Big news for Rapides Parish

We at the Sabine Parish Journal are pleased to welcome our newest sister publication, the Rapides Parish Journal. This online publication joins 11 others across Louisiana from Rapides Parish north to the state line.

“We feel the people of Rapides Parish – Alexandria, Pineville, Tioga, Woodworth, Ball, Forest Hill, and surrounding towns – deserve their own publication,” said publisher Bill Vance. “At Journal Services LLC, we pride ourselves in covering local parishes with high-quality news and advertising to keep our readers up to date on what’s happening in their communities.”

Vance is also the publisher of the Natchitoches Parish Journal.

All Journals cover local news, features, and sports. Subscriptions are – and always will be – free. Please visit and sign up today.

Click to visit any of our journals:

Bienville Parish Journal
Claiborne Parish Journal
DeSoto Parish Journal
Jackson Parish Journal
Lincoln Parish Journal
Natchitoches Parish Journal,
Sabine Parish Journal
Shreveport-Bossier Journal
Red River Parish Journal
Webster Parish Journal
Winn Parish Journal
Rapides Parish Journal

Sabine Medical Center Ribbon Cutting

There will be a ribbon cutting for SMC’s Conference Center’s opening, and also in honor of hospital week. There will be things such as food and fun, and is being held on Tuesday, May 9. The ribbon cutting will be held at 12pm.  

New NCHS football coach Curtis interviews for West Monroe job

SURPRISE DEVELOPMENT: Four months after taking over as head football coach at Natchitoches Central High School, Jess Curtis has interviewed for the same job at perennial state power West Monroe.

By DOUG IRELAND, Journal Sports

When Jess Curtis left the powerhouse Many High School football program in January to breathe life into a long-struggling Natchitoches Central squad, it raised eyebrows around Louisiana and excited locals.

Now that Curtis has interviewed for the head coaching position at one of Louisiana’s most successful high school football factories, it’s raised blood pressure around Natchitoches.

The new NCHS coach was one of three people interviewed Thursday for the West Monroe High School job. Former NSU defensive coordinator and ULM head coach Mike Collins, currently defensive coordinator at Neville, also interviewed.  Other candidates’ interviews are planned to extend into  Tuesday, according to multiple media reports.

Curtis took the NCHS position in early January and has been on campus since, hiring his coaching staff and overseeing a dynamic off-season strength and conditioning program in the Chiefs’ sparkling, brand-new fieldhouse.

Curtis and NCHS principal Micah Coleman did not respond Thursday to efforts to contact them for comment. Natchitoches Parish schools superintendent Dr. Grant Eloi declined to discuss the situation.

More than a dozen accomplished candidates have applied, according to new West Monroe principal Don Lane, who was named to his post earlier this week.

Other representatives of West Monroe have been reaching out to potential candidates for weeks. Head coach Jerry Arledge stepped down April 4 but remains as athletics director. Arledge has been at WMHS since 1992, working under Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame coach Don Shows from 1992-2012 as defensive coordinator before being promoted to the top spot.

West Monroe won eight state championships under Shows, and remains one of Louisiana’s most successful football programs, although the Rebels haven’t won a state crown since 2011. They did reach state finals in 2016 and 2018.

The West Monroe program ranks among the state’s elite both in performance and interest. The Rebels consistently sell out their 6,000-seat stadium for home games.

In 13 seasons at Many, his alma mater, Curtis’ Tigers won three state championships, played for three others, and reached the state semifinals three more times. Many was 50-3 in its last three seasons of Curtis on the sideline. He has not coached anywhere else, with some pundits questioning his ability to step up from a rural Class 2A program to competition in one of the state’s most intense big-school districts in its largest classification.

While Curtis built a struggling Many program to the best in its class, NCHS has only two winning seasons in the last decade. The Chiefs haven’t been consistently successful since the mid-1990s, highlighted by a state semifinal appearance (and a loss to West Monroe, after a regular-season win over the Rebels) in 1996.

NCHS, like other schools around the state, plans to conduct spring practice next month.

Curtis’ name as a candidate for the West Monroe job began circulating in media speculation and on social media and message boards around the state within the last several days.

Forensic science catches cheating anglers

Since bass tournaments began, there have always been anglers looking to bend the rules and push the envelope. Some get caught while there are others who have succeeded in cheating.

When it comes to getting caught, it’s only a matter of time because when they get away with it once, they think they can do it again and again. One day their luck runs out and someone catches them. A cheater has to be someone without a conscience because a normal person would feel guilt and shame. But cheaters fall into the same category as a criminal. They have no conscience. 

This leads me back to a cheating scandal in October 2018 when two anglers fishing in a derby on Lake Powell in Utah thought they had mastered the art of cheating. Little did they know that forensic science would play a huge role in their conviction. 

