Early Voting For Primary Election Begins Tuesday October 25th

Early voting for the Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, Open Congressional Primary Election begins Oct. 25th and runs through Nov. 1 (excluding Sunday, Oct. 30) from 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m.

Other important dates:

  • The deadline to request an absentee ballot is Nov. 4 by 4:30 p.m (other than for military and overseas voters). You can request an absentee ballot online through our Voter Portal or in writing through your Registrar of Voters Office.
  • The deadline for a registrar of voters to receive a voted absentee ballot is Nov. 7 by 4:30 p.m. (other than for military and overseas voters).

On election day, the polls are open from 6 a.m.-8 p.m.

Free 50th anniversary celebration of Hall of Fame is set for Thursday, Nov. 3

There’s a free party with an entertaining program two weeks from tonight, on Thursday evening, Nov. 3, celebrating 50 years since the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame arrived in Natchitoches.

FLASH (Friends of Louisiana Sports and History), the local support group for the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum, is hosting the celebration at the museum in downtown Natchitoches from 5:30-7 on Nov. 3.

“Celebrating 50 Years of Hall of Fame Fun in Natchitoches – Laughs and Reflections with Jerry Pierce and Friends” is open to everyone, free of charge. A reception will precede the program, featuring Pierce, who brought the LSHOF to Natchitoches in 1972 and guided it for 19 years.

The longtime Northwestern State University vice president, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000, will share stories from behind-the-scenes involving many of the greatest sports figures in state history – and the colorful characters in the Hall of Fame’s parent organization, the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.

The party participants can enjoy light hors d’ouevres and refreshments. Attire is business casual. Tickets are not needed.

“This celebration of our 50th anniversary in Natchitoches is going to be fun, and free, and will create lasting memories,” said Doug Ireland, the LSHOF chairman. “Jerry Pierce, NSU and Natchitoches gave the Hall of Fame a home in 1972, and nurtured its development into one of America’s most respected sports museums and Hall of Fame induction celebrations. Hearing Jerry’s stories, and having the chance to ask questions, will make for a great program.”

Guests will have the opportunity to join FLASH with membership fees as low as $35. FLASH members get several benefits, including exclusive first-look VIP access at the upcoming unveiling of the museum’s Heisman Trophy exhibit showcasing Louisiana’s four Heisman winners – Billy Cannon, John David Crow, Joe Burrow and DeVonta Smith.

The museum, at the traffic circle on the north end of Front Street (800 Front), is open from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, and is operated by Louisiana State Museums. Admission fees top out at $6 for adults.

For more information call 318-357-2492.

Controversy Again on the Red River

By Steve Graf

It never fails, if there’s a bass tournament on the Red River, there will usually be some kind of issue or controversy. But for some reason, with most events on the Red, crybabies seem to come out of nowhere and want to complain about something they heard or saw someone do. Probably every tournament director that’s ever put on an event on this body of water has had to deal with accusations about an angler who THEY think did something illegal. Now they won’t necessarily have any proof, but they will complain hoping it will lead to the angler being disqualified from the event.

This year’s Bassmaster Central Open out of Red River South Marina was no exception and not without controversy, as former Natchitoches, Louisiana, resident and Major League Fishing Pro Keith Poche took top honors and finally conquered the mighty Red River. This was Keith’s first win on the Red River after several top-10 finishes. The Red fits Keith’s style of shallow-water fishing, which is why he’s had great success. But a few years ago in a previous Central Open event, Keith was accused of cutting a pipe in front of a culvert down in Pool 4 to gain access to backwater …. which was proven that he never did. Some anglers just can’t stand it when another angler outsmarts the rest of the field by thinking outside the box. “Outsmarts” may not be the right word, but more that they took a risk another angler would not.
In this year’s 2022 Central Open event, Pro Angler Keith Poche decided to fish out of the same 18-foot aluminum boat with a 90-horsepower engine that he has used all year. While the rest of the field fished out of twenty- and twenty-one-foot fiberglass boats with 250 horsepower engines. These bigger boats limit anglers as to where they can fish, especially when it comes to reaching certain backwater areas that are true honey holes that the Red River is famous for. But this 18-foot aluminum boat did allow him to do just that….get into backwater other anglers could not. There was nothing illegal about what Keith was doing.

Understand, B.A.S.S. does not restrict what size boat you can fish out of in a Bassmaster Central Open event. However, a rule states, “Whatever boat you start the season out of, you must finish the season in that same boat.” For Keith, that was the case, as he’s fished out of this same aluminum boat in all of his previous Bassmaster Open events.
Here’s the controversy that occurred. With Keith leading going into the final day, someone decide they were going to make it awfully hard for him to win this event. Another angler or anglers (not yet determined) who did not make the final day cut launched their boat at 11:00 PM the night before the final day and went to the rock jetty cut Keith was going through off the main river and placed big rocks at the mouth. This prevented Keith from being able to go through it and get to his backwater area. As Keith arrived at the rock jetty cut on the morning of the final day, he saw that someone had tried to eliminate his only path through the rocks. There is a B.A.S.S. rule that states, “At no time may an angler get out of his boat to gain access to any backwater area.” But a strange thing occurred as Keith called the tournament director and informed him of what had taken place. Two suspicious observers who had followed Keith to this cut on the final morning voluntarily got out of their boat and moved the rocks. At no point did Keith ever ask these guys to do this, and he said they were acting very strangely. So, then he began to wonder, could these be the guys who tried to sabotage the cut in the first place? In the meantime, Keith just had to make sure he did not violate the rule of physically getting out of his boat to gain access.

Now from this angler’s perspective, it would be a great way for these two guys to look innocent by attempting to help Keith out. I mean, who would ever suspect the two guys who got out of their boat to help Keith by removing the rocks? Not sure, but maybe they felt guilty and realized what they had done the night before just was not right. Maybe they wanted to try and make things right by being good Samaritans and moving the rocks. Hmmm, now I don’t pretend to be Sherlock Holmes, but it is something to think about.

