LHSAA 1-A All-District honors announced

The Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) announced the 1-A All-District honors this week.

Boys Basketball

Coach of the Year went to Jeffery Trent from Ringgold High School.

DaTravion Henson from Ringgold was named MVP for the 2022-2023 season.

1st team included:

Jbari Adams – Ringgold

Ja’Marcus Fisher – Magnolia SOE

Rodreavious Crawley – Arcadia

Spencer Dunn – Homer

Camez Hillmon – Plain Dealing

2nd team included:

Terrell Williams- Magnolia SOE

Turner McLelland – Glenbrook

Isaiah Washington – Haynesville

Jermarquis Hampton – Haynesville

Jordyn Wilson – Ringgold

Tyrese Kimble – Plain Dealing

Honorable Mentions:

Omarion Carr- Arcadia

Geauntra Nelson – Arcadia

Keshun Malcom – Arcadia

Ty Feaster – Glenbrook

D.J. Carter- Glenbrook

Andrea Brooks – Haynesville

Byruss Burns – Haynesville

Zykerius Fielding – Haynesville

Orlando Williams – Homor

Otis Ford- Homer

Berman Hamilton – Homer

De’Andre Johnson – Magnolia SOE

Jonathan Sanders – Magnolia SOE

Christian Layton – Magnolia SOE

Eli James – Plain Dealing

Jamauriel Ray – Plain Dealing

Coby Curry – Plain Dealing

Trevor Williams – Ringgold

LaDaunte McCoy- Ringgold

Kuravion Manning – Ringgold

Xzorian Willis – Ringgold

Omar Bell – Ringgold

AnTravion Kinsey – Ringgold

Kuvell Manning – Ringgold

Girls Basketball

Z’Riah Buggs from Homer High School was named MVP.

1st team included:

Sharon Henderson – Homer

Brianna Newton – Plain Dealing

Layla Tell – Haynesville

DeAisha Alexander – Arcadia

Jakyria Cockerham- Arcadia

2nd team included:

Jayla Mendenhall – Arcadia

Justice Young – Arcadia

ZaNiaya Kingsby – Haynesville

Kersten Webb – Homer

Hallie Harmon – Glenbrook

Sarah M. Mosley – Glenbrook

Heather Cox – Ringgold

Honorable Mentions:

Demetria McCune – Arcadia

Emily Chanler – Glenbrook

Kahlia Washington – Haynesville

Aquerial Black – Plain Dealing

Jakayla Douglas – Plain Dealing

Alaina Manshack – Ringgold

Janasia Hullaby – RInggold

Zyariah Mosi – Haynesville

Mamiyah Willis – Homer

Shaniya Webb – Homer

Jaliyah Franklin – Homer

Bienville Parish students make Louisiana Tech Honor Roll

Louisiana Tech University has announced the names of students on its Winter Quarter President’s and Dean’s honor lists.

Students whose names are followed by an asterisk earned recognition as members of the president’s honor list. That distinction signifies achievement of at least a 3.8 academic grade point average on a minimum of nine semester hours completed (100-level or higher), with no grade lower than a B.

To be eligible for the dean’s honor lists, a student is required to earn at least a 3.5 academic grade point average with no grade lower than a C on a minimum of nine semester hours completed (100-level or higher).

Courses yielding satisfactory/failure grades and courses audited do not count toward eligibility for either recognition. Only undergraduates with no incomplete grades are eligible to make either list.

Bienville Parish:

  • Arcadia: Christopher Wade Caskey*, Ashley Michelle Christian, Leigh E. Cox, Jakyria Tyasia Gibson, Jace M. Morris*, Kelsey Blair Reed-Dison, Landri F. Thomas*
  • Castor: Zakiya R. Johnson
  • Ringgold: Austin Nathaniel Nunn
  • Saline: Jordan Layne Brown, Skylar M. Hough, Alayna K. Martin*
  • Taylor: Elizabeth Walker*

Lady Bobcats claim victory over Lady Bulldogs

The Saline Lady Bobcats sailed to an easy victory over Gibsland-Coleman Lady Bulldogs, 15-2, on Tuesday, March 14.
Gibsland-Coleman fired up the offense in the first inning, when B. Hauley doubled on the first pitch of the at bat, scoring one run.
Lady Bobcats pulled away for good with three runs in the third inning.  In the third Jordan Williams homered on a 2-2 count, scoring two runs.
Lady Bobcats scored five runs in the fifth inning.  Lady Bobcats’s big bats in the inning were led by walks by Aly Fine and Alazja Amos and a single by Adysen Breeland.
Fine earned the victory in the pitcher’s circle for Lady Bobcats. The righty allowed two hits and two runs over six innings, striking out ten.
M. Tillman took the loss for Gibsland-Coleman. The bulldog went one inning, allowing nine runs on two hits and striking out two.
Hauley started the game for Gibsland-Coleman. The pitcher lasted four innings, allowing two hits and six runs while striking out eight
Lady Bobcats hit one home run on the day. Williams had a dinger in the third inning.
Breeland, Kassie Hood, Williams, and Fine each collected one hit to lead Lady Bobcats.  Lady Bobcats tore up the base paths, as three players stole at least two bases. Fine led the way with three.
*Powered by Narrative Science and Gamechanger Media. Any reuse or publication of this story must include the preceding attribution.

Two opportunities to attend ‘Cool Talk and Hot Coffee’ event

Bienville Parish Sheriff John Ballance and deputies will be hosting two “Cool Talk and Hot Coffee” events. 

The first one will be held on Thursday, March 30 at 6 p.m. at the First Baptist Church Gymnasium at 2249 North Hazel Street in Arcadia. 

Residents who cannot attend the first event, have a second chance Tuesday, April 4 at 6 p.m. at the Castor Community Center located at 111 Lodge Street. 

The events will focus on building neighborhood comradeship and strengthening the relationship between local law enforcement and the community. Topics of discussion will include criminal investigations, understanding the patrol division, corrections, dispatch, narcotics, and juvenile/school resources. 

Arcadia OMV is now open for business

During the Covid-19 pandemic the Arcadia Office of Motor Vehicles closed their doors. They re-opened a few months later in July of 2020, just to close the doors again the following November. 

It was announced earlier this month that the Arcadia OMV would be opening at a new location, 600 Factory Outlet Drive, Suite 8, in Arcadia. They held their official grand opening and ribbon cutting yesterday, March 16. 

The Arcadia OMV is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. They are closed from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. for lunch. Visitors are encouraged to utilize the OMV’s website, http://www.expresslane.org. Online services on the site include vehicle registration renewal, duplicate registration requests, official driving record requests, driver’s license and ID card renewals, duplicate driver’s license, I.D. requests and a REAL I.D. checklist.

Appointments are not required, but are encouraged. 

Rain, rain, come and stay

Here comes the rain again. I guess that is to be expected considering springtime is upon us. 

Personally, it is my favorite time of the year. I love a good rain shower and the not-so-severe thunderstorms every once in a while. And that might be an understatement. I am kind of obsessed with them.  

