School Bus Safety Reminder

The Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Sabine Parish School Board have received several complaints in recent weeks, involving vehicles passing school buses when they are stopping to load and unload children.
When school buses display flashing yellow lights, the bus is preparing to stop. You are required to slow down and prepare to stop.
When school buses display flashing red lights and stop signs extended, the bus is stopping to load or unload children. Louisiana state law says you are required to stop 30 feet from the bus until the bus lights are no longer flashing.
Complaints from the School Board, bus drivers, and private citizens will taken by the Sheriff’s Office. If it is determined you are in violation of state laws involving school buses, you will be issued a traffic citation.
Sabine Parish Sheriff Aaron Mitchell said the safety of our children is paramount and there will be zero tolerance for school bus safety violations. We ask all motorists in Sabine Parish to obey school zone speed limits and be aware of school bus loading and unloading in the mornings and afternoons during the week.
Sabine Parish Sheriff Deputies will be monitoring school traffic and looking for school bus violations.
In you see any violations involving school buses, please call the Sheriff’s Office at 318-256-9241 option 5 to talk to the Dispatcher.

Over 400 Fentanyl Pills Seized During Search Warrant In Zwolle

Sabine Parish Sheriff Aaron Mitchell announces the arrest of Jarvarius Jamal Holden (age-26) of Zwolle on Feb. 14.
The Sabine Parish Sheriff Tactical Narcotics Team had been investigating Holden over the last two weeks for selling fentanyl pills.
T.N.T. Agents were able to obtain a search warrant for two different residences on Jenny Loop in the City of Zwolle. Sabine Parish Sheriff Patrol Deputies, Detectives, Special Operations Group (S.O.G.), and T.N.T. Agents executed the search warrants simultaneously at both houses.
T.N.T. Agents located 434 fake Oxycodone pills which tested positive for Fentanyl, over one pound of marijuana, four grams of hallucinogenic mushrooms, 2 bottles of Promethazine syrup, various drug paraphernalia, and $6,682 in cash.
Sheriff Mitchell thanks the Desoto Parish Sheriff’s Office, the Tri-Parish Narcotics Task Force, and Zwolle PD for their help in this investigation.
Holden was booked into the Sabine Parish Detention Center for:
Possession with intent to distribute schedule I (Marijuana),
Possession with intent to distribute schedule II (Fentanyl),
Possession of legend drug (Promethazine),
Possession of hallucinogenic plant,
Possession of drug paraphernalia.
Bond set at $250,000.
Aggravated second degree battery,
Cruelty to juveniles (Zwolle PD case).
Bond set at $30,000.
Warrant for FTA for pre-trial conference for Possession of a schedule I,
Speeding (43/30),
No insurance.
Bond set at $250.
Warrant for 2-counts of Possession with intent to distribute schedule I,
Possession of schedule IV,
Possession of firearm while in possession of CDS,
Resisting an officer.
Bond set at $50,000.
Warrant for FTA for pre-trial conference for Possession of a schedule II.
Bond set at $750.
Desoto Parish Warrant for FTA for status conference for Possession with intent to distribute schedule I,
Possession with intent to distribute schedule II,
Possession of schedule II (2-28 grams).
Desoto Parish Warrant for FTA for status conference for Possession of a legend drug,
Driving under suspension,
Cancelled license plate.
Sheriff Mitchell said there have been several overdoses, including two deaths, as a result of Fentanyl in recent months in Sabine Parish; and added, “Fentanyl is a deadly drug, even in very small amounts, and it is often disguised as other popular pain pills.”
T.N.T. Agents are aggressively investigating illegal drug activity involving Fentanyl and acting quickly to get this dangerous drug off the streets in Sabine Parish.

Toledo Cruisers MayDaze Car Show

Many High School is where the 8th Annual MayDaze Car Show will be held on Saturday, May 13 from 9am – 2pm. There will be a variety of modern to classic cars. Awards are at 1pm. There will be goodie bags, gift basket drawings, door prizes, rock and roll music, and more! Vehicle entry fees are $20. 

Demons eager to open season at Jaguar Classic

MOBILE, Alabama – The setup may be a little different, but the feeling is the same.

The Northwestern State baseball team travels to South Alabama for this weekend’s Jaguar Classic, marking the first time since 2009 the Demons will play a season-opening tournament.

“It’s always good to play somebody else,” said head coach Bobby Barbier, who begins his seventh season at the helm of his alma mater. “We’ve been playing each other since August, and it’s important to understand the value we get in that. These are three really good teams. South Al always has a good program, and UAB and Eastern Kentucky have done a really good job, and you have former Demon Chris Prothro coaching at Eastern Kentucky.”

The Demons open tournament play at 6:30 p.m. Friday, facing tournament host South Alabama. They will play at 11 a.m. the final two days of the event, squaring off with UAB on Saturday before concluding the weekend against EKU.

