Elner Marie Early

Funeral services celebrating the life of Elner Marie Early will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, February 8, 2023, at Kilpatrick’s Rose-Neath Chapel, 943 Polk Street, Mansfield, Louisiana with Rev. Glen Howard and Rev. Tommy Early officiating. Burial will follow at Spring Ridge Cemetery in Pleasant Hill, Louisiana. Visitation will be held at the chapel from 8:30 a.m. with service time following.

Elner was born May 16, 1924, in Marthaville, Louisiana to George and Mary Dyess Hilliard and entered into rest on Sunday, February 5, 2023, in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Preceding her in death are her husband, Russell Dean Early; her parents; and her brothers.  Left to cherish her memory are her sons, Jerry Early and wife, Karina and Richard Early; daughters, Mary Nell Graves, Beverly Ann Graves and husband, James, Bobbye Marie Bartlett, and Thresa Lynn Sepulvado; and a host of grandchildren.

Honoring Elner as pallbearers will be Ryan Walker, Nick Walker, Kevin Murray, Russel Graves, Jeremy Dollar, Jr., and Randy Hilliard.


This Week’s report covers a two 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 January 23-February 6, 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.


Jeremy “Bubba” Michael Sweet

A memorial for Jeremy “Bubba” Michael Sweet, 43, will be held from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at LDC Event Center, 1493 US-171, Stonewall, Louisiana on Sunday, February 5, 2023.

Bubba was born on June 4, 1979 in Shreveport, Louisiana to Mike Sweet and Tina Cooper and passed away Thursday, February 2, 2023 in Shreveport, Louisiana.

He was a graduate of North DeSoto High School and married the love of his life, Amanda, in 2004. He enjoyed gaming and joking around with people and making them happy. He was a true prankster and enjoyed bringing joy to anyone he could.

He is survived by his wife, Amanda Sweet; children, Aubrey Lafitte and Aiden Sweet; mother, Tina Cooper and husband, Tim; father, Mike Sweet and wife, Debbie; sisters, Heather Meade and husband, Jeremy and Ashley Bordelon and husband, Bart; step-brother, Timothy Cooper; step-sister, Jacqueline Jennings; nine nieces; six nephews and one great-nephew.


Mansfield Woman Killed in DeSoto Parish Crash

On Thursday, February 2, 2023, at approximately 6:00 p.m., Troopers assigned to Louisiana State Police Troop G began investigating a two-vehicle fatality crash on I-49, north of LA Hwy 3276. This crash claimed the life of 30-year-old Diamond Foster.

The initial investigation revealed that a 2021 Kenworth, was accelerating to highway speeds after entering I-49 southbound from the shoulder.  A southbound 2011 Dodge Caravan, driven by Foster struck the rear of the trailer of the Kenworth.

Foster was restrained but suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased on the scene by the DeSoto Parish Coroner. The driver of the Kenworth was restrained and was not injured in the crash.

Impairment is not suspected to be a factor in this crash; however, routine toxicology samples were taken and submitted for analysis. The crash remains under investigation.

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


Life During War

The Mansfield Rotary Club discussed a recent article titled “Life During War” by Wen Huang in their monthly “Rotary” magazine about the humanitarian efforts of Rotary International in war torn Ukraine.  Rotary is working hand-in-hand with Lions Club International and other service clubs to get supplies and support to the refugees coming into Poland from the Ukraine cities of  Kyiv, Kerson, and Kharkiv.  

There are two million refugees consisting of mostly women and children.  Most of the men, old and young, are staying to protect their homes and fight the invading Russian troops.  If anyone is interested in reading Wen’s article go to rotary.org to read part I of the article.  It sure made the group proud of the financial help we’ve already sent and to be Rotarians!

Members of the small but hardy group that bared the freezing rain are shown seated L to R: John Adams, Dudley Glenn, Teri Byrd, Robert Burgess, and Lisa Lobrano Burson (Photographer Van Reech now shown).  The next meeting is on 2/15/23 at the Mansfield Female College Museum for lunch.


Red Envelope Campaign

Mark A. Poole, DeSoto Arts Council President announced the annual kick off of their Red Envelope fund raising campaign. Poole said, “Our focus for the coming year is again to provide direct support to local artists, programs and groups through grants and other opportunities.”

The challenges of recent years with the Covid Pandemic have made support from the community more important than ever. As programs, festivals, and performances were cancelled, and venues shuttered, artists throughout the parish were deprived of the opportunities they require to remain viable.  We must rise to the occasion and ensure the continued advocacy the arts in DeSoto Parish deserve.

