Suspected Vehicle Burglaries In Stonewall

On November 13, 2021 DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office Patrol Deputies received multiple reports of vehicle burglaries in the Stonewall area.  DeSoto Parish Detectives are currently reviewing several video surveillance captured in the area and determined this to be the suspected vehicle involved in these burglaries.  Detectives believe the vehicle is a newer model dark colored Ford pickup truck with blue colored fog lights. Detectives are asking the publics assistance in identifying the owner of this vehicle. 

If you are a resident in or around Hallmark or Cathey Acres in Stonewall, and you have not already submitted video to our office, detectives will accept additional video at this time.  If you are a resident, and your vehicle was entered without authorization, but nothing was stolen, please contact the attached detective.  The time of these burglaries ranged from 3:00 am until 4:00 am on the morning of November 13th. 

If you have information, please contact our office at 318.872.3956 and ask to speak with Detective Cody Bailey.  Crime Stoppers is offering up to $1,000 for any tip that leads to the identification or arrest of these suspect(s).  If you would like to submit a tip, you may do so in the DeSoto Sheriff App, or by calling 1-800-505-7867.  Please to not use social media to provide information.

Logansport Christmas Festival

By Nicole Tull

A Cajun Christmas was the theme for the Logansport Christmas Festival this past Saturday. Festivities got started bright and early with a Run at 9:00. Experienced runners and toddlers in tow were found on the path.

Booths and the car show opened at 10:00. Several vehicles entered the show. A sports car, pick-up truck, and a couple of Volkswagens captured the attention of festival goers.

Crafters, pop-up shops, non-profit organizations and food venders all peddled their wares in booths all over from the parking lot to the field. Hand-crafted items were displayed in wood, jewelry, fabric, paint, food, wax, and metals. Pop-up shops featured festive and fashionable styles of various clothing.

Delicious food smells wafted through the air at the waterfront park. There was something for everyone.

As the sun set, folks started anticipating the parade which was set to pass through at 6:00. The Grinch could be found wandering about misbehaving prior to the floats coming by. He sneaked up on people and covered children’s faces posing for a photograph.

Once the parade got going you could see brightly lit and seasonally decorated vehicles featuring local pageant winners, public servants, schools, and businesses. The most anticipated jolly ol’ fella came on the last vehicle, the DFD #1 fire truck. Santa departed his post and went to the Santa House where children were already lined up waiting for a chance to tell him their Christmas wishes.

Fireworks ended the evening. Quite a display went on for several minutes. Folks full of Christmas cheer and community spirit packed up their brood and headed home after a full day of fun on the banks of Sabine River.

A Good Turn

Last week, while responding to a call in the Grand Cane area, Deputy Nathaniel Anderson (Jr.) was approached by this young man with a handful of candy. 

Chaston:  “Officer, you look like you need a snack!” 

Deputy Anderson replied: “You know what, I am a little hungry.”

The DeSoto Sheriff’s Office applauds Chaston for his kindness and support of our Deputies in the field!  And we wanted to give him a little shout out today. Deputy Anderson says he really appreciated the hug, and the candy as well.

If You’re Dead, Why Even Take A Shower?

By Teddy Allen

Former Times sportswriter Jim McLain died a little more than three years ago, something I’d forgotten about until I saw him the other day in Shreveport.

It is not often you get to talk to your friends, in person, after they die. But Mr. McLain, a reporter for nearly 40 years and a member of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame since 1995 when he was presented the Distinguished Service Award, is nothing if not durable. Even after he’d died, he’d gone about his business, pro that he is.

Turns out that, according to Jim, the only really good part about being dead and not knowing about it is the being, as he describes it, “blissfully unaware.” But once he found out he was dead, well, it was a bit of a different ballgame.

“I might not have known I was dead for several more weeks if I hadn’t gotten a call from my doctor’s office,” he said.

The woman was pleasant when he answered but confused when, after she asked his name, he identified himself as the proposed deceased. The doctor’s secretary even asked to speak to his wife, who verified she’d been cooking and washing clothes all week for the same 80-year-old she’d been married to for half a century.

Mrs. McLain had done that work for nothing, according to the government. A recent Medicare claim filed on behalf of Mr. McLain had bounced back with the notation that, according to the latest records, he was dead.

