intent to distribute schedule II (Meth) and Possession with intent to distribute schedule IV (Xanax) by the Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Tactical Narcotics Team.
Sabine Parish and Desoto Parish authorities received anonymous tips from the public of Brumfield’s illegal drug activity.
During the traffic stop, Agents located more drugs and paraphernalia belonging to Brumfield.
Brumfield was also arrested for Possession of Schedule I (Marijuana), Possession of schedule II (Meth), Possession of schedule IV (Xanax), Possession of drug paraphernalia.
Sheriff Aaron Mitchell thanks the public for information of illegal drug activity. Several of these tips leads to building cases and eventually arrests of the drug dealers in Sabine Parish. To anonymously report any illegal activity

call Crime Stoppers at 318-256-4511 or submit a tip through our Sabine Parish Sheriff App.


Sabine Parish Chamber of Commerce Introduces New Vice President

On Tuesday, June 29th, the Sabine Parish Chamber of Commerce introduced the newest addition to their leadership team. Hannah Vines Savell, a resident of Negreet for six years now, has been named the new Vice President for the Chamber. The Chamber posted to social media to announce the news and introduce the vice president and share her story.
Meet our new Vice President, Hannah Vines Savell!
Hannah grew up in Nashville, AR and is a graduate of Henderson State University. She moved to Negreet 6 years ago and married lifelong Sabine resident Blake Savell. They have 2 sweet boys, Weston (4) and Tucker (4 months).
Hannah is a Financial Advisor with Edward Jones Investments located in Toledo Town (Edward Jones-Financial Advisor: Hannah Savell). She has since earned 3 professional designations throughout her career from the College of Financial Planning including Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC), Chartered Retirement Plan Specialist (CRPS), and Accredited Asset Management Specialist (AAMS). She is also a member of the Sabine Economic Development Committee and the Toledo Bend Lake Association.
As the Chamber Vice President, Hannah hopes to energize the community, improve economic opportunities, and promote the importance of supporting our LOCAL businesses.
SOURCE: Sabine Parish Chamber of Commerce

Florien Church is Holding a Fourth of July Event

FLORIEN, La- If you’re looking for a fun event for the whole family to enjoy then head to Florien Louisiana this weekend for the perfect Fourth of July celebration. 
Join Peason Church:
Free Event For All! Come and enjoy a safe environment for all ages. Free BBQ, games and a jump house for kids.
Please share post to help spread the word. Like their Facebook page to find out about future upcoming community events.
Peason Church is all about doing life together and we would to do life with you.
If you need a ride call or text us directly

Sabine Parish Man and Local Business Donate Cold Drinks to Law Enforcement Working at Catholic Church Event

MANY, La –  A Sabine Parish citizen along with a local funeral home recently donated cold drinks to the officers of the Many Police Department as they worked in the heat to help the anniversary at the St. John Catholic Church in Many run smoothly. 

The Many Police Department would like to thank Benny Barnhill and the Warren Meadows Funeral Home for donating cold drinks to law enforcement personnel yesterday.

While officers were directing traffic and working on the Catholic church grounds, Benny loaded supplies and began to make his way to assist those working in the heat.

Thank you sir, for your kindness, and thanks to all who are quick to assist our officers in the heat!


Sabine Parish: Federal Extension of Eviction and Foreclosure Moratoriums Extended

Gov. John Bel Edwards supports the Biden administration’s extension of the federal eviction moratorium until July 31, 2021. He encourages all renters, homeowners and landlords who are experiencing ongoing economic hardship due to COVID-19 to take immediate steps to apply for state assistance that will help them address their housing challenges.

“We are grateful to President Joe Biden and his administration for extending this additional lifeline to those who are still struggling due to the pandemic,” said Gov. Edwards. “It’s important that everyone who needs this additional time act as soon as possible to secure state assistance or explore mortgage payment options because this is intended to be the final federal extension. While this will prevent evictions and ensure housing stability for another month, there are steps renters and homeowners who are struggling financially due to COVID-19 can and should take now to protect themselves from possible eviction or foreclosure beyond this extension. Later this summer, Louisiana will receive $146.7 million funded through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to assist homeowners economically impacted by the pandemic.”

Renters and Landlords

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a one-month extension of the eviction moratorium for renters impacted by COVID-19 until July 31.

About 50,000 renters and landlords have already applied for assistance through Louisiana’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program and similar programs administered by Caddo, Calcasieu, East Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Jefferson, Orleans and St. Tammany parishes. More than $10.7 million has been awarded to renters and landlords through the state-administered emergency rental assistance program. The program, which expanded in May to include utility assistance, provides funding support for past-due rent and utility fees dating back to April 2020, as well as future rent for eligible applicants. For more information about Louisiana’s Emergency Rental Assistance program and how to access locally administered programs, visit or call 877.459.6555 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Federal agencies that back mortgages—the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Agriculture—have extended their respective foreclosure moratoriums until July 31, 2021. The Federal Housing Finance Agency also extended the foreclosure moratorium for mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac until July 31, 2021. While state programs for homeowner assistance are still in the planning stages, homeowners who are struggling financially can temporarily pause or reduce their mortgage payments by entering into a forbearance agreement with their lenders.