Poole noted, “Your donation will enable the DAC to empower our local talented artists and performers through monetary and logistical support of programs, community festivals, theatre, workshops and classes.” And he added a “profound thanks to our past, present, and future donors. Your gift demonstrates your appreciation for the important role the arts play in our lives and our community, and we could not provide these vital services without your generous help.”

DeSoto Arts Council can accept your contributions via PayPal with a link available on our website. Checks may be made payable to the DeSoto Arts Council and mailed to P.O. Box 352, Grand Cane, LA 71032.


Fast Eddie

By Brad Dison

In 1960, Bertha Wolfe was employed as a maid by the Ed Jones family in Stephenville, Texas. In her capacity as the family’s maid, Bertha kept the home clean, changed sheets, washed dishes, washed laundry, picked up groceries, and a myriad of other housekeeping chores. Eddie Jones, son of Ed Jones, loved to drive fast. No matter where he was going, even when he had no particular place to go, Eddie drove too fast. His family told him to slow down on numerous occasions. Bertha may have even cautioned him a time or two. Eddie paid little attention to their warnings and had several minor accidents which only resulted in scrapes and bruises. Eddie’s driving had never physically injured anyone but himself.

That all changed on August 26, 1960. Eddie was driving his vehicle too fast as usual and had an accident. Rather than striking another vehicle, Eddie ran his vehicle into a person. His victim was none other than his family’s maid, Bertha Wolfe. As a result of the accident, Bertha suffered a broken hip along with other “extensive injuries and mental anguish.” By January 1961, whether by her decision or theirs, Bertha was no longer employed by the Jones family.

On January 24, 1961, Homer Wolfe, husband of Bertha, filed a suit for damages in District Court against Ed Jones, head of the Jones family. The suit colorfully alleged that Eddie “gathered a full head of steam and without a warning yell of any nature, propelled his vehicle with great force into the body of Bertha Wolfe while her back was turned.” Homer Wolfe argued in the petition that Ed Jones knew his son “was a reckless and incompetent operator” of the vehicle. Homer Wolfe was asking for $50,000 in damages for the “extensive injuries and mental anguish” to his wife caused by Eddie recklessness.

Through their respective attorneys, Homer Wolfe and Ed Jones worked for months to settle the dispute. By November 1961, Homer Wolfe had reduced the request for damages to the strangely precise amount of $30,565.65. Ed Jones’s attorneys stood firm and refused the offer. A court date was set for November 27, 1961. On that morning, the courtroom was filled with plaintiffs and defendants who were ready to argue their side in numerous cases. When it was time for Homer Wolfe’s case to be heard, the judge, the courtroom staff, Homer Wolfe, Bertha Wolfe, and their attorney were all surprised to learn that no one on the defendant’s side had shown up. Ed Jones and his family’s attorney were absent from the courtroom. The Wolfe’s attorney explained that they had been trying work out the case with the opposing attorney, but they were unable to agree on a settlement. In December, the attorneys finally agreed and settled out of court. As per their agreement, Bertha was not paid the $50,000 initially demanded, nor did she receive their second offer of $30,565.65. For her broken hip, and her other “extensive injuries and mental anguish,” Bertha received just $1,500.

Accidents in which vehicles are driven at a high rate of speed occurs so regularly that, under normal circumstances, the true story of Eddie’s crashing into Bertha should be relegated to obscurity. However, the accident did not occur on one of the many streets in Stephenville, but on the Jones’s own property…inside their home. You see, Eddie was just three years old when the accident occurred. The vehicle he was driving was a tricycle.

Sources:

  1. The Journal Times, January 25, 1961, p.21.
  2. Fort Worth Star-Telegram, November 28, 1961, p.15.
  3. Fort Worth Star-Telegram, December 19, 1961, p.16.

OPPORTUNITY: Accounting Technician

Position: Accounting Technician
Salary:
 $25,896
Location: Natchitoches, LA
Job Type: Classified
Department: Northwestern State University-Business Affairs
Job Number: 170232
Closing: 2/6/2023 11:59 PM Central

Supplemental Information
Northwestern State University is currently accepting applications for an Accounting Technician in Business Affairs.

No Civil Service test score is required in order to be considered for this vacancy.

To apply for this vacancy, click on the link below and complete an electronic application,

http://agency.governmentjobs.com/louisiana/default.cfm

The successful candidate will be subject to a background check, as a condition of employment.


