Kicking Off the Last Contest

This is the tenth and final week of the Marketplace Chevrolet College Football Pickers Contest.  The Journal has a great line-up of games to be played this week.  And we have a $100 prize for the person doing the best job of selecting the winners.

The entry blank has been posted.  CLICK HERE to go claim your prize.

$100 Deadline Nears

This afternoon at 4:00 pm is the deadline for this week’s Pickers contest.  CLICK HERE to enter now.  You could be the winner of the $100 weekly prize.

This is the last day to enter the Marketplace Chevrolet College Football Pickers Contest.  All you have to do is pick the winners of ten college football games.  It is that easy.

The Journal wishes everyone “Good luck.”  Get your entry in right now.

DeSoto Parish School Board receives Certificates of Excellence in Financial Reporting

The DeSoto Parish School Board has received notification from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) and the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO) that their annual comprehensive financial report for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2022, qualifies for both GFOA and ASBO’s Certificates of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting.

When Certificates of Achievement are awarded to a government entity, an impartial panel evaluates the report for high standards of the program, which includes demonstrating a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read the report. DeSoto has a long history of excellence in financial reporting. This is DeSoto’s 31st year of receiving the GFOA award and the 32nd year of receiving the ASBO award.

Superintendent Clay Corley affirms the value of these special honors on financial excellence:

“This recognition is a testament to our district’s core value of high performance. Our Business Services team, led by Mrs. Ashworth, consistently delivers outstanding results, and their commitment to fiscal responsibility ensures that our students and staff have the resources they need to succeed.”

Director of Business Services, Donayle Ashworth, spoke on DeSoto’s work in financial responsibility:

“In DeSoto, our spending aligns with our core values. We pride ourselves in responsibly managing our finances to ensure we provide our students and staff with the resources needed for a high-quality educational experience.”

The Certificates of Achievement are the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and the attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management.

For more information on how to distribute this news release and use DeSoto’s branding, contact Communications Coordinator, Peyton Dufour at


State Champion Pecan Tree is in DeSoto Parish 

On October 17, guests gathered at the Adams’ Residence in Keatchi to celebrate and recognize the new Louisiana Champion Pecan tree. The Natural Resources Conservation Service completed the measurement of the tree on June 2, 2023, in which it was determined to be the new Champion Pecan tree. With a circumference of 15ft 1in, a height of 112ft, and an average limb span of 104.5ft, this champion tree scored 319 total points.

The DeSoto Soil and Water Conservation District and the Natural Resources Conservation Service presented the Adams family with a commemorative sign to signify the tree. LSU AgCenter Nutritionists were on site with nutritional information about pecans, delicious samples of roasted pecans for guests, as well as healthy pecan recipes. Pecans were donated by Louisiana Plantation Pecans in Mansfield.

Source: DeSoto Parish Tourism Commission

Logansport Chamber holds monthly meeting

By Nicole Tull

The Logansport Chamber of Commerce had their monthly meeting at the Logansport Library on Tuesday evening, October 3rd. The members and guests dined on Whataburger burgers, chips and cookies.
Peyton Haydel spoke to the chamber on behalf of her friend and colleague, Thomas Pressly, who is running for State Senate. Bubba Clark, running for Police Jury, was also in attendance to meet the chamber members.

Chamber member Jim Barron, owner of What-A-Burger in Joaquin, announced that there will be a benefit on to support the Logansport High School cheerleaders. The store will offer 25% of the sales toward the benefit.

In other chamber business, there will be a Pumpkin Shine in the park on Halloween. The Saturday after Thanksgiving will be a concert on the riverfront featuring our very own Bryan Martin. The HomeTown Show will also have a stellar lineup of other talents. Tickets will be available for prepurchase.
The Chamber folks wore blue for Aubrey Hubier, the Stanley teen that died recently. The next meeting will be 6:00pm Tuesday, November 7th at the Logansport library.