Sorry. But there you have it. Who said life, or death, was fair?

Jim suggested refiling the claim. Probably a typing error had occurred, he reasoned. But the following Wednesday after the mail arrived, he heard his wife yelling through the shower door, something about the Caddo Parish Registrar of Voters removing him – well, removing his corpse – from the voter rolls. “Hate to say it,” she said, “but it looks like this time, you really are dead.”

Thought No. 1 for Mr. Jim: “Wasted shower.” Thought No. 2: “The government has lost me and if I’m to be found, I have to send out my own search party.” Thought No. 3: “Why am I still hungry?”

He called his local Social Security Administration, hoping to avoid the fiscal pinch of missed checks and the like since, as the Medicare episode had taught him – and as the mutual funds people who wanted to settle his estate would soon tell him – the money gets sort of shut off or redirected once you start showing up dead. This happens to an estimated 14,000 people a year; if the Social Security Administration accidentally kills you, or lists you as dead, it’s good to let them know they have fumbled. You want to get off their Death Master File. You want to be, in the parlance of the agency, “resurrected” or “un-dead.” It’s not too much to ask, and in simplest terms, this is generally what is advised for you to do: go into the Social Security office with proper ID, the forms listing you as deceased, and prove that you have not “got dead.”

Turns out that in Jim’s case, an out-of-state funeral home had turned in his social Security number, obviously by mistake. The problem was quickly solved, a real shot in the arm to Jim but also for his loyal wife, who wasn’t doing all that cooking and cleaning for nothing after all.

Though he never found out how he died, Jim did find out when: March 12. “I have circled the 12th of March on every calendar since,” he said. “The Feds attempted to eliminate me once. They could try again.”

In the spare time that he’s been alive since retiring, Jim has written “Double Team Trap,” a Cold War spy thriller available online. If you pick up a copy he’s sure to sign it for you – if you can get to him before the government does. – August 24, 2014

Contact Teddy at

Bring Your Wife or Guest

The next Men of Prayer gathering is a special occasion.  December is “Bring your wife or a guest night. 

The evening promises food, fellowship and god.  The guest speaker for the evening will be Pastor Matt Tyson.  We will be lead in Worship by Keith Simmons and Caleb Robison.  On the Geaux Catering will be providing the meal.  Come out and join us.

Men of Prayer meets at the Stonewall Community Center.  The next meeting will be on Thursday, December 2nd.

Sports Districts Reconfigured

The Journal reported several weeks ago that North Desoto would remain in 4A, Mansfield would drop to 2A, and Logansport would remain in class 1A for the next two years.  Now LHSAA has reconfigured the districts for the major sports and there will be a new look.

These will be the district alignments for the next two years:

North DeSoto High will play in District 1-4A against Booker T. Washington-Shreveport, Bossier, Caddo Magnet, Evangel Christian, Huntington, Minden, Northwood-Shreveport, and Woodlawn-Shreveport.

Mansfield will play in District 3-2A against these opponents:  Jonesboro-Hodge, Lakeview, Many, Red River, and Winnfield.

And Logansport High will be in District 3-1A.  Their major sport opponents in the district will be LaSalle, Montgomery, Northwood-Lena, and St. Mary’s.

The re-alignment is effective with the 2022-23 sports seasons.  The LHSAA is giving schools who are unhappy with the alignment until 1:00 pm on Monday November 29 to appeal.

Grandfather’s House

By Brad Dison

On February 11, 1802, Lydia Maria Francis was born in Medford, Massachusetts.  She went by her middle name, Maria, pronounced Muh-rye-uh.  She was well-educated and after finishing high school became a schoolteacher.  In addition to teaching, Maria wrote for newspapers and other publications on a wide variety of subjects.  She became something of a local celebrity.  At 22 years old, Maria published her first book entitled “Hobomok” too much success.  Her second book entitled “The Rebels: A Tale of the Revolution”, was set in her home state of Massachusetts.  It, too, was successful.  She wrote a cookbook, “The Frugal Housewife”, which was considered the authoritative cookbook for much of the United States.

