Gov. Urges Struggling Renters and Landlords Impacted by COVID-19 to Apply for Assistance

As the federal moratorium on evictions comes to an end Saturday, July 31, Gov. John Bel Edwards is urging residents who are struggling with rent or utility bills due to COVID-19 related financial hardship to apply for millions in federal funds through the Louisiana Emergency Rental Assistance Program, or through one of seven locally administered programs in Caddo, Calcasieu, East Baton Rouge, Jefferson, Lafayette, Orleans or St. Tammany parishes.

“It is important that our residents know that there are resources available to them if they need help with their rent or payment for their utilities,” said Gov. Edwards. “Our goal is to keep people housed during the pandemic by preventing evictions for failure to pay rent.”

The federal money is intended to cover rent and utility bills for those who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Both renters and landlords may apply. In most cases, the financial assistance is paid directly to the landlord or to the utility company.

“This program is in place specifically to provide assistance that can keep people in their homes, relieve pandemic-related financial strain and help people get back on their feet,” said the Division of Administration’s Assistant Commissioner of Statewide Services Desireé Honoré Thomas, CPA, CGMA. “We strongly encourage those in need to apply as soon as possible.”

To apply to the program or learn more visit or call 877-459-6555, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Today in History – July 28

1540 – Thomas Cromwell was executed at the order of Henry VIII of England on charges of treason. Henry married his fifth wife, Catherine Howard, on the same day.

1794 – French Revolution: Maximilien Robespierre and Louis Antoine de Saint-Just were executed by guillotine in Paris, France.

1866 – At the age of 18, Vinnie Ream became the first and youngest female artist to receive a commission from the United States government for a statue (of Abraham Lincoln).

1868 – The 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution was certified, which established African American citizenship and guaranteed due process of law.

1914 – The Foxtrot was first danced at a New Amsterdam Roof Garden, in New York City, by Harry Fox.

1931 – Mob hitman Mad Dog Coll allegedly participated in a kidnapping attempt that resulted in the shooting death of a child, which earned him the nickname “Mad Dog.”

1932 – “White Zombie” – the first feature length zombie film, directed by Victor Halperin and starring Bela Lugosi, was released in the U.S.

1933 – The first singing telegram was sent by a fan and delivered to Rudy Vallee, Hollywood singing star, in New York City.  Thus began Western Union’s singing telegram services.  

1935 – First flight of a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress.

1942 – World War II: Soviet leader Joseph Stalin issued Order No. 227. In response to alarming German advances, all those who retreat or otherwise leave their positions without orders to do so were to be tried in a military court, with punishment ranging from duty in a shtrafbat battalion, imprisonment in a Gulag, or execution.

1943 – President Franklin Roosevelt announced the end of coffee rationing in the US.

1945 – A U.S. Army B-25 bomber crashed into the 79th floor of the Empire State Building killing 14 and injuring 26.  “Elevator girl” Betty Lou Oliver survived falling 75 stories after fog caused the bomber crash which broke the cables supporting the elevator she was operating. This remains a world record for the longest survived elevator fall.

1951 – Walt Disney’s animated musical film “Alice In Wonderland” was released.

1957 – Jerry Lee Lewis made his first TV appearance.  He was a guest on the Steve Allen Show.

1960 – US Republican National convention selected Richard Nixon as candidate for President of the United States.

1978 – 600,000 people attended the “Summer Jam” rock festival at Watkins Glen, New York, at the time the largest ever audience at a pop festival.

1986 – NASA released the transcript from doomed Challenger space shuttle.  Pilot Michael Smith could be heard saying, “Uh-oh!” as the shuttle disintegrated.

1996 – The remains of a prehistoric man were discovered near Kennewick, Washington. Such remains became known as the Kennewick Man.

2016 – Earliest evidence of cancer found in a 1.7 million-year-old toe fossil from Swartkrans Cave, South Africa.

Remember This?: The Last Request

On Wednesday, June 19, 1957, workers drilled, moved and crushed the earth at the Rattlesnake Uranium Pit Mine, 37 miles north of Monticello, Utah. 46-year-old James W. Rodgers normally worked outside the open pit mine and had only been moved inside the mine that very day to help in drilling operations. 33-year-old Charles “Chuck” Merrifield operated a power shovel, a bucket-equipped machine used for excavating earth or fragmented rock. June 19 was the first day that James and Chuck worked together.