These two anglers thought they had the perfect plan by going to another body of water the day before their tournament on Lake Powell. The evening before their event, they went into a shallow area of Quail Creek Reservoir and were observed doing “something suspicious” just before dark. But like any cheating scandal or criminal activity, there’s always a trail. The trail started at Quail Creek Reservoir where you must sign in and sign out for this body of water. Of course, these guys didn’t think to use fictitious names — they gave their real names! Duh! 

Quail Creek is 140 miles from Lake Powell, so these fish had to be kept alive in a live well for at least 20 hours. While today’s live wells are high tech and do a great job of keeping fish alive, it puts a lot of stress on the bass trying to stay alive for that length of time. As these fish were being weighed in, the tournament director noticed a couple of things that just didn’t seem right. First, all the fish had red tails and fins (first indication that the fish have been stressed). Second, he noticed that these fish looked nothing like all the other fish being weighed in. These fish had little heads and fatter bodies, indicating a different diet than the fish from Lake Powell. 

Here’s where things get really scientific. Turns out these suspicious indicators prompted investigators to work with the University of Utah and do what’s called a stable isotope analysis. To simplify, it’s basically a calcium test that can determine what body of water a fish has come from, based off the food eaten by the fish. Every body of water has what is called its own stable isotope ratio. When they compared fish from Lake Powell to the fish from Quail Creek, they knew immediately that the fish weighed in by the anglers were not from Lake Powell but came from Quail Creek Reservoir.  

And there you have it — forensic science catches the cheaters just like an episode of CSI Vegas!  This story amazed me with the length the investigators went to try and convict these two Bozo’s. Persistence and hard work paid off in making sure these two anglers didn’t get away with fraud!  

If you’re wondering how they were sentenced: they were fined $2,500 each in restitution to “help stop poaching.” They paid $500 in a plea fee, drew 48 hours community service, two years of no hunting and the Division of Wildlife Resources sought a five-year fishing ban.  

So, I guess in this case, cheaters never win! From this angler’s perspective, there will always be anglers who think they can get away with cheating and will go to extreme lengths to do so. I am hopeful in the future that judges come down harder on these people who choose to go this route and attempt to commit fraud on unsuspecting anglers.

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

Contact Steve at

Choctaw Apache Powwow

The Choctaw Apache Tribe will be holding its 30th annual powwow; including gourd dancing and lunch and dinner. The powwow will be held on Sat. April 29, from 10am to the evening, at 217 Gene Knight Road, Noble LA. 

The Congressman and the trouble with things that are popular

A Congressman came to town on Monday. The Honorable Mike Johnson, of the fourth congressional district (that’s our neck-a the woods), was in South Webster over at Lakeside for a history lesson, a Q&A session, and a bit of life coaching.
I’ve heard the congressman speak before including when he was practicing law and fighting in courtrooms to let Americans live by the writings of our Founding Fathers. You know – the freedom of’s and the freedom to’s.  
I’ve come away impressed every time I’ve heard the man speak. I hold very low opinions of many politicians, but not so for Congressman Johnson. The reason is a simple one – I believe what he’s telling me because I know he believes it. I know he’s honest.
Two things from Monday that resonate.
He told the kids if you think something’s wrong you can’t go along with it and just because something’s popular doesn’t make it right.
Boy. You can say that again.
I said you can say that again.
He told the kids if you think something’s wrong you can’t go along with it and just because something’s popular doesn’t make it right.
I’ve written about being a reed in the storm. The analogy is when the storms blow in it’s not the reed that breaks. It’s the mighty oak. The one that stands against the wind is the one that takes the hits and sometimes loses everything. The weeds, the reeds, the mire and the muck, well, they stay alive because they can bend to the will of the roar.
I’m a reed a lot of times. So are you. So too are we all. We go along with things we know are wrong because standing against them, being an oak, will likely just get us knocked flat. And sometimes you’re not going to get back up to answer that bell.
I’ve nodded my head and gone along with what was popular because it was easy. Because I was a coward. Because I valued the world of men more than the world beyond. So instead of fire from my belly and a cry of NO, I just shrug and go about my way with all the other reeds. Apathy becomes a way of life and before long you’re believing it when you’re told 2+2=5.
I know all this to be true and I think you do, too.
So, what’s to be done? What can one person do against such recklessness?
Break the chains of apathy. Read. Educate yourself. Go to political events and ask questions. Don’t have a cynical and distrustful view of education. Education is, as it has always been, the answer to everything. You want real weapons? Don’t go to the gun shop. Go to the library.
Learn. Question. Berate if you have to. And then, then after all that is done, do the single most important thing you can do as an American citizen.
Vote for candidates who share your beliefs. Vote for city council. Vote for police jury. Vote for school board. Vote for sheriff. Vote locally. That’s where change begins. Not in Washington. Vote for good men and women and tell them what you want for this nation, for your family, for those who will come after you. And most importantly, vote out the others.
We only have one responsibility in this life. And that’s to leave the world a little bit better than you found it. Picking up arms isn’t the answer. Picking up a book is.

