Two RHS Seniors awarded Heisman High School Scholarship

This week the Heisman Trophy Trust announced the 2023 winners for the Heisman High School Scholarship. Two of those awarded were Heather Cox and Trevor Williams, seniors at Ringgold High School.

Thousands of high school senior scholar-athletes graduating with the class of 2024 from 4,129 different schools across the country applied for the scholarship earlier this fall. From this talented group of accomplished, community-minded young men and women, more than 4,878 have earned the honor of becoming School Winners in the Heisman High School Scholarship competition awarded by the Heisman Trophy Trust.

One hundred of these School Winners will become State Winners with the opportunity to become part of our esteemed group of 12 National Finalists and ultimately be named one of our two National Winners. State Winners receive a $1,000 college scholarship, National Finalists receive a $2,000 college scholarship
and the male and female National Winners will each receive a $10,000 college scholarship.

The Heisman Memorial Trophy is annually awarded to the most outstanding college football player in the nation. The Heisman High School Scholarship extends the Heisman prestige to our nation’s most esteemed high school seniors by recognizing and rewarding outstanding scholar-athletes who understand that the most important victories not only happen on the field, but in their schools and communities. These remarkable young leaders set the example and make a game-changing difference every day, paving the way to greatness for everyone around them.

To apply, students must be graduating with the class of 2024, have a cumulative weighted high school grade point average of a B (3.0) or better, participate in at least one of the sports recognized by the International Olympic Committee, the Paralympic Games and/or the National Federation of State High School Association and be a leader in his/her school and community.

About the Heisman High School Scholarship

The Heisman® High School Scholarship was created in 1994 through a partnership between Wendy’s® and The Heisman Trophy Trust. From its inception, the program has leveraged the reputation of the Heisman Memorial Trophy as a symbol of great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work.

The Heisman High School Scholarship program extends the Heisman prestige to the nation’s most esteemed high school seniors by celebrating and rewarding outstanding male and female scholar-athletes who understand that the most important victories happen not only on the field, but also in their schools and communities.

Over the past 29 years, the program has honored more than 600,000 of the nation’s most esteemed high school seniors and provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in college scholarships to students and more than a million dollars to high school academic and athletic nprograms across the country.

The Heisman High School Scholarship program honors the nation’s most accomplished, community-minded high school senior athletes. By inviting male and female students from schools across the country to share their stories of leadership and impact, the program aims to inspire all students to harness their potential, push their limits, and use their talents not only to advance their own futures, but to improve the communities and world around them.

About The Heisman Trophy Trust

The Heisman Trophy Trust’s mission is to grow the legacy and preserve the integrity of the Heisman Memorial Trophy, which is annually awarded to the outstanding college football player in the United States whose performance epitomizes great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work. Beyond awarding the trophy, the Trust has a charitable mission to support and fund both youth development programs in underserved communities and the Heisman High School scholarship program which recognizes community-minded scholar-athletes. Additionally, the Trust annually presents the Heisman Humanitarian Award to outstanding individuals in the sports world who further the Heisman
vision. Our goal is to harness the power of the Heisman Trophy’s legacy of athletic excellence to positively impact our nation’s youth and provide more equitable opportunities for underserved communities.

BPSB calls Special Meeting set for this coming Monday

November 29, 2023

Posted: November 29, 2023

3:00 p.m.


The special meeting of the Bienville Parish School Board will be MONDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2023 at 3:00 p.m. at the School Board Annex, 1956 First Street, Arcadia, Louisiana.

The agenda for this meeting is as follows:

CALL TO ORDER: Martha Grigg, President


PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE: Martha Grigg, President

1. Approve the agenda posted November 29, 2023 for the December 4, 2023 special meeting of the Bienville Parish School Board;

2. Review applications for Superintendent’s Position;

3. Discuss and/or Consider Interview Process: applicants to be interviewed and the date/time/procedure for such interviews.


Martha Grigg, President

William Wysinger, Superintendent

Bienville Fire Protection District 4 & 5 receives Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation Grant

Grant is part of more than $79 million given by Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation to support safety across the U.S.

Bienville Parish Fire Protection District Ward 4 & 5 is now better equipped to keep community members safe thanks to a grant from the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation. The $28K grant will be used to purchase bunker gear, fulfilling a critical need within the department.

“On behalf of the Bienville Parish Fire Protection District Ward 4 & 5 and its members, I want to thank the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation and our local Firehouse Subs in Shreveport,” said Amanda Lindberg, Assistant Chief of EMS. “We take great pride in providing lifesaving support to our community and these funds will allow us to advance our abilities.”

The new bunker gear will be used to outfit an additional 15 firefighters with the necessary protective gear to save property and lives. Having the necessary equipment on hand at the right time can make all the difference.

For the past 18 years, donations have been the driving force behind Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation® supporting first responders and public safety organizations nationwide. To learn more about Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation or donate directly, visit


In 2005, the Firehouse Subs founders established the 501(c)(3), non-profit Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation. The charity provides lifesaving equipment, prevention education, scholarships and continued education, and disaster relief for first responders and public safety organizations, as well as support for military veterans. Since inception, the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation has awarded more than $79 million to hometown heroes in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. Support for Canadian first responders is provided through the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation of Canada.

The Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation is honored to be listed as a four-star nonprofit organization, the highest designation, by Charity Navigator. Charity Navigator is the nation’s largest and most-utilized evaluator of charities. Grant allocations are made possible thanks to the overwhelming support of Firehouse Subs restaurants and generous donors. More than 70% of the funds raised for the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation come from the generosity of Firehouse Subs guests and the restaurant brand. Please consider supporting a Firehouse Subs restaurant near you!

BPJ columnist to speak at Homer library

By Wesley Harris

(Claiborne Parish Library Historian)

Award-winning outdoor writer Glynn Harris will speak at the Claiborne Parish Library on December 7

Over the past four decades, Harris’s articles have been published in dozens of publications including Field and Stream, Outdoor Life, BassMaster, Louisiana Sportsman, newspapers statewide and more. His latest book, Bamboozled by a Bobcat: A Louisiana Boy’s Dirt Road Recollections, was published recently.

In the part-memoir, part-autobiography, Harris taps into his vast reservoir of humorous and touching storytelling from growing up along a red dirt road in rural Louisiana to becoming the well-known writer he is today.

Keith “Catfish” Sutton, editor of CatfishNow Magazine said, “Bamboozled by a Bobcat takes the reader on a heartfelt journey through a life richly lived . . . these recollections are woven together with a tapestry of outdoor adventures, hunting escapades, and the evolution of a budding writer.”

Harris was inducted into the Louisiana Chapter of Legends of the Outdoors Hall of Fame in 2021 and was the recipient of the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association’s Arthur Van Pelt Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015 and the Sports Greats of North Louisiana Award in 2018.

Glynn resides in the piney woods of Lincoln Parish with his wife Kay and their beloved dog Coco.

The program begins at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 7 at the Claiborne Parish Library, 909 Edgewood Drive in Homer. Refreshments will be available prior to the presentation and Harris will autograph copies of his book after the presentation. Harris’s book can be purchased on

Louisiana Tech announces 2023 Fall Honor Roll

Louisiana Tech University has announced the names of students on its Fall Quarter 2023 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.

Honor students are listed below by their hometowns in Bienville Parish.