Maria’s passion, however, was for the abolition of slavery.  In 1828, Maria married David Lee Child, a Massachusetts lawyer.  Together, Maria and her husband edited the National Anti-Slavery Standard in New York.  As early as 1833, Maria fought for the abolitionist cause with her “Appeal for that class of Americans called Africans,” the first anti-slavery work printed in book form in the United States.  In 1859, when John Brown was arrested for leading an anti-slavery raid in Harpers Ferry, Virginia, Maria wrote to Brown and volunteered to be his nurse.  She sent a copy of her letter to Virginia’s governor who denied her request and reprimanded her for her sentiments.  The author of her obituary contended that Maria’s writings “undoubtedly had a great effect in helping to create the anti-slavery sentiment of New England,” and noted that “her pen never grew weary in the cause of abolition until the unexpected end was reached.”   

Maria is less remembered for her anti-slavery writings and more for a simple poem she wrote about the anticipation she felt at visiting her grandfather’s house near the Mystic River in Medford, Massachusetts.  If you visit Medford today, you can still see Lydia’s grandfather’s house and the Mystic River.  However, the house looks much different than the one from Maria’s childhood.  Maria’s grandfather transformed the small single-story farmhouse into a majestic 2-story home.  Sadly, the lush woodland surrounding grandfather’s house has been replaced by residential housing.  You will probably recognize her poem though it has been altered with the passage of time.  Originally, Maria’s poem spoke of “wood” in the singular usage rather than its plural form, “woods.”  Maria’s poem mentions going to her grandfather’s house, not grandmother’s house, and most of us incorrectly associate it with Christmas.  Lydia Maria Child’s poem recalls a visit on Thanksgiving Day:

Over the river and through the wood,

To grandfather’s house we go.

The horse knows the way

To carry the sleigh

Through the white and drifted snow.

Over the river and through the wood–

Oh, how the wind doth blow!

It stings the toes

And bites the nose,

As over the ground we go.

Over the river and through the wood,

To have a first-rate play,

hear the bells ring,


Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day!

Over the river and through the wood,

Trot fast my dapple grey!

Spring over the ground,

Like a hunting hound!

For this is Thanksgiving Day.

Over the river and through the wood,

And straight through the barnyard gate,

We seem to go

Extremely slow,

It is so hard to wait!

Over the river and through the wood

Now grandmother’s cap I spy!

Hurrah for the fun!

Is the pudding done?

Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!


  1. The Paxton Record (Paxton, Illinois), November 28, 1872, p.3.
  2. Hartford Courant (Hartford, Connecticut), October 21, 1880, p.2.

Winn Parish Journal Executive Editor Chosen to be Delta Leadership Institute Executive Academy Fellow

The Parish Journal’s family is proud to announce that one of our own, Executive Editor of the Winn Parish Journal, Jodi Taylor, has been chosen to be a Delta Leadership Institute Executive Academy Fellow.  According to the press release distributed by the Delta Regional Authority, the DLI is an extensive, nine-month executive leadership program that brings together public, private, and nonprofit sector leaders from the Mississippi River Delta and Alabama Black Belt.

The DLI Executive Academy empowers fellows with the tools, experiences, and networks needed to address local and regional challenges. Sessions led by local, regional, and national experts cover policy areas such as infrastructure and transportation, small business and entrepreneurship, workforce development, public health, and other sectors necessary to facilitate economic growth in the region. As a result, DLI fellows graduate with improved decision-making skills, policy development know-how, strengthened leadership capacity, and a mutual understanding of regional, state, and local cultures and issues.

“Every Parish Journal’s editor strives to make a difference in the parish they serve. To that end, I’m very excited to be chosen to be a DLI Fellow to learn all I can to help Winn parish and the Delta Region of Louisiana,” stated Mrs. Taylor.

The 252 counties and parishes served by the Delta Regional Authority make up one of the most distressed regions of the country, facing profound economic, health, educational, and infrastructure challenges. The Delta Leadership Institute was created to empower a corps of leaders with the tools, experiences, and networks to address these local and regional challenges. The DLI Executive Academy trains leaders from diverse backgrounds, sectors, and industries to improve the economic competitiveness and social viability of the Mississippi River Delta and Alabama Black Belt.

