Bobcats win the Dodson Junior High Basketball Tournament

By Principal Doug Salvaterra

The Bobcats put on a show at the Dodson Junior High Basketball Tournament this weekend! Both teams faced the Calvin Cougars in the semi-final rounds. Unfortunately, despite considerable improvements in their teamwork, the girls’ team was defeated.

It was a dominating 37 – 2 win for the Boys’ team in the semi-final round. MVP 8th grader Rylan Mauthe was on fire at both ends of the court. He posted 29 points and 15 steals against Calvin, propelling the Bobcats to the Tournament Final against the Quitman Wolverines.

In the Tournament Championship, the Bobcats impressed everyone with their development as a team. Eighth graders Braydon Robinson, Elijah Calloway, and Eduardo Quintana worked together throughout the game to light up the scoreboard. Gavin Bellard, also an eighth grader, was a huge key to victory defensively. Every member of the team contributed significantly to the championship win.

Overall, both teams proved that the Saline Bobcats are a force to be reckoned with this season! It’s a GREAT YEAR to be a BOBCAT!

New Artists and Authors Expo coming to downtown Arcadia this Saturday

By Michelle Bates

Downtown Arcadia will be the place to be Saturday, Sept. 2, featuring the Historic Downtown Arcadia Farmer’s Market and Artists and Author’s Expo. From 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., patrons will have plenty to see and do while in downtown Arcadia. The Farmer’s Market will be inside The Depot with a variety of farm-related products and homemade goods to sell.

Along with the market will be the Artists and Author’s Expo. Artists will be set up in the Homer Woodard Room, provided by Louisiana National Bank.

Artists include Shiloh Bell, Angela Gamble, Bonnie Ferguson, Pastor D and Madelyn Kilgore. Authors will be set up at The Gathering Place General Store, located at 1982 N. Railroad Avenue, or the Homer Woodard Room with their books for sale as well as sign their creations and answer questions the public may have concerning their works. Authors include: Sheryl Townsend, Jeremy Mason, Joel Crowson, April Smith, Marguerite Gray, Kathy Crowder, LeJoyce Adams, Jessie Manuel and Bonnie Ferguson.

Musicians will be at Henderson Jordan Memorial Park, located between Calico Corner and Rolling Hills Thrift Store. Musicians include: Parker Newman from 9:30 until 10 a.m., Jenifer Thompson from 10 until 10:30 a.m., Bonnie Ferguson from 10:30 to 11 a.m. Jerrel The Artist from 11 until 11:30 a.m., Dustin Leonard from 11:30 to 12 p.m., Ben Collingworth from 12 to 12:30 p.m. and Kevin Burgess from 12:30 until 1 p.m.

For those ready to wet the whistle or fill the stomach, there will be food trucks available throughout downtown. They include: Q-2-Go, The Frozen Pony and the Taco Truck.

There will also be a silent auction, of which all proceeds will go toward the beautification of the downtown area as well as help host other events to draw visitors to the area and entice other businesses to start their entrepreneurial endeavors in downtown. Auction items will be displayed at The Gathering Place General Store beginning Tuesday, Aug. 29 for bidding to start.

A treasure hunt will also be taking place, so check Facebook (Historic Downtown Arcadia Association) for clues. For more information, contact Tambra Bell at 318-579-0310 or Melisa Rudd at 318-578-1431.

Two retirees honored by Saline Soil and Water Conservation District

On August 10, 2023, the Board of Supervisors of Saline Soil and Water Conservation District honored Mr. Billy Joe Vise and Mr. Richard Pullig for their years of service on the board. They each received a plaque that said “In appreciation of your service to the Saline Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors”.

Mr. Billy Joe Vise served from December 2009 to May 2023 with Mr. Billy Joe serving as our Chaiman of the Board for approximately three years.

Mr. Richard Pullig served from February 2015 to February 2023 with Mr. Richard serving as our Secretary for approximately three years, as well.

The board will not be the same without them and they will be greatly missed, but we will continue to serve and make them proud.

LDH urges residents to take air quality precautions due to wildfires

Extreme heat and drought have contributed to wildfires throughout Louisiana, which can negatively impact air quality. LDH is urging residents in areas where wildfires are burning or air quality is otherwise poor to take precautions to minimize the impact poor air quality can have on their health.
The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and State Fire Marshal issued a statewide burn ban on August 7 due to dangerously dry and hot conditions. Hundreds of wildfires are burning across the state, resulting in a dangerous and unpredictable situation. Gov. John Bel Edwards has urged everyone in the state to follow the state burn ban until further notice and refrain from burning anything at this time.
Not everyone exposed to wildfire smoke will have health issues. However, even young, healthy adults can experience serious effects from short-term smoke inhalation. Residents in affected areas and those living outside of the wildfire radius in neighboring parishes should be aware of the health effects caused by smoke and poor air quality and take precautions.
If you suffer from respiratory or cardiac problems and you are in the proximity of a fire, please consult with your doctor. Regardless of health or age, it is vital to have an evacuation plan, whether threatened by actual fire or the effects of smoke. 
Ways to stay safe
  • Evacuate from the area if you are threatened by fire.
  • Pay attention to local air quality reports and stay alert to any news coverage or health warnings.
  • If there is an air quality advisory, stay indoors and try to minimize the intrusion of smoke. Keep the windows and doors closed. 
  • Do not go outside if there is a large amount of smoke outdoors.
  • If possible, keep an air conditioner’s fresh air intake closed and ensure the filter is clean. 
  • If you do not have air conditioning, seek out a local shelter and/or cooling center.
  • Air filters and purifiers can help reduce particle levels indoors. The type and size of the air purifiers should fit the size of the room or house. 
  • Dust masks do not provide protection and will not protect from the smaller particles.
  • Check on your loved ones and neighbors, especially older adults.
People at higher risk 
  • Those with pre-existing respiratory and cardiovascular diseases
  • People with heart diseases, such as congestive heart failure, angina or other cardiac problems
  • People with lung diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or asthma
  • Older adults with chronic health problems
  • Children
  • People who smoke

Remembering John Willis Haynes

With great sadness, the family of John Willis Haynes (94) of Shreveport, Louisiana, announces his passing August 25, 2023 in Dallas, Texas after a brief illness, surrounded by family.

Willis was born to Justus and Annie Pearl Haynes on October 8, 1928, in Saline, Louisiana.

He served in the US Navy aboard USS Tucson (CL-98), then attended Northwestern University in Natchitoches, Louisiana and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary before receiving his Masters degree in Counseling from Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches, Texas.He taught Math in Bossier Parish and in Caddo Parish for 30 years before becoming a school counselor.

Willis was ordained to the gospel ministry at Carolina Baptist Church in Saline, Louisiana and loved serving in churches where he and his family were members, including Summer Grove Baptist Church and Kingston Road Baptist Church in Shreveport, Louisiana as a deacon and Sunday School teacher, and often visited church members in their homes or in hospitals, offering encouragement and support.