  • Arcadia: Zayne D. Bell, Christopher Wade Caskey*, Esmeralda Leonardo Amado, David L. Modlin*, Jace M. Morris*
  • Chestnut: Allie Danielle Curole
  • Gibsland: Landrie Elizabeth Still, Parker Brian Still
  • Saline: Kassadi D. Adkins*, Skylar M. Hough*, Alayna K. Martin*, Finley Jane Oliver*
  • Taylor: Elizabeth Walker*

Serious management works for Colvin in downing mystery buck

Louisiana is in the throes of a major drought that has reduced palatable browse for deer; they are having to depend on less desirable food sources to survive. Forty-three year old Daniel Colvin, Bernice, is offering a 4 ½ acre smorgasbord of wheat, clover and turnips that virtually guarantee that when he sits on his stand, it’s almost a sure thing that he’ll see deer.

Colvin, is an entrepreneur who has a variety of professions. He deals in real estate buying and selling, is a commercial fisherman, has a lawn service and is a consultant to property owners who want to provide the best opportunity for attracting and holding deer.

He has converted his own 1300 acres in Union Parish to a haven for deer and as a result, he has been successful in growing some impressive bucks. Colvin keeps cameras out year round, provides minerals all year and improves the land by controlled burning and thinning where needed. He knows and keep records on virtually every buck on the property but there was one that provided a bit of a mystery.

“I’m really not sure if I knew about this particular buck,” Colvin said. “I knew I had a big one on the property and had a photo of one back in July in velvet before his rack fully developed I knew was going to be special. Then he just disappeared and I never had a picture of this particular buck after that.”

As dry as things have been, it had rained the night of October 29 and continued on into the next morning, finally ceasing on Monday October 30.

“I knew the deer would be moving after the rain and bucks were starting to make scrapes and chase does. At 3:30, I got in my box stand overlooking the food plot and actually ran off a doe and yearling as I got to the stand. Soon after getting settled in the stand, several small bucks showed up and were starting to harass does that had also arrived,” said Colvin.

Around 5:00 that afternoon, Colvin noticed one particular small buck had his eyes fixed on the adjacent woods. Suddenly, the buck bolted and ran from the food plot.

“I knew there had to be a bigger buck that had spooked this little buck so I kept my eyes on the direction the buck was looking. Then I saw a big rack and then the body of an impressive buck as it stepped out. I knew it was a shooter for sure so I got my 25.06 Remington up and five seconds later, I hit the trigger. The buck ran about twenty yards before falling at the edge of the food plot,” Colvin continued.

The buck sported an impressive rack of 11 points, had an inside spread of 19 2/8 inches, impressive main beams of 24 and 25 inches and 5 inch bases. He was determined to be 5 ½ years old and weighed in at 190 pounds.

Colvin took him to Greg Hicks, official Buckmaster scorer, and the tape came to 154 4/8 inches.

Although Colvin has a record of just about every deer on the property, this one, never actually identified, was a bit of a mystery that ended successfully.

A brief moment of clarity

When I began this column over a year ago now, I vowed to keep it real with you all. I said I would share the good, bad and the ugly. Although it took me a few months to shy away from the light and funny aspects of motherhood, I daresay I have gotten into the groove of only sharing my hardships lately (Lord knows there’s been enough of them.) 

So, after a week off spent loving on my family, I am back in the swing of things and basking in the positive. 

Most moms, me included, are ready to get those kiddos back on routine and in the school yard first thing Monday morning after an extended break. That was not me this time. I actually think I may have been dreading sending them back more than they were dreading going back themselves.  

I cannot pinpoint exactly what made this break so different from any of the others, but there was an obvious shift. It wasn’t just sleeping in, slow mornings, eating everything in the house, being lazy, late nights, lack of structure. I genuinely just miss THEM! I may or may not have thrown around the idea of homeschooling them until I thought about it long enough.  

I know they like to act a little crazy and bring me to the point of insanity sometimes, but I am overwhelmed with love for each of them. I will also admit all the sickness going around this time of the year also has me feeling anxious and on high alert lately. I not only want to keep them at home, but I would also like to put them in a bubble if I could.  

I am what one may call a hypochondriac. I have been this way since birth, I think. You did not want to be around me during peak Covid… dark times, dark times. Over the last several days, I have found myself getting back to that – in a constant state of fear and always worrying when the ball will drop.  

If you are a believer, I am sure you can relate to those brief moments of clarity and peace.  Luckily, I had one of these and it was right on time.

Sunday night, I was saying my prayers before bed, and I found myself just repeating the same sentence over and over again. (Like God didn’t get it the first time, right?) I knew at that point I was just saying it over and over to give myself a bit of peace. Yes, MYSELF. This is where the moment of clarity comes in. 

I am reciting, “Lord, please just keep my babies safe. Lord, please just keep my babies safe.” 

It was probably after ten consecutive minutes of just reciting this over and over, I stopped.  

I heard God say, “I’ve got this.”  


In that moment of clarity. I was suddenly no longer anxious or afraid. I know God loves my girls more than I ever could and He is going to take care of them.

But that’s not all.

I felt led to open my Bible and turn to a random page. I do this often and I have ever since I was a kid. I closed my eyes, and my finger blindly led me to a scripture in Philippians.  

“Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” 


This scripture sounded familiar. A few moments later I found myself going through my backpack that I carry around with me every day and I pulled out a piece of paper that I took from Mass on Wednesday. I scanned it over and discovered it was the exact same scripture recited a few days prior during the service. 

Wow. I was sitting there reminding God over and over to take care of my family, but He made it clear in that moment that He did not need reminding. It was ME that needed the reminding. I did feel connected to this verse my first time reading it on Wednesday, but to blindly rediscover this same scripture a few days later in the midst of the worrying – that cannot be chalked up as a mere coincidence.  

Those brief moments of clarity and peace are few and far between for me, but when I feel them, it is indescribable and something I cling to so desperately in the days to follow.

I also wanted to share a quote from Henri Nouwen, a Dutch priest and professor, that I have referred to several times this week along with a new favorite scripture.

“Optimism and hope are radically different attitudes. Optimism is the expectation that things – the weather, human relationships, the economy, the political situation, and so on – will get better. Hope is trusting that God will fulfill God’s promises to us in a way that leads us to true freedom. The optimist speaks about concrete changes in the future. The person of hope lives in the moment with the knowledge and trust that all of life is in good hands.” 

So instead of worrying the good, joyful and healthy days away while waiting for something bad to happen, I have made it my personal mission to live in the moment and have faith that my God has me and all my loved ones in the palm of His hand.  

(Paige Nash is a wife, mother of three, digital journalist for the Webster Parish Journal and publisher of the Bienville and Claiborne Parish Journal.)

Mississippians feeding Mississippians

It is said that Texans have an unparalleled pride for their state. My wife grew up there and my father-in-law is from there. Though I find it hard to believe any Texan would have more affection for their state than I have for mine.

I love Mississippi.

I could spend my remaining column inches listing the gifts Mississippi has given to the world in the fields of art, music, literature, food, and culture, but it would take way more than one column to cover all of that. We are blessed in so many ways.

Though, here in my home state of Mississippi, we are last in many of the things we want to be first in and first in so many of the things we want to be last in. Unfortunately, one of the main things we are last in is hunger. Mississippi leads the nation in food insecurity. That was a fact that I didn’t believe early on.

Back in 2009 I received a call from the Edward St. Fellowship Center, a local mission pantry. ESFC was formed by a collective of Methodist churches in the area. At the time they were feeding approximately 800 families a month. They were completely out of food, the shelves were empty, and they had clients coming in at the end of the week. They were desperate and asked if I could help them out with a food donation. I figured the easiest, quickest, best way to get food on their shelves was to call in a food order to one of my suppliers and have it drop-shipped to the agency the next day. That happened and they were able to serve their clients that week.

That incident got me thinking that if there were an easier solution to keeping those shelves filled maybe they wouldn’t get empty so often.

Extra Table was born.