The Delta Regional Authority (DRA) is a federal-state partnership created by Congress in 2000 to promote and encourage the economic development of the lower Mississippi River Delta and Alabama Black Belt regions. DRA invests in projects supporting transportation infrastructure, basic public infrastructure, workforce training, and business development. DRA’s mission is to help create jobs, build communities, and improve the lives of those who reside in the 252 counties and parishes of the eight-state region.

The DeSoto Parish Journal adds our congratulations to Jodi.  Thanks for all you contribute to the Journal’s efforts to bring our readers accurate, unbiased local news for our respective parishes.

A Thanksgiving Reflection

By Royal Alexander

As we prepare to observe Thanksgiving 2021, there are many thoughts that come to mind. 

This has been another challenging year for many of us.  Many of us have experienced both success and loss.  Our nation still seems divided although the patriotism and sense of community we see in our cities and towns is simply not what is reflected in the national media.  Most of us go to work every day, love and support our families, assist our friends and neighbors if possible, attend religious services if we wish, and try to remain prayerfully hopeful about the future.  While the economy has experienced fits and starts—and in some business and industries workers remain difficult to find due to the Covid shutdown—it will undoubtedly rebound if we give it half a chance and don’t overburden it with onerous taxes and stifling federal regulations.  American ingenuity, entrepreneurship and hard work will again be our guiding lights and will lead us through these difficult economic and political times.

I have also found that it helps when I focus on being thankful—and I feel we are all more at peace—when we get off of social media and ignore the daily bitterness and acrimony reflected in national politics, instead turning our attention to our faith and our families.  I believe that sincere gratitude for our many blessings as Americans is the true key to happiness in this life and salvation in the next.  That is the real source of peace and tranquility and for that we can certainly be thankful.

Further, on the importance of gratitude for our many blessings as Americans, and the need for prayerful reflection on the truth that what binds us all together as Americans is far greater than what divides us, I close with an excerpt from President Reagan’s 1987 Thanksgiving Proclamation, the words of which still ring true to me.

“Thanksgiving Day is one of our most beloved holidays, an occasion set aside by Americans from earliest times to thank our Maker prayerfully and humbly for the blessings and the care He bestows on us and on our beautiful, bountiful land.  Through the decades, through the centuries, in log cabins, country churches, cathedrals, homes, and halls, the American people have paused to give thanks to God, in times of peace and plenty or of danger and distress.

Acknowledgement of dependence on God’s favor was, in fact, our fledgling Nation’s very first order of business.  When the delegates to the First Continental Congress met in Philadelphia in 1774, they overcame discord by uniting in prayer for our country.  Despite the differences among them as they began their work, they found common voice in the 35th Psalm, which concludes with a verse of joyous gratitude, “And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long.”

In 1789 the government established by that great charter of freedom, our Constitution, and “the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed,” were cited by George Washington in the first Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamation as among “the great and various favors” conferred upon us by the Lord and Ruler of Nations.  As we thank the God our first President called “that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be,” we have even greater cause for gratitude than the fresh triumphs that inspired Washington’s prose.

We have seen the splendor of our natural resources spread across the tables of the world, and we have seen the splendor of freedom coursing with new vigor through the channels of history.  The cause for which we give thanks, for which so many of our citizens through the years have given their lives, has endured over 200 years—a blessing to us and a light to all mankind.

On Thanksgiving Day, 1987, let us, in this unbroken chain of observance, dedicate ourselves to honor anew the Author of Liberty and to publicly acknowledge our debt to all those who have sacrificed so much in our behalf.  May our gratitude always be coupled with petitions for divine guidance and protection for our Nation and with ready help for our neighbors in time of need.” (Pres. Ronald Reagan, 1987).

Happy Thanksgiving!

Special Birthday Celebration

The DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office hosted a very special 12th Birthday Party for Coby Williams Monday night at the DeSoto Training Facility in Grand Cane.  Coby is the son of Corporal Latoya Dedmond, who tragically lost her life due to an unforeseen medical emergency on November 1st. 

Given the circumstances of late, Sheriff Richardson felt it fitting to help make Coby’s birthday one to remember, and one that would honor him and his mother.  Our office worked alongside DeSoto Parish Schools to get the word out to Coby’s classmates, and the party was scheduled for 5pm on November 22nd. 

