FDA authorizes first anti-viral pills for COVID-19

Louisiana has very limited number of pills available at independent pharmacies

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently issued an Emergency Use Authorization for Pfizer’s Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir tablets and ritonavir tablets) – the first oral treatment for COVID-19.

The pill can be used to treat mild-to-moderate coronavirus disease in adults and pediatric patients who are 12 years of age and older weighing at least 40 kilograms (about 88 pounds) who test positive for COVID and are at high risk of hospitalization or death.

Paxlovid is available by prescription only and should be initiated as soon as possible after testing positive for COVID and within 5 days of symptom onset.

Prescribers should be aware of the potential for significant drug interactions and contraindications for use with certain drugs. In addition, Paxlovid is not recommended in patients with severe kidney or severe liver impairment. In patients with moderate renal impairment, a reduced Paxlovid dose is needed.

Louisiana has received a very limited number of Paxlovid regimens. These pills have been allocated to a small number of independent pharmacies across the state. If you feel you may be a good candidate for the treatment, contact your provider or medical professional.

Originations of Resolutions

According to the History Channel website, the ancient Babylonians are said to have been the first people to make New Year’s resolutions, some 4,000 years ago. They were also the first to hold recorded celebrations in honor of the new year—though for them the year began not in January but in mid-March, when the crops were planted.

During a massive 12-day religious festival known as Akitu, the Babylonians crowned a new king or reaffirmed their loyalty to the reigning king. They also made promises to the gods to pay their debts and return any objects they had borrowed. These promises could be considered the forerunners of our New Year’s resolutions. If the Babylonians kept to their word, their (pagan) gods would bestow favor on them for the coming year. If not, they would fall out of the gods’ favor—a place no one wanted to be.

A similar practice occurred in ancient Rome, after the reform-minded emperor Julius Caesar tinkered with the calendar and established January 1 as the beginning of the new year circa 46 B.C. Named for Janus, the two-faced god whose spirit inhabited doorways and arches, January had special significance for the Romans. Believing that Janus symbolically looked backward into the previous year and ahead into the future, the Romans offered sacrifices to the deity and made promises of good conduct for the coming year.

For early Christians, the first day of the new year became the traditional occasion for thinking about one’s past mistakes and resolving to do and be better in the future. In 1740, the English clergyman John Wesley, founder of Methodism, created the Covenant Renewal Service, most commonly held on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. Also known as known as watch night services, they included readings from Scriptures and hymn singing, and served as a spiritual alternative to the raucous celebrations normally held to celebrate the coming of the new year. Now popular within evangelical Protestant churches, especially African American denominations and congregations, watch night services held on New Year’s Eve are often spent praying and making resolutions for the coming year.

Despite the tradition’s religious roots, New Year’s resolutions today are a mostly secular practice. Instead of making promises to the gods, most people make resolutions only to themselves, and focus purely on self-improvement (which may explain why such resolutions seem so hard to follow through on). According to recent research, while as many as 45 percent of Americans say they usually make New Year’s resolutions, only 8 percent are successful in achieving their goals. But that dismal record probably won’t stop people from making resolutions anytime soon—after all, we’ve had about 4,000 years of practice.

Plans Announced for River City Fest

The 38th Annual River City Fest Dates have been slated for April 7-9, 2022. The Festival dates have been moved due to a change in the current Carnival company.

The RCF Committee has been working very hard to put together an even bigger & better festival than last year, which was a complete success.. This year’s fest will be packed with music, food and fun for the whole family.

Here is the River City Fest line-up:  A pageant, parade, and carnival.  Booths featuring arts & crafts will be there along with food vendors.  Some of the activities include a corn hole tournament, an arm wrestling tournament, and numerous children activities. 

There will be a car, truck & motorcycle show.  Also, a treasure hunt and fireworks spectacular will be held during the Fest.

Highlighting the weekend will be a street dance with live entertainment provided by “Jansen Matte,” opening for “Travis Matte & the Kingpins” on Saturday April 9, 2022.  There will also be live entertainment on Friday night as well.

For more information, please contact the numbers listed below.

Kathi Wells (318) 286-3751 and Tori Keck (318) 228-3940.

Photo Credit: Bayou Belle Photography

We Welcome 2022 With Great Hope and Promise

By Royal Alexander

It is worthwhile to take a moment to evaluate the long and winding road of the year just ended and reflect upon the journey of the New Year upon which we are about to embark.

2021 was difficult in many respects because the nation is still reeling, as much from Covid itself, as from the clumsy and error-filled governmental response to it.  But the resilient U.S. economy continues to find its footing in spite of the damaging economic policies of the Biden Administration which have caused the highest inflation rate in nearly 40 years.  