Though, to be honest with you, at that time I was skeptical there was even a hunger problem in Mississippi. I could see some third world, Central American country having a hard time feeding its citizens. But “This is America,” I thought. I was wrong. Very wrong. I went on a fact-finding mission across the state visiting local food pantries and soup kitchens to see if the problem was a real one. It didn’t take me long to discover there is a huge hunger problem in America, and I was living in the state that led the nation.

During that fact-finding mission I learned that many mission pantries and soup kitchens are mostly supplied by canned food drives. Those agencies won’t tell you this, but I will, canned food drives are the least effective way to tackle the hunger problem, anywhere. As I was walking through these agencies trying to figure out how to help solve the hunger problem, I noticed things on the shelves like blueberry pie filling and other items that serve no purpose in the fight against hunger.

I founded Extra Table on two key principles:

1.)   100% of the money we raise for food will go to purchase food. I didn’t want to be a part of any nonprofit or charity that wasted money on excessive salaries and expenses. To do this we formed an entirely separate 501C3 that raises money for our minimal administrative costs.

2.)   The food we deliver to agencies must be healthy food. On that initial investigative tour, I noticed most of the foods were not nutritious foods and I made the decision to try our best to deal with low fat proteins, low sugar fruits, low sodium vegetables, and healthy grains.

The Extra Table formula was simple from the start. We would raise money. We would use that money to purchase food at wholesale prices, and then we would deliver that food directly to the agencies, at no cost to them. It was taking business principles and applying them to a nonprofit.

The agencies were skeptical at first. We would approach a food pantry or soup kitchen and introduce ourselves, “Hey, we are Extra Table. We believe you’re doing a great job feeding those in need. We want to send you food.”

“How much is it going to cost? They would ask.
“Nothing. We just want to send you food.” We replied.

“Do you want our donor list?”
“No. We just want to send you food.”
Do you want our mailing list?”
“No. We just want to send you food every month. We will go out and raise the money. We will use that money to purchase healthy food, and— once a month— we will deliver it to your door and even unload the truck and put it on your shelves.”

They remained skeptical… until the first delivery arrived.

It didn’t take long before Extra Table grew much larger than my schedule allowed. Over the past 14 years we have had three executive directors, each of whom have done a stellar job in growing this nonprofit.

The problem is real. Mississippi is a relatively small state of 2.9 million people. Out of that population there are 670,000 Mississippians who are food insecure. That’s over 20%. Over 200,000 of those are kids, many of whom eat a school breakfast and a school lunch, and then don’t eat again until the next day. Over 125,000 our senior citizens who, at this moment, are trying to decide if they can afford to pay the electricity bill or go to the grocery store. The problem is real. And it is unacceptable.

My eyes were opened in 2009. I grew up in the home of a single mom public school art teacher. We didn’t have much money. But I never missed a meal.

In my opinion, Extra Table is the most efficient and effective nonprofit in the entire state. We run a statewide charity with a staff of three people. During COVID, we shipped 5.9 million pounds of food to over 60 agencies with a staff of one for most of the year. The Extra Table trucks go out to over 62 agencies across the state of Mississippi once a month. This year, Extra Table executive director, Martha Allen and her team of two, will have provided over six million healthy meals to Mississippians in need. We also have so much more in the works.

One of the primary components we installed in the Extra Table business plan was to keep food coming into our partner agencies in a steady manner. Everyone thinks of childhood hunger around Thanksgiving and Christmas. But the sad truth is kids are just as hungry in June and July as they are in November and December. Most feeding agencies face their greatest obstacles in the summer months. That’s why our monthly deliveries are spread out evenly across the entire year.

Mississippi has challenges like any other state. Though one of the things that makes me most proud of my home state is that— even though we are the poorest state in the country— we are one of the most charitable. The first time I heard that statistic it was no surprise to me because I have been affiliated with Extra Table for the last 14 years. I have seen the charitable nature of Mississippians and it’s just one more thing that makes me so proud to live in this state I call home.

If you are looking for a place to make an end-of-the-year donation, go to and help us continue to feed our neighbors in need.


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

Today in History

1835 – Hans Christian Andersen published his first book of fairy tales.

1909 – The Pennsylvania Trust Company, of Carlisle, PA, became the first bank in the in the U.S. to offer a Christmas Club account.

1913 – Ford Motor Co. began using a new movable assembly line that ushered in the era of mass production.

1913 – The first drive-in automobile service station opened, in Pittsburgh, PA.

1919 – Lady Astor was sworn in as the first female member of the British Parliament.

1925 – The Locarno Pact finalized the treaties between World War I protagonists.

1934 – Sergei M. Kirov, a collaborator of Joseph Stalin, was assassinated at the Leningrad party headquarters.

1941 – In the U.S., the Civil Air Patrol was created. In April 1943 the Civil Air Patrol was placed under the jurisdiction of the Army Air Forces.

1942 – In the U.S., nationwide gasoline rationing went into effect.

1943 – In Teheran, leaders of the United States, the USSR and the United Kingdom met to reaffirm the goal set on October 30, 1943. The previous meeting called for an early establishment of an international organization to maintain peace and security.

1952 – In Denmark, it was announced that the first successful sex-change operation had been performed.

1955 – Rosa Parks, a black seamstress in Montgomery, AL, refused to give up her seat to a white man. Mrs. Parks was arrested marking a milestone in the civil rights movement in the U.S.

1959 – 12 countries, including the U.S. and USSR, signed a treaty that set aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve, which would be free from military activity.

1965 – An airlift of refugees from Cuba to the United States began.

1969 – The U.S. government held its first draft lottery since World War II.

1984 – A remote-controlled Boeing 720 jetliner was deliberately crashed into California’s Mojave Desert to test an anti-flame fuel additive. The test proved to be disappointing.

1986 – U.S. President Ronald Reagansaid he would welcome an investigation of the Iran-Contra affair if it were recommended by the Justice Department.

1987 – Construction began on the Channel Tunnel between the United Kingdom and France.

1987 – NASA announced four companies had been given contracts to help build a space station. The companies were Boeing Aerospace, G. E.’s Astro-Space Division, McDonnell Douglas Aeronautics, and Rocketdyne Division of Rockwell International.

1989 – Dissidents in the Philippine military launched an unsuccessful coup against Corazon Aquino’s government.

1989 – East Germany’s Parliament abolished the Communist Party’s constitutional guarantee of supremacy.

1990 – Iraq accepted a U.S. offer to talk about resolving the Persian Gulf crisis.

1990 – British and French workers digging the Channel Tunnel finally met under the English Channel.

1991 – Ukrainians voted overwhelmingly for independence from the Soviet Union.

1992 – Russian President Boris Yeltsin survived an impeachment attempt by hard-liners at the opening of the Russian Congress.

1994 – The U.S. Senate gave final congressional approval to the 124-nation General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

1998 – Exxon announced that it was buying Mobil for $73.7 billion creating the largest company in the world to date.

2013 – CEO Jeff Bezos revealed “Amazon Prime Air” on “60 Minutes.” The services was planned to use unmanned aerial vehicles to deliver packages to customers.

Upcoming Events

Please send all non-profit calendar events to

December 1 -3 

Christmas at Bonnie & Clyde, 20550 Hwy 9 in Arcadia

December 7 (5:30 – 8 p.m.)

Ringgold Elementary – Christmas Movie Night

Students 1st through 6th (Tickets must be purchased by Dec. 4)

December 8

Ringgold Elementary School Cheer – Talent Show

December 8

Bienville Parish Library’s Annual Holiday Craft Fair

December 9 (1 – 5 p.m.)

Arcadia’s Downtown Christmas Market – N. Railroad Ave

December 9 (1 p.m. – UNTIL)

Arcadia’s Hometown Christmas Festival

December 11

Leslie Lakes Retirement Center – Pajama Drive

(All donations should be dropped off at 1355 6th St, Arcadia)

December 11

6th Annual Reindeer Run – Castor High School

December 15 

House of Raeford – Fresh Chicken Community Truckload Sale 

Pre-order only 

December 23 (10 a.m.)