For this Central Open event, Keith committed himself to the idea of staying in shallow water and getting into backwater areas that other anglers could not. These were fish that had not been pressured by other anglers during the official practice period. Keith did his homework and found a way to make it happen and got the job done to secure the victory. But some anglers did not approve of the way he secured the win. So rather than going the extra mile as Keith Poche did, they chose to take unadvised action by doing something immoral and unethical. In the end, Keith Poche prevailed and conquered a body of water, that as Keith put it, “has been a thorn in his side.” Till next time, good luck, good fishing, and don’t forget to wear your sunscreen!

Steve Graf
Hook’N Up & Track’N Down Show &
Tackle Talk Live

There aren’t white weddings and black weddings. There are just weddings.

I knew a guy. Good guy. Tall. Thin. A mane of white hair and an impressive always well-kept beard. He wore suits to work every day, and even though I was his employee he always told me I should call him by his first name. That wasn’t going to happen of course. He was thirty years older and had forgotten more about the business than I would ever know. He would go by “Mister” and “sir” until the day the Earth stopped spinning.

He was a Good Guy.
He was one of only three men I’ve ever met that I truly respected. I knew at my core that when he told me something that not only was it true but it was correct.
He was a Good Guy.
Not that I didn’t have some problems with him. Those of you who know to whom I referring know he had a bit of a temper. He did some things I didn’t agree with, but I’ve come to realize in time that he never did what he did out of malice or pettiness like some men in power I’ve known. He was never a politician in his dealings. He didn’t pander. He didn’t glad-hand. He didn’t manipulate. He didn’t crawfish when the public was offended. He was honest. And I respected him.

Perhaps I respected him most for one bit of advice he gave me back when I was about 23 years of age.

I published an engagement photo. The problem was the guy had his arms around the soon-to-be bride, and his hands were placed awkwardly at the top of her chest. I took the photo, which was snapped by a professional photographer and submitted by a sweet young couple of Minden twenty-somethings. Not a second glance or a thought more was given. Little did I know the tempest that was to come. What came next was what the Good Guy came to refer to as 2003’s great Boob-Gate scandal of Minden.

Oh, the phone calls that surrounded this innocuous photo. The weeping and gnashing of teeth were severe as was the accosting in the supermarket.
“How dare you,” a little old lady told me when I was just trying to buy Frosted Flakes on a Saturday morning. I was staring at Tony the Tiger when she came up to me. The encounter was not GREEEEEEAT.
I had never met her. Never seen her. That’s the problem with having your face in the public eye. Everyone knows who you are but you don’t know who everyone else is. She proceeded to tell me that her grandson saw that picture and she was so embarrassed. I’m surprised she wasn’t clutching a set of phantom pearls around her wrinkled and tanning bed-stained neck. She used that old “I’m going to cancel my subscription” go to that was standard when someone found something offensive. I can’t tell you how many times I heard that over the years. No one ever did cancel though.
I didn’t know what to say. I wanted to ask her if her grandson watched movies with bullets flying and people being killed in all manner of ways or if he played Mortal Kombat or whatever video game was popular at the time. Simulated violence is no problem. A guy with his hands near the middle of a woman’s chest was a different story. But I didn’t ask that because I was a coward. So, I just said “I’m sorry” and groveled a bit. I was different back then. Afraid of my own shadow. Thinking I was never good enough. Constantly worried about losing my job. Truthfully that was a fear I had up until recently. Always feeling like an imposter no matter what I did or how many times I proved failures were the exception rather than the rule. I’ve grown as a person since then and am still struggling to do so today.
The phone calls were worse. We all got it. The reporters. The ad sales team. The circulation department. The poor receptionist was on the front line. Everyone fielded the verbal assault. Much ado.

I was losing hair and developing an ulcer over Boob-Gate. I was even afraid to go to church because some Christians are the most vicious among us. As Gandhi said when asked about my religion, “I like your Christ but not your Christianity.” I am a very introverted person. People coming up to me and chewing me out over a picture was tough, and I knew at that point that my thin skin could never handle the public office. If I had received the same at church, I never would have gone back.

So, this Good Guy asks me to bring him the picture. He looks at it and then hands it back to me and asks if I see anything wrong with it. I hesitated and eventually said meekly “not really…maybe.” He scoffed and said mine was a politician’s answer.
“There’s something wrong with it or there isn’t.”

He asked again if I saw anything wrong with the picture. I told him no, I didn’t see anything wrong with the picture. He nodded and told me that he didn’t either.
And then he said that I was always going to have to deal with “stupid people.” His words. And the perpetually offended. My words. If I did nothing wrong, then I should just say the hell with them and keep doing what needs to be done.
He told me to put Boob-Gate behind me and move on. It would be forgotten about soon. And it was.

A week later, after the sky didn’t fall and I wasn’t fired and I was no longer ambushed while buying breakfast treats, I laughed about it with him. He then told me a story about his younger days. Back in the era of segregation. Integration came along and so too did a delicate situation for newspapers. You can go back and read newspaper editorials from around the nation at that time. A lot of them were racist and pro-segregation. The papers and their writers are judged for their ignorance by history.

This Good Guy said integration was a good thing. Overdue. After all, we worship the same no matter the skin color. It doesn’t matter if you invite God in or you don’t. He’s there all the same. But this Good Guy wasn’t just one of these passive people who say “as long as it doesn’t affect me” or the worst kind – those who say one thing privately but never would say that same thing in public for fear of being whipped with the world’s displeasure.

All of it came to a head for this Good Guy, ironically enough when you compare my tale to his, in the pages of the matrimony section.

