Converse Elementary Open House: Thursday Night

Converse Elementary School will hold its Open House this Thursday, Aug. 25 from 5-7 pm. You must have a photo ID with you to receive a wristband. Each student will be given one wristband to bring home. Doors will open at 4:30. Mrs. Davis will have a Title 1 presentation at 5 pm. Teachers will give three presentations at 5:30 pm, 6 pm, and 6:30 pm. This will allow parents with multiple children to attend three presentations.
We hope to see you there!

Notice of Death – August 23, 2022

Jeannine Virginia Marien Ammons
Service: Saturday, August 27 at 11 am with at Hixon Brothers Funeral Home, located at 2701 Military Hwy in Pineville
Interment: McNutt Hill Cemetery in Boyce

Dorothy “Dot” Mae Tullos Robertson
May 16, 1929 – August 10, 2022
Service: Sunday, August 28 at 2 pm at First Baptist Church of Natchitoches

Darlene Cloud
October 16, 1959 – August 19, 2022
Service: Wednesday, August 24 at 12 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

Minnie Craft Robertson of Florien, Louisiana
November 15, 1931 – August 23, 2022
Service: Thursday, August 25 at 12 pm at Pine Grove Baptist Church

Steve Gregory Sharbono
February 10, 1964 – August 22, 2022
Service: Friday, August 26 at 11 am at Southern Funeral Home

Lester Ray Couch
February 24, 1949 – August 21, 2022
Service: Thursday, August 25 at 11 am in the Summerville Baptist Church, of the Summerville Community

Lamar Hutto
April 22, 1935 – August 21, 2022
Service: Thursday, August 25 at 11 am at Gloryway Church

Obit: Joe Amos McFerren

February 22, 1942 – August 20, 2022

The earthly life of Joe Amos McFerren came to an end Saturday, August 20, at Natchitoches Regional Medical Center. He was born to the late Robert Lee and Dezzie Jennings McFerren in Natchitoches on February 22, 1942.

Services will be held Monday, August 22, at Beulah Methodist Church near Marthaville. Visitation is at noon, and the funeral will be at 2 p.m. Interment will follow in Beulah Cemetery with the Rev. Charlotte Birdwell officiating. The Rev. William Jackson (Butch) Bruce will present the obituary, Randall (Fuzzy) Hennigan will share memories, and Caddo Sheriff’s Lieutenant Richard Jennings will deliver the eulogy. Music will be provided by Laurie Gentry and Steve Birdwell.

Joe was a fun-loving guy who had a world of friends and a world of wonderful experiences.

During his life, he lived in Marthaville, Natchitoches and, most recently, Provencal. Joe served one term as Justice of the Peace in Natchitoches Parish, Ward 5, starting in 1964. He held many jobs throughout the years, including working at the Manufactured Home Plant in Natchitoches and at Rebel State Historic Site in Marthaville.

Joe was a strong patriot and was proud of his Southern heritage. He was equally proud of his six years of service with the Louisiana National Guard.

He was one of Rebel Park’s founding committee members and was present for Memorial and Music Festival programs for 50 years, doing whatever was needed to help produce a successful event. Joe met a lot of interesting people there, including many Country, Gospel and Bluegrass legends. Without exception, they all enjoyed spending time with Joe when they came to Louisiana or when he visited Nashville. His favorite star of all time was the Father of Bluegrass, Bill Monroe.

Joe also met many Louisiana politicians at Rebel Park, including the late Gov. Edwin Edwards, who was his favorite. Many elected officials often asked of Joe and were faithful to send their warm regards to him over the years.

Joe was in a serious car wreck on June 7, 1980 that left him in critical condition. He almost died from his injuries but pulled through to survive, carrying the scars of it for the rest of his life. In addition, he survived nine other near-fatal experiences over his eight and one-half decades of life.

Among his many talents was the ability to bray like a donkey. He could sound more like a donkey than the animal itself, and he was always happy to deliver a special custom bray for any occasion.

Joe attended Jennings Chapel Congregational Church as a young person and various other churches throughout his life. In the last season of his life, he was faithful to attend services at St. Anne Church (Spanish Lake) and churches in Provencal until health and mobility issues prevented participation.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother Walter and sister-in-law Gladys McFerren, and three half-brothers, James, William and Gerald McFerren.

Survivors include a beloved step-niece, Gloria Kerry, and husband Lucky of Natchitoches, and their family Glori Manshack, Kylie Padgett, Brandon Dobbs and Isabel Manshack; a special longtime friend Geraldine Niette of Provencal, her daughter Roxanne Brian and granddaughter Emma Brian, both of Provencal; and many other devoted friends.

Serving as pallbearers will be Richard Jennings, Lucky Kerry, Butch Bruce, Randall (Fuzzy) Hennigan, Steve Birdwell, Keith Birdwell and Coy Birdwell.

