Fire District 8 Tax Approved

Voters of Fire Protection District 8 have approved the property tax renewal by an overwhelming 76%.  Voter turnout was about 8% of the registered voters in the district.

Approved was a 10 year continuation of the 12.16 mils property tax in the district.

Remembering George Michael Abington

Funeral services celebrating the life of George Michael Abington will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 29, 2023, at Kilpatrick’s Rose-Neath Chapel, 943 Polk Street, Mansfield, Louisiana. Interment will follow at Grand Cane Cemetery. A visitation will be held on Friday, April 28, 2023, from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the funeral home.

It is with heavy hearts that we gather here today to pay our respects to a great man. George Michael Abington (Mike) lived a life full of passion, dedication, and love.

Mike was a true pioneer in the field of stadium management. Graduating from Northeast Louisiana State University in 1972, with a Bachelorette in Radio/TV Management, Mike went on to Spartanburg, South Carolina. Following the wedding to Kathryn Myrick Abington, the pair moved to Hampton, Virginia, where Mike ran the Hampton Coliseum. Headed to the big leagues, they next ended up in Pontiac, Michigan, to serve as Stadium Director, where the Detroit Lions and the Detroit Pistons played their NFL and NBA games.

In 1992, Mike got the brilliant idea that he wanted to host the first indoor World Cup Soccer playoffs at his home stadium. This idea was met with disbelief and criticism. Over the next 2 years, he engineered a new type of stadium grass with Michigan State University and visited 9 counties across the world to learn everything he could about soccer. 1994 dawned on the very first indoor FIFA World Cup Soccer playoff tournament, and Michael Abington, overnight, become a legend in his field.

In addition to his professional achievements, Mike was an avid photographer and loved the outdoors. He had a special fondness for fishing, and his passion for the land his family grew up on was infectious. Many of us remember his love for opening day at the ranch, a day he cherished more than any other.

Mike was blessed to have Kathryn M. Abington by his side, who preceded him in death, and together they raised a daughter, Elizabeth Claire. His grandchildren, Charlotte-Joy Corinne Abington, Isobel Grace Abington Toms, and Harper Lucille Tunstall Abington were a constant source of joy and inspiration for him. Survived also by sister Michele Abington-Cooper, her son Raymond Cooper and wife Katherine, mother-in-law Ada J. Myrick, brother-in-law Tom Myrick Jr. and wife Carol, and numerous nieces, nephews, and greats.

Mike’s name will forever remain synonymous with the development of the grass that could be transplanted from outdoor to indoor, which revolutionized the World Cup soccer world.

As we look back on Mike’s life and the love he shared, we will always remember him as a true leader, a devoted friend, and a loving family man.

Ribbon Cutting For Two Grand Cane Businesses

By LaBetha Casey

The first ribbon cutting for a husband and wife team was held in Grand Cane on Friday April 21, 2023.  Austin Patton’s new business, Rocking P Ranch & Leather offers custom leather work including belts, knife sheaths, pistol holsters, gun slings, leather hat patches, and air fresheners.  He also has cowhide rugs from Brazil and Italy for sale and will perform saddle cleaning and repairs.

For four years Austin was a bull rider and learned his leather trade when he became an apprentice to a ranch owner in Texas where he stayed at one time. His business has limited hours of being open for business as he is a full-time firefighter in DeSoto Parish.

Be Jeweled by Laura Patton offers custom-made permanent jewelry using silver or gold-filled chains and natural stones.  Laura is a part-time nurse, so she will be making jewelry by appointment.  On Tuesday nights she conducts live Facebook sales.

Their business is open on Thursdays and Fridays 10:00 am until 4:00 pm and on Saturdays 10:00 am until 2:00 pm.

The second ribbon cutting of the day was for The Village Loft.  Though Lisa Duty opened her store a couple of years ago, an official  ribbon cutting had never occurred.  Duty not only has painted  furniture for sale in her shop, she also does custom furniture painting for customers.

A variety of items made by local artisans such as barn quilts, homemade candles, quilts, throw pillows, and children’s clothes are for sale.  One “fair trade” product line that is offered is Maria Victoria bags that are hand woven in Mexico.

Layne Huckabay Announces Candidacy for Clerk of Court

Layne Huckabay has announced his candidacy for DeSoto Parish Clerk. Layne is married to Hannah Howe Huckabay and they have two children, Lillian, and Payton, who both attend school in DeSoto Parish. They are members of Fellowship Community Church. Layne is originally from Coushatta and moved to DeSoto Parish in 2012. He has been a lifelong Republican.