*Resumes WILL NOT be accepted in lieu of completed education and experience sections on your application. Applications may be rejected if incomplete.*


For further information about this vacancy contact:

Benetrus Brooks
Northwestern State University – Human Resources
200 Sam Sibley Dr. – St. Denis Hall
brooksb@nsula.edu

Qualifications

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS:
Three years of experience in bookkeeping, accounting, payroll, or numerical computation.

College training will substitute for the required experience on the basis of thirty semester hours for one year of experience.

An Associate Degree in Accounting, Accounting Technology, or Business from an accredited college or university will substitute for two years of the required experience.

Training in a vocational-technical school or military school in Accounting, Accounting Technology, or Business will substitute for up to one year of required experience on the basis of one month of training for one month of experience.

NOTE: Any college hours or degree must be from an accredited college or university.

Job Concepts

Function of Work:
To provide the full range of paraprofessional accounting services.

Level of Work:
Advanced.

Supervision Received:
Generally from higher-level fiscal or administrative position.

Supervision Exercised:
May supervise lower-level paraprofessional fiscal or administrative positions.

Location of Work:
May be used by all state agencies.

Job Distinctions:
Differs from Accounting Specialist 2 by responsibility for preparation of basic-level financial reports.

Differs from professional accountants by assisting accounting professionals in the performance of various tasks within the accounting process.

Examples of Work

Maintain operational functions at the cashier window, reconciling cash and cash items daily for deposit.

Communicates with student, parents and other customers regarding questions or problems.

Responsible for physical handling, control, and appropriate account coding of all University’s monetary transactions

Compiles monthly business reports for the bursar concerning but not limited to revenue forecasting, delinquent accounts, petty cash, and departmental advance.

Analyzes and compiles data and prepares monthly reports reflecting actives and stats for accounts receivables.


Curtain Going Up Tonight

Join us at BackAlley Community Theatre in Grand Cane as we present our production of Anybody Out There? Curtain time tonight is 7:00 pm.  Tickets are available by CLICKING HERE.

This farce comedy, one of John Patrick’s fastest and funniest, deals with the metamorphosis of a shy little milksop into a fearless hero after he has been told that he has only six months to live.  The action spins zanily on, finding its way to a happy and hilarious conclusion.

Cast members include Barry Larson, Bridget Flanders, Linda Sibley, Lance Ray, Shawn Fargerson, Lauren Piazza, Jim Griffith, Martha Russell, Hunter Tuck, Ken Murphy, and John Derbonne. Lisa Duty is Director and Barbie Larson is Stage Manager. The play was written by John Patrick and published by Dramatists Play Service, Inc.

Show dates are Friday and Saturday, February 3 and 4 at 7:00 pm, Sunday, February 5 at 2:00 pm, and Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, February 9, 10, and 11 at 7:00 pm. Reservations are required. CLICK HERE to reserve your ticket, or text/call our box office at 318-461-0202. Tickets are $15, cash or check only if paying at the door. We offer sodas, coffee, popcorn, and cookies.


Powerlifting Success

On Last Saturday at the North Desoto Invitational Powerlifting Meet both the Girls and Boys had their weight moving talents on display for all of Stonewall to see. 13 schools from Central and North Louisiana made the trip as another opportunity to hone their skills in preparation for the Regional and State Meets to be held at the end of the month. On the Boys side, Chris Davis and Saeveonne Jackson took Gold and Bronze in the Super Heavyweight Division. Jordan Milton took Gold in the 275 class and Evan Guillory was Named Standout Lightweight Lifter of the Meet. The Boys team overall finished with a 3 place team finish. Their best finish of the year.

On the Girls side, Briley Pendleton and Nora Cornet finished 1 and 2 in the 105 Class, Anna Giddens placed Silver in 123. Mallory Alexander finished with a Bronze in the 148 class. Cameron Curtis earned a silver in the 165 class. Hannah Gregg placed Bronze in the 181. Kendall Odums Took Gold in the 220 Class, and as a Team, the Girls finished one point from taking team Gold.

North Desoto Powerlifting, continues their march towards Regionals on Friday as they travel to their arch rivals, Northwood for a DUAL Meet.


It’s Just a Cupcake!

By Steve Graf

         The former legendary coach of the Dallas Cowboys, Jimmy Johnson, made a statement one time that really stuck with me. To summarize, he said that he could take a great coach and make them a great CEO due to their ability to motivate people. As a guy who has worked both as a coach and was Louisiana Director of Manufacturing for Holloway Sportswear, I have to agree with his statement. So how does this relate to tournament bass fishing? Today, I’ll give my perspective on how these two are related.