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

Juneteenth Mototown Mantinee

Many will be holding its Juneteenth Mototown Mantinee, featuring regional music such as Etta James, Sam Cooke, Mary Wells, Billy Paul, and local singers. It is being held on June 3, 5pm-7pm, at the Sabine Theater in Many. 

Natchitoches Jazz/R&B Festival “TAKE ME TO THE RIVER” VIP Style

Natchitoches Jazz/R&B Festival Super VIP giveaway!

Purchase at least two $100.00 VIP tickets, and you’ll be entered into our SUPER VIP DRAWING, with a chance to win TWO SUPER VIP PASSESS!

Drawing will be held Friday, April 28, 2023 @ 4pm

There are a limited number of VIP tickets available. Get yours today!


Mark Chestnutt, Tracy Byrd and Cupid

See the full line-up here:

Purchase tickets here:

Notice of Death – April 27, 2023

Genita Marie (Moore) Leone
June 29, 1943 — April 20, 2023
Service: Saturday, April 29 at 11 am at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Natchitoches

Elouise Mitchell Hebert
October 19, 1938 — April 24, 2023
Service: Friday April 28 at 2 pm at Rocky Mount Methodist Church

Barbara D. Hicks
April 21, 2023
Arrangements TBA

Sindera White
September 19, 1954 – April 20, 2023
Arrangements TBA

Steven “Cal” Nelson
December 13, 1980 – April 17, 2023
Service: Saturday April 29 at 1 pm in the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel, located at 318 North Street in Natchitoches

Many Tigers head south in baseball playoffs; Converse home Thursday, Florien girls head to state Friday

After a hard-fought pair of one-run wins last weekend, the Many Tigers baseball team heads down U.S. 171 for the second round of the LHSAA Division I Non-Select playoffs.

Many, seeded 15th, goes to South Beauregard to face the No. 2 team in the playoff bracket, in a best-of-three series. The teams play Friday evening at 6, then Saturday at 1, and if the third game is needed to settle the series, it is slated for 3:30 Saturday. The winner goes to the state quarterfinals.

Many advanced with home-field wins over No. 18 Jewel Sumner, 1-0 and 3-2, last weekend.

In the Non-Select Division IV tournament, second-seeded Converse hosts No. 18 Reeves Thursday at 5 in a single-elimination second-round contest. Converse had a first-round bye.

The Florien Ladycats lived up to their No. 3 seeding in the Non-Select Division IV softball bracket, scoring a 12-4 victory Saturday at Hicks to earn a trip to Sulphur for the LHSAA state tournament. Florien plays at noon Friday on Field 14 against No. 2-ranked Quitman, with the winner advancing to Saturday’s state championship game.

Many man arrested for Zwolle aggravated arson

The State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFM) arrested a Many man for allegedly setting fire to a vehicle that spread to a second vehicle and threatened a home in Zwolle where four people, including three teens, were inside sleeping.
Germany Thomas, 41, was booked into the Sabine Parish Jail on Wednesday, April 15, on one count of Aggravated Arson.
Around 5:45 a.m. on the 15th, the North Sabine Fire District responded to a report of a vehicle fire located in the 100 block of Ezernack Loop in Zwolle. When firefighters arrived, they found two vehicles on fire located 15 feet from a mobile home where a family of four was asleep.
Following an assessment of the scene, conducting witness statements and reviewing video evidence, SFM deputies determined the fire was intentionally set.
During the investigation, deputies learned the vehicle owner and Thomas, her ex-boyfriend, had been in an ongoing dispute that included threats toward the victim. Deputies also learned Thomas was a convicted arsonist.
After additional investigative efforts, Thomas was confirmed as the suspect in the case and a warrant was obtained for his arrest. The Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office located Thomas and took him into custody later that day.
The SFM would like to thank the S.P.S.O. for their assistance with this case.
Photo: File Photo

Florien surprises Strother with a spectacular Saturday sendoff

PROUD GRANDPA:  Retiring Florien girls’ basketball coach Dewain Strother was surrounded by loved ones last Saturday night at his surprise dinner and salute at FHS. Two grandsons, Brindyn (left) and Drake, were among family attending. Brindyn was the water boy/manager for the Ladycats from his days as a second grader until last year when he was in the sixth grade.

“I just drove the bus.”

That’s what retired Florien girls’ basketball coach Dewain Strother told a packed room of admirers last Saturday night at the conclusion of a poignant and entertaining surprise dinner and salute to him.

Earlier last week, Strother was inducted in the Louisiana High School Sports Hall of Fame for his incredible 40-year coaching career, all at Florien High School.

Somehow, the Florien community kept Saturday night’s event at the high school a secret, and it did surprise the beloved coach, who is finishing the school year in the classroom. He thought the family was going out for dinner.