“As your next Clerk of Court, my office and I will be transparent with no hidden personal agendas. Our office will have an open-door policy and work hard every day to make the people of DeSoto Parish proud. Election integrity will be our top priority and we will never undermine the judicial process.” –Layne Huckabay

Layne comes from a long line of public servants. He is the son of Buddy and Judy Huckabay. Buddy spent 47 years in law enforcement, 20 of those years as Sheriff of Red River Parish. At the same time, Judy spent 28 years in the Clerk’s office in Red River Parish, serving 8 years as Clerk of Court. Layne has a long history of serving where he is needed, including on the Republican State Central Committee, and will continue to do what is right for DeSoto Parish and its people.

You can learn more at

Horsing Around

By Brad Dison

Robert LeRoy Parker was a “medium short, stocky build, with blue eyes and an infectious smile.  His sense of humor was highly developed; he made friends easily, was highly dependable when he chose, and was loyal to his friends.”  He could “outrope, outride, and outshoot any man on the range.  He drank sparingly and never allowed women to interfere with his business.”  His business, at this time, was working cattle.

Sometime in the 1870s, the exact date has been lost to history, Robert stole a saddle and several horses near Circleville, Utah.  Two deputies tracked Robert for miles through the desert and got a lucky break.  They found Robert asleep at camp.  Before he was fully awake and aware, the deputies handcuffed Robert.  Anyone else in that situation would have admitted defeat, but not Robert.  One newspaper reported that Robert’s “mind worked like chain lightning.”  As the deputies were transporting Robert from his camp in the desert to the nearest jail, they stopped near a spring to prepare lunch.  The deputies built a fire and got enough water from the spring to boil a pot of coffee.  One of the deputies went back to the spring to fetch more water while the other deputy stayed to guard their prisoner.  Robert sat near the fire directly across from the guarding deputy.  The deputy squatted by the fire to check on the coffee.  At that instant, Robert kicked the boiling coffee in the face of the deputy.  The deputy grabbed his face and screamed.  Robert snatched the deputy’s pistol from its holster and trained the pistol on the second deputy.  He disarmed the second deputy, retrieved the handcuff keys, and removed the restraints.  In less than a minute, Robert jumped into his stolen saddle and rode away with the stolen horses and the deputies’ two horses.

In most other cases, that would have been the end of the story.  By most accounts, Robert was a likable, caring guy.  After riding a couple of miles from where he made his escape, he realized that the deputies’ water canteens were still tied to the saddle of their horses.  He knew the area well enough to know that the next nearest spring to the deputies was about 30 miles away.  He knew the deputies would try to walk to some sort of civilization but without their water canteens they would certainly perish.  Robert rode back to the stranded deputies and, to their surprise, returned their water canteens and gave them directions to the next nearest watering hole.  The shocked deputies thanked Robert as he rode away again.

Robert’s criminal career continued for more than a decade, and he joined forces with other like-minded criminals.  The pressure of continually being pursued by law enforcement officers convinced Robert to leave the country for South America.  He and his most infamous partner purportedly died in a shootout on November 7, 1908.  Robert used many aliases during his criminal career including Santiago Maxwell, Jim Lowe, George Cassidy, and Mike Cassidy.  You and I know Robert LeRoy Parker as Butch Cassidy.  His partner’s alias was the Sundance Kid.

Source: The Salt Lake Tribune, March 19, 1950, p.63.

Fiddler on the Roof Debuts May 12

Join us at BackAlley Community Theatre in Grand Cane as we present the award-winning Broadway musical, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF.  This musical centers on Tevye, a milkman in the village of Anatevka, who attempts to maintain his cultural traditions as outside influences disrupt his family.  He must cope with his three older strong-willed daughters who wish to marry for love.  Fiddler on the Roof has surpassed 3000 performances, one of Broadway’s most successful musicals.  BackAlley is proud to present this show to you as our final show of the season. 

BackAlley show dates are Friday and Saturday, May 12 and 13 @ 7:00, Sunday, May 14 @ 2:00, and Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, May 18, 19, and 20 at 7:00. To purchase your ticket and reserve your seat, CLICK HERE. Season ticket holders may reserve your seat by calling 318-461-0202 or on our website.

Jay Fewless, Constable, has been in many plays with BackAlley, including Not a Creature was Stirring, Fools, In-laws and Outlaws, and The Nerd. In his spare time, Jay follows his passion of building and flying remote-controlled airplanes—having flown his planes in Monterey, Mexico, and the Joe Nall Event in South Carolina. He is working with Sciport Discovery center to develop an aeronautics and aviation STEM program for kids. Jay is originally from WI and is retired from General Motors. He lives in Stonewall with his wife, Jean, and their beloved canines.

John Brewer, Avram, was heard as the radio announcer for BackAlley’s Anybody Out There? John sings in his church choir, and has hosted radio shows, newscasts, and news-talk shows—having reported on a hotel fire from a phone in the burning hotel lobby and interviewed a US vice president. He, and his wife, Dawn, live south of Coushatta, and he publishes both the Desoto and Red River Parish Journals—digital local newspapers. In his spare time, he enjoys restoring old cars, going to car shows, camping and hiking in the mountains—having climbed the peaks of the Sangre de Christo Mountains in New Mexico, stamp collecting, and visiting with grandkids.