         While overseeing 6 factories with 95% of the staff being women, I discovered that some of the techniques used to motivate players during my coaching days also worked for motivating a workforce. The one thing a player needs in order to perform at a high level is motivation. This also holds true for an employee, whether working for a company or working for him or herself. It might be even more important for someone who is self-employed because they don’t have that person above pushing them to be better. They must be self-motivated in order to be successful.

         But while taking over a Holloway factory in Ville Platte due to issues with previous management, I found out really quickly that people just want to be appreciated. The factory had major personnel issues due to a lack of leadership, therefore making the people working there very unhappy. Employees were literally writing letters to the President of Holloway expressing their displeasure.

My first goal was to make them feel appreciated. As Halloween came around, I decided to order 300 cupcakes and pass them out during the last break of the day. I took a cart full of cupcakes and made my way around the factory and personally gave one to each employee and told them thank you for doing a great job that week. The reaction was nothing short of amazing! As I stood by the back door of the factory while the employees clocked out and left, so many told me thank you for showing appreciation for what they did that week…and that they had never been told that by a manager ever before.

         I thought to myself, “It was only a cupcake!” It made me realize that it doesn’t take much to make people feel special. Over that year of running this factory, we did more things like this quite often and the production numbers increased 40%. Factory moral was at an all-time high and if I needed an order to go out on time, all I had to do was ask and they would deliver, all because they felt appreciated.

         Tournament bass fishermen are no different! While all anglers have egos and want to win every time, they back their boats in the water, in reality, they know that won’t happen. But bass tournament trails that pay way down in the standings are usually the most successful and have the greatest following. Why? Many of today’s tournament anglers just hope to get a check! Even if it’s only enough money to help pay for gas or maybe their hotel, they consider it a successful tournament if they just get a check or “a cupcake.” This is what motivates them to come back and fish again and follow a tournament trail…. the cupcake! Eighty percent of any tournament trail is made up of the guys that never win. The other twenty percent that complain because they want a bigger payback don’t understand the concept that the eighty percent that aren’t winning are the reason there is a tournament trail, to begin with.

         The bottom line is this, we all want to be appreciated and it usually doesn’t take much effort on someone’s part for this to happen. Some anglers are perfectly happy finishing in 40th place and getting a $200 check, even if it only covers their entry fee. Most don’t fish for the money; they fish for enjoyment, and nothing is more enjoyable than walking across a tournament stage and getting a check in front of your peers…even if it is only a cupcake.

Till next time, good luck, good fishing, and don’t forget your sunscreen. Also, make sure to schedule regular dermatologist appointments. If you don’t have a dermatologist, find one!


Winter Production

The North DeSoto High School Players have scheduled their latest production to debut February 10th.  They are doing Annie Jr. and the production will be staged in the second floor Theatre at NDHS.

Performances for the public will be Friday February 10 at 7:00 pm, Saturday February 11 at 3:00 and 7:00 pm, and Sunday February 12 at 2:00 pm.  Tickets are $10 and may be purchased on the school website.


DeSoto Native Rings NYSE Opening Bell

Argent Financial Group founder and CEO Kyle McDonald rang The Opening BellTM Tuesday morning for the New York Stock Exchange.  McDonald is a native of DeSoto Parish and a Mansfield High School graduate.

While remaining a privately owned company, Argent recently assumed trustee responsibilities for numerous publicly traded royalty trusts, including Sabine Royalty Trust (SBR), Permian Basin Royalty Trust (PBT), Cross Timbers Royalty Trust (CRT) and PermRock Royalty Trust (PRT), which all trade on the NYSE. 

“Ringing the bell was a humbling experience that resulted from the opportunity to work with exceptional professionals who serve our valued clients well,” McDonald said. “It was an honor to represent the entire Argent team. When we started Argent in Ruston 33 years ago, this experience was not something we would have ever envisioned.”

Argent subsidiary Argent Mineral Management serves a number of DeSoto Parish families’ oil and gas leasing and royalty management needs. McDonald’s parents, Diane and A.W. McDonald live in Stonewall.

Photo credit NYSE


Notice of Death – February 3, 2023

Louise Booker Rascoe

October 7, 1926 to January 16th, 2023

View full obituary here:

https://desotoparishjournal.com/2023/02/02/louise-booker-rascoe/

John Jenkins

July 28, 1966 to January 21, 2023 (age 56)

Services will be 2:00 pm Sunday, January 29, 2023 at New Bethlehem B.C., Gloster, La.

Robbie Thomas

7/27/1933 – 1/28/2023

Service: Saturday, February 4, 2023 @ 12:00 P.M. Logansport.