At about 3:30 p.m., Dee Gardner, a truck driver at the mine, saw James walk from the pit to the red pickup truck assigned to James for working in the mine. The truck was owned by the mining company and painted a high-visibility red for safety. James told Dee and other workers nearby, “I guess I’m going to have to kill him (Chuck) before I leave this job.” James retrieved a .38 caliber revolver from the truck and headed back into the pit. James walked back past Dee and toward Chuck’s power shovel. Another mine worker told Dee, “I guess Rodgers is going to scare Chuck with a gun.”

At the power shovel, James motioned for Chuck to get off of the machine. Chuck stood up, put one foot down out of the cab, and James began firing his pistol. The first shot was not aimed at Chuck and hit the ground. A split second later, James aimed the pistol at Chuck and fired until the revolver was empty, with each shot taking effect. Chuck fell to the ground. Dee was afraid to move because he “felt Rodgers didn’t like [him] either.” James turned to Dee and other witnesses and said, “Well, I guess that takes care of that.” James put the pistol back in his belt and walked toward the pickup truck. He passed another mine worker as he neared his truck. James calmly told him, “Well, he asked for it and he got it.” James got into the pickup truck and drove away. Chuck died within a few short minutes.

Law enforcement officers in Utah set up roadblocks on the main roads in the area but James had taken a back road into Colorado. Utah law enforcement officers notified Colorado police near the Utah line of the shooting and told them to be on the lookout for the bright red mine truck. A policeman near Cortez, Colorado, about 100 miles east of the mine, recognized the vehicle immediately and initiated a traffic stop. The officer told James that a lot of policemen were looking for him, to which he replied, “Yes, I guess you are.” The officer arrested James without incident. He was armed with a .22 caliber rifle and the .38 caliber pistol he used in the shooting. James reassured officers that he “wasn’t going to shoot anybody else.” While in custody, James eagerly confessed to killing Chuck.

When questioned about the shooting, James told reporters, “I can’t tell you why I did it. He’d been getting on my nerves for some time, and I knew it was going to lead to serious trouble… But I just can’t explain why I did it. He came at me one time with a wrench in his hand and I thought he was going to hit me. He didn’t, but I felt he didn’t like me, and he kept on needling me. Not anything in particular, but all the time. I just couldn’t take any more of it. But I can’t tell you why I shot him.”

In court, James pled not guilty by reason of insanity. His attorneys argued that James was suffering from Syphilis which impaired his mental processes. The disease, his attorneys argued, had deteriorated his brain, which affected his thinking and reasoning capabilities. After two trials and a host of appeals, James was ultimately found guilty and sentenced to death by firing squad.

In the early morning hours on March 30, 1960, Sheriff Seth Wright and prison warden John Turner sat with James and waited for daylight, the time of his execution. The sheriff held a black hood that would be put over James’s head during the execution. James looked at the hood and asked the sheriff, “What you got there?” Sheriff Wright replied, “something to keep you warm.” “Don’t worry,” James answered, “I’ll be where it’s warm pretty quick.” When it was time to go to the prison field, Sheriff Wright asked if he was ready. James quipped, “Yes, give me an hour’s head start.” Just before the five riflemen “blasted him into eternity,” Sheriff Wright asked James if he had a last request. “Sure,” James replied, “how about a bullet-proof suit?” His request was denied.


1. The San Juan Record (Monticello, Utah), June 20, 1957, p.1.
2. The San Juan Record, December 12, 1957, p.1.
3. Deseret News (Salt Lake City, Utah), December 9, 1958, p.21.
4. The Ogden Standard-Examiner (Ogden, Utah), March 30, 1960, p.1.

