Remembering Corley L. “Nana” Dysart

Funeral services celebrating the life of Mrs. Corley L. Dysart will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, June 2, 2023, at Kilpatrick’s Rose-Neath Chapel, Mansfield, Louisiana. Bro. Mike Naquin will be officiating the service. Interment will follow at New Rockdale Cemetery, Mansfield, Louisiana. A visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 1, 2023, at the funeral home.

Corley was born on May 21, 1938 in Grand Bayou, Louisiana to Roxie and Courtney LaGars, Sr., and entered into rest on Saturday, May 27, 2023, at her home.  Corley was a loving wife, mother, sister, and “Nana”. She loved hunting, fishing, gardening, and playing games with her grandchildren. She was an active member of Kingston Baptist Church and loved her fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. She enjoyed visiting with relatives and friends.

Preceding her in death are her husband, William Dysart; her parents; and brothers, W.L. LaGars, Courtney LaGars, Jr., Louis Hershal LaGars, and Jimmy LaGars.

Left to cherish her memory are her daughters, Cyndi Denham and Terri Ruiloba and husband, John; sisters, Lennis Young, Gloria McMorris, Joyce Middleton and husband, Darrylin, Linda Lawrence and husband, Johnny; brother, Joe LaGars and wife, Lillian; grandchildren, Bubba Byford and wife Kelsie, Heath Byford, Matt Ruiloba and wife Sarah, Jennifer Brown and husband Dusty, Bridget Paddie and husband Dillon; and great-grandchildren, Mason Byford, Mallorie Byford, Kenly Ruiloba, Easton Brown, Bayley Brown, Casen Paddie and Cohen Paddie.

Honoring Corley as pallbearers will be Matt Ruiloba, John Ruiloba, Bubba Byford, Mason Byford, Dillon Paddie, Dusty Brown, and Jeffrey Jones. Honorary pallbearers will be Johnny Myers, Jimmy Jones, Chad Franklin, and Darrylin Middleton.

State Principal of the Year Finalist

The Principal of North DeSoto Middle School is a finalist in the Louisiana Education Department’s selection process for Principal of the Year.  He is Barry Carter, and he is being congratulated by DeSoto Schools and his home school.  North DeSoto Middle posted, “We appreciate your dedication to your faculty, staff, students, and community. Wishing you the best of luck in the finals.”

The finalists were announced as the Louisiana Department of Education welcomed nearly 6,000 educators from across the state this week for its annual Teacher Leader Summit. State Superintendent of Education Dr. Cade Brumley served as the keynote speaker for the opening ceremony, which also included the live announcement of Louisiana Teacher and Principal of the Year finalists and the Louisiana Public Interest Fellowship winners.

Teacher Leader Summit is one of two statewide educator conferences hosted by the LDOE this week in New Orleans at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. The Summit takes place May 30 to June 1. The second annual Early Childhood Conference is June 2-3.

NSU Releases Honor Rolls

The President’s List, the Dean’s List and Honor List for the spring semester have been published by Northwestern State University.  Many local students are high academic achievers and have earned a spot on one of the lists.

Five hundred fifty-seven students were named to the Honor List at Northwestern State University for the Spring 2023 semester.  Students on the Honor List must be enrolled full-time at Northwestern and have a grade point average of between 3.0 and 3.49.

Students listed by hometown are as follows. 

Frierson – Elizabeth Bryant, Suzette Carter, and Kami Mondello, 

Gloster – Holden Aguillard and Alexous Larimer, 

Grand Cane – Makayla Jones and Meghan Melton,  

Logansport – Logan Chadwick, Kaylin Kirby, Bailey Mcconathy, and Ian Shahan, 

Mansfield – Allyson Adams, Mckinnsey Brouillette, Aaliyah Ford, and Kemariya Thomas, 

Stonewall – Courtney Johnson and Raven Williams. 

Seven hundred and twenty-seven undergraduate students were named to the Spring 2023 Dean’s List at Northwestern State University. Students on the Dean’s List must be enrolled full time and earn a grade point average of between 3.5 and 3.99. 