We continue to battle inflation resulting from so many trillions of tax dollars taken from the paychecks of hard-working taxpayers, or borrowed from China, and pumped by a bureaucratic federal government, often counterproductively and wastefully, into the national economy.  However, the hopeful news includes the fact that the so-called Build Back Better bill—and its actual $5 trillion cost and massive new taxes and regulations—has for now been stopped in the U.S. Senate.  This fact alone is enough to change the trajectory of the American economy in a positive direction.

In our beloved Louisiana, the fact that the Biden Administration’s ban on oil and gas leases has been stopped by a federal court is a boon to our state economy given how critical that industry is to our state.  It is simply insane for the Biden Administration to literally beg nations who hate us to provide us with energy so we can send these hostile powers more hard-earned U.S. dollars to be used for terrorism and other anti-American activities all over the world.  

This policy of begging for energy represents a special kind of clinical governmental madness given that it is the Biden Administration’s very own domestic anti-energy policies that have caused this problem and have ended America’s energy independence, as well as contributing greatly to America’s surging inflation rate by raising the costs of production and transportation of goods.   With the enormous energy capacity in our country, it is simple lunacy to ever rely on foreign oil in that it creates a national security weakness.  (For the same reason, we should rely on American farmers—including family-owned farms—and never on foreign food sources.)

 Here at home in the Shreveport-Bossier metropolitan area, we are greatly blessed to be—and other states no doubt envy this fact—at the intersection of two federal interstates and alongside the Red River, all providing enormous economic assets to our region.  This has contributed, no doubt, to the recent news of at least three major new projects in North Louisiana, either already confirmed or likely to be.  The powerful local economic impact this portends is truly encouraging.

Ternium USA plans to invest $98 million in expansion of its Shreveport facility when it adds a second coil coating paint line with an annual capacity of 120,000 tons at its Port of Caddo-Bossier facility.  In so doing, the company is retaining 157 jobs while the project creates 35 new direct jobs with an average salary of $69,000, plus benefits.  It is also estimated the project will result in 98 indirect jobs, for a total of 133 new jobs in Louisiana’s Northwest Region.

Two other business entities—with over $600 million in investment—are also considering building new facilities in Caddo and Bossier parishes.  This includes Bia Energy Operating Company which announced it is evaluating a $550 million blue methanol production plant that would be located at the Port of Caddo-Bossier in Shreveport.  If the plant becomes operational, it is estimated the company would create 75 direct new jobs, with an average annual salary of $80,000, plus benefits.  The plant’s impact is also expected to include 390 indirect jobs, for a total of 465 new jobs in Louisiana’s northwest region.  Nearly 350 construction jobs would also be created at peak construction for the project.

In Bossier Parish, Teal Jones Group owners Tom and Dick Jones announced that the company is evaluating Plain Dealing, Louisiana for a planned $110.5 million southern yellow pine lumber plant.  The new sawmill would support 125 new direct jobs, with average annual salaries of $47,000, plus benefits.  This is expected to also support at least 369 indirect jobs, for a total of 494 prospective new jobs in Louisiana’s northwest region.  The construction of the facility would also generate up to 120 construction jobs.

We should not neglect to recall the announcement several months ago of Amazon’s first robotics fulfillment center in Shreveport bringing an estimated 1,000 jobs and a $200 million capital investment to the Hunter Industrial Park near Interstates 20, 49 and 220 and providing ideal access for Amazon’s logistics operations.

While I realize that our region might not ultimately win all of these projects (however, we might!), the fact that our area is being so seriously considered is a very hopeful sign for Northwest Louisiana.

We should never forget that we still possess so many great assets in and across Louisiana and locally—not least our natural resources, our people, and our faith and hope. 

As President Reagan encouraged Americans, “Let us thank God for life and the blessings He’s put before us.  High among them are our families, our freedom, and the opportunities of a new year …. I’ve always thought New Year’s Day was an especially American tradition, full of the optimism and hope we’re famous for in our daily lives — an energy and confidence we call the American spirit.  Perhaps because we know we control our own destiny, we believe deep down inside that working together we can make each new year better than the old.”

Let’s all continue to fight the good fight, to keep the faith and to finish the race as we move together into a New Year of hope and possibility!

Happy New Year!

D.O.V.E.S. Donates Boxes

DeSoto Schools said the D.O.V.E. program delivered wood duck boxes to Lafayette Shooters. The D.O.V.E. marketing team is working on a plan to partner with Lafayette Shooters to sell the boxes to the public. Thank you, Mr. Daniel Jackson, for your support.