In attendance were many classmates, family members, deputies, and local Fire Districts.  Hot dogs, hamburgers, and cake were provided by Sheriff Richardson, while many deputies pitched in together to provide gifts.  Fire District 8 learned that Coby had a fondness for Firefighting, so many fire engines were on site for kids to view and enjoy as well.

Sheriff Richardson would like to thank everyone in attendance and those who pitched in to make this very special event happen.  We wish Coby a very happy 12th birthday!

ETC… For Wednesday, November 24, 2021

The DeSoto Parish Board of Election Supervisors will meet this morning at 10:30 am.  They will test and seal the early voting machines for the upcoming election.

Northwestern State University’s Department of Engineering Technology will host its Fall Robotics Competition and Smart Structures Show (RC&S3) Dec. 1. All middle schools within a 200-mile radius of Natchitoches city are welcome to participate in the competition. The event will include educational experiences and social activities for the prospective future college students.

This Thanksgiving season the DeSoto Parish Journal is thankful for the many people who have subscribed to the twice weekly emails with all your local news.  They are free and we don’t spam you or sell your information.  If you would like to get the local news “hot off the press” then CLICK HERE.

Doing Business With the Federal Government

Members of the DeSoto Parish Chamber of Commerce received tips on doing business with government during the November Chamber meeting on Tuesday.  They heard from Dr. Gayle Flowers of the Northwest Louisiana Procurement Technical Assistance Center.  She said she works to increase the number of government contracts awarded to local businesses.

Dr. Flowers noted that her agency helps local businesses get ready to secure a contract.  “We’ll determine if a business is ready and then we’ll help get them ready,” said Flowers.  She was referring to the various registrations and certifications a business must have before it goes after a government contract.  She said, “We help remove barriers in their way.”

Her services are paid for by the government.  Dr. Flowers said, “Government agencies are ready to do business with local firms.  We connect the people who can buy with those who have something to sell.”

Government spends 500 billion dollars each year and they buy just about everything.  Dr. Flowers said, “I care about our region and our economy and everything to make it grow.  I am getting the word out that I can help at no cost to the individual business.”

Louisiana MX State Championship at DeSoto Motorsport Park

The DeSoto Motorsport Park was busy last weekend with races in a large number of classes.  There were also races through a nearby wooded area.

Congratulations to our 2021 Louisiana Mx State Champions! We couldn’t ask for a better weekend. Thank you for supporting Louisiana Motocross! The smiles and the cheers were worth it.

The park is looking forward to the Louisiana Motocross Winter Series. Dates to be posted on social media.

Deputies Visit Central School

This week Sheriff’s Deputies and their equipment went to Central School in Grand Cane for “show and tell.”  As you can see in the pictures the children were in awe and were thrilled.

The Sheriff’s Office said, “We were happy as always to visit with students in our community, at Central School.  Thank you to the faculty/staff who provided this opportunity for Deputies to share the tools of their trade with students and have a little bit of fun in the process!”

New Scam Going Around

SCAM:  “Your Child/Grandchild was arrested…”

DeSoto Parish Deputies were alerted this week of a scam attempt on a resident in our community.  Luckily, this resident did the right thing and did not fall victim.  The following is a known scam, but we haven’t shared it in a while…


You receive a call from what appears to be law enforcement, correctional facility, or a lawyer.  The caller informs you that your child, grandchild, etc. has been involved in a crime and is being held or arrested by an agency.  Often times this is followed by another caller claiming to be an attorney who is assisting your child/grandchild.  They may already know your name, or the name of your child/grandchild, which makes their story that much more believable.


These scammers have been known to have very believable stories, depending on the circumstance or person.  They are attempting to get you to send them money to help your child/grandchild out of jail.  Sadly, many elderly citizens fall victim to this due to a lack of helpful information, and a noble desire to help their family in need.


It’s pretty simple, do not give any information to an unsolicited caller.  Do not ask for any contact numbers to verify their story either.  Tell the caller you are going to hang up, and you will call the agency yourself.  End the conversation and hang up immediately.  At that time, make an attempt to contact your child/grandchild first to confirm if the story is factual or not.  If you cannot get hold of them, contact your local law enforcement agency in an attempt to verify.  You can call us at (318) 872-3956 and ask to speak to the Deputy of Public Relations, Mark Pierce.  We will make every effort to assist you in verifying the story through our agency or other agencies.  But do not, under any circumstances, send money to or buy gift cards for the unsolicited caller.

