(Natchitoches)-On Saturday evening, November 26, 2022 shortly after 11:00pm, Detectives with the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Bureau were requested by Natchitoches Police to investigate a homicide by shooting in the City of Natchitoches according to Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Stuart Wright.

At approximately 10:39pm, Natchitoches Police responded to NATCOM 911 Center reports of “shots fired” in the area of Grace and Berry Avenues in Natchitoches.

Responding units arrived on scene finding one person lying on the edge of the road suffering from a life threatening gunshot wound and learned that another victim suffering from a gunshot wound had been transported by private vehicle to Natchitoches Regional Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.

The scene was taped off and secured by Natchitoches Police.

The shooting resulted in the death of 19-year-old Rodjay Jaheim Stackhouse of Natchitoches, La.

Stackhouse was pronounced dead at the scene by Natchitoches Parish Assistant Coroner Steven Clanton.

The body has been transported to Shreveport for an autopsy.

A 20-year-old Natchitoches man suffering from a non-life threatening gunshot wound was treated at Natchitoches Regional Medical Center.

Five detectives assigned to the NPSO Criminal Investigations Division responded to the scene.

NPSO Detectives were briefed and learned that suspects involved in the shooting fled the scene.

Detectives spent most of the night processing the crime scene, photographing and collecting evidence and speaking with possible witnesses and residents in the area.

Detectives say multiple empty bullet casings were collected at the crime scene, however, no motive for the shooting has been established at this time.

The investigation is active and ongoing.

Natchitoches Police requested the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office investigate the shooting to protect the integrity of the investigation because the victim is related to NPD employees.

NPSO Major Reginald Turner said “as we continue to investigate recent gun violence and this senseless murder, we ask the community to pull together, provide us with information and help us from a public safety standpoint to solve this case and other unsolved cases in Natchitoches Parish.”

Sheriff Stuart Wright, Natchitoches Mayor Ronnie Williams and Natchitoches Police Chief Nikeo Collins extend their condolences to family and friends of Rodjay Jaheim Stackhouse.

If you have any information regarding this homicide, please contact the NPSO Criminal Investigations Division. Your information will remain confidential.

Case Agent:
Detective Lt. J. Byles
NPSO Criminal Investigations Bureau

You can also report a tip anonymously by downloading the P3 Tips app on your smart phone or by calling Natchitoches Crime Stoppers at (318) 238-2388. All tips remain confidential and the caller can receive a cash reward up to $2,000 for the

Natchitoches Police arrest individual for five counts of Principal to attempted Second Degree Murder

On November 22, 2022 around 12:40 p.m., officers with the Natchitoches Police Department responded to the 400 block of Lakeview Drive in reference to gunshots in the area. Upon officers arrival they spoke with several witnesses who said that two vehicles began shooting towards people at the apartment complex.

Investigators with the Natchitoches Police Department were able to process the scene and speak with the witnesses.

As a result of their investigation, Dymond Johnson, (B/F, 22 y.o.a. of Natchitoches) was arrested for five counts of principal to attempted second degree murder and was placed in the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center.

This investigation is ongoing and additional arrests are anticipated.

If you would like to report suspicious activity or if you have additional information in regards to this investigation please contact the Natchitoches Police Department at (318) 352-8101. Remember all information given shall remain confidential.

How to report an anonymous tip via Natchitoches Crime Stoppers:

You can also report a tip anonymously by downloading the P3 Tips app on your smart phone or by calling Natchitoches Crime Stoppers at (318) 238-2388. All tips remain confidential and the caller can receive a cash reward up to $2,000 for the arrest of an offender. 

Funding, Violence At Juvenile Facilities, And A Leader’s Resignation

The following report from The Center Square indicates the state juvenile justice system has problems at facilities statewide. Recently the Ware Youth Center north of Coushatta has been in the news amid allegations of mistreatment of youth housed there. See earlier items published by The Parish Journals.