Those named to the Dean’s List by hometown are as follows.

Frierson – Madysen Payne;

Keatchie – Henry Fisher, Tara Foster, Keri Adams, Olivia Batts, Anna Hausgen, Walker Holland, and Brayden Kilgore,

Logansport – Linden Criswell and Jessica Morrison,

Mansfield – Reina Gillyard, Paulette Rambin, Antoinette Turner, and Amber Youngblood,

Stonewall – Cloe Bolanos, Sarah Edelen, Joshua Hooper, Anessa Morris, Hannah Robertson,                           Todd Wedgeworth, and Samantha Wilson.    

Five hundred twenty-nine students were named to the President’s List at Northwestern State University for the Spring 2023 semester. Students on the President’s List must be enrolled full-time at Northwestern and have a grade point average of 4.0.

The students and their hometowns are:

Frierson – Kayla Joshi, 

Grand Cane – Trenton Bossier and Arnijah Bradley,

Mansfield – Dallas Britt, Taylor Opatz, and Madylin Sullivan,

Stonewall – Tyler Erario, Lindsay Fox, Christy Murphy, and Carson Ward.

Availability Of Low-Income Energy Assistance Funds (LIHEAP)

The DeSoto Parish Police Jury Office of Community Services is announcing the availability of funds dedicated to assist eligible low-income households in Desoto Parish. This call is for non-crisis assistance. Please call 318-872-0880 or 1-800-872-0889 on June 7, 2023.  Our office will be accepting calls at 8:00 A.M. No calls will be accepted before 8:00 A.M.  You will receive an appointment letter in the mail with detailed information in reference to your LIHEAP appointment.  Funding is limited and appointments are first come first serve.

To schedule an appointment, you may call: 318-872-0880 or 1-800-872-0889.

An eligible household is one whose total income is at or below the levels listed in the table below.

Fiddler Ends Record-Breaking Run

Friday evening, the cast and crew of the BackAlley Community Theatre’s Fiddler on the Roof said farewell from our little village of Anatevka.  It had been a fantastic run.  Most performances received standing ovations from enthusiastic theatre goers.  

It was said around the parish, “How can they pull it off?” or “How can a play such as Fiddler be done on the theatre’s small stage?” and “Where will they find the cast needed?” And they did with spectacular results.

Director Amy Hall and Assistant Director Wendy Parr found the actors, singers and dancers.  Some were as young as eight years old, and the oldest performers were 78 and 83.  And there was a wide range in between.  Many in the cast are members of the Dramaniacs youth theatre group.  One newcomer to BackAlley is an accomplished drama major and performer in other cities in the US.

Originally six performances were scheduled at BackAlley, however they were all sold out by the time the show opened on May 12th.  Before the first weekend was over, a second Sunday matinee was scheduled.  Like the first six, it quickly sold out.  And the theatre scheduled an eighth and final performance for Friday May 26th.  It sold out and unfortunately left the crowds wanting more.

This was the most successful production ever undertaken by BackAlley.  The theatre said,  “And we all look forward to bringing you more amazing shows in the future.”

Mazel tov!!

End of The Cereal Sagas

By Teddy Allen

Two of the past three weeks, we’ve traded love notes about one of the Major Food Groups.

Been a good run, our time with cereal.

And it doesn’t have to end — not in real life. Not as long as the amber waves of grain are a thing.

But it does have to end here. Time to move on to other Foods, other Friends, other Things.

As an exclamation point, we’ll do something I used to do semi-regularly but we haven’t done yet in the SBJ. Today, a few of you take the wheel and share some Very Personal Stories. Had to leave out so many, including a favorite from a friend who loves cereal so much, he uses many of his favorites in his various passwords. Thank you to all who took the time to bear their Cereal Souls.

From Donnie Golfgame: There was a time in my life I was torn between Quisp, which I’m proud you mentioned, and Quake – which was like a sister cereal to Quisp, although instead of a sister there was a picture on the box of a miner with a light on his hardhat. As George Herbert Walker Bush would say, Quisp was a “kinder, gentler” form of Cap’n Crunch, which we all know is like having a mouthful of thumbtacks in your mouth. Quake, however, was Cap’n Crunch’s evil uncle as far as texture. Eat a bowl of Quake and you weren’t eating — couldn’t eat — anything else that day. Gum carnage.