An avid fisherman, Willis enjoyed fishing on the lake as often as possible and loved hosting fish fries in his home. He also enjoyed hunting as well as attending extra curricular events where he watched his children and grandchildren participate in band and sports. You could always find Willis growing the juiciest backyard tomatoes and enjoying Dallas Cowboys football games.

Willis is survived by his daughter Melinda Hawkins (Troy) of Mesquite, Texas, and his son Jon Haynes (Kelli) of Shreveport, Louisiana; his grandchildren: Madeline Haynes and Jonathan Haynes, as well as numerous dearly loved nieces and nephews.

Willis is preceded in death by his parents Justus and Annie Pearl, his wife Joan, his first wife Patricia, and his daughter Sharon, as well as his brother Wilson Haynes, older sister Laura Kyle, and younger sister Barbara Robinson.

A Celebration of Willis’ life will be held Friday, September 1, 2023 at Rockett Funeral Home in Ringgold, Louisiana (2438 Military Road) with visitation from 9:00-9:45 am and service at 10:00 am, followed by graveside service at Carolina Baptist Church in Saline, Louisiana (253 Carolina Church Road).

The family would like to thank doctors, nurses, and staff at Baylor Hospital in Dallas for their impeccable care, treating him not only with expertise, but also with dignity and respect.

In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes memorials may be made to International Mission Board ( or North American Mission Board ( to honor Willis’ heart for sharing the gospel through missions.

The Young Brave

On December 12, 1923, Byron, an electrician, and Tillie, a schoolteacher, welcomed a young Indian brave to the world.  The young brave spent most of his youth in the town of Mission on the Rosebud Indian reservation in South Dakota.  He and the others on this particular reservation were members of what the federal government called the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.  The elders called it Sicangu.  His father was one-quarter Sioux. His mother had no known Native American blood.  Like his parents, the young brave spoke fluent English, but little to no native tongue.  One day, the young brave was walking in Mission when he saw an Indian sitting on a bench.  “He had long hair, wore a blanket, and could not speak English.”  Most of the people he saw on the reservation were Americanized, although he pointed out that his friends in school included Alex Raincounter and Chris Yellow Robe, boys with Indian names.

In 1938, the 15-year-old brave met who would become his high school sweetheart, Dorothy Jo, not on the reservation as his parents had met, but at an Ella Fitzgerald concert.  The young brave was surprised to learn that his sweetheart was three-eighths Cherokee Indian.  In decades past, their love for each other would have caused controversy between the tribes.  The different tribes would have forbidden them to be together as it was in the teenage tragedy song “Running Bear,” made famous by Johnny Preston in 1959 (one of the two singers on the recording who provided the “uga-uga” and other Indian war cries was the not-yet famous George Jones).  In the song, Running Bear, a young Indian brave, was in love with an Indian maid named Little White Dove.  Their tribes were separated by hatred as well as a mighty, raging river.  The song ends with the Running Bear and Little White Dove swimming out to be together.  After a passionate kiss, the two drowned in the swift current.  “Now they’ll always be together in their happy hunting ground.”  By the 1940s, the Sioux and Cherokee tribes were no longer at war, and on January 12, 1945, the young brave and Dorothy Jo married with the blessing of their families. 

The young brave was always proud of his Indian heritage.  He once said, “I’ve always bragged about being part Indian, because they are a people to be proud of.  And the Sioux were the greatest warriors of them all.  They’ve been called the greatest light cavalry in the history of man.”  He quipped, “And I have never been on a horse without falling off.”

We know very little about the young brave’s life on the reservation because he rarely spoke about it.  We may know little about his early life, but we all know the young brave.  Last Wednesday, August 26, the young brave breathed his last.  He was just three-and-a-half months shy of reaching his 100th birthday.  From 1972 to 2007, we welcome him into our homes.  He was the host of the longest-running daytime game show in North American television history, The Price is Right.  You and I know that young brave from Rosebud Reservation.  His name was Robert William “Bob” Barker.

Sources:1.      Argus-Leader (Sioux Falls, South Dakota), March 25, 1962, p.17.

2.     “Bob Barker, Iconic Host of “the Price Is Right”, Dies.” Time, 26 Aug. 2023, Accessed 25 Aug. 2023.

3.     “Legacy Robert ‘Bob’ Barker – SD Hall of Fame Programs.” n.d. Accessed August 27, 2023.

‘Grow up, you fat CURSE WORD’ – the social media cancellation of our souls

The person didn’t call me a “curse word.” Well, I take that back. He actually did call me a curse word, one that begins with an F, but I use “curse word” in the headline and the writing because social decorum dictates cursing, especially in text, is just plain trashy.

At least that’s the way it used to be. Before the dark times, before the Internet, before social media.

It was Facebook. The Warriors were out. Not the kind who are brave and defend their nation under the strain of constant threats of harm, but rather the Internet Warriors. These are the guys and gals who just can’t do without that arousing dopamine hit they get from waging war in the pursuit of some kind of vengeance against people they’ve never met. But it ain’t justice, y’all. It’s vengeance. Vengeance, hate, and downright stupidity.

I use that word “stupid” rather than “ignorant.” Stupid is harsher because “ignorant” gets a bad rap. “Ignorant” means you just haven’t learned yet, but you still can. “Stupid” means, in southern boy terms, you know better because your momma or pop or grandmoms or grandpops taught you better. Therefore, the Internet Warrior crowd is more appropriate to be labeled stupid, obtuse, stubborn, and a**hole.

That last one, the one with the double asterisks rather than the double crooked letters, pretty much sums up how the Internet Warriors are perceived by those outside their little cadre of like-minded troglodytes. Case in point, the case referenced in the headline, the case where I was called fat and a CURSE WORD. It’s the tragedy of the North Carolina diner owner and the rabid mob descent upon her establishment and livelihood in pursuit of “internet justice.”

Back this summer, a woman in the Tar Heel state made a mistake. A dumb one. Dare I say a “stupid” mistake. She went on Facebook – and no story that begins with those words usually ends well – and ridiculed people who didn’t tip her servers. She was rude and crude and cringy.

The internet backlash was swift and brutal.

What started out as a call for the business owner to pay her employees a living wage and an assault on the foundation of Capitalism quickly deteriorated into threats, home address publications, links to her other social media accounts, posting the situation to Reddit so it would go world-wide and a concerted, frothing at the mouth like Cujo, crusade to disrupt her business and life to such a degree that not only would the place close but her life would be forever ruined and tossed atop the bones of so many others cancelled because of one dumb mistake, one stupid turn of phrase in the echo chambers of the world wide web.

You see, I saw what was going on and agreed with a lot of the commentors that what she said was dumb and tone-deaf. I agreed with the sentiments that businesses should pay their employees a living wage. All that is true. What got me was when the claws came out like werewolves when that waxing bright ball in the night sky goes full. The fangs came out like Dracula’s when young Mr. Harker came a calling once upon a midnight dreary.

When home addresses were published, I made the mistake of putting in my two cents. I said something to the effect of ruining her life and business wouldn’t just affect her but her family, her kids, the lives of her employees, etc. You could send her into a depression that might culminate with suicide or worse, violence against others. I said they were going too far, that they were blinded by red-hot hate.