I am probably one of the very few people who check the weather and see that a good storm is brewing and then become highly disappointed when it dissipates or moves elsewhere before it reaches my location. That may be weird, but as long as there are no tornadoes or large hail involved, bring it on.  

While I am confessing my obsessions, I recently downloaded a new app on my phone. It is a sound generator specifically for rain. It is actually called “Rain Rain.” You can find sounds like rain on a window, rain on a tent, city rain, forest rain, rain downpour and my personal favorite, the harbor storm. The harbor storm sound effect gives you a mix of rain, thunder and the occasional seagull. It has gotten to the point where I can no longer fall asleep without it.  

My love for the rain has rubbed off on the girls. They also look forward to a good storm because that means an automatic mood boost for me along with cuddling on the couch and enjoying a good movie. When I say a good movie, what I really mean is Harry Potter. Those movies are excellent, but they are even better in the middle of a thunderstorm accompanied by a few scented candles – rain-scented candles, that is. Obsessed, I know. I am getting chills right now just thinking about it.  

Another thing that is so much better when you are enjoying a nice, rainy day … soup! Any kind of soup – chicken noodle soup, tortellini soup, vegetable soup and of course taco soup.  

I honestly think I just described my perfect day – thunderstorm, Harry Potter, scented candles, taco soup and cuddles. Pure bliss! Nothing can beat it.  

My kids have taken this to a whole other level though. They absolutely love it when the weather actually gets bad, I mean like a tornado warning bad. Me? That is where I draw the line. I want to be on the couch, not huddled up on the bathroom floor with a mattress over my head. Nothing blissful about that, but they think that is so fun. Maybe I have just done such an excellent job at making a game out of it, so they do not freak out (I should really say so that I do not freak out) or they are just deranged. They gather up blankets and pillows, a couple toys or electronics and just act as if we are on a nice little camping trip in the middle of our house, in the middle of a subdivision, in the middle of a tornado.  

They also love the aftermath of a good rain – mud puddles. I never deny them an opportunity to jump in one. I have been known to join them a time or two.  

Rain can be an immensely powerful force especially when it comes down too fast for too long. Too much of a good thing. But it also brings flowers and crops, an occasional rainbow and a promise. Quite frankly, I am looking forward to it right now for all the reasons above, but mostly to wash away some of this dang pollen – another perk of springtime.

(Paige Nash is a wife, mom, digital journalist for Webster Parish Journal and publisher of Bienville Parish Journal.)

Tap – Rack – Bang

“My gun never malfunctions.”  Perhaps you’re right.  Perhaps your gun has been malfunction-free for its entire existence.  However, when I hear this from people, I immediately know two things are absolutely true.  One, they don’t shoot that gun very much, and two, they definitely don’t train in any serious manner.  “Well, I’ve got 50,000 rounds through this thing with no issues whatsoever.”  Well, now you’ve graduated from hyperbole to outright dishonesty.  The fact is that guns are man-made, and man is fallible.  Yes, even Gaston Glock – as much as it pains me to say it.  So, today’s article is going to be about the most common types of malfunctions associated with magazine fed, semi-automatic guns, and how to fix those issues on the fly.

There are generally three common malfunctions associated with magazine fed, semi-auto guns.  They are known as “failure to fire” (type 1), “failure to eject” (type 2) and the ever dreaded “double feed” (type 3).  Let’s discuss these in order, shall we?

A type 1 malfunction is the most common.  It could be caused by several different things, but basically a type 1 malfunction occurs anytime you press the trigger expecting the gun to go “bang,” but it goes “click” instead.  Side note, hearing a click when you need a bang is one of the loudest sounds you’ll ever hear.  Anyway, a type 1 malfunction could be caused by bad ammunition.  I get it, that’s not necessarily the gun’s fault but it’s a malfunction, nonetheless.  A type 1 malfunction could also be the result of light primer strikes because there’s a bad spring in the gun.  This happens most often when someone thinks they know more than the engineers and puts after-market doodads inside their blaster.  Just leave the after-market internals at the market, Jethro.  Over-lubrication is a common problem too.  Semi-auto guns don’t need nearly as much lube as you may think.  If you over-do the oil, or put lube where lube doesn’t belong, you’re likely to cause issues.  All that said, the most common reason for getting a click where a bang should be is that the gun isn’t loaded.

A type 2 malfunction is commonly referred to as a “stove pipe.”  This is when a round is fired and the spent casing doesn’t get all the way out of the ejection port, preventing the gun from cycling fully and returning to battery.  This too can be caused by more than one thing.  A loose or otherwise improper grip on your pistol can result in a stove pipe – as can something impeding the movement of the slide or bolt when firing the gun.  Underpowered ammo can cause a type 2 malfunction also, and if you’re talking about an AR style rifle, the gun being under-gassed will likely produce the same result.

So, how do you fix these malfunctions?  It’s true that there might be something so wrong with your gun that it needs to be repaired by a professional, but if you’re in a fight and you need to clear a type 1 or type 2 malfunction and get that gun back in the fight – tap the magazine to make sure it’s seated properly inside the mag well, rack the slide, (or run the bolt) and get back to work.  It’s that simple.  A magazine that’s not seated is the first thing you should check, because an unseated magazine can cause any of the three most common malfunctions.  After that, cycle the action.  After you tap and rack, you should be able to make the gun go bang.  A properly executed “tap – rack” will fix a type 1 or type 2 malfunction.

A type 3 malfunction is a different animal entirely.  This occurs when two rounds try to enter the chamber at the same time.  This can be caused by damaged or worn-out magazines or by people “riding the slide” when they cycle the action.  Stop handling them so gently, folks.  When you run the slide or the bolt on a semi-auto gun, run it hard.  If you limp-wrist it, you’re going to cause problems more often than not.  It’s okay, they like it rough.  

To clear a type 3 malfunction, you first have to remove the magazine from the gun.  Some instructors say that you should lock the slide or bolt open first, but I find this step to be time consuming and wholly unnecessary.  There will be pressure on the magazine, so you’ll have to forcefully remove or “strip” the magazine out of the gun.  After that, there might still be a round or spent casing lodged in the chamber or ejection port, so you need to run the slide to clear any obstruction.  Doing this with the ejection port toward the ground means you get a little help from our old pal, gravity.  Once you’ve removed the magazine and cleared any obstruction, forcefully insert a loaded mag (maybe the same one, maybe a new one) and cycle the action.  Bam!  You’re back in the fight.

Most malfunctions are the result of operator error.  Malfunction frequency will be greatly diminished if you use a quality firearm (which 99% of 1911 pistols are not) loaded with quality, factory loaded ammunition.  However, when problems arise, clearing a type 1 or type 2 malfunction is done the same way – tap the mag, rack the slide, and you’re back in business. The steps for type 3 malfunction clearing are – strip, rack, insert, rack.  Don’t think carrying a spare mag with your everyday carry pistol is because you might need extra ammo.  It’s true, you could end up in a protracted gunfight, although it’s statistically improbable.  The main reason for carrying a spare magazine is so you can fix your gun.  Operator error and environmental issues can cause more problems than most folks ever think about when they strap up and leave the house.  If a “tap-rack” doesn’t fix it, reload your gun because either your gun is empty, or you have a type 3 malfunction.  In either instance the remedy is a loaded magazine.  Without one, you’ll be in a gunfight armed only with a $600 paperweight. 