And they were. But instead of a restaurant, the dinner was at FHS, with a whole bunch of friends, including a huge turnout of girls who played for his teams dating all the way back to his first Lady Cats ball club 40 years ago. Several of the former players, ranging from two of the original four seniors to his daughters and all the way to current-day players and those on his last state championship team in 2017, spoke eloquently and emotionally about the impact Strother made on them during their FHS days and since.

His coaching resume is unmatched in the history of high school girls’ basketball in Louisiana, with a record 1,235 wins and only 395 losses. Strother ranks second all-time in American high school history for wins by a girls’ basketball coach.

He took six Ladycats teams to state championships. Five others reached the state finals. Another 10 made the state semifinals, including his last team, which finished 29-3 just over a month ago.

Among those in a video tribute to Strother was LSU women’s coach Kim Mulkey. When she appeared on the screen, there was a round of gasps from the audience, and she delivered heartfelt remarks praising him for his impact at home, and around the state, and for how well he treated her in her visits to recruit his players.

Retired Northwestern Lady Demons coach James Smith traveled from Spearsville to surprise his dear friend, and was greeted by two Ladycats, Angela Lucius Anthony and Stephanie Williams, who helped Florien win state titles and went on to help NSU post 20-win seasons and make postseason appearances.

Northwestern vice president of external affairs Drake Owens presented Strother with the university’s prestigious ‘Nth Degree’ award, which hasn’t been presented since 2019, recognizing how Strother has been a great representative of his alma mater.

Along with the video of tributes from coaching friends and others, the audience was treated to a slide show highlighting Strother’s career as the only girls’ coach in school history.

FHS principal Eddie Jones Jr. opened the event, following a prayer by Bro. Wayne Chance. Jones welcomed the crowd and spoke glowingly, and humorously, of his friend, colleague and golf partner. Former FHS principal Ed Corley also provided reflections on Strother, and their words were not forgotten when Strother took the stage to end the evening.

“The principals I’ve had here, I’ve trained a lot of them,” he said, drawing a big laugh from the crowd. “I’ve had some good ones, they’ve supported me.

“People have asked, ‘do you really want to retire?’ And I say, ‘yep, it’s time to hang it up.’ But I’ll be back around.”

The finality of his farewell finally began to sink in, as Strother explained he was a man of few words and it was getting late.

“Thank you so much. This is … words can’t explain. I love y’all.”

Tire Sweep to be held on May 20

The Sabine Parish Police Jury announced a Tire Sweep will be held on Saturday, May 20 from 8 am – 2 pm at the Sabine Parish Road Office, located at 2581 Hwy. 171 in Many. There is a limit of five tire per driver’s license. This is for regular size tires or 18-wheeler tires, NO tractor tires. Participants must live in Sabine Parish. For more information call Ashley at 318-256-6231.

There’s more to the story this Library Week

We called it the “lie-ba-rare-ry” or “lie-berry” but of course it’s properly The Library, and on this National Library Week we honor the place where each of us, in our hometowns and school houses, spent a large part of our formative years in this glorious building that held more fact and fiction than you could digest in a dozen lifetimes.

The Writer’s Almanac reminds me that the Library of Congress, or “Gramps” as all the other libraries call it, was founded this week in 1800. Had 964 books and nine maps. 

Today, it’s a bit of a different ballgame, and if you work there, you best buckle your chinstrap. The Library of Congress has more than 17 million books now, plus recordings and art and lots of maps (like, way more than the original nine) and gets 15,000 new items each workday. They’ve got books like Hamlet had the crazies.

Speaking of, maybe the Library of Congress’s birth is why we celebrate this final week of April as National Library Week, but maybe it’s because the Bard of Avon and pretty good hand, William Shakespeare, is thought to have been born April 23, 1564, and for certain died on the same date, 52 years later, I forswear. He’s considered our greatest English dramatist and was also clever in the sonnet game:

Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
For thy sweet love remember’d such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

Except for that one time you were mean to me

And I thought, “What the heck; I’ll go ahead and scorn.”

He was a handful, ol’ William was.

So when you go by your local library branch this week, maybe tip your cap to this magical place, a joint that has plenty for kids of all ages, a place that connects the community and shares internet for job seekers and self-educators, a rest stop for movie night and craft night and poetry readings, if such is your thing.

And books. If you haven’t read or listened to one lately, here are a few I’ve finished so far this year, and brief reviews, just to rattle your cage and get you to thinking.

Amor Towles was an investments pro in Manhattan for 20 years, writing on the side, and is now a fulltime novelist and thank goodness. He is a wizard of time and place, a handy vocabulary but not high-falutin’, and tremendous with characters. My favorite of his three books is A Gentleman in Moscow, about an aristocrat sentenced to life in a luxury hotel across from the Kremlin in 1920, soon to be a Showtime/Paramount series starring Ewan McGregor as Count Alexander Rostov, now one of my favorite fictional people.