Annual Toy Drive – Crawford Elementary School 

Notice of Death – November 30

Notice of Death – November 30, 2023

L.C. Hamilton, Sr. 

Feb. 08, 1933 – Nov. 25, 2023

Homer, La.

Visitation: 1 – 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 01, 2023, Memorial Funeral Home, Homer.

Funeral service: 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 02, 2023, Antioch Baptist Church, Homer.

Interment to follow at Antioch Cemetery.

Doris Ann Johnson

Nov. 09, 1961 – Nov. 18, 2023

Homer, La.

Visitation: 12 – 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 01, 2023, Memorial Funeral Home, Homer.

Funeral service: 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 02, 2023, New Life Deliverance Worship Center, El Dorado, Ark.

Interment: 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 02, 2023, Junction City Community Cemetery.

Emma Lee Holman

Jan. 16, 1940 – Nov. 21, 2023

Ringgold, La.

Visitation: 2 – 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 01, 2023, Memorial Funeral Home, Ringgold.

Funeral service: 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 02, 2023, Evergreen Missionary Baptist Church, Ringgold.

Interment: 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 02, 2023, Stafford Cemetery, Ringgold.

Timothy D. Ivory

Sept. 02, 1978 – Nov. 24, 2023

Homer, La.

Wake: 5 – 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 02, 2023, Love Chapel BC, Homer.

Funeral service: 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 03, 2023, Homer City Hall. 

Interment: 4 p.m. at Moreland Cemetery.

Donald Truett Harrison

March 6, 1963 – Nov. 22, 2023

Elm Grove/Springhill

Visitation: 2 until 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023, Bailey Funeral Home, Springhill.

Memorial service: 3 p.m. immediately following visitation.

William ‘Bill’ Francis Stanley Jr.

March 20, 1953 – Nov. 23, 2023

Minden, La.

Celebration of life to be announced at a later date.

Charles Lamar Allen

June 16,  1962 – Nov. 25, 2023

Castor, La. 

Private graveside service will be held.

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 no charge.)

CASA Angel Tree bringing Christmas to local foster children

By Michelle Bates

This Christmas, foster children in the area will receive gifts thanks to the generosity of the communities in Bienville, Claiborne and Jackson parishes.

Each year, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) decorate a Christmas tree – an angel tree – with the ages, clothing sizes and names of little boy or a little girl in the area’s foster care system. By adopting an angel from the tree, participants choose a foster child to purchase unwrapped pajamas and other gifts for them. Deadline to submit the pajamas and gifts is Dec. 4.

This year’s tree is located at The Gathering Place General Store. For those who wish to purchase gifts (unwrapped), drop them off at The Gathering Place General Store, located at 1982 N. Railroad Ave., for the CASA closet. Stockings (and gifts for them), socks and gloves are also greatly appreciated.

Please call Deanna Curtis or McKenzie Turner at 318-263-2292 for all of the details about buying for a CASA Christmas angel.

“We appreciate everyone’s support of CASA,” Curtis said. “By donating these gifts, children in our foster care system will receive the Christmas they should have.”

The Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Program utilizes volunteers who are appointed by a judge and assigned to a case, to advocate and speak up for the best interest of abused and neglected children in court that have been placed into the foster care system. The CASA volunteer does this by gathering information regarding the child and speaking to all parties involved with the case. The volunteer then appears in court and makes recommendations as to what is in the best interest of the child. The goal is to ensure that the child is placed in a safe, permanent home as quickly as possible.

Agents cite Bienville Parish man for harvesting deer at night

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited a subject for alleged deer hunting violations on Nov. 25 in Bienville Parish.

Agents cited Christopher Havard, 33, of Castor, for taking deer during illegal hours.

Agents investigated a complaint about a deer shot at night on Nov. 25 near Castor in Bienville Parish.  Through the investigation agents learned that Havard shot an 11-point buck around 7 p.m. with the use of a rifle and night vision scope.

Agents seized the deer, rifle and night vision scope.

Taking deer during illegal hours brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Havard will also be assessed civil restitution totaling $2,024 for the replacement value of the illegally taken deer.

Agents participating in the case are Sgt. Charles Dison, Sgt. Patrick Staggs, Corporal John Blalock, Corporal Emily Sexton and Agent Zachery Funderburk.

Bienville Parish Basketball Week 3 & 4

It’s been a couple of weeks but the action in Week 4, Turkey week, was limited so we decided to combine the two week   Oh what a lot happened in those two weeks.    

Castor Lady Tigers (6-0) remained undefeated for the past two weeks.   Although they only played one game over the past two weeks.   Ambree Collinsworth had the high top performance with 22 points over Calvin.    

Talking about a marathon of games, the Arcadia Lady Hornets played 6 games in 7 days over the holiday break winning the Lakeside Tournament an going a perfect 7-0 over the two weeks.   

Ringgold boys (5-1) also caused some damage in the Lakeside tournament taking the title over Week 3 taking wins over Camden, AR, Arcadia, and demolishing Magnolia Charter in the finals.  The Redskins lost their first game in a road game against Captain Shreve but bounced back  against Stanley. 

Saline boys (7-3) rolled through their tournament with a perfec 3-0 record with wins over D’Arbonne Woods, Simsboro, and Jonesboro-Hodge.   Saline is currently on a 6-game win streak. 

Ratravious Crawley making an impact with the Arcadia Hornets capturing the high top performance of the week.   Arcadia (2-1) took wins over Summerfield and Minden over the past week.  

We’ll make the bites more manageable next week but stay with us to keep up with the Bienville Parish basketball schedule weekly. 


Tuesday, November 14

Arcadia 61, Summerfield 44

Castor 47, Calvin 38

Ringgold 69, Simsboro 49

Saline 67, Cedar Creek 61

Wednesday, November 15

Arcadia 61, Minden 57

Thursday, November 16

Parkway 63, Castor 36

Ringgold 56, Camden AR 38

Saline 62, D’Arbonne Woods 43

Friday, November 17

Ringgold 53, Arcadia 39

Saline 70, Simsboro 64

Saturday, November 18

Ringgold 71, Magnolia SOE 31

Saline 43, Jonesboro-Hodge 28

Monday, November 20

D’Arbonne Woods 73, Castor 56

Captain Shreve 59, Ringgold 34

Tuesday, November 21

Minden 73, Gibsland-Coleman 64

Ringgold 40, Stanley 25


Tuesday, November 14

Arcadia 73, Summerfield 44

Castor 62, Calvin 57

Simsboro 35, Ringgold 33

Gibsland Coleman 2, Union Parish 0 (forfeit)

Cedar Creek 55, Saline 53

Wednesday, November 15

Arcadia 55, North Webster 17

Thursday, November 16

Arcadia 53, North Desoto 29 (Lakeside Tourn)

Simsboro 46, Ringgold 37 (Lakeside Tourn)

Saline 43, D’Arbonne Woods (Saline Tourn)

Friday, November 17

Arcadia 51, Minden 45 (Lakeside Tourn)

Walker 82, Gibsland-Coleman 29 (Walker Tourn)

Saline 44, Quitman 38 (Saline Tourn)

Saturday, November 18

Arcadia 40, Simsboro 17 (Lakeside Tourn)

RInggold 57, North Caddo (Lakeside Tourn)

Lakeview 44, Saline 32 (Saline Tourn)

Monday, November 20

Arcadia 59, Ferriday 15 (Wossman Tourn)

Tuesday, November 21

Arcadia 54, West Monroe 18 (Wossman Tourn)