“Grow up, you fat CURSE WORD,” one guy told me and went on attempting to destroy the lady’s life.

I don’t know if they succeeded. I got out of there after telling them I hoped they would find forgiveness upon the day they screwed up and the internet mob came for them. I doubt my words made an impact because I see local Internet Warriors still running their mob games even when others try to talk some sense into them.

You just can’t argue with stupid. Mark Twain told us that. They’ll just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

This country has completely lost its civility. It’s completely lost its decency. People are angry. You go to the store and there are no smiles. You get gas and there are no nods of good morning. You try to be kind and call for common sense and you get called a fat CURSE WORD.

Yall, misery loves company. That’s true. And when you associate with miserable people, you become miserable yourself. When you spend your days looking to trash others and share every scrap and tittle of gossip you hear, you not only do harm to those around you, but you also destroy part of your soul.

Every single harsh word, every single attempt to harm others, every single bit of gossip you hush your tone for and lean in to say “did you hear about,” is a chip away at what God gave you.

I’m not perfect. Lord knows I’ve made mistakes online and shared gossip in person. I hate myself for it. I really do. But it took removing myself from those who only do harm to start down a better path. You got to make a change to actually make change. Just like an alcoholic can’t have any liquid temptation around them, so too must those who want to no longer speak or write harsh words not have messy people around them.

You can’t change the world. You can’t put back the toothpaste in the tube. You can’t close Pandora’s Box. You can’t keep people from saying stupid things and others trying to ruin lives.

But what you can do is make a difference every day for yourself. You can do better. You can be better.

Just remember that the people in your life are the heaviest anchors weighing you down. Pull up those you love and cut the anchor on those who just keep you in place.  

And Ric Flair said “WOOOO,” and the Good Lord said He loves us.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

Josh Beavers is an award-winning writer and author. He has earned more than 40 individual writing awards and is syndicated in 12 North Louisiana news journals. The Louisiana Press Association has recognized him five times for excellence in opinion writing, and he has earned numerous Best Investigative Reporting Awards and Freedom of Information Awards for exposure of governmental corruption in Webster Parish.

Garlic Butter Shrimp

Sheet Pan Garlic Butter Shrimp is one of 10 recipes featured in my Back to School Survival Meals!  Go the extra mile to pick up fresh shrimp for this one.  I peeled them before baking so the boys wouldn’t make any extra mess.

This is a dinner-on-the-table in about 35 minutes meal.  My house gave it all their thumbs up so it’ll be a repeat!


  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 pounds shrimp, peeled
  • Parmesan if desired 


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly oil a baking sheet.

In a small bowl whisk together butter, garlic, lemon juice, and Italian seasoning.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Place shrimp in single layer on baking sheet. Stir in butter mixture and gently toss to combine.

Bake 8-10 minutes, just until shrimp are pink and cooked through. 

Garnish with Parmesan for serving if desired. 

(Ashley Madden Rowton is a wife, mom and published cookbook author who lives in Minden, La.)

Bad ideas and brain cramps

Some things are plain stupid. No gray area.

3-D Dumb.

Some people I know where robbed recently, but in his haste the robber dropped a piece of paper that was, unfortunately for him, a personal reminder of his upcoming court appearance. It included his name and address.


And then there was the story out of Opelousas this week of the gentleman who stuck a handgun in his waistband. The gun was loaded, a live round in the chamber. It went off. Now, the man from Opelousas —and I use the term “man” loosely here — is not as loaded as he once was – although the story did contain the phrase “underwent reattachment surgery” and “Police had not determined why (stupid man’s name) was walking around with a pistol in his pants.”

Easy. No brain in his head.

Stupid move.

There are lots of ways to say that a guy’s parents don’t have to worry about the Yale Admissions Department clogging up the family doorway to offer their kid a scholarship. For no other reason than they make me laugh, I’ll offer my Top 10.

He’s a few crumbs short of a biscuit.

Somewhere, a village is missing its idiot.

It’s almost like he has a small piece of brain lodged in his head.

Dumb as a bag of hammers/sharp as a bowling ball.

He has a room temperature (or shoe-sized) IQ.

He’s a regular “Elbert” Einstein.

He’s lost all contact with the mothership.

He doesn’t have both oars in the water.

He fell out of the Stupid Tree and hit every branch on the way down.

My favorite: The wheel is turning but the hamster’s dead.

We all swallow a Stupid Pill from time to time.

But then there are things more along the lines of bad ideas. We call them mental muscle spasms. Brain cramps.

A boss buddy of mine found out the hard way this week that the letters T and G are very close to each other on the keyboard. For this reason, he will never be ending a work email with the phrase “Regards” again.

Muscle spasm.

I was told of a funeral in which the preacher, who kept candy in his desk, said that each Sunday morning the deceased would come into his office and, with a “Good morning!” and a smile, “go through my drawers.”

Brain cramp.

Finally, the worst idea I’ve heard of in a long time happened last week in Detroit, where Hall of Fame voice of the Detroit Tigers Ernie Harwell passed away at 92. A public viewing was held at Comerica Park, where the Tigers play. I am not a big “lying in state” guy to start with, but a casket on the warning track is off base on several levels. I didn’t like the picture of Ernie lying there, flowers all around, his statue by him, velvet ropes marking “foul ground,” for lack of a better term.

“Hey dad, remember when you took me to the ballpark and we saw Mr. Ernie dead?”

“Those were great times son!”

At least there was no danger of him being hit by a foul ball. At least the ballclub didn’t lay their humble, summer-sweet play-by-play guy out during a game. Thankfully, the Tigers were on the road.

As was, I guess, Ernie.

(Originally published May, 2010)

Contact Teddy at

Today in History

1146 – European leaders outlawed the crossbow.

1645 – American Indians and the Dutch made a peace treaty at New Amsterdam. New Amsterdam later became known as New York.

1682 – William Penn sailed from England and later established the colony of Pennsylvania in America.

1780 – General Benedict Arnold secretly promised to surrender the West Point fort to the British army.

1806 – New York City’s second daily newspaper, the “Daily Advertiser,” was published for the last time.

1809 – Charles Doolittle Walcott first discovered fossils near Burgess Pass. He named the site Burgess Shale after nearby Mt. Burgess.

1862 – The Confederates defeated Union forces at the second Battle of Bull Run in Manassas, VA.

1905 – Ty Cobb made his major league batting debut with the Detroit Tigers.

1928 – The Independence of India League was established in India.

1941 – During World War II, the Nazis severed the last railroad link between Leningrad and the rest of the Soviet Union.

1945 – General Douglas MacArthur set up Allied occupation headquarters in Japan.

1951 – The Philippines and the United States signed a defense pact. 1956 – In Louisianna, the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway opened.

1960 – A partial blockade was imposed on West Berlin by East Germany.

1963 – The “Hotline” between Moscow and Washington, DC, went into operation.

1965 – Thurgood Marshall was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as a Supreme Court justice. Marshall was the first black justice to sit on the Supreme Court.

1982 – P.L.O. leader Yasir Arafat left Beirut for Greece.