The Division of Professional Bass Fishing

By Steve Graf

In my lifetime, I can’t remember there being such division among the American people. Whether it’s a moral or political point of view, we just can’t seem to come to common ground. Likewise, three years ago there was a split in the professional bass fishing ranks. Bass Anglers Sportsman’s Society known as B.A.S.S. and its members (professional anglers) had a parting of ways due to differences of opinion on several topics. The powers that be at B.A.S.S. have done things a certain way since the beginning of time and were not willing to compromise on many of these topics. I’ll now give you my perspective as to what happened and what gave birth to an organization now known as MLF or Major League Fishing.

Pretty much all sports have people that think they know a better way to do things. Professional athletes just might have the biggest egos on the planet. Professional bass fishermen are no different, as egos abound, and many think they are the next greatest angler to ever grace the front deck of a boat. Not all professional anglers have one of these super egos, but there are many that do and some of these guys have their own idea as to how an organization should be run. Basically, what happened three years ago is that tour anglers got together (semi-unionized) and decided to approach B.A.S.S. with their ideas on what changes they would like to see made to accommodate the pro’s better.

Over the years, B.A.S.S. has set the schedule and determined when and where the anglers would fish. They set the rules and regulations for all B.A.S.S. events. Professional anglers wanted a bigger say, especially when it came to the scheduled dates. B.A.S.S. over the years has never taken into consideration special dates like Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Fourth of July, or any other holidays. They said when and where the events were set and expected all anglers to be there no matter what. It was not negotiable! Anglers also wanted more input in some of the rules and how they were applied… like the “no information” rule which is where anglers can’t seek, barter, or retrieve information about a body of water during the dead water period. This has been a controversial topic for years with all professional bass fishing circuits.

So, after the anglers met with B.A.S.S. officials, it was determined that the officials were not willing to give the anglers a say on scheduling events, nor were they receptive to any other suggestions the anglers had. Therefore, 80 anglers decided to venture out and start their own tournament organization where they had a say as to how things were done. They would determine the schedule, set the dates, and make the rules for what they thought would work better. This is what we know today as MLF or Major League Fishing. This idea had actually been in the works for two or three years prior to 80 anglers leaving B.A.S.S. to be a part of the MLF Pro Tour. Now this was a blow for B.A.S.S., but in truth has not really phased B.A.S.S. at all. They are, and have been, the leader in tournament bass fishing since its inception back in the late 1960’s. B.A.S.S. is also home to the greatest tournament in the world….The Bassmaster Classic! This is the biggest tournament in the world, and it is all anglers dream to win this event. Professional football players have the Super Bowl, baseball has the World Series and bass fishing has the Bassmaster Classic.

So, for the last three years MLF has waged their own war in the bass fishing world and appears to be fairly strong at this time, but there have been a few signs that things may not be as kosher as MLF wants us to think. Each of the last three years, highly popular anglers have left MLF only to return to B.A.S.S. These have included top name pros like Brandon Palaniuk, Gerald Swindle, Jacob Powroznik, Mike Iaconelli, Jason Christie, John Cox, Justin Adkins and Louisiana’s Greg Hackney…guys who have made a name for themselves and are considered some of the best anglers in the world. If this exodus continues, MLF may not survive. They can’t continue to lose top name anglers to B.A.S.S.

In actuality, professional bass fishing needs this organization to be successful. There too many anglers trying to make a living professionally and having only one organization to accommodate them is just not enough. Major League Fishing is also something new and different when it comes to their format of catching as many bass as you can in a day, rather than just your best 5, which has been the standard for all tournament trails since the 1990’s. MLF requires a little different mindset versus going out and catching 5 big ones. Furthermore, it makes for great TV coverage when every fish counts. This is what MLF promised the anglers who left B.A.S.S., more TV exposure not only for themselves, but their sponsors as well.

The jury is still out on MLF, but hopefully they will continue to enhance and attract more anglers who are looking to fish this style of event. While B.A.S.S continues to be the standard that all anglers hope to reach, MLF for now will have to try and keep as many top name pros as they can if they want to survive. Till next time, good luck, good fishing and don’t forget to set the hook!

Notice of Death – December 31, 2021

Joseph Pratt

November 17, 1947 to December 24, 2021

Thursday Service December 30, 2021 @ 11:00 Jenkins Funeral Home Chapel.

Namon Booker

July 20, 1949 ~ December 18, 2021 (age 72)

Homegoing Service is Thursday December 30,2021 at 11:00 am at Patterson Purvis Mortuary.

Geneva Curry

Died December 27, 2021

Service: Monday, January 3, 2022 @ 11:00 A.M. New Jerusalem B.C. Many.

Willie Grant

January 22, 1960 to December 26, 2021

Service: December 30, 2021, Jenkins Funeral Home Chapel. – 601 Franklin Street – Mansfield, LA 2:30 P. M.