Horatio Antione Richardson

4/24/1980 – 1/25/2023

Saturday, February 4, 2023 @ 11:00 A.M. Zion Hill No.2 B.C. Mansfield, LA

Evangelist-Connie Lynn Davis

8/25/1954 – 1/23/2023

Service: Sunday, January 29, 2023 @ 12:00 P.M. Northwest Auditorium 109 Richard Street Mansfield, LA

Marilyn Yvonne Bristo

10/6/1961 – 1/22/2023

Service: Saturday, February 4, 2023 @11:00 A.M. New Hope B.C. Mansfield, LA

The DeSoto Parish Journal publishes paid obituaries – unlimited words and a photo, as well as unlimited access – $70. The obituary will be included in the emails sent to subscribers.  Contact your funeral provider or DeSotoParishJournal@gmail.com. Must be paid in advance of publication. (Notice of Death shown above with no link to the obituary are FREE of charge.)


ETC… For February 3, 2023

North DeSoto girls soccer hosts Belle Chasse in Round 1 of the Playoffs on Saturday.  Game time is 3:30 pm at Griffin Stadium.

Wednesday the Griffin boys team was shut out by St Thomas More 8-0 in the first round of playoffs.

The River City Fest will be hosting a Pre-Valentine Pop-up Market & Corn Hole Tournament on February 11, 2023 at the Riverfront Park.. We are looking for Vendors and participants.. For more information, please contact Kathi Wells at 318-286-3751.

The Stonewall Branch Library said Mrs. Beverly and the ladies had a great time this week at SWAP. Thank you Ms. Shelly with NWLA Food Bank for Providing homemade Potato Soup. For more information contact the Stonewall Library.


Louise Booker Rascoe

Louise Booker Rascoe passed away peacefully on January 16th, 2023. She was 96. Louise grew up in Stanley, Louisiana, and married Earnest (Snooks) Rascoe. They lived together on Schley Street for over 50 years. Louise and Snooks had one daughter, Cindy, who was a 1965 graduate of Mansfield High. Louise is survived by her two grandsons, David and Greg Tate, of Lafayette, Louisiana, and her sister, Omega Booker Meyers.

Louise had a wonderful heart and loving nature. She was a member of The First Baptist Church and The Mansfield Council on Aging. Since 2011, Louise had been living in Austin, Texas with her grandson, Greg. Louise always cherished her time in Mansfield and had many fond memories until her last day. She will be buried alongside her husband at Highland Cemetery.

The grandsons, David and Greg, will hold a memorial service at 2:00 p.m. at Kilpatrick’s Rose-Neath Funeral Home on Friday afternoon, February 10th.


OPPORTUNITY: Accounting Technician

Position: Accounting Technician
Salary:
 $25,896
Location: Natchitoches, LA
Job Type: Classified
Department: Northwestern State University-Business Affairs
Job Number: 170232
Closing: 2/6/2023 11:59 PM Central

Supplemental Information
Northwestern State University is currently accepting applications for an Accounting Technician in Business Affairs.

No Civil Service test score is required in order to be considered for this vacancy.

To apply for this vacancy, click on the link below and complete an electronic application,

http://agency.governmentjobs.com/louisiana/default.cfm

The successful candidate will be subject to a background check, as a condition of employment.


*Resumes WILL NOT be accepted in lieu of completed education and experience sections on your application. Applications may be rejected if incomplete.*


For further information about this vacancy contact:

Benetrus Brooks
Northwestern State University – Human Resources
200 Sam Sibley Dr. – St. Denis Hall
brooksb@nsula.edu

Qualifications

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS:
Three years of experience in bookkeeping, accounting, payroll, or numerical computation.

College training will substitute for the required experience on the basis of thirty semester hours for one year of experience.

An Associate Degree in Accounting, Accounting Technology, or Business from an accredited college or university will substitute for two years of the required experience.

Training in a vocational-technical school or military school in Accounting, Accounting Technology, or Business will substitute for up to one year of required experience on the basis of one month of training for one month of experience.

NOTE: Any college hours or degree must be from an accredited college or university.

Job Concepts

Function of Work:
To provide the full range of paraprofessional accounting services.

Level of Work:
Advanced.

Supervision Received:
Generally from higher-level fiscal or administrative position.

Supervision Exercised:
May supervise lower-level paraprofessional fiscal or administrative positions.

Location of Work:
May be used by all state agencies.

Job Distinctions:
Differs from Accounting Specialist 2 by responsibility for preparation of basic-level financial reports.