While the Demons have not faced UAB nor EKU since at least 1990, they are more familiar with South Alabama, which came to Natchitoches in 2021 and swept a three-game series. NSU held late leads in the first two games of that series but were unable to close out a win.

The Demons will send left-hander Cal Carver (4-5, 4.71 in 2022), a second-team preseason All-Southland Conference selection, to the mound against Jaguar right-hander Jeremy Lee (1-0, 1.38), who started the series opener in Natchitoches two seasons ago.

Lee will face an NSU lineup that returns mostly intact, losing just center fielder Larson Fontenot and shortstop Cam Sibley from its 2022 lineup. Anchoring the lineup are first-team All-Southland Conference catcher Bo Willis (11 HR, 45 RBIs), third-team All-Southland Conference second baseman Daunte Stuart (4 HRs, 31 RBIs) and senior outfielder Jeffrey Elkins (13 HRs, 38, RBIs), whose 24 career home runs are tied for eighth in school history.

“We’ll face a dynamite arm on Friday,” Barbier said. “We’ve faced some pretty good arms in scrimmages. The top five or six in our lineup will be very familiar. We’ll have some young guys and some new guys in there, but you want to lean on those older guys early to give mature, experienced at-bats. How are we going to react? Will we be mature about our at-bats – good, bad or indifferent? Can we teach those new guys and young guys to have those at-bats?”

Similarly, the Demons have a pair of veterans anchoring the rotation in Carver and junior right-hander Drayton Brown (5-6, 4.43), who will start Sunday’s series finale against EKU.

Sandwiched between them is junior right-hander Alex Makarewich, who has appeared in 31 games out of the bullpen in his NSU career. Makarewich is set to start Saturday’s middle game of the weekend against UAB.

“You like experience, and the word that is synonymous with that from a pitching standpoint is trust,” Barbier said. “We trust those guys. Those three guys have logged some pretty good innings. We have some guys in the bullpen who have done the same. Having that comfort level as a staff and as a team does wonders for you.”

Barbier has put a lot of trust in his staff – associate head coach Chris Bertrand, assistant coaches Spencer Goodwin and Dan Hlad, director of player development Trevor Wren and director of baseball operations Thomas Taylor – all of whom have spent at least a year with Barbier.

Bertrand has been with Barbier since the latter was promoted to head coach in 2017. Goodwin played for Barbier that season and has been on staff since. Hlad pitched two seasons for the Demons and returned in 2021 as an assistant.

Because of that familiarity with one another, it made a rather unique start to the NSU season easier to take. The Demons will play seven opponents in their first seven games, not facing a repeat opponent until squaring off with Stephen F. Austin on Feb. 26 in Sugar Land, Texas, and Feb. 28 in Natchitoches.

“I made it really hard on the staff,” Barbier said with a smile. “It’s more difficult on the scouting side. We have so much information out there. It’s not like when I played, and you printed off a scouting report and played. We have a really good staff that has been poring over that information for who knows how long.”

Weekend Probables (2022 stats)

Friday: Northwestern State LHP Cal Caver (4-5, 4.71) at South Alabama RHP Jeremy Lee (1-0, 1.38)

Saturday: Northwestern State RHP Alex Makarewich (0-0, 4.57) vs. UAB LHP Carson Myers (2-3, 6.99)

Sunday: Northwestern State RHP Drayton Brown (5-6, 4.43) vs. EKU RHP Rian Yates (0-2, 3.80)

Blessed: Humble Pie

There are some dishes that always, I mean always, taste better when someone else makes them. For years I have always heard my parents say that sandwiches truly taste better when someone else makes them. The older I became I realized that it was the truth. Same thing with a salad, it just tastes better when someone else’s hands have prepared it and served it.

I always chalked it up to the monotony of making a sandwich or a salad. The endless chopping of vegetables and repetitious actions of retrieving all of the necessary products from the refrigerator is no fun for anyone involved. Normally as I grab each item from the fridge it gets harder and harder to grab the next. Sure, I can make do with a sandwich that has no lettuce and tomato because I seriously do not feel like slicing it, placing it on the bread and cleaning up after myself.

Plain ole bologna, cheese and whitbread it is. Does my salad really need cucumbers that I need to wash, peel and slice? Somedays, nope, sure doesn’t.

Then, there are the meals that only taste good when prepared by our own hands. For example, do you really want someone making your bowl of cereal? Do they sincerely know how much milk to pour before it becomes too much? For me, it is my coffee. I would rather complete this task on my own. Some days I need more creamer than coffee and some days I do not require creamer at all. I am as moody as my coffee taste buds.

Another meal that always tastes wonderful when we serve ourselves and we never want it served by someone else is Humble Pie.