** What we mean by UNSOLICITED caller: 

It means you received the call completely unaware that anything was going on.  And they called you with an unbelievable story with just the right amount of believable details.  This in itself should be your first red flag.  Hang up and make your own attempts to verify before falling victim.

First Responder & Deputy Compliments

Nothing brings us more joy than to be able to share a positive story about another agency in DeSoto Parish.  DeSoto EMS received a compliment from a mother in our Parish.  At the time, she did not know who the responders were, but after some digging, we were able to track them down!  

From DeSoto Sheriff to DeSoto EMS….we thank you for your hard work and dedication and thank you again to the citizen who shared their story with us!

Another compliment was received by the Sheriff’s Office last week.

Last week, we shared some positive feedback from the public regarding Dy. Montgomery and Sgt. Dunn.  Shortly after, we received more great news via the Sheriff App regarding Dy. Montgomery, this time accompanied by Cpl. Minor!  We are grateful for the commitment of service shown towards our citizens by Dy. Jasmine Montgomery and Cpl. Jimmie Minor!

We would love to hear of your positive experiences with a First Responder whether it be DPSO, MPD, FIRE, EMS, or 911!  If you have a positive story regarding an experience with a First Responder, please send them to us!  You can do so in the DeSoto Sheriff App, or email

People Who Change Our Lives

By Steve Graf

Today, I’m going to veer from my usual perspective as an angler and go down a different path that has brought me to where I am today. People come and go in our lives, but some people have a bigger impact than others. Now this is not always by chance, but I think it’s all a part of God’s plan for each of us.  Some folks we meet and truly get to know over a long period of time, forming a friendship that leaves a lasting impression on our lives. While there are others who come into our life for a brief moment and change our direction forever. Today I’ll reflect and tell you my story of someone who falls into this latter category.

As an athlete growing up, I was blessed with some great coaches from my Little League days through high school, college and professional…coaches who knew how to push me to be the best I could be, not just as an athlete, but as a person. They taught me that those who work harder than everyone else will be the most successful.  They emphasized how to be a leader on and off the field. My first coach, James Stansell, showed me, at the age of 8 years old,  what it meant to believe in someone. He was a tough old cuss who had a reputation for being too rough with kids; a coach who had you run laps at the next practice if you made a mistake like missing a ground ball, striking out or making a bad throw. But one thing he gave me was confidence. He would tell me every day how much he believed in me as a player, and how I was ‘his” guy and that there was no one better. He taught me to believe in myself more than anyone else would ever believe in me. These lessons continued to be taught by my high school and college coaches…lessons like being responsible, taking pride in who you are, and understanding that you control your own destiny. They stressed that as a player you represent your parents, coaches, community, and school, but more importantly, you represent yourself. You’re truly a reflection on those you’re associated with.

Now, let me introduce you to the man that changed my life forever. As a high school quarterback from Mt. Pleasant, Texas, I played at a school with a reputation for winning. However, in my senior season of 1978, things did not go as planned for us as a team. With a new coaching staff, to say we struggled is an understatement. But it’s funny how things worked out. We were playing the Atlanta Rabbits in East Texas one Friday night and a coach by the name of Al Miller of Northwestern State was there scouting a linebacker from Atlanta. A coach on our staff, Coach Mike Fields, made conversation with Coach Miller at half time and encouraged him to take a closer look at me as a potential college player. I never knew this until months later when Coach Miller came to my house on a cold winter night to visit with my parents and me.

Now after being recruited by several Division 1 schools, I had heard all the BS a player could possibly hear. I thought Coach Miller would be the same, but was I ever wrong. I asked him if he could guarantee that I would be a starter and not be redshirted …. like other schools had promised. Yes, that was an arrogant question, but I wanted to see what he would say. Would Coach Miller be like all the rest? Well, he did not give me the answer I was expecting. He said “Steve, I’m not here to guarantee you anything other than the opportunity. It’s up to you when you get there as to whether those things happen for you or not.” WOW!!! Finally, someone who shot me straight and told the truth! This hit me like a sledgehammer right between the eyes. I knew right then and there that I was headed to Northwestern State to further my education and athletic career and I did not even know where Northwestern State was located! Coach Miller’s attitude and honesty had won me over; he was different. 