The Lincoln Highway is about four boys in 1954 who mean to go to San Francisco and end up in New York, and Rules of Civility stars a wonderful female character, Katey Kontent, a normal girl thrown into high society in post-depression New York City. Doesn’t sound like much, but I wish I could read each of them again for the first time.

Did not enjoy Ghost Story by Peter Straub, although it was a hit when released in 1979 and the movie (Fred Astaire and some other biggies were in it) was good, which is why I wanted to read it. Mistake.

Did not like The Haunting of Hill House, 1959, from Shirley Jackson (she wrote the short story The Lottery that we all read in high school). I wish Hill House had been only a short story.

And didn’t enjoy Fahrenheit 451, the 1953 classic by Ray Bradbury. It’s about banning books and so in the current climate, I thought I’d catch up. Instead, I wish I’d have banned myself from reading it. No doubt it was timely, though, 70 years ago.

More fiction I did like was Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, speaking of catching up, as this is the Stephen King short story, more of a novella, that the movie is based on. The movie is better but the story, of justice and hope and friendship and humanity, is just so good.

Stoner by John Williams didn’t get a lot of raves in 1965 when released but it is beautifully written “academic” or “campus” novel about a farm boy who becomes an English professor and comes to terms with a life that didn’t go as he’d planned. And why I’ve felt recently like reading novels 60 years old is a mystery even to my own personal self.

Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt (2022) starring a talking octopus named Marcellus (or at least he shares his thoughts) is about how we are better together, whether we have two arms or whether we have eight.

Out of room, so, suggested non-fiction I’ve read this year, and would recommend each, depending on your interests.

The Storyteller’s Nashville by Tom T. Hall, if you like Tom T. Hall.

Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story, by Rick Bragg, if you like Jerry Lee Lewis or are just interested in a fellow Louisianan.

Killer Triggers and I Will Find You, by Joe Kenda, the Colorado detective who became famous through TV’s Homicide Hunters. If you’re a fan, you might prefer the audio versions; he narrates them.

Something Wonderful: Rogers and Hammerstein by Todd Purdum; this bureau has a fascination with musical theatre.

On Writing by Stephen King. His wife pulled the draft of Carrie out of the trash and suggested he keep trying so …

And finally, enjoyed To Wake the Giant, Pearl Harbor historical fiction by Jeff Shaara, a longtime pro in the war arena, and Unsinkable, which is not fiction but is the real thing about five men aboard the World War II destroyer USS Plunkett, and especially their “problem” that day at Anzio. Studs.

Happy reading or listening, and happy National Library Week. Got anything to share?

Contact Teddy at or Twitter @MamaLuvsManning

Horsing Around

By Brad Dison

Robert LeRoy Parker was a “medium short, stocky build, with blue eyes and an infectious smile.  His sense of humor was highly developed; he made friends easily, was highly dependable when he chose, and was loyal to his friends.”  He could “outrope, outride, and outshoot any man on the range.  He drank sparingly and never allowed women to interfere with his business.”  His business, at this time, was working cattle. 

Sometime in the 1870s, the exact date has been lost to history, Robert stole a saddle and several horses near Circleville, Utah.  Two deputies tracked Robert for miles through the desert and got a lucky break.  They found Robert asleep at camp.  Before he was fully awake and aware, the deputies handcuffed Robert.  Anyone else in that situation would have admitted defeat, but not Robert.  One newspaper reported that Robert’s “mind worked like chain lightning.”  As the deputies were transporting Robert from his camp in the desert to the nearest jail, they stopped near a spring to prepare lunch.  The deputies built a fire and got enough water from the spring to boil a pot of coffee.  One of the deputies went back to the spring to fetch more water while the other deputy stayed to guard their prisoner.  Robert sat near the fire directly across from the guarding deputy.  The deputy squatted by the fire to check on the coffee.  At that instant, Robert kicked the boiling coffee in the face of the deputy.  The deputy grabbed his face and screamed.  Robert snatched the deputy’s pistol from its holster and trained the pistol on the second deputy.  He disarmed the second deputy, retrieved the handcuff keys, and removed the restraints.  In less than a minute, Robert jumped into his stolen saddle and rode away with the stolen horses and the deputies’ two horses. 

In most other cases, that would have been the end of the story.  By most accounts, Robert was a likable, caring guy.  After riding a couple of miles from where he made his escape, he realized that the deputies’ water canteens were still tied to the saddle of their horses.  He knew the area well enough to know that the next nearest spring to the deputies was about 30 miles away.  He knew the deputies would try to walk to some sort of civilization but without their water canteens they would certainly perish.  Robert rode back to the stranded deputies and, to their surprise, returned their water canteens and gave them directions to the next nearest watering hole.  The shocked deputies thanked Robert as he rode away again. 