One of my most favorite stories in the Bible is when Jesus walked in while his Disciples were arguing over who is the greatest among them. This is one of those times I would have loved to be a fly on the wall just to see their faces when the Lord walked in. Were they embarrassed or did they know enough at the time to even be embarrassed?

This was the appointed time that Jesus chose to school them on being humble and being a servant. He said, “those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank and the leader should be like a servant…” How powerful are those words? Jesus created true servant leadership. He went on to say, “Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits, of course, but not here! For I Am here as one who serves.”

As followers of Christ we are to emulate his character and his serve our brothers and sisters. He came to serve and love others, so should we.

Being in the public as an elected official, I try to constantly remind myself that I am here to serve others and not serve myself or my ego. This is a constant conversation between me and the Lord, it has not been a one and done feeling. Anytime I start feeling “great” about myself, I prayerfully turn my attention to my creator and my redeemer. I am constantly grateful for his mercy and love.

When we constantly feed our souls with Humble Pie, our bellies are way too full to eat Humble Pie served by others.

“Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will lift you up.” James 4:10

You Just Have to Believe

Sixteen years ago, a young man had an idea for an outdoors program. At the time, he was doing Natchitoches Central football as color analyst with Chris Boyd who did the play-by-play. Chris was an outstanding sports broadcaster and a great mentor to this young man as he learned a lot under his tutelage. During this time, NC football was not a great program and on this night, they were at West Monroe (Louisiana’s top high school football program at that time). It was 42-0 at the half, and during a commercial break the young man pitched his outdoors show idea to Chris who thought it was a great idea and encouraged him to pursue it.

After getting a full endorsement from Chris, the enthusiastic young man decided to move forward. Several people tried to discourage the young man and said it would never work. Their point was, that no one wants to listen to hunting and fishing. But he disagreed and asked himself, what do people in our region like to do? The answer: they hunt and fish!    Bound and determined to make this work, he immediately started reaching out to businesses that he felt would benefit from such a program. Any business related to the hunting or fishing world was on his radar, and in most cases, there was a personal connection.

One reason the young man believed he could make such a program work was due to the great list of contacts he had related to the bass fishing world, both from a business standpoint and personal relationships he had with professional anglers. He made these connections due to the level of tournament fishing he was competing on with the FLW Tour and B.A.S.S. Opens. Formatting a show would be the easy part. Gaining sponsors would be more difficult since only a handful of people had tried producing this type of program. A few had tried, but all had failed.                                                                                              

Two weeks later the Hook’N Up & Track’N Down Show was born in February of 2007! With sponsors on board and an agreement made, the HUTD Show was now a go! That’s right, the young outdoorsman with dreams of a good outdoors show was yours truly. Over the course of sixteen years, the show as gained a national following. We’ve interviewed the greatest names in the bass fishing world… Kevin Van Dam, Skeet Reese, Bill Dance, Jimmy Houston, Ray Scott, Mark Zona, and Rick Clunn to name a few. By having the top professional anglers in the country appear, the HUTD Show obtained instant credibility.

Today, the Hook’N Up & Track’N Down Show continues to set the bar for great outdoors entertainment as we talk hunting and fishing on a weekly basis. But the success of the program would not have been possible without two other guys. My two co-hosts, radio legend Gary McCoy and H&W Team Trail Tournament Director and duck hunting guide Mike Echols. They say successful people surround themselves with people better than themselves. This is definitely true in my case, as these two guys brought not only a wealth of knowledge of the outdoors but offered great personalities as  well.

I hope you’ve enjoyed going down the path of the HUTD Show and how the program got started. You can catch the program on our web site: It’s proof that if you believe in something strong enough, you can make it happen. Till next time, good luck, good fishing and don’t forget your sunscreen!!!

Steve Graf 
Anglers Perspective 

Days we wish we could do over?