I never got to play under Coach Al Miller since he committed to be the strength & conditioning coach for the NFL’s Denver Broncos under Head Coach Dan Reeves in 1979.  His status as the best strength and conditioning coach in the country has made him a legendary Hall of Fame coach that continues to this day. The biggest honor for me was knowing that I was his last recruit to Northwestern State. Coach Miller changed the direction of my life, even though he never coached or spent any substantial amount of time with me…just that hour and a half at my house in the winter of 1978. That was all it took for him to have a lasting impression on my life and become a man who I will forever be grateful to.  He was the catalyst that allowed me to have a great career at NSU, graduate, get drafted, and meet and marry the love of my life, Sherrie. We had three kids and raised them on the banks of Sibley Lake in Natchitoches, watching them grow up and become fine people. To this day, I am aware that my existing life was set into motion because of a coach who saw a young boy from Mt. Pleasant, Texas, that he thought deserved an opportunity. Thank you, Coach Al Miller, for changing my life!!!

DeSoto School News

Here are some of the happenings at DeSoto schools. 

A player signed to extend her playing career.  Briauna “BB” Bussey had been an anchor for a North DeSoto girls basketball team who has seen their share of challenges. She has worked hard and dedicated so much time to getting better and it has paid off. She has a chance to continue her basketball career and advance her academic goals of being a physician, mostly for free, and we couldn’t be prouder of her! Bussey is going to Mt. Mary University in Arkansas.

A group of Second graders came to the library from Mansfield Elementary school.

We had a good time  looking forward to seeing them again.

NDHS was excited to have Mr. Corley, Ms. West and visitors from the state department to highlight the work with DeSoto’s Dove program or Special Education department. Our students demonstrated their work, shared their stories of class work and cooked and served lunch. It was a great visit.

DeSoto Schools has named their Teachers of the year.  The Elementary teacher selected is Miranda Blount from Logansport High.  Middle School teacher is Jasmine Taylor of Mansfield Middle School.  And the high school teacher of the year is Emilie King at North Desoto High.

At North DeSoto Middle School last week, Mr. Corley had an opportunity to visit the NDMS News Crew.

New President Installed By Logansport Chamber

Story and photo by Nicole Tull

The Logansport Chamber of Commerce had their monthly meeting at the Logansport Library Monday evening, November 15th. There was an installation of new officers. Mark Armstrong passed the baton to James Walker as the new president. Mr. Armstrong will remain involved with the Chamber but will be working diligently with the American Legion as it has just started up again in Logansport.

Mr. Walker hit the ground running with suggestions of new ideas for the coming year. Some of the ideas mentioned were a newsletter to keep information fresh and a brochure to advertise area business and churches, festivals and events. 

There are several members from across the river as Joaquin does not have a City Chamber of Commerce. Logansport and Haslam/Joaquin areas have a good working relationship for the betterment of both sides of the river. There is much dependence from each community for the others’ needs. There has been success in the past with the two cities forming alliances. The bridge is all in lights for Christmas, symbolic of bridging the gap between the states.

As the group dined over Beth Walker’s chili with all the fixin’s, there was much discussion concerning regular business and the upcoming events at hand. The Christmas festival is slated for this weekend and the area businesses are prepped and ready.

In a few weeks, we will be celebrating Mardi Gras. The ladies in charge of those festivities are in full swing getting the parade in order. They announced the royalty for the 2022 year: King Jayson Richardson, Queen Tammy Thomas, and Princess Joye Malone. The Mardi Gras parade will be February 12 at 6:00 pm, so mark your calendars to attend.

Comedian Dave Chappelle Confronts the Cancel Culture

By Royal Alexander

In the last few weeks comedian Dave Chappelle has been prominently in the news for a stand he has taken regarding the content of his shows, particularly the latest Netflix special that debuted on Oct. 5th.  He was, as he always is, acutely anti-woke and generally offensive and insulting toward numerous groups, races, and ethnicities.  Among many other topics, he regularly targets gender issues with his jokes including the LGBT movement whom he has called “the Alphabet people.”  Right on cue, of course, he has now been attacked by LGBT activists and social media mobs.