He published wedding stories and engagement stories and the pictures that went with them all together. Black and white weddings were together. You see, what used to be the practice was to have pages for white weddings, and then back in the back next to the ads for cleaning services and dog sales there would be the black weddings.
Good Guy changed that in Minden. And then he told me something I still repeat to this day when I speak of actually standing up for what is right even though you may suffer because of man’s ignorance.
“You don’t have black weddings and white weddings,” he said. That crisp navy suit made a stunning contrast to his white hair and white beard. “You just have weddings.”
This is simple and pretty well-known in today’s world. But back then, this move brought so much outrage from Minden that this Good Guy had to start carrying a handgun. And this wasn’t one of those guys carrying a gun nowadays in a show of defiance to the encroaching big government that’s stifling us. Nothing wrong with that by the way. I do the same thing. Ain’t nobody taking my guns, and the congregation said amen.
Good Guy carried a gun because he was getting death threats. And people were throwing bricks through windows at home and at work. It was a big deal in Minden. Much bigger than Boob-Gate. I never was worried about someone killing me. All I had to deal with were little old ladies griping at me in front of the Malt-O-Meals.

“Were you scared?” I asked him.

“Sure,” he said. “But it was the right thing to do.”

I’ve never forgotten that.

Doing what is right isn’t easy sometimes. It’s painful. It’s scary. It can make you not want to go out in the public eye. It can make you skip church. It can make you carry a gun. Doing what’s right isn’t easy. But someone must do it. Such is the price of a conscience.
Mark Twain said, “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to either reform, pause or reflect.” We all need to ask ourselves if we do what we do because it is right or because it is easy.
History remembers fondly the people who do what is right. History judges those who do what is easy.

I miss that Good Guy.

Josh Beavers is a teacher and a writer. He has been recognized five times by the Louisiana Press Association for excellence in opinion writing.

Notice of Death – October 20, 2022

Michael “Too Too” Washington
June 22, 1967 – October 5, 2022
Service: Saturday, October 22 at 11 am at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church

Tommy Stephens
March 13, 1963 – October 18, 2022
Service: Tuesday, October 25 at 4 pm at Hickory Grove Congregational Methodist Church, located at 8579 La Hwy 6 in Robeline

Timothy Jarrett Gourdon
February 19, 1972 – October 11, 2022
Service: Saturday, October 22 at 2 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

Lillie Mae (Walker) Durr
February 20, 1926 – October 13, 2022
A wake will be held on Friday, October 21 from 5 pm until 8 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home in Natchitoches with services following on Saturday, October 22 at 10 am. Burial will follow at Beulah Methodist Cemetery in Marthaville

Floyd Antley, Sr.
November 20, 1926 – October 15, 2022
Service: Friday October 21 at 2 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

Linda G. Leone
December 5, 1947 – October 18, 2022
Service: Friday, October 21 at 1 PM at St. John The Baptist Catholic Church

Jamie Wilson
May 11, 1938 – October 16, 2022
Service: Friday, October 21 at 10 am at Warren Meadows Funeral Home in Many

Mary Elizabeth (Love) Heard
November 1, 1964 – October 18, 2022
Service: Monday, October 24 at 2 pm at Crossroads Baptist Church in the Sharptown Community

Laverne Braswell
August 4, 1936 – October 19, 2022
Service: Saturday, Oct. 22 at 10 am at Zion Hill Baptist Church

Joyce Washburn
December 25, 1927 – October 15, 2022
Service: Friday, October 21 at 2 pm in Garden of Memories Cemetery, in Winnfield

Ronnie Glen Cox
March 28, 1947 – October 17, 2022
Service: Friday, October 21 at 11 am at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home Chapel

Donald “Big Don” Roy Rector
February 10, 1956 – October 15, 2022
Service: Saturday, October 22 at 11 am at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home Chapel

Many Fall Fest on Main

The Town of Many invites everyone to their fall fest Oct. 29 from 3pm-9pm on Main Street in Many. There will be food vendors, art and craft booths, baked goods, kids activities, and more!  There will also be a pumpkin display and petting zoo. The event is hosted by Sabine Parish 4-H. For kids 12 and under there will be a costume contest; sign ups will be by the stage at 3pm. 

“Coach” Mike McConathy says …

Do YOU know what is happening?

“Coach” Mike

has an important
Announcement to make
and he wants you
to join him!

October 27, 2022

Natchitoches Event Center
Doors open at 4:30 – 7:00

Light refreshments – Casual

  • Paid for by the McConathy for State Senate Campaign

Many aims to continue district roll when Jonesboro-Hodge visits

MANY – Many head coach Jess Curtis acknowledged special team troubles were an issue for his football team in 2021, creating a key emphasis this off season. 

Problem solved. 

The Tigers cracked opened the Winnfield game on a third-quarter Jamarlyn Garner kickoff return for a touchdown, and Class 2A No. 1 Many will attempt to keep the district roll going when Jonesboro-Hodge (2-5, 0-2) visits Friday. 

Many (6-0, 2-0) hadn’t salted away the Winnfield win as those other Tigers scored early in the third quarter to chip Many’s lead to 21-14. But Garner answered Winnfield’s score with an 82-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, the first of three straight scores to put Winnfield away. 

Garner’s touchdown is Many’s third special teams score this season after Tackett Curtis returned a pair of punts for touchdowns against Sam Houston. 

That doesn’t factor in the advantageous field position set up by longer Many returns this season. 

“We focused more on our special teams this offseason after feeling like special teams was one of the differences in the state championship game last year,” said Many coach Jess Curtis. “I’m proud of our focus and improvement there.” 

That focus has spilled over into the coverage and kicking games as well. 

Kicker Deacon Follette is a reliable leg with the Tigers creating poorer starting field position with its kick/punt coverage as well. 

Many enters Friday’s contest against Jonesboro-Hodge on a 31-game district winning streak and a 15-game regular-season winning streak. 