I noticed when my kids were little that Sugar Crisp had suddenly become Honey Crisp and then later on it was just Crisp on the box. Same thing with Sugar Pops, which became Corn Pops and I think today it might just be Pops. Sugar has gotten a bad rap.

My Top 10, starting at the top:

  1. Cap’n Crunch
  2. Raisin Bran
  3. 40 Percent Bran Flakes, (which now are just Bran Flakes; I always wondered why they didn’t call themselves 60-Percent-Of-Whatever-Else-Was-In-The-Box Flakes).
  4. Rice Krispies; (are they just Krispies now? Is rice wrong?)
  5. Fruit Loops
  6. Corn Flakes, (or is it just Flakes?)
  7. Sugar Pops
  8. Honey Comb
  9. Cap’n Crunch with Crunch Berries
  10. Quaker Oats Oatmeal; (when I was a kid, there was a glass dish inside the oats).

From Duke of Don: There’s nothing more numerous than different people’s sense of humorous, right? I sent your Cereal Piece to a nephew in England. He responded, “Sadly nearly every cereal mentioned is not known to me; here we have our own which are the same as yours only under a different name. My breakfasts are not usually cereal-based but are instead …

1: Muesli (our own make barley flakes, rolled oats, porridge oats, oat bran, every kind of nut crushed up, mixed seeds, and raw cacao pieces plus milk); keeps you going through the day.

2: Croissants with lashings of extra butter, (Sundays only).

3: Porridge

4: Bacon Sandwich

5: Cold meats and cheese when in Europe

6: Crumpets

7: Toast

8: Lashings of coffee

9: Weetabix with warm milk but not very often

10: Corn flakes but only with a gun pointed at my head

From JayVee, Team Captain: First, a resounding NO to Trix, or any cereal with colors, and also to Grape Nuts (who in the world thinks this is really human food?! And why ruin the good name “Grape” by associating it with this product?)

  1. Raisin Bran Crunch
  2. Frosted Mini Wheats

3 and 4. Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios (tie game)

  1. Frosted Flakes
  2. Sugar Crisp (as in — add music — “Can’t get enough of them Sugar Crisp.” It’s a different name now — heaven forbid we actually put “sugar” in a name anymore. Gotta eat ’em fast; if soggy it’s a different ballgame.
  3. Sugar pops, (ditto previous comment).
  4. Raisin Bran

From The Skynman: My go-to is Honey Nut Cheerios. I have ditched the rest. I can do both ways. With milk or without. A handful of HNC for a quick snack is a pick-me-up. And on long trips there is a box in the seat next to me to munch on while I drive and listen to my book on tape.

From Train: If a team of cereal played ball, here’s my batting order:

  1. Fruity Pebbles
  2. Frosted Flakes
  3. Honey Nut Cheerios
  4. Lucky Charms
  5. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
  6. Cocoa Puffs
  7. Cap’n Crunch
  8. Raisin Bran
  9. Count Chocula

Naturally, a bowl would coach first, a spoon third, and milk would be the manager.

Contact Teddy at

Staffer Adoption Time

Our 2023 Summer Staffers began arriving this week to start Staffer Training at Clara Springs Baptist Camp. The camp asked, “Pray for our Summer Ministry Team as we serve the Lord.”

The annual staff support program is beginning.  Would you consider adopting a staffer? This is a special program at Clara Springs to help encourage the team during the long summer through prayer and little gifts/cards of encouragement you send.

You can use this link to sign up:

Settlement of Stonewall Recalled

The Desoto Parish Historical Society met at the home of Sally Burford Owens, owner of a new home on the historic Welcome Hall site in Stonewall, La. on Sunday, May 21, at 2:00pm.  Their quarterly meeting’s speaker was Fellow Historical Society Member and Treasurer, George Gilmer. 