Forbearance allows homeowners to repay missed payments over time or when they refinance or sell their homes, and relief options depend on who owns or backs a mortgage, the programs they offer, and the eligibility criteria they set. To learn whether a mortgage is backed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or the federal government, homeowners can contact their loan servicer or search online. Homeowners without federally backed mortgages who are behind on payments are urged to contact their mortgage servicers to determine any forbearance options. Visit the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau website for more information on the moratorium extension and preventing foreclosure.

Under the U.S. Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, servicers of federally backed mortgages must provide forbearance for borrowers with COVID-related hardships for up to two consecutive 180-day periods. HUD, VA and USDA will continue allowing homeowners to enter into COVID-related forbearance through Sept. 30, 2021, while homeowners with Fannie Mae- or Freddie Mac-backed mortgages also continue to be eligible for COVID-related forbearance. HUD, VA and USDA will announce additional steps in July to offer borrowers payment reduction options that enable more homeowners to stay in their homes.

Lastly, Louisiana is set to receive $146.7 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds later this summer as part of the Homeowner Assistance Fund, which is designed to prevent mortgage delinquencies and defaults, foreclosures, loss of utilities or home energy services and displacement of homeowners experiencing financial hardship after January 21, 2020. Louisiana is awaiting final guidance from the U.S. Treasury Department to launch the program.

Remember This: Oscar at Sea 

In May of 1941, several months before the United States officially entered World War II, Nazi Germany’s battleship Bismarck and a heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen scoured the Atlantic Ocean on a raiding mission to thwart Allied shipping between the United States and Great Britain.  On May 24, the two ships entered into battle with two Royal Navy ships, the British battleship HMS Prince of Wales and the battlecruiser HMS Hood, nicknamed “the Mighty Hood,” in what is now referred to as the Battle of Denmark Strait.

The battle has been memorialized in books, songs, films, and other media including Johnny Horton’s 1960 hit song “Sink the Bismarck.”  In the song, Johnny Horton sang that “The Bismarck was the fastest ship that ever sailed the sea, on her deck were guns as big as steers and shells as big as trees,” followed by the war cry “We gotta sink the Bismarck cause the world depends on us.”

Within the first ten minutes of the battle, one of the Bismarck’s “shells as big as trees” struck the Hood near one of its ammunition magazines.  Within seconds, the Hood exploded with a violent shudder and sank.  In less than thirteen minutes after the Hood fired its first shot, as Johnny Horton sang, “The Mighty Hood went down.”  Only three of the Hood’s 1,418 sailors survived the sinking.

News of the Hood’s fate was devastating to British moral, but they soon rallied.  The Royal Navy was determined to sink the Bismarck.  It became their prime target.  Prime Minister Winston Churchill ordered all ships in the region to search for the Bismarck.

Within hours, the British fleet located the Bismarck.  Bi planes from the Royal Navy’s Ark Royal dropped torpedoes on the Bismarck.  The first torpedo struck the Bismarck but only caused minimal damage.  The second torpedo struck near and jammed the Bismarck’s rudders.  The Bismarck was unable to steer but kept moving in a large circle.  The battle continued throughout the night and into the morning of May 27, 1941.  Continuous attacks by several British ships destroyed the Bismarck’s guns.  At 10:40 a.m., the Bismarck disappeared beneath waves.  Of the 2,200 aboard, only 114 survived.

Hours after the sinking of the Bismarck, sailors aboard the British Ship Cossack saw Oscar sitting on a piece of floating wooden wreckage.  Oscar was the only survivor of the Bismarck to be picked up by the British Ship.

At first, the sailors on the Cossack were unsure what to do with Oscar.  They put Oscar, not in the brig, but in a room where they could keep a close eye on him.  With each passing day, the crew gave Oscar more and more freedoms.  Before long, Oscar was performing the same task on the Cossack for the Royal Navy that he had performed on the German Bismarck.  He was working for his country’s enemy.

On October 23, 1941, the Cossack was escorting a convoy of ships from Gibraltar to the United Kingdom.  Unbeknownst to the crew, a German submarine U-563 had spotted the ship.  Without warning, an explosion rocked the Cossack.  The German U-boat had fired a single torpedo and disappeared.  The Cossack was damaged and unable to steer but stayed afloat.  Two days later, a tugboat from Gibraltar arrived and towed the Cossack toward land.  On the following day, October 26, a storm moved into the area.  The tugboat was unable to keep the tow line attached to the Cossack in the high sea.  On October 27, the Cossack floundered to the turbulent sea and sank into the Atlantic Ocean.  159 crew members died as a result of the ship’s sinking, but not Oscar.  He was among those rescued by the HMS Legion.  The Legion transported the survivors to Gibraltar.