Dawson Weileder, Rabbi, has been active with Dramaniacs for years, having performed in many productions including Addam’s Family, Peter Pan, and Willy Wonka. He also performed in Elf Jr. with Shreveport Little Theatre and several productions at Credo– a homeschooling co-op with classes for teens. His favorite performances are Uncle Fester in Addams’ Family, Betty Bumbrake in Peter and the Starcatcher, and Captain Hook in Peter Pan. When away from the theater, he enjoys all types of games—video, board, cards, and Dungeons and Dragons. His favorite trip was to Cuernavaca Mexico last summer.

Devlin Austin, Innkeeper, has starred in many Dramaniac plays including Peter and the Starcatcher, Addams Family, and Puffs or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years… Devlin also works behind the stage and managed sound for the 2022 Christmas multi-play production. His favorite role has been Lord Astor in Peter and the Starcatcher, and he is grateful for the friends he has made in theater. Devlin is a Senior, plays the piano, and enjoys playing video games. His favorite actors are “the Ryans;” aka Ryan Reynolds and Ryan Gosling.

Chance Robertson, Mendel, has previously acted in plays in the 4K Arena at Cornerstone Ministry Cowboy Church in Logansport, where he has done both rodeos and performed in plays.  His favorite roles are as a singer and main character. Chance attends Stanley High School where he is in the seventh grade. In his spare time, Chance likes to go to the nursing home and help with residents; and, also, take care of animals.

Other cast members include Stephen Parr, Kim Pepmiller, Julia Parr, JuJu Welborn, MacKenzie Frazier, Sophie Lawrence, Carolina Jones, Linda Sibley, Karen Schmidt, Debbie Cook, Emerson Jones, Debbie Carr, Hunter Tuck, Ian Hall, John Derbonne . Amy Hall is Director and Windy Parr is Assistant Director. Fiddler is used by permission with Music Theatre International, book by Tony winner Joseph Stein, lyrics and music by Pulitzer Prize winners Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock.

Natchitoches Jazz/R&B Festival “TAKE ME TO THE RIVER” VIP Style

Natchitoches Jazz/R&B Festival Super VIP giveaway!

Purchase at least two $100.00 VIP tickets, and you’ll be entered into our SUPER VIP DRAWING, with a chance to win TWO SUPER VIP PASSESS!

Drawing will be held Friday, April 28, 2023 @ 4pm

There are a limited number of VIP tickets available. Get yours today!


Mark Chestnutt, Tracy Byrd and Cupid

See the full line-up here

Purchase tickets here

Forensic Science Catches the Cheaters

By Steve Graf

Since bass tournaments began, there have always been anglers looking to bend the rules and push the envelope. Some get caught while there are others who have succeeded in cheating. But when it comes to getting caught, it’s only a matter of time because when they get away with it once, they think they can do it again and again. But one day their luck runs out and someone catches them. A cheater has to be someone without a conscience because a normal person would feel guilt and shame. But cheaters fall into the same category as a criminal, they have no conscience.

This leads me back to a cheating scandal in October of 2018 when two anglers fishing in a derby on Lake Powell in Utah thought they had mastered the art of cheating. Little did they know that forensic science would play a huge role in their conviction.

These two anglers thought they had the perfect plan by going to another body of water the day before their tournament on Lake Powell. The evening before their event, they went into a shallow area of Quail Creek Reservoir and were observed doing “something suspicious” just before dark. But like any cheating scandal or criminal activity, there’s always a trail. The trail started at Quail Creek Reservoir where you must sign in and out for this water body. Of course, these guys didn’t think to use fictitious names, they gave their real names! Duh!

Quail Creek is 140 miles from Lake Powell, so these fish had to be kept alive in a live well for at least 20 hours. While today’s live wells are high tech and do a great job of keeping fish alive, it puts a lot of stress on the bass trying to stay alive for that length of time. As these fish were being weighed in, the tournament director noticed some things that didn’t seem right. First, all the fish had red tails and fins (the first indication that the fish have been stressed.) Second, he noticed that these fish looked nothing like all the other fish being weighed in. These fish had little heads and fatter bodies indicating a different diet than the fish from Lake Powell.

Here’s where things get really scientific. Turns out these suspicious indicators prompted investigators to work with the University of Utah and do what’s called a Stable Isotope Analysis. To simplify, it’s basically a calcium test that can determine what body of water a fish has come from based on the food eaten by the fish. Every body of water has what is called its own stable isotope ratio. When they compared to fish from Lake Powell to the fish from Quail Creek, they knew immediately that the fish weighed in by the anglers were not from Lake Powell but came from Quail Creek Reservoir. 