Robert’s criminal career continued for more than a decade, and he joined forces with other like-minded criminals.  The pressure of continually being pursued by law enforcement officers convinced Robert to leave the country for South America.  He and his most infamous partner purportedly died in a shootout on November 7, 1908.  Robert used many aliases during his criminal career including Santiago Maxwell, Jim Lowe, George Cassidy, and Mike Cassidy.  You and I know Robert LeRoy Parker as Butch Cassidy.  His partner’s alias was the Sundance Kid.

Source: The Salt Lake Tribune, March 19, 1950, p.63.

Sabine resident listed among LCU honors students

Louisiana Christian University held its 62nd Annual Honors Convocation Tuesday, recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of students in academics and athletics.

Student awards and recipients are listed below by department:


Central Louisiana Ad Club Scholarship Award: Nathaniel Madrid, of Alexandria (Rapides)

Grady Harper Scholarship Award: Lena Cogghe, of Belgium and Paula Nolla Ferrer, of Spain

Thilo Steinschulte Scholarship Award: Gretchen Wolfe, of Rowlett, Texas


NAIA Student Athlete Award: Nicholas Brunet, of Bourg (Terrebone) Claire Borot, of France


ACBSP Student Leadership Award: Abigail Shields, of Deville (Rapides)

Outstanding Graduating Senior in Business Administration: Ting Jiang, of China

Outstanding Junior in Business Administration: Caroline Lucius, of Pineville (Rapides)

Sr External Major Field Test 2nd Highest: Kaleb Breaux, of Scott (Lafayette)

Sr External Major Field Test Highest: Kristoffer Boerjesson, of Sweden


Avis L. Trahan – Outstanding Elementary Education Award: Karli Simmons, of Pollock (Grant)

Avis L. Trahan – Outstanding Secondary Education Award: Hannah Miller, of Iowa (Jefferson Davis)

Education Achievement Award: Paula Sims, of Florien (Sabine)

L. E. Beatrice McKenzie May Scholarship Award: Rebekah Bonnin, of Lufkin, Texas

William C. Todd Education Award: Ethan Christman, of Pineville (Rapides)

History and Political Science

Outstanding First Year Student: Chloe Must, of Lafayette (Lafayette)

Outstanding Upper-Class Student in History and Political Science: Benjamin Menard, of Corpus Christi, Texas

Health and Physical Education

Courtney Butler Scholarship: Hunter Allen, of Downsville (Ouachita)

Outstanding Exercise Science Clinical Wellness Major of the Year: D’Mario Weathersby, of Clinton (E.Feliciana)

Outstanding Exercise Science Sports and Wellness Major of the Year: Lauren Magleau, of Spain

Human Behavior

Alpha Tau Gamma Omega Cole Award: Delaina Doyle Walley, of Hineston (Rapides)

Ann McAllister Excellence in Social Work Award: Georgia Barfield, of Dry Prong (Grant)

Ann McAllister Excellence in Social Work Scholarship: Kayla Dauthier, of Jarreau (Point Coupee)

Social Work Student of the Year Award: Holly Tony, of Haughton (Bossier)

The Dr. James Quillin Memorial Psychology Student of the Year: Sydni Gross, of Lambertville, Michigan

Language and Literature

George Amos English Scholarship: Keirsten Lejeune, of Leesville (Vernon)

Ada Osborne Scholarship: Zane Blanchard, of Belle Rose (Assumption)

Alpha Mu Gamma Outstanding Member Award: Bethany Nichols, of Boyce (Rapides)

Alpha Mu Gamma Outstanding Senior Award: Delaina Doyle Walley, of Hineston (Rapides)

Carson Scholarship in English: Bethany Nichols, of Boyce (Rapides)

Ellander Ridge Scholarship: Mackenzie Strickland, of West Monroe (Ouachita)

English Faculty Scholarship: Delaina Doyle Walley, of Hineston (Rapides)

Ivey Gravette Scholarship in English: Samantha Ray, of Centerpoint (Avoyelles)

Mary Kate Bailes Freshman Essay Award: Anna Hooker, of Boyce (Rapides)

Mayme Hamlett English Scholarship: Cheryl Bullock, of Pollock (Rapides)

Media, Communication and Theatre

Ethel Holloman Memorial Journalism Scholarship: Victoria Watson, of New Iberia (Iberia)

Frank & Helen Bennett Endowed Scholarship in Theatre: Nicoy Harris, of Grand Forks, North Dakota

Fred Kendrick Memorial Journalism Scholarship: Phoebe Lim, of Baton Rouge (Baton Rouge)

Fred Lollar Scholarship in Public Relations: Nathan Roper, of Alexandria (Rapides)

Media and Communication Outstanding Freshman in Production: Sollon Scott, of Marrero (Jefferson)

Media and Communication Senior Excellence Award: Noel Schonhoff, of Slidell (St. Tammany)