What was your worst day on the job? Not something you want to remember? Why? I cherish the worst day I exchanged hours of my life for the GREEN.
When you get gray in the hair, you sometimes start to think back about your worst day on the job. And I’ve got quite a bit of gray and have also realized I’m on the downward swing professionally. I’ve been at it longer than what I have left. So I thought – what was my worst day?
Easy. It came in August of 2002. Yep, a lot of you weren’t even born then, and if you were, you were toddling around in Huggies. Well in a normally hot summer August, I had a kind gentleman come into the offices at 203 Dixie Street.
Side note: I was young y’all. Really young. Tasked with a huge job that somebody my age probably shouldn’t have had. I didn’t know what I was doing, but working hard was (and still is) all I have ever known. Fake it till you make it, right?
So this fella comes to see me. He spins me a yarn about lawsuits and a BIG BAD BANK stealing his family land. He hits me with the figure of $250 BILLION. Yeah, billion. Not million.  I get on the phone with his lawyer. It sounds like the story of all stories. 60 Minutes type stuff.
I didn’t think rationally. I thought competitively. All I wanted was to be first. All I wanted was to sell papers. I wanted to beat the Shreveport Times. I wanted to beat CNN. Hell, I wanted to win a Pulitzer Prize at 22.
So since I tell you it was the worst day professionally of my life, you can imagine what the result was.
There was no lawsuit. It was a scam. It was a sham. And for the life of me, I still don’t know what the endgame was. Maybe they just woke up one day and said “let’s see if we can get this young fool to run our bogus story and make him look like a jabroni.” Y’all like that word? Jabroni – thank you to The Rock.
Well, mission accomplished. I ran it. It was a lie. And before the clock struck five (the paper went out at 10 that AM) I was getting calls from lawyers in Atlanta. The bank’s lawyers. The big bank. One of the biggest bank chains in all of the world.
Oh lord, it was a mess. I thought I was gone. Jailed for defamation. Cut down before I even got started. And worse – sued into oblivion. I would get sued multiple times before all was said and done in that chapter of my life. Heck, being sued became commonplace – like changing socks. I was numb to it. That didn’t happen this go around. I did have a huge retraction to print, a come-to-Jesus meeting with the head of said LARGE bank chain in his office – that was fun – and pride so wounded I still have nightmares about it to this day.
But, in the end, it passed as all things do. Funny thing is, I am glad it happened. Anyone who knows me knows I am extraordinarily competitive and passionate. That’s how Yahweh made me. My good days aren’t as important as my bad days. I don’t learn from what I do right. But, brothers and sisters, let me tell you I do learn from my mistakes. I made a mistake that day. And I’ve made a whole heck of a lot of mistakes since then. Still make them with each passing 24 hours. Don’t get sued anymore, thankfully. A least not in the last decade.
Bad days are good. They are cool. They are welcome.
Mistakes make the person. Learning from them makes the soul.
It was a bad day in 2002.
But I’d take nothing for it.
Just…I hope I don’t have anymore quite like that again. NOTHING is as rough as staring down a group of Atlanta lawyers. And that isn’t even counting the time I was sued by the ACLU.
That was a bad day as well.
But that . . . is another story.

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

Notice of Death – February 16, 2023

Kenneth Lee Burnett
October 8, 1936 – February 13, 2023
Service: Saturday, February 25 at 2 pm at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church near Florien
Jennifer Laura Bridges
April 18, 1978 – February 12, 2023
Service: Friday, February 17 at 2 pm at Warren Meadows Funeral Home Chapel 
Albert Dwayne Bridges
December 20, 1952 – February 15, 2023
Service: Saturday, February 18 at 10 am at Warren Meadows Funeral Home Chapel 
Donna Prater
February 15, 2023
Arrangements TBA
Cynthia Gayle Lucky
November 25, 1954 – February 12, 2023
Service: Friday, February 17 at 2 pm at New Life Evangelism Center
Marvin Carl Beard
March 21, 1945 – February 15, 2023
Arrangements TBA
Joey Prudhomme
July 19, 1954 – February 9, 2023
Mr. Prudhomme requested to be cremated, and not to have a funeral. A memorial service will follow at a later date.
Edna Gallien
February 14, 2023
Service: Tuesday, February 21 at 11 am at St. Augustine Catholic Church
Mary E. Murrell
February 13, 2023
Arrangements TBA

Man Arrested for Drug Trafficking

Sabine Parish Sheriff Aaron Mitchell announces Scott William Wood (age-41) of Noble was indicted in United States District Court, Western District of Louisiana in Shreveport on February 8.
Wood is charged with:
-Possession with intent to distribute Methamphetamine,
-Possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking,
-Felon in possession of a firearm.
This indictment is the result of a traffic stop conducted by Deputy Jacob Bridges on Dec. 26. Deputy Bridges located suspected marijuana, over 4 ounces of methamphetamine and 3 firearms in the vehicle where Wood was a passenger.
The Sabine Parish Sheriff Tactical Narcotics Team was also investigating the illegal narcotic activity of Wood.
Wood is currently incarcerated at the Sabine Parish Detention Center.

First responders extract motorist from vehicle rollover

The North Sabine Fire District was dispatched to the report of a one vehicle MVC rollover with and occupant still inside of vehicle with smoke coming from vehicle on Feb. 12 around 4:04 pm. NSFD arrived on scene to find one vehicle upside down with the driver still inside of the vehicle. NSFD extricated the driver from the vehicle where patient care was transferred to MedExpress. A Landing Zone was requested for Air Evac and was secured by NSFD.
NSFD would like to thank its members, both volunteer and duty crew, who responded and all the agencies that were involved in this incident. Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office, MedExpress, Air Evac, Louisiana State Police, and Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries.
NSFD apparatus that responded Rescue 1, NS103 (Sprint Truck), Engine 1 (Zwolle), Engine 3 (Converse), Tanker 10 (Hotwells) Tanker 7 (Ebarb), NS102 (Assistant Chief Truck)