Before anyone suggests that simply buying a revolver is the answer to keeping your handgun malfunction free, allow me to quash that notion.  Revolvers absolutely can and do malfunction.  This column isn’t about antiques, so I’m not going to waste your time with wheel gun talk, but if you don’t believe me, do a simple Google search of revolver malfunctions, and see for yourself.

Lastly, for my fellow Kalashnikov shooters out there, remember, those magazines “rock” into place.  So, when seating a magazine in your AK, hit the front strap of the magazine, not the base plate.  

Until next week…

Avoid what you can.  Defeat what you can’t.


Please submit your questions to Ryan via email at Ryan@9and1tactical.com 

Ryan Barnette is not a licensed attorney 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 advice. 

Oreo Brownies

Mom’s Brownies + Oreos.  Oh my stars.  I do not even particularly care for Oreos, but this was over the top, out of this world amazing!  

I always see different food magazines and blogs showing their results from taste testing boxed brownies.  If they had my Mom’s Brownies recipe (found in The Copper Whisk Cookbook!), they would never ever feel the need to taste any other brownie.  These are as easy as a boxed brownie and a zillion times better.  I hope you’ll try these with the Oreo addition!  I will certainly be making these the next time I have a get together or need to take a dish to someone.


  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons cocoa
  • Oreos


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Mix all ingredients except Oreos together by hand and pour half of the batter into a greased 8×8 baking dish. I used 9 Oreos in the middle of the pan and broke 6 Oreos in half and used the half moon pieces to fill the edges. Spoon the rest of the batter on top and gently spread to cover. I crushed more Oreos and sprinkled heavily over the top of the batter. Bake until done (30ish minutes).

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

Pushing through a tough tournament

Every now and then an angler has to overcome some adverse conditions. It might be rain, high winds, cold temperatures, or extreme heat. But just like the postal service; come rain, sleet, snow, or shine the mail must go through. My first tournament of this year was such an event not because of what mother nature threw at me, but because of illness. To say it was a tough tournament would be an understatement. Nothing is worse than going to a tournament and being physically ill. Today, I’ll give an angler’s perspective on what it’s like to push through a tournament.
Let me set this day up for you. On January 3rd I had biopsy surgery on my upper left ear….again! The following day on January 4th, I had my fifth immunotherapy treatment for Melanoma with a drug called Opdivo. This is a drug designed to attack any cancer cells that might be present in the body. My body has not handled this drug very well as I’ve had to endure major muscle contractions of the lower back during the infusion of this drug. During this infusion after the pain hits, they inject me with two drugs; a painkiller called Demerol and a muscle relaxer called Ativan. This is the only way I can get through these treatments.
So, over a two-day period of surgery and IV infusion with painkillers, muscle relaxers, and antibiotics my body was going through hell. One week later, I headed for Sam Rayburn to get ready for the first ABA Open Series event. My first practice day on Thursday, I felt sick all day and had major abdominal pain off and on. That evening my good friend and travel partner/competitor Adrian James and I went to dinner. Anyone that knows me, will tell you that when it comes to eating, I don’t pass up many meals. Feeling nauseated with strong abdominal pain coming and going, I started to eat my dinner and could only handle about five bites. I knew at this point that I was not going to be able to push through this event. So, I packed up and headed back home to Louisiana.
On Friday, I decided to take it easy and see if the pain and nausea would subside before I made any decision to withdraw from the tournament which I’ve never done over my entire tournament career dating back to 1990. At 3:00 that afternoon I called the ABA Tournament Director Chris Wayand (who does an outstanding job) and told him my situation. He told to me I had to let him know by 5:30 whether I was coming or not since the pairings for this event would be released at 6:00.
After getting through the day with minimal pain and starting to feel like I could maybe push through a one-day event, I called Chris confirming that I would be there. I left the house Saturday morning (tournament day) at 4:00 AM and made the 2-hour drive to Sam Rayburn. Launched my boat with a queasy stomach and some anxiousness as to whether I made the right decision. I got lucky and did not have a partner as there were more pros/boaters than co-anglers. Sometimes in these events, anglers don’t always have a partner.
Finally, it was time to go fishing as I headed across the lake for a short run to my first spot, I knew immediately that my stomach was going to be an issue. Nothing like a rough boat ride on an upset stomach along with abdominal pain to make you question….why am I here? But I powered through trying to focus on catching fish. I caught a fish fairly quickly and it’s always amazing to me how much better-catching fish will make you feel. But one hour in, I had to take a break and sit down for about 40 minutes to let the pain subside. This happened 4 times during the day up till 2:00 when I decided I was done. I went in and weighed my fish and finished 24th overall and got some good points.
I was kind of proud of that finish due to everything I had to overcome. One thing about fishing a circuit or trail, if your goal is to make the championship at the end of the year, you can’t afford to miss a tournament. Missing an event puts you too far back in the pack and there’s no way to make up a missed tournament in terms of points. So, I got my points and survived a tough event and I’m still in a position to make it to the Ray Scott National Championship in 2024.
 Just so you know, I didn’t write this article for you to feel sorry for me but make you realize that sometimes an angler has to push through an event whether he’s facing mother nature herself or going through some personal aches and pains. Till next time, good luck, good fishing a,nd don’t forget to wear sunscreen. Melanoma is real and can be deadly if not treated early. Also m,ake regular visits to a dermatologist; it just might save your life.
Steve Graf

Angler’s Perspective

When Irish Eyes are smiling in Spain

MADRID—Irish pubs have always intrigued me. The attraction doesn’t come from the typical things one expects from a pub. I’m not interested in Guinness on tap, or Irish whiskey, or any alcohol for that matter. I’m not a prude, and I’m certainly not against responsible alcohol consumption (it put both of my kids through college), but I’ve been clean and sober since 1983. Trust me the world is a better— and safer— place without drunk Robert stumbling around in it.

I’m not quite sure where the intrigue comes from, but I think it has to do with the people. I love the Irish. My favorite Irish pub outside of the British Isles is The James Joyce in Madrid. The James Joyce is owned by a quick-witted, energetic, and acerbic Irishman, Matthew Loughney. Raised in Dublin, he moved to Madrid in 2006 and has been running this country’s best Irish pub ever since.

My wife and I are in Spain about to host 25 Americans from all over the southern part of the United States through Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, and Malaga. I will be consuming 36 Spanish-themed meals over the next 12 days. I thought I’d get a little Irish pub grub in before the serious tapas-ing begins.

We arrived yesterday but I won’t officially start working until this afternoon. It is always my practice when traveling overseas to do my best to sleep on the flight to Europe and stay awake on the return. Yesterday I was only able to grab a couple of hours on the plane ride over. It is also my practice— and I advise my guests to do the same— to do my best to push through the jet lag and try to stay awake until around 10pm on the day I have landed. It’s not easy, but I have found that when I do I go down hard, and my body clock adjusts to the local time much easier.