J-Hodge is coming off a loss to a previously winless Mansfield bunch in 20-12 fashion after starting district play at Red River in a 28-22 defeat. 

These Tigers do have a win against Class 5A Pineville and feature a defense that’s held six of its seven opponents to 28 points or less. 

“They have some speed and size on defense, and we’re going to have to be ready to come off the ball Friday,” Curtis said. “They were a semifinal team in the playoffs a year ago, and they return some of those guys. We need to be ready.” 

J-Hodge went 8-2 in the regular season and nearly met Many in the state championship game save a nine-point loss to eventual champion Amite.  

J-Hodge is a new addition to District 3-2A this season and did not meet Many in the 2021 regular season. 

Many’s offense has been prolific this season, scoring 30 or more points in five of its six contests and 40 or more in three of those wins. 

The ground game is spearheaded by running backs Jeremiah James, Jamarlyn Garner and Trent Williams along with quarterback Tackett Curtis. 

Many’s defense has been just as good, allowing just more than 10 points per game, including holding Class 5A members Sam Houston and Haughton out of the end zone. 

One thing that Many unit doesn’t have this season is a shutout, and they’ll be facing a J-Hodge group that’s scored 20 or fewer points in five of seven contests. 

“These last few games are important to continue to improve,” Curtis said of the final three regular-season games. “We have played a lot of kids and looked at some different things. We want to be battle-ready when the playoffs arrive.” 

Rise up and enjoy ‘Popcorn Falls’

You ever been around friends and remember something funny and start laughing and can’t stop and of course, they ask why and you can’t explain? 

Me too. Happened Saturday night. 

All I could tell them was I’d seen dress rehearsal for a play earlier in the week and would be going to the Sunday matinee and was already laughing — was in tears — thinking of different parts. Whatever I could tell them would not translate; I’m not that good of a communicator. 

Sometimes, you’ve just got to experience it.  

Full disclosure: these next few moments with you will be about a play that my own personal child is in. 

But also, full disclosure, it’s funny, and if you like to laugh, you should go. 

It’s Popcorn Falls, it’s at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. at Shreveport Little (But It’s A Big Deal) Theatre And Really Not That Little. The run ends with Sunday’s matinee. A coffee table book celebrating the theatre’s first century is on sale in the lobby too; only 400 pictures in there so … think about it. I’ve spent hours enjoying mine.  

So, Popcorn Falls. It isn’t Shakespeare. (Although The Bard is mentioned!, stud that he was.) It’s genius and sophisticated, but sophisticated in disguise. Here’s the Associated Press nut graph: 

“The sleepy town of Popcorn Falls is forced into bankruptcy when a neighboring town and villain threaten to turn the place into a sewage treatment plant. The town’s only hope – open a theater! Two actors play more than 20 roles in a world of farce, love, and desperation, proving once and for all that art can save the world.” 

Northwest Louisiana is so blessed to have 5-star talent in all phases of local theater. You can’t swing a cat without hitting somebody who is a bona fide director, set designer, actor, or prop whiz … we’re so lucky. There is a stage and there is air and everything else has to be created. Moods. Sense of place. Drama. Comedy. Music. Suggestions of silence. People are amazing, what they are able to create out of nothing. 

Popcorn Falls is an example. A two-man show. The actors never really leave the stage. Less than 100 minutes with a 10-minute intermission. And none of those minutes is “filler” because every second, even the scene changes, have a purpose.  

So, Casey Allen, my physical son, is one of the actors, and Barry “the Pride of Grand Cane” Larson, who has teamed with Casey in so many things that I feel as if he’s my backup son, except he doesn’t look like me, is the other actor. They are scared to death before any play they are in starts — it’s like the Boston Celtics’ Bill Russell throwing up before every game — but they are perfectly at home on stage. Strange and familiar dynamic. 

But that’s what makes this and most other plays I’ve seen here good: they care. Casey and Barry. Director Sean Dion and the subtle “add-ins” he created. Tom Serio’s set. A rolling table (you’ll see). Riley Keene’s stage managing. The sound from Barry Butler, the best in the biz. The lighting. On and on. Even the work of “Intimacy Coordinator” Liesl Cruz. (See it and you’ll know.) 

Happy for everyone because I know what they’ve invested and how much joy and honesty they bring to the day’s work. They made me laugh. Still are. It feels as if they’ve created something just for you. For no one but you. When theatre is “done right,” that’s the magic that happens.  

Contact Teddy at teddy@latech.edu 

Sheriff Aaron Mitchell announces two Sergeants from the Sabine Parish Detention Center

Sabine Parish Sheriff Aaron Mitchell announced two Sergeants from the Sabine Parish Detention Center that attended the Louisiana Correctional Association Conference in Lake Charles last week.
Sgt Steve Procell and Sgt Austen Early learned about different ways narcotics are smuggled into correctional facilities, concealment of weapons, the mental health of inmates, inmates with mental illness, and officer safety.
Sheriff Mitchell said training for his correctional deputies is also a top priority. Proper care and custody of inmates results in a safer jail environment, less contraband, and hopefully a lower recidivism rate of offenders.

A Pledge of Allegiance

By Brad Dison

It almost seems like the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag has been around forever. I would wager that from an early age most of us stood at attention, placed our right hand over our heart while facing the American flag in class, and recited the Pledge of Allegiance. For most Americans, it’s as easy to recite as counting from one to ten. Although we have recited the pledge countless times throughout our lives, we still include the strategically placed pauses which were designed to aid in memorization.
The Pledge of Allegiance, however, has taken many forms and has evolved through the years. In the late 1880s and early 1890s, patriotism was waning due to the difficulties of the Civil War. In 1887, Captain George Balch, a Civil War veteran, drafted the first known pledge to an American flag to help teach children, especially immigrant children, loyalty to the United States. In addition, Balch helped distribute American flags to classrooms. His pledge was quickly adopted by schools across the United States. It read:

“We give our heads and hearts to God and our country; one country, one language, one flag!”