Gilmer told about the birth of the Stonewall area when residents of South Carolina traveled to DeSoto Parish in search of fertile land to be farmed for cotton.  When the travelers arrived, accompanied by a large group of men and equipment to start clearing this wild new land, they found rolling prairies ready for the plow.

Shortly great plantation homes like Welcome Hall, Land’s End, and Roseneath were erected on each large land grant.  These great houses were spared at the end of the Civil War from the torch of General Bank’s Union invaders because of his humiliating defeat by Confederate General Taylor in the decisive Battle of Mansfield.  This battle turned the invading army back to Alexandria, La. and ended the burning and pillaging they’d done on the way up the Red River.

Also, on the program was the donation by fellow member Diane Long of a framed “Tally Sheet” from the 1916 DeSoto Parish elections to the Mansfield Female College Museum.  This Tally Sheet has hash mark tallies for the races of State Representative, Sheriff, Assessor and Police Juror with notable old parish names like Porter, Rives, Nabors, and Hewitt.  Very timely since we have these same elections coming up in a few months.  Reporter’s inquiry, “Maybe we should return to this old Tally System?”

If you are interested in joining the Historical Society call George Gilmer at 318-925-6682 for our next meeting at the Mansfield Battle park Museum.

Police Jury Honors Two Groups of Youth

By Nicole Tull

Two area youth organizations were honored by the police Jury Monday night at their regular meeting. DeSoto 4-H junior leader Emma Houston opened the meeting with prayer and junior leader Dalton Shahan led the pledge of allegiance.

DeSoto 4-H members were recognized for their placement in state competition shooting disciplines. Willie Blubaugh, Eli Smith, Dalton Shahan, Addison Burnley, Skylar Phillips, and Emma Houston received plaques. Emma Houston received an additional plaque for qualifying for Junior Olympics. She traveled to Colorado to compete recently.

The other organization honored was the North DeSoto girls’ softball team for winning state championship. Police Juror Greg Baker gave a very emotional presentation to his granddaughter’s team. He was proud to say that his daughter had also played on the team, and they took state champion as well.

The Police Jury provided refreshments for all the kids to celebrate their achievements.

Federal  Censorship Case Highlights the Collusion Between the Feds and Facebook

By Royal Alexander

Recall, a civil suit was brought several months ago by a number of states including Louisiana, by Louisiana Attorney General, Jeff Landry, in federal court in Monroe, Louisiana.  The gist of the lawsuit is the relationship between the federal government and Big Tech—here, Facebook.

The next hearing on this matter takes place at the end of this month in federal court in Monroe and the legal argument will be made by Liz Murrill, AG Landry’s top litigator.  (I am quite impressed with Mrs. Murrill who has defended Louisiana before the U.S. Supreme Court 5 separate times).

Most recently, U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty issued an order allowing the amending of the lawsuit to include class-action allegations.  Certifying a class action is a procedural decision and does not address the merits of the case itself, but if successful on the merits it could allow a wider group of people to share in a future damages award.

The legal question is one regarding freedom of speech and how these enormous social media sites choose to “moderate”—in fact, censor—the content of speech and whether, either by their own doing or as a result of pressure from the federal government, or both, the tech giants are suppressing certain speech which is virtually always conservative speech.

Judge Doughty previously ruled that full discovery requires the disclosure of additional email and other communication between Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, and several of the public affairs staff at the Department of Health and Human Services.

These initial communications appeared to involve active coordination between Facebook, the largest social media company in the world, and U.S. government officials, including high-ranking White House officials.

In one example, after Pres. Biden claimed that social media sites and “Covid misinformation” were resulting in “killing people,” a senior staffer at Meta (a Facebook spinoff) sent an email to U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, which stated “it’s not great to be accused of killing people” but Meta was committed to finding “a way to deescalate and work together collaboratively.”

A week later that same Meta official sent another email to Murthy stating that “I wanted to make sure you saw the steps we took just this past week to adjust policies on what we are removing with respect to misinformation.” The email concludes “…you (Surgeon General) have identified 4 specific recommendations for improvement and we want to make sure to keep you informed of our work on each.”