Differs from professional accountants by assisting accounting professionals in the performance of various tasks within the accounting process.

Examples of Work

Maintain operational functions at the cashier window, reconciling cash and cash items daily for deposit.

Communicates with student, parents and other customers regarding questions or problems.

Responsible for physical handling, control, and appropriate account coding of all University’s monetary transactions

Compiles monthly business reports for the bursar concerning but not limited to revenue forecasting, delinquent accounts, petty cash, and departmental advance.

Analyzes and compiles data and prepares monthly reports reflecting actives and stats for accounts receivables.


Derailment at Keatchie

About 10:30 pm last Friday night multiple rail cars went off the track in Keatchie.  Hazardous materials spilled.  Evacuations were ordered within a mile, later expanded to a mile and a half.

Law enforcement went door to door telling residents to get out of the area.  Numerous updates were published by the sheriff’s department to inform residents of the situation

Saturday night an update was issued providing more information.  Here is that update:

“It is important to note that all leaks from the two train cars in question have been stopped. The primary area of impact has been: How much was spilled, what impact it could have on the public/environment and cleaning up the spill. Air quality has been monitored throughout last night and day today. Levels detected earlier in the day were low in comparison to what is considered “action level” or in laymen’s terms deemed a serious concern. As of 6PM there remains no detection or concerns outside of the main impact area.”

Highway 5 and other roads had been closed shortly after evacuation orders were issued.  The reopening was posted January 29, 2023 at 11:00:58 AM CST

“As of 11am today (Jan 29) all of La Hwy 5 will return to normal traffic, including the section between Keatchie and Kickapoo. The evacuation has been lifted except for Depot Rd.  There are no other road closures to report.”

Seeking the cause of the derailment and site cleanup continue.


Fun Day for Seniors

By LaBetha Casey

The quarterly Senior Fun Day sponsored by the DeSoto Parish Council on Aging and the DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office was back in full swing Wednesday, January 25, after being restricted from activities for the past couple of years.  The event was held at the DPSO Training Facility near Grand Cane.  There were about 80 in attendance besides vendors and sponsors.  This number was down from the usual number of just more than a hundred who attended the fun days in the past. 

Among the speakers was Tiffany Lafall with DPCOA who gave information about influenza, RSV, and COVID.  Then Laura Gauthier, LPC, who is the program director for  Alzheimer’s & Dementia Resource Center with The Bridge in Shreveport, shared information about their organization.  There are about 6 million persons in the United States who are affected with memory issues, and 85,000 live within 75 miles of Shreveport.  Because of donations and grants, they are able to provide free services for not only the patients but for the caregivers.  Included among the services offered by The Bridge are memory screening, counseling, workshops for caregivers and activities for the patients.  At present there are ten caregiver support groups and hopefully twice that many groups will be available by the end of the year.  Their office serves persons in several parishes in the Shreveport area.

Brian Williams, who is the training officer for DeSoto Parish Fire District #8, stated that their fire district responded to about 1700 calls in 2022. The other fire districts in the parish have also had an increase in calls. Among the calls were fires related to citizens using their stove for keeping warm during cold weather.  Open flames that could catch other items on fire, and carbon monoxide poisoning are among risks.  Free smoke alarms are available through state funds to those who can’t afford them.  Whether one buys their own smoke detectors or acquires them from the fire department, the fire department personnel are available to properly install them in homes.  Other warnings given were against plugging heavy duty appliances and even electric heaters into power strips which could overheat and catch fire.  Also, charging cell phones while in bed could cause an explosive fire if the lithium battery were to overheat and explode.

DPSO Public Relations Deputy, Mark Pierce, explained the phone app available with the sheriff’s office and offered to help the seniors download this app onto their phones.  The app offers information such as severe weather alerts, road closures from accidents or storms, and alerts for missing children among other helpful information related to the sheriff’s office.

Matthew McKee, who is a representative from Congressman Mike Johnson’s office, advised the fun day attendees that they could contact the congressman’s office for help in resolving issues with federal government agencies.

Richard Fuller gave an inspirational message and a lively presentation using puppets with some songs.

Scattered through the morning, door prizes were awarded, and prizes were given for the winners of bingo and other games.  Handouts and other freebies were made available by the vendors in attendance.

At the end of the activities, a tasty lunch was provided by DPSO.  Roast beef, chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls, macaroni and cheese, various desserts, tea and lemonade were on the menu.