Sulphur man arrested for theft of fishing equipment worth thousands

Sabine Parish Sheriff Aaron Mitchell reports the arrest of Joseph Harrison Mott II, 52 of Sulphur, for additional theft charges. Mott had a lengthy history of burglaries and thefts in Southern Louisiana.
Sabine Parish Sheriff Detectives have been investigating numerous reports of theft of fishing equipment around Toledo Bend Lake totaling thousands of dollars so far this year.
Detectives had little evidence but were able to get a vehicle description which was seen in the area of some of thefts.
Sabine Parish Sheriff Patrol Deputies amped up patrols around marinas and camps late at night.
In the early morning hours of May 21 Deputy Jacob Bridges saw a vehicle matching the description and caught Mott pilfering through boats at a local resort. Mott’s vehicle contained items that were reported stolen from another area that same night.
Mott was arrested for several felony charges and bonded out of jail a couple of days later with a $30,542 total bond.
After Mott’s arrest, Detectives were able to obtain several pieces of digital evidence which revealed a pattern in some of the thefts.
Then, on the weekend of July 23 more claims of theft of fishing equipment on the south end of Toledo Bend Lake were reported to the Sheriff’s Office. It seems a vehicle fitting the same description was seen in area around the thefts.
The vehicle is a white 2017 GMC Sierra 1500 4-door truck.
Detective Don Flores was persistent in these cases, and he reached out to Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Detectives. Mott lives in Sulphur and Calcasieu Detectives were familiar with him. Detective Flores sent the information to Calcasieu Detectives and search warrants were obtained for Mott’s residence, property, and vehicle in Sulphur, Louisiana.
Sabine Detectives Shelly Sepulvado, D.W. Seegers and Flores traveled to Sulphur on the evening of July 27.
Detectives, with the help of Calcasieu Parish Detectives, spent several hours searching Mott’s property and house.
Detectives located and seized over 70 rods, reels, and rod and reel combos. Detectives discovered and seized numerous boxes and bags of fishing tackle and baits, nets, life jackets, game cameras, binoculars, and other items. Detectives found and seized nine firearms and countless boxes of ammunition. Mott is a convicted felon and cannot possess a firearm.
Some of the fishing items were positively identified by victims of thefts at Toledo Bend Lake.
Mott was taken into custody and arrested. His vehicle was also seized and searched. More rod and reels and fishing tackle were located inside his truck.
Mott was booked into the Calcasieu Correction Center for nine-counts of Possession of firearm by a convicted felon and Illegal Possession of stolen things $1,000-$5,000. Mott’s bond was set at $55,000.
Detective Flores obtained additional arrest warrants for Mott based on some of the identified stolen items found in his possession.
Mott bonded from jail in Calcasieu Parish and was transferred to Sabine Parish on Aug. 3.
Mott was booked into the Sabine Parish Detention Center for two-counts each of Theft $1,000-$5,000 and Criminal Trespass. Mott’s bond was set at a total of $30,500 and he bonded on Aug. 5.
Detectives said Mott is a prime suspect in the thefts and burglaries along Toledo Bend Lake, Sam Rayburn Lake and possibly southwest Louisiana.
If you have had any fishing items taken from you camps or boats, please report detailed descriptions of the items to your local law enforcement agency.
Chief Deputy Brad Walker greatly thanks Sheriff Tony Mancuso and the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office for their help and cooperation in this investigation.
Sheriff Mitchell and Chief Deputy Walker commend these Sabine Parish Detectives for their persistence and hard work in this case.

‘Elvis has left the planet’ 

We have boots on the ground in Memphis where the PGA Tour event finished this weekend as Elvis Week was kicking off. 

“The town,” my friend Jay, a bona fide local, reports, “is full of energy.”  

Elvis Presley died August 16, 1977 at Graceland, his Memphis home, and has now been gone, at least in theory, for 45 years, which is longer than he was with us in the flesh, a brief but dynamic 42 years. 

Hurts me. 

We say he’s been gone “in theory” because people have, somewhat routinely, reported seeing him here and there. You can Google — something Elvis would be surprised people were doing to him today — and read of Elvis sightings from Kalamazoo to remote islands in seas you’ve never heard of. In the early-1990s, there was a raft of Elvis sightings on Texas Street in downtown Shreveport, seems like every other Thursday. I’d answer the phone at the paper and, “You gotta get down here to the corner of Texas and Market! Guy who looks, I swear, looks just like Ebis is…” 

Ebis. As in Presley. 

Things were like that then. 

This “Elvis Spotting” trend has waned over a nearly half-century, but there was a time when there was gossip or sensational newspapers at the grocery store, and once a month there would be Elvis on the Front Page, of course.  

He’d faked his death and was living in Aruba. He’d gotten in too thick with the Mafia and was living in a witness protection program at a location undisclosed. He’d had plastic surgery and burned all his sequined jump suits and was employed as a janitor at The MGM Grand in Vegas. 

And, the one I found the most plausible of all, he’s been hiding out in plain sight since 1985 as an assistant coach for the Sacramento Kings of the National Basketball Association where he goes by the name of “Coach Elvis Presley” but, since it’s Sacramento… 

If you were in Memphis this week, you probably enjoyed the live band playing and “backing” Elvis on the big screen, the re-showing of a long-ago live concert. You watched the Elvis Tribute Contest Special and all the pretend Elvises/Elvi perform. Probably paid your respects at the annual candlelight vigil. 