Burial: Brown Cemetery – Coushatta, LA

Betty Thomas

November 14, 1956 to December 25, 2021

Service Friday, December 31, 2021 @ 11:00 a.m. True Vine Baptist Church, Mansfield, LA.

Link Bates Jr.

February 28, 1949 to December 24, 2021

Service Saturday, January 1, 2022 @ 11:00 a.m. Jenkins Funeral Home Chapel.

Eric Youngblood

December 18, 1964 to December 24, 2021

Service – Saturday, January 1, 2022 at 11:00 A. M. at Elizabeth Baptist Church, Mansfield.

Diane Palmer

April 25, 1954 to December 23, 2021

Gravesite January 1,20211 @ 1:00 p.m. Devil Branch Cemetery Florien, La.

Vernie “Bae-Bae” Scott

November 18, 1952 to December 16, 2021

Service December 31,2021 Zion Hill B.C.#2 Mansfield, La.

ETC… For Friday, December 31, 2021

Happy New Year everyone from the Journal.  It has been our pleasure to bring local parish news, sports and happenings for 2021.  We’re looking to giving you even better coverage of local news, delivered twice a week to your favorite device in the coming year.  Have a safe and happy weekend and for weeks to come.

Give a friend or family a fresh start to the new year.  Give them a free subscription to the DeSoto Parish Journal.  Just go to the menu bar at the top of each story (drop down for some devices) and click JOIN.  Then put in their name and address.  Be sure to tell them you’re doing it.  Give the gift of local news, sports and information every Wednesday and Friday morning.  The DeSoto Parish Journal.

Mansfield Police Chief Dies

On Dec 24, 2021 (Christmas Eve) the city of Mansfield, La lost a true legend.

Chief Joseph Pratt was Mansfield’s first African American Black Police Chief.

Obituary For Joseph Pratt

November 17, 1947 to December 24, 2021

Wednesday Viewing December 29, 2021 Walk-Thru from 2:00-6:00 Jenkins Funeral Home Chapel 601 Franklin Street Mansfield, La. Please Wear A Mask. Thursday Service December 30, 2021 @ 11:00 Jenkins Funeral Home Chapel 601 Franklin Street Mansfield, La. Please Wear A Mask. Interment: Union Cemetery Please Be Mindful Of COVID-19, Social Distancing (6 ft apart).

Severe Weather Is Possible

From the Shreveport office of the National Weather Service:

**New Year’s Severe Threat**

A strong cold front will approach from the northwest late on Friday and cross the area on Saturday.  This will bring a severe threat to the area late Friday night into the day on Saturday.  Large hail, damaging winds, and tornadoes are possible.

Here is our local forecast through Sunday night:

Friday-A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 80.

Friday Night-A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 64.

New Year’s Day-Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm before noon, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 74. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Saturday Night-A 30 percent chance of showers before midnight. Partly cloudy, with a low around 33.

Sunday-Mostly sunny, with a high near 47.

Sunday Night-Mostly clear, with a low around 28.

Christmas Greetings

The sounds of Merry Christmas rang out just about everywhere during the past couple of weeks.  Here are some of the greetings the Journal heard about.

The residents of Louisiana received a greeting from Governor John Bel Edwards.  Edwards said, “Merry Christmas, Louisiana!”

From DeSoto Schools…. Enjoy your Christmas Eve and have a Merry Christmas! #DeSotoCares

From the DeSoto Parish Tourist Commission… Have a safe and wonderful Christmas everyone.

From the DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office… Sheriff Richardson and staff would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!  It is our wish that everyone stays safe during the holiday weekend and enjoys special time with family.

‘Oh, Think of the Places You’ll (Hopefully) Go!’

By Teddy Allen

As we wrap 2021, which will go down in history as no one’s favorite year ever, especially if you who won the lottery but couldn’t collect it because you didn’t wear a mask to the presentation of the Big Fake Check and therefore were executed on site, probably by being beaten to death with the Big Fake Check, we must stress this:

Everything is going to be OK. Eventually. (I think? I’m pretty sure. Maybe … )

But — and the “but” is important here because the longer you live, the more you realize there is always a “but” (literally) or a “butt” (figuratively) that can mess things up. For everybody.

 And by “mess things up,” I mean turn the world upside down. When grownups get involved — especially grownups with egos the size of any hemisphere you wish to choose — it is never a good thing.

Never never ever.

The hair-pulling-out frustration of the past two years has been that the people who have titles and are supposed to be “in charge” of such things and advising us — WE are paying them, for goodness’ sake — keep contradicting themselves with their scientific instructions, then them blaming US for not following orders.