Ben D Johnson Educational Center to hold Expungement Initiative

The Ben D. Johnson Educational Center, located in Natchitoches, will hold an Expungement Initiative event on March 7 from 10am-3pm. This is an intake of information event, meaning attorneys from SULC will meet with individuals trying to get their record expunged, discuss the expungement process, and accept their documentation. After the event, the attorneys will determine if the individual is eligible for expungement in the state of Louisiana given the information they gathered. They will respond by letter to the individual telling them if they are eligible for expungement. If eligible, the individual will be taken on as SULC clients where their expungement papers will be prepared, filed, and paid for by SULC.

We believe this is an opportunity to give people a second chance.

The coolest Burt in the 1970s wasn’t Reynolds …

When Burt Bacharach, 94, died of natural causes in his Los Angeles home last week, it meant one of America’s most awarded and talented musical geniuses, a man who checked every box on the Cool Meter, had taken his final bow.

Hurt me.

In the 1970s, my teen years, you couldn’t swing a cat around any sort of show business venue and not hit Burt Bacharach, the composer, conductor, pianist, well-groomed movie-star-handsome American showman who didn’t show off.

For more than six decades he was in the biz (“the biz” is what Hollywood types call show business, don’t you know), was part of a prolific two-man songwriting team with lyricist Hal David (who passed away in 2012, age 91), and gave you something you’re likely to hum every other day or so.

Another Burt — Reynolds — was the biggest box office movie guy around that time for a few years. Sadly, he passed away at 82 in 2018. Love Burt. Love the other Burt more, though. Bacharach was in the spotlight plenty but mainly he was in the background, on your radio, in the elevator, wherever the hits were played.

Easy listening.

Through the 1970s he was married to Angie Dickinson, for goodness sakes, who had her legs insured for a million dollars, which was $500,000 per leg, and a hat tip to the person who sold her that policy. Can’t be too careful when you star in Police Woman on television and you’re married to Burt Bacharach. He played the piano, she had the two legs, or about eight less than the number of Emmys, Grammys, and Academy Awards her husband won.

Point of clarification: My favorite Bert of the 1970s was Jones, the quarterback of Baltimore’s Colts. NFL MVP in 1976. Ruston and all. I mean, come on. Everybody’s favorite Bert with a “e.”

But Burt Bacharach was my favorite Burt with a “u,” and to honor his passing, we offer The Top 10 Burt Bacharach Songs, According to Me. He and Hal David teamed up for literally hundreds, so Close to You and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and What the World Needs Now is Love Sweet Love and What’s New Pussycat? and The Look of Love and That’s What Friends Are For won’t even make the list. It’s a shame.

  1. This Guy’s in Love with You: Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass were a thing back then and had a monster hit with this. It was a simpler time. Lots of other artists scored hits with this too; more than 1,000 artists have recorded Bacharach songs so …
  2. You’ll Never Get to Heaven if You Break My Heart: Dionne Warwick (more on her in a sec) had a hit with this but I prefer The Stylistics’ version. Warwick and The Stylistics were very good but, in all honesty, it’s a bit egotistical of them to think they get to make this call. “If you break up with me, you’re going tothe bad place.” Neg. Good song though, especially for a tune about really, really high stakes dating. Maybe it wasn’t a simpler time …
  3. Walk on By: “If you see me walking down the street / And I start to cry each time we meet / Walk on by, walk on by …” Bacharach wrote some happy songs; this is not one of them.
  4. Say a Little Prayer for You: Warwick had hits with this and with the two songs above this one and with the two below. Warwick and Bacharach and Hal David were practically printing money for a while there in the ’70s.
  5. I’ll Never Fall in Love Again: “So for at least, until tomorrow / I’ll never all in love again…”
  6. Always Something There to Remind Me: Lot of co-dependency back then, apparently.
  7. Arthur’s Theme (The Best That You Can Do): Christopher Cross had a hit with this song that batted leadoff in a terrific movie; quote it so much I get on my own nerves.
  8. Alfie: This is on the list because Jerry Byrd sang it often in the Shreveport Journal newsroom. Sounded nothing like Dionne Warwick. Precious memories though. Bacharach said these were his favorite lyrics created by his writing partner.
  9. Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head: Where else would they fall? Somehow this fits into my favorite movie,Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
  10. Any Day Now: The original hit was by Chuck Jackson, then Elvis, but I prefer the cut by Ronnie Milsap. One of my favorite songs ever. By one of the best composers ever.

Contact Teddy at or on Twitter @MamaLuvsManning

Zwolle Queen’s Tea Event

The Zwolle Loggers and Forestry Festival held its annual Queen’s Tea at the home of Ronald and Pollie Brandon on January 12. The 2022 ZLFF Queens were joined by the festival board and the 2023 Contestants in preparation of the upcoming ZLFF Pageant being held next weekend. All in attendance were treated to a King Cake Tasting.