And you probably concluded as I have, sad as it is, that Elvis really did die 45 years ago, at age 42. I believe it was Horace Logan, God bless him, the producer and announcer of the Louisiana Hayride all those years ago, who innocently uttered what would become an iconic phrase: “Elvis has left the building.” 


Do you remember what you were doing when you found out Elvis had left the planet?  

I was mowing the parsonage grass, front yard, in Homer when the new preacher at First Baptist, my own personal dad, came outside gyrating in a manner that suggested I turn off the mower. Something terrible must have happened, I thought, because he never suggested I quit mowing unless I was on fire or bleeding. 

“Elvis died,” he said, and offered a murky explanation, he having just found out his own self. We had a moment of silence. 

“Well,” he said, “I’m gonna keep unpacking. You keep mowing.” 

Life for us rural non-entertainers rolled on. 

Would love to go to Graceland, but the closest I ever got was the 7-Eleven across the street. Wonder if it’s still there. I had a long layover and caught a cab just to get within Elvis’ gravitational pull. I picked up a pay phone — that’s how long ago it’s been — to call a Memphis-savvy friend. It was one of those moments you have to share. 

“It’s just like you said it’d be,” I told him. “I’ve been here 20 minutes and everybody I’ve seen on this side of town has those Elvis sideburns. Even the women.” 

Contact Teddy at 

Many man arrested on numerous counts of identity theft

Sabine Parish Sheriff Aaron Mitchell announces the arrest of Desha Laneece Waller, 25 of Many, for numerous counts of Identity Theft on Aug. 12.
Waller was previously arrested on Aug. 5 for Theft under $1,000 (misdemeanor) and Obstruction of Justice in one case and Aggravated Cruelty to Animals in another case.
On Aug. 8 Waller was also booked for two warrants from Caddo Parish for Felony Theft.
Sabine Parish Sheriff Detective Don Flores seized and obtained a search warrant for Waller’s cellular phone for evidence in the misdemeanor theft case.
Detective Shelly Sepulvado discovered over 40 videos in Waller’s phone of different credit/debit cards (front & back) while she was working the drive-thru at Southern Classic Chicken in Many, Louisiana on the evening of July 2. Waller was employed at Southern Classic from June 24 – July 3.
It appears Waller’s phone was lying on the counter in video record mode, and she would hold the different cards in front of the camera to record all the card information. The videos also displayed Waller’s face in the background.
Detectives said Waller had used one of the victim’s credit card information for purchases, but it is unknown about all the others at this time.
Detectives also learned Waller was recently employed at Burger King in Many as well.
Detectives are still searching through Waller’s phone data and additional charges could be pending.
Waller was already incarcerated at the Sabine Parish Women’s Jail.
Waller was booked for 42-counts of Identity Theft and no bond has been set at this time by the 11th Judicial District Court.
Sheriff Mitchell said if you believe your credit/debit or bank card information has been compromised or stolen, please contact that bank or institution and Sabine Parish Sheriff Detective Sepulvado at 318-590-9475.

Federal Indictments for narcotic, firearm charges

Sabine Sheriff Aaron Mitchell announces three more federal indictments for narcotic and firearm charges. These three subjects were indicted in United States District Court, Western District of Louisiana in Shreveport on July 27.
DEVERRICK MARTELL WINFIELD (age-30) of Zwolle was indicted for 2-counts of Distribution of Methamphetamine.
JULIUS THEODORE WINFIELD III (age-43) of Zwolle was indicted for 3-counts of Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine.
CLIFTON DAVIS WILLIAMS (age-47) of Many was indicted for 3-counts of Distribution of Methamphetamine, 1-count of Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine, 1-count of Possession of Firearm in Furtherance of Drug Trafficking, 1-count of Possession of Firearm and Ammunition by Convicted Felon.
The Sabine Parish Sheriff Tactical Narcotics Team has been investigating D. Winfield, J. Winfield III, and Williams’s illegal drug sales activity for months.
William’s indictment is a result of his Feb. 10 arrest when T.N.T. Agents executed a search warrant at Williams’s Buffalo Drive home in Many and seized methamphetamine, a firearm and ammunition, as well as other illegal narcotics and drug paraphernalia.
Sheriff Mitchell said this makes 30 indictments for federal narcotic and firearm charges in the last two years, with over 10 federal indictments pending.

BPCC to hold on-campus registration this week for Fall 2022

Bossier Parish Community College will host on-campus registration at its BossierNatchitoches and Sabine Valley campuses on Tuesday, Aug. 16, and Wednesday, Aug. 17, from 9 am-6 pm.