What is most interesting to me is how improbable it is that a foul-mouthed comedian would be leading the charge against one of the greatest cultural dangers of our time—the bullying, suppression, and canceling of artistic expression and speech.

What we are really seeing is what many of us always thought was the case: jokes are allowed, and encouraged, if they target the “right” people or groups—or rather the people and beliefs the Left thinks are wrong.  However, the moment the humor and mocking are extended to the Left’s favorite dogma or groups, broad outrage follows.  In other words, freedom of speech is permitted—provided The Mob agrees with it.  Their commitment to inclusion ends with those with whom they disagree— sometimes violently.  These Thought Fascists believe in diversity of all things—except thought.

As the Wall Street Journal has succinctly noted: “… the recent dustup over Mr. Chappelle only further demonstrates the true power of political satire and comedy.  It can shine a light on the unflattering traits of those controlling our cultural institutions.  Funny is funny, even in a time of political polarization and censorship.  Comedy can get people of all stripes laughing and dole out a little truth while their guard is down.  This is why, from woke boardrooms to the White House and elite universities, those wielding cultural power today can’t abide humor that illuminates their moral failures, their hypocrisy and the ultimate bankruptcy of their worldviews.  Jokes intended to provoke a good-natured laugh are now met with calls for censorship, boycotts and even “fact checks.”

The long and short of it is that a joke, by its nature, is made at some person or group’s expense.  That is what makes it funny.  The humor comes from pointing out a quirky or unusual human characteristic; a foible—and every one of us have them—being one of the things that make us human.  It is our very imperfection, the error-filled, mistake-driven way we learn and improve—that is interesting and funny.  And yes, jokes can sting and hurt but that truly is one of the prices we pay for living in a free society that values freedom of expression for everyone.  (Remember, we can always change the channel or avert our eyes).  It is one of America’s greatest promises and virtues.

Otherwise, certain groups—the Thought Police—then take it upon themselves to decide what speech or expression is “hate filled” and “offensive” and that quickly becomes a slippery slope because every single one of us has a different idea about what is offensive and unacceptable.  Soon, comedy would become so bland and boring we would no longer be entertained by it.

However, let’s keep in mind that the Cancel Culture seeks far more than an end to jokes from comedians they don’t like.  As America has witnessed over these past two years, the Cancel Culture seeks, through the use of intimidation, bullying and violence, to “cancel” those with whom they disagree from eating establishments, academic institutions, places of employment and in the most violent examples, to literally ‘cancel’ the lives of those with whom they disagree.

This pushback by Chappelle appears to be the beginning of other artists and entertainers also beginning to say, “enough is enough, you are killing comedy and entertainment.”  Chappelle is an unlikely messenger but the message he brings is critically important to our living in a free society.

Walk With A Soldier

This Saturday join veteran living historian John Turner for this very different walk across the Mansfield battlefield. Come and take a walk with a soldier.

Authentically dressed as a soldier of a unit that participated in the battle, Turner will take guests into the unit’s lines, discussing its actions through the actual words and emotions of the soldiers who were there. This is a one of a kind experience you won’t want to miss.

Walk With A Soldier takes place at the Mansfield State Historic Site from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm on Saturday, November 20th.  Mansfield State Historic Site is an American Civil War Battlefield park located 3 miles south of the town of Mansfield, LA, on State Highway 175.

Gala Returns to Campus

The 33rd annual Christmas Gala, produced by the Mrs. H.D. Dear Sr. and Alice E. Dear School of Creative and Performing Arts at Northwestern State University will return to campus for 2021.  The Gala will be presented Dec. 1-3 in the A.A. Fredericks Auditorium. Performance times are 7 p.m. each evening with a 9 p.m. performance on Dec. 3.

The 2019 Gala was moved off campus due to construction in the auditorium. Last year’s performance was virtual due to the pandemic.

Tickets are $15. NSU, BPCC@NSU and Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts students are admitted free with a current student I.D.