The Queen’s Tea is held for the Teen, Ms, and Miss contestants who will be competing next week for opportunity to represent the festival and the industries. The tea was held in the beautiful home of Ronald and Pollie Brandon and sponsored by founder Mr. Ronald D. Brandon, Attorney at Law.
Competing for Teen are Raven Ferguson, Abby Lynn Isgitt, and Carlie Spears.
Competing for MS are Courtney Cagle and Cherry Fredericks Perkins.
Competing for Miss are Alyssa Lee, Paislea Parker, and Ava McElwee.

January Drug Arrests

Sabine Parish Sheriff Aaron Mitchell announced the Felony Narcotic and Firearm Arrests for the month of January.
Brenda Kay McDonald (age-52) of Zwolle
• Possession of schedule II (Meth),
• Possession of drug paraphernalia,
• Headlamps on motor vehicles required,
• No insurance.
Bond was set at $530, she bonded.
Malik Quendell Newton (age-24) of Many
• Federal indictment for 5-counts of Distribution of Methamphetamine.
He was transferred to federal custody in Shreveport.
David Samuel Smith Jr (age-55) of Many
• Possession with intent to distribute schedule II (Meth),
• Illegal window tint.
Bond was set at $10,000, he bonded.
Jerald Dwayne Shepherd (age-21) of Many
• Possession of firearm by person convicted of certain felonies.
Bond set at $10,000, he remains in jail.
John Diez Testa III (age-42) of Zwolle
• Possession with intent to distribute schedule II (Hydrocodone),
• Flight from an officer.
Bond set at $10,000, he bonded.
Lambert Wayne Powell (age-56) of Florien
• Possession of schedule II (Meth),
• Improper lane usage,
• Modified exhaust system.
Bond was set at $3,500, he bonded.
Daquan Demetrus Scarborough (age-24) of Natchitoches
• Possession of schedule I (Marijuana),
• Possession of schedule II (Hydrocodone, Oxycodone),
• Possession of schedule IV (Xanax),
• Possession of firearm in presence of CDS,
• Taillights required.
Bond was set at $7,000, he bonded.
Kenneth Lee Brewer (age-65) of Many
• Warrant for Conspiracy to distribute schedule II (Hydrocodone).
Bond was set at $12,500, he remains in jail.
Sadarius Laquan Watson (age-24) of Many
• Warrant for 2-counts of Distribution of schedule II (Meth).
Bond was set at $15,000, he bonded.
Cassie Denise Ezernack (age-30) of Bossier City
• Possession of schedule II (Meth).
Bond was set at $3,500, she remains in jail.
Darious Dejuan Brumfield (age-38) of Many
• Warrant for 3-counts of Possession of schedule II (Meth),
• Possession of firearm by person convicted of certain felonies.
Total bonds set at $25,000, he bonded.

Sabine Schools Issue DNA Kits

Child ID Kits from the National Child Identification Program were sent home from school with all elementary age students across Sabine Parish.
Sheriff Aaron Mitchell and the Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office partnered with Sabine Parish School Board, the Louisiana Sheriffs’ Association, and Office of the Louisiana Attorney General to distribute these kits so parents will have vital information to provide to law enforcement in the event of an emergency involving their child.
The kits provide a simple way for parents to collect and store their child’s fingerprints and a DNA sample. Once received, the kits are to be completed and stored at home by parents in a secure place. The program is also  completely voluntary and free of charge. Parents are encouraged to take advantage of this free tool designed to help keep your children safe.
“The safety of children in Sabine Parish is very important, these ID kits are another way the Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office can help keep children safe and give parents peace of mind,” said Sheriff Mitchell.

Many ‘Bloom on Main’ event seeks vendors

Vendor applications are open for Many’s upcoming event, Bloom on Main! The event will be held on April 1 from 3-9 pm on Main Street. The vendor registration deadline is March 24, and includes a $25 fee for each 10×10 space. Visit the form for more information and vendor registry. 


Library Game Nights

The Pleasant Hill Library will hold game nights on the first Thursday and the third Monday of February, including Bingo and Bunco. They are held at 1:30 pm. Call 318-796-2595 or 912-577-7790 to sign up.

How quickly it can happen

Over the course of an angler’s career, there are times situations can turn deadly really quick. How you react when you’re in one of these unexpected disasters can be the difference between living or dying. 

Your ability to remain calm is very important in maintaining a clear head and thinking things through. Today, we’ll go over one of these life-or-death events that this angler encountered.  

During the course of a bass tournament, things can go wrong. You hit a stump and destroy your lower unit on your big motor. You run into a log with your trolling motor and break the shaft. You blow a fuse, and all your electronics stop working. You lose your aerator system with your live wells and all your fish die. 