It left something to be desired but remained the accepted pledge until the 1923 National Flag Conference. Each time Reverend Francis Bellamy heard the pledge he shuddered. In 1892, Bellamy drafted his pledge and submitted it to the The Youth’s Companion, a popular children’s magazine, as part of a celebration of the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s arrival in America. Bellamy drafted his pledge to be short, to the point, and, most of all, respectable. Bellamy’s pledge read:

“I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Bellamy’s pledge soon caught on in classrooms as well. Two pledges of allegiance would have certainly been confusing. The Youth’s Companion included a schedule of events, which included Bellamy’s pledge to celebrate Christopher Columbus’s arrival and pushed for its universal use in all schools throughout the United States. In an act of patriotism after reading newspaper and magazine articles about Columbus, including the one in The Youth’s Companion which included Bellamy’s pledge, Benjamin Harrison, President of the United States at the time, declared October 12, 1892, as Columbus Day. Despite Balch’s best efforts, Bellamy’s pledge became more popular.

Many people worried that Bellamy’s pledge was not precise enough. They were concerned that immigrants who recited “I pledge allegiance to my flag” could become confused and could be pledging allegiance to the flag of their birth country. At the 1923 National Flag Conference, delegates altered Bellamy’s pledge. This version read:

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States, and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

The words “of America” were added after “the flag of the United States” the following year. On June 22, 1942, nearly two decades after the National Flag Conference, Congress officially adopted the following Pledge of Allegiance:

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Something is still missing from the form as we know it today. On February 12, 1948, attorney Louis Albert Bowman recited the Pledge of Allegiance at a meeting of the Illinois Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. Bowman was the chaplain. Bowman added two simple but important words which have occasionally caused controversy. With every recitation of the pledge, he included his own addition. Those two words were “Under God.” The new addition to the pledge quickly spread. On Flag Day, June 14, 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the bill into law which made Bowman’s addition official. Thus, the Pledge of Allegiance is as we know it.

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

The wording of the Pledge isn’t the only part of the recitation which has changed. While reciting the pledge, each of us places our right hand over our heart. To remove that hand during the pledge feels nothing less than disgraceful, almost blasphemous. Along with the wording of the pledge, Bellamy created what became known as the Bellamy salute. Rather than placing our hand over our heart, Bellamy’s salute was done by outstretching the right hand aimed toward the flag with the palm down. The Bellamy salute was the official salute to the flag from 1882 until December 22, 1942, when Congress officially replaced the Bellamy salute with the right hand over the heart. It was ultimately replaced because Bellamy’s salute was adopted by Germany as the Nazi salute.

LSMSA seeks applicants for a Full-Time Counselor 

Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LSMSA) seeks applications for a full-time personal counselor to serve its diverse student population and includes state-supported benefits including retirement, health, and life insurance. 

The ideal candidate will have experience working effectively with underrepresented groups experiencing depression, anxiety, pandemic-related stress, and other common mental health concerns, in a school setting. 

Core functions include: 

  • Serve as a resource and advocate for students from marginalized groups within our community 
  • Provide on-site individual and group counseling for students 
  • Provide referrals as needed 
  • Serve on call whenever school is in session 
  • Assist with or handle crisis interventions as necessary 
  • Engage in appropriate exchange of information about student needs and work closely with faculty, staff, and parents 
  • Maintain accurate and up-to-date records 
  • Consult with members of the Staffing Team on a regular basis 
  • Participate in professional development as needed to maintain professional CEUs and remain in compliance with state laws 
  • Assist with departmental functions as necessary 
    Required Qualifications: 
  • Master’s degree in Counseling, Social Work, Psychology, or a related field 
  • Provisional licensure in counseling or social work (LPC, LCSW, NCSC, LMFT, etc.) 
  • Ability to provide culturally competent care working effectively with BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) and LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, and asexual) communities and students 
  • Experience working with individuals experiencing depression, anxiety, pandemic-related stress, trauma, and mental health concerns 
  • Knowledge of best practices for working with various mental health, academic, and adjustment concerns 
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills 
  • High level of discretion with sensitive information 
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team 

          Preferred Qualifications: 

  • Licensure in counseling or social work (LPC, LCSW, NCSC, LMFT, etc.) 
  • Knowledge of adolescent development, cultural competencies, contemporary issues facing adolescents, and characteristics of gifted students 
  • Knowledge of 504 guidelines and students with disabilities 
  • Proficiency with Microsoft 365 and knowledge of Simple Practice for notes, client information, and scheduling 
  • Willingness to work in the late afternoon and evenings 

    Application Process: 

    Please submit a letter of application along with a resume or CV of education and experience to: employment@LSMSA.edu 

    For more information regarding the school, the position, and the application process, as well as our application form, please visit: https://www.lsmsa.edu/about-us/employment 

    LSMSA is committed to equal employment opportunities. LSMSA will not discriminate against, nor tolerate discrimination against, any employee or applicant for employment on any legally recognized basis including, but not limited to, race, color, creed, disability, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, political affiliation, disability, citizenship, or age. This policy applies to all personnel actions including recruitment, hiring, training, promotions, compensation, benefits, transfers, layoffs, termination, recreational and social programs, and professional contracts.

Central Sabine Fire Department reminds public of heater safety

Dropping temperatures are approaching and some of us will begin to use space heaters. The Central Sabine Fire department reminds everyone to keep flammable materials away from heaters and never plug them into an extension cord. Most space heaters are designed to shut off when they are tipped over. However, they will remain hot for a few minutes.
Keep pets and small children away from heaters to prevent burns, as well. 