Ringgold 44, Stanley 42

Starting 5 – Boys

Ratravious Crawley, Arcadia

Deveryuan Moore, Gibsland-Coleman

DeAvery Durham, Gibsland-Coleman

Gavon Dailey, Saline

Eli Ferguson, Saline

Next 5 – Boys

Jordyn Wilson, Ringgold

Antwon Bolyer, Castor

Trent Ledbetter, Saline

Johnathan Warren, Castor

J’bari Adams, Ringgold

Starting 5 – Girls

Ambree Collinsworth, Castor

Sky McMullan, Castor

Alana Gray, Saline

Justice Young, Arcadia

Alaya Gray, Saline

Next 5 – Girls

Kacidy Sims, Saline

DeAsia Alexander, Arcadia

Arianna Williams, Arcadia

Rhyanna Abney, Arcadia

Avery Jordan, Castor (tie)

Timeria Gray, Saline (tie)

Baleigh Haulcy, Gibsland-Coleman (tie)

Donshayla Rushing, Gibsland-Coleman (tie)

CaRiya Lewis, Gibsland-Coleman (tie)

Top Performances

Ratravious Crawlye, Arcadia, 27 pts. , vs. Minden

Gavon Dailey, Saline, 25 pts.  vs. Cedar Creek

Eli Ferguson, Saline, 23 pts.  vs. Jonesboro-Hodge

Eli Ferguson, Saline, 22 pts. v.  Simsboro

Gavon Dailey, Saline  22 pts. v D’Arbonne Woods

Ratravious Crawley, Arcadia, 22 pts.  v. Ringgold

Deveryuan Moore, Gibsland-Coleman, 20 pts., v. Minden

DeAvery Durham, Gibsland-Coleman, 19 pts. v. Minden

J’bari Adams, Ringgold, 19 pts.,  vs. Simsboro

Jordyn WIlson, Ringgold, 19 pts., v.  Arcadia

Gavon Dailey, Saline, 17 pts. v. Simsboro

J’bari Adams, Ringgold, 17 pts. v.  Magnolia SOE

Trent Ledbetter, Saline, 16 pts. v. Cedar Creek

Eli Ferguson, Saline, 15 pts. v. D’Arbonne Woods

Trent Ledbetter, Saline, 15 pts. v. Simsboro

Ratravious Crawley, Arcadia, 15 pts. v. Summerfield

Top Performances – Girls

Ambree Collinsworth, Castor, 22 pts, vs Calvin

Alaya Gray, Saline, 20 pts., vs. Cedar Creek

Kacidy Sims, Saline 20 pts., vs. Cedar Creek

DeAsia Alexander, Arcadia, 19 pts. vs. Summerfield

Sky McMulan, Castor, 18 pts. ,  vs. Calvin

Alana Gray, Saline, 17 pts., vs. D’Arbonne Woods

Rhyanna Abney, Arcadia, 17 pts., vs. Ferriday

Arianna Williams,Arcadia, 17 pts. vs. West Monroe

DeAsia Alexander, Arcadia, 17 pts., vs. North Webster

Justice Young, Arcadia, 17 pts., vs. Simsboro

Arianna Williams, Arcadia , 16 pts. v. Minden

DeAsia Alexander, Arcadia, 16 pts. v. West Monroe

Justice Young, Arcadia, 16 pts. v. North Desoto

Alaya Gray, Saline, 15 pts.  v. Quitman

Justice Young, Arcadia, 15 pts.  v. North Webster

Town of Arcadia kickstarts the holiday season

By Melisa Rudd

Arcadia’s “elves” have been hard at work most of November adorning lamp posts with garland, hanging lights and getting decorations ready in Henderson Jordan Park. On Tuesday, November 28, Mayor O’Landis Millican welcomed citizens and visitors to the annual lighting of the Christmas tree. He along with Councilman Edwin Mason welcomed the evening’s performers.

Mrs. Jocelyn Alford and the Crawford Elementary Honor Society students sang songs of the season. When asked what his favorite part of the evening was, honor student Mason Murphy said, “singing” while sipping his hot chocolate. The students filled the crowd with the holiday spirit. Tonika Pruitt said, “you can feel warmth and joy in the air”.

Gibsland Bank & Trust, Willow Ridge and Bienville Medical Center served hot chocolate, cookies and seasonal refreshments. Jacqueline Crawford felt the event was “getting us in the Christmas spirit”. The employees of Kenny’s Place observed the night was “a very nice gathering of family and friends”.

Spectators were able to participate in a 360 degree photo booth and take family photos on the stage after the lighting. Councilman Timothy Williams summed up the evening best.

He said, “As Councilman for District 5, standing amidst the timeless charm of Historic Downtown Arcadia during our Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony, I felt the crisp cool air carry with it the warmth of community spirit. In the glow of festive lights, I witnessed the true magic of the Christmas season—a tapestry of love and camaraderie woven by the hearts of our residents. Together, we illuminated the spirit of unity that makes our town a beacon of holiday joy. May this season’s festivities bring lasting memories and strengthen the bonds that make Arcadia extraordinary.”

The Bienville Parish Journal would be happy to highlight any other upcoming holiday events in the parish. Please let us know what your town, organization, business, school or church has in the works. You can send details to

Who is the dominant basketball team in Bienville Parish?

The annual Bienville Parish Basketball Tournament will be played at Ringgold High School from Thursday through the finals on Saturday night, Nov. 30 – Dec. 2.

Here is the schedule for the tournament:


5:00 PM   –  Gibsland-Coleman v. Castor (Girls)

6:15 PM   –  Gibsland-Coleman v. Castor (Boys)

7:30 PM  –   Ringgold v. Arcadia (Girls)



5:00 PM  –  Gibsland-Coleman/Castor Winner v. Saline (Girls)

6:15 PM –   Gibsland-Coleman/Castor winner v. Saline (Boys)

7:00 PM  –  Ringgold v. Arcadia (Boys)



6:00 PM    Girls Finals

7:00 PM    Boys Finals

Admission for the tournament is $7.   NO OUT PASSES.   If you leave, you must pay to re-enter.   Players are allowed in for free throughout the tournament even if eliminated.  Players must be identified by a coach or principal. 

Road closure rescheduled for 1-20 at Bear Creek Bridge

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development advises motorists that the following inside (left) lane closures on I-20 westbound in Bienville Parish have been rescheduled for the purpose of guardrail repair. The new dates are as follows:

  • *UPDATE* – Thursday, November 30th: I-20 westbound at the Bear Creek Relief Bridge, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • *UPDATE* – Friday, December 1st: I-20 westbound at the Bear Creek Bridge, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

These bridges are located just east of the Ada Taylor (US 80) interchange.

Restrictions/Permits: Vehicles 16 feet or smaller will be allowed to pass through the work zone.

Alternate Route: N/A

This work will be performed WEATHER PERMITTING.

Safety reminder:

DOTD appreciates your patience and reminds you to please 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.

Additional information:

Call 511, visit, or download the Louisiana 511 mobile app for additional information. Out-of-state travelers may call 1-888-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.

Contact Information:

Erin Buchanan
Public Information Officer
Shreveport-Bossier District
(318) 549-8402

Woodrow’s Father

Charles Voyde is considered by some to be a legend in Texas because of his high-profile criminal history.  Charles was a carpet salesman, professional gambler, and a convicted contract killer, a hitman.  Charles was born in 1938 in Lovelady, Texas.  His criminal career began sometime in the late 1950s and escalated from petty crimes to murder.    