1983 – The space shuttle Challenger blasted off with Guion S. Bluford Jr. aboard. He was the first black American to travel in space.

1984 – The space shuttle Discovery lifted off for the first time. On the voyage three communications satellites were deployed.

1984 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan, and several others, were inducted into the Sportscasters Hall of Fame.

1991 – The Soviet republic of Azerbaijan declared its independence.

1993 – On CBS-TV “The Late Show with David Letterman” premiered.

1994 – Rosa Parks was robbed and beaten by Joseph Skipper. Parks was known for her refusal to give up her seat on a bus in 1955, which sparked the civil rights movement.

1994 – The largest U.S. defense contractor was created when the Lockheed and Martin Marietta corporations agreed to a merger.

1996 – An expedition to raise part of the Titanic failed when the nylon lines being used to raise part of the hull snapped.

1999 – The residents of East Timor overwhelmingly voted for independence from Indonesia. The U.N. announced the result on September 4.

2002 – Conoco Inc. and Phillips Petroleum merged to create ConocoPhillips. The new company was the third largest integrated energy company and the second largest refining company in the U.S.

Upcoming Events

Please send all non-profit events to

September 2 (9 a.m. – 1 p.m.)

Artists & Authors Expo – Historic Downtown Arcadia

September 2 (9 a.m. – 1 p.m.)

Farmer’s Market – Historic Downtown Arcadia

September 2 (12 p.m.)

2023 Candidates Forum (Sheriff, Assessor and Police Juror – Districts 1 & 7)

Shady Grove Recreation Center – 10896 Highway 501 Saline, LA 71070

September 4 (8:30 a.m.)

Town of Arcadia – Litter Pick UpMeet at Arcadia Town Hall

September 5 (6 p.m.)

Church at the Arena – Riley Jenks Memorial Rodeo Ringgold Riding Club – 1715 East Street in Ringgold

September 8 (10 a.m. – 1 p.m.)

16th Annual Community Health Fair Hosted by Bienville Parish Library – Arcadia Events Center

Septemeber 9 (11 a.m. – 2 p.m.)

Tipton’s Texaco Grand Opening – Jeep Run and Show – 2630 Military Road in Ringgold

September 14 (6 – 8 p.m.)

Sippin Soiree – Historic Downtown Arcadia

September 22

Ringgold High School Homecoming vs. Plain Dealing High School

September 23

38th Annual Slabtown Fall Festival

September 30 (8:30 a.m.)

Crawford Elementary Eagle Invitational (Grades K – 6) – Bonnie and Clyde Trade Days and RV Park

Arrest Reports

The following arrests were made by local law enforcement agencies.


Taylor Smith of Bienville was arrested for domestic abuse battery involving strangulation with child endangerment.

Kenyi Emmanuel of Dallas, Texas was arrested for no driver’s license.


James Lebrun of Saline was arrested for failure to appear.


Michael Kelly of Ringgold was arrested as a fugitive.

John Cheatwood of Castor was arrested for disturbing the peace by appearing in an intoxicated condition.

Alex Hullaby of Ringgold was arrested for resisting an officer, obstruction of justice – destruction/damage/vandalism and three counts of failure to appear.

Robert Jones of Ringgold was arrested for possession of a firearm/carry concealed weapon by a convicted felon and failure to appear.


Trevor Abney of Arcadia was arrested for failure to appear.


Brandon Dickson of Elm Grove was arrested for exceeding the maximum speed limit, possession of alcoholic beverages in a motor vehicle and operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

Melvin Pete of Arcadia was arrested for failure to appear.

Salvador Guadiana of Dallax, Texas was arrested for no driver’s license.

This information has been provided by a law enforcement agency as public information. Persons named as suspects in a criminal investigation, or arrested and charged with a crime, have not been convicted of any criminal offense and are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Notice of Death – August 29

Notice of Death – August 29, 2023

LaVonne “Boots” Hodnett Speer

Feb. 14, 1939 – August 28, 2023

Haynesville, La.

Visitation: 1 p.m. Wednesday, Augusts 30, 2023, Haynesville Community Church, Haynesville.

Funeral service: 2 p.m. immediately following visitation.

John Willis Haynes

Oct. 8, 1928 – Augusts 25, 2023

Shreveport/Ringgold, La.

Visitation: 9 a.m. Friday, Sept. 1, 2023, Rockett Funeral Home, Ringgold.

Celebration of life: 10 a.m. immediately following visitation.

Burial: Carolina Baptist Church, Saline, La.

Frank Jeffers

April 9, 1938 – August 27, 2023

Arcadia, La.

Funeral service: 10 a.m. Wednesday, August 30, 2023, First Pentecostal Church, Arcadia.

Mary Jo Chandler Smith

Nov. 27, 1930 – August 25, 2023

Arcadia, La.

Visitation: 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, August 30, 2023, Emmanuel Baptist Church, Arcadia, La.

Memorial service: 11 a.m. immediately following visitation.

Jereline “Sue” Adams

Dec. 23, 1934 – August 26, 2023

Castor/Shreveport, La.

Visitation: 10 a.m. Thursday, August 31, 2023, Rose Neath Funeral Home, Shreveport Southside.

Funeral service: 11 a.m. immediately following visitation.

Burial: New Ebenezer Baptist Cemetery, 1860 La. Hwy. 153, Castor.

Bienville Parish Journal publishes paid complete obituaries – unlimited words and a photo, as well as unlimited access – $80. Contact your funeral provider or . Must be paid in advance of publication. (Above death notices are free of charge.)

NBFD Fire Chief terminated – New interim chief, chairman and board members established

By Paige Nash

A special meeting was called to order this morning, August 25, for the North Bienville Fire Protection District Board. What was on the agenda? It included inconsistencies of previously made board appointments and the termination of the fire department’s chief, Gary Hathorn. 

According to RS 40:1498 of the Louisiana Laws – State Legislature, a board of commissioners shall consist of five members and those members elect a chairman. The previous board has been lacking representation for the municipality of Mt. Lebanon since 1991 due to a misstep in a resolution that was passed when both Mt. Lebanon and the Village of Bryceland were asked to join the North Bienville Fire District (NBFD). In accordance with the Louisiana Laws guidelines, that means the previous board was not necessarily legal.

“Recently, one member was taken off the board back in June and replaced and with that action it brought into question how the members of the North Bienville Fire District were appointed. We got to looking at the legalities of it,” said Bienville Parish Police Jury Secretary Rodney Warren.  

He referenced the resolution that passed in 1991.  Warren said, “It allowed for two members to be appointed by the parish governing authority and a member of the Town of Gibsland and the Village of Bryceland appointing one, then those four members selecting a chairman.” 

According to Warren the exclusion of Mt. Lebanon on the board ultimately alleviated the previous chairman Trevin Scott. 

He said, “He is no longer legally appointed to that board.” 

The new board now consists of Lizzie “Annette” Moss in the Bryceland seat, Mylan Shepherd in the Gibsland seat, William “Bill” Sims in one of the governing body seats, Jerry Roberson also of a governing body and newly appointed Mary Claire Kettler representing Mt. Lebanon.  