Project Celebration provides domestic violence training for law enforcement

Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence presented domestic violence training for law enforcement at Project Celebration, Inc. in Many the morning of Oct. 18. LCADV Letisha Davis was the instructor for the class.
Sabine Parish Sheriff Detectives and Dispatchers, Many Police Officers, Department of Child & Family Service, and Sabine Parish District Attorney’s Office were in attendance.
As Domestic Violence Awareness Month continues, it is important we recognize the signs and how to properly investigate accusations of domestic abuse.
Sheriff Aaron Mitchell wanted to specifically recognize the six Sheriff’s Office Dispatchers who attended the training class. Dispatchers have typically not attended DV training in the past, but these women are the vital, first line of communication when victims call the Sheriff’s Office for help.
PCI provided breakfast snacks, a lunch, and door prizes for the 17 attendees.
Another training session is scheduled Oct. 19 from 9AM-12PM at PCI.
All local law enforcement, prosecutors, and DCFS are strongly encouraged to attend.
Sheriff Mitchell greatly thanks LCADV and PCI for their continued efforts to partner with the Sheriff’s Office to help victims of domestic violence.

The Bridge Alzheimer’s and Dementia Resource Center

What is your organization and purpose?  

The Bridge Alzheimer’s & Dementia Resource Center is a non-profit organization, formerly called the Alzheimer’s Agency of Shreveport/Bossier. The name was changed to better illustrate our local mission. 

Our mission is to provide resources, education, and support services for those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias; their family members and their caregivers in the local area; as well as to promote awareness in the community.  

Our vision is to “Create a community where no one affected by Alzheimer’s and Dementia makes the journey alone.” 

What are the Alzheimer’s stats nationwide?  

Nationwide, more than 6 million people, age 65 and over, are living with Alzheimer’s and that number is expected to increase 20% by 2025. 

How many people are affected by Alzheimer’s in our area?  

The Center for Brain Health at LSU Health, Shreveport estimates over 85,000 people are affected by Alzheimer’s within a 75-mile radius of Shreveport.  

What is your organization doing to help this community?  

We are working diligently and with urgency to address the unmet needs of people in Northwest Louisiana affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementias. We help by assessing individual client needs, guiding, and supporting caregivers, responding to requests for help and information, educating the public, providing resources, and overall helping to navigate the care system.  

What services do you provide?  

We have care navigators to help you through the journey and a Licensed Professional Counselor for one-on-one meetings or to talk with family members.  We offer memory screenings, monthly education workshops, fun and engaging activities for caregivers and their loved ones with dementia, a printed and online local resource directory, and assistance in legal matters. We teach families how to maintain the dignity of their loved ones and help nurture relationships throughout the disease process. We have a speaker’s bureau for education and training for civic groups, healthcare providers, faith-based organizations, law enforcement agencies, and other organizations. We also facilitate caregiver support groups in the community. 

Tell us more about the caregiver support groups. 

Support groups are vital to the caregiver. It’s an opportunity for the caregiver to express their emotions in a non-judgmental way. Caregivers learn that they are not going through this journey alone and they have a peer group that knows exactly what each other is going through. Groups meet for an hour once or twice a month – you can attend as many as you need. 

Do you have events the public can attend?  

The Second Annual Education Conference in Northwest Louisiana, “A Positive Approach to Dementia,” is scheduled for Friday, November 4, from 8:00 am until 4:00 pm at First United Methodist Church, Shreveport. The keynote address will be given by a national speaker with the Teepa Snow Foundation, well-known in the world of dementia. This conference is the only one of its kind in Northwest Louisiana.  

Where are you located?  

We are located in the heart of Shreveport at 851 Olive Street. However, we are willing to travel to where we are needed in Northwest Louisiana. 

Can you give us some fun tips for improving brain health?  

Try brushing your teeth with your non-dominate hand, wear earplugs to experience the world without sound, or learn a new musical instrument or something that is completely new to you. 

Notice of Death – October 18, 2022

Floyd Antley, Sr.
November 20, 1926 – October 15, 2022
Service: Friday October 21 at 2 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

Jamie Wilson
May 11, 1938 – October 16, 2022
Service: Friday, October 21 at 10 am at Warren Meadows Funeral Home in Many

Richard Austin Wright
April 15, 1936 – October 15, 2022
Service: Thursday, October 20 at 10 am at Warren Meadows Funeral Home Chapel

Joyce Washburn
December 25, 1927 – October 15, 2022
Service: Friday, October 21 at 2 pm in Garden of Memories Cemetery, in Winnfield

Tracy Lawrence will not play at TappedTober this weekend; Pam Tills will appear

Get Ready for A Great TappedTober

The Natchitoches Regional Medical Center Foundation is working behind the scenes to finalize all the great plans for this year’s 4th Annual TappedTober Craft Beer and Wine Festival. Get ready for the best TappedTober yet! The event takes place this Saturday, October 15th in downtown Natchitoches along the famous Cane River! – Beer & wine tasting, college football, kids zone, mechanical bull, fireworks and music.

We are saddened to find out that Tracy Lawrence has an unexpected illness that has canceled all of his performances this weekend.

“Natchitoches! Due to unforeseen circumstances, I am unable to perform at this incredible fundraiser for the NRMC Cancer Center. Please continue to support their efforts and all they do.” -Tracy Lawrence
But never fear we have scheduled Tracy for the 2023 TappedTober.

Now the great news. In addition to the amazing talents of Nashville breakout artist HunterGirl and Bossier’s own David Daniels, we’ve locked in a legendary singer-songwriter and performer. Grammy award-winning Pam Tillis is coming with her six Number One hits, seventeen Top Ten Hits, three County Music Association awards (including Female Vocalist of the Year), platinum albums, Grand Ole Opry membership, and Nashville Songwriters Hall of Famer.

Gates open at Noon with college football on the big screen, beer and wine tasting from 2:00 to 5:00 pm and music begins at 5:00 pm, so don’t be late.