Charles had a wife and two children, the oldest of which was Woodrow.  In 1968, when Woodrow was seven years old, Charles was arrested for the murder of Alan Harry Berg, also a carpet salesman.  Woodrow’s father disappeared from his life.  While awaiting trial, Charles and two others were charged with the murder of wealthy grain broker Sam Degelia near McAllen, Texas.  In September 1970, Charles was acquitted of murdering Berg.  After the first trial for Sam Degelia’s murder ended in a deadlocked jury, Charles was convicted in 1973 and sentenced to 15 years in prison.  According to trial testimony, Charles was paid just $2,000 to murder Degelia.  In 1978, after serving five years of his sentence, Charles was released for good behavior.

Like Charles, Jamiel “Jimmy” Chagra was a carpet salesman and a professional gambler.  Jimmy was also a drug trafficker operating out of Las Vegas, Nevada and El Paso, Texas. In February 1979, Jimmy was indicted by a federal grand jury on cocaine and marijuana smuggling charges in Midland, Texas, and the case was assigned to Federal Judge “Maximum” John Wood.  The judge earned the nickname “Maximum” for his tough treatment of drug dealers and smugglers.  Jimmy tried back channels, and, when that failed, threatened Judge Wood, but he refused to step down as the presiding judge in Jimmy’s case.  Jimmy decided to hire a hitman.

According to courtroom testimony, in April 1979, Jimmy Chagra met Charles and Jo Ann, Charles’ third wife, in Las Vegas.  At that meeting, Charles agreed to murder the federal judge for $250,000.  In the following month, Jo Ann, using the false name Fay King, bought a Weatherby rifle in a Dallas gun shop.  A few days later, May 29, 1979, Judge John Wood was standing outside his car at his home in San Antonio, purportedly looking at a flat tire on either his or his wife’s car.  A neighbor heard what he thought was a car backfiring and looked out of his window and saw the judge fall into his car.  He had been shot in the back.  He fell into and died in his wife’s lap.  In the following month, Teresa Starr Jasper, Charles’ stepdaughter, picked up a briefcase which contained $250,000 in Las Vegas from Elizabeth Chagra, Jimmy’s wife.

The murder of the federal judge prompted a massive investigation, and, in August 1979, Jimmy Chagra was convicted in absentia in federal court of continuing criminal activity and sentenced to 30 years without parole.  Five months later, Jimmy was captured in Las Vegas and sent to Leavenworth federal prison.  While in prison, Jimmy bragged to another inmate, Jerry Ray James, that he had Judge John Wood killed and provided some specific details.  Jerry Ray shared the information he learned with investigators.  In September 1980, Charles was arrested in Van Horn, Texas following a 10-hour cocaine-fueled standoff with police.  It was when news broke of the 10-hour standoff that Woodrow learned the whereabouts of his father whom he had not seen in over ten years. 

During interrogation, Charles admitted to killing Judge John Wood.  In all fairness, during the same interrogation he also claimed to have killed several other people including President John F. Kennedy.  In April 1982, a federal grand jury indicted Jimmy, Jimmy’s little brother Joe Chagra, Jimmy’s wife Elizabeth, along with Charles and Jo Ann for conspiracy and other charges in the John Wood murder case.  Joe Chagra made a plea-bargain for a lesser sentence.  Elizabeth Chagra was found guilty of conspiracy for delivering the $250,000 payment to Charles’ stepdaughter.  Jo Ann, who bought the rifle that killed Judge John Wood was sentenced to 25 years in prison for obstruction.  Charles, the hitman who admitted to killing the judge, was sentenced to serve two consecutive life sentences for the murder.  Jimmy was ultimately acquitted of hiring Charles to kill Judge John Wood but was found guilty on numerous drug trafficking charges.                

In the late 1980s, Charles and Woodrow grew closer.  Woodrow visited his father in prison at least once a year.  In 1985, Woodrow became a bartender and began helping his father to get a new trial.  In 1987, when Charles married his fourth wife by proxy, Woodrow stood in for his father during the ceremony.  Charles argued that his legal representation was not adequate in his 1979 trial.  “No matter what you did,” Charles said, “you have a right under that Constitution to a fair and impartial hearing of your peers, and I did not get that.”  In 1998, Woodrow told reporters that it was the “sad truth” that the legal system “seems to work a lot better for those who have enough money.”  Woodrow fought to get his father a new trial until March 21, 2007, when the 69-year-old contract killer died in prison of a heart attack.   

Woodrow once said the fight to get his father a new trial cost a lot of money, but his bartending job paid more than most bartending jobs.  You see, Woodrow, the son of a hit man, was a bartender at the Boston, Massachusetts bar “where everybody knows your name.”  The name of the fictional bar was Cheers.  Charles Voyde Harrelson was the father of actor Woodrow “Woody” Harrelson.


1.     El Paso Times, May 30, 1979, p.1.

2.     Fort Worth Star-Telegram, October 21, 1984, p.89.

3.     Fort Worth Star-Telegram, October 25, 1984, p.69.

4.     Tampa Bay Times, August 7, 1998, p.22.

5.     The Monitor (McAllen, Texas), July 16, 1999, p. 26.

6.     Austin American-Statesman, March 22, 2007, p.21.

Sheet Pan Pot Pie

A weeknight meal that could not be easier, more comforting and satisfying! Mix up this filling in no time by using a rotisserie chicken (or hey even leftover Thanksgiving turkey!) and top with premade pie crust. Sheet pan meals make life easier, and I am a fan of that! 


  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 handful baby carrots, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, cut up
  • Refrigerated pie crust


Melt butter in Dutch oven and add diced veggies.  Sauté.  Add chicken.  Sprinkle flour evenly over and stir.  Cook a few minutes stirring gently.  Pour in broth, stirring constantly.  Stir in bouillon and wine.  Pour in cream.  Stir.  Cook over low heat for 4 minutes.  The mixture will thicken.  Season with salt and pepper.  Pour into greased jelly roll pan.  Cut pie crust into strips and crisscross over the top.  Bake until crust is golden.

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

U.S. Supreme Court to decided whether to accept appeals in Jan. 6 cases

The U.S. Supreme Court will soon decide whether to accept Jan. 6 case appeals—the most significant case being the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) questionable use of an evidence-tampering law to prosecute Jan. 6 defendants for felony obstruction of Congress.  If accepted it will be the first time a Jan. 6-related case is reviewed by the Supreme Court.

The case could affect hundreds of defendants accused of the most commonly charged Jan. 6 felony, “Corruptly Obstructing an Official Proceeding.”  This charge involves a potential 20-year prison term and has been charged in over 3oo cases.   A number of the Jan. 6 defendants have already been convicted under the law, which had never been used in this manner since it was implemented to target corporate financial fraud in the wake of the Enron scandal.

This law addresses Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proceedings and investigations.  The statute makes it clear that destroying evidence or otherwise hindering an SEC investigation is an obstruction of justice offense.  DOJ has twisted this statute to “fit” January 6 cases, arguing that the Joint Session of Congress on January 6th was an “official proceeding” and that those protestors who arrived at the Capitol “obstructed” it.  However, DOJ has charged this offense against people who never went into the Capitol, and who were not even in Washington.

As the Petition notes, “unsatisfied with the penalties the violation of (lesser Misdemeanor) statutes might impose, and desiring to broadcast a louder and more compelling general deterrent message, the government transformed  18 U.S.C. Section 1512(c)(2) into something well beyond what Congress had in mind when it passed a law intended to punish interference with the integrity of evidentiary proceedings.  This statute not only carries with it a potential 20-year prison sentence—it sends a chilling message to anyone contemplating attendance at a political rally: Stay home. If things go wrong, you could face charges of corruptly obstructing an official proceeding.”

I also note the Due Process requirement of “fair notice” which insures that “a person of ordinary intelligence be placed on notice” of what the law prohibits was not met here regarding these Jan 6 marchers.  