I don’t mind “following the science” if they can tell me what the actual science is. I just don’t want to follow THEM. If science could speak for itself, then we’d be getting somewhere.

But it can’t, so we are stuck with the usual suspects, regular people in high places — remember, they are regular, make-mistakes people — who keep changing their minds. I realize we live in the most fluid situation ever; it would just be nice if once in a while, these Important People who act they Know Everything would be less dramatic in their relaying of information and would, now and then, say something like, “Uh, I was wrong.” We’d even settle for, “I could possibly be wrong.”

Or if they would laugh once in a while … either at themselves or at this sometimes-happy, sometimes-heartbreaking situation. At least then we could tell whether or not they’re robots.

Wouldn’t that be refreshing?

All that to say I am glad Dr. Seuss passed away in 1991 at the rich old age of 87 and is not around to see this. He was a man of few words because he wrote for children. The Cat in the Hat, which I have read at least 2,457 times, and I still have my original, colored-in copy to prove it; GREAT book — is 1,626 words long. (That’s roughly two Teddy columns.) It uses just 236 different words, and the two longest words are only two syllables.

Like me, it is almost 65 years old, having been published in March of 1957. (I am only three or four syllables/years behind.) Unlike me, it is still a source of rich joy.

But Dr. Seuss could not have explained the past two years with just 236 words. Though he was a working man’s genius, he’d have needed to invent a whole other alphabet to sum up 2021, which, to quote an old Christmastime favorite, Is Beginning to Look a Lot Like 2020.

His final book was published by Random House in 1990. Oh, the Places You’ll Go! repeats his constant theme of encouragement to young people (and their parents?), a message to inspire and find the success that lies within. Dr. Seuss was always trying.

You have brains in your head.

You have feet in your shoes

You can steer yourself

Any direction you choose.

You’re on your own. And you know what you know.

And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

Except not so much in these pandemic times, which are now endemic times, which the higher-ups are having trouble admitting. Sigh … Been a tough time for everyone. But as we’ve nervous-laughed our way through it, together, though brow-beaten most every day, here we are on the brink of a New Year.

So far, so good. Pretty shaky!, but so far, so good.

And no matter what the smarty pants people too proud to check their egos at the door say, Dr. Seuss was right:

You’re off to great places!

Today is your day!

Your mountain is waiting.

So … get on your way!

Contact Teddy at teddy@latech.edu

ALERT-COVID-19 Hospitalizations Double In One Week Amid Omicron Surge

Louisiana Department of Health urges everyone take safety precautions ahead of New Year’s Eve.  The Louisiana Department of Health announces that 449 people in Louisiana are hospitalized with COVID-19 – a figure that has doubled in the last week. The last time we reported this many COVID-19 hospitalizations was mid-October, as we came down from our third and then-worst COVID-19 surge. Eighty percent of people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 are not fully vaccinated.

A total of 9,545 new COVID-19 cases out of 59,139 new tests have been reported to the state since December 23. The testing data do not include results from at-home tests. The Louisiana Department of Health will resume updating the COVID-19 dashboard on Monday, December 27.

Another 1,231 people in Louisiana have been reinfected with COVID-19 in the same time frame. LDH does not include reinfections on its dashboard. Information is still emerging, but Omicron includes multiple mutations across the SARS-CoV-2 genome. Emerging data show this new variant is more transmissible than previous strains and that Omicron may carry an increased risk of reinfection compared to other variants of concern.

Current vaccines are expected to protect against severe illness, hospitalizations and deaths due to infection with the Omicron variant. However, breakthrough infections in people who are fully vaccinated are likely to occur. The Omicron surge further emphasizes the importance of vaccination and boosters.

In light of this rapidly evolving situation and because we know families may be traveling and gathering ahead of New Year’s Eve, LDH is urging everyone to follow public health guidance to stay safe:

To reduce transmission, regardless of vaccination status, mask in all indoor public spaces; mask in all indoor private spaces with people who are not in your immediate household; and mask outdoors when not able to social distance. Masks are effective in protecting against infection for all of the currently circulating variants.

Work remotely if feasible.

Limit exposure to individuals outside your everyday household.

Get tested for COVID-19 before and after traveling or gathering with individuals outside your everyday household. LDH recommends testing one to two days before travel and three to five days after travel.

If you have questions about vaccines, you can speak to a medical professional and learn about vaccination sites near you by calling Louisiana’s vaccine hotline at 855-453-0774. For a list of locations near you, visit ldh.la.gov/covidvaccine or text your ZIP code to GETVAX (438829) in English or VACUNA (822862) in Spanish.

Civil War Medicine

A program of Civil War Medicine will be presented by the Mansfield State Historic Site on Saturday January 15 at 2:00 pm.  Using the museum’s hospital exhibit as a backdrop, park staff will paint a candid picture of what it was like during the Civil War to be treated by army doctors.