The Bossier campus is located at 6220 E. Texas Street and will begin in Building F, first floor. The Natchitoches campus is located at 6587 Highway 1 Bypass. The Sabine Valley campus is located at 1255 Fisher Road in Many. Online registration is available now at

Students who are interested in registering can stop by each campus to meet with BPCC faculty and staff to receive assistance with academic advising, financial aid, and disability services. Students should present valid photo identification and bring copies of ACT, SAT, Accuplacer Test scores and previous college transcripts, if applicable. Appointments are not required, but recommended to streamline the process.

BPCC’s fall semester begins Thursday, August 18th. Students can select classes from a variety of fall sessions:

                  Start Date                                                      End Date
Session A     August 24, 2022                                 December 13, 2022
Session B     August 18, 2022                                 October 12, 2022
Session C     October 13, 2022                               December 13, 2022
Session D     August 18, 2022                                 September 15, 2022
Session E     September 16, 2022                          October 12, 2022
Session F      October 13, 2022                              November 9, 2022
Session G     November 10, 2022                          December 13, 2022
Session J      September 7, 2022                           December 13, 2022

Detailed information regarding applying, registration, tuition costs and deadlines can be found online at or call the BPCC Admissions Office at (318) 678-6004.

BPCC offers associate degrees, technical diplomas, Career and Technical Certificates in pathways such as healthcare, computer technology, manufacturing, business, and general studies. For more information on any of the College’s programs, visit

Creation Eclipses Creator

By Brad Dison

Daniel Lawrence “Dan” Whitney was born in Pawnee City, Nebraska. He grew up in a church-going family. His father, Tom, held many jobs. Tom was a school administrator, entertainer – he played guitar for the Everly Brothers – a preacher, and he raised pigs, horses, and cattle. Tom left for work early each morning and returned home late each night. There was no break on weekends either. Tom preached multiple services at different churches. Every free moment Tom had was spent tending to the never-ending chores required to keep the farm running properly.

Due to Tom’s frequent absences, from an early age, Dan spent most of his time with his grandfather who helped out at the Pawnee City sale barn adjacent to Dan’s family’s pig farm. Dan helped his grandfather load and unload trucks of pigs and cattle. Dan so loved the livestock sale barn that he spent every free moment there. Working at the sale barn with his grandfather, Dan became close friends with his grandfather’s friends despite the differences in ages. They eventually became comfortable enough with Dan that they shared their life stories with him, which he loved hearing. Dan later credited his time at the sale barn as one of the most important experiences that shaped his life.

When Dan was fifteen years old, his family moved to West Palm Beach, Florida, where his father was offered a job at the fifth largest Christian school in the United States, The King’s Academy. Following high school, Dan worked as a bellhop at the Hyatt Regency hotel in West Palm Beach, a job that “opened the door” for his future career. Dan made the guests feel at ease. They were drawn to Dan’s outgoing nature. He shared funny stories with them and told them jokes.

Dan realized that his best bet was to get a college education. He enrolled in college and majored in drama and speech. During his junior year of college, a few of Dan’s friends convinced him to try standup comedy at a local open mic night. At first, Dan was intimidated when he saw other comedians, all dressed in suits, studying their jokes on note cards. Dan was no quitter. Although he thought he was a novice in a room full of professionals, Dan made it through his first performance. The crowd’s reaction was enough for Dan. He was hooked. He dropped out of college determined to earn a living as a comedian.

Dan performed without pay at open mic nights until he was booked to do a fifteen-minute standup routine as the opening act for the band Chicago. From there, he made guest appearances on radio comedy shows where he began incorporating characters into his repertoire. Dan said later, “I wanted to create an Archie Bunker character that was likeable.” He based the character on a combination of people he knew in Nebraska and Florida, as well as his college roommates who were from Texas and Georgia. To complete the character, Dan jettisoned his Nebraska accent and incorporated a southern accent. The character he created was so likeable that he focused solely on it and dropped the other characters. Eventually, Dan’s fictitious character became so popular that it eclipsed its creator. The character that Daniel Lawrence “Dan” Whitney created is known around the world as … Larry the Cable Guy.

1. Randy York, “For Pig Farmer-Turned Superstar, Life is All About Faith, Family and Football,
2. CableGuyArchives, “Larry the Cable Guy Documentary (Full) 2021,” December 3, 2021, YouTube video, 53:21,

United Way partners with Entergy to distribute bill credits

Shreveport– United Way of Northwest Louisiana (UWNWLA) has partnered with Entergy Louisiana to offer utility bill payment assistance to qualifying residential customers in Bienville, Bossier, Claiborne, Natchitoches, Red River, Sabine, and Webster parishes. Qualifying Entergy Louisiana electric customers in these parishes can apply for a one-time $150 credit on their utility bill beginning August 17 at 9 a.m. To qualify, customers must be Entergy electric customers and have a total household income not exceeding 250% of the federal poverty level, which equates to $69,000 for a family of four. 

The utility bill payment assistance is part of $10 million in shareholder donations previously announced by Entergy Corporation, with approximately $4.4 million being allocated to United Ways across Louisiana for the benefit of Entergy’s Louisiana customers. 

“We know these are difficult times for our communities,” said Phillip May, Entergy Louisiana president and CEO. “We want to ensure we’re doing everything we can to lessen the burden our customers may be facing when they receive their bills.” 