Arrest Report

July 18

  • Michael Nash (Ringgold)
    • Failure to Appear Warrant – Misdemeanor – Principal
    • Failure to Appear Warrant – Misdemeanor – Principal
    • Failure to Appear Warrant – Misdemeanor – Principal
    • Failure to Appear Warrant – Misdemeanor – Principal
    • Failure to Appear Warrant – Misdemeanor – Principal
    • Simple Criminal Damage to Property – Misdemeanor
    • Theft – Misdemeanor – Principal
    • Aggravated Assault with a Firearm – Felony – Principal
    • Aggravated Assault with a Firearm – Felony – Principal
    • Aggravated Escape – Felony – Principal
    • Disarming of a Peace Officer (Crime of Violence) – Felony – Principal
    • Battery of a Police Officer – Felony – Minor Injury – Principal
    • Resisting an Officer with Force or Violence – Felony – Minor Injury – Principal
    • Illegal Use of Weapons or Dangerous Instrumentalities – Weapons Law Violation – Felony – Principal

July 19

  • Pamela Doyle (Sibley)
    • Violation of Probation/Parole
  • Gerry McCoy (Jamestown)
    • Operating Vehicle with Suspended License; No License Issued

July 20

  • Teresa McCoy (Jamestown)
    • Criminal Damage to Property by Defacing with Graffiti – Misdemeanor
    • Criminal Damage to Property by Defacing with Graffiti – Misdemeanor
    • Telephone Communications; Improper Language; Harassment – Misdemeanor
    • Prohibited  Acts – Schedule IV – Felony
    • Headlamps for Motor Vehicles and Motorcycles
    • Illegal Carrying of Weapon in Presence of CDS – Felony
    • Possession or Distribution of Drug Paraphernalia – Misdemeanor
    • Prohibited Acts – Schedule II
    • Prohibited Acts – Schedule I
  • Terry Young, Sr. (Arcadia)
    • Failure to Appear Warrant – Misdemeanor

July 21

  • Harry Hines (Oakdale)
    • Driver Must be Licensed

July 22

  • Eunice Miller (Gibsland)
    • Failure to Appear Warrant – Misdemeanor

July 23

  • Veronica Clemons (Athens)
    • Sale, Distribution, or Possession of Legend Drug Without Prescription or Order Prohibited – Felony
    • Possession or Distribution of Drug Paraphernalia – Misdemeanor
    • Theft (Felony) – Principal
  • Claude Easley, Jr. (Athens)
    • Possession or Distribution of Drug Paraphernalia – Misdemeanor
    • Sale, Distribution, or Possession of Legend Drug Without Prescription or Order Prohibited – Felony

Mt. Olive Christian School to Hold 39th Annual Rodeo This Weekend

Mt. Olive Christian School will hold its 39th Annual Rodeo this Friday and Saturday night, July 30-31, at the Gantt Arena in Athens. 

The rodeo is one of the largest events held in Claiborne Parish and draws people from all over Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas, and usually draws people from other countries who are visiting family in the area. 

The rodeo starts at 8 p.m.

General Admission for the rodeo is $10 and children 10 and under get in free.  The annual rodeo is a fundraiser for Mt. Olive Christian School.

They will have all the regular rodeo events as well as their world famous musical chairs on horseback each night. This year they will also showcase the Morris Sisters Trick Riders and, as always, everyone’s favorite rodeo clown, Rudy Burns.

Bring your horse for the grand entry and get in free.

Advance tickets are $8 and are available at Gibsland Bank & Trust in Athens, Patton’s Western Wear in Ruston, GAP Farms in Arcadia and Crossroads Store in Athens.

Concessions and restrooms will be available.

For more information, advance tickets or directions to the arena, call 318-243-0674 or 318-843-4103.

Podcast: Marcus Jones joins Billy West LIVE


Marcus Jones joins Billy West Live and discusses his Interim Appointment as President of Northwestern State University.

The interview includes Marcus’ educational background and experiences teaching and in administration of higher education.

Marcus answers questions about his vision for the immediate future of NSU and increasing on-campus enrollment for Students in Natchitoches.


Marcus Jones answers questions related to his commitment to higher education in general and specifically related to keeping NSU competitive in Division 1 Athletics, especially football.

Marcus also discusses the position of permanent President of NSU and whether or not he will be a candidate for that position. Marcus also discusses his views on whether a terminal degree is necessary or required to be the permanent President of NSU.

Bonnie Frances Hennigan

Bonnie Frances Hennigan, age 82 of Jonesboro, took her Lord and Savior’s hand when he came calling her on Saturday, July 24, 2021. Bonnie was born in Jonesboro, Louisiana to James and Pinkey Porter. She is a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, aunt and friend. She will dearly be missed by all that knew her and love her.