(The Center Square) – Louisiana’s deputy secretary of youth services has resigned amid struggles with violence and other issues at facilities across the state that youth justice reform advocates have blamed on a lack of funding.

Gov. John Bel Edwards announced the Friday resignation of Deputy Secretary for Youth Services William Sommers, who will be replaced by Office of Juvenile Justice Assistant Secretary Ortha “Curtis” Nelson.

“I am grateful to Bill for his service to our state,” Edwards said. “He joined us during one of the most difficult periods in Louisiana’s history, leading OJJ through the COVID-19 pandemic and devastating natural disasters. Bill has also worked diligently to address the recent challenges within OJJ.”

Editor’s note: Governor Edwards has ordered a state investigation into allegations included in the New York Times investigative article. Details of that investigation have not been made public.

Sommers, who has led the agency since 2020, departs amid intense scrutiny of the state’s juvenile justice system, which faced multiple escapes and violent clashes at several facilities this summer. The problems prompted a plan to transfer some high-risk youth to the state’s infamous Angola State Penitentiary, an effort headed by Nelson.

Sommers’ resignation comes just days after he penned a letter with Nelson to state judges last week pleading for help to release some youth from OJJ facilities that are now at capacity.

“In the coming days, OJJ legal division will start filing motions to modify pursuant to LSA – CH. C. Article 898 (B) seeking your approval to modify the dispositions of the use at the agency believe can be safely reintegrated back into the community,” the letter read. “We are seeking the consideration to grant these motions as there are no other ways to remove youth from the local detention centers pending placement unless we, for safely, release those youth who qualify for community-based rehabilitation services.”

The request stemmed in part from youth destroying facilities, but Sommers also highlighted the agency’s struggles with staffing, noting in a March budget hearing that the position of an entry juvenile justice specialist has a turnover rate of 298%.

“We’re faced with a critical staff shortage, the scope of which was never anticipated or imagined,” Sommers said at the time.

Somers recommended changes in facility designs, attracting more hires to fill vacancies, and recruiting a more diverse staff, and he asked lawmakers for additional funding to make it happen. Edwards, the governor, requested a $9 million increase in the OJJ’s $150 million budget this year, which lawmakers obliged.

The OJJ budget peaked at $182.5 million in 2008-09, then faced steep cuts until it bottomed out at $111.3 million by 2013-14. The OJJ budget has slowly rebounded since to $150.3 million in 2021-22.

Many of the issues plaguing OJJ predated Sommers’ tenure, and they’ve contributed to the years-long controversy over how the state approaches juvenile justice. Louisiana officials have for years promised to have a more rehabilitative model for dealing with troubled youth, and Gina Womack, director of Families and Friends of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children, told The Advocate that Sommers’ departure is an opportunity to follow through with creating a gentler system.

“We are not surprised that Sommers has resigned, as the entire youth justice system is a sinking ship in Louisiana and is rife with failure,” she said. “We hope this is an opportunity for the state to shift its approach from a punitive system towards its overdue promise of a therapeutic model, and that shift starts with its leadership.”

Edwards praised Nelson for his dedication to the youth justice system throughout his 30-year career and expressed confidence he’s the right pick to lead the troubled agency moving forward.

“Curtis has decades of experience helping troubled youth and their families,” Edwards said. “He understands the issues and challenges facing our juvenile system, and I’m confident in his leadership and ability to help us address the problems within OJJ and make improvements.”

Ware Youth Center Subject of Investigative Report

Sheriff Refutes Ware Investigative Article

District Attorney Successfully Prosecuted Staff at Ware Youth Center

Natchitoches Parish: Do we have any juvenile detention space?

The 19th Annual Fleur De Lis Christmas Craft Fair – Shopping With a Local Flavor!

Every available space at the Natchitoches Event Center was filled by a record 116 vendors from around Louisiana and surrounding states as the Fleur de Lis Christmas Craft Fair took place November 26 at the Natchitoches Events Center. The popular fair, a beloved community tradition in its 18th year, joined other activities downtown as part of the lead-up to the Christmas Festival weekend. Several thousand visitors stopped by the daylong event and browsed through booths filled with handmade craft items and foods.