And there you have it…Forensic Science catches the cheaters just like an episode of CSI Vegas!  This story amazed me with the length the investigators went to try and convict these two Bozo’s. How their persistence and hard work paid off in making sure these two anglers didn’t get away with fraud! 

If you’re wondering how they were sentenced: they were fined $2500 each in restitution to “Help Stop Poaching.” They paid $500 in a plea fee, 48 hours of community service, 2 years of no hunting and the Division of Wildlife Resources sought they get 5 years of no fishing. 

So, I guess in this case, cheaters never win! From this angler’s perspective, there will always be anglers who think they can get away with cheating and will go to extreme lengths to do so. I am hopeful in the future that judges come down harder on these people who choose to go this route and attempt to commit fraud on unsuspecting anglers. Till next time, good luck, good fishing, and don’t forget to wear your sunscreen.

Chance of Storms Today

Latest Day 2 severe weather outlook from the Storm Prediction Center has now expanded the Slight and Marginal risks eastward. Large hail, and damaging winds will be the main concern while the threat of an isolated tornado or two should not be ruled out.

Remembering Patricia “Pinky” Perry

Patricia “Pinky” Perry, 64, of Mansfield, Louisiana, entered into eternal rest on April 25, 2023, surrounded by her loved ones. Patricia passed away after a year-long, courageous fight against lung and brain cancer. Patricia fought until the day she passed with a positive attitude and a strong faith in God. 

Patricia was born in Newport, Rhode Island, to Louis A. Perry and Laverne Marie Williams Perry.  Patricia lived in Arizona and Massachusetts for many years before moving back to Mansfield, Louisiana, where she has a been a long-time resident.

Patricia had various jobs throughout the years, but the one she loved and was most passionate about was working as a Certified Nursing Assistant at St. Luke’s Hospital.  She really found joy in taking care of others.

Patricia always said her greatest achievement in life was being a mom and a Mimi. She was a very loving and nurturing mother and Mimi. Her children and grandchildren were her world, and nothing brought her more happiness than spending time with them. She also loved and adored her daughter-in-law and son-in-law very much.

Patricia never met a stranger. She was always so kind, caring, compassionate, and loving to everyone.  To know her was to love her.  She was a beautiful person with a huge heart that spread joy and happiness wherever she went. Patricia always had a smile on her face and a laugh that was infectious. She loved to tell stories and make people laugh; she had a great sense of humor. She impacted more lives than I think she even realized.

In her spare time, she enjoyed crafting, gardening, playing cards and board games with family, reading, and watching some of her favorite TV shows. She also loved to spoil her fur baby, Boo Boo, who passed away only a few weeks prior to her.

Patricia was preceded in death by her paternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Antone Perry; her maternal grandparents Reverend W.O. Williams and Emma Rosenau; her father, Louis A. Perry; and her mother, Laverne Marie Perry.

Those left to cherish her memory are her beloved children Chance Moton and his wife Piper; Chip Moton; and Ashley Moton Stripling and her husband Matthew; 4 grandchildren, Ryan Moton, Ali Moton, Palin Moton, and Abigail Stripling; her long-time partner, Ronnie Hill; 2 step-granddaughters, Taylor Hill and Madison Hill.  She is also survived by her siblings, Kenneth Perry, Ann Perry, Cheryl Lampman, and many nieces and nephews.

A memorial service honoring Patricia’s life will be held on Sunday, April 30th at Beulah Baptist Church with Reverend Jerry Penfield officiating.  The visitation will be from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. and the service will begin at 3:00 p.m.

The family would like to send a special thanks to Sandy Tomb, Dr. Robert Massingill with Grace Home, LHC Group, and all of the nurses and staff on the Second Floor of Christus Highland for their care and compassion.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial donation can be made to St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105, or to Beulah Baptist Church or First Baptist Church of Blanchard.

Remembering Lawanda Weaver Marr

Funeral services celebrating the life of Lawanda Marr will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, May 1, 2023, at Fellowship Baptist Church, 200 Pam St., Mansfield, Louisiana with Rev. Waylon Gaunt officiating the service. Interment will follow at Mt. Heights Cemetery, Mansfield, Louisiana. A visitation will be held at Kilpatrick’s Rose-Neath Funeral Home, 943 Polk St., Mansfield, Louisiana, on Sunday, April 30, 2023, from 3:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.

Lawanda Weaver Marr, 71, of Mansfield, Louisiana entered into rest on Wednesday, April 26, 2023. She was born on December 11, 1951, in Mansfield, Louisiana to Edward and Malissie Cloud Weaver.

Lawanda was a woman of faith who loved the Lord and was faithful to her church.  She loved traveling and shared a passion for quilting with her sisters. She made several quilts of Valor for the Veterans at her church. She also had a passion for genealogy because family connections to the present and past were important to her. Her daily life revolved around her love for children and grandchildren. She loved her dogs and had a love for Life!!!