Photo credit DeSoto Sheriffs social media


Police Jury – Sandbags Available

From Michael Norton, Parish Administrator

Due to the recent rains and in anticipation of any further weather activity, sandbags are available to DeSoto Parish residents at the Police Jury road department located at 424 Liberty Lane, Grand Cane, LA 71032. Each household will be limited to 20 sandbags. Identification as a resident will be required as there is a limited number of sandbags available. 


Where were you when we seemed Lost in Space? 

By Teddy Allen  

Nationally shared moments come along and you’re pretty sure that you, along with a good chunk of humanity, will remember where you were When You Heard Something Had Happened.  

It was (an impossible, it seems) 37 years ago last Friday — January 28, 1986 — that the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster happened, 46,000 feet above the Atlantic Ocean off the Florida Coast at Cape Canaveral. It was 10:30 CST, a cold-for-Florida (36 degrees) and clear Tuesday, and classrooms across America, maybe the world, were tuned in because this mission carried Christa McAuliffe, a social studies teacher from New Hampshire and the first teacher in space.  

So millions at the same time were trying to process what they were seeing when Challengerbasically exploded just more than a minute after takeoff, everyone on the ground looking up and so many more looking at televisions that seemed to show a giant white expanding ginger root punching in different directions through the bright blue sky.  

Where were you that morning? 

I asked a new friend named Dan that this weekend — he was on a service call and hooking a piece of equipment to my television to transform it from a Dumb TV to a Smart TV — and he looked at me liked I’d asked him where he was during the Battle of the Bulge. “I wasn’t born yet,” he said. 

Oh. Yeah … Well … 

I asked him if he could hook a piece of equipment to me to turn me from Dumb to Smart. 

“I wish,” he said. 

Kids. 

Dude’s like 26, or my age when the Challenger Disaster happened. I was one of the last Americans to know, is probably why I remember so well. I’d worked really late as usual at the newspaper, stumbled into 222 Lake Street in Shreveport a couple hours after noon. Lots of Space Shuttle news on the televisions, I thought. And then … Ohhhhhh… 

Terrible day. 

The tragedy’s cause — excuse this over-simplification — was that these things called O-Rings hadn’t properly sealed, due to their imperfections and the cold weather, and gas had escaped and there you go. 

Awful. And yes, a lot of people got in trouble. 

Now, this next one, more of you can get in on the Where Were You? game, (even young Dan).  

It was 20 years ago — February 1, 2003 — that a space tragedy happened much closer to home when the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated as it reentered the atmosphere over East Texas and, well, over us. The crew of seven was lost. A piece of foam that broke off during ascent and hit and damaged the thermal protection system tiles on the shuttle’s left wing was the cause of the disaster when the spacecraft tried to return home. 

Brutal. 

February 1, 2003 was a Saturday, another gorgeous winter day, clear skies. I went the paper about 8:30 to do a little work. Just tie up some loose ends. (I was conscientious back then.) Had a tee time at 10:30. Perfect day. 

Until it wasn’t. 

The disaster began to unfold around 8 a.m. our time, but the Internet and all that was a thing still getting its footing. When I walked in, a couple of friends were already working on rumors. We had one computer that was hooked to the Internet — and NOT the Internet you know today. 

All the TVs were on but things were still sketchy. Hard to believe 20 years later that the world then did not have instant information but … it didn’t.  

Compared to now, it was archaic. But the feelings were the same. The finding out. The discoveries. The slow unfolding. Talking to people who had found things that had fallen from the sky.  

Head-shaking day. 

You remember? Remember where you were? 

Long day and heartsick. Hope today is memorable, but for much better reasons.  

Contact Teddy at teddy@latech.edu or Twitter @MamaLuvsManning


Coroner Comes to Coffee

DeSoto’s newly appointed Coroner, Dr. Stacey Henderson, came to coffee to meet the group.  She currently is an Emergency Room Doctor at LSU in Shreveport and is looking forward to exploring this different side of medicine.  Her official election will be held in March and the main election is on November’s ballot.  She is going to be a great asset to DeSoto Parish and is looking forward to modernizing the department and making it more internet accessible.  Dr. Henderson is the Wife of our local popular Veterinarian, Dr. Neil Henderson, and Mother of 4 children.  Dr. Henderson is pictured flanked by coffee group members Dudley Glenn (retired Farm Bureau Agent) on the left and Asst. D.A. Lisa Lobrano Bursen (candidate for Clerk of Court) on the right in the Mansfield Female College Museum’s Genealogy Library where the coffee group meets for breakfast on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  If any other candidates would like to stop by and talk with the group mark those mornings from 7 to 9-ish. 