This emergency assistance will serve individuals and families identified as ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed). UWNWLA, in partnership with the Louisiana Association of United Ways, releases a study every two years on the financial hardship of ALICE families across UWNWLA’s ten-parish service area (Caddo, Bossier, Webster, Bienville, Claiborne, Winn, Red River, Desoto, Natchitoches, and Sabine parishes). The latest report, released in 2020, revealed that 55 percent of individuals in Northwest Louisiana qualify as ALICE or households living in poverty. 

“By partnering with Entergy, we can assist ALICE families who often do not qualify for other assistance programs,” said UWNWLA president and CEO LaToria Thomas. “Forging partnerships help us to ensure these funds go where they’re needed the most.” 

For more information on eligibility requirements and to apply when applications open, please visit For questions, please email Entergy customers are also encouraged to visit for the most up-to-date information on bill assistance.  

About United Way of Northwest Louisiana:
For more than 100 years, United Way of Northwest Louisiana has improved the lives of individuals in our community. The organization fights for the health, education, financial stability, and essential needs for everyone, while helping those in crisis. United Way of Northwest Louisiana serves agencies throughout a ten-parish region and operates a dozen human service programs of their own. Each United Way organization operates independently of each other and makes decisions by local leaders. 

About Entergy:
Entergy Louisiana, LLC provides electric service to more than one million customers in 58 parishes and natural gas service to more than 94,000 customers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 

Notice of Death – August 16, 2022

Judith Lynne Baker
August 21, 1941 – August 13, 2022
Service: Saturday, August 20 at 1 PM at Little Flock Baptist Church

Doris Bennett Garlington
March 26, 1933 – August 13, 2022
Service: Thursday, August 18 at 10 am at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

Carmen Gene Walker
April 23, 1956 – August 15, 2022
Visitation will be Saturday, August 20 from 1-2 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home. A celebration of life will follow at 2 pm at the funeral home, with Bro. Ronny Taylor officiating. Interment will follow at Beulah Cemetery in Marthaville

Marium Joseph “Dude” Vascocu
September 8, 1928 – August 13, 2022
Visitation: Thursday, August 18 from 6-9 pm and Friday, August 19 from 8-10 am at Blanchard St. Denis Funeral Home
Service: Friday, August 19 at 10 am at Blanchard St. Denis Funeral Home
Interment: Weaver Cemetery in Flora

Saydie Maye Smith Johnson
August 14, 2022
Service: Thursday, August 18 at 10:30 am at Fern Park Cemetery in Natchitoches

Marvin F. “Mickey” Gahagan
August 28, 1932 – August 10, 2022
A private memorial service will be conducted by a personal friend, Very Rev. Craig Scott. Relatives and friends are invited to attend visitation at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home in Natchitoches on Saturday, August 20, 2022 between 10:00 and 11:30 a.m. Burial will be at a later date at Lake Lawn Metairie Cemetery in New Orleans.

Dr. James Otto Brossette
March 23, 1932 – August 14, 2022
Service: Wednesday, August 17 at 10:30 am at Calvary Baptist Church, located at 2888 U.S. Hwy. 84 near Winnfield

Ricky Wayne Maloch
December 27, 1955 – August 11, 2022
Service: Wednesday, August 17 at 10 am at Fairview Baptist Church

Don’t ask for whom the school bell tolls… 

We couldn’t afford a bicycle then, so I learned early how to stick my thumb out in the wind and hitch a ride in a pickup or on a tractor the two miles into our rural Carolina town for my first-grade classes. 

My parents believed in tough love. 

They were Old School, even though I was the very definition of New School. 

Since they had to walk to school uphill 16 miles and back home, again uphill, for 17, they figured I was getting off easy by having to flag down a ride for just two measly miles. “And FLAT miles at that!” I can hear them say, maybe tough lovingly. 

Of course, modern kids have gotten soft now and don’t hitchhike to school as they once did. Don’t get me started. . . 

Here’s something else that’s changed, and not for the better. 

No matter how “bored” or out of sorts you might have gotten with school back then — and even those of us who actually secretly sort of liked school and realized it was “good for us” wanted to run away now and then – we knew the Start Game and the End Game. And that helped. 

The Great State of South Carolina and all us little children there cut a deal with each other: the state-owned us from right after Labor Day until Memorial Day. No questions asked. You’d get a day at Thanksgiving and Easter and a few days at Christmastime, the Super Bowl Week of being a kid, but the rest of the time, your denim-covered butt was in a desk at Lake View Elementary. 

BUT … they could not touch us from Memorial Day until Labor Day. No one even SAID “school” during June, July, and August. We were a hands-off, school-free zone. 

Summer, with all its bee stings and scraped knees and bologna sandwiches, was ours. 

We could play AND we could make all the money, picking cucumbers or driving a tractor or, depending on how low you were to the ground, picking up tobacco sticks at the barn if your leg wasn’t long enough to reach the clutch on a Farmall yet. 