In addition to the artisans and food vendors, two local non-profits were on hand to raise funds for their worthy causes. Natchitoches’ newest animal welfare group, FAUNA, was selling delicious treats for both people and pets to raise funds for the parish’s soon to be new animal shelter. The Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches was selling calendars featuring the works of the iconic painter Clementine Hunter to raise funds for the preservation of the Melrose Plantation.

The annual Fleur de Lis Christmas Craft Fair is a wonderful opportunity to get a head start on your holiday shopping while helping artisans and small businesspeople.

Parker Bankston: What is Natchitoches Inflatables?

Want to learn more about a local business? We sat down with Natchitoches Inflatables Owner Parker Bankston to talk about his passions, daily challenges, and a little bit about his operations.

1. What makes Natchitoches Inflatables different from other companies? 

We are one of the only few inflatable businesses in the area. We strive for customer satisfaction. Every day our goal is to put a smile on all of our customers’ faces. 

2. How do customers place orders, what is the process?

Ordering from our inventory can be done in a couple of ways. You are more than welcome to contact us through Facebook/phone number and ask for our availability and get booked that way. However, we recommend you book through our website. It’s fairly simple, just go to our website, pick a day you would like to rent, then choose the inflatable/other items.

3. What other aspects are there of the business besides ordering inflatables?

Natchitoches Inflatables aren’t just inflatables, we do a number of things. We also offer tables, tents,  and chairs. Ask us for almost anything and we will try our best to get it done for you. 

4. Your name Natchitoches Inflatables gives a nod to the community. What is your involvement currently in the community? What do you hope to accomplish in the future regarding community involvement? 

Within the community, we like to give. We have given numerous donations to get involved. In the future we plan on donating more, sponsoring events, participating in events, and hosting our own events. 

5. How Do You Stay Motivated In Your Work?

Staying motivated is easy. When your customers are happy and have a smile on their faces, that’s our motivation.

6. Tell me a little bit about why/when you decided to start up Natchitoches Inflatables and what you feel has been the best thing since you opened for business…

Right before Covid hit I was working at the mariner waiting tables. I saw someone doing this kind of business somewhere else and just thought, I know I could do that and be much better. Then I kind of just went with it and got the ball rolling. The best thing since opening the business has probably been our mechanical bull. Everyone likes testing it out and going for a ride

7. Tell me something fun that not many people may know about you.

I’m an open book. If you ask me. I’ll tell ya😎

8. What are you passionate about in your business?

I am passionate about the business as a whole. I am proud of what I have accomplished and what is to be accomplished. 

9. What keeps you awake at night?

What keeps me up at night is knowing there’s a lot more equipment out there we are wanting to get and provide customers. We are a growing business and want to be the best. 

10. What would be the one thing, if you had unlimited resources, that you would do to improve your business?

Update our inventory. I would have everything that any customer could ever ask for. 

St. Mary’s looking for first quarterfinals win since 2015 – Tonight

LEADING THE CHARGE: St. Mary’s heads to St. Martin’s Episcopal looking for its first quarterfinals win since 2015.

BY Dwain Spillman Jr., Journal Sports  

METAIRIE – Living in the moment.  

The big question for St. Mary’s this week is now what to do with its moment 

The crucial answer to the season-extending or season-ending question will be revealed as the Tigers travel to the deep southern part of our state Friday as No. 5 St. Mary’s collides with No. 4 St. Martin’s Episcopal in Metairie in the Division IV Select quarterfinals.  

St. Mary’s (9-1) has enjoyed the moment, the victorious moment, every week after opening the 2022 football campaign with a loss to Class 3A powerhouse Abbeville on the road. 

Ever since, the champions of District 3-1A have reeled off nine straight wins including this past week’s 45-0 shutout drubbing of Hanson Memorial in the second round. 