Those left to cherish her memory is her husband, Shellie Hennigan; son, Arnold R. Shively; grandchildren, Reagan Alexander Shively, Cassandra Shively Miller, Matt Cheatwood (Marsha), Natasha Shively; great grandchildren, Madison Stanford, Macey Cheatwood; sister, Dianne Allen Cheatwood; a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. She is preceded in death by her son, James Everett Shively; parents, James Lewis and Pinkey (Cotton) Porter; siblings, Jill Porter, Bo Porter, Bobby Porter.

Friends may visit on Tuesday, July 27, 2021 in the chapel of Southern-Edmonds Funeral Home from 2:00-3:30p.m.

Graveside services are set begin in Antioch Cemetery, 518 North Antioch Road in Quitman, at 4:00p.m. with Reverend Geary Phillips officiating. Burial will follow under the direction of Southern-Edmonds Funeral Home.

Gov. Reports Louisiana Has Highest Growth Rate of New Covid-19 Cases in US, Per Capita; Video Attached

Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced in a Covid-19 press conference that we are in a fourth surge of Covid. 

On Wednesday, Louisiana reported the third highest daily case count since the start of the pandemic.   

The number of new cases has been increasing since June 16, and is now increasing in all regions of the state. 

“The statewide average of daily cases per 100,00 residents has increased 208% over the past 14 days,” the governor said, “and Louisiana now has the highest growth rate in cases per capita in the United States of America. 

“Since Monday, and including today’s announcements, we’ve added 16,898 positive cases of Covid.”  More than 80% of those are of the Delta variant.  “What is enabling this surge is the very low percentage of people who have been vaccinated.”

Second Round of Shot At A Million Winners Announced; Video Attached

On July 23, Gov. John Bel Edwards and the Louisiana Department of Health announced the second winners of the Shot At A Million COVID-19 campaign. Congratulations to Edwina Jones and Andrew Homan for going sleeves up and doing their part to protect themselves, their families and their communities during this pandemic.

Edwina Jones and Andrew Homan were selected in the drawing conducted by the Louisiana Lottery Corporation and overseen by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor on Wednesday, July 21, 2021.

Edwina Jones, 65 years old from Marrero, won the second $100,000 cash prize as part of the Shot At A Million campaign.

Andrew Homan, 14 years old of Slidell, won the second $100,000 scholarship prize as part of the Shot At A Million campaign.

“Ms. Jones and Andrew and his parents have done the right thing and the best thing by getting vaccinated against this virus that is sadly spreading once again throughout our state,” said Gov. Edwards. “They understand that it is our best defense against the virus and best chance of putting this pandemic behind us. I hope their stories will inspire others who have not made the decision to get their shot. The vaccines are safe and effective and can help significantly reduce the chances of getting sick or being hospitalized. Our cases, hospitalizations and deaths are increasing because of the Delta variant and the overwhelming majority are among the unvaccinated. It is not an understatement to say that deciding to get vaccinated is making a life-saving decision.”


Louisiana will hold two more weekly drawings:

  • Enter by July 23, 2021 by 11:59:59 p.m. CDT for the July 28 drawing
  • Enter by July 30, 2021 by 11:59:59 p.m. CDT for the August 4 drawing
  • Enter by July 31, 2021 by 11:59:59 p.m. CDT for the August 6 Grand Prize Drawing

Each weekly drawing consists of one $100,000 cash prize and one $100,000 scholarship.

As of noon on July 23, more than 800,000 Louisianans have registered for their Shot At A Million.

“We’re so excited to have a second week of Shot At A Million winners who we can reward for going #SleevesUp,” said Dr. Joseph Kanter, State Health Officer. “As the more contagious Delta variant spreads and infects more people, it’s that much more urgent for Louisianans to join Edwina and Andrew in getting the vaccine to protect themselves and their loved ones. We’ve seen a clear uptick in weekly vaccinations – clearly other Louisianans are feeling that urgency and are wasting no time in getting their shot.”

Registration for the Shot At A Million program will continue through July 31. Louisianans who have taken at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and are age 18 or older may enter to win one of two remaining $100,000 prizes and the grand prize of $1 million. Louisianans who have taken at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and are between the ages of 12 and 17 may enter to win one of seven remaining $100,000 scholarships. Louisianans are eligible if they have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine before the drawing date – regardless of when they received their vaccine.