Dear NSU Alumni: The time has arrived

I don’t believe cancellation of the football season was what the players wanted or what the player who so tragically lost his life would have wanted. Nor do I believe that this was what Coach Laird wanted. This is a horrible decision for the team. One doesn’t quit in the face of adversity.

In a case like this a team dedicates the season to their fallen teammate.

I believe this is the decision of the new President and athletic director. NSU has been shedding students since the new President’s hire and athletics have been in a chaotic downward spiral.

The resignation my alma mater needs more than any other is that of President Marcus Jones. He may be a fine man, but has proven himself a poor fit for Northwestern State University.

Steven Hines
Northwestern State University Alumni

NSU cancels season in wake of shooting death of football player; Laird resigns as coach

Northwestern State University announced Thursday afternoon it has canceled the remainder of the 2023 football season due to the recent shooting death of junior safety Ronnie Caldwell, with university president Dr. Marcus Jones citing the mental health and well-being of its student-athletes as the primary reason for its decision.

“Ronnie was a beloved member of our community, and we miss him dearly,” said Jones. “While our instinct was to return to the field of play following his death, we’ve since learned that the hurt on our team was too deep. Now it is in the best interest of our players, coaches, and staff to pause and to take this time to mourn, to heal, and to support Ronnie’s family.”

The school has also accepted the resignation of head coach, Brad Laird, who was in his sixth season as head coach of the Demons football team.

“Due to the loss of Ronnie and the emotional burden it has caused me, I don’t feel I can give my all to these players or this program,” Laird said. “Any coach will tell you that their players become like family, so the loss of Ronnie was like losing a son. I love this program and this university and I know it will persevere and move forward with the competitive spirit that is at the core of our DNA.”

Caldwell, a junior safety from Cedar Park, Texas, in the Austin metroplex, had been persevering through an injury, traveling with the team in a coaching capacity, helping other defensive backs with their technique and schemes. His death, in an Oct. 12 early morning shooting at the Quad Apartment Complex, remains under investigation by the Natchitoches Police Department. Two roommates have been arrested on drugs and weapons charges, but no charges relating to Caldwell’s death have been filed.

“We appreciate Coach Laird’s long-term investment in Northwestern State football. From his undergraduate time as a record-setting quarterback to his year spent overseeing the university’s alumni office to coaching, he has been a vital member of the team,” said Kevin Bostian, NSU’s athletic director. “While we are disappointed not to be able to finish the season, we are confident that better days lie ahead for Northwestern State football.”

Assistant Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator, Weston Glaser, will step in as interim head coach while the athletic department begins an immediate search for its next head coach.

“I want to thank our team, family, friends and the whole Northwestern State community for your understanding of this difficult decision,” Jones said. “We appreciate your support during this challenging time.”

All ticket refund inquiries for the remaining two home games should be directed to Scott Maggio at Media inquiries should be directed to Jason Pugh at

The university’s press release did not immediately address considerations related to the Nov. 3-4 homecoming weekend, which was to culminate with an afternoon football game.

The decision also impacts McNeese State’s homecoming this weekend. NSU was scheduled to play at McNeese Saturday night.

On U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson’s Election as U.S. House Speaker

Mike Johnson’s election today as U.S. House Speaker marks the culmination of a meteoric rise in the U.S House of Representatives, the result of his diligent but often low-key work advancing conservative constitutional principles and doing so in a respectful and inoffensive manner.

In a highly partisan, if not often toxic, U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Johnson first spearheaded the introduction of a “Commitment to Civility” resolution and he has remained committed to maintaining civil and courteous interaction among members of Congress, often in the face of heated policy and political disagreement. His demeanor and comportment certainly contributed to his gaining the support for Speaker of his fellow members of the often-rambunctious House Republican Conference.

He has now entered into an office the responsibilities and obligations of which are nothing less than monumental. And, while it is impossible to quantify the benefit his service as Speaker will provide Louisiana, it would be difficult to overstate the positive impact.

All of this is to say nothing of the fact that the Speaker post is second in the line of presidential succession. If the president dies or becomes incapacitated, the VP is first and then the Speaker of the House.