This is all much too cozy.

This incestuous relationship between the federal government and Facebook and Big Tech creates a toxic coordination between government and huge social media sites to suppress critical information millions of people need to make good, well-informed personal decisions.  That’s irrefutable censorship of free speech.

Facebook’s presence in American society is so widespread and prevalent as to bear all the trappings of a government entity—a public utility.  These emails clearly establish that Facebook is functioning as an arm of the government, a “state actor” in legal parlance, and as the functional equivalent of the Thought Police of the State.  Therefore, it should be held to the same prohibitions on censorship as the government.

Facebook pretends that it is a neutral arbiter operating an information exchange platform.  In fact, in March of 2020, Mark Zuckerberg stated that “I just believe strongly that Facebook shouldn’t be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online…. Private companies probably shouldn’t be, especially these platform companies, shouldn’t be in the position of doing that.”

But they are and do.

While our 1st Amendment prohibits the suppression of speech by local, state, and federal governments, government censorship is not the only kind.  Private sector suppression of speech is just as threatening and chilling.  This is particularly true where Big Tech platforms become news editors and make common cause with the Deep State and the National Democrat Party.

In truth, social media has become our modern-day public forum.  It’s also true that the greatest virtue of free thought and free speech is that all kinds of ideas are thrust into the rough and tumble of the marketplace of ideas where the best idea prevails.  It is this collision of, this testing of, speech and thought in a free and open exchange that produces the best results—and leads the nation to wise and popular policy results on challenging national issues.

I look forward to this litigation continuing.

Clerk Offers Landowners New Service

DeSoto Clerk of Court Jeremy Evans is spreading the word that the Clerk is adding a new service for landowners in the parish.  Evans said, “Our office is launching a Real Time Alert System.

It is part of a program of upgrading services and making them more accessible to the public began several months ago.  Evans said, “Very soon along this, with other cutting edge records management software will benefit landowners. This function will alert our landowners instantly of any transaction that may affect their property.”

Reading at Library

Earn double the prizes with reading this summer! Head to your local library branch to sign up for the Summer Reading Program and sign up online for Pizza Hut’s Book It Program.

The library described it this way, “You get to go to fun programs, win awesome prizes and eat pizza. What more do you need to make your summer great?

All branches of the DeSoto Parish Library are kicking off their Summer Reading Programs the last week of May.  They will continue weekday programs through the month of June.

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 May 1,5-30 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.

Notice of Death – May 31, 2023

Vida R. Blue, Jr

July 28, 1949 to May 6, 2023

Celebration of Life Thursday June 1, 2023 at 11:00 am at Mary Evergreen Baptist Church in Grand Cane.

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.

ETC… For Wednesday May 31, 2023

Coming to the Stonewall Branch Library on Thursday, June 1 will be Louisiana Native Plants and Animals.  Meet a three-towed box turtle and other Louisiana animals and plants from the Walter B. Jacobs Memorial Nature Park.  The event begins at 2:00 pm.

Last Friday evening Martin Baptist Church cooked and served 312 people at Clara Spring Camp’s May Fourth Friday Fish Fry.

Older Americans Day

Older citizens were honored Thursday by the DeSoto Council on Aging.  The event lasted from :900 am until 1:00 pm and was held at the old DeSoto High School Gym.

Council Director Cheryl Lane told the Journal that this was an annual event until interrupted by COVID.  Lane said, “We’re bringing it back this year.  Everyone is having a great time. We are about to begin Bingo and a little later there will be a puppet show put on by Uncle Richards House.”

The council got support from the Sheriff’s Office.  Sheriff Richardson and his staff cooked a delicious meal for the guests at the event.

The theme for the 2023 Older American Day was Aging Unbound.  The program recognized seniors of DeSoto Parish.

Lane invited the public to take advantage of all programs offered by the Council on Aging at their office 404 Polk St.  Call 872-3700 for more information.

Fire Department Receives Donation

Gulf Run Transmission/Energy Transfer this week presented a check for $10,000 to Fire District #8.  Fire Chief Bill DeLoach said, “The grant will be used to acquire safety equipment for our firefighters.