A Civil War surgeon’s field kit will be on display and the instruments contained in it will be used to illustrate how battlefield wounds were treated. Also discussed will be the various diseases and illnesses contracted by soldiers in the field and how these were addressed by doctors.

Mansfield State Historic Site is located on LA Highway 175, three miles south of the town of Mansfield, Louisiana. Admission is $4 per person ages 4-61; seniors 62 and over and children 3 and under are admitted free. For more information call 318.872.1474 locally or 888.677.6267 toll free.

Pat’s Proof

By Brad Dison

45-year-old A.R. “Pat” Patterson was a successful businessman from Fairfax, Virginia.  In his spare time, he and Findall Marbury, a naval architect and friend, designed a small motorboat.  As the design process neared completion, they hatched a plan.  They wanted to build the boat and take it on a 1,000-mile trip from Washington D.C. to Jacksonville, Florida.  For two weeks, they shaped ¼ inch boards and glued them to a light wooden frame.  They used a special glue to seal the boards together to prevent leaks.  They installed a lightweight awning to protect them from the sun’s rays.  When the boat was finished, it was 15 feet in length, and weighed 150 pounds.  Pat, alone, weighed 160 pounds.  They mounted a used 10-horsepower outboard motor to the boat and made arrangements for the 1,000-mile maiden voyage.  Pat’s total investment in the boat was about $35.  Just before they were to begin their trip, Marbury was transferred away from the Washington D.C. area.  Pat’s 10-year-old son, Tommy, begged to take Marbury’s place, but Pat decided to make the trip alone.

On Wednesday, June 22, 1960, Pat loaded the boat with a pump, some extra glue and cotton wadding, a folding chair, and began his journey.  He set off near the Francis Scott Key Bridge on the Potomac River in Washington D.C. at full speed.  Pat’s route would take him down the Potomac River, through Chesapeake Bay, and through various inland waterways which allowed him to stay in sight of land most of the way.  He expected the trip to take about three weeks.

On Thursday, June 30, eight days after he began his trip, Pat reached Hampton, Virginia.  The trip was taking longer than he had expected.  On several occasions, Pat’s boat struck objects in the water and sprung leaks.  “I started out full speed and with not too much caution,” Pat said, “but when I hit a stake in the Chesapeake Bay—well, I was careful from then on.  The hull split like an innertube.”  Pat patched the leaks with glue and wadding, sometimes without ever taking the boat to shore, and continued on his journey.  He usually spent about 12 hours on the water before making port.  At one port, a reporter asked him how he dealt with the loneliness.  Pat responded that he was too busy to become lonely.

Pat’s closest call on his journey did not come from leaks or fear of sinking, but from something he had not anticipated.  Pat reached Fernandina Beach, Florida, just a few miles from his journey’s end at Jacksonville, and pulled his boat out of the water.  He left his 10-horsepower “kicker” on the boat.  Just a few feet away was another boat in the water.  Some convicts had escaped and made their way to Fernandina Beach in search of a boat to steal.  They looked at Pat’s beached boat and motor and looked at the one in the water.  They quickly decided to take the one in the water to save time.  They paddled away and left Pat’s boat on the beach.

On Thursday, August 11, 1960, Pat finally made it to Jacksonville, Florida.  The trip he thought would take him three weeks took him 50 days.  Part of the time was spent fixing leaks.  Much of his time on shore dealt with newspaper reporters and curiosity seekers.  When Pat beached the boat in Jacksonville, a reporter asked him if he was planning to return in the boat.  Pat replied that he planned to return home after a few days’ rest, but not by boat.  He made it clear that he had no plans for another boat trip anytime soon.

Pat became somewhat of a celebrity because of his journey.  On February 15, 1961, Pat was a guest on I’ve Got a Secret.  In this show’s format, guests shared a secret with the show’s host Gary Moore.  A four-person panel had a limited time to ask the guests questions to try to uncover their secret.  What was Pat’s secret?  The ¼ inch boards used in the construction of his boat were waterproof …cardboard.  Pat made the trip in his cardboard boat as part of a promotion for his company to prove that the cardboard boxes his company produced were truly waterproof.


  1. The Times and Democrat (Orangeburg, South Carolina) June 23, 1960, p.10.
  2. The Times Dispatch (Richmond, Virginia), June 23, 1960, p.8.
  3. The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia), June 23, 1960, p.8.
  4. Daily Press (Newport News, Virginia) July 1, 1960, p.3.
  5. The Bradenton Herald (Bradenton, Florida), August 12, 1960, p.3.
  6. The Pensacola News (Pensacola, Florida) August 12, 1960, p.2.
  7. “I’ve Got a Secret,” Airdate February 15, 1961.]