I am convinced that the same skills and ability that brought Rep. Johnson to this point—accompanied by his deep faith—will see him through. I offer him my congratulations and my prayers.

Royal Alexander

Remembering Russell Warren Durr

Funeral services celebrating the life of Russell Warren Durr of Marthaville, Louisiana were held Thursday, October 26, 2023, at Beulah Methodist Church, Marthaville, Louisiana with Rev. Brian Jennings officiating. 

Russell was born August 13, 1948, in Oak Grove, Louisiana to Barnett and Lela Downs Durr and entered into rest on October 20, 2023, in Shreveport, Louisiana. He loved outdoors, trapping, squirrel hunting, fishing, and enjoyed observing nature. He was a troubled spirit who found peace in the Lord.

He is preceded in death by his wife, Sandra Lynn Russell Durr; and his parents, Barnett and Lela Durr.

Left to cherish his memory are his daughters, Monica Durr and Christy Durr; stepdaughters, Kelly Sibley, Kasy Sibley, and Kayla Sibley; stepson, Bart Ingram; and sisters, Dianne Dinkins and husband, Marvin and Robin Jones and husband, Dyron.

MMS JAG students exploring future careers

Mansfield Middle School JAG students have been busy learning about future careers. They’ve toured multiple college campuses across north Louisiana to learn about many types of manufacturing careers and training opportunities available upon graduation.

This is one of the many innovative educational experiences available to students across the district.

Source: DeSoto Parish Schools 

Remembering Hayden Tyler McCrocklin

Services celebrating the life of Hayden Tyler McCrocklin, 20, of Converse, Louisiana will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, October 28, 2023, at Henrietta Congregational Methodist Church, 4242 Hwy 191, Converse, Louisiana with Bro. Chucky Clark officiating. Visitation will be on Saturday, October 28, 2023, held from noon until time of service at the church.

Hayden was born July 17, 2003, in New Orleans, Louisiana and entered into eternal rest on Monday, October 23, 2023, in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Left to cherish his memory is his father, Gregory McCrocklin; sisters, Hailee McCrocklin, Heather Eschliman, and Esperanza Villavicencio; and brother, Tim McCrocklin and wife Kim. He is preceded in death by his mother, Mindi Eschliman.

Please watch your language!!!

First, I would like to preface this article by saying please don’t judge me for how this article is written. I’m only trying to show the verbal nature of a particular co-angler I fished with a couple of years ago and that I do not condone the language she used.

In a recent American Bass Anglers (ABA) regular season two-day championship on Lake Sam Rayburn. What made this event unique was the fact that it was the final event in which ABA allowed co-anglers. Let’s define what the term co-angler means. This is an angler who fishes out of the back of the boat and is not allowed to fish off the front deck because it is strictly for the boater/pro. The co-angler is only fishing against other co-angers while the boater/pro is fishing against other boater/pros.

Over the years, I’ve had some co-anglers who were great anglers and I’ve had a few who had no clue what they were doing. Some get in the boat looking to learn while others are there to get your fishing locations so they can come back later and fish everything you showed them. This is a major no-no in the tournament fishing world and there are even rules in place to discourage co-anglers from such behavior. No co-angler is supposed to share the information they learned while fishing with the boater/pro. But there are no rules in place for language.

In one particular event, I had a co-angler, who we shall call “Karen,” who threw me for a loop and tested my patience. Not because she talked too much, but rather how she talked. Over the years, I’ve only had a female co-angler maybe twice. But for this event, Karen would be my co-angler and would be one I’ll never forget.

On the Friday evening before an event, the ABA tournament director sends out who your partner will be the day of the tournament via a text message, along with their contact information so you can call them and make arrangements on where to meet on tournament morning. My very first conversation with Karen was one to remember. As I made the call to introduce myself, her response was, “Mr. Steve, how the F*** are you?” Well rather than continue to go over every conversation we had for our two days together, I’ll cut to the chase. Turns out, she was not able to complete a sentence without an “F” bomb or two thrown in to make her point clearer.