“I told our kids this week that we are in the moment,” Tigers head coach Aaron York said of his team’s success to this point. “I then asked them, what are we going to do now that we are here, here in the moment?” 

York then made his point immediately after posing that insightful inquiry with the Tiger squad this week. He has instructed his crew to remain focused and continue to strive to accomplish what they have set out to do since the Tigers began prepping for the season back in the spring. 

 “I just reminded them, we have to come out and play our game,” York said. “We have to come out and play physical, not turn the ball over, and move the ball on offense. I completely believe that we can move the ball offensively, but we cannot make mistakes against this team.” 

St. Martin’s Episcopal, runners-up in District 10-1A to Riverside Academy, enters the matchup at 10-1 on the year and dumped Delhi Charter, 48-12, in the second round.  

The No. 4 seeded Saints are led by sophomore running back Harlem Berry (No. 25). The 6-foot 165-pound sophomore has carried the St. Martin’s offense to success this season with 1,292 rushing yards on just 83 carries (15.6 yards per carry) while tallying 27 touchdowns via the ground game. Additionally, he has collected four catches for 50 yards via senior signal caller Matt Mannino. On the season, Mannino is 13-22 through the air for 218 yards and two TDs. 

“We have seen a lot of athletes on our schedule this year,” York said in reviewing the Saints. “They are really no different than many of the challenges we have already faced. However, they are probably the most fundamentally sound football team that we have played this season. We just have to work very hard to contain them. This will be a very good test for us. We are completely focused this week on playing the next school on our schedule, this one just happens to be very far away from us.” 

Since Abbeville scored 21 points in the opener, St. Mary’s has held its other nine opponents to 14 points or fewer, including seven to single digits. 

The Tigers slammed the brakes on offenses like Logansport (24-8), Peabody (58-6) and Holy Savior Menard (35-7). 

Not to mention an offense led by quarterback Adam Parker that has topped the 40-point marker six times in 10 games. 

The Tigers attack on the ground with Parker and running backs Joe Metoyer and Drake Griffin while St. Mary’s offers an aerial assault thanks to weapons like Ethan Busby, Mixon Bankston and Payne Williams, who’s also an outstanding kicker. 

The winner of this quarterfinals showdown has a date next week in the semifinals with the victor of the battle between No. 1 seed Vermillion Catholic and No. 9 seed Southern Lab.  

St. Mary’s was last in the quarterfinals in 2017 and last won a quarters game in 2015 when the Tigers advanced all the way to the state championship game. 

CREDIT: Elizabeth Yopp/St. Mary’s Media Relations

Oh, the Shame of Zeroing

By Steve Graf

It doesn’t matter how good you think you are or how many tournaments you have won, there will come a time when you just can’t figure the fish out and you come to the scales with nothing. This is the number one fear amongst all anglers who fish in tournaments. Anglers will literally wake up in a cold sweat at night when they have this nightmare. But let’s take a deeper look at the psyche of what goes through an angler’s mind as the day unfolds and they come in with no fish in the live well.

Very few times an angler left the ramp on tournament day because he did not feel good about his game plan. Most anglers usually have a good idea about what and how they’ll catch them on that particular day. But as the day unfolds and the clock is ticking, if an angler does not have fish in the live well by 10:00 AM, at some point he starts to second guess his game plan. He starts thinking (which is usually not a good thing) about how he should have started out deep rather than shallow, how he should have thrown a topwater bait early instead of a worm. Maybe he should have run up the lake instead of staying on the south end or how he should have fished the grass instead of the bushes. But no matter what, pressure starts to build especially when the clock strikes one o’clock with no fish in the box and a weigh-in time of three o’clock. For me, I tell myself, “If I’m going to catch them, I’ve only got two hours to figure them out!”