Upon arrival yesterday, I was more tired than usual but didn’t want to nap as I would probably be wide awake at 3:00 a.m. and it would take several days to adjust. My wife and I walked around the city for a bit, mainly waiting for the James Joyce to open at noon. When the doors opened, we were there.

It should be noted that I am a firm believer and staunch proponent of eating local wherever I am. Though there are exceptions, and since I will be on an all-out Spanish food bacchanal for the next 12 days, I allowed myself a deviation. The James Joyce is worthy of deviance. We had a lunch of fish and chips and spoke with Loughney about the restaurant/bar business, travel, and what’s happened since we last saw each other 12 months ago. He let us know that Ireland was playing Scotland in rugby later that day and the pub would be packed, but he could save us a spot if we were interested. It should also be noted that the answer to that question should always be, “yes.”

On our return, the pub was raucous and rowdy as one might expect. But it wasn’t all Irish. The Scots accounted for one third of the crowd. My knowledge of rugby is extremely limited. I was recruited to play on my freshman college team but was more interested in 12-ounce curls in the barroom than flankers and drop kicks on the rugby field. We didn’t have a dog in the Ireland vs Scotland fight, but pledged our allegiance to the Irish since we were in our friend’s pub.

If I weren’t already a fan of Irish pubs before yesterday’s visit, then I certainly would have been converted mid-game yesterday afternoon. It was a blast. Ireland hadn’t beaten Scotland in their last eight games, but they won yesterday and the crowd— or at least the Irish in the crowd— was loving it and singing in unison by the end of the game.

Irish pub food is right up my alley. I’m a fish and chips guy— or at least the American version of those items— from childhood. Beef stews, lamb, mashed potatoes, sausage, and the like are all in my culinary wheelhouse. Beef in Guinness sauce and Shepard’s Pie both speak to the foods of my youth as my grandmother was a master of lamb, beef pot roast, and mashed potatoes.

There’s a certain energy level in an Irish pub that appeals to me. It’s an energy that comes from a strong mixture of a particular attitude, love of food and drink, love of country and fellow countrymen, a history of endurance, constant ribbing of one another, festive music, and just the right amount of don’t-give-a-damn, with a little bit of us-against-the-world mentality thrown in, that makes Irish pubs unique in the bar category.

Like Ireland, the American South has experienced a rough and hard history. The attitude of the Irish is a lot like American Southerners in that we endure, and we carry on. We take our hits, and we bounce back, moving ever forward.

When Loughney is asked, “What makes a great Irish pub?” he can sum it up in three words, “It’s the welcome.” That’s something I’ve never consciously thought of, but it is certainly something I have experienced in every Irish pub I have ever visited. He’s right. It’s the welcome. The beer, the food, the atmosphere, and the sports are all great, but it’s the welcome that makes the first impression that lasts through the entire visit.

Even the Scots were welcome yesterday. So were a couple of visitors from Mississippi.

I slept for nine hours last night. I haven’t slept for nine hours since I was in my twenties. I am rested and ready to spend the next eight weeks leading five separate groups of new friends through Spain, Tuscany, and Holland/Belgium.


Hearts of Palm and Artichoke Salad

Salad Dressing

1 Tbl dijon mustard

1 tsp sugar

1 Tbl shallots, minced

3 Tbl  balsamic vinegar

1/4  cup cottonseed oil

1/2 cup virgin olive oil

1 Tsp fresh black pepper

1 Tsp kosher salt

1 Tb fresh basil

1 cup  tomato, finely diced

Place all ingredients into a mixing bowl and blend together using a wire whisk. Refrigerate until needed. This dressing will hold for 4-5 days refrigerated.

Garlic Croutons

1/2 cup olive oil

1 Tb fresh garlic, minced

3 cups French bread cubes (1”)

1/2 Tbl kosher salt

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Place the oil in a small sauté pan over low heat. Add the garlic to the war oil and cook for two minutes. Place the bread cubes into a large mixing bowl and drizzle the garlic oil over the bread. Toss the bread several times to ensure that all bread has been mixed well with the oil. Place the bread on a baking she and sprinkle the kosher salt over the unbaked croutons. Bake for 10 minutes. Gently turn the croutons on the baking sheet and bake for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool.

For The Salad

2-14 ounce cans hearts of palm, 1/4 inch slice on a bias

2-12 ounce jars  marinated artichoke hearts, drained

1 cup  red onion, thinly shaved

3 cups romaine lettuce, cut into thin pieces

3/4 cup Romano cheese, shredded, divided

3 cups garlic croutons

Place the hearts of palm, artichoke hearts, red onions, romaine lettuce, half of the cheese and the croutons in a large mixing bowl. Pour the dressing into the bowl and toss the ingredients with the dressing, making sure to coat everything completely.

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

Today in History

0461 – Bishop Patrick, St. Patrick, died in Saul. Ireland celebrates this day in his honor. (More about St. Patrick’s Day)

1756 – St. Patrick’s Day was celebrated in New York City for the first time. The event took place at the Crown and Thistle Tavern.

1766 – Britain repealed the Stamp Act that had caused resentment in the North American colonies.

1776 – British forces evacuated Boston to Nova Scotia during the Revolutionary War.

1868 – Postage stamp canceling machine patent was issued.

1870 – Wellesley College was incorporated by the Massachusetts legislature under its first name, Wellesley Female Seminary.

1884 – In Otay, California, John Joseph Montgomery made the first manned, controlled, heavier-than-air glider flight in the United States.

1886 – 20 Blacks were killed in the Carrollton Massacre in Mississippi.

1891 – The British steamer Utopia sank off the coast of Gibraltar.

1901 – In Paris, Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings were shown at the Bernheim Gallery.

1909 – In France, the communications industry was paralyzed by strikes.

1910 – The Camp Fire Girls organization was founded by Luther and Charlotte Gulick. It was formally presented to the public exactly 2 years later.

1914 – Russia increased the number of active duty military from 460,000 to 1,700,000.

1917 – America’s first bowling tournament for ladies began in St. Louis, MO. Almost 100 women participated in the event.

1930 – Al Capone was released from jail.

1930 – In New York, construction began on the Empire State Building. Excavation at the site began on January 22.

1941 – The National Gallery of Art was officially opened by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt in Washington, DC.

1942 – Douglas MacArthur became the Supreme Commander of the Allied forces in the Southwestern Pacific.

1944 – During World War II, the U.S. bombed Vienna.

1950 – Scientists at the University of California at Berkeley announced that they had created a new radioactive element. They named it “californium”. It is also known as element 98.

1958 – The Vanguard 1 satellite was launched by the U.S.

1959 – The Dalai Lama (Lhama Dhondrub, Tenzin Gyatso) fled Tibet and went to India.

1961 – The U.S. increased military aid and technicians to Laos.

1962 – Moscow asked the U.S. to pull out of South Vietnam.

1966 – A U.S. submarine found a missing H-bomb in the Mediterranean off of Spain.

1967 – Snoopy and Charlie Brown of “Peanuts” were on the cover of “LIFE” magazine.

1969 – Golda Meir was sworn in as the fourth premier of Israel.