Ortis Journalism Scholarship: Brandon Brown, of Lavon, Texas

Oscar Hoffmeyer Endowed Scholarship in Journalism: Sollon Scott, of Marrero (Jefferson)

Richard-Burton Endowed Scholarships:

-Communication Studies Emily Slay, of Pineville (Rapides)

-Convergence Media Kai Stone, of Kaplan (Vermillion)

-Theatre Carmen Taffi, of Pineville (Rapides)

Media/Communication “And Then Some” Award: Kai Stone, of Kaplan (Vermillion)

Wildcat Debate “And Then Some” Award: Camille Allgood, of Denham Springs (Livingston)

Wildcat Debate Top Novice Award: Zavier Whiting, of Fayetteville, Georgia

Missions and Ministries

Christian Studies Award: Ashley Young, of Benton (Bossier)

Zondervan Greek Award: Spencer Murdock, of Pollock (Grant)

Zondervan Theology Award: Evangeline Tudor, of Pineville (Rapides)


Alsup Voice Award:

1st:Peyton Newton, of Alexandria (Rapides)

2nd: Italia Sosa, of Pineville (Rapides)

3rd: A’melia Perkins, of Pineville (Rapides)

B.B. McKinney Scholarship Award: Peyton Newton, of Alexandria (Rapides)

Carroll Lowe Scholarship Award: Billi Barber, of Slidell (St. Tammany) and Selena Torres, of Alexandria (Rapides)

Dixie Sylvest Moss Award: William Dunham, of Monroe (Ouachita)

Edith Kilgore Kirkpatrick Music Scholarship: Samantha McCullough, of Oakdale (Allen)

Gloria Joy Moore Scholarship: A’melia Perkins, of Pineville (Rapides)

Music Service Award: Kyle Dupre, of Houma (Terrebonne)

Pierre Valmont Blanchard Award for Vocal Achievement: Kyle Dupre, of Houma (Terrebonne)

Richard Hill Endowed Scholarship: Emma Walker, of Ball (Rapides)

Robert W. Poole Endowed Scholarship: William Dunham, of Monroe (Ouachita)

Sue McGahey Elgin Endowed Scholarship: Caleb Williams, of Frierson (DeSoto)

Natural Sciences

Carol Anne O’Quinn Award: Ethan Lanford, of Pineville (Rapides)

Hansel B. O’Quinn Award: Ethan Barnes, of Ball (Rapides)

J.F. Richie Memorial Award: Harrison Bieber, of Dry Prong (Grant)

Jarrell Memorial Award: Harrison Bieber, of Dry Prong (Grant)

Outstanding First Year Chemistry Award: Will Patton, of Bossier City (Bossier)

Rocky Vidrine Memorial Award- Outstanding Freshman in Pre-Med: Morgan Tradewell, of Deville (Rapides)

The Monroe Hilburn Award: Ethan West, of Ville Platte (Evangeline)


Courage in Nursing: Maurtavius Evans, of Boyce (Rapides)

Division of Nursing Award: McKenna Bryant, of Pineville (Rapides)

Jean Livley Leadership Award: Lessley Fontenot, of Lafayette (Lafayette)

Nursing Association for Students Recognition Award: Adrianna Hedgemon, of Delhi (Richland)

Donies & Novie Magee Scholarship Award: Shelby Cumpton, of Quitman

“These students represent the University’s vision for ‘Preparing Graduates and Transforming Lives’ demonstrated by their commitment to academic excellence and Christian scholarship,” said President Dr. Rick Brewer. “The great tradition of equipping students for lives of learning, leading, and serving emblematic of Louisiana Christian University is evidenced by the work of our faculty and students. The University’s devotion to the Great Commandment is certainly expressed by our students’ dedication to “love God with heart, soul, and mind.”

Dr. Jeannie Gauthier, chair of the Division of Language and Literature, received the Olive Anne Rau Endowed Chair of English during the ceremony, as well. Eminent Scholars and Professorships are designed to recognize outstanding faculty and support productivity.

“Recognizing students who have excelled academically in the collegiate environment has long been a tradition at Louisiana Christian University,” said Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Cheryl Clark. “School deans, departmental chairs, program directors, and faculty members work diligently to identify exceptional students. Students recognized at Honors Convocation represent LCU’s brightest scholars who have excelled in and outside the classroom.

“We are proud to recognize this year’s student honorees who exemplify academic excellence and a passion for learning. They have challenged themselves and discovered new pathways to personal success. We also celebrate our exceptional faculty who teach, mentor, and lead by example.”