Pipeline Technician Shane Hubbard  and Public Relations  specialist Alexis Daniel represented Energy Transfer in presenting the ”oversized” check to the Fire District #8.  Daniel told the Journal that District 8 is closest to the route the pipeline took through DeSoto Parish.  She said, “We like to go into communities along our route and find out what the needs are.  We make donations to various outreach efforts in those communities.”

The Gulf Run pipeline runs from Westdale south to Starks, near Lake Charles.  It was completed last December.

The Hippie Lawyer

By Brad Dison

Ronald Hughes was a novice California attorney whose first trial was approaching quickly.  He was defending a woman named Leslie Van Houten in a multiple murder trial.  Three other defendants had their own attorneys.  Ronald needed a good suit for the trial.  In May of 1970, Hollywood movie studio MGM decided to auction off movie props, many from the golden age of Hollywood, which they figured they would not need for future films.  The props had been kept in climate-controlled storage for decades.  Ronald watched as noteworthy items brought high prices and probably questioned whether he would be able to afford anything at all.  Finally, the lone item he had been waiting for was on the auction block.  It was a man’s suit worn by Spencer Tracy in the 1960 film Inherit the Wind.  The auctioneer opened the bids on the suit and the room fell silent.  As the auctioneer peered around the room, only one person in the audience seemed interested.  Ronald bid $5.00 on the suit and won it.  Ronald was uninterested that the suit was worn in a film, he was interested because the suit was cheap and in his size.

On July 15, 1970, the trial for which Ronald bought the $5 suit began.  The trial was fraught with disruptions from members of Leslie’s family, many of whom were eventually banned from the courtroom.  Due to Ronald’s flamboyant courtroom demeanor, his long hair, long beard, the admission of his squalid living conditions (Ronald lived in a garage with holes in the roof and slept on a mattress on the floor), admission that he wore a $5 suit he purchased at an auction, and his admission to having used hallucinogenic drugs in the past, the press nicknamed him the “Hippie Lawyer.”  The trial dragged on for months.  Finally, on November 16, 1970, after 23 weeks of presenting evidence, the State of California rested its case against Leslie.  It was time for the defense attorneys to present their evidence.

On November 19, the defense attorneys filed motions for the acquittal of the defendants on the grounds that the state had not presented sufficient evidence to convict them.  The state had presented more than 250 individual pieces of evidence, 73 photographs of the victims, and eyewitness testimony.    The judge rejected the motions for acquittal.  To everyone’s surprise, each of the defendant’s attorneys, including Ronald, stood in turn, and said, “the defense rests.”  The attorneys rested their case without calling a single witness in their defense.  Leslie and other members of her family yelled that they wanted to testify.  The prosecution and defense agreed to recess over the week of Thanksgiving to give both sides a chance to prepare closing arguments.  The trial was set to resume on Monday, November 30th.

When the trial resumed on that Monday morning, Ronald failed to show up.  After waiting an hour, the trial continued without Ronald.  He had been late before because he lacked proper transportation and was once arrested for outstanding traffic tickets.  When he failed to appear for court the following day, the judge ordered deputies to use all possible means to find Ronald and bring him to court.  The trial continued without him.  Deputies learned that Ronald had hitchhiked to the Los Padres National Forest for a Thanksgiving week camping trip.  Search parties scoured the area but found no trace of Ronald.  The defendants, including Ronald’s client Leslie, were eventually convicted of murder.  On March 29, the jury returned death penalty verdicts against Leslie and the other defendants.  On the same day, two trout fishermen found Ronald’s body in a knee-deep creek.  His head was wedged between two large rocks.  Conspiracy theorists and even some of Leslie’s family members concluded that the father of the family had Ronald killed although a cause of death was never determined.  Investigators speculated that Ronald drowned during a rainstorm which caused flash flooding.  However, the possibility that members of Leslie’s family had killed Ronald was not beyond the realm of belief.  You see, the family who disrupted the courtroom proceedings was referred to as the Manson family.  The father of the family was Charles Manson.         