The final grand prize drawing on August 6, 2021 will award a $1 million cash award and five $100,000 scholarships. Registration for the grand prize must be submitted by July 31, 2021 by 11:59:59 p.m. CDT.

Overall awards will total $2.3 million, paid using federal COVID outreach dollars.

Arcadia PD Welcomes First Female Law Enforcement Officer

(Arcadia Chief of Police Victor Rogers, Ms. Sketea Walker, Bienville Parish Clerk of Court Eddie Holmes)

A new police officer will be seen patrolling the streets of Arcadia.

On Thursday, July 22, 2021, the Arcadia Police Department added a new police officer to its force and officially swore her in.  Sketea Walker is the first female officer for the Town of Arcadia.

Ms. Walker is originally from Ada-Taylor area.  In 2005, she graduated from Gibsland-Coleman High School.  She worked as a dispatcher at Minden Police Department for about eight years and decided she wanted to become a patrol officer. 

Ms. Walker said she “wants to make a change in younger kids in the community and to show that there’s more to law enforcement than locking people up.”  Ms. Walker has two children of her own.

Congratulations, Ms. Walker.  Welcome to the Arcadia Police Department.

Bienville Parish Ranked “Very High” for Covid Vulnerability

As of yesterday, July 22, 2021, according to the Act Now Coalition, about half of the population of Bienville Parish is at a “Very High Vulnerability Level” when it comes to Covid infections, and “is more vulnerable than 83% of U.S. counties [parishes].” 

Act Now said “Communities with higher vulnerability have pre-existing economic, social, and physical conditions that may make it hard to respond to and recover from a COVID outbreak.”

Act Now reported that 4,819 Bienville Parish residents (36.4%) have received at least one dose and 4,252 (32.1%) are fully vaccinated.  

The Act Now Coalition is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded by volunteers in March 2020. Covid Act Now is a COVID-focused initiative to help people make informed decisions by providing timely and accurate data about COVID in the U.S.  Anybody who is at least 12 years old is eligible to be vaccinated. Fewer than 0.001% of people who have received a dose experienced a severe adverse reaction.

Mayor Millican, Public Works Superintendent Smith Attend LA Rural Water Association Annual Conference

Arcadia Mayor O’Landis Millican and Public Works Superintendent Joe Smith attended the Louisiana Rural Water Association’s annual conference in Lafayette this week. 

Mayor Millican said of the conference, “The conference is always a benefit in different ways. It allows us an opportunity to network as well as attend classes so we can receive updates from LDH [Louisiana Department of Health] as well as DEQ [Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality]. It also gives us an opportunity to learn about the new technology that’s offered for municipalities water and sewer systems so we can keep Arcadia systems updated as much as possible.” 

“The conference serves as a opportunity to allow newcomers to become certified operators for water and sewer through Louisiana Department of health and hospitals (it’s mandatory that all water and sewer systems have certified operators) also for people like Joe who is a level 4 operator (which is the highest certification that can be received) to accumulate the necessary hours needed to remain a certified operator.”

“The benefit Arcadia receives from it is the opportunity to stay compliant and up to date with the ever changing laws and rules for water and sewer systems, as well as the opportunity to network. Employees from water systems from all over the state attend this conference from large municipalities such as New Orleans to the very small ones such as Parks La.”

Today in History – July 23

1829 – In the United States, William Austin Burt patented the typographer, a precursor to the typewriter.

1885 – President Ulysses S. Grant died of throat cancer.

1903 – The Ford Motor Company sold its first car.

1926 – Fox Film bought the patents of the Movietone sound system for recording sound onto film.

1962 – Telstar relayed the first publicly transmitted, live trans-Atlantic television program, which featured Walter Cronkite.

1962 – Jackie Robinson became the first African American to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

1965 – The Beatles’ single “Help” was released in the UK.

1966 – Napoleon XIV released “They’re Coming to Take Me Away, Ha! Ha!”

1966 – Frank Sinatra’s album “Strangers In The Night” was No. 1 on the US charts, (Grammy for Record Of The Year and Best Male Vocal Performance).

1973 – US President Richard Nixon refused to release Watergate tapes of conversations in the White House relevant to the Watergate investigation.