But there’s also the possibility that your batteries go dead, leaving you without the ability to use the trolling motor. This is what happened to me during a promotional tournament sponsored by the Horseshoe Casino.  

For three or four years, the Horseshoe Casino sponsored an event in which they brought in many of their “high rollers” and hired 20 to 25 of the best anglers in the area to guide these guys while they fished for a $10,000 purse, a “winner take all tournament.” It was truly a fun event with some great guys who were just looking to go fishing and have a good time. 

Make no mistake, each wanted to win, and they would sell their mother down the river in order to get the win. Horseshoe paid us (guides) well to take these guys out for a two-day tournament. We fished from daylight until about 1 p.m. each day and had to be at the Horseshoe for the weigh-in by 2.  

One of these events was on Red River and this is where one of my worst nightmares unfolded. My partner and I were fishing and doing pretty good, when around 10 that morning my trolling motor batteries went dead. At the time, we had about 14 pounds of fish in the live well with three hours of fishing left. 

Well, let’s just say the wind was not our friend, blowing about 15-20 mph out of the south, so not having a trolling motor was going to make fishing very difficult. I decided to go back close to the boat ramp we launched from and let the wind push us down a stretch of bank where I had caught good fish before. We made one pass down this 150-yard stretch and culled two good keepers that gave us about 16 pounds by 11 a.m. with two hours left.  

After we made that first pass, we ended up by a boat dock where people had a couple of houseboats tied up. Again, the wind was really blowing hard and as we drifted, we got hung up on the boat dock and I had to try and push us off. There was one piling that was in my way and as I was trying to push the boat away from this piling, my hand slipped off, and into the water I went! 

One thing I discovered when I hit the water was not just how cold the water was, but that the pullover jacket I had on, which was made of Burma fleece, was equivalent to a huge sponge. Understand this: you cannot imagine how absorbent Burma fleece really is. The minute I hit the water, I gained 25 pounds of extra weight on top of my 230-pound frame. I went straight to the bottom and landed like an anchor being dropped from the Titanic.  

The first thing that went through my mind was, “This is not good,” as I opened my eyes and realized I was in a bad situation in 15 feet of water. I tried to remove my pullover, but it was as if I had been shrink-wrapped with this Burma fleece jacket. There was no getting it off, so I was just trying to figure out how to get back to the surface. 

The piling my hand had slipped off of was about four feet away from me, so I started walking on the bottom of the riverbed and wrapped my legs around the piling and started trying to shimmy my way up. Problem was, the piling was covered in algae, and it was like a monkey trying to climb a greased pole. Finally, I was able to get enough grip with my shoes, that it allowed me to get my head above water. I’m not sure how long I was under the water, but according to my 75-year-old partner, it was at least two minutes. He thought I had drowned and was in total panic mode. 

After surfacing I asked him to throw my life jacket to me. Even though it was laying in the driver’s seat in plain sight, he could not see it. At this point there was no choice — it was either swim to the bank or try to get back to the boat. Getting to the boat, in my mind, was a priority as my partner was on the verge of a heart attack! 

At this point I pushed off the piling and swam towards the boat and lifted myself back into the boat with the help of the trim switch on the motor. Totally exhausted, I laid on the back deck of the boat for about 15 minutes trying to gain my energy back.  

Once fully recovered, it was time to get off these wet clothes. This is why you should keep a complete change of clothes in your boat at all times. Once changed out, we went back to fishing — against my partners wishes. But as far as I was concerned, we were in it to win it and we needed to get to 18 pounds to have a shot. Well, we ended up in third place with a little over 16 pounds, but to say it was an adventure is an understatement.  

After it was all said and done, I realized on my drive back home that day just how quickly things can take a turn for the worst. Looking back, the thing that stood out from this experience was that I never panicked. For some reason, I was able to maintain my composure, think clearly and slowly process my situation, and find my way back to the surface. 

Talking to a game warden one day about my experience, he told me that most drownings take place in water four feet or less, all because people panic and lose their thought process — when all they really had to do was stand up. 

Until next time, good luck, good fishing and don’t forget your sunscreen. 

Contact Steve at

I was thinking about Coleson

There’s scarcely anything more obscene than cancer. It’s indiscriminate in its brutality. It affects young and old alike. It crosses racial barriers and cares nothing about gender. Of course, there are those who have a predisposition. Certain variants can run in families, and lifestyle plays a part, but many relatively healthy people suffer the wrath as do those with no genetic history. Cancer is a scourge, and its ability to strike at will is its most frightening characteristic. That and what it does to children.
It is indiscriminate. That’s already been said. But I think I can also safely say that as with anything terrible, there’s a greater pause and reflection from a society when the tragedy befalls the young. The innocent. When cancer cuts down a child, that just hurts like pretty much nothing else I can imagine.