Understand, I grew up in locker rooms and understand foul language. For some, it’s just how they were raised and that’s the only language they know. Hoping Karen would take a hint, I tried to steer the conversation by asking her what church she went to? Even though I already knew the answer, I was hoping it would bring light that I’m a Christian and attend church on a regular basis. Now I’m not a saint and have my own issues from time to time with a damn or hell occasionally, but she took foul language to a whole other level. It was by mid-morning on tournament day that I said to myself, “I wish she would shut up!”

Being paired up with someone like this makes for a long day on the water. It’s a true test of one’s patience as she continued with her obscene language all day long. To make this day even worse, we had a late weigh-in time of 4:00 rather than 3:00. So, the joy for me was knowing I had an EXTRA hour of “F” bombs! But it all came together when she told me how she was raised. Now off the top of my head, I was thinking she came from an abusive home life with maybe an alcoholic parent or maybe she spent time as a child in a juvenile detention center. No. Turns out that she grew up on a bull riding ranch in Texas. Ha! Now it all came together; she was raised by cowboys!

Rodeo cowboys are a species unto themselves and have their own language limitations. If you ever watched the hit TV series, “Yellowstone,” you’ll understand how cowboys communicate. There’s a reason someone wrote the song “Mama Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys.” Look, I realize it takes all kinds to make up this world, and I’m not one to judge, even though I do.

To wrap up my day with the queen of obscene language, Miss Foul Mouth ended with these comments as she decided that her fishing day was over. As she sat down in the passenger seat on my boat, she made this profound statement, ”Mr. Steve, I’m done and let me tell ya what I need right now. I need an F***ing cigarette, an F***ing beer and a F***”ng toilet, and not necessarily in that order!” I was now beyond the shock value of Karen’s statements but could not wait to get her out of my boat. Rather than make an issue out of what her most recent demands were, while shaking my head, I just decided to say, “Me too!” I pulled the trolling motor up and cranked my engine to head back for the weigh-in. This was something I’d never done before…come in from an event 30 minutes early.

Over the years, I’ve had some long days on the water, but none longer than this one. It just goes to show, you never know who or what kind of person you’re going to get in a Pro/Am tournament. You just hope and pray that Karen is not your partner for the day. Till next time good luck and good fishing! Please make sure to check out our Hook’N Up & Track’N Down Facebook page for all kinds of tips and tricks to help make you a better angler. Go to to learn more!

Steve Graf

Remembering Mildred Faye Hall

Mildred Faye Hall

Logansport- Mildred Faye Hall, 88, went home to be with her Lord and Savior on Friday, October 20, 2023, surrounded by her family, where she was reunited with her loving husband of over 67 years, Dencen.
Funeral services celebrating her life were held Monday, October 23, 2023, at Cool Spring Primitive Baptist Church in Logansport, LA. Officiating the service was Bro. Wayne Painter. Interment followed at Cool Spring Cemetery in Logansport, La. 

Faye was born on December 4, 1934, to the late H.B. Boyd & Hazel Strong Boyd. She attended Logansport High School and graduated in 1953. On September 11, 1953, she married Dencen Lee Hall, Sr. State Line Road was where Dencen and Faye made their first home and the same home were their three children were raised. Faye was a homemaker for over 67 years and Wife/Mama/Nannie were her most cherished titles and greatest accomplishments. She loved spending time with her family and raising and spoiling grands and great grands. Faye also enjoyed baking wedding and birthday cakes. Her hobbies included: oil painting, home demonstration groups, ceramics, shopping, cruising, and hosting her family each Sunday for lunch.

Faye was a proud and dedicated member of Mims Springs Baptist Church where she, at one time, taught Sunday School.