1976 – The band Wings release “Let ’em In”

1982 – Outside Santa Clarita, California, actor Vic Morrow and two children were killed when a helicopter crashed onto them while shooting a scene from Twilight Zone: The Movie.

1984 – Vanessa Williams, first African American Miss America, resigned after Penthouse published unauthorized nude photos of her.

1994 – Dancer and actor Gene Kelly suffered a mild stroke.

1995 – Comet Hale–Bopp was discovered; it became visible to the naked eye on Earth nearly a year later.

2010 – English-Irish boy band One Direction was formed by judge Simon Cowell on The X Factor (British series 7).  They finished at third place.  One Direction would go on to become one of the biggest boy bands in the world, and would be very influential on pop music of the 2010s.

2015 – Supreme Court rejected Bill Cosby’s petition against a civil case of his alleged sexual assault of 15-year-old girl at the Playboy Mansion in 1974.


Print this page to work the puzzle.

In Cryptoquotes, one letter stands for another. In the example above, Z is used for two E’s, I for the two N’s, etc. Single letters, double letters, apostrophes, the length and formation of the words are all hints. The code letters change with each puzzle.



Previous Cryptoquote solution: “Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” ~ Babe Ruth

Angler’s Perspective: Interview With Bassmaster Classic Champion Hank Cherry

Here’s an interview I did last week with the 2021 Bassmaster Classic Champion Hank Cherry. Hank just accomplished what only three other anglers have ever done in history by winning back-to-back Classics. Today you’ll see from his perspective how this tournament unfolded and allowed him to win once again. Financially, a Classic win is worth $300,000 but the impact it has on an angler’s career is huge. Now let’s here from the man himself…Hank Cherry!

Angler’s Perspective: Hank have you recovered from the Classic and the high temperatures you all experienced at Ray Roberts?

Hank: “The heat was unbearable and just the grind of the Bassmaster Classic getting up at 3:00 in the morning every day takes a toll on you both mentally and physically. Now I’m just trying to figure out what happens next and where do we go from here? At the same time, I’m trying to get the family settled back down and make sure they are taken care of before setting out and completing the 2021 regular Elite Series season.”

Angler’s Perspective: This being your second go round with winning the Classic, you should have a pretty good idea for what lies ahead. Compare last year’s win to this year.

Hank: “Well last year I won this event during the Covid 19 pandemic and this year’s win has already been a lot different. I missed out on several promotional opportunities last year with all the restrictions of Covid 19. But this go round, it looks like I’ll be traveling more and doing more speaking engagements which I really like. I enjoy the interaction with other anglers and the fans. Heck, I might have to hire a travel agent! This year I’m really looking forward to a true victory tour.”

Angler’s Perspective: Hank, several anglers who many thought would win this event really stumped their toe and struggled. Was it an advantage for you to not have any experience or history on this body of water?

Hank: “I’ve never been a huge practice guy, but this tournament if you knew anything, then you really knew nothing due to the high-water conditions and the lake changing every day. There were bushes that are normally on the water’s edge, that were now 4 feet under water. Also, that late winter freeze they had in this region back in the early spring, really set everything back about a month. So, for this event, you really had to fish the moment and disregard what you might have learned in practice due to the constant changing conditions.”

Angler’s Perspective: Tell us about day 1 and 2 and what you did to catch a good limit both days.

Hank: “Well the first 2 days I got off to a great start by catching a 6 pounder and 5 pounders early. This really put me in position to fish the way I wanted to by flipping the bushes and throwing a jerk bait along the dam. The problem in this event was the fact that there was an early shad spawn bite up until 8:00 or 8:30. Then it got really tough, and it became a true grind as the bite really slowed down. But I was able to weigh-in a really good bag on day 1 at 20 pounds 4 ounces and 17 pounds 10 ounces on day 2. This was really unexpected but allowed me to get off to a great start one days one and two which set me up to go for the win on day 3.”

Angler’s Perspective: Talk about how tough it was on the final day.

Hank: “The third and final day was really tough, hot and humid. Caught one early on a jig and then I went forever without a bite. Then I caught another fish that was a 4 and 3/4 pounder that was probably the dumbest fish in the lake as I pitched to a bush and the bait ricocheted off the bush 4 feet and the fish swam out and ate the bait and went back to the bush. The turning point for me on the final was when I hung up my jig and broke it off in a bush and I decided to downsize with smaller line and a smaller profile bait which is how I caught my last three fish and finished out my limit. I actually went the last two hours of the tournament without a bite.”