  1. The Los Angeles Times, May 4, 1970, p.4.
  2. The Sacramento Bee, November 17, 1970, p.6.
  3. Santa Cruz Sentinel, November 18, 1970, p.7.
  4. The Peninsula Times Tribune, November 19, 1970, p.1.
  5. Concord Transcript, November 30, 1970, p.2.
  6. The Hanford Sentinel, December 2, 1970, p.1.
  7. The Los Angeles Times, March 30, 1971, p.3.
  8. The Sacramento Bee, April 1, 1971, p.77.

Mansfield Lions Club

The guest speaker at the Lions Club last meeting was District 8 Chairperson for Lions Club International Foundation, William Arceneaux.  He told the Club about the humanitarian work that LCIF does nationwide and globally – most recently helping dig new water wells in the Philippines.  They have delivered supplies to help the survivors of our last two hurricanes and are continuing to help with the repairs to the Lions Camp in Leesville.  All for $26 per Lion per year!

The Mansfield Lions were particularly pleased to hear of the work at our Lions Camp because it is the recipient of the majority of funds from our charity work.  Mr. Arceneaux reported that the aging swimming pool needed plaster repairs to several areas and needed to be completely drained to accomplish that.  The narrow fishing pier on the Camp’s lake was widened and an area was added so the wheelchair bound children can fish from this new dock.

He and the Mansfield Lions encourage anyone to visit the camp and if you know a child with challenges that may be interested in attending contact any area Lion.  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.

OPPORTUNITY:  Assistant Publisher

The DeSoto Parish Journal has experienced tremendous growth in the past year.  Therefore, an Assistant Publisher is needed to supervise the gathering and production of local news items.

This is an immediate opening for a newly created position.  Salary and benefits to be negotiated.

Skills the successful candidate should possess include:

Covering local news events and boiling down the important aspects of the event into a news article.

Photographic skills to portray the event.

Research skills to supplement coverage of an event, including preparation prior to an interview, meeting, etc.

Journalistic ethics including being able to distinguish between the facts of an event and the “spin” of the event. 

Acute observation and note taking to assure accuracy of reporting, especially quotations from individuals involved in the story.

The ability to ask relevant questions and keep the subject of an interview on track.

And the appreciation of hard work and diligence in the gathering, writing, and disseminating local news.

Interested candidates should submit a brief resume, photo, and all contact information.  All submissions should be via email should be addressed to:

Does He Have an Unfair Advantage?

By Steve Graf

Over the past couple of years, there’s been some controversy with a certain professional angler having an unfair advantage. Today we’ll look at this particular angler who is at the root of this controversy. He’s a guy who is not a cheater, but an angler who takes advantage of how the rules of the game are written. He’s an angler, fishing at the highest level with both B.A.S.S. and Major League Fishing, who has had a lot of success doing it his way.

The angler we’re talking about is Keith Poche. Keith was raised in Natchitoches, Louisiana, attended Natchitoches Central High School, and after graduation went on to play football at Troy State University. After a knee injury, Keith decided to walk away from football and pick up a rod and reel. Even though he grew up fishing the banks of Cane River, he decided to take his fishing to another level and pursue a career as a professional angler.

In 2014, Keith qualified to fish his first Bassmaster Classic, held on the Red River out of Shreveport, where he finished 3rd overall. To say Keith has had “a little success” is an understatement. He’s had 46 top 50 finishes, 21 top 20’s, and 7 top 10’s, with a few victories mixed in.

So, a few seasons ago, Keith made a decision to fish out of a custom-built aluminum boat that allowed him to get into areas that other anglers could not. He did not want the fully wrapped fiberglass boat that 98% of the professional anglers fish out of. But his competition was not happy with him having such an advantage with his custom boat. After several events, protests were made and there were many attempts to have him disqualified for the way he was accessing backwater areas. This special boat, built to his specifications, allowed him to gain access into backwater areas holding bass that had zero pressure and, in some cases, had never seen a bait before.