Faye is preceded in death by her loving husband of 67 years, Dencen Lee Hall, Sr.; Parents, H.B. and Hazel Boyd; sisters, Barbara Spradley, and Ruth Mathews; grandson, Bradley Hall Wiggins; and great-grandchildren, Baby Hall and Baby Farmer. Survivors: Son, Dencen “Lee” Hall, Jr. and wife Donna; daughters, Susan Hall and Beth Walker and husband James; grandchildren, Jessica Benison and husband Brooks, Jed Smith and wife Shasta, Miranda Farmer, Ami Wiggins and fiance’ Gabriel, Ali Fields and husband Paden, Dyllan Hall and wife Amanda, Trey Wilson and fiance’ Megan, Ty Wilson and wife Stephanie, Mallory Rogers and husband Shaun, Victoria Simmons and husband Jake, Cody Walker and wife Jamie; great-grandchildren, Carlton, Brittany, Destini, Mara Lee, Dawson, Marshall, Ethan, Grayson, Kutter, Brad, Kallan, Karter, Emma, Halen, Kyesin, Eli, Abi, Aiden, Mac, Ezra, Lincoln, Layne, Eden, Ian, and Kingston; sister-in-law, Nancy Boyd; and a host of nieces, nephews, friends, and extended family members.

Honoring Faye as pallbearers will include Jed Smith, Dyllan Hall, Trey Wilson, Ty Wilson, Carlton McCoy, Shaun Rogers, Paden Fields, Jake Simmons, and Cody Walker.

Abraham’s Almost Forgotten Novel

American Journalist Christopher Hitchens once said, “Everyone has a book inside them, which is exactly where it should, I think, in most cases, remain.” Abraham had published several books, but when he got to his seventh novel, most people thought it should have remained inside his own mind and not in print.

Abraham was the manager of the Lyceum theater in London’s West End. As manager, Abraham held a position of prestige, but his salary as manager did not necessarily reflect his position. To supplement his income, Abraham wrote reviews of plays and books. He also published poetry, stories which were serialized in newspapers, and novels. He had no aspirations to become famous, he wrote whatever he thought would sell well. Most of his published works were in the romance genre. His seventh novel, however, was something altogether different.

Despite many popular reviews, Abraham’s seventh novel was not the runaway success that he had hoped for. He had spent years researching the book and had handwritten over 100 pages of notes on the project, but it sold poorly compared to some of his other published works. When he died on April 20, 1912, he had made little income from his seventh novel, and it was no longer in print. When newspapers in Europe published the news of his passing, the articles listed several of his popular novels but his seventh novel was rarely included among them.

In 1927, Abraham’s seventh novel was used as the basis of a stage play which was better received than the novel had been. Based on the play’s success, Universal Pictures purchased the rights to the book for $40,000. Adjusted for inflation, $40,000 in 1930 would be almost $750,000 in today’s money. Abraham’s widow, Florence Balcombe, made much more money from the seventh novel than her late husband had. Universal Pictures took a giant risk with the film. Production costs totaled nearly $400,000. The film based on Abraham’s seventh novel was released on February 12, 1931. Universal Pictures executives were relieved when, unlike the novel, the film became a hit. Domestically, it earned more than $700,000, almost double its production cost. The film added a new character into worldwide popular culture which is instantly recognizable. The film also spawned new interest in Abraham’s seventh novel. Since the film’s release, Abraham’s book has never been out of print, and it has become one of the most famous works of English Literature. Abraham’s novel has been adapted for film more than 30 times so far, and his characters have appeared in all forms of media. Abraham could never have imagined how popular his creation would become.

We almost knew the title of Abraham’s seventh novel by a completely different name. Just before the novel went to the publishers for printing, Abraham made a last-minute decision and changed the title of the novel from “The Un-Dead.” You and I know Abraham “Bram” Stoker’s seventh, almost-forgotten, novel as “Dracula.”

Happy Halloween!


1.     London Daily News, May 27, 1897, p.6.

2.     The Pall Mall Gazette, June 1, 1897, p.11.      

3.     The Morning Post, June 3, 1897, p.2. 

4.     The Standard Union, April 22, 1912, p.3.

5.     The Daily Telegraph, April 22, 1912, p.6.

6.     The Sun, April 22, 1912, p. 9.

DeSoto 4-H selling sweet potatoes

DeSoto Parish 4-H is selling Louisiana grown sweet potatoes. They are selling a 20 pound box for $25 or 40 pound box for $35.