Notice of Death – April 25, 2023

Genita Marie (Moore) Leone
June 29, 1943 — April 20, 2023
Service: Saturday, April 29 at 11 am at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Natchitoches
Elouise Mitchell Hebert
October 19, 1938 — April 24, 2023
Service: Friday April 28 at 2 pm at Rocky Mount Methodist Church
Elizabeth Perot
December 19, 1937 — April 23, 2023
Service: Wednesday, April 26 at 11 am at The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church in Campti

Barbara D. Hicks
April 21, 2023
Arrangements TBA

Sindera White
September 19, 1954 – April 20, 2023
Arrangements TBA

Steven “Cal” Nelson
December 13, 1980 – April 17, 2023
Service: Saturday April 29 at 1 pm in the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel, located at 318 North Street in Natchitoches

Many Man Arrested For Zwolle Aggravated Arson

The State Fire Marshal’s Office has arrested a Many man for allegedly setting fire to a vehicle that spread to a second vehicle and threatened a home in Zwolle where four people, including three teens, were inside sleeping.
Germany Thomas, 41, was booked into the Sabine Parish Jail on Wednesday, April 15, on one count of Aggravated Arson.
Around 5:45 a.m. on the 15, the North Sabine Fire District responded to a report of a vehicle fire located in the 100 block of Ezernack Loop in Zwolle. When firefighters arrived, they found two vehicles on fire located 15 feet from a mobile home where a family of four was asleep.
Following an assessment of the scene, conducting witness statements and reviewing video evidence, SFM deputies determined the fire was intentionally set.
During the investigation, deputies learned the vehicle owner and Thomas, her ex-boyfriend, had been in an ongoing dispute that included threats toward the victim. Deputies also learned Thomas was a convicted arsonist.
After additional investigative efforts, Thomas was confirmed as the suspect in the case and a warrant was obtained for his arrest. The Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office located Thomas and took him into custody later that day.
The SFM would like to thank the S.P.S.O. for their assistance with this case.

Florien’s Strother enters state High School Sports Hall of Fame

OFFICIALLY A LEGEND:  Florien girls basketball coach Dewain Strother (middle) was inducted in the Louisiana High School Sports Hall of Fame Tuesday night in Baton Rouge. Presenting his award were Jimmy Anderson (at left) and Kathy Holloway of the LHSCA’s Hall of Fame committee. (Photo by ROMA PICS, courtesy Louisiana High School Coaches Association)

Tuesday night in Baton Rouge, just-retired Florien High School girls’ basketball coach Dewain Strother officially became one of the legends in high school sports in Louisiana.

He was among 10 people inducted into the Louisiana High School Sports Hall of Fame, which is administered by the Louisiana High School Coaches Association.

Strother retired from coaching after leading Florien to the 21st state tournament semifinal appearance in his 40 seasons on the Lady Black Cats’ coach.

He is ending a 49-year career in education, all at Florien, when classes wrap up next month.

Strother’s accomplishments include earning the Sabine Parish Teacher of the Year honor for 1982-83.

He is best known for his incredible girls’ basketball coaching record. Florien has won 1,235 games and lost only 395 since he started the program in 1982.

That wins total is the best by any girls basketball coach in Louisiana and is second all-time in the nation.

Florien has won six state championships and finished second in the state another five times in its 21 Final Four appearances. All but one of his 40 teams reached the state playoffs.

His last team finished 29-3 and played in the state semifinals.

Remarkably, Strother has coached the Ladycats to the LHSAA Final Four in each location the championship has been staged:  Shreveport, Monroe, Alexandria, Hammond and Lake Charles.

Strother has been the state Class B coach of the year five times, including this past season. He was named district coach of the year 24 times.

The Shreveport Times named him All-Area coach of the year five times, and he was the Shreveport Journal’s Coach of the Year three times.

Strother has been athletic director for over 30 years at Florien, and has also served at times as softball coach and golf coach.

He has taught social studies in the 7th and 8th grades for over 20 years.

Strother graduated from Northwestern State University in 1975 and earned his master’s in education from NSU in 1982. He has been recognized by the NSU Demon and Lady Demon basketball programs in the “Grads Done Good” display in Prather Coliseum, where a poster describing his career is in a display case along with other highly-successful alumni who have enjoyed great success coaching basketball.

Many wins playoff opener, aims for series win at home Saturday; Florien softball on road

The Many High School baseball team took a 1-0 victory Thursday evening over Jewel Sumner, and needs another win Saturday afternoon at home to capture the LHSAA Non-Select Division III first-round playoff series.

First pitch is 1 o’clock for the second game in a best-of-three series. If Jewel Sumner squares the series with a victory in game two, the teams will play the deciding third game at 4 p.m. Saturday.

Many is seeded 15th. Jewel Sumner is 18th.

Florien’s softball team plays a state quarterfinal game at Hicks Saturday at 1. Florien is the third seed in Non-Select Division V and Hicks is No. 11. Florien got a first-round bye and hammered No. 14 Monterey 12-2 on Tuesday in the second round. One more win puts Florien in the state tournament next weekend in Sulphur.

The Converse baseball team is seeded second in the Non-Select Division V bracket and will face No. 18 Reeves in a second-round game next week.