The crew of the Cossack spoke so highly of Oscar that he was not jailed for being an enemy combatant but was put to work on the HMS Ark Royal aircraft carrier.  Two weeks after Olive joined the Ark Royal, on November 13, a German U-boat fired a torpedo at the aircraft carrier.  The explosion shook the ship.  Several of the crew were launched into the ocean by the blast but only a single crew member died.  It took nearly three hours for the Ark Royal to sink.  In that time, the HMS Legion was able to rescue all of the Ark Royal’s crewmen.  As had happened when the Bismarck sank, sailors found Oscar clinging to a floating board.

Oscar’s days at sea were over.  For reasons which remain unclear, the Royal Navy transferred Oscar to the seamen’s home in Belfast, Ireland.  Oscar never returned to Germany but stayed at the seamen’s home for the remainder of his life.  From May until November 1941, Oscar had survived the sinking of three ships.  His job in the German Navy and then in the British Navy was an important one, pest control.  You see, Oscar was not a typical sailor.  Oscar was…a cat.      

1.  The Pittsburgh Press, May 27, 1941, p.18.
2.  The Vancouver Sun (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), May 27, 1941, p.1.
3.  The Morning Post (Camden, New Jersey), May 28, 1941, p.2.
4.  The Windsor Star (Windsor, Ontario, Canada), November 14, 1941, p.1.
5.  Royal Museums Greenwich. “Oscar, Cat from the German Battleship ‘Bismarck’.” Accessed June 21, 2021.

Fourth Annual LA Young Professionals Conference to Be Held in Natchitoches

The Natchitoches Young Professionals, an initiative of the Natchitoches Area Chamber of Commerce, is set to host the fourth annual Louisiana Young Professionals Conference Friday, July 9th. The conference will be held at the Chateau Saint Denis, from 8 a.m. to 3p.m. Though the conference is marketed toward young professionals, professionals from all ages and industries are invited to attend the conference. The conference is to provide a full day of valuable professional development, along with the opportunity to engage in networking and idea-sharing with professionals from around the state.

“Employers and employees will both find real value in the session topics for this one-day conference.,” states NYP Immediate Past Chair and Chamber Marketing Director Maggie Matuschka. “I think this is one of our best speaker lineups yet!”

Author, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) champion, and licensed attorney, Dr. LaToya Burrell will deliver the keynote address. Burrell’s keynote is entitled – “Understanding and Embracing DEI Efforts in the Workplace: Your Guide to Uncomfortable Conversations”. Additional session speakers and topics are as follows:

“How to Crush Any Interview” with Jeremy Bennett, Owner of J Bennett Recruiting. Even if you’re not looking for a job, you’re always being interviewed. Whether it’s a new job, a new location, or a promotion, be ready with training from an expert.

“Taking Learning & Leadership to the Next Level” with a Leadership Programs Panel featuring Anthony Moore, Josh Howard, Sheree Blanchard, and Van Erikson. The panel will discuss how leadership programs help transform your professional life and your community.

“Leading from the Cheap Seats” with Dr. Nikki Ceaser Small, Associate Dean of Curriculum and Assessment at Dallas College. Dr. Small will present on the importance of leadership no matter the position or title, and how that mindset can help you manage up or manage down.

“What’s Your Social Status?” with Emily Zering, Instructor at Northwestern State University in the Department of New Media, Journalism & Communication Arts. Ms. Zering will discuss effectively launching your business on new and emerging social media channels.

“Rum Runners” with Dr. Tait Martin, President & CEO at Wildcat Brothers Distillery. Learn how to run with your brand story.

“Moving the Needle; taking an active role in the development of your community.” with Kelsea McCrary. McCrary is the Director of Civic Design and the Cultural Districts Program for the Louisiana Division of the Arts in Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser’s Office of Cultural Development.