Just thinking about it makes me want to kick off my shoes and go run in the grass and step on a nail and have to go get a tetanus shot. (Even summer had its risks. But the risks were worth it.) 

Somewhere along the way, it was decided by Grownups that school would start Early, and so children are back at school this week even though it’s just now double-digits in August. (We’re talking dates, not temperature.) There will be “breaks” and the number of days spent in class will be the same now as they were back when I went to school, back when only four vowels and 22 consonants had been invented. 

And maybe it’s better that way, but you ask people from our generation, and we’ll tell you being out for three months solid was the way to go, that even the thought of hitching a ride to school in August was a two-thumbs-down deal.  

Contact Teddy at 

Bess’s Parts

By Brad Dison

Bess was the queen of Hollywood. She was born in Sherman, Texas in 1898. After high school, she attended the Oklahoma College for Women in Chickasha where she often performed on stage. In 1916, she played dual parts or characters in Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” and another in the “Merchant of Venice.” As this production was staged by a women’s college, all of the parts, male and female, were performed by females. All of the characters Bess portrayed were men, which is a testament to her talent.

Within a few years, Bess made her way to Hollywood where she appeared in her first film, a 1923 silent comedy film entitled “Hollywood.” Her talents were such that she made two more feature films in her first year in the business. Within three years, Bess became the go-to-girl in Hollywood. In addition to her other acting abilities, Bess began to get acting jobs because of her beautiful hands. She had what the First National Productions studios claimed were the most photographed hands in the world. One reporter boasted, “Her hands are her fortune, sir!” When a movie studio needed a closeup of a beautiful feminine hand, Bess was the actress they would call first. Many leading actresses of the time, according to one reporter, “ofttimes subject themselves to exposure and their hands in many cases suffer from the elements. Consequently, when a close-up of the hands is to be made, they are in many cases unable to offer their own hands due to the fact that they have not been properly cared for and ‘groomed,’ as it were, for the particular occasion.”

Bess, on the other hand, (pun intended) kept her hands properly groomed. She kept to a strict set of rules for the care of her hands. When out in public, Bess always wore thin silk gloves to protect her hands. Every night, she rubbed her hands thoroughly with the skin of lemon followed by a special cream concocted by a film studio master make-up artist just for her. She allowed her fingernails to grow abnormally long so they could be easily manicured to fit within the film’s script.

As many actors’ and actresses’ careers floundered with the transition of the movie industry from silent pictures to “talkie” pictures, Bess remained busy. In 1935, parts of Bess appeared in “Star of Midnight,” which starred William Powell and Ginger Rogers. Bess’s character is pivotal in the film because the plot hinges on her character’s disappearance. In the film, the audience glimpses her ankles as she enters a taxicab, she waves from the taxi’s window and speaks a few lines, but no more is seen of her. Her presence in other films varied from a quick view of her waving hand to her speaking a few lines. If you watch a film from the 1920s through the 1960s, you will most likely see all or part of Bess, though you may not realize it.

Although Bess had a lucrative Hollywood career for more than four decades, she thought she was no good at acting. However, Bess became the most prolific actress in the history of motion pictures. She appeared in over 700 films, more than any other actor or actress. She appeared in five films that won Academy Awards for Best Picture, more than any other actor or actress. Those films include “It Happened One Night” (1934), “You Can’t Take It with You” (1938), “All About Eve” (1950), “The Greatest Show on Earth” (1952), and “Around the World in 80 Days” (1956). She also appeared in twenty other films which were nominated for Best Picture, more than any other actor or actress. It is doubtful that you will have ever heard the name Bess Flowers, but due to Bess’s parts, she became and remains the “Queen of the Hollywood Extras.”

1. The Chickasha Daily Express (Chickasha, Oklahoma), April 20, 1916, p.1.
2. The Minneapolis Star, March 6, 1926, p.23.
3. Palladium-Item (Richmond, Indiana), July 23, 1927, p.13.
4. The Record (Hackensack, New Jersey), March 12, 1935, p.23.

Sabine Parish Students Go Back to School

Sabine Sheriff Aaron Mitchell and the Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office announce the beginning of the 2022-2023 Sabine Parish School Year on Wednesday, Aug. 10.
Sheriff Mitchel wants to remind drivers to watch for school buses and slow down in school zones and areas.
Sheriff Mitchell, Chief Deputy Brad Walker, all School Resource Officers, Patrol Deputies, and the Sheriff’s Special Operations Group (S.O.G.) along with Sabine Parish School Superintendent Shane Wright spent the last two days performing safety assessments at all 7 school campuses in Sabine Parish.
Sheriff Mitchell said the number one goal is keeping the children in the parish safe.
Sheriff’s Office Staff toured each school with its respective principal.
Sheriff Mitchell and his staff have a close working relationship with the Sabine Parish School Board.
All Sabine Parish Sheriff SROs are Level I P.O.S.T. Certified Deputies and all have received SRO training.
Sheriff Mitchell said he wants his Deputies to have the knowledge and information necessary to avert any situation that could occur at Sabine Parish Schools.
Sheriff Mitchell and his staff wish every student and teacher a safe and successful school year.