That leaves Moss and Shepherd as the only remaining legally appointed members of the previous board, but neither were present at this special called meeting.  

With the new board in place, the first order of business was the election of a new chairman. 

The newly appointed board member, Kettler, made the motion to appoint Bill Sims and the motion passed unanimously. 

With that decision finalized, they made their way to the discussion of personnel, which included the job of Fire Chief Gary Hathorn. According to Warren, Hathorn received a 24-hour notice of the board meeting, but he was not in attendance.  

“Due to the inconsistencies of Hathorn we no longer need his services,” said Sims. 

And another motion passed unanimously. 

With that motion an interim fire chief was appointed – the previous Assistant Chief Antoine Hampton, with the possibility of advertising for the position soon.  

“In the meantime, we need Mr. Hathorn’s truck and all NBFD belongings,” said Sims. “We might need help from the sheriff’s department. Whoever the deputy is and maybe one member of the board will go to retrieve the truck and we will let him have his belongings, but we want all NBFD property.” 

The board is giving Hathorn until the close of business Monday, August 28, to turn in the chief’s truck and property. They also stated that a board member and deputy would need to be present to escort Hathorn into any fire department locations where he may have personal property that he needs to acquire. 

This decision was made following inconsistencies with the fire department’s administration, complaints made to the police jury by parish residents and alleged refusal to properly respond to fires within the district.  

Both Hathorn and Hampton were informed about the board’s decisions. 

The newly established monthly meeting time for the NBFD board will be the first Tuesday at 5 p.m. at the Arcadia Fire Department location, 1934 South Railroad Ave.  

As previously mentioned, Hathorn was not in attendance at the meeting, but was available for comment by phone. He said, “I do not think what they are doing is legal. I have some questions about the legalities of this new board and some of them holding dual-office and will be looking further into this matter.”

Two candidates running for State Representative disqualified – Alexander appealing decision

By Paige Nash

Judge Rogers of the Third Judicial District Court heard testimony of two Bienville Parish candidates running for the office of State Representative for District 11 on Tuesday, August 22. 

The hearing was held in Lincoln Parish, which is included in a portion of District 11 along with parts of Bienville and all of Claiborne parish. The court hearing ultimately resulted in the disqualification of Ray Ivory, Sr. of Gibsland and DeAndre Alexander of Arcadia. 

According to Alexander his attorney will be filing an appeal this morning by the deadline of 11:50 a.m., August 25.

He said, “I am appealing the decision that was made by Judge Rogers. I’m still standing, dutiful, dedicated and determined to serve the people of District 11.”

Alexander recently completed his fifteenth year as an educator at Arcadia High School.

Ivory previously held the mayoral office for the Town of Gibsland and served as a town councilman. 

If both candidates fail in appealing the case that will only leave Rashid Young of Homer as the unopposed candidate. Young owns his own law firm, Young Law Firm, in Homer. He is also a former Claiborne Parish educator. 

Ray Ivory Sr. could not be reached for comment, so it is unclear if he will also be proceeding with an appeal.

Reed named new Head Football Coach at Ringgold High School

By Paige Nash

Ringgold High School (RHS) has welcomed 2001 alumni, Chris Reed, back as the new Head Football Coach. 

Reed knew after he graduated that he would eventually make his way back to his alma mater.

He said, “I left in hopes of one day coming back home and making a difference.”

He credits two former high school coaches at Ringgold to not only the success as a student athlete, but also to the success of his coaching career- Tony Reliford, current Booker T Washington’s Athletic Director, and Sherman Simon, who still coaches at RHS.

“Coach Reliford taught me firmness but fairness. Yes, you have to show young men you care, but don’t break your core values in the same process,” said Reed. “Coach Simon helped me countless times as a student and gave me patience and understanding. Yes, you have to push young men to get them to work and get better, but there is a process to get them there. They are the reason I chose to become a teacher and a coach.”

Reed has been blessed when it comes to mentors. He has had the privilege to work closely with very successful coaches throughout his journey. Those coaches include a Head Football Coach in Union Parish Joe Spatafora, Offensive Coordinator in Leesville Chad Harkins and former head coach of Evangel and Calvary John Bachman. 

RHS has not had a winning season in over 20 plus years and the last time they were .500 was back in 2006. 

“What prompted me to come home were the words, ‘It can’t be done.’ As in win at the high school level in football,” said Reed. 

He was offered the head coach position last month. It only took Reed a couple of days to come to the conclusion that RHS is where he is meant to be right now. 

“I thought about it over a weekend and when I weighed it out, the decision was simple. I have been putting my life and my career into communities that are not mine,” he said. “I still have that drive in what I love to do, so I’m going to invest in the place that invested in me. When this is all said and done people will see that it CAN be done.”

As RHS is gearing up for the 2023-2024 season, the new head coach plans to “implement, reinforce structure and discipline.”

“Teaching young men the value of accountability will take them further in life that an ‘X’ or an ‘O’, said Reed.

The team already has players buying in with 30 players dressed for varsity.

“These seniors will set the stage for many great years of what is to come for Ringgold Football,” said Reed. ” I am very honored to be here and lead this team.”

Coach Reed encourages teachers, parents, grandparents, alumni, friends and residents to come out to see and support the Ringgold High School football team this season. 


US 80 at the Bienville/Lincoln Parish line approximately 2.7 miles east of Arcadia, LA will be closed to all through traffic beginning Tuesday, September 19, 2023 in order to complete the newly constructed US 80 bridge and section of roadway. This closure is anticipated to last approximately three months.
Permit/Detour Section
Restrictions: The roadway in the described area will be closed to all traffic.
Detour: A detour route will be signed and provided for the duration of the closure. All vehicles must detour using LA 151, I-20, and LA 507.
Safety Reminder:
LA DOTD and WL Bass Construction appreciate your patience and remind you to drive with caution through the construction site and be on the lookout for work crews and their equipment.
Area residents should exercise caution when driving, walking, or biking near an active construction zone.
Call 511 or visit for additional information. Out-of-state travelers may call I-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511). Motorists may also monitor the LA DOTD website at, by selecting MyDOTD, or by visiting the DOTD Facebook and Twitter pages.

JOB OPPORTUNITY: BPJ seeking coverage for parish football teams

The Bienville Parish Journal (BPJ) is looking for four individuals to assist in covering parish football games this fall. No experience needed. This would be a great opportunity for a high school student and an easy way to make a little extra cash. 

The BPJ needs one person per school – Arcadia High School, Gibsland-Coleman High School and Ringgold High School.

We would just require a short and to the point write up per game along with a photo. 

Please join our team for the football season!

Email if you would like to be a part of the fastest growing online publication in the parish.

Gibsland Head Start Center seeking bus monitor

The Pine Belt Multi-Purpose Agency – Head Start is seeking applicants for the following position in the Bienville Center Head Start, 1556 South Main Street, Gibsland, LA. 



Must be 21 years or older.