We are deeply grateful to our Title Sponsor – Cane River Waterway Commission, our Entertainment Sponsor – Cunningham Financial Group and Ameriprise Financial and VIP Experience Sponsor – Vaughn Chevrolet of Natchitoches and appreciate all of their generous support.

We also want to welcome our VIPs and encourage them to take full advantage of the Ultimate VIP Experience, sponsored by. VIP guests receive access to our private pavilion fully catered with your own TVs, premier eating, and premium VIP “Front Row” stage access.

We greatly appreciate all our sponsors and ticket holders and their support. Proceeds from the event will help fund the addition of the PET scanner at the NRMC Cancer Center. Cancer cells show up as bright spots on PET scans due to their high metabolic activity. This type of imaging is an important tool for detecting cancer and can also be used by doctors to assess whether or not a particular cancer has spread. Thank you to everyone for helping make this technology a reality here in Natchitoches.

I was told a lie, and I believed it. Why wouldn’t I?

By Josh Beavers

My entire life I have been led to believe that the northeastern part of these great United States is a hive of scum and villainy. A hive of scum and villainy to a southerner at least.

Nothing but rude folk, my father told me countless times. I heard it over and over when I told him I’d like to go to a Red Sox game or see where Stephen King lived.

No way, he’d say. Baby killers and godless heathens. I believed him. Why wouldn’t I? He was my dad.

Up until the past few days, I’d never gone further northeast than Washington DC. Completely covered the west and south, but I had that childhood anti-northeast bias drilled into me, so venturing that way was a non-starter.

But at 44 years old I found myself in New York State. Up into Boston. On to Salem and then to Maine and Stephen King’s house.

Imagine the surprise when all I found that way were rolling hills, mountains dressed in fall colors more beautiful than anything we get to see down Pelican State way, and more republican political signs (including that really controversial guy with the orange hue) than anything I’ve ever seen in the Reddest red republican parts in these southern states we call home.

And I heard nothing but “hello” and “please” and “thank you” and “yes, sir” and “no, sir.” And I saw nothing but waves and smiles and beautiful bricked streets and signs of heritage in old churches and colonial structures serving as testaments to a time when people believed in a cause and would risk comfort for something larger than themselves.

And I saw American flags. And I saw signs for the Lions Club and the Kiwanis and the Civitans. And I saw clean streets and cleaner roadways. And I saw gun shops and corner stores selling deer corn. And I saw billboards and yard signs professing a love of Jesus and a call to turn from the weak ways of man and turn to the words of the Savior, Redeemer, Bread of Life, Lord, Creator, Son of the Living God, Only Begotten Son, Beloved Son, Holy One of Israel, Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, the King of Kings.

I saw people going to church on Sunday. I saw billboards and yard signs professing prayer for their communities. I saw people reading and smiling at my Webster Parish Men of Courage shirt as I walked the streets of Boston, of Salem, of Portland, of Buffalo, of Niagara, of Cooperstown, of New Haven, of Mystic, of Cambridge, of Bangor. I was even told “God bless you” a few times after. I saw people unconcerned with what man dictated and more concerned with doing what their hearts and soul told them.

So back to dad. My father did what a lot of us do. He passed along the words of politicians and their friends in the mainstream media. He believed them. He trusted them. Those making laws and policies and claiming to work in our interests. But in reality, they are only looking to divide us. Both sides. Never trust a politician on faith no matter if they have an R or a D behind their name. Because many are all the same. Make them earn that trust.

These people use geography and distance to create divisions based on perceived cultural differences and varied values in order to manipulate the populace to keep voting Red or to keep voting Blue so they can remain in office and keep the machine going to line their pockets from lobbyists and special interests. They profit off our anger toward and fear of each other.

It’s all a sickening game to them. One that’s end goal is to pile money atop money. There’s no interest in solving problems because solving problems doesn’t make money. Solving problems eliminates fear. And if we all knew, and saw firsthand, the people who live on the other side of the nation are just like us then we might unite and stop being swayed by those higher on the economic ladder.

In New York and Massachusetts and Maine and Vermont, I saw guys in overalls and young people playing basketball. I saw schools with signs for Friday morning pep rallies and Friday night football.

I saw college football on the screens at restaurants. I saw an LSU game blaring at an eatery in downtown Salem, right across from the memorial where people were murdered for standing up to people in power. Their charge? Witchcraft. But in reality, they made the politicians mad and they paid the ultimate price.

I saw American flags. A lot more of them. Actually more than I see down Louisiana way.

But it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. I saw poverty. I saw homelessness. I saw the hulking shells of former American industry where our people worked with their hands and made things to provide a life for families. I saw the death of the middle class and signs of a world where the American Dream used to be a nation where everyone could provide for their family and not become the latest TikTok star or earn a spot on a reality tv show where buffoonery is praised and thought is scorned.

I saw what came before NAFTA and trickle-down economics and the great lie that tax cuts for the rich would make life better for the rest of us. I saw what came of the great promise that a global economy would make goods cheaper. It did. But at the expense and destruction of the middle class and the rapid expansion of the lower. Do you realize the average CEO’s pay has increased by 1,460.2 percent more than the average worker’s in the last 44 years? The average work is you and me and the “godless heathens and baby killers” up north. But yeah, the guy making $10 an hour in Rochester, New York, is the problem.

I saw the ancient signs of an America that sat atop the other nations of the world and hadn’t yet begun to only care about Netflix and canceling others via digital bullying.

I saw a prettier South and I met people who would be just as comfortable in Sibley and Shreveport and Many and Bossier and Minden and Marshall as they would in Salem or Buffalo or Boston or Niagara or Bangor or Manchester.

In short, I saw people like you and me. I saw pride and love of country.

I saw what could be one people divided only by geography and distance and not the false narrative that the other guys were cruel and cowardly and “what’s wrong with this country.”