The next thing you know it’s two o’clock and you still have nothing to show for all the casts you’ve made. It’s at this point most anglers start to panic and start to visualize coming to the weigh-in with a big fat zero. You start to fish too fast and make bad casts, you get hung up more often and have to go and retrieve your bait in places you can’t get to. So, then you end up breaking off whatever bait you’re throwing, with the internal clock in your head moving faster, as you waste even more time looking for another bait and having to re-rig. It’s during these high-pressure times that you backlash a reel so bad that you have to put it away so that you can cut the backlash out when you get home. Then with only minutes to go, you hook the fish of a lifetime, only to watch it come off and swim away right before you get ready to swing it into the boat. A fitting end to a very frustrating day!

Then it’s time to head for the weigh-in and you hope everyone is gone by the time you get there…but that’s never the case. It’s funny how when you have twenty pounds of fish in the live well, no one ever asks how you did. But when you have zero, it seems everyone in the tournament, including their grandma, wants to know what you’ve got. But oh, the shame and embarrassment of having to say, “Zero!” It just doesn’t get any worse than that! So, it’s at this time you head straight for the boat ramp, load your boat, tuck your tail between your legs, pull your cap down low so maybe no one recognizes you, and head home. If you want to see who did not catch fish that day, watch the parking lot at the ramp and see just how fast an angler can load his boat and get out of there.

Hope you enjoyed hearing about the misery of what an angler goes through on those days when he just doesn’t catch them. But the thing that’s great about the end of a tournament is it means there’s an opportunity for redemption at the next event. Forget it and move on because that tournament is over and there’s nothing you can do to change the outcome of that event. Till next time, good luck, good fishing and don’t forget your sunscreen.

Steve Graf
Hook’N Up & Track’N Down Show &
Tackle Talk Live

Blessed: Cheater Cheater Pumpkin Eater

The Thanksgiving holidays have taken on a different look during this strange season of my life. Prior to my divorce they were affectionately stressful and full of chaos, trying to make sure we visited all of the places. Grandparents, in-laws, aunts and uncles, friends and neighbors. There was so much cooking, chopping, mincing, baking, freezing, brining and stuffing going on that I felt like I was running a small catering business for a week.

After the divorce, visitation schedules set in and truly changed the way we celebrate the holidays. Once that part of my life seemed to be settling down my oldest daughter moved four states away. I never know if I should cook or how much I should cook. I am a holiday cooking victim of circumstance. One year I prepared way too much as if feeding a small army and ended up wasting most of it. One year I refused to cook and ended up eating fast food. It seems like I can never get it right.

This year while scrolling through Facebook I noticed that a friend of mine, who is a down right tasty southern cook, was selling pans of dressing, cheesecakes, and pumpkin rolls. Once I saw her post I felt like it was a message delivered directly from the Lord, giving me permission to purchase a Thanksgiving meal. I think he saw me toiling away in my kitchen for the past two decades and decided I needed a break this year.

I felt the peace of the Lord wash over me as soon as I messaged her with my order. If I had a few faces to feed, I would be prepared. If I were invited somewhere I would not show up empty handed. If I ended up being solo, I could freeze the extras. Grinning like a Cheshire cat, I kept scrolling through Facebook only to stumble upon some students who were selling hams, turkeys and hens for their Agriculture class fundraiser. Here I was killing two birds, no pun intended, with one stone. I order a fully smoked turkey while supporting students.

The Lord was at it again. He was blessing me during my holiday quandary. At this rate all I needed was rolls and a can of green beans. (Why go to all of the trouble of cooking a green bean casserole?)

I was on a roll. (Pun noted) As joyful as I was not having to cook a full meal, I somehow felt like I was cheating on some level. Cheater, cheater pumpkin eater.

Not long after I placed my orders I found myself in throes of a minor kitchen remodel that was becoming delayed. It was planned and long overdue. I was not sad to bid farewell to my formica countertops who overstayed their welcome a few years back. They were the base layer of many family meals, tons of junk mail, and lots of children who used them as a conversation area. With all of the constant love they were receiving, it was simply time. Little did I know that the counter top installation crew was not responsible for hooking up my faucet, sink and dishwasher once they were complete.