1970 – The U.S. Army charged 14 officers with suppression of facts in the My Lai massacre case.

1972 – U.S. President Nixon asked Congress to halt busing in order to achieve desegregation.

1973 – Twenty were killed in Cambodia when a bomb went off that was meant for the Cambodian President Lon Nol.

1973 – The first American prisoners of war (POWs) were released from the “Hanoi Hilton” in Hanoi, North Vietnam.

1982 – In El Salvador, four Dutch television crewmembers were killed by government troops.

1985 – U.S. President Reagan agreed to a joint study with Canada on acid rain.

1989 – A series of solar flares caused a violent magnetic storm that brought power outages over large regions of Canada.

1992 – In Buenos Aires, 10 people were killed in a suicide car-bomb attack against the Israeli embassy.

1992 – White South Africans approved constitutional reforms to give legal equality to blacks.

1995 – Gerry Adams became the first leader of Sinn Fein to be received at the White House.

1998 – Washington Mutual announced it had agreed to buy H.F. Ahmanson and Co. for $9.9 billion dollars. The deal created the nation’s seventh-largest banking company.

1999 – A panel of medical experts concluded that marijuana had medical benefits for people suffering from cancer and AIDS.

1999 – The International Olympic Committee expelled six of its members in the wake of a bribery scandal.

2000 – In Norway, Jens Stotenberg and the Labour Party took office as Prime Minister. The coalition government of Kjell Magne Bondevik resigned on March 9 as a result of an environmental dispute.

2000 – In Kanungu, Uganda, a fire at a church linked to the cult known as the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments killed more than 530. On March 31, officials set the number of deaths linked to the cult at more than 900 after authorities subsequently found mass graves at various sites linked to the cult.

2004 – NASA’s Messenger became the first spacecraft to enter into orbit around Mercury. The probe took more than 270,000 pictures before it crashed into the surface of Mercury on April 30, 2015.

2007 – Mike Modano (Dallas Stars) scored his 502nd and 503rd career goals making him the all-time U.S. leader in goal-scoring.

2009 – The iTunes Music Store reached 800 million applications downloaded.

Upcoming Events

Please send all non-profit calendar events to bpjnewsla@gmail.com.

March 13-17 (3:45 p.m. – 5 p.m.)

Dr. Seuss After School Special – Bienville Parish Library

March 18 (1 – 3 p.m.)

Town-Wide Clean Up Day

Meet at Ringgold High School Softball Field

March 21-23 (9 a.m- 2 p.m.)

LSU AgCenter – Spring Youth Culinary Camp- Hawaiian Luau, Restaurant Copycat and Campfire Meals

$25 per class or $60 for all 3

Call 318-263-7400 to register 

March 24

Fourth Friday Fish Fry – Camp Harris, 2800 Camp Harris Road Minden, La

Tickets are available for pre-purchase at participating churches and camp office.

March 24-25 

Kingsway Baptist Church Annual 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament

Southland Camp Gym, 3555 Hwy 371 in Ringgold, La

$25 per team to register and includes tournament shirt for each player.

Contact: 418-453-8154 to sign-up. 

March 25 (10 a.m.)

Arcadia Beautification Project – Litter Pick-up

Participants will meet at the Bienville Democrat, 1952 N. Railroad Avenue 

For more information contact Edwin Mason #318-243-9708 or Timothy Williams at #318-607-2207.

March 25 (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.)

Hot & Tasty Fish Fry hosted by Arcadia- Bienville NAACP – Mt. Calvary Family Life Center

$12 per plate

March 26 (10:15 a.m.)

Women’s History Month Guest Speaker: Dr. Phyllis Mason – Holland Grove Baptist Church

March 30 (6 p.m.)

Cool Talk and Hot Coffee with Sheriff John Ballance and Deputies – First Baptist Church Gym

2249 North Hazel Street in Arcadia

April 1 

Camp Harris 4- Person Scramble Golf Tournament – Trails End Golf Course in Arcadia, La

To sign up please contact the camp office at 927-3706, Camp Manager Harry at 455-5012 or Tournament Director Michael at 458-6100.

April 1 (9 a.m. – 1 p.m.)

Farmer’s Market in Downtown Arcadia

$20 donation to reserve a vendor spot. (Food related items only)

Call Tamara at 318-579-0310 to sign up.

April 1 (9 a.m. – 1 p.m.)

Castor Farmer’s Market – Castor Rails to Trail Pavilion 

April 1 (10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.)

Arcadia Marching Hornet Band Crawfish Boil Fundraiser- Arcadia High School 

April 4 (6p.m.)

Cool Talk and Hot Coffee with Sheriff Ballance and Deputies – Castor Community Center

111 Lodge Street in Castor

April 6 (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.)

Louisiana National Bank Customer Appreciation Fish Fry

1801 North Hazel Street in Arcadia

Notice of Death – March 16

Notice of Death – March 16, 2023

Eugenia “Jeannie” Zappa

Feb. 3, 1940 – March 14, 2023


Memorial service: 11 a.m Friday, March 17, 2023, First Presbyterian Church, Athens, under the direction of Rose-Neath Funeral Home, Homer, La.

Michael Ervin Baker Sr.

May 26, 1949 – March 13, 2023

Springhill, La.

Bailey Funeral Home, Springhill.

Bobbye Ryan Smith

May 19, 1933 – March 15, 2023

Fryeburg/Minden/Dixie Inn

Visitation: 9 until 10:45 a.m. Saturday, March 18, 2023, Rose-Neath Funeral Home, Minden, La.

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

Burial: Gardens of Memory Cemetery, Minden.

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

Women’s History Month: Honoring Kettler and Egan

By Paige Nash 

 March is Women’s History Month. An annual month-long celebration and commemoration of the women, past and present, who have made an everlasting impression on American history.  

 One of those women have made it her own personal mission to make sure that a fellow history maker’s contributions will remain preserved in the minds of any and everyone who will take the time to listen.  

 Both women were reared right here in Bienville Parish, specifically in Mt. Lebanon.  

 Mary Claire Kettler, a graduate of Gibsland High School then Louisiana Tech University, grew up listening to stories of the past. 

After pursuing a career in teaching at Georgia Southern University and eventually retiring, Kettler returned to her hometown. 

 “When I moved back home from a career in Georgia, I realized the older residents that we could go to for information about our area were fading away” said Kettler. “Somehow, I seemed to evolve as the ‘Memory Keeper’. My mother and father talked about life and times in our community- I listened. I was blessed to be able to spend time with the older generations of our community and I loved them.”  

Some of Kettler’s favorite stories were about a fellow Mt. Lebanon resident of the past, Lavinia Egan 

“All my life Lavinia Egan was this mythical character of Mt. Lebanon.  I grew up listening to stories from her nieces and other older ladies of Mt. Lebanon,” said Kettler. 

The 2020 election also marked 100 years since the 19th Amendment passed allowing women the right to vote, a major milestone by which Egan played a tremendous and historical role. After traveling and continuing her efforts to further women’s rights, she too returned to Mt. Lebanon and purchased a home.  