I saw the final evidence that let me know my dad, and likely your dad and all the dads of kids now, was wrong.

These people aren’t my enemy. They are me. I hope one day we can all realize we are stronger United than divided. I hope we can realize that there’s much more that unites us than divides us.

As a great man once said, “For the great enemy of truth is very often not the lie–deliberate, contrived and dishonest–but the myth–persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to the cliches of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”

That guy was a “yankee.” A guy you were likely taught to hate. And a guy who was 100 percent correct.

There’s more that unites us than divides us.

Josh Beavers is a teacher and a writer. He has been recognized five times by the Louisiana Press Association for excellence in opinion writing.

Items recovered from business thefts across state

Many Police Chief Cheryl Wooley announced the recovery of approximately $5,000 with of stolen property. Officers made a traffic stop on Oct. 6 which led to the recovery of items stolen locally and around the state from such businesses as Academy Sports,Walmart, Lowes, Home Depot and other businesses and businesses in Marshall and Longview Texas.
One person was arrested, from Tallulaha, Louisiana . The person arrested also had warrants for theft of approximately $11,000 worth of stolen merchandise.
The local business that was a victim of the theft ring was notified and their property returned. Other businesses have been notified as well.
A small amount of marijuana was also found in the vehicle. The investigation is ongoing.

Sheriff Aaron Mitchell announces recent federal sentences for illegal narcotics

On September 27, Elena Elizabeth Rivers (age-30) and Tryton Alonzo Thomas (age-33) both of Many were sentenced for conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine.

Thomas was sentenced to 21 years, 10 months in prison, followed by 5 years of supervised release. Rivers was sentenced to 10 years in prison, followed by 5 years of supervised release.

Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Sabine Parish Sheriff Tactical Narcotics Team began an investigation into the drug trafficking activities of Thomas. Thomas sold over 3.5 ounces of methamphetamine on four different occasions to individuals. On September 29, 2021, T.N.T. Agents observed Rivers drive Thomas from her house to conduct a drug transaction. Sabine Parish Sheriff Deputies and T.N.T. Agents attempted to make a traffic stop, but Rivers placed the car in gear and fled the scene. As she fled, she narrowly missed hitting two deputies who were on foot. During the chase that ensued, Agents observed Thomas throw a bag containing a white substance from the car. T.N.T. Agents were able to locate and recover the bag which contained methamphetamine. Rivers and Thomas were stopped shortly after and arrested. Following the chase, deputies executed a search warrant on Rivers’ residence and discovered methamphetamine, marijuana, 60 ecstasy pills, and numerous prescription drugs.

On October 5, Damien Martell Medlock (age-36) of Many was sentenced to 12 years, 7 months in prison, followed by 5 years of supervised release, for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Medlock was indicted in June 2021 and plead guilty to the charge on May 16.

The case was investigated by T.N.T. and FBI Agents. In May 2021, T.N.T. Agents learned through their investigation that Medlock sold approximately 1 pound of methamphetamine to an individual. Following the sale of the methamphetamine, law enforcement agents arrested Medlock. A search warrant was obtained and executed at Medlock’s residence in Many. During the search of the residence, T.N.T. Agents discovered almost 3 pounds of methamphetamine in various containers in the kitchen, along with three digital scales, baggies, and a drug ledger that was found in the living area.

Sheriff Mitchell said the Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office will continue to use federal partners and resources to target, arrest and prosecute the illegal drug dealers in Sabine Parish.

This makes a total of 12 federal sentences from the U.S. District Court from narcotic and firearm investigations by the Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office under Sheriff Aaron Mitchell in a little over two years.

Drugs And Guns Seized During Search Warrant

Sabine Parish Sheriff Aaron Mitchell reports Sabine Parish Sheriff Special Operations Group (S.O.G.) executed a search warrant at a residence on Sweet Town Road on Oct. 11.
HUEY PETE SCOTT JR (age-61) and CHRISTOPHER BERNARD GARNER (age-50), both of Many were arrested.
The Sabine Parish Sheriff Tactical Narcotics Team (T.N.T.) had been investigating the illegal narcotic activity of Scott during the last year. T.N.T. Agents discovered Scott was selling methamphetamine out of his travel trailer at 429 Sweet Town Road, about 2 miles north of Many off LA Highway 1217.
T.N.T. Agents were able to obtain a search warrant for Scott’s residence and property.
Sabine Parish Sheriff S.O.G. located Scott and Garner inside the travel trailer during the execution of the search warrant.
T.N.T. Agents and S.O.G. located and seized over 5 ounces of suspected methamphetamine, drug packaging, smoking devices, two 12-gauge shotguns (one was illegal length), and two pistols inside Scott’s trailer.
SCOTT was booked into the Sabine Parish Detention Center for:
• Possession with intent to distribute schedule II (Meth),
• Possession of firearm in presence of CDS,
• Possession of drug paraphernalia,
• Warrant – Distribution of schedule II (Meth),
• Warrant – Failure to appear for court for Simple Littering.
GARNER was booked for:
• Possession with intent to distribute schedule II (Meth),
• Possession of firearm in presence of CDS,
• Possession of drug paraphernalia.
No bonds have been set at this time by the 11th Judicial District Court.
Sheriff Mitchell added, “If you sell methamphetamine in Sabine Parish, my Deputies will find you, arrest you, and you will be prosecuted using local, state and federal resources.”

Zwolle Tamale Fiesta draws crowds for food, fun and mud bog

Crowds walked across the fair grounds in Zwolle on Oct. 8 for the main day of activities at the Zwolle Tamale Fiesta. This included a parade, car show, Tamale eating contests, costume contests, fair rides and games, great food trucks, arm wrestling contests, mud bog, and so much more.

Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser threw goodies as the Grand Marshal during the parade and greeted everyone in attendance at the festival.