Angler’s Perspective: Hank did you know you had won the Classic as you headed in or were you thinking someone probably busted a big bag toady?

Hank: “No, but I knew I had done my best considering the conditions and how tough it seemed. As I got to the weigh-in I heard that my buddy Matt Arey had caught them pretty good, but I also knew after doing the math in my head that someone would have really had to crush them to beat me. The thing about this event was that every guy in the top 5 had lost enough fish to win the Classic including Matt Arey who lost two really good fish that would have sealed the deal for him had he landed those fish. But that’s the nature and unfortunate reality of this sport. You’re going to lose some fish; you just hope it does not cost you the win.”

Angler’s Perspective: Hank earlier you talked about feeling good about how you fished this event and that you gave it your best. Have you ever fished a tournament where you did not feel this way?

Hank: “I’m sure there’s been an event or two where I defeated myself mentally. As a former baseball player, there were times when I felt like I was just going through the motions and just didn’t perform at a high level or the level that I expect. It’s not something I make a habit of but there are times when fishing is comparable to any other sport in that the mental approach is just as important as the physical approach.”

Angler’s Perspective: Hank, talk about the frame of mind going into the final day as the leader versus being a few pounds back of the leader and having to come from behind.

Hank: “Well, I’ve always said it easier doing the hunting versus being the one hunted. Your approach is totally different in the fact that you don’t have that pressure of trying to close out the tournament. Mentally when you’re chasing someone, you can just go out and fish and swing for the fences so to speak. But when you’re leading and things aren’t going your way on the final day, you start to second guess yourself and what you’re doing. But for me, I pride myself on being a closer and I can’t think of any time when I wasn’t able to close out a tournament when I did have a lead. Winning an event of this level and having won last year, gives you a tremendous amount of confidence knowing that you’ve been there and done it before.”

Angler’s Perspective: Hank, thank you taking the time to share your incredible victory and I’m looking forward to watching you go for the three-peat in the 2022 Bassmaster Classic that will be held on your home body of water at Lake Hartwell.

Hank: “Hey thanks for having me today and I’m really looking forward to next year’s event. Hopefully I’ll being doing another interview with you!”

I hope you’ve enjoyed this interview and insight with 2021 Bassmaster Classic Champion Hank Cherry held at Lake Ray Roberts outside of Ft. Worth, Texas. Hank has done an outstanding job of representing the sport over the last year. He’s truly been a great champion and will once again do another awesome job of promoting the sport. Till next time, good luck and good fishing and don’t forget to set the hook!!

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

Notice of Death – July 22, 2021

  • Jeanne Catherine Walsworth
    October 31, 1934 – July 20, 2021
    Visitation will be held 5:00PM ~ 8:00PM at the Southern-Edmonds Chapel Thursday, July 22, 2021.
    Funeral services will be held 10:00AM Friday at Springhill Baptist Church.
  • James “J.T.” Hawthorne
    February 03, 1939 – July 22, 2021
    Service: TBA

Stand-alone obituaries including photo are available.  For more information, call the Journal at 318-332-0558.

World’s Largest Steam Locomotive Passing Through North Louisiana Next Month

The Big Boy No. 4014, the world’s largest steam locomotive, is rolling out on tour August 5, 2021 through 10 states, beginning in Cheyenne, Wyoming!

The Big Boy weighs 1.2 million pounds and rode the rails from 1941-1961, going more than one million miles.

Although Big Boy won’t be passing through Bienville Parish, you can see this amazing steam locomotive in person as it passes through Natchitoches. A short stop is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 23 from 1:30-2:15 pm at the Trudeau Street crossing. Scheduled stops are subject to change.  Big Boy will travel north from Natchitoches to Shreveport following its stop in Natchitoches.  It will be at 6215 E. Jewella Road in Shreveport from Monday afternoon until early Wednesday morning for viewing only (Locations where fans can safely view the Big Boy. In some cases, the Big Boy will be displayed behind a fence or other perimeter. Tours are not available in Shreveport.)  