Preceding her in death are her husband, Jerry Dean Marr, and her parents, Edward and Malissie Weaver.

She is survived by her sons, Markus Marr and wife, Crystal, and Jeffrey Marr and wife, Pamela; daughter, Balinda Youngblood and husband, Kenneth; sisters, Ann Mitcham and husband, Lloyd, Sara Jane Weir and her husband, Murry, Betty Chism and husband, Mitchell, Lucille Morris and husband, Craig, and Newlyn Vines; brother, Edward Weaver and wife, Marilyn; grandchildren, Christopher, Shaina, Nicholas, Alex, Alexandria, Jaclynn, Catherine, Gavin, D.J., Tyler James, Makenzie, Michael, Kaleb, Destiny, Savanna, Tyler O’Neal, and Trey; eight great-grandchildren; and a host of nieces and nephews.

Honoring Lawanda as pallbearers will be her grandsons.

Notice of Death – April 28, 2023

Stanly Joe Anderson

Passed 4/17/2023

Graveside Service: Saturday, April 29, 2023 @ 11:00 A.M. Mt. Zion B.C. Cemetery Kingston, LA.

Lawanda Weaver Marr

December 11, 1951 — April 26, 2023

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, May 1, 2023, at Fellowship Baptist Church, 200 Pam St., Mansfield, Louisiana.

Patricia Perry

November 17, 1958 — April 25, 2023

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, April 30th at Beulah Baptist Church.

The DeSoto Parish Journal publishes “Remembrances of Loved Ones” with unlimited words and a photo, as well as unlimited access – $70. The Remembrance will be included in the emails sent to subscribers.  Contact your funeral provider or Must be paid in advance of publication.

Early Voting in DeSoto

Early voting for the April 29th election ended last Saturday.  A total of 169 persons cast ballots.

The Demographic breakdown:

White 97 and Black 68

Female 105 and male 64

Democrat 81, Republican 66, and other 22

There were 81 ballots cast in person and 88 voted absentee.

Track Teams Bring Home the Trophies

The Mansfield High School track teams are District Champions.  Congratulations are in order for the Mansfield Wolverines and Lady Wolverines Track Teams.

Last week both teams solidified their spot as the 2023 District 3-2A Girls and Boys District Track and Field Champions. Congratulations to these athletes and their coaches.

Stonewall Man Killed in Crash, Driver Arrested for Vehicular Homicide

On Thursday, April 20, 2023, shortly after 3:30 p.m., Troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop G began investigating a three-vehicle fatal crash on U.S. Hwy 171 at Hillside Circle. This crash claimed the life of 79-year-old Danny Miller.

The preliminary investigation revealed that a 2016 Chevrolet Silverado, driven by Matthew Spillman of Stonewall, was traveling south on U.S. Hwy 171 approaching three stopped vehicles. One vehicle was a stopped and unloaded school bus with its proper warning devices activated, the second vehicle was a 2018 Ford F-150 stopped in the outside lane behind the school bus, and the third vehicle was a 1977 Ford Bronco, driven by Miller, which was stopped in the inside lane behind the school bus. For reasons still under investigation, Spillman failed to stop for the vehicles and collided with the F-150. After colliding with the F-150, the Silverado collided with the Bronco.

Miller, who was unrestrained, was pronounced deceased on the scene. The driver of the F-150 was properly restrained and was not injured. Spillman, who was properly restrained and not injured, was taken into custody at the crash scene. He was transported to the Desoto Parish Jail and booked for vehicular homicide and careless operation. Impairment is a suspected factor on the part of Spillman. Routine toxicology samples were collected from all drivers and will be submitted for analysis. This crash remains under investigation.

Time and time again, Troopers witness preventable motor vehicle crashes. Impairment and lack of seat belt usage are primary causes of crashes across the state. Louisiana State Police urge motorists to have a plan in place that includes a designated driver when consuming alcohol. Alcohol can impair visual ability, alter the sense of time and space, impair fine motor skills, and decrease reaction times. Alcohol can begin to impair a person’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle after just one drink. Please choose not to drive impaired or ride with an impaired driver, and always buckle up.

In 2023, Troop G has investigated nine fatal crashes, resulting in nine deaths.

There’s more to the story this Library Week

By Teddy Allen

We called it the “lie-ba-rare-ry” or “lie-berry” but of course it’s properly The Library, and on this National Library Week we honor the place where each of us, in our hometowns and school houses, spent a large part of our formative years in this glorious building that held more fact and fiction than you could digest in a dozen lifetimes.

The Writer’s Almanac reminds me that the Library of Congress, or “Gramps” as all the other libraries call it, was founded this week in 1800. Had 964 books and nine maps.  