Mansfield Lions Club

The guest speaker at the Lions Club last week was Ronald “Bubba” Fletcher the Executive Director of Think First of the Ark-La-Tex.  Since 1996 they have been trying to teach youth and young adults about actions they can take to prevent injuries.  He spoke to the group about the importance of not driving under the influence or while distracted.  He delivered his poignant message from a wheelchair and detailed his own personal tragedy caused by distracted driving. 

Fellow Lion, Judge Nick Gaspar, noted that DeSoto Parish has had three recent fatal crashes that were the direct result of distracted driving.  Almost everyone at the luncheon knew or had been affected by these types of accidents.  There was a big lump in everyone’s throat before the presentation ended.  You can reach Bubba at thinkfirstlouisiana.com.

The Lions meet every second and fourth Tuesday for a catered lunch at the Clista A. Calhoun Center.  The next meeting will be on February 14 at noon, and you are welcome to come by.


The Sky’s the Limit on Our $31.4 Trillion National Debt as Debt Ceiling Fight Looms

By Royal Alexander

Reckless borrowing and spending are what got us into this fiscal mess and more of the same won’t get us out.

 There is no sense in pointing fingers because both national parties have participated in the fiscal irresponsibility that has gotten us to this point.

However, now our nation’s leaders are going to have to stop kicking the can down the road and actually address this critical economic and national security issue.

Where are we?

Right now, our national debt is approximately $31.4 trillion.  The interest payment alone to support this monumental debt is $400 billion annually out of the American economy.  That’s merely to service the debt!   None of the principal is being paid down.  And this debt, which used to be justified with the feeble explanation that the debt “is just money we (U.S.) owe ourselves” is no longer true.   If we stay on the path we are on now, by the early 2030s a majority of these interest payments will be annually transferred to foreign debt holders.

As E.J. Antoni at the Heritage Foundation notes, these “exploding annual deficits and debt are the direct result of runaway spending by a profligate Congress and president with no regard for Americans’ financial security.”

He makes another critical point as well—“just to emphasize that the burgeoning debt is a spending problem and not a revenue problem, tax receipts are at a record high by any measure—in nominal terms, in real terms and as a percentage of gross domestic product.  The government has never collected more money, but is still managing to spend it all, and then some.” (Emphasis added).

That’s insane governmental malpractice, but that’s not all.

President Biden has demanded a “clean” debt ceiling increase with no conditions or requirements attached.  That’s mind boggling.  It’s also reckless and will increase, not lessen, as Biden claims, the economic pain of average Americans.

Every time we raise the debt ceiling, and an enormous gusher of new debt dollars pours into our national economy, we are increasing the level of inflation because way too many dollars are chasing way too few goods.

 However, as Daniel Heninger of the Wall Street Journal notes, this time the debt ceiling debate is different. 

“The pandemic put the federal government inside everyone’s head, and what the government did was spend, spend, spend, money, money, money. These spending rivers included a bipartisan Covid-relief bill of $2.2 trillion; the American Rescue Plan’s $1.9 trillion, and then a bipartisan infrastructure bill of $1 trillion. Mr. Biden’s 2023 budget proposal was for $5.7 trillion.  In December he signed a $1.7 trillion spending bill.”

It’s simply an ocean of federal debt spending.

But why is this time different?

Because now, Henninger observes, “…Americans have one other mega-detail on their minds: an inflation spike that can’t be separated from the spending spike.”

Most Americans don’t want to see the credit rating—as well as our international prestige—of the U.S. downgraded or weakened by the conclusion that America is going to default on its bills and obligations.  However, most Americans are suffering acutely at the gas pump, grocery store and in virtually every aspect of their lives with the governmentally self-inflicted hidden tax of inflation which has dramatically shrunk the purchasing power of their dollars.

So, if, and only if, the debt ceiling increase is agreed to, it must be linked to structural reforms which actually begin the process of reducing the national debt and the annual budget deficit so that the nation’s budget is placed on a trajectory such that in the not-too-distant future, tax revenues are balanced with spending outlays, as is the case with the budget of every American family.  

These reforms should include programmatic funding cuts as well as the very reasonable capping of discretionary spending at fiscal year 2022 levels while simultaneously implementing pro-growth policies that serve to offset the debt ceiling increase.  A great place to begin would be rescinding unspent Covid funds as well as the highly partisan trillion-dollar spending on Green New Deal “projects.”

What we are doing now—brazenly defying the fiscal laws of gravity—is utterly unsustainable.  On a bipartisan basis, we must quickly and permanently put our nation back on a path of fiscal responsibility by shrinking the size of the federal government and fostering an environment of economic freedom and growth.