This lack of knowledge on my part left me sitting on a waiting list for my favorite local plumber. My plumbing business of choice is so popular that they were not available until after Thanksgiving.

When I found this out, it only made me grin again like that Cheshire cat. God made a way for me before I even knew I needed a way to worry less about cooking a Thanksgiving meal. He actually had me pre-arrange a Thanksgiving dinner for my little family that would not require loads of pots, pans and washing dishes. He knew this, I did not. He was caring for us before we even knew we needed him to intervene. I wasn’t a cheater, cheater, pumpkin eater.
I was actually being provided for by our heavenly father. Sure my kitchen looks like a wreckage pile right now and we are having to wash a few dishes in our laundry room but we are still making Thanksgiving memories while the Lord is providing the necessities. He truly carries about the smallest details of our lives.

Happy Thanksgiving!

“The Lord directs the steps of the Godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand” Psalm 37:23-25 NLT

32 Degrees Cryo and Wellness Studio in Natchitoches

32 Degrees Cryo and Wellness Studio in Natchitoches offers aesthetics, wellness, and pain management services through localized Cryotherapy. The NPJ sat down to learn more about cryotherapy and what it can do for you!

Studio Owner, Suzette, has been in healthcare for over 18 years.

“I have always had a passion for working with people and helping them reach their goals,” she shared. “It makes my heart smile to see their results and progress. When I saw the difference localized CRYOTHERAPY could make in peoples’ lives, I knew immediately that I wanted to offer those services in our area.”

What are the benefits of CRYOTHERAPY?

Helps with recovery and relieves pain. Targeting injured muscle tissue with localized CRYOTHERAPY helps relieve the systemic inflammation of the treatment area.

CRYOTHERAPY helps reduce wrinkles and tighten loose skin in just a few treatments. Localized CRYOTHERAPY is able to repair the basal layer in your skin to restore the supply of collagen, elastin, and hydration to regain a smoother, tighter appearance.

CRYOTHERAPY can help lose inches after one treatment, with permanent fat loss. The ice-cold temperatures cause Cryo – Lipolysis or fat cell suicide – safely breaking down the fat cells, which are permanently removed from the body through the lymphatic system.

CRYOTHERAPY increases focus, attention, energy, and mood. CRYO stimulation to your scalp and Vagus nerve will release hormones and neurotransmitters that affect the brain beneficially.

How do I book an appointment?

To book an appointment or schedule a free consultation call 318-228- 3520 or book online at our website: CRYOSTUDIO-LA.COM

Who is not a candidate for CRYOTHERAPY?

Pregnant or trying to become pregnant.
If you have a pacemaker or defibrillator.
Blood clotting issues.
Have Cancer or currently receiving treatment / Could be a candidate after 6 months of receiving treatments (We ask that you consult with your Physician)

What is the difference between a CRYOTHERAPY tank ( walk-in ) vs Localized CRYOTHERAPY?

CRYOTHERAPY tanks treat the entire body.
Localized CRYOTHERAPY is able to focus on your specific problem areas for a quicker recovery /quicker results.

More bad birds stories sure to please turkey hunters

A year or so ago, Jim Spencer, my good friend and avid, make that obsessed, turkey hunter, put together a book about his encounters with wild turkey gobblers, birds he described as “bad birds.” In fact, that was the name of his first book — Bad Birds.

Realizing that his book that took readers step by step up mountains, through briar thickets and across creeks to chase bad birds only covered part of his experiences, Spencer has assembled his accounts of more brushes with bad birds. His new book, “Bad Birds 2,” is hot off the presses and is available for the perfect Christmas gift for turkey hunters.

Beneath the title on the cover of his new book, Spencer adds…”Another collection of ‘mostly’ true stories starring the gobblers we all love to hate.”

Just who is this guy, Jim Spencer, anyhow? Here’s what a blurb on the back cover of the book says about this turkey fanatic….”Jim Spencer’s name and reputation are well-known in the turkey hunting subculture. A self-described turkey bum, Spencer has written