Today, it’s a bit of a different ballgame, and if you work there, you best buckle your chinstrap. The Library of Congress has more than 17 million books now, plus recordings and art and lots of maps (like, way more than the original nine) and gets 15,000 new items each workday. They’ve got books like Hamlet had the crazies.

Speaking of, maybe the Library of Congress’s birth is why we celebrate this final week of April as National Library Week, but maybe it’s because the Bard of Avon and pretty good hand, William Shakespeare, is thought to have been born April 23, 1564, and for certain died on the same date, 52 years later, I forswear. He’s considered our greatest English dramatist and was also clever in the sonnet game:

Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
For thy sweet love remember’d such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

Except for that one time you were mean to me

And I thought, “What the heck; I’ll go ahead and scorn.”


He was a handful, ol’ William was.

So when you go by your local library branch this week, maybe tip your cap to this magical place, a joint that has plenty for kids of all ages, a place that connects the community and shares internet for job seekers and self-educators, a rest stop for movie night and craft night and poetry readings, if such is your thing.

And books. If you haven’t read or listened to one lately, here are a few I’ve finished so far this year, and brief reviews, just to rattle your cage and get you to thinking.

Amor Towles was an investments pro in Manhattan for 20 years, writing on the side, and is now a fulltime novelist and thank goodness. He is a wizard of time and place, a handy vocabulary but not high-falutin’, and tremendous with characters. My favorite of his three books is A Gentleman in Moscow, about an aristocrat sentenced to life in a luxury hotel across from the Kremlin in 1920, soon to be a Showtime/Paramount series starring Ewan McGregor as Count Alexander Rostov, now one of my favorite fictional people.

The Lincoln Highway is about four boys in 1954 who mean to go to San Francisco and end up in New York, and Rules of Civility stars a wonderful female character, Katey Kontent, a normal girl thrown into high society in post-depression New York City. Doesn’t sound like much, but I wish I could read each of them again for the first time.

Did not enjoy Ghost Storyby Peter Straub, although it was a hit when released in 1979 and the movie (Fred Astaire and some other biggies were in it) was good, which is why I wanted to read it. Mistake.

Did not like The Haunting of Hill House, 1959, from Shirley Jackson (she wrote the short story The Lotterythat we all read in high school). I wish Hill House had been only a short story. 

And didn’t enjoy Fahrenheit 451, the 1953 classic by Ray Bradbury. It’s about banning books and so in the current climate, I thought I’d catch up. Instead, I wish I’d have banned myself from reading it. No doubt it was timely, though, 70 years ago.

More fiction I did like was Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, speaking of catching up, as this is the Stephen King short story, more of a novella, that the movie is based on. The movie is better but the story, of justice and hope and friendship and humanity, is just so good.

Stoner by John Williams didn’t get a lot of raves in 1965 when released but it is beautifully written “academic” or “campus” novel about a farm boy who becomes an English professor and comes to terms with a life that didn’t go as he’d planned. And why I’ve felt recently like reading novels 60 years old is a mystery even to my own personal self.

Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt (2022) starring a talking octopus named Marcellus (or at least he shares his thoughts) is about how we are better together, whether we have two arms or whether we have eight. 

Out of room, so, suggested non-fiction I’ve read this year, and would recommend each, depending on your interests.

The Storyteller’s Nashville by Tom T. Hall, if you like Tom T. Hall.

Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story, by Rick Bragg, if you like Jerry Lee Lewis or are just interested in a fellow Louisianan.

Killer Triggers and I Will Find You, by Joe Kenda, the Colorado detective who became famous through TV’s Homicide Hunters. If you’re a fan, you might prefer the audio versions; he narrates them.

Something Wonderful: Rogers and Hammerstein by Todd Purdum; this bureau has a fascination with musical theatre.

On Writing by Stephen King. His wife pulled the draft of Carrie out of the trash and suggested he keep trying so … 

And finally, enjoyed To Wake the Giant, Pearl Harbor historical fiction by Jeff Shaara, a longtime pro in the war arena, and Unsinkable, which is not fiction but is the real thing about five men aboard the World War II destroyer USS Plunkett, and especially their “problem” that day at Anzio. Studs.

Happy reading or listening, and happy National Library Week. Got anything to share?

Contact Teddy at or Twitter@MamaLuvsManning 

Top students across region pledge to join Tech at COES Commitment Day

Louisiana Tech faculty, staff, and students celebrated with incoming students and their parents as 122 of the region’s top academic high school prospects pledged to join the University’s College of Engineering and Science (COES) Class of 2027 at Commitment Day 2023.

Two of those students making the commitment are from DeSoto Parish.  They are Aiden Sweet of Stonewall who committed in Computer Science and Nathan Wilson of Stonewall who committed in Mechanical Engineering.