Fortunately, thanks to Speaker Mike Johnson (R-Shreveport, LA), Americans have an opportunity to challenge Democrats’ accusation that Trump supporters broke the law when he released 44,000 hours of video tapes, providing us the definitive look at what actually happened that day.   

However, some review of this video has already occurred: “Jan. 6 Video of Capitol Rioter Fist-Bumping Police Raises Questions.” (Newsweek).

You think!?! 

Others have commented: X user Fighting For the Truth wrote, “Capitol police fist bump with J6r inside the Capitol.  They were welcomed guests. Then arrested.  That’s entrapment.”  Podcaster and writer, Jeff Charles, wrote on X, “Capitol Police take supposed J6er aside, remove his handcuffs, then give him a fist bump.  Now, why would they do this?  Hmmmmm.”  

Commentator Benny Johnson posted to X:  “I don’t think Capitol Police would take restraints off of a protester, FIST BUMP him, and then let him go if this were an actual ‘insurrection.'”  John Cremeans asserts “A Fist Bump? WTH! Capitol Police uncuff a January 6th Protestor and give him a fist bump. Something is definitely not right about the J6 Pelosi narrative.”  

Writer Liz Peek of The Hill notes“In a CNN poll conducted this past summer, only 29 percent of Republicans and right-leaning independents thought Biden’s election was legitimate, while 69 percent did not.  Of the country overall, 38 percent think Biden is an illegitimate president.  Given the concerted effort by the liberal media to squash such doubts and the ongoing vilification of “election-deniers,” that figure—roughly the same as it was on Jan. 6— is troubling.”   (11/24/23).

The Hill article concludes: “In an era when career criminals are often released without bail, large-scale theft is tolerated and progressive district attorneys refuse to prosecute even low-level felonies, the aggressiveness of the FBI in pursuing the Jan. 6 attendees hits a nerve.  Many consider it politically motivated and yet another example of what some call our “two-tiered system of justice.”

Millions of Americans have never believed the Pelosi/Left/Media narrative of what occurred on Jan 6.  The large majority of the marchers that day were simply exercising their 1st Amendment right to express themselves politically.  We may prayerfully hope that the Supreme Court takes judicial notice of this newly released Jan 6 evidence if it decides to hear these cases, which it should.

(Royal Alexander was a staff member to the late U.S. Representative Clyde C. Holloway of Louisiana’s 8th congressional district, since disbanded, who also served as chairman of the Louisiana Public Service Commission. He was also a member of the Republican State Central Committee of Louisiana from 2008-2012. He is an attorney.)

Professional Bass Fishing is a Tough Career Choice

As a kid growing up, teachers would ask the question of what do you want to be when you grow up? For boys, this was a trick question because we never grow up! Back in my day, the standard answers were policeman, fireman, teacher or for the super smart students in my class they would say…. a doctor or lawyer. Some had even greater aspirations of becoming an astronaut, mainly due to the fact we had just landed on the moon. But you never heard anyone say, “I want to be a professional bass fisherman.”

Another thing you never heard was that someone was going to sell water for a living. Can you imagine how your classmates would have reacted back in the 1970’s if you had announced you were going to bottle and sell water. You would have been the center of all their jokes from that day forward. But it turns out, you would have gotten the last laugh as you became wealthy selling water.

You probably would have gotten the same reaction if you said you were going to be a professional bass fisherman. Today, this is a real career choice for a select few. I have always compared it to being a professional athlete. The odds are not in your favor and these two are very comparable. Let me expand on this. Only 1 out of every 10,000 baseball players in the country gets drafted and only 1 out of every 5,000 makes it to the Major Leagues.

I tell you this because it just might be the same odds for becoming a professional bass fisherman. There are literally thousands of anglers across the world who want to make it to the United States and become a professional angler. Not only are you trying to be the best in this country, but you’ll be competing with anglers from Canada, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, and Australia for what amounts to about 80 slots in either B.A.S.S. or the MLF Pro Tours.

Bass fishing has become an international sport and is very competitive for those who want to try and make a living doing it. Catching fish is only a small part of what it takes to fish for a living. Today, you must be good with social media, understand business, be a great salesman and you better have good communication skills with the ability to talk to people.

Now let’s look at the sacrifices you’ll have to make. First, prepare to eat a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches while learning how to sleep in your truck or camp out to save money. Just to enter a B.A.S.S. or MLF event will cost you at least $50,000 up front and you have not even wet a hook yet. Travel expenses today with gas, hotel and food is off the chart. Hence, the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and campgrounds to try and save money.

You’ll pull your boat all over the United States with constant wear and tear on your vehicle. Don’t forget, it takes gas to fill up your boat which is an easy $75 to $120 per fill-up which includes all the practice and competition days. To be conservative, you’re probably looking at $100,000 to fish your first season which means you need to finish in the top 50 in every event to collect a $10,000 check and break even. I’ve only known one angler to ever achieve this accomplishment.

If you’re a family man, this just might be the toughest career choice you can make as you will miss birthdays, anniversaries, and some holidays. You will shed a lot of tears as you drive away from your wife and kids waving goodbye while you live the gypsy life away from home for days and weeks at a time.

I’m not trying to discourage anyone from pursuing their dreams, but understand, it’s one of the toughest and most competitive career choices you can ever make. It takes a special angler/person to make it in today’s world as a professional angler. You will need as many sponsors as you can land and if this is your dream, start saving your money now so that when you get that opportunity, money is not an issue. Anglers who are fishing just to get a check are the anglers who will struggle. Tournament fishing is kind of like gambling, anglers who fish to win can take chances rather than having to worry about just making a check so they can fish the next event.

Finally, if you’re married, make sure you have a wife who understands how tough this lifestyle can be. Today, many of the wives act as business managers for their husbands and help with coordinating appearances and interviews that pro anglers are called to do. This allows the angler to stay focused on catching fish and being competitive.

I hope I’ve shed some light on what it takes to enter the world of being a professional bass fisherman. It’s not an easy life, but one that can have great rewards if done correctly. Till next time, good luck, good fishing, and think long and hard if you decide to pursue a career in the professional bass fishing world.

Steve Graf

Anglers Perspective

‘Hey!, I (mis)remember that!’

And yet again we find ourselves within the gravitational pull of one of the most memorable yet misremembered dates in “the storied athletic history” of Louisiana Tech.

If things go gray upstairs in a second, all is forgiven. It’s been a minute.

But any Tech fan old enough to have seen episodes of The Mary Tyler Moore Show live will likely have some brain cells reserved for December 4, 1982, the much-anticipated opening day of the Thomas Assembly Center. Nearly every year as we close in on December 4, someone will mention that day to me.

It was that big of a deal.

“The Lady Techsters played USC and Cheryl Miller and the guys played USL (now ULL),” my friend called to say; The Date and The Day had just happened to come up in a basketball-related conversation as the 2023-24 Bulldogs have won five straight and get a test at 5-1 New Mexico, a regular participant in postseason tournaments, Wednesday at 8 CST.

Then — and this is the part that gets confusing because, well, Father Time — he said, “And that was after Delaware had beaten Tech in the 1-AA semifinals that afternoon, I think 17-0, in the rain,” he said. “What a day. All in Ruston.”

And he’s right. That’s what happened. Almost.

Here is what actually happened that December 4 afternoon before the TAC opened with a doubleheader that night. This from Shreveport Bossier Journal writer Ron Higgins, who then was writing sports for The Times in Shreveport:

“RUSTON—By land, or rather by mud, and through the air, Louisiana Tech quarterback Matt Dunigan tippy-toed through the swampland of Aillet Stadium for two touchdowns and threw for two more scores as Tech slipped past South Carolina State 38-3 Saturday afternoon in the NCAA Division I-AA South Regional final.”