Must be pre-ordered by November 1.

To place an order call the DeSoto Parish Extension Office at 318.872.0533 or drop by the office at 10117 Hwy 171, Grand Cane between 8am-4:30pm Monday-Friday.

Orders can be paid by cash, check or credit card (credit card use has a fee).

Pickup will be Thursday, November 16 at DeSoto Extension Office.

Stanley BETA attend Leadership Summit

At the end of September, Stanley High School’s junior/senior BETA members attended a Leadership Summit at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Students participated in team building activities and were given valuable leadership training.

Officers (President – J. Smith, Secretary – E. Walker, and Treasurer – R. Ross) were able to attend an officer training to strengthen their leadership skills and learn more about BETA. Vice President, M. Castillo, participated in the Leadership Representative Interviews where she interviewed in front of a panel.

The guys (J. Murphy, R. Ross, G. Claybrook, N. Loftin, E. Foshee, and D. Gannon) participated in a team competition called Collaboration Connection. They were engaged in quick, creative, and critical thinking challenges where they had to think on their feet by applying collaborative leadership skills and make connections to produce a response in a given time frame.

The girls (E. Walker, C. Yarbrough, M. Castillo, and J. Smith) competed in the “Lead Outside the Box” competition where they were given a real-world problem and had to give a two minute presentation of how they solved the given problem followed by a question and answer segment.

Both teams qualified for nationals in their events and represented SHS and Desoto Parish very well.

The SHS BETA club would like to thank all of the sponsors and the generosity of the community that helped make this trip possible. 

Source: Stanley High School

Firefighters visit story hour

The DeSoto Fire District 1 visited the Logansport Library Story Hour. The children were so excited to see the firefighters and to get an up close look at their gear and equipment.

The firefighters explained how to “get low and go” in the event of a fire. The children practiced how to Stop Drop and Roll if they had fire on their clothing.

One very important fact the firefighters expressed to the children was that the firefighters are there to help. They encouraged the children to not be afraid of the firefighters.

The library expresses their appreciation and thanks the firefighters for working so hard for the community and for taking the time to invest in the children of DeSoto Parish.

This & That…Friday, October 27, 2023

The exotic Orient Express is about to go off the rails. With a train full of remarkable suspects and an alibi for each one, it’s the perfect mystery for detective Hercule Poirot. So, wax your mustache and hold onto your passport for this highly entertaining comedy-mystery. BackAlley’s show dates are Friday and Saturday, October 27 and 28 at 7 pm, and Sunday, October 29 at 2pm. To purchase your ticket or for season ticket holders to reserve a seat, go to our website For questions, call the box office @ 318-461-0202.

Mansfield Donuts will hand out treats, Saturday, October 28 during business hours. They will also hand treats out Halloween day. So bring by those monsters, superheroes, princesses, etc., and let Mansfield Donut make their Halloween extra sweet. 

Notice of Death – October 26, 2023

Hayden Tyler McCrocklin
July 17, 2003 — October 23, 2023
Service: Saturday, October 28 at 2pm at Henrietta Congregational Methodist Church, Converse

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.

Another Mansfield teacher arrested

DeSoto Parish sheriff’s detectives arrested Brandon Kent, 29, on Wednesday, October 18 on charges of simple burglary and theft. According to the sheriff’s office, Kent’s arrest is a result of an investigation into multiple thefts. Other charges could be added as the investigation continues.

Kent is a social studies teacher at Mansfield High School.

His arrest is not related to the arrest of former Mansfield Middle School teacher Jemartrius C. Mayweather.

Source: Facebook

Change is coming!

The Desoto Parish Journal is adding an additional day to our publication. Beginning this week, we will publish on Wednesday and Friday. We know our readers are asking for more, and we are ready. We will need more articles and event announcements to post, so send in your stories, articles, events, sports commentary, and more. Let us help tell your story. 

Send correspondence to