As I’ve illustrated in past articles, anglers are a fickle bunch and hate it when one guy figures something out they did not. Keith figured out quickly that this was his niche, and how he could have success without breaking any rules. Now he obviously pushes the envelope, but he never violates a written rule. Still, anglers and officials knew something had to be done to “level the playing field.” One rule implemented a couple of years ago was that whatever boat you start the season with, is the same boat you must fish out of in all the tournaments.

But here’s what is amazing…these same anglers complaining are not recognizing that Keith is at a huge disadvantage when tournaments are held on large bodies of water like the Great Lakes. His small custom boat with a 90-horsepower engine is not conducive for fishing the larger bodies of water, putting him at a distinct disadvantage. Keith is restricted on how far he can go compared to the guys running 20 to 21-foot boats with 250 horsepower engines. Now Keith has never complained about him being at a disadvantage when the tour reaches these massive lakes. He just puts his head down and tries to make the best of it. Not sure if it’s just a coincidence, but no one is complaining about Keith’s small aluminum boat unless he is at or near the top of the leaderboard. 

The most recent issue came last week at the Toledo Bend B.A.S.S. Open Series where Keith ran up the lake and gained access into an area other anglers could not go. He finished 29th in this event, but a protest was made on the area and how Keith gained access.

This is a continuing story that I will make sure to monitor as Keith and his lawyers, along with B.A.S.S. officials, are working together to try and come to a mutual agreement on what’s allowed and not allowed. One thing is for sure…look for some major rule changes at B.A.S.S for the upcoming 2024 season to take away Keith’s advantage. Till next week, good luck, good fishing and make sure to wear sunscreen and good protective clothing. No one is immune to skin cancer like Melanoma. 

New President of Female College Museum Visited Rotary Club

The Club heard from Suzanne Brossette who is, among many other duties, newly elected President of the Friends of the Mansfield Female College Museum.  Suzanne took the reins over at a stressful and tense time for the Clista A. Calhoun Center.  She told of her determination to take those reins firmly in hand and drive the team to achieve further goals.  With her guidance she’s gotten The Center’s I.T. systems replaced and upgraded.  Her vision is to have The Center’s main competition, Classic C. and The Cook-Hill House, working together to provide different types and sizes of venues so that our entire Parish benefits.

In the near future she plans to upgrade the lighting on the Polk St. and entrance sign for the Museum as well as upgrades on the grounds.  Because of her friendship with the late Julie Adams Rogers she has reinstated the support of the DeSoto Parish Tourist Bureau and plans on seeking new historical Federal and State grant funds.  She made the comment, “When people drive up to the Museum they look up and say what is this other building next to the Calhoun Center?”  Now, that’s vision!

In other business, Van Reech reported that the Club has reserved the Calhoun Center for the weekend of Saturday, September 09, for an “Election Meet & Greet” for all candidates running in the upcoming October elections.  Further information upcoming so mark your calendars.

The next Rotary meeting is 6/07/23 at the Genealogical Library in the Mansfield Female College for lunch.  We would love to have you join us!

Horsing Around For Clues

DeSoto Parish Deputies are trying to locate the owner of this horse, pictured in this post.  She was picked up around the Bates Road area Monday night.  We are planning to attempt and see if the animal is chipped, but the horse is a bit wild at the moment.  As much as we love animals, a good firm kick to the teeth just isn’t something any of us desire at this point in time.  If you have information that may assist in locating the owner, please contact our office at 318-872-3956 and ask to speak with Captain Chato Atkins.

Notice of Death – May 26, 2023

Shelly Babers

8/1/1946 – 5/19/2023

Celebration of Life Saturday, May 27, 2023 @ 11:00 A.M. at Springville Missionary B.C. in Coushatta, LA.

Viola Mae Ford

1/6/1971 – 5/11/2023

Service: Saturday, May 20, 2023 @11:00 A. M. Jenkins Funeral Home Chapel.

Candi Washington

8/18/1970 – 5/16/2023

Service: Saturday, May 27, 2023 @ 1:00 P. M. Jenkins Funeral Home Chapel 601 Franklin Street Mansfield, LA.

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.