Kettler said, “Lavinia was only one of several inhabitants of the home. Always one for the flair, Lavinia named it Wayside Cottage when she bought it in the late 1920’s.” 

Over the decades the cottage has deteriorated, but through tiring efforts the Mt. Lebanon Historical Society was able to purchase the property a few years ago and have begun restorations.   

“Our first efforts were to secure the property. We now have a contractor stabilizing the structure and replacing the windows. Our next phase will be a new roof then on to the inside,” said Kettler. “I just believe historical structures deserve a second or third chance.” 

These two women share a connection that goes beyond their origin. One has made history while the other has and will continually fight to preserve it and along that journey has made history herself.  

Kettler now serves as Corresponding Secretary of Mt. Lebanon Historical Society. In 2020 she was asked to write an article in honor of Lavinia Egan. 

By: Mary Claire Kettler  

As the Election of 2020 approaches and millions of women head to the polls, few may pause to reflect on the fact that a mere 100 plus years ago that would have been impossible. Thanks to the efforts of four generations of women suffragettes 8 million women voted for the first time in November 1920. The 19th Amendment giving women the Right to Vote had passed in August 1920.  

One of the women who played a part in this momentous occasion was Lavinia Hartwell Egan of Mt. Lebanon, La. Lavinia’s early years and latter years were spent in this tiny village tucked away in north Louisiana, but the years in-between were played out on the national and international stage of life.  

Lavinia was born in 1863 and spent her childhood in Mt. Lebanon as the daughter of Dr. James C. Egan and his wife, Susan Rebecca Ardis Egan. When she was 13, the family moved to Shreveport.  

By the 1890’s, Lavinia became active in civic affairs. She was President of The Hypatia Club, a literary club that began to concern itself with social issues. Lavinia went on to be the first President of the City Improvement League of Shreveport which addressed public parks, grounds of public buildings, tree planting, parking, cemeteries, libraries, public restrooms and children’s free kindergartens.  

Her calling was Journalism. She was a columnist for the Philadelphia Times with syndicated columns throughout the United States. Lavinia’s pen name was Patience Oriel.  

In 1903 she was elected to the Board of Lady Managers of the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. The role of the Board of Lady Managers was to promote sociability which promotes trade and trade promotes wealth. The Board of Lady Managers entertained visitors to the Fair with lavish parties of 600 or more at a time, all with handwritten invitations by Lavinia.  

By 1918, Lavinia was living in Washington, D.C. She had an appointment by the Secretary of War to the Office of Director of Military Aeronautics. Lavinia wrote semi-technical articles and news stories for the Air Service Newsletter and publicity for the War Department.  

While living in Washington, Lavinia became friends with Alice Paul of the National Woman’s Party. Soon Lavinia was elected a Member of the Governing Board of the National Woman’s Party…considered to be the most radical of all Women’s Suffrage Groups.  

After the House of Representatives and the U. S. Senate passed the 19th Amendment, Lavinia took to the road to encourage the States to ratify the 19th Amendment. She worked tirelessly to promote and explain the Right-To-Vote.  

It must have been extremely disappointing for her home state of Louisiana to reject the 19th Amendment in July of 1920. Louisiana would belatedly ratify the amendment on June 11, 1970, fifty years after the fact.  

Tennessee was the 36th State needed for ratification. In August 1920, the 19th Amendment became the law of the land. In November 1920, Republican Warren G. Harding defeated Democrat James M. Cox in a landslide.  

Lavinia continued to travel to promote the next phase of the women’s movement, Equal Rights. Her friend, Alice Paul, authored an Equal Rights Amendment. The ERA would be a hot topic well into the 21st Century.  

At last, Lavinia returned home to Mt. Lebanon and lived out her days being able to vote for the next 25 years. Lavinia passed away in 1945. Her life spanned The Civil War and both World Wars.  

The Mt. Lebanon Historical Society recently acquired her home in Mt. Lebanon, Wayside Cottage. The home was originally built for the President of Mt. Lebanon University, Rev. Jesse Hartwell. Wayside Cottage had sadly fallen into a state of disrepair. The Historical Society hopes to stabilize and save this home with so much historical value.  

Anyone wishing to assist in saving this bit of history can send donations to Mt. Lebanon Historical Society, P. O. Box 28, Gibsland, LA 71028. (Contributions are tax deductible) Also, if any club or organization would like a program on the life of this extraordinary woman, please contact Mary Claire Kettler at 318-843-6175. 

LHSAA 1-C All-District honors announced

The LHSAA District 1-C All-District honors have been announced.
The Girls’ All-District 1-C Team MVP went to Gibsland-Coleman Lady Bulldog, Samora Sampson #11. 
The 1st team included:
Baleigh Haulcy #40 (Gibsland-Coleman)
Arianna Williams #12 (Gibsland-Coleman)
Kearra Wilson #1 (Summerfield)
Laney McCain #22 (Family Community Christian)
Allie Wainwright #15 (Claiborne Christian)
The 2nd team included:
Shamaria Durham # 22 (Gibsland-Coleman)
A’Keirah Jones #5 (Summerfield)
Armiya Williams #10 (Summerfield)
Gracey Ingram #1 (Family Community Christian)
Ryley Baker #00 (Kilbourne)
Honorable Mentions:
Jordan Allen #14 (Gibsland-Coleman)
CaRiya Lewis #21 (Gibsland-Coleman)
Zyan Smith #14 (Summerfield)
M.J. Caldwell #11 (Family Community Christian)
Lexy Robinson #11 (Claiborne Christian)
Lilly Wainwright #5 (Claiborne Christian)
Chloe Allen #15 (Family Community Christian)
The LHSAA District 1-C Boys’ All-District Team MVP went to Gibsland-Coleman Bulldog Terrance James #24. 
The 1st team included:
De’Avery Durham #1 (Gibsland-Coleman)
Joshua Adams #20 (Gibsland-Coleman)
Marquez Tate #55 (Summerfield)
Kaleb Gregory #11 (Claiborne Christian)
TaMarques Richard #23 (Kilbourne)
The 2nd team included:
DeMarquis Durham #34 (Gibsland-Coleman)
Dalton Wilson #1 (Summerfield)
Trey Kennedy #2 (Summerfield)
A.J. Allen #14 (Claiborne Christian)
Drew Carroll #10 (Family Community Christian)
Honorable Mentions:
Michael Woodford #14 (Gibsland-Coleman)
Rictavious Harris #3 (Gibsland-Coleman)
Darren Ford #24 (Summerfield)
Hayden Parker # 5 (Family Community Christian)
Holden Aultman #23 (Claiborne Christian)
Zach Reed #3 (Claiborne Christian)
Amarion Jones #00 (Summerfield)

Two of three local teams pulled wins in Saline Baseball Tournament

Photo courtesy of Chuck Dison.

The Saline Bobcats, Ringgold Redskins and Arcadia Hornets all competed in the Saline Baseball Tournament held at the high school this past weekend, March 10-11. 

The Saline Bobcats went 3-3 on their games against, Lakeview (9-4), Arcadia (11-8) and Wossman (17-1). 

The Ringgold Redskins won their game against Jonesboro Hodge on Friday, 13-9 and tied their game Saturday against Lakeview, 6-6. 