Sabine Parish Welcomes New Leaders

Meagan Campbell is the new Title I Coordinator. Campbell has served as a teacher, instructional coach and most recently Assistant Principal at Many Elementary before transferring to the Central Office. As the Title I Coordinator Meagan will oversee Homeless Education as well as English Language Learners.

Valarie Williams is Many Jr. High’s new Principal. Williams served as the interim principal at MJHS since January before that time she was the assistant principal. Before she transferred to MJHS, she was a teacher at Many High. She has a total of 19 years in education.

Kelly Dye is SPARK’s new Principal. Dye served SPARK as the guidance counselor last year and before transferring to that role, she was a teacher at Negreet School. She has a total of 18 years in education.

Christian Sepulvado is the new Principal at Zwolle Elementary. Sepulvado has served ZES as Assistant Principal for the past couple of years before that time he was a teacher there. Mr. Sepulvado has eight years in education.

Kyle Penfield is the new Assistant Principal at Many Jr. High. Penfield served as the interim Assistant Principal at MJHS since January and has a total of 16 years as an educator. Before that time, he was the Adaptive PE teacher for the district.

Julie Wray is the new Assistant Principal at Many Elementary. Wray has nine years as an educator. Before coming to MES, Wray was the Administrative Assistant at Converse.

New Hampshire man arrested on lengthy list of charges

Sheriff Sam Craft of the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office announces the Aug. 3 arrest of James A. Machado Jr., ag 24, of Meredith, New Hampshire.
The arrest is the result of a traffic pursuit which began in Many and continued into Vernon Parish.
Machado initially refused to cooperate with law enforcement authorities. Machado provided several names to law enforcement officers during booking. Machado eventually identified himself and his identity was confirmed with New Hampshire law enforcement authorities.
James Machado was arrested and booked in the VPSO jail on one count of Reckless Operation, one count of Aggravated Flight from an Officer, five counts of Resisting an Officer with Force or violence, one count of Failure to obey a Red light, one count of Misrepresentation during booking, one count of General speed law, one count of Driving on Roadways laned for traffic, one count of No Driver’s License on Person, one count Carless Operation, one count of Failure to use Turn Signals, one count of Traveling in roadway ditches, six counts of Property damage, three counts of Hit and Run Driving, one count of Possession of Stolen things, and one count of Obstruction of Public Passages.
Bond has not been set and Machado remains in the VPSO jail with detainers for the Many Police Department, Shreveport Police Department, and Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office.
The investigation into this incident is ongoing and additional charges are possible.
All persons are presumed innocent until convicted in a court of law.

Many man arrested after fleeing police

Sabine Sheriff Aaron Mitchell reports Kevin Dewayne Conley (age-45) of Many was arrested this morning after he ran from Deputies.
The Sabine Parish Sheriff Tactical Narcotics Team attempted to stop Conley’s vehicle for a traffic violation on Highway 191 south of Zwolle.
Conley refused to stop and tossed suspected methamphetamine out of the window of his vehicle. Conley traveled about three miles before stopping.
Conley resisted T.N.T. Agents when they tried to arrest him.
T.N.T. Agents located the suspected methamphetamine Conley threw out and other drug paraphernalia inside his vehicle.
Conley was booked into the Sabine Parish Detention Center for Possession with intent to distribute schedule II (Meth), Second or subsequent offenses, Possession of drug paraphernalia, Aggravated flight from an officer, Resisting an officer with force or violence, Obstruction of justice, Intentional littering, No passing zone, Illegal window tint (2%).
No bond has been set at this time by the 11th Judicial District Court.
Conley was on parole for previous drug and firearm charges in 2020.
(All persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law)

Zwolle man arrested for gun, drug trafficking

Sabine Sheriff Aaron Mitchell reports Frederick Marqueze Smith (age-33) of Zwolle was sentenced in United States District Court, Western District of Louisiana in Shreveport on July 28.
Smith pled guilty and was sentenced to 90 months (7 ½ years) in federal prison for Possession of a firearm in the furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
This sentence stems from Smith’s arrest by the Sabine Parish Sheriff Tactical Narcotic Team during a traffic stop on July 28, 2021. Smith attempted to flee from T.N.T. Agents, and he had narcotics and a firearm in his possession.
Sheriff Mitchell and the Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office continue to seek federal prosecution for illegal drug and firearm crimes in Sabine Parish.