COES applicants who earned qualifying scores on the ACT attended the seventh annual Commitment Day event this spring at the Integrated Engineering and Science Building (IESB) on Tech’s Ruston campus. There, they took placement exams and met with Tech faculty and leaders from around campus, including officers from student organizations and other students from their chosen majors.

Each of the attendees signed a pledge to pursue a degree in one of 14 majors at Tech: biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, chemistry, civil engineering, computer science, construction engineering technology, cyber engineering, electrical engineering, industrial engineering, instrumentation and control systems engineering technology, mathematics and statistics, mechanical engineering, nanosystems engineering, and physics.

They received COES and Tech gear, took photos with COES faculty, and celebrated their academic accomplishments at a reception with their families.

Two DeSoto Residents Join Voices in Concert

Everyone is invited to attend a free Spring  concert given by the Shreveport-Bossier Choral Ensemble entitled “Celebrating all Kinds of Love:  Divine, Family, Friendship, & Romantic.”  The ensemble was organized in 1927 and had performed free concerts every year since then until 2020 when circumstances prevented a concert for two years. 

The choral director is Aaron Wilson and accompanist is Derrick Meador.  Two DeSoto Parish residents, LaBetha Casey and Nicole Tull, are members of the choral group and will be performing one of the songs using sign language for the deaf.

The concert will be held at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, May 2, 2023 at Noel United Methodist Church, 520 Herndon Street in Shreveport.  Light refreshments will be served afterwards.

Ribbon Cutting in Stonewall

By Nicole Tull

The DeSoto Chamber conducted a ribbon cutting for a new nursery business in Stonewall.  Members of the business community and others gathered last week to welcome the new entity.

Cloud’s Plant Nursery is now open in Stonewall. Corrie Nichols hosted the grand opening on April 13 to showcase her arrays of plants available. Several businessmen and women turned out for the ribbon cutting. All those making a purchase on Thursday were entered in a drawing for a hanging basket.

The nursery offers bushes, vegetables, annuals, and perennials of various sorts from which to choose. Corrie is available for suggestions for your lawn or garden needs. You can find her on Church Road behind Salem Baptist Church.

U.S. Intelligence Officials Who Claimed Hunter Biden Laptop Story was “Russian Disinformation” Knew That Was False

By Royal Alexander

It turns out that the 51 former U.S. intelligence experts who signed the letter that President Biden used in the debate with President Trump to allege that the explosive and damaging information contained in Hunter Biden’s laptop was a Russian fake—were, in fact, pushing the actual “Russian disinformation” campaign! 

Recall, this letter was also the “authority” used by Twitter, Facebook, and many other social media platforms to censor and hide from the American people the New York Post’s article which, in great detail, reported the truth about abundant evidence of widespread global corruption of the Biden Crime Family contained on Hunter’s ‘Laptop from Hell.’

Former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morrell testified this past week that then-Biden campaign senior adviser, now-Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, was the “impetus” of the public statement signed in October 2020 that falsely but persuasively suggested the laptop belonging to Hunter Biden was “Russian disinformation.”

Let me try to summarize this slimy mess.

Our current Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, was the driving force behind the fabrication of a letter signed by 51 former intelligence officials to discredit the Hunter Biden laptop story as Russian disinformation when they knew full well it was not.

And why did Morrell, Blinken and the rest falsely discredit the New York Post story regarding Hunter Biden’s laptop as supposed Russian disinformation?

“One intent was to share our (knowingly false) concern with the American people that the Russians were playing on this issue; and two, it was to help Vice President Biden … to win the election.”

How should we interpret this?

Well, we all enjoy freedom of speech and the right to our own opinions, but it was of great significance and gravity that these prominent, credentialed former intelligence officials lent their names to this knowingly false statement.  Millions of Americans assumed the signatories of the letter had access to information that we, as average American citizens, did not have.  They were right.  These officials did have special knowledge and that’s the reason their signing the letter and attesting to this falsehood is all the more deceitful, manipulative, and damaging.

What was the result?

It provided a lazy, compliant, Biden-supporting national media with the justification it needed to ignore the Hunter Biden laptop story and discredit Hunter’s former business partner, Tony Bobulinski, who went on the record before the election to substantiate much of the information on the laptop through the use of huge numbers of text messages.

Why does this matter so much?

Because the revelation of influence-peddling by Hunter Biden just prior to the election was obviously newsworthy given that former VP Biden had repeatedly said he had “never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings.”

The emails effectively proved that Joe Biden was not only aware of his son’s business dealings but actually participated in meetings in support of this lucrative, international scheme to sell access to the U.S. Government.    Thus, Joe Biden demonstrably lied directly to the American people throughout the 2020 campaign and in the Presidential Debates.

So, how should we view this joint effort by the national media and these current and former intelligence officials and other Administration officials who essentially colluded to suppress the Hunter Biden Laptop story?