The Arcadia Hornets lost both of their tournament games, falling to both Simsboro (3-9) and Saline (8-11).

Saline’s Lady Bobcat Jordan Williams earns two grand slams over the weekend

The Saline Lady Bobcats hosted a softball tournament this past weekend where the team won all four of their games against Southwood, Ringgold and Mansfield and Red River

In the games played Friday evening against Southwood and Ringgold, junior Jordan Williams hit grand slams in both games. 

The Lady Bobcats won their game Friday evening against Southwood, 17- 6. They beat the Ringgold Ladyskins, 20-4. On Saturday, they played a close game against Mansfield where they won by one, 13-12. In their closing game against Red River, the team almost shut them out, 20-1. 

8th grader Aly Fine also went 4-1 pitching last week in games against Arcadia, Southwood, Mansfield and Red River. 

Castor golf team takes home the win at the Red River High School Golf Invitational

Congratulations to the Tiger Golf Team on winning the Red River High School Golf Invitational.

The results are as follows: 

Girls’ Team Results:
1st – Many HS (scorecard playoff)
2nd – Natchitoches Central HS
Girls’ Low Medalist:
Emma Penfield (Many HS)
Boys’ Team Results:
1st – Castor HS
2nd – Many HS
Boys’ Low Medalist:
Gage Jordan (Castor HS)
Schools represented at the tournament were Red River, Castor, Saline, Many, Ringgold, Negreet and Natchitoches Central.
Congratulations Gage and the rest of the boy’s golf team on your win!

JET Program now accepting applications

The Bienville Parish LSU AgCenter is excited to announce that the Jurors Empowering Teens (JET) is returning this summer. This is a Summer Internship Program that began in 2008 as a collaborative effort between the Bienville Parish AgCenter and the Bienville Parish Police Jury. Since then the program has gained popularity and an esteemed reputation among the community for its youth enrichment aspects.

This is a 4-week program for youth that are between the ages of 16 to 18 (a junior or senior start of Fall 2023) that allows the participants to earn an income while being employed at various public and private businesses.

Assistant Extension Agent for 4-H Development Megan Martin said, “Some jobs that they have had in the past were at nursing homes, Clerk of Court office, restaurants, schools, town halls, health clinics, etc.”

This experience provides a valuable first employment opportunity and equips them with practical skills including goal setting, resume building, interview skills, budgeting, on-the-job etiquette and personal branding.

Local businesses can contact the LSU AgCenter office if they are willing to host a child at no cost to the company. 

According to Martin, many hours have been spent reviewing the program’s growth over the years, as well as the curriculum and expectations. This year they plan to adopt the past curriculum with additional current topics that they believe are important for the youth in the community to understand. 

Applications must be submitted to the Bienville Parish LSU AgCenter office by April 28th. The selected youth will then move on to the interview process, which will be conducted in May. The program will run from July 3-28, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Participants must have reliable transportation during the program dates. 

Reach out to ashannon@agcenter.lsu.edu to answer any questions or call the office at 318-263-7400.

Saline runner wins two new medals

Don Brown participated in the Little Rock Marathon on March 4-5. This marathon hosted over 10,000 runners who traveled from all 50 states and 26 countries.

Brown ran the half marathon and pulled a first place win in his age division (75-79.)

This past Sunday, March 12, Brown ran the 72 Degrees Marathon where he again placed first in his age division. He finished 132 of 206 males and overall 175 of 353.

“For the Kids” features the best of us

Pretty much once a week, barring unforeseen circumstances, the Webster Parish Journal publishes another installment of the feature series “For the Kids,” which is a Wednesday profile of a person or group of people who go above what’s called for to benefit local children and their families. 

It’s a good series because it features rare glimpses of one key virtue that often times evaporates in the dry humid air of societal apathy.


Every feature story in “For the Kids” focuses on a person or persons who freely give their precious time or limited money to build youth athletics, feed needy families, aid with after school programs, enrich young lives through study of the arts and/or the Word. 

These are people who ask for nothing in return. They don’t do what they do for recognition or pats on the back. They do what they do because they see a need and they know if they don’t step up likely no one will.

The idea came from a fellow educator who thought it would be nice if I wrote a feature story about Mrs. Rita Bates, who has been a longtime supporter of Lakeside High School baseball. I liked how the story turned out and saw potential to share some more good news. Good News is what we need. Even the Word is called the Good News, so I don’t know why we are obsessed with the bad. 

I like to think helping others, especially kids, is as close to God as we can come while on this rock. The act fulfills a key component of the Lord’s ministry. It fulfills a command. “Love thy neighbor.” He didn’t stutter. He didn’t make equivocations or give exemptions. He didn’t say love this fella but not that other guy. And He dang sure didn’t say he who has the most is the winner. The Lord wasn’t too big on greed despite his earthly children’s proclivity towards the green-eyed monster. 

The subjects of “For the Kids” are the best of us. The least greedy. The kindest. They don’t volunteer because it’s good for earthly business. They do what they do because it’s good for their Father’s business. And He’s only got one item on the agenda for us living on this little blue and green marble – be kind and take care of one another. A lot of other crud gets in the way of that. Namely the cruel and cowardly, the vain and the vicious. Sons and daughters of Cain. 

It takes a truly kind soul to cut through the fog of apathy and distraction of Man’s world. These people are the best of us, and it is an honor to highlight them every week in “For the Kids.”

(Josh Beavers is a writer and a teacher. He has been recognized five times by the Louisana Press Association for excellence in opinion writing. If you know of someone who should be featured in “For the Kids,” email him at joshwbeavers@gmail.com  )

Name Games

In 1962, the U.S. Army created the Army Material Command, commonly referred to as AMC.  This Army entity has been developing and delivering “material readiness solutions to ensure globally dominant land force capabilities.”  In layman’s terms, the AMC is the primary provider of materials to the Army.  It operates ammunition plants, arsenals, depots, and other facilities on land and afloat.  The AMC sells Army equipment and services to allies of the United States.  It also negotiates and implements agreements between the United States and foreign nations for the joint production of weapons.  The AMC created a motto to simplify their purpose even further: “If a Soldier shoots it, drives it, flies it, wears it, communicates with it or eats it – AMC provides it.”

In January 1973, after 11 years in operation, the AMC was getting a new and more modern national headquarters in Huntsville, Alabama.  To boost morale, the AMC held a contest to name the new headquarters.  People came up with all sorts of names for the new headquarters.  When the deadline for suggestions was reached, the AMC had received more than 500 entries.  The official contest committee to name the new building carefully studied each one.  Some of the suggestions were comical.  Some were too colorful or risqué to list here.  Some were just downright strange. 

Finally, on January 14, 1973, Major General Charles T. Horner, the AMC chief of staff announced that the lucky winner was Francis Sikorski.  Along with the pride of winning the contest, Francis received a monetary award of $100.  After announcing the winner, the major general proudly announced the winning entry.  “The name of the new AMC building,” the major general said, “is…the AMC building.”  The choice was met with disappointment. 