High School diploma or GED 

A Child Care Criminal Background Check 

Pass a Child Abuse Clearance 

Pass a Tuberculosis (TB) Test 

Pass a physical examination

Able to lift 50 pounds


The Bus Monitor is responsible for the safe transportation of children while offering educational activities to children riding the bus. The Bus Monitor will ensure the safety of children traveling in an agency vehicle and perform transportation activities like bus attendance, safely loading and unloading children on/off the bus. The Bus Monitor will abide by the PBHS policies and procedures. 

Applications may be acquired and submitted to 305 Mayfield Street, Jonesboro, La 71271 or Bienville Center Head Start, 1556 South Main Street, Gibsland, La. 

Position is open for immediate hire.

Pine Belt Head Start is an Equal Opportunity Employer and in accordance with the Louisiana Employment Discrimination Law prohibits discrimination on the basis of: age, disability, sex, race, color, national origin, religion, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical condition of any female employee, Sickle Cell and genetic testing. 


Town of Arcadia Town Hall closed today

The Town of Arcadia Town Hall will be closed today, August 25, for repairs to the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning system as well as internet rewiring.

The office is expected to resume normal business hours on Monday, August 28, at 7:30 a.m.

The Town of Arcadia issued a notice of the closure on their Facebook page on Thursday.

“We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. As always, thank you for your patience and understanding.”

Crappie bite is on in hot weather

“Hot enough for you?’ That’s something we are hearing a lot these days as our temperatures have been consistently in triple digits. I suppose you can just forget about fishing when temperatures are baking our brains, right? Hold on; in case you don’t know it, you can catch crappie, big slab crappie, when temperatures are as hot as what we’re experiencing.

Most perch jerkers know that crappie tend to bunch up in deep water in winter and lots are caught by anglers willing to brave the cold. However, what about the blistering days of July and August? Do anglers seriously fish for them while risking heat stroke? You bet your best Bobby Garland Electric Chicken jig they do.

I had the privilege of fishing with a crappie expert, Bill Pettit, several years ago and came away with a tackle box full of valuable information about summertime crappie fishing from this dyed-in-the-wool perch jerker.

I met Pettit on Ross Barnette Reservoir just out of Jackson, MS where I was fishing as a guest of the B&M Pole Company. Pettit, a retired postal employee in Jackson, was a veritable walking encyclopedia of crappie knowledge and while we caught fish, he shared tidbits of lore that has helped me over the years to know a bit more about these popular and sought-after fish.

One thing that stood out in my mind was Pettit’s comments about fishing for and  catching crappie in the heat of summer.

“In spring, you can find crappie on most any lake in shallow water where spawning takes place. However,” Pettit noted, “once hot weather gets here, you can forget about fishing for them in skinny water. They’re going to be suspended in deep water and it takes some searching to locate them. Once you locate them, you can catch one big old slab after another, provided you can stand the heat.

“Lots of times, I’ll get so hot sitting out there under the broiling sun that I’ll quit fishing for awhile, crank my big motor and tear out across the lake at full speed with one purpose in mind, and that is to cool off. After I cool down a bit, I’ll go back and start catching crappie again.”

As Bill Pettit and others attest, crappie fishing can be downright super in summer, provided you know where to locate the fish. In general, once the spawn is over and the weather begins heating up, crappie heads for cooler water, which is usually deep water. Being school fish, once you catch a crappie this time of year, chances are excellent that plenty more are where that one came from.

In big open water bodies, such as rivers and reservoirs like Toledo Bend and Ross Barnette, crappie congregates in or near channels. The moving water will attract pods of shad that the crappie will follow for easy feeding opportunities.

In most deeper lakes in Louisiana, crappie will gather around a structure that is located next to deep water. Drop-offs that lead to deep water that has structure near its edge are prime target areas.

In the heat of summer, one of the most productive areas to find the crappie stacked up is around the deeper piers and bridge pilings that may dot the lake you’re fishing.

When fishing bridge pilings, it helps to know where the bridge crosses the channel or the bayou or river. The pilings nearest the deep channels are where you’re more likely to find the fish bunched up because likely as not, schools of shad will have taken a liking to the cooler depths as well. When you find shad, no matter the time of year, you’re likely to find crappie as well.

It’s August and I don’t have to remind you that the heat is on. However, if you follow this expert’s advice and if you can handle the hot sun beating down on your head, you stand a good chance of bringing in a box of slabs.

The Victim Menu

How do bad guys select their victims? Bad guys are fairly predictable when it comes to victim selection, but before we really dig into the topic, allow me to offer one caveat. For this article, I’m speaking specifically about victims of violent crime – murder, rape, robbery, and the like – and I’m not talking about criminal VS criminal violence. If you’re a bad guy, you should expect to be victimized by some other bad guy – that’s just how it works. Now, onto the point.

Old people are generally easy targets for violent criminals. Please understand that the word “old” when used to describe a person is quite subjective. I’ve heard it said, “You’re only as old as you feel,” but I prefer “You’re only as old as you live.” If a 30-year-old bad guy, in the prime of his life was to get his hands on an 85-year-old man, it’s likely going to be a bad day for the more “age advanced” fella, even if he is still in great shape. The flip side of this situation is that Papaw didn’t live to 85 by being a moron. He’s a lot like Farmers Insurance – “He knows a thing or two because he’s seen a thing or two.” Older folks are more capable of early trouble detection because they’ve seen trouble before – allowing themselves to avoid precarious situations that younger people might walk headlong into.

Young people are usually the exact opposite of the “more seasoned” population – they usually don’t spot danger as soon as their wiser counterparts, but youthful adults typically have a fighting chance at effectively fighting back. Consider an 18-year-old who just moved out their parents’ home, headed off to college. They’ve been protected by others for most of their short existence, and now it’s up to them to be their own defender – and let’s be honest, avoiding danger is not the strong suit of most teens / young adults. The frontal lobe of the brain isn’t even fully developed until age 25. One of the most important responsibilities for any parent is navigating the very fine line of protecting our children from the world VS preparing them for it. If you’re like me, you probably feel like you get this wrong more often than not. It’s tough to maintain a healthy balance. Just keep doing your best, mom, and dad. The right stuff will stick.

Weak people of any age are frequent targets of violent criminals. Strong prey is harder to kill, and predators know that. Don’t believe me? Ask a lion. “Hey, Mufasa – would you rather chase a healthy gazelle a half mile, or a lame one 50 yards?” You see, the lion eats either way – but there are no bonus points for executing a more difficult kill. So, the lion will always work smarter, not harder – and just like any other predator, violent criminals hunt their prey. The easier we make the hunt, the more likely we are to be devoured.

People with disabilities or physical disadvantages are also easy targets. If a bad guy wanted to rob or rape a wheelchair-bound person or someone on crutches, what’s the first thing he’s going to do to them? He’s going to knock over their chair, or kick their crutches. If he’s hell bent to rob, kill, or rape, he won’t show mercy to anyone at a disadvantage. Their infirmity is precisely why he chose them in the first place. Bad guys aren’t looking for a challenge. They are evil cowards, with no regard for their intended victims, whatsoever.