Blood Drives

LifeShare has scheduled several blood drives during January in DeSoto Parish.  Note these on your calendar.

Desoto Parish drives

Saturday, January 15 – Grand Cane Baptist Church, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Sunday, January 16 – Union Springs Baptist Church (Mansfield), 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.

Saturday, January 22 – Saint Ann’s Catholic Church (Stonewall), 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Sunday, January 23 – Church on the Rock (Logansport), 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Monday, January 24 – Logansport High School, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm (Open to the public).

ETC… For Wednesday, December 29, 2021

The January meeting of Men of Prayer will be held on Thursday, January 6th at the Stonewall Community Center.  Guest speaker will be Dean Register of the Longstreet, Keatchie, and Shiloh United Methodist Churches.  The meeting begins at 6:30 pm.

The next session of cooking and nutrition classes for children will be held on Monday January 3rd at the Stonewall Branch Library.  These classes meet at 10:00 am and are for kids in K through 5th grades.

Your reporter’s late year travels take me to a nice motel in the Denver area.  Extremely nice room at a reasonable rate.  Just one however.  The in-room decaf coffee is better than their regular brew.  But the stuff in the lobby is great. 

Animal Shelter Gets Funds and Supplies

The DeSoto Animal Shelter this week got additional funds from the police jury and a shipment of supplies from its friends group.

On Monday the DeSoto Police Jury passed a resolution giving additional funding to the shelter. By resolution, jurors transferred American Rescue Plan Funds to both the solid waste fund and the general fund designated for the shelter.  $1,200,000 went to the solid waste fund and $40,000 went to the shelter.

Also Monday, the jury made a public meeting announcement concerning the animal shelter.  The notice said on January 18, 2022 at 5:00 pm the jury would consider adopting a resolution calling an election in the parish to levy an ad valorem tax for animal control.  That resolution will be considered ruling will be considered at a regular Police Jury meeting.

In addition to the $40,000 the jury allocated, The Animal Shelter said, “We have some awesome guardian angels that stepped in and helped by supporting the BFF’s of Desoto Animal Service. This is the new non-profit 501c3 that has stepped in and has been a huge advocate in supporting us as we go into the new budget year.  

And our Community did not fail to help bring the blessings in.  Wow,   Thank you Ms Andi Ramaker for being the driving force to bring it all together.   Thank you, Desoto Town & Country for the support and overall commitment this took.  And Thank you to each of those supporters  that made love felt.  The season of giving filled our hearts here and our lobby.  I hope you all know that the team here at the Shelter is forever grateful. We are wishing you a blessed and wonderful Christmas season.”

Special Police Jury Meeting Called

Next Monday afternoon the DeSoto Parish Police Jury will hold a special meeting to catchup on some end of year items that need attention.  They were discussed during the regular jury meeting last Monday; however final action was not taken.

Prior to the special meeting of the full jury, the Personnel Committee and the Insurance Committee will hold special meetings.

Under Old Business, the jury will remove the criteria for premium pay.  Last Monday, the jury voted to authorize a one-time payment to full time and part time employees of the Police Jury.  A substitute motion was introduced and approved increasing the bonus for full time employees from $1000 to $2000.  For part time employees the bonus would increase from $500 to $1000.

Under New Business the jury will consider renewing the Property and Casualty Insurance, renewing the Workers Compensation, Consider the job description and salary range for the Solid Waste Superintendent, and authorize the jury to OK the recommendation of the Parish Administrator’s and Human Resources to hire a Solid Waste Superintendent.

Santa Stops at Stonewall

By Labetha Casey

Santa made an appearance at the Stonewall Municipal Complex on December 22 to get those last minute requests from the children before he makes his rounds on Christmas Eve.  The event was sponsored by the Stonewall Town Hall.  Janice Davis, Stonewall Code Enforcement Officer, was kept busy making hot chocolate to serve the guests and Terry Smith, with the Town of Stonewall Maintenance Department, handed out delicious cookies.

When asked how he arrived with no snow on the ground for his sleigh to glide upon, Santa responded, “It’s magical, but the Sheriff flew me in on the helicopter and we landed on the helipad behind the building.”  There was a bit of disturbance when DPSO Deputy Randy Woodle pulled out his handcuffs to arrest Santa for impersonation.  However, Stonewall Town Clerk, Shree Young, stepped in and assured Deputy. Woodle that this is indeed the REAL Santa.  Whew!! That was good news for all of the children that Santa would not be in jail and would still be able to deliver gifts on time with no interruptions.