I was thinking about St. Jude on Monday. That’s nothing rare or exceptional. The children’s research hospital is at the top of most everyone’s thoughts this week as Minden begins the annual St. Jude Auction. Our community has raised millions over the years for cancer research, and we will raise millions more in the years to come. The event has garnered global attention. No other community does what Minden does. Per capita, that’s the truth.

And why wouldn’t we? Minden and all of Webster have felt the never-ending sting of losing the innocent to the teeth of this Monster.

So, thinking of St. Jude makes sense this time of year, and those thoughts took me back to my very first days in this town. Back when I met Coleson Shaw.

He was born in 2001 with a rare form of anemia and would fight every day of his life. Cancer took him at just 17.

I remember meeting him that very first time. He was a year old, maybe less. I wrote a feature of him and his family and the struggles they were going through just to keep him alive. His hair was a beautiful gold, and his smile was precious. He played on the spring grass of his family’s backyard and as he rolled around, I was able to snap a picture of him that captured all the energy and innocence of a boy his age. The smile remained even though his little body was fighting in ways mine never had. He was just a boy, and the Sun was warm, and he felt a momma’s love and that was enough. Illnesses be damned.

His struggles didn’t stop as he aged. A bone marrow transplant helped, and he went on to lead as normal a life as anyone could while fighting his fight.

He played basketball and he took martial arts with Clyde Stanley. He learned about mathematics and history and literature and science. He learned about all the things that make life begin and keep life going and then those that make life worth living. He loved and he was loved.

Cancer came at 16 and took him at 17. He died on a Wednesday.

Coleson wasn’t a toddler when the Grim came. He made it longer than some who are struck by this obscene disease. But his passing was no less tragic. Cut down in the prime of life. Nothing but tears and memories for those left behind.

The St. Jude Auction begins this week. Minden will raise another million dollars for cancer research. Lives will be saved with that money. Your money. Lives will be saved with the money you give. Lives of blonde-haired little boys. Lives of little girls and boys. Black and white. That money will go on to benefit all ages.

There’s nothing more noble than the mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the charge this community has placed on itself.

Donate. Help in the fight. No playing defense. Offense. Offense. Offense. There are many things to pray for. We’ve all got our needs and we share them with the Father with regularity. I’m in no position to say one prayer is more important than another. But I think it is safe to say that we all want to put an end to cancer.

There’s only one way to do it. Keep donating. Keep supporting St. Jude and keep supporting this auction.

No one should have to bury their child.

Josh Beavers is a teacher and a writer. He has been recognize

Harrington Law Firm Receives Superior Rating

Martindale-Hubbell, the leading worldwide legal information service, which has been been providing background information on lawyers and law firms in the United States and other countries for over 150 years, has given The Harrington Law Firm and partner C. Rodney Harrington an “AV Preeminent Rating, the company’s highest possible rating.

According to Martindale-Hubbell, the AV Preeminent Rating, which is established by the company obtaining peer reviews from other attorneys in the same geographical area, recognizes law firms and attorneys for their strong legal ability and high ethical standards.

An elite group of approximately 10 percent of all firms and attorneys hold an AV Preeminent Rating, a designation recognized as “The Gold Standard” of legal ratings and recognized worldwide by buyers and referrers of legal services.

The Harrington Law Firm and C. Rodney Harrington are included in that elite group.

C. Rodney Harrington says the rating, while appreciated, is humbling.

“It is especially humbling and gratifying to know that our peers and colleagues, who we deal with on a daily basis, thought enough of us to give us this Preeminent Rating”, said Harrington, “To think that we’re recognized among the top 10 percent of all attorneys and firms in the nation is simply unbelievable.”

The Harrington Law Firm is composed of partners C. Rodney Harrington and C. Edward “Eddie” Harrington and is located at 459 Jefferson St., Natchitoches, La. 71457. Their areas of practice are Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice, Bankruptcy, Social Security Disability, Wills and Successions, and Divorces.

Notice of Death – February 9, 2023

Larry Hamilton
May 1, 1960 – February 9, 2023
Arrangements TBA
Jeffery Rachal
June 23, 1966 – February 6, 2023
Service: Sunday, February 12 at 2 pm at Hickory Grove Methodist Church, located at 8673 LA-6 in Robeline
Ms. Lashonda Brown
August 9, 1974 – February 7, 2023
Service: Saturday, February 11 at 1 pm in the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel, located at 318 North St. in Natchitoches
Charles Andrew LaCaze Sr.
February 5, 2023
Service: Saturday, February 11 at 10 am at First Baptist Church in Natchitoches
Luther Earlton “PeeWee” Rigsby, Jr.
May 30, 1949 – February 1, 2023
Service: Saturday, February 11 at 10 am at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home