I saved the number one victim type for last. Regardless of age, strength, ability, color, creed, or sex – the person most targeted by bad guys for the purpose of violent crime is the person with an active case of “Cranial-Rectalitis.” Everyone is stricken with this particular impairment at some point. It can be acute or chronic, is often recurring, and it never discriminates when choosing a host. In layman’s terms, this is simply having your head up your butt. A situationally unaware person is to a violent criminal what a flashing neon sign is to an alcoholic – or what a “Gun Free Zone” sign is to a would-be active shooter.

One of our greatest tools can double as our greatest detriment when it comes to maintaining good situational awareness. You guessed it – cell phones. Our modern-day cellular devices are incredible! They allow us to be connected to others and share information in ways no one could have imagined just a few decades ago. However, we, as a society have become so dependent, nay, downright addicted to them, that they completely own our attention much of the time.

Other than aging (which is far better than the alternative) and certain physical disabilities, we can overcome the things that make us easy targets for violent criminals. We can make ourselves stronger – and we can learn to become more aware of our surroundings – but please don’t think that being armed will cure your awareness ailments. I’m a major proponent for an armed citizenry, but strapping up and believing you’re good to go is downright dangerous and ignorant. Good situational awareness will keep you safer than carrying a gun ever will. That’s why I recommend people do both, but if you’re only going to commit to one, learning situational awareness and practicing it daily is the only responsible choice.

I encourage all of you to read “Principles of Personal Defense,” by Jeff Cooper, and familiarize yourself with his “mental color codes” as they pertain to situational awareness. You can do this – It’s a very short book. I also encourage folks to get some professional training from someone qualified to teach them how to become more vigilant. Being “attentive” and being “situationally aware” are about as different as “hearing” and “listening,” and in both cases, the later must be learned.

I don’t remember where I heard this next quote, and I’m about to paraphrase the crap out of it – but I believe it and have experienced its truth many times – “The only people on the street who are situationally aware are the cops and the criminals, and the cops are only good at it about 50% of the time.” So, let’s be better. Let’s get our faces out of our screens when we’re in public. If you must use your phone, keep your head up and the phone in front of you so at least you retain your peripheral vision – and don’t worry how you look to others when texting with your phone up in front of your face. They’re not paying attention to you anyway.

Tune in next week for a very informative follow up to this installment, when we cover “Who is The Bad Guy?”

Until then…
Avoid what you can. Defeat what you can’t.


Please submit your questions to Ryan via email at

(Ryan Barnette is not a licensed attorney or a medical provider, and no information provided in “Slicing the Pie,” or any other publication authored by Ryan Barnette should be construed, in any way, as official legal, or medical advice.)

If these walls could speak

“If these old walls could speak
Of things that they remember well,
Stories and faces dearly held” – Jimmy Webb

As human beings we like to assign humanoid characteristics to inanimate objects. The late great comedian Richard Pryor was a master of it. He often brought various body parts and pieces of furniture alive in his act. This morning I caught myself doing it when the oft used and cliched phrase, “If these walls could speak,” popped into my head.  

I was alone at 5:00 a.m. in the former dining room of one of my concepts that is currently under construction. I love walking around an empty restaurant in the stillness of the early morning. I do it often. There’s a different energy before the first team member clocks in for the morning shift. I’m not quite sure what it is but I know that in a matter of hours the restaurant will be buzzing with energy. The contrast to the tranquility of the morning is appealing to me.

It’s the very first dining room of the very first restaurant I ever owned. We are in the process of making a change. That’s nothing new. It’s something I’ve done over the last 36 years, especially in this room. Wandering around in that space I began to ponder— if these walls really could speak what amazing stories would they tell. From 1975 to 1987 the walls housed a dress shop. I don’t know who owned the store, but the walls contained a lot of floral wallpaper and mauve paint.

In the summer of 1987 when my original business partner and I were looking to open a fine-dining restaurant the dress shop had recently closed. The building was on the edge of town. If one drove another 30 feet west, they’d enter a dry county The location was the last spot in Forrest County one could dine with a glass of wine for dinner. It was also the first spot you could reach if you were in Lamar County and looking for a cocktail.

The restaurant was the Purple Parrot Cafe. The walls were green. I don’t know why I chose green and not sure why the name Purple Parrot stuck. It was a joke one night when we were trying to think of a name. It became the temporary name and never came up with a better name, so it stuck.

There was never anything tropical on those walls. There were large oil paintings by one of the art professors on campus because we couldn’t afford art. The wine list was minuscule, not only because we didn’t have money to have a substantial wine list, but the state of Mississippi didn’t carry many wines back then. That is a battle we would fight, and win, a few years later in the mid 1990s.

If those walls could speak they would relay countless tales of romantic marriage proposals, anniversary celebrations, thousands of birthdays, bar mitzvahs, and all manner of festive events.

Sitting in that small space this morning I could see where the construction workers had peeled back several layers of walls from previous concepts. In 1993 I undertook a one-week changeover and re-concepted the space into a casual steakhouse. The steakhouse walls were intentionally tacky. There was taxidermy and old signs and other things to “country-up” the place. It was night and day from where it had been. It was a reactionary move at the time, and I learned a lesson. That lesson was: Don’t worry about the competition, just be yourself. It’s a lesson I’ve had to remind myself of recently and is the reason these walls are currently under construction. That steakhouse made money and we opened another one in Jackson. But I missed the fine dining aspect of things. So, in 1995 I reopened the Purple Parrot and put up yet another set of new walls.

“In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety” –Abraham Maslow

People seemed to be happy with the Purple Parrot 2.0. I was happy. I was newly married and about to become a father. Our wine list began to grow into an award-winning list. The walls definitely heard celebration and merriment in those days.

“Don’t be afraid to change. You may lose something good, but you may gain something better.” Unknown

Those walls stood during Hurricane Katrina when the second floor of the restaurant concept that shares the building blew away. They also barely made it through an F4 tornado that laid a path of destruction just a block away. There were several remodels over the years. The walls always held fine art, most of which we changed out on a regular basis.

The Purple Parrot probably hit its peak in the years between 2012 and 2016. We had a great 10-year run as a Four Diamond AAA-rated restaurant with a “Best Of” Wine Spectator award-winning list that had grown to over 1,000 labels with 4,000+ bottles in inventory.

The walls saw another change when I tweaked the concept to a steamed seafood and steak restaurant. Again, there was taxidermy, but this time it was fish. It was the right move at the time, but no one else in my company bought in. That’s a dangerous space, and it shows a lack of leadership. The leader of the company should always bring everyone along and have the team buy into their vision. I was the leader. I dropped the ball.

“Change is hard at first, messy in the middle, and gorgeous in the end.” –Robin Sharma

There seemed to be a negative energy between those walls in those days. Again, probably lack of leadership at the top. So, the old reliable Purple Parrot surfaced once again, 3.0. The walls were changed, but the concept had run its course. I probably held on eight years too long, but the restaurant was so near and dear to me, it was like one of my kids. Actually, it was several years older than both of my children.