Felony Narcotic & Firearm Arrests: July

Sabine Sheriff Aaron Mitchell announces the July 2022 Felony Narcotic and Firearm Arrests.
Suspected Xanax pills, Tramadol pills, various other pills, approximately 1 1/2 ounces of marijuana, 1 1/4 pounds of methamphetamine, psychedelic mushrooms, a small amount of heroin, and various drug paraphernalia were seized during these arrests and operations last month.
Deputies also seized one vehicle and eight firearms; one gun was stolen.
DUSTIN JAMES COKER (age-33) of Haughton
Possession of schedule II (Meth), Possession of drug paraphernalia.
CARDETRICK EUDARRIS WOODS (age-44) of Shreveport
Warrant for Distribution of schedule II (Meth).
Possession of schedule I (Marijuana), Possession of schedule IV (Xanax), Possession of schedule IV (Tramadol), Possession of legend drug, Possession of drug paraphernalia.
PQUAWN PEREZ MOORE (age-44) of Many
Warrant for 2-counts of Distribution of schedule II (Meth).
Possession of schedule II (Meth), Possession of schedule IV (Clonazepam), State Probation and Parole Warrant.
GERALD WAYNE FOSTER (age-60) of Many
Possession of schedule II (Meth), Possession of drug paraphernalia.
STEPHEN LAMAR SMITH (age-35) of Many
Felon in possession of firearm.
Possession of schedule I (Marijuana), Possession of schedule II (Meth), Possession of schedule IV (Xanax), Criminal trespass, Warrant for failure to appear in court for Distribution of schedule II CDS, Warrant for Distribution of schedule II (Meth).
SAMUEL CLYDE CHESTER JR (age-54) of Greenwood
Possession of schedule II (Meth), Possession of schedule III (Buprenorphine Hydrochloride).
SAMUEL EDWIN RENO IV (age-38) of Shreveport
Possession of schedule II (Meth), Possession of schedule III (Buprenorphine Hydrochloride).
COLBY CAIN HATCHER (age-21) of Pleasant Hill
Possession with intent to distribute schedule I (Marijuana), Possession of drug paraphernalia, Possession of a firearm in presence of CDS, Possession of a firearm by convicted felon, Illegal possession of stolen firearms.
Possession with intent to distribute schedule II (Meth), Possession of hallucinogenic plants, Possession of drug paraphernalia.
Possession with intent to distribute schedule II (Meth), Possession of hallucinogenic plants, Possession of drug paraphernalia, Second of subsequent offenses.

Unrestrained Converse Man Killed in Sabine Parish Crash

Louisiana State Police Troop E responded to a fatal crash on Aug. 8 at approximately 3 am on Louisiana Highway 174 near Louisiana Highway 483. This crash claimed the life of 19-year-old Jack B. Dobbs of Converse.

The initial investigation revealed a 2022 Buick Encore, driven by Dobbs, was traveling west on Louisiana Highway 174. For reasons still under investigation, Dobbs’ vehicle traveled off the left side of the roadway, down the ditch embankment, before overturning several times. This action ejected Dobbs from the vehicle.

Dobbs, who was unrestrained, sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced dead. A toxicology sample was obtained and submitted for analysis. This crash remains under investigation.

While not all crashes are survivable, proper use of seat belts can greatly decrease an occupant’s chance of death and may greatly reduce the extent of injury. Always ensuring every occupant is properly restrained can often mean the difference between life and death.

In 2022, Troop E has investigated 26 fatal crashes, resulting in 28 deaths.

Traffic pursuit starts in Sabine Parish, ends in Vernon Parish

The Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office was notified on Aug. 3 at approximately 8:30 am of a traffic pursuit by the Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office.
SPSO indicated that Deputies had attempted to make a traffic stop on a vehicle in Many and the driver had refused to stop and began fleeing from Deputies.
The pursuit traveled South through Florien and into Vernon Parish.
Officers from the Anacoco Police Department, Louisiana State Police, Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office, and Vernon Parish Narcotics Task Force joined in the pursuit in an effort to get the suspect vehicle stopped.
The driver of the suspect vehicle aggressively attempted to ram police units and was traveling South bound in the North bound lanes of Highway 171 through Hornbeck and Anacoco towards Leesville.
The driver had managed to avoid spike strips on at least two occasions prior to entering Vernon Parish.
Sabine Deputies had attempted pursuit intervention techniques (PIT) on the vehicle but with no success. They reported that during the pursuit the suspect would laugh and waive at the officers as they attempted to stop his vehicle.
After crossing the Vernon Lake bridge a Sabine patrol deputy, who was attempting to get civilian drivers out of the lane of travel, was rammed twice by the suspect vehicle which caused the unit to leave the roadway and become disabled on its side in a ditch.
Vernon Parish Detectives attempted to PIT the vehicle and the driver of the vehicle began to aggressively ram their patrol units.
In an effort to prevent the suspect vehicle from entering into the City Limits of Leesville, a female Vernon Parish Narcotics Agent, struck the vehicle head on in her patrol unit.
Both vehicles came to a rest in the traffic median. At that time officers from multiple agencies surrounded the vehicle and were forced to break the driver’s window to remove the suspect from the vehicle.
It was learned that the suspect vehicle was reported as stolen in an armed car jacking in Shreveport.
The suspect was transported to the Vernon Parish Jail.
The Sabine Parish Deputy and the female VPNTF Agent suffered minor injures.
Two VPSO patrol units suffered significant damage.
At this time the suspect is refusing to identify himself to law enforcement.
Numerous criminal charges are expected in multiple jurisdictions.
Suspect arrest information will be provided in a separate press release.