It was South Carolina State that Tech played in football that day in the national quarterfinals. Then that night, USC beat the Techsters, 64-58, and the Dunkin’ Dogs lost to USL, 46-45. The crowd was 8,700; the place has 8,000 seats. More than jam packed. And it was: as a rookie graduate assistant in sports information, I was there.

The next Saturday, December 11, was also cold and rainy, and more than the week before. Miserable. That gray afternoon, Tech football lost in the semifinals of the I-AA playoffs to Delaware, 17-0. It was the final Tech game for both Dunigan — he was off to his career as a Hall of Famer in the Canadian Football League — and head coach Billy Brewer, off to a few seasons of success at his alma mater, Ole Miss.

Why so many of us often confuse the two dates might be because there was basketball at the TAC that December 11 Saturday, as there had been the Saturday before. After the football loss to Delaware, the Techsters thumped Cheyney State that night, 60-45, to win the Dial Classic. Yes, the good ol’ Dial Classic.

On December 4, Tech won in football and lost in basketball. The next weekend was the other way around.

Some other notes from those two weekends 41 years ago, as all three Tech programs were poised to make more immediate memories:

The Techsters’ loss to USC meant the end of their 59-game home winning streak. They beat USC on a neutral court in California, 58-56, later during the regular season and then, as two-time defending national champs, lost to USC in the title game, 69-67, in The Scope in Norfolk, Virginia. Big doings;

The Dunkin’ Dogs finished 19-9 and second in the Southland Conference that season but Shreveport’s Wayne Smith, Summerfield’s Karl Malone and a host of talented friends found themselves in the NCAA Tournament the next two seasons;

Many of the 1982 Football Bulldogs thawed out enough over the next two seasons to make it to the I-AA finals against Montana State at The Citadel in 1984; and,

Delaware. The Fightin’ Blue Hens haven’t been back to Ruston for football since that sleety Saturday when a dude named “Delaware Dan” Reeder slogged his way to a ball-controlling 114 yards on 22 carries and two of his less-workmanlike teammates got to score the TDs. But that seems poised to change: an announcement that the Blue Hens will become the 11th member of Conference USA is expected this week.

No news from the Dial Classic though. All quiet on the Dial Classic front …   

Contact Teddy at

Today in History

1530 – Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, former adviser to England’s King Henry VIII, died.

1864 – The Sand Creek Massacre occurred in Colorado when a militia led by Colonel John Chivington, killed at least 400 peaceful Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians who had surrendered and had been given permission to camp.

1890 – Navy defeated Army by a score of 24-0 in the first Army-Navy football game. The game was played at West Point, NY.

1892 – A patent was issued to Almon Brown Strowger for the rotary dial.

1929 – The first airplane flight over the South Pole was made by U.S. Navy Lt. Comdr. Richard E. Byrd.

1939 – The USSR broke off diplomatic relations with Finland prior to a Soviet attack.

1945 – The monarchy was abolished in Yugoslavia and a republic proclaimed.

1947 – The U.N. General Assembly passed a resolution that called for the division of Palestine between Arabs and Jews.

1961 – The Mercury-Atlas 5 spacecraft was launched by the U.S. with Enos the chimp on board. The craft orbited the earth twice before landing off Puerto Rico.

1963 – A Trans-Canada Airlines DC-8F with 111 passengers and 7 crew members crashed in woods north of Montreal 4 minutes after takeoff from Dorval Airport. All aboard were killed. The crash was the worst in Canada’s history.

1963 – U.S. President Johnson named a commission headed by Earl Warren to investigate the assassination of President Kennedy.

1967 – U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara announced that he was leaving the Johnson administration to become president of the World Bank.

1971 – The Professional Golf Championship was held at Walt Disney World for the first time.

1974 – In Britain, a bill that outlawed the Irish Republican Army became effective.

1975 – Bill Gates adopted the name Microsoft for the company he and Paul Allen had formed to write the BASIC computer language for the Altair.

1981 – Actress Natalie Wood drowned in a boating accident off Santa Catalina Island, CA, at the age 43.

1982 – The U.N. General Assembly voted that the Soviet Union should withdraw its troops from Afghanistan.

1986- Actor Cary Grant died at the age of 82.

1987 – A Korean jetliner disappeared off Burma, with 115 people aboard.

1987 – Cuban detainees released 26 hostages they’d been holding for more than a week at the Federal Detention Center in Oakdale, LA.

1988 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the rights of criminal defendants are not violated when police unintentionally fail to preserve potentially vital evidence.

1989 – In Czechoslovakia, the Communist-run parliament ended the party’s 40-year monopoly on power.

1990 – The U.N. Security Council voted to authorize military action if Iraq did not withdraw its troops from Kuwait and release all foreign hostages by January 15, 1991.

1991 – 17 people were killed in a 164-vehicle wreck during a dust storm near Coalinga, CA, on Interstate 5.

1992 – Dennis Byrd (New York Jets) was paralyzed after a neck injury in a game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

1994 – The U.S. House passed the revised General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

1994 – Fighter jets attacked the capital of Chechnya and its airport only hours after Russian President Boris Yeltsin demanded the breakaway republic end its civil war.

1996 – A U.N. court sentenced Bosnian Serb army soldier Drazen Erdemovic to 10 years in prison for his role in the massacre of 1,200 Muslims. The sentence was the first international war crimes sentence since World War II.

1998 – Swiss voters overwhelmingly rejected legalizing heroin and other narcotics.

2004 – The French government announced plans to build the Louvre II in northern France. The 236,808 square foot museum was the planned home for 500-600 works from the Louvre’s reserves.

2004 – Godzilla received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

2008 – In China, construction on the Shanghai Tower began.

Upcoming Events

Please send all non-profit calendar events to

December 1 -3 

Christmas at Bonnie & Clyde, 20550 Hwy 9 in Arcadia

December 7 (5:30 – 8 p.m.)

Ringgold Elementary – Christmas Movie Night

Students 1st through 6th (Tickets must be purchased by Dec. 4)

December 8

Ringgold Elementary School Cheer – Talent Show

December 8

Bienville Parish Library’s Annual Holiday Craft Fair

December 9 (1 – 5 p.m.)

Arcadia’s Downtown Christmas Market – N. Railroad Ave

December 9 (1 p.m. – UNTIL)

Arcadia’s Hometown Christmas Festival

December 11

Leslie Lakes Retirement Center – Pajama Drive

(All donations should be dropped off at 1355 6th St, Arcadia)

December 11

6th Annual Reindeer Run – Castor High School

December 15 

House of Raeford – Fresh Chicken Community Truckload Sale 

Pre-order only 

December 23 (10 a.m.)

Annual Toy Drive – Crawford Elementary School 

Arrest Reports

The following arrests were made by local law enforcement agencies.


Kea’Dohnyahe Haulcy of Arcadia was arrested for an expired motor vehicle inspection, no driver’s license, obscuring outward or inward view through windshield and aggravated flight from an officer.


Rodney Jackson, Jr. of Arcadia was arrested for failure to appear warrant and simple burglary of an inhabited dwelling. 

Lamarcus Sims, III of Ringgold was arrested for no driver’s license, aggravated flight from an officer and reckless operation without accident. 

Eric Lindsey of Coushatta was arrested for failure to appear warrant. 

Tiffany Waites of Hall Summit was arrested for child support obligation.

Kenny Young of Ringgold was arrested for theft of a firearm and possession or carrying of a concealed weapon by a person convicted of domestic abuse battery. 


Korea Reddick was arrested for operating a vehicle with a suspended license/no license issued. 


Lathan Davis of Amite was arrested for operating a vehicle with a suspended license and other offenses. 

Nyandrea Savage of Ringgold was arrested for no driver’s license.


Stephanie Cruz of Dallas, Texas was arrested for exceeding the maximum speed limit and 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.