More than 40 years later, officials in Britain had a similar situation in which the public was disappointed in a naming contest.  In 2016, Britain’s Natural Environment Research Council held an online poll to name its new £287 million polar scientific research ship.  The Natural Environment Research Council suggested dignified names such as Shackleton, Endeavour, and Falcon.  Members of the public also made their own suggestions.  Someone suggested naming the ship after the late David Bowie.  BBC radio host James Hand put forth his suggestion, but he eventually cast his ballot for another suggestion to name the boat in honor of English broadcaster, biologist, natural historian and author Sir David Attenborough.  Eventually, officials selected, not the entry which had the most votes, not the one with the second most votes, but the one which came in fourth place in the poll.  Officials named the boat the RRS Sir David Attenborough

People who had voted in the online poll were upset that National Environmental Research Council disregarded their choice in favor of one that came in fourth place.  They asked why they held a poll at all.  Science Minister Jo Johnson responded that there were “more suitable” names.  The online pollsters rallied behind BBC radio host James Hand’s suggestion because it came in first place with more than 124,000 votes.  Finally, to quell the row, the Council agreed to name a miniature yellow submarine onboard the ship as James Hand had suggested.  If the council had adopted the name based on the “name our ship” poll, the RRS Sir David Attenborough would have been named Boaty McBoatface.   


1.      The Atchison Daily Globe, January 15, 1973, p.2.

2.     Whitehorse Daily Star, March 21, 2016, p.13.

3.     “‘Boaty McBoatface’ polar ship named after Attenborough,” BBC News, May 6, 2016, accessed March 10, 2023.  https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-36225652

4.     Tampa Bay Times, October 18, 2016, p.T11.

The cool things about spring

Spring is in the air!, and so is love and so is pollen — in the air, in your hair, your eyes, your nose, on your car.

You take the bad with the good when the payoff is spring.

Before we meet again it’ll be Officially Spring, so says The 2023 Old Farmer’s Almanac. Monday at 4:24 p.m. (Saw that on Facebook too, so it must be true, right?)

That moment in time marks the spring equinox, which I have never had the patience to study enough to see what it really means in terms of the Earth’s tilt and what not and this and that and to and fro.

I do know “equinox” comes from two Latin words that mean “equal” and “night.” The day and night are basically the same length. And after that, our hemisphere starts tilting toward the sun which means the days are longer and it’s about to get hot up in here.

But you don’t need an almanac to tell you spring is coming. You hear a ball pop into a mitt or you start filling out your NCAA March Madness bracket, and you know what’s up.

Or, you just look outside, through the yellow pollen mist, and there’s springtime, waving back.

A month ago, a warmish February morning, six robins and two cardinals were in the backyard, scouting. They’ve been there since.

The willows are greening, bulbs shooting and blooming. Little pictures of springtime.

Like me, you’ve probably already mowed once, which is mainly mowing clover, and leaving a little of that for the bees since they don’t have much else to enjoy right now. My yard looks like a drunk person mowed it. With thinning shears.

Speaking of lame brain, it was three years ago this week that the world shut down, semi-thwarting the man-made things that complement spring. It was 2020 and Friday the 13th (which was Monday of this week) when college basketball tournaments and then baseball games were cancelled, and then Monday the 16th (tomorrow, Thursday, is the 16th) is when schools quit and all sports quit and Weird Spring started.  

(Somebody messed up!)

Thank goodness THAT’s over. At least I think it is …

And, speaking of loopy, those birds in the back yard might have had one too many, and I’ll tell you why.

There is a window-sized mirror along the fence, placed there before we moved in, I suppose for decoration. It’s confused at least one of the robins. She keeps flying into its reflection of grass and water and leaves, landing at its bottom, and trying again. Dozens of times. Flying into the mirror.

It happens almost every day, and maybe it’s the same robin and maybe they are all giving it a whirl, trying to figure it out, trying to fly right into springtime.

Contact Teddy at teddy@latech.edu or Twitter @MamaLuvsManning

LQHBA SCHOLARSHIPS: $6,000 to be awarded

Join us for the Mardi Gras Futurity and Louisiana Downs Futurity at Louisiana Downs on Saturday, March 25, 2023

Three scholarships will be awarded through a LIVE drawing in the Louisiana Downs winner’s circle on Saturday, March 25th, immediately following the 4th race.

Applicants must register in person beginning at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 25, 2023.

Registration will close promptly after the third race.


For more information on the scholarship eligibility or the rules, please see the attached flyer or visit LQHBA.COM

Upcoming Events

Please send all non-profit calendar events to bpjnewsla@gmail.com.

March 13-17 (3:45 p.m. – 5 p.m.)

Dr. Seuss After School Special – Bienville Parish Library

March 16 (11 a.m.)

Arcadia Office of Motor Vehicles Grand Re-opening, 600 Factory Outlet Drive, Suite 8 in Arcadia, La

March 16 (6:30 p.m.)

Alumni Basketball Games – Mt. Olive Christian School

March 18 (1 – 3 p.m.)

Town-Wide Clean Up Day

Meet at Ringgold High School Softball Field

March 21-23 (9 a.m- 2 p.m.)

LSU AgCenter – Spring Youth Culinary Camp- Hawaiian Luau, Restaurant Copycat and Campfire Meals

$25 per class or $60 for all 3

Call 318-263-7400 to register 

March 24

Fourth Friday Fish Fry – Camp Harris, 2800 Camp Harris Road Minden, La

Tickets are available for pre-purchase at participating churches and camp office.

March 24-25 

Kingsway Baptist Church Annual 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament

Southland Camp Gym, 3555 Hwy 371 in Ringgold, La

$25 per team to register and includes tournament shirt for each player.

Contact: 418-453-8154 to sign-up. 

March 25 (10 a.m.)

Arcadia Beautification Project – Litter Pick-up

Participants will meet at the Bienville Democrat, 1952 N. Railroad Avenue 

For more information contact Edwin Mason #318-243-9708 or Timothy Williams at #318-607-2207.

March 25 (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.)

Hot & Tasty Fish Fry hosted by Arcadia- Bienville NAACP – Mt. Calvary Family Life Center

$12 per plate

March 26 (10:15 a.m.)

Women’s History Month Guest Speaker: Dr. Phyllis Mason – Holland Grove Baptist Church

March 30 (6 p.m.)

Cool Talk and Hot Coffee with Sheriff John Ballance and Deputies – First Baptist Church Gym

2249 North Hazel Street in Arcadia

April 1 

Camp Harris 4- Person Scramble Golf Tournament – Trails End Golf Course in Arcadia, La

To sign up please contact the camp office at 927-3706, Camp Manager Harry at 455-5012 or Tournament Director Michael at 458-6100.

April 1 (9 a.m. – 1 p.m.)

Farmer’s Market in Downtown Arcadia

$20 donation to reserve a vendor spot. (Food related items only)

Call Tamara at 318-579-0310 to sign up.

April 1 (9 a.m. – 1 p.m.)

Castor Farmer’s Market – Castor Rails to Trail Pavilion 

April 1 (10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.)

Arcadia Marching Hornet Band Crawfish Boil Fundraiser- Arcadia High School