Then COVID hit. It was apparent that a white-tablecloth restaurant was not a viable entity in the market going forward. I was in the process of working on Tex Mex concept for another locale, and with uncertainty in the air— and the fate of our restaurants seemingly hanging on a thin thread— I decided to move the Tex Mex concept into the space I already owned. We built an amazing patio. The recipes were spot on. The problem was we opened ten months into a global pandemic and were short 25 staff members on the day we opened.

“Change before you have to.” –Jack Welch

That brings us to today. I’m sitting in the early morning stillness of an empty room. A room filled with memories, 36 years-worth of memories. The old dress shop building has doubled in size over the past 36 years. The construction team will be here in a couple of hours. They don’t know all the stories these walls could tell. They just know to follow the set of architectural drawings to make more changes to the walls. I’m so excited about this next concept. It’s probably what I should have done 10 or 12 years ago. I actually thought about it, and had people advise me to do so, but I hung on to the past for sentimental reasons.

“Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and start getting excited about what could go right.” –Tony Robbins

I am more enthusiastic about this change than I have been about anything since the original opening 36 years ago. It will allow us to reach a point where we can truly strive for excellence in all we do. All the days of confusing imaging and branding and complicated operational structures will be gone. We are the Crescent City Grill and Mahogany Bar. That’s our brand. That’s who we are and we’re about to be the best we’ve ever been because our focus will be zeroed in on one menu.

I’m not sure what has happened recently, but I have a renewed energy and passion for the restaurant business. It’s happened in the last 18 months. I feel as if I have the energy and drive I had when I was 26 and first opened this place. Maybe being an empty nester has something to do with it. Maybe it’s just that I am following my deepest intuitions again and not being a reactionary owner while striving to plow new ground. That lesson I learned 30 years ago— be yourself and be the best you can be at what you do and let others do what they do— has come full circle. Hold on. Here we go!

“There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” –CS Lewis


Pineapple Sherbet

1 whole Pineapple, cored and peeled

3 /4 cup Sugar

1 /2 cup Corn syrup

1 /2 cup Water

1 cup Milk

1 Tbl Lemon juice

Mince 1 /4 of the pineapple and set aside. In a small saucepot, heat sugar, corn syrup and water just long enough for the sugar to dissolve. Remove from heat and cool. Place remaining pineapple, sugar syrup and milk in a blender and puree until smooth. Strain mixture through a colander. Fold in minced pineapple chunks and freeze in an ice-cream maker following the manufacturer’s directions. Place frozen mixture in the freezer and allow to sit for 2 hours before serving. Yield: 6-8 servings

(Robert St. John is a chef, restaurateur and published cookbook author who lives in Hattiesburg, Miss.)

Today in History

1718 – Hundreds of colonists from France arrived in Louisiana. Some settled in present-day New Orleans.

1814 – The U.S. Library of Congress was destroyed by British forces.

1825 – Uruguay declared independence from Brazil.

1840 – Joseph Gibbons received a patent for the seeding machine.

1875 – Captain Matthew Webb swam from Dover, England, to Calais, France making him the first person to swim the English Channel. The feat took about 22 hours.

1902 – “Al-Hoda” began publication in New York City making it the first Arabic daily newspaper in the U.S.

1916 – The National Park Service was established as part of the U.S. Department of the Interior.

1920 – Ethelda Bleibtrey won the 100-meter freestyle swimming competition in Antwerp, Belgium. She was the first woman to win an Olympic competition for the U.S.

1920 – The first airplane to fly from New York to Alaska arrived in Nome.

1921 – The U.S. signed a peace treaty with Germany.

1939 – The movie “Wizard of Oz” opened around the United States.

1940 – Arno Rudolphi and Ann Hayward were married while suspended in parachutes at the World’s Fair in New York City.

1941 – Soviet and British troops invaded Iran. This was in reaction to the Shah’s refusal to reduce the number of German residents.

1941 – Allied forces invaded Iran. Within four days the Soviet Union and England controlled Iran.

1941 – U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt signed the bill appropriating funds for construction of the Pentagon.

1944 – Paris, France, was liberated by Allied forces ending four years of German occupation.

1944 – Romania declared war on Germany.

1946 – Ben Hogan won the PGA in Portland, OR. It was his first major golf title.

1949 – NBC Radio debuted “Father Knows Best.” The show went to TV in 1954.

1950 – U.S. President Truman ordered the seizure of U.S. railroads to avert a strike.

1972 – In Great Britain, computerized axial tomography (CAT scan) was introduced.

1978 – The Turin shroud believed to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ went on display for the first time in 45 years.

1981 – The U.S. Voyager 2 sent back pictures and data about Saturn. The craft came within 63,000 miles of the planet.

1983 – The U.S. and the Soviet Union signed a $10 billion grain pact.

1987 – Saudi Arabia denounced the “group of terrorists” that ran the Iranian government.

1988 – Iran and Iraq began talks in Geneva after ending their eight years of war.

1990 – Military action was authorized by the United Nations to enforce the trade embargo that had been placed on Iraq after their invasion of Kuwait.

1991 – Byelorussia declared independence from the Soviet Union.

1992 – It was reported by researchers that cigarette smoking significantly increased the risk of developing cataracts.

1993 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 3,652.09, an all-time high.

1995 – Harry Wu, human rights activist, returned to the United States. He said the spying case against him in China was “all lies.”

1997 – The tobacco industry agreed to an $11.3 billion settlement with the state of Florida.

1998 – A survey released said that 1/3 of Americans use the Internet.

Upcoming Events

Please send all non-profit events to

August 26 

16th Annual Rogers C. Jackson Memorial Golf Classic – Trails End Golf Course

August 28 (5 – 7 p.m.)

August After Hours Event by the Bienville Parish Chamber of Commerce – Gibsland Grill

August 29 (5:30 p.m.)

Back2School Night – Gibsland Coleman School Complex

September 2 (9 a.m. – 1 p.m.)

Artists & Authors Expo – Historic Downtown Arcadia

September 2 (9 a.m. – 1 p.m.)

Farmer’s Market – Historic Downtown Arcadia

September 2 (12 p.m.)

2023 Candidates Forum (Sheriff, Assessor and Police Juror – Districts 1 & 7)

Shady Grove Recreation Center – 10896 Highway 501 Saline, LA 71070

September 4 (8:30 a.m.)

Town of Arcadia – Litter Pick Up

Meet at Arcadia Town Hall

September 5 (6 p.m.)

Church at the Arena – Riley Jenks Memorial Rodeo 

Ringgold Riding Club – 1715 East Street in Ringgold

September 8 (10 a.m. – 1 p.m.)

16th Annual Community Health Fair Hosted by Bienville Parish Library – Arcadia Events Center

Septemeber 9 (11 a.m. – 2 p.m.)

Tipton’s Texaco Grand Opening – Jeep Run and Show – 2630 Military Road in Ringgold

September 14 (6 – 8 p.m.)

Sippin Soiree – Historic Downtown Arcadia

September 22

Ringgold High School Homecoming vs. Plain Dealing High School

September 23

38th Annual Slabtown Fall Festival

September 30 (8:30 a.m.)

Crawford Elementary Eagle Invitational (Grades K – 6) – Bonnie and Clyde Trade Days and RV Park