 The Wall Street Journal offers a sobering admonition: 

This “partisan foray by current and former U.S. intelligence officials … should be deeply troubling to Americans on the left and right.  They have authority by dint of access to information that isn’t confirmable by the press, which takes their spin as gospel.  This is a form of political corruption that needs to be exposed … ” (WSJ, 12-5-22)

What effect would this damaging information have had on the 2020 election?

After the election, a full 17% of Biden voters polled stated that they would not have voted for Joe Biden had they known prior to the election of the information contained on the laptop.

Remember, Pres. Trump only lost the Electoral College count by a mere 44,000 votes in three swing states out of approximately 154.6 million votes cast nationwide! 

As a result of this malevolent suppression of the truth, the voice of the people was silenced, and the trajectory of American history and world history was forever changed.

This was a dirty, cynical, and corrupt political trick of the first order that we have a moral and civic obligation to unfailingly call out and expose.

Investing Discussed at Mansfield Lions Club

The guest speaker at the Lions Club lunch last week was local Edward D. Jones Financial Advisor (AAMS) and fellow Lion, Jamie Rollins.  Mr. Rollins explained to the group how the Stock Market operates and how Nasdaq, S&P, and Dow Jones all interacted with each other.  Jamie thought that the key to investing was the old adage, “Don’t pull all your eggs in one basket”.  The Mutual Funds that consist of many types of different stocks and bonds are a good example and the main reason why they are the key to many 401k retirement accounts.

A good Mutual Fund should have a 60/40 % ration of stocks over bonds and that ratio can be continually adjusted as interest rates  rise and fall.  He advises that, “It’s never too late to start investing in retirement but the sooner you start the better your fund will function and the more you’ll have when that fine time comes.”  In fact, his three keys to successful investing are to (1.) Start Early – pay yourself first;  (2.) Always Diversify – 60/40% rule applies; and (3.) Time, Time, & Time – invest for the long term.  If you have any questions for Mr. Rollins you can reach him at his office here in Mansfield, La. at 318- 872-2710.

The Lions meet every 2nd and 4th Tuesday for a catered lunch at the Clista A. Calhoun Center and you are welcome to come by for a good meal and good networking.

A Fishing Scholarship

Congratulations to Drake Wadsworth of North DeSoto High.  He signed recently to fish with the Northwestern State University Anglers.

The school said, “We are proud of you, Drake, and wish you good luck.  GO DEMONS.”

Weekly Arrest Report

This Week’s report covers a one week period as of 9:00 am Monday morning and includes of all arrests made in DeSoto Parish by the DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office (DPSO), Mansfield Police Department (MPD), and Louisiana State Police (LSP.)

This report covers April 17-23, 2023.

This information has been provided by a law enforcement agency as public information. Persons named or shown in photographs or video 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.

Remembering Danny Miller

Funeral services celebrating the life of Danny Miller, 79, of Stonewall, Louisiana will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 25, 2023, at Kilpatrick’s Rose-Neath Chapel in Mansfield, Louisiana. Interment will follow at Allen Cemetery in Mansfield, Louisiana. A visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Monday, April 24, 2023, at Kilpatrick’s Rose-Neath Funeral Home.

Danny was born on June 18, 1943, in Shreveport, Louisiana to Edna and Herman Miller and entered into rest on Thursday, April 20, 2023. Danny loved hunting, fishing, NASCAR, NHRA, LSU, and vacationing with his family in Mexico.

Preceding Danny in death are his parents, Edna and Herman Miller; wife, Irma Rascoe Miller; and niece, Deborah Miller. He is survived by his daughters, Rhonda Smith, Donna Miller Bozeman, and Lisa Miller Cassel; stepdaughter, Kelly Treadway; stepson, Earnest Austin, Jr. and wife, Michelle; sister, Clara Miller Wright; brother, Gerald Miller; and grandchildren, Keith Austin, Ashlee Austin, Christopher Treadway, Matthew Treadway, Caylin Bozeman, Colton Bozeman, Jessica Comer, and Aaron Cassel.

Honoring Danny as pallbearers will be Rodney Arbuckle, Len Smith, Tommy Niten, Keith Sally, and Christian Cook.

Notice of Death – April 26, 2023

Danny Miller

June 18, 1943 — April 20, 2023

Funeral services were held at 2:00 pm on Tuesday, April 25, 2023, at Kilpatrick’s Rose-Neath Chapel in Mansfield.

John Davis

January 23, 1948 — April 20, 2023

Services were held at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 23, 2023, at Kilpatrick’s Rose-Neath Chapel in Coushatta.

The DeSoto Parish Journal publishes “Remembrances of Loved Ones” with unlimited words and a photo, as well as unlimited access – $70. The Remembrance will be included in the emails sent to subscribers.  Contact your funeral provider or Must be paid in advance of publication.