For more information call 318-352-6894

Notice of Death – June 29, 2021

Jerry Carlton Lehr
April 6, 1942 – June 25, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Randy Monette
June 26, 1966 – June 26, 2021
Service: Thursday, July 1 at 11 am at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Cloutierville

Elvira Comite
June 27, 2021
Service: Friday, July 2 at 11 am at the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel, located at 318 North Street in Natchitoches

Gabriel Clark
October 09, 1958 – June 28, 2021
Service: Arrangements TBA

Jett Houston Cook
December 05, 1919 – June 24, 2021
Service: Thursday, July 1 at 1 pm in the chapel of Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

Lawrence Spikes
June 23, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Edward Morris, Jr.
June 27, 2021
Service: Saturday, July 3 at 11 am in the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel, located at 117 MLK Drive in Winnfield

Booker T. Chatman
June 23, 2021
Service: Wednesday, June 30 at 11 am in the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel, located at 117 MLK Drive in Winnfield

Lois Corbitt
July 22, 1934 – June 25, 2021
Service: Thursday, July 1 at 1 pm at Iatt Baptist Church

Jo Nell Windham Stewart
May 24, 1930 – June 24, 2021
Service: Friday, July 2 at 11 am at First United Methodist Church of Winnfield

Mayor of Many Issues Proclamation Honoring Anniversary of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church

MANY, La- Many Mayor Ken Freeman, in one of his last official acts, issued a proclamation on Friday that honors and  celebrates the 150th Anniversary of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church.

Father Francis, the priest at St. John’s; Thomas Andries, chairperson of the planning committee for the year-long celebration; and JJ Blake, whose family has been active members of St. John’s for five generations, were at City Hall to meet with Mayor Freeman and accept the proclamation.

The history of St. John the Baptist Church of Many began in 1870 when the first resident priest, Rev. J.A. Aubree, arrived.  By 1871, the diligent work of Father Aubree and his parishioners resulted in the completion of a frame church. Because Catholic education was a priority, Father Aubree started a school in the rectory around 1878 and taught the students himself.

Father Aubree died in 1897 and was buried in the Many Catholic Cemetery.

St. John’s, located at the tip end of San Antonio Avenue, is commemorating its 150th anniversary with a year-long calendar of events.

Suspected Shoplifter Chased Into Sabine Parish

FLORIEN, La – Vernon Parish Deputies pursued suspected shoplifters into Sabine Parish Sunday afternoon.

Louisiana State Troopers and Sabine Parish Deputies joined in to try and stop the vehicle. The suspect vehicle was stopped on US Hwy 171 at LA Hwy 474 in Florien and the suspects were arrested.

The suspects allegedly took items from Hibbett Sports and Walmart in Leesville. Vernon Parish authorities are interviewing suspects at this time.


Many Community Center to Host Independence Day Concert

Music lovers are in for a special treat on July 3 when the popular and talented Willie Stewart Family and Friends Band performs their patriotic music show in honor of Independence Day on July 4. 

Stewart and his family had rehearsed to play the 2020 Fourth of July show “God Bless America”  but the show had to be cancelled because of the COVID virus.

Now the “God Bless America’ show promises to be especially awesome this year because “We’ve had a year to plan and practice to make the show bigger and better”, said the patriarch and leader of the band Willie Stewart.

‘God Bless America’  music show will begin at 7 p.m, on Saturday, July 3, at the Many Community Center. Theater doors will open at 6 p.m. The show is totally free to everyone attending.  

Talented Willie Stewart, his wife Debbie, his son Bo Stewart, his grandson Kelly Stewart, along with Kelly’s talented wife Clancey from Mountain View, Arkansas, will be the headliners of the highly anticipated music show. They are all extremely talented musically and pass many hours planning, practicing and playing their own brand of music.

They  will be joined by some talented musical friends including Steve and Mark Birdwell from Marthaville.  Special guest John Brittain will also be an important member of the musical cast.

The show will be packed with patriotic music and will be a musical salute to the United States of America,” said Mary Brocato, chairperson of the Many Cultural District Advisory Committee.  

She continued, “It’s been a troubling and very difficult year, but God truly has blessed our country and brought us through the pandemic stronger than ever,.  Now that we’re getting back to normal, we wanted Willie and his family and friends to perform and give our thanks for getting through one of the most difficult years in the USA.”


Many Police Department Takes Place in Anniversary for St. John’s Catholic Church

MANY, La –The Many Police Department took place in the 150 year anniversary event of St. John’s Catholic Church in Many, La on Sunday, June 27th. 

The Chief of Police for Many, La, had the following to say about the honor of taking place in the event;

“Many PD had the honor and privilege, along with Sabine Sheriff’s Office and Desoto Sheriff’s Office, of participating in a beautifully orchestrated event for the visiting Arch Bishop Christophe Pierre, Titular Arch Bishop of Galena, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States of America.”

Chamber of Commerce Introduces New President

The Sabine Parish Chamber of Commerce is proud to present their new president, Pollie Brandon. 
Pollie is a lifelong resident of Sabine Parish and a graduate of Northwestern State University. She has been married to Assistant District Attorney, Ronald Brandon for 40 years and they have 3 sons.
Pollie works full-time at Brandon Law Office and owns Century 21 Sabine Property Shoppe. She is a member of Saint Joseph Catholic Church where she serves as Eucharistic Minister. Pollie has also served on the Board of Directors for the Zwolle Loggers & Forestry Festival for 27 years.
As Chamber President, Pollie hopes to encourage all areas of the parish to join the Chamber of Commerce ensuring a better and prosperous Sabine Parish.
We are so excited to have Pollie represent the Sabine Parish Chamber of Commerce!

NSU Unveils Restored Historic Marker

Northwestern State University unveiled a restored historical marker that acknowledges the early presence of Europeans in what would become Louisiana territory. The Colonial Gateway Corral marks the confluence of three paths, one from the west that used by Spaniards; one east towards a residence of Louis Juchereau de St. Denis, and one north to the original Fort St. Jean Baptiste. St. Denis was founder of the settlement that became the city of Natchitoches.

The Colonial Gateway Corral was first sighted by St. Denis and Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville in 1700 and the hill later became St. Denis’s vacherie where livestock were kept.

The plaque was originally installed in 1970 by the Natchitoches Chapter of the Colonial Dames of the 17th Century. It was the first plaque installed by the Colonial Dames in Louisiana, according to Carol Steinmuller, current Louisiana president of Colonial Dames. She and several past state presidents attended the unveiling. Colonial Dames is an organization that prioritizes preservation and education of historic places.

The historic marker is located in the triangle in front NSU’s Wellness, Recreation and Activities Center where Central Avenue meets Sam Sibley Drive that has been a crossroads for students for decades. The ridge where St. Denis pastured cattle and horses protected them from floods and extends to the site of the 1832 Bullard mansion. In the mid-1800s the mansion housed a convent and in the 1880s was purchased for use of the Louisiana State Normal School, created by the state in 1884, now known as Northwestern State University. Benches in the triangle date to the 1930s. In 1962, the Classes of 1959 and 1960 installed the north-facing Demon Head plaque in the triangle.

Several individuals had a hand in replacing the deteriorated marker. Physical Plant Director Dale Wohletz and special projects coordinators Gil Gilson and Tommy Whitehead collaborated with experts from the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training Deborah Dietrich-Smith, Jason Church and Andy Ferrell. The restoration project was supported by the NSU Foundation.

Pictured: On the front row are Dr. Pete Gregory, NSU professor of anthropology; Leslie Breaux, past state and national Colonial Dames presidents; Pat Gallagher, past Colonial Dames state president; Carol Steinmuller, current state president; NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio, SGA President Tja’h Edwards, Kelly Krouse, associate director of University Advancement; Tommy Whitehead, special projects coordinator, and Andy Ferrell, deputy director of the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training. On the back row are Deborah Smith, historic landscape architect at NCPTT, Kirk Cordell, NCPTT executive director; and Gil Gilson, NSU special projects coordinator.

Louisiana Folklife Center at NSU to Sponsor Summer Concert Series

The Louisiana Folklife Center at Northwestern State University is sponsoring the 2021 NSU Folklife Concert Series, a series of six Saturday concerts in July and August. The concerts will highlight different folk musical traditions with a 45-minute music set followed by interviews with the musicians and an audience Q&A. Each performance will take place at 2 p.m. at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum at 800 Front Street in downtown Natchitoches. The concert series is free and open to the general public.

The series will kick off on July 3 with Cajun music by Amanda Shaw. Zydeco artist Corey Ledet will perform on July 17. Singer-songwriter ensemble Smithfield Fair will perform on July 24. The Yvette Landry Trio will perform Cajun and classic country on July 31. San Antonio, Texas rock artist Nina Diaz will perform on August 7. Rounding out the series, Blato Zlato (“Swamp Gold” in Bulgarian) will perform Balkan music from New Orleans and Bulgaria on August 14. In addition to the music performances, folk artists will demonstrate and sell traditional crafts on each day of the series.

“This will be an amazing series of performances by some of the most passionate folk artists making music today” said Dr. Shane Rasmussen, director of the concert series and Northwestern State University’s Louisiana Folklife Center. “Each of these artists is keeping tradition alive by putting their own stamp on what has come before, which is why folk music is so vital and relevant to our lives. The music and conversations at these concerts will be exciting and memorable.”

Music has been engrained into Shaw’s world for as long as she can remember. That exposure greatly paid off as the Louisiana-raised musician has carved out her place in Cajun culture, and has become one of the most recognizable brands in Louisiana music. From national appearances on the “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” the Today Show’s “Roker-thon” and the “Rosie O’Donnell Show,” to a once in lifetime performances with Cyndi Lauper, Shaw’s magnetic presence helped her to build an extraordinary following of fans and supporters. Younger fans look up to Shaw for her pristine fiddling skills and sassy sense of style, while order fans respect her strong work ethic and sincere sensibility, but audiences of all ages agree that Shaw’s musical talent and appealing personality give her a special flair and make her an incredible representative of Louisiana’s melting pot of music.

Ledet’s love for the Creole/Zydeco music was instant and hard for him to ignore. He studied the originators of the music such as Clifton Chenier, John Delafose and Boozoo Chavis and branched out to include studying any and all artists of Zydeco. At the early age of 10, he picked up shows playing drums for Houston-based band Wilbert Thibodeaux and the Zydeco Rascals and slowly learned the main instrument of the music – the accordion. He came to truly love any type of accordion – the single-note, triple-note and piano key accordions – and any others. He worked at building his skills until he knew each one fluently. Ledet eventually moved to Louisiana in order to be surrounded by this beautiful culture at all times. He keeps one foot firmly in the tradition while exploring surrounding influences in order to create the best of both worlds. He is able to infuse old and new styles of Zydeco into his own unique sound from all of the people he studied and was influenced by.

For over four decades, the focus of Smithfield Fair has been harmony vocals and original songs deftly placed over acoustic instrumentation. Smithfield Fair has presented its heartfelt original music and arrangements of traditional songs across the United States on concert and festival stages; in historic venues and theatres; at large events such as the World’s Fair, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Kerrville Folk Festival; as well as in the most intimate coffeehouses, cafes and house concerts. “Flowers In Her Hair,” “Longships,” “James of the Glen,” “God Never Sleeps,” “Flying High” and other Smithfield Fair songs have become popular internationally through constant radio, satellite and internet airplay. Smithfield Fair continues to be a true original, creating hopeful and imaginative songs, and performing them with passion, honesty and humor.

Landry grew up in Breaux Bridge, not far from the levees of the Atchafalaya Basin. It was in and around that swamp where she learned an appreciation for the music, dance, stories and language of her Cajun culture. After earning a master’s degree in education and developing a successful teaching career, she began telling stories through song. Her debut award-winning album titled “Should Have Known” was released in 2010. (The album was named Offbeat Magazine’s Best Country/Folk Album and Landry “Best Country/Folk Artist”). Over the past several years, Landry has traveled the world and played countless cultural festivals and venues – from the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival to the Bluebird Café in Nashville. She toured Russia and served as a cultural ambassador on behalf of the Library of Congress to perform at the Festival of Traditional American Music and graced the stage at both the Library of Congress and John F. Kennedy Center of Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

Considered “one of the two or three most exciting, scary good vocalists in rock today” (David Brown, KUT/NPR), Diaz began her musical career at 13 when she co-founded the all-female rock group Girl in a Coma in 2002. Three years later the group was signed to Joan Jett’s Blackheart Record and began extensive traveling, creating and performing for audiences around the world as a headlining act and as support for several highly acclaimed artists. Diaz began her journey as a solo artist and released her debut album “The Beat is Dead” on Cosmica Records in 2016.

Blato Zato, who means swamp gold in Bulgarian, is a New Orleans based Balkan band featuring dreamy three-part vocal harmonies and hard hitting instrumentals. They have produced two albums, “Swamp Gold” and “In The Wake.”

Support for the NSU Folklife Concert Series is provided by grants from the Cane River National Heritage Area, Inc. and the Natchitoches Historic District Development Commission.

For more information, call the Louisiana Folklife Center at (318) 357-4332.

Dr. Joel Hicks named dean of Northwestern State College of Nursing and School of Allied Health

Dr. Joel Hicks has been named dean of the College of Nursing and School of Allied Health at Northwestern State University effective July 1, according to Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Greg Handel. Hicks has served as interim dean since January. The Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System has approved the appointment.

“I am thrilled to have Joel Hicks join us as Dean of the College of Nursing and School of Allied Health,” Handel said. “His experience working in radiologic sciences, with industry partners, and his passion for Healthcare, coupled with his emphasis on training future nurses and allied health professionals, will be an asset to the University. Joel is a consummate professional who is thoughtful and responsive to the students, faculty and staff in CoNSAH.”

Hicks has been interim dean since January. He was director of the School of Allied Health from 2017-2020 and was named assistant dean of the College in 2020.

“The foundation of the College of Nursing and School of Allied Health was laid long ago by outstanding faculty and staff who wished to educate and graduate the best nurses and radiologic technologists in our state and beyond,” said Hicks. “Building on that foundation, we will continue to fulfill the mission of our college and University by providing the highest quality nursing and allied health education to all students.”

In May, Northwestern State’s nurse anesthesia program received full accreditation by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs. The College of Nursing and School of Allied Health recently received a $1.9 million grant from The Health Resources and Services Administration Bureau of Health Workforce to help expand the delivery of mental health services in Louisiana.

Hicks joined Northwestern State’s faculty in 2010 after 16 years in the health care field. He earned a certificate in radiologic technology from LSU Health Sciences Center, a Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Science from Northwestern State, a Master of Science in Radiologic Technology from Midwestern State University and a Doctor of Education in Developmental Education from Grambling State University.

As a member of Northwestern State’s faculty, he has held the Caroline Romine Endowed Professorship for the past four years and was the recipient of the Carolyn Cole Saunders Endowed Professorship for one year. He was principal investigator for a Louisiana Board of Regents grant of $78,894, “Enhancing Student Competencies in Radiologic Science Using Virtual Radiography.” He was represented the College of Nursing and School of Allied Health on NSU’s Faculty Senate from 2010-16, serving as secretary and vice president. He is participating in the UL System’s Management and Leadership Institute and the NSU Leads program.

Hicks makes frequent presentations to national, statewide and regional groups and has had research and book reviews published in national professional journals.

Notice of Death – June 27, 2021

Jerry Carlton Lehr
April 6, 1942 – June 25, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Jett Houston Cook
December 05, 1919 – June 24, 2021
Service: Thursday, July 1 at 1 pm in the chapel of Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

Lawrence Spikes
June 23, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Junior Broadway
April 28, 1933 – June 25, 2021
Service: Monday, June 28 at 10 am at Rocky Mount Cemetery in Robeline

Booker T. Chatman
June 23, 2021
Service: Wednesday, June 30 at 11 am in the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel, located at 117 MLK Drive in Winnfield

Lois Corbitt
July 22, 1934 – June 25, 2021
Service: Thursday, July 1 at 1 pm at Iatt Baptist Church

Jo Nell Windham Stewart
May 24, 1930 – June 24, 2021
Service: Friday, July 2 at 11 am at First United Methodist Church of Winnfield

Christopher “Chris” G. Bell
October 02, 1960 – June 26, 2021
Service: Tuesday, June 29 at 10 am at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home Chapel

Catholic Church in Many to Host Anniversary With Special Guest from the Vatican

MANY, La – A historic anniversary at a Sabine Parish Catholic church has gained the attention from the Vatican. 

St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Many is celebrating its 150th anniversary Sunday with a Mass of Thanksgiving and anniversary luncheon.

In attendance will be Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the papal nuncio who is the U.S. representative of Pope Francis, and Bishop Francis Malone of the Diocese of Shreveport.

To mark this milestone in the church’s history, the church has events planned from June-November. 

“We hope you’ll join us as we celebrate the impact that our community of faith has had on Sabine Parish over the last 150 years.”

The celebration kicks off June 27th with a Mass of Thanksgiving at 11:00AM, followed by an anniversary luncheon.  Bishop Francis Malone of the Diocese of Shreveport will join, along with honored guest Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States.

Celebration Overview

                                                 June 27 …………..   Mass of Thanksgiving
                                                 July 3-4 …………..  Bake Sale at all Masses at St. John and St. Terence
                                                 July    7 ……………   Summer Speaker Series (Father Peter Mangum & Dr. Cheryl White)
                                                 September 4 ……  Bass Tournament
                                                 October 9 ………..  St. John’s School Reunion
                                                 November 2 … All Souls Day … Outdoor Mass

WANTED: SPSO Offers Reward for Information Regarding Wanted Suspect

The Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office has posted a “Wanted” PSA to seek help in finding a suspect with a record of failures to appear. The following is the post directly from the SPSO:
Dino Maxie Jr DOB 01/22/1995
The Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office is offering a $2000 cash reward for information that leads to the arrest of Maxie.
If you have any information, please call us at 318-256-9241. If you wish to remain anonymous, call 318-256-4511 or submit a tip through our Sabine Parish Sheriff App.
FTA for Child Support Court.
FTA for Motion to Revoke Bond- Possession of Firearm w/CDS, Possession of Schedule II, Possession of Schedule IV.
FTA for Motion to Revoke Bond- General Speed Law, Driving Under Suspension.
FTA for Motion to Revoke Bond- Aggravated Assault with Firearm Under DVA, Aggravated Flight from Officer, Possession w/intent to Distribute Schedule IV.
FTA for Motion to Revoke Bond- Battery of Dating Partner, Theft under $1000, Simple Criminal Damage to Property Under $1000, Reckless Operation of Vehicle, Stop Signs & Yield Signs, Intentional Littering, Driving Under Suspension.
FTA for Motion to Revoke Bond- Convicted Felon Possessing a Firearm or Carrying Concealed.
FTA for Criminal Motion- Natchitoches Parish.

Free Lifejacket Giveaway

Summer is here! Which means more fun around the lake and in pools! There are dangers with the fun though, which can be prevented with the proper precautions and safety measures.
According to the World Health Organization, drowning is the 3rd leading cause of unintentional injury death worldwide, accounting for 7% of all injury-related deaths.
The best way to prevent a drowning, even with the most secure swimmer, is the proper use of a life jacket. 
As part of the KTBS 3 News Freedom Fest Series, free lifejackets will be given away while supplies last on June 26.
The Sabine River Authority, State of Louisiana is sponsoring this event. Lifejackets will be available at the following SRA-LA locations. (All Parks located on Toledo Bend)
Oak Ridge Park, 316 Oak Ridge Road, Mansfield, LA 71052
San Miguel Park, 381 San Miguel Road, Zwolle, LA 71486
Cypress Bend Park, 3462 Cypress Bend Drive, Many, LA 71449
Pleasure Point Park, 1190 Pleasure Point Road, Florien, LA 71429
SOURCE: Sabine Parish Tourist Commission

NSU will host virtual STEAM camps in July

Northwestern State University has partnered with the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LOSFA) to present three upcoming virtual summer camps for junior high students entering grades 6-8 and high school students entering grades 9-12 this fall. Registration is open to all junior and high school students.

Participants will work intensively with NSU faculty and undergraduate students in the areas of robotics, cybersecurity and STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art and Mathematics). New this year is the addition of ACT preparation components in the Robotics and S.T.E.A.M camps, designed to help campers further prepare for success on up-coming ACT.

There is no cost to register or attend the virtual camps, but registration slots are limited and depend upon the availability of program funding. Campers will receive confirming emails once their registration has been approved. Campers will receive specialized no-cost Summer Camp Kits containing all the materials needed to learn-at-home in real-time throughout the summer.

NSU Robotics Camp + ACT Practice for Math and Science will take place July 12-16. Sessions for junior high students will be from 8 a.m.-noon. Sessions for high school students will be from 1-5 p.m.

NSU Cybersecurity Camp will be July 19-23. Sessions for junior high students will 8 a.m.-noon followed by high school student sessions from 1-5 p.m.

NSU STEAM + ACT Prep Camp will be July 26-30 with junior high sessions from 8 a.m.-noon and high school session from 1-5 p.m.

For more information, email or call (225) 627-3814.

Rural roots are a common thread for LSHOF’s Class of 2020

The 2020 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame inductees competed on the biggest stages under the brightest lights across the country and around the world, but a recurring theme underlined Thursday’s press conference and welcome reception at the LSHOF Museum in downtown Natchitoches.

Five of the seven competitive inductees cut their teeth in small towns, on dirt courts or in grass fields chiseled from the rural Louisiana landscape.

All four of the other honorees either grew up in small towns or were shaped by rural Louisiana on their way to wildly successful careers.

Thursday’s opening press conference kicked off a Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame induction weekend that will enshrine 11 inductees.

Tonight’s free Rockin’ River Fest concert starts at 6 on the downtown riverbank, with introductions of the inductees at 9 followed by fireworks.

Saturday night’s Hall of Fame ceremony at the Natchitoches Events Center caps a weekend full of festivities to honor Louisiana’s greatest athletes.

Visit for participation opportunities at the five remaining events.

The seven competitive ballot inductees are basketball’s Kerry Kittles, Angela Turner Johnson and “Sweet Lou” Dunbar, legendary football coach Mackie Freeze, noted NFL cornerback Charles “Peanut” Tillman, world famous bodybuilder Ronnie Coleman and quarterback turned famed outdoorsman Phil Robertson (who will arrive today).

The hall will also honor its first Louisiana Sports Ambassador Award recipient, Fox Sports broadcaster Tim Brando, along with Joan Cronan (Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership Award) and Robin Fambrough and Kent Lowe, this year’s Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism recipients.

“Sweet Lou” Dunbar perfected his game on a dirt basketball court in Minden.

Before he made his name at now-closed Webster High, starting his high school and college battle with future Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer (and 2002 LSHOF inductee) Robert Parish, Dunbar had to outsmart his neighbor Mr. Odom’s bulldog if the basketball went over the fence from his dirt court.

“We had to trick the dog as one of us distracted him from the front so another guy could jump the fence and get our ball back,” Dunbar said with his wide grin that would eventually be seen across the world as a Harlem Globetrotter.

Minden seems small to most, unless you’re a native of Shady Grove like Angela Turner Johnson and graduated with a class of 17 from Shady Grove High. She became a cornerstone of dominating Louisiana Tech women’s basketball squads from 1979-82.

Tech made Final Fours in each of her four seasons, and the mid-range specialist was the Final Four MVP in 1981 as the Techsters won the first of two straight national crowns.

“We might have been a little town and a little school, but we had big hearts,” Turner said of Shady Grove, which helped her bond with her Louisiana Tech teammates. “I’m joining three players from those Louisiana Tech teams (Pam Kelly, Kim Mulkey and Janice Lawrence-Braxton) and both of my coaches (Hogg and Leon Barmore) in this hall of fame, and at that time, we just didn’t know the impact we would have on women’s basketball.

“But we did think we could win a title. Pam and I told our coaches and (President F. Jay Taylor) that we were going to win a national championship. We won two.”