Share the adventure with us August 22, 2021, as we trace the route of Missouri Pacific’s iconic Louisiana Daylight and Louisiana Limited train service, north along the Mississippi River from New Orleans, LA, and over the historic Huey P. Long bridge on heritage passenger equipment pulled by Union Pacific’s steam locomotive “Big Boy,” No. 4014.

This excursion is the annual gala fundraiser for the Union Pacific Museum, a 501 c 3 organization, and passengers must be 18 years or older to ride. This is a rare opportunity for the public to travel behind this historic locomotive.
Big Boy No. 4014 was delivered to Union Pacific in December 1941. The locomotive was retired in December 1961, having traveled 1,031,205 miles in its 20 years in service. Union Pacific reacquired No. 4014 from the RailGiants Museum in Pomona, California, in 2013, and relocated it back to Cheyenne to begin a multi-year restoration process. It returned to service in May 2019 to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad’s Completion.

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LDWF Releases 2021-22 Hunting, Fishing Season Schedules, Rules, Regulations

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has released its 2021-22 hunting regulations pamphlet online at the LDWF website. Click on the link below to view the upcoming season’s regulations.

The pamphlet contains hunting rules, regulations and season dates for the 2021-22 season, including hunting information on LDWF’s Wildlife Management Areas and Louisiana’s federal lands.

Printed copies of the pamphlets will be available in August at LDWF offices throughout the state and at vendors where hunting and fishing licenses are sold.

This season’s regulation pamphlet also has season schedules for the state’s 10 deer hunting areas and major changes for the 2021-22 season.

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DOTD Announces Bid Results for Statewide Projects Including Bienville Parish

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) announced Monday that 14 projects around the state were recently let. Twelve contractors presented apparent low bids totaling $40.1 million.

“This letting marks the beginning of quite a few routine statewide projects,” said DOTD Secretary Shawn D. Wilson, Ph.D. “Of note are a couple of projects that will repair several bridges that were damaged by Hurricanes Laura and Delta, and we’re also investing over $15 million on a much-needed project to resurface 8.4 miles of U.S. 190 west of Baton Rouge.”

The projects and their apparent low bids are as follows:

Bridge Replacement and Repair:

  • Replacement of Boeuf River Bridge on LA 15 in Richland Parish: $7,209,166.62
  • Electrical and mechanical repairs of bridges on LA 14 and LA 330 in Iberia and Vermilion parishes: $557,900.00
  • Electrical, mechanical, and structural repairs of bridges on LA 3147, LA 319, and LA 1246 in St. Mary and Vermilion parishes: $495,800.00

Pavement/ Overlay:

  • Patching and asphalt surface treatment on LA 174, LA 2A, and LA 4 in Bienville, Claiborne, and Red River parishes: $1,222,590.10
  • Milling, patching, overlay, and drainage on LA 21 between W. Jct. of LA 1083 and Fairgrounds Blvd. in St. Tammany Parish: $1,856,347.12
  • High friction surface treatment on local roads in Lafayette Parish: $316,490.50
  • Milling, patching, and overlay on LA 2 between West Carroll Parish line and U.S. 65 in East Carroll and West Carroll parishes: $1,692,360.12
  • Milling, paving, and drainage on LA 493 between Montrose Rd. and LA 1 in Natchitoches Parish: $2,197,292.70
  • Grading, milling, patching, overlay, and drainage on U.S. 190 between Rougon Rd. and 0.5 miles west of LA 978 in Pointe Coupee and West Baton Rouge parishes: $15,318,212.61
  • Road rehabilitation, sidewalks, and multi-use path on N. Monroe St. between S. Service Rd. W. and W. Park Ave. in Lincoln Parish: $5,560,438.27

Congestion Mitigation and Safety:

  • Guardrail installation on Grammont St. and Booth St. in Ouachita Parish: $128,305.70
  • Turn lanes on LA 511 at Walker Rd. and Kennedy Dr. in Caddo Parish: $3,286,552.85


  • Sidewalks along LA 24 in Terrebonne Parish: $121,270.40
  • Sidewalks along Civic Center Blvd. in Terrebonne Parish: $168,542.07

Construction projects are prioritized by road/bridge condition, urgency of improvements, type/volume of traffic, crash records, unforeseeable emergencies that caused damage, and several other factors.