Fortunately, no children were present when the arrest attempt was made.”  I don’t want anyone to think anyone was trying to traumatize the children.  Haha!

Santa’s youngest guest was Jonathan Harvey, who is five months old.  Jonathan is too young to recite his wish list, so Santa must try to decide the contents of that list.  But Santa will get it figured out.  After all, Santa knows EVERYTHING!!

Christmas Eve Services Around DeSoto Parish

Mt. Olivet Baptist Church, Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at 6:00 pm. 14320 Hwy 84, Stanley, LA

Logansport First Baptist, Christmas Eve at 5:00 pm. 1009 Gum St, Logansport, LA

St. Joseph Church, Christmas Eve 4:00 pm and midnight. Music starts 30 minutes prior to each service. 305 Jefferson St, Mansfield, LA

Also St. Ann’s, Christmas Eve Service at 7:00 pm. Music starts 30 minutes prior to service.  2260 US-171 N, Stonewall, LA

Salem Baptist Church has a candlelight service at 5:30. 109 Church Rd, Stonewall, LA

Keatchie UMC will have a Christmas Eve candlelight service at 5:30pm. 9590 Hwy 5 Keatchie LA

Christ Memorial Episcopal Church Christmas Eve mass at 5:00 pm. 401 Washington Ave, Mansfield, LA

Nonsense in New York: NYC Lets Non-Citizens Vote

By Royal Alexander

The City Council in New York City recently approved legislation that would allow approximately 800,000 non-citizens to vote in local elections.  One of the several problems with this bill (which will become law because NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has said he won’t veto it) is that it is clearly unconstitutional as to both the New York state constitution as well as our U.S. Constitution.  It is highly likely the law will be immediately enjoined and then litigated in court where I believe it will be struck down.

The New York State Constitution guarantees citizens the right to vote.  In fact, the Second Article of New York State’s Constitution ensures that “every citizen shall be entitled to vote at every election for all officers elected by the people … provided that such citizen is [18] years of age or over and shall have been a resident of this state, … county, city, or village for [30] days next preceding an election.” (Emphasis added).

Supporters of this measure have argued that because this language does not expressly exclude non-citizens, New York City can allow them to vote.  This is ludicrous.  This constitutional language does clearly exclude from voting those who are not citizens by expressly requiring that voters be citizens.  This law is also backwards and has no limiting principle.  It is easy to imagine it being manipulated.  At a minimum, the brief 30-day residency by non-citizen voters would allow a non-citizen to live in NYC for the duration of a particular job or project, making them eligible to vote, after which they return to their native country.  This would easily allow outside influences to impact New Y0rk City elections.

As writer, commentator and former Asst. U.S. Attorney, Andrew McCarthy, has stated, “…when noncitizens vote, it dilutes the votes of citizens, because the concept that the votes of citizens count is a bedrock of constitutional democracy.  Also fundamental is the concept of citizenship, to which singular allegiance to the nation and its laws is basic.”  That is why, McCarthy continued, “if citizenship is eviscerated, so are our ties to the nation and to the ideal that we are a unified political community.  This is why citizenship has always been a prerequisite to voting.  To be a citizen is not merely to have the rights but also the obligations of being an American. Citizenship implies a commitment to the nation and its principles, which is what makes the country work, and makes us a unique national community.”

It is unquestionable that the hallmark of a legitimately functioning democracy in a free society is the honest exercise of the voting franchise by its citizens.  Period.  If people become convinced that their vote—the most powerful tool they possess to express themselves, their policy preferences, and to participate in our civic life—is not valued and protected, the rule of law will crumble.  And when the rule of law is gone what results is chaos, anarchy, and the law of the mob.  Many people in this country already feel powerless and disconnected and if the hope and faith they place in their vote—their voice—is corrupted and destroyed, our nation cannot endure.

As Thomas Paine said, the right of citizens to vote “is the primary right by which all other rights are protected.”  We must recall that in the history of the world, the right of a citizenry to choose its leaders—in this great American experiment in Democracy, as Lincoln articulated it—is a narrow historical exception to rule by a king or czar or mullah or dictator or tyrant.

Our right to vote is a sacred right that wasn’t given to us by politicians, journalists, priests or rabbis.  It is a precious right given to us by the Founders who pledged “our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor”  in commitment to the principle of  individual freedom and with an understanding that freedom is not free; and also given to us by 1.1 million American service men and women since the Revolutionary War up to the present day who have given the “last full measure of devotion” to grant and protect citizens’ right to form and sustain a “government by consent of the governed.”  NYC dishonors those who gave their lives to give us the right to vote.

Our fundamental right to vote is truly preservative of all our other rights and citizenship has always been the only moral and credible place to draw the line regarding this sacred right.  And it must so remain.