The Best Drug Ever

“Just say no!” This has been the slogan to fight the drug war going on in this country since former First Lady Nancy Reagan introduced it in 1982. Her work was extensive and diligent in fighting the war on drugs. This fight still continues today and it appears it’s a war we’re losing. With little to no border control and our government leaders refusing to recognize that we have a border crisis, the battle rages on. As a teen growing up in East Texas, I had very little exposure to the drug world, but knew it existed. In the 1970’s, marijuana, speed and cocaine were the drugs of choice for those that chose that route looking to get high. Today I’ll give you my perspective on my drug of choice back then, one that I’m still addicted to and crave today.

As most of you already know, athletics have played a huge role in my life and are responsible for the opportunities that have come my way over the years. I enjoyed a great high school career, running track and playing both baseball and football, which included winning the Texas 3A State Baseball Championship in 1978. I was blessed with a football/baseball scholarship to Northwestern State that resulted in being drafted by the Montreal Expos (today’s Washington Nationals) in 1983.

Sports for me, was a drug that came with both highs and lows. Drug addicts talk about how they just can’t get enough of whatever they’re craving. For me, I could relate because I was the same way. I could not get enough of the rush that sports gave me. I thought about it 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I would dream of getting my next high by hitting a home run, making a great play, or scoring a touchdown. Success in the sports arena came fairly easy for me, as God blessed me with good athletic ability.

But let’s talk about my first addiction…. bass fishing. Fishing has been an addiction for me since I caught my first bass as a kid walking the banks of our ranch stock ponds. This all started for me in the summer of 1969 when I got my first Zebco rod and reel combo. I was basically self-taught. I remember getting my hands on a copy of Bassmaster magazine that was full of tips and technique illustrations anyone could follow. One of the gifts I got on my 10th birthday was a subscription to Bassmaster magazine. BEST GIFT EVER!!!! Back then there were only a few fishing shows that existed. I watched “Fishing with Virgil Ward” and “Outdoors with John Fox.” Both were great, but then I found a show called “The Bassmaster’s,” hosted by legendary Bob Cobb. This introduced me to guys who actually fished for a living. Are you kidding me? You could make a living catching bass?!!! Now this had my full attention, and I could not wait for it to come on each week. I remember watching anglers like Tommy Martin, Bill Dance, Rick Clunn and Roland Martin, guys who became legends of the sport.

For me, there’s always been something about the moment you set the hook and a fish starts to pull drag. The adrenaline rush is unmatched and unexplainable! You don’t know how big your catch is until you see it jump out of the water as it is trying to throw your bait, or you swing it in the boat. Even today, despite the many bass I’ve caught over my lifetime, I still get this huge rush of excitement. So, I guess this makes me an addict! I just can’t get enough bass fishing action! It can be so rewarding, whether you’re catching small one-to-two-pound bass or five and six pounders. It’s still the same rush!

To wrap this up, if you’ve never had a fishing experience before, find someone to take you who knows what they’re doing. Go hire a fishing guide or an experienced angler who can teach you the ins and outs of fishing. If you want to get high, go fishing…whether it’s for bass, crappie, redfish or trout! The species doesn’t matter; the high is still the same. But beware, it can be addicting! Till next time, good luck, good fishing and don’t forget to set the hook!

Steve Graf

LSMSA students selected to take national physics exam

NATCHITOCHES, LA- The Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LSMSA) has successfully registered students as test takers for the nationally recognized physics F=ma Exam focusing on mechanics, including kinematics, statics, Newton’s laws, momentum and energy, oscillations, orbital mechanics, fluids, and elementary data analysis. The exam will take place Tuesday, Feb. 15 at the school.

Students taking the exam include Adam Deslatte (’23) of Hammond, Joy Dong (’23) of Lake Charles, Sam Dugan (’23) of Mandeville, Liliana Geier (’22) of Mandeville, Joshua Gillet (’23) of Lake Charles, Reese Nordan (’23) of Lake Charles, Anh Pham (’23) of Ruston, Brandon Randle (’24) of Destrehan, and Julian Vertigan (’24) of Baton Rouge.

“Our school’s Physics teachers selected this group of students to take the F=ma Exam due to their high academic performance during the past Fall semester and due to their interest in Physics and the exam,” said LSMSA Associate Lecturer of Physics Dr. Mauricio Escobar.

The F=ma Exam is organized and sponsored by the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) and the American Institute of Physics. It is offered every year as the first step to qualify for the USA Physics Team Exam (USAPhO), which is a more rigorous exam used by AAPT to select the team that will represent the US in the International Physics Olympiads.

“It’s great to have a number of students representing LSMSA in the F=ma Exam,” said Escobar. “A dream come true would be to have some of our students scoring enough to take the USAPhO, and heaven on Earth would be to have one LSMSA student make it all the way to the US Physics team.”

LSMSA has educated highly motivated, high-achieving high school students from throughout the state since 1983. Inquiring parents and students may visit to learn more, complete online applications, and submit transcripts, ACT or SAT scores, and current teachers’ recommendations. For more information about this tuition-free, publicly funded residential high school, please visit

Notice of Death – January 27, 2022

Kathy Lea Kirk
December 5, 1952 – January 26, 2022
Service: Sunday, January 30 at 2 pm at Warren Meadows Funeral Home Chapel

Thomas Lattier Hennigan
November 26, 1929 – January 26, 2022
Service: Saturday, January 29 at 12 pm at the Chapel of Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home in Natchitoches

Jessie B. Williams
Service: Saturday, January 29 at 11:30 am at the Kingdom Life Center, located on Hwy 71 in Campti

Ruby Tamara Balthazar
January 3, 1966 – January 22, 2022
Visitation: Saturday, January 29 from 1-2 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home. Burial will follow at St. John the Baptist Catholic Cemetery in Cloutierville.

Frederick Lawson
Aug 15, 1956 – Jan 26, 2022
Arrangements TBA

Myrtis Marilyn Brett Otteman
January 23, 1938 – January 17, 2022
Service: Friday January 28 at 1 pm at The Minor Basilica of The Immaculate Conception

Sameria Pearrie
Service: Saturday, January 29 at 11 am at the Winnfield Funeral Home Chapel.

Nicholas Flakes
Dec 5, 2000 – Jan 10, 2022
Arrangements TBA

Cornell Robinson
Jul 27, 1962 – Jan 15, 2022
Arrangements TBA

Mildred Louise Eckhardt McTyre
March 26, 1935 – January 4, 2022
Service: Saturday, January 29 at 11 am at First Baptist Church of Natchitoches

Charles Renay Tant
September 21, 1944 – January 26, 2022
Service: Saturday, January 29 at 1 pm at Corinth Baptist Church

Lillian Bernadine Crain Hyde
August 19, 1928 – January 22, 2022
Service: Friday, January 28 at 2 pm at Southern Funeral Home

Patrick Kevin Hale, II
November 18, 1983 – January 22, 2022
Service: Saturday, January 29, at 1 pm at the VFW Hall, located at 1859 Highway 71 in Montgomery

Barbara Gayle Alderman
October 5, 1943 – January 7, 2022
Arrangements TBA

HELP US HELP YOU – Link to Access DRA Speed Test

Correction* We were made aware of an error making the link inaccessible. The issue has been fixed and the link is now live. Please follow the link below to participate in the DRA Speed Test for Sabine Parish. 

The Sabine Parish Economic Development Council (EDC) is working to help bring high-speed broadband to all Parish residents, but your help is needed. Government grants for high-speed broadband infrastructure may be available for our Parish. Help us identify the areas that have poor internet service, or no internet service, by participating in the following link for data collection:  DRA Speed Test

If you have poor internet service, list the address where you are at the time of the test. If you do not have any internet access, using your smart phone, go to the website at the above link and select the “no available service” option. 

You can participate in this data collection as many times as you want, but all data must be completed by January 31, 2022. This data will be used to help map the areas in the Parish where broadband infrastructure is needed. The more data entered, the better opportunities for Sabine Parish to receive adequate funding for high-speed broadband throughout the Parish. 

Man-hunt continues for Sabine County man convicted of Murder

UPDATE: There have been possible sightings of Edgar but he has still not been captured at this time. He is considered armed and extremely dangerous. 


SABINE COUNTY, Tx – Matthew Hoyt Edgar did not show up for court this morning and is considered armed and dangerous according to the Sabine County Texas authorities. 

Edgar is on trial this week for the murder of 19-year-old Livye Lewis in October 2020. 

At this time his whereabouts are still unknown. 

According to the Sabine County Reporter SWAT has arrived on the scene in Texas to aid in the search of Edgar and a search warrant has been secured for a property at the end of Richard Dr. in Sabine County, TX.

Reward offered for information on stolen tires

**A $500 cash reward has been offered to anyone who has information in this case**
MANY, La – These tires and wheels were stolen from a residence on Herman Leone Road, which is off Tobe Nabours Road off LA Highway 191, on the night of January 19th, 2022.
The tires are Venom Power Terra Hunter X/T, size 35×15.50R26LT. The wheels are XF Off-Road XFX-303, black w/silver accents, 6-lug, size 26×14. The value of these tires and wheels is over $7000.
If you have any information, please contact Detective Beason, Sabine CID, at 318-590-9475. If you wish to remain anonymous, submit a tip through our Sabine Parish Sheriff App.

Confessions of a ‘Jeopardy’ deadbeat

“And the answer is: What do you call a person who has no chance of correctly answering more than three questions, tops, on any single episode of Jeopardy!?”

“What is a Jeopardy! Deadbeat?”

“Correct! The judges would have also taken ‘What is Most any Normal Person?’”

No one is in jeopardy of me beating them on Jeopardy!, four decades old and the most-watched TV game show of all-time. The questions — or answers, if you prefer — are cast-iron tough. Harder than an acre of ash.

There is every reason to watch Jeopardy! and one big reason not to. What I hear most is, “It makes me feel stupid.” Legit response. Makes me feel more stupid. I passed feeling stupid a long time ago.

But … to those using that excuse, we offer this:

Consider an attitude adjustment. I know going in I’m not the most mature apple on the tree, so when I watch, it’s with low expectations. Extremely low. Barrel-bottom low. Again, me and millions of other stupid people have made it the most popular game show ever.

That anyone can ever actually win a match, even one, is what makes the current goings-on all that more confounding. The show’s reigning champ isn’t just beating people, she’s destroying them. Sherman through Georgia. She’s the game show equivalent of football’s 1970’s Pittsburgh Steelers.

A historic champ is Amy Schneider, a 41-year-old engineering manager from Oakland, Calif., who after Monday’s just-another-day-at-the-office rout had won 39 consecutive matches and moved into second place all-time and all by her lonesome.

She’d also pocketed $1,319,800. Hello.

She’s still way behind all-time champ Ken Jennings and his 74 straight wins. If she were chasing Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hit streak, she’d be around 30. Lot of pitchers left to face.

That said, Schneider’s got game. Monday alone, she answered questions from the categories of, among others, Government Agencies, Bodies of Water, The Crusades, Rhythm & Blues, Roman Life & Culture — quite the varied array.

As usual, she won by $10,000 — and that was after losing $25,000 in Final Jeopardy. LOST 25 large and still won by 10.

Some of Monday’s answers/questions, with the correct response in parentheses. Good luck:

“Moses’ mom put him in an ark made of this plant?” Me: “Reeds!” (Bullrish.) Dang! I KNEW I had that one …

“The mission of BLM, short for this, is ‘to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the public lands.’” Me: “What is the Big Land Machine?” (Bureau of Land Management)

“Croatia’s border rivers, the Sava & Drava, are both tributaries of this one.” Me: “Uh ….” (The Gulf of Sidra)

“Pope Eugenius III launched the Second Crusade in 1145 with ‘Quantum Praedecessores,’ one of these documents named for its seal.” Me: “No WAY there was a whole other Crusade after the first one. No livin’ WAY!” (The Papal Bull.)

My guess would have been The Mama Bull. So close…

The show airs 4:30 weekdays on ABC. Sometimes I’ll record it and, if I’ve had a good day, I’ll watch maybe 10 minutes, just to be humbled, just to remind myself that while a contestant is winning on Jeopardy! each weekday, I barely know the difference between the Gulf of Sidra and the Gulf gas station down on the corner.

Always felt I had a fightin’-man’s chance back in the day with Match Game. The Price is Right. Even Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. But Jeopardy! is a different animal. It’s always the windshield; I’m always the bug.

Contact Teddy at

Bill Breaks a Vow

By Brad Dison
Bill grew up on a dairy farm on a country road outside of Charlotte, North Carolina.  His father and his uncle Clyde inherited a 300-acre dairy farm from Bill’s grandfather.  It was a true family business.  Bill’s father handled the business affairs.  Bill’s mother did the bookkeeping at the kitchen table.  Uncle Clyde tended to the milk-processing house.  From the time he could walk, Bill helped tend the large garden where they grew corn, wheat, rye, barley, and a wide variety of vegetables.  He followed behind the plow mule and spread fertilizer after the seeds had been sown in their rows.  
As soon as Bill was strong enough – not old enough – he was awakened at 2:30 a.m. to begin working on the farm with the rest of the men in the family.  Bill reminisced that “when that Big Ben alarm clock went off at two-thirty in the morning, I wanted to slam it to the floor and burrow back under the covers.”  He understood that hard work was expected and necessary.  He also realized that there would be no breakfast until after his chores were finished so he rushed from the bed and to his work.   
Bill milked twenty cows, a task which usually took about two hours to complete.  Then, he cleaned the fresh cow manure from the barn with a shovel, helped the other hands bring in fresh hay for the cows, helped refill the feed troughs, helped transport the 5-gallon milk cans to the frigid spring to keep them ice cold, and, once he had completed his chores, finally sat down to a mouth-watering country breakfast which consisted of grits and gravy, fresh eggs, ham or bacon, and homemade biscuits.  All of this Bill did every morning before school.  Bill repeated his chores each day after school.   
Bill said that “After all my heavy labor in the fresh air at daybreak, followed by Mother’s good food, I was ready for almost anything—except school.”  By the time he got to school, he was usually tired.  He stayed awake by sheer willpower alone.  Bill assumed that he would one day inherit an interest in the dairy farm, which suited him just fine.  
Bill’s mother always encouraged him to read, which Bill preferred to his other school work.  He read just about everything he could get his hands on including his favorite, the Tarzan book series.  On a memorable visit to his aunt’s home, she, knowing that he enjoyed reading, told him to spend some time reading the Bible.  Within about ten minutes Bill returned and proudly boasted that he had read a whole book in the Bible.  She praised him for his quick reading.  Unbeknownst to her, Bill had located the Epistle of Jude, which was the shortest book in the New Testament.  It consisted of a single page.   
The family’s dairy farm had several hired hands and Bill enjoyed swapping stories with them while they worked.  One of the hired hands who Bill particularly liked to work alongside was a rough but good-natured character named Pedro.  Pedro would often share stories with Bill about his erotic experiences with women.  Even though Bill listened intently to every syllable, he was sure the stories were embellished.  In high school, Bill had multiple opportunities to have his own exotic experiences with women, but he vowed to remain pure until marriage.
In addition to his tall tales of sexual escapades, Pedro took it upon himself to teach Bill to chew tobacco.  One day Bill’s father caught him with a chaw of tobacco in his cheek.  Pedro was fired immediately and Bill received a thrashing he would never forget.  Bill vowed to never chew tobacco again.  Bill’s father wondered what else Pedro had been teaching Bill.  
One day, just after Prohibition had been repealed, Bill’s father brought home some beer.  Bill’s father was a teetotaler, so him bringing home beer was totally out of character.  He called Bill, then about 15-years old, and his sister, Catherine, two years younger, into the kitchen and ordered each of them to drink a full bottle of beer.  They gagged, spat, and winced, but finally finished both bottles.  “When any of your friends try to get you to drink alcohol, just tell them you’ve already tasted it and you don’t like it,” his father told him.  “That’s all the reason you need to give.”  Bill vowed not to drink alcohol again.    
Bill came home from school one day and his mother sensed something was wrong.  Bill explained that he was to portray Uncle Sam in a pageant at his school.  He and his mother rehearsed the speech until he was unable to get it wrong.  On the day of the pageant, his mother was a nervous wreck.  Bill’s costume included the long beard, hat, and tailcoat commonly associated with Uncle Sam.  His knees shook and his hands perspired as he flawlessly recited his speech.  He hated the uncomfortable feeling and vowed to himself that he would never become a public speaker.  Of all of the vows he had made to himself through the years, this was the vow he was destined to break.  You see, Bill became a prominent public speaker.  From the 1940s until his death in 2018, Bill was known as one of the best public speakers in the world.  Bill spoke in front of live audiences totaling approximately 210 million people in more than 185 countries.    He became a spiritual advisor to every president from Harry Truman to Barack Obama.  He was a friend of Queen Elizabeth II and the Royal Family who frequently invited him to speak at special events.  In breaking a vow to himself, Bill made another vow.  Bill, the man who vowed not to become a public speaker, vowed to spread the Gospel and became an evangelist.  You know him as Billy Graham.

Source: Billy Graham, Just as I Am: The Autobiography of Billy Graham (San Francisco: HarperCollins Worldwide, 1997), 3-20.

LSMSA realigns organizational structure, announces promotions

The Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LSMSA) announces the promotion of several of its staff members as it bids farewell to Assistant Director of Student Services Jenny Schmitt, who has joined the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics at its new Morganton campus as Dean of Students. Schmitt first joined LSMSA in 2011 as a Student Life Advisor after completing graduate work in Higher Education.

Associate Director of Academic Services Ro Slutsky will assume the new role of Director of Support Services. In addition to advancing to a senior administrative role, Slutsky will assume responsibility for all support services, including mental health and personal counseling.

“Jenny has done so much for LSMSA during her tenure here, and she is already sorely missed by everyone,” said Executive Director Dr. Steve Horton. “Congratulations to Ro, who has for always been a strong advocate for both students and faculty.”

The school will advertise for a Dean of Students and Chief Student Affairs Officer position to assume responsibility for the student activities functions, including residential life, activities programming, discipline, and student organizations.

Once the Dean of Students position is filled, Director of Enrollment and Student Services Emily Shumate will assume the role of Director of Enrollment Management and Institutional Research. This shift will allow her to devote her time to overseeing the recruiting and admissions process that is coordinated by Assistant Director of Enrollment Services Heather Tichenor. Shumate will also begin to address the state and federal demands for institutional data collection, analysis, and reporting. Those responsibilities have been managed across divisions; however, much of the school’s accountability is now driven by data management and reporting.

“Since Emily’s innate strength involves data analysis and interpretation, she will provide fantastic oversight for our strategic plan while identifying our next year’s student body,” said Horton.

Dr. Kristi Key’s title will change from Director of Academic Services to Director of Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer. Though her responsibilities will not change significantly, the new title better aligns with the traditional higher education model.

“This year has continually proven that the Covid quarantine impacted all of us — particularly the three classes who are on campus this year — so we are excited to realign our organizational structure to accommodate the changing needs of our student body,” said Horton. “We are grateful that our team of such dedicated educators and administrators have both paved the way, and continue working with and for students, faculty, and staff.”

LSMSA has educated highly motivated, high-achieving high school students from throughout the state since 1983. Inquiring parents and students may visit to learn more, complete online applications, and submit transcripts, ACT or SAT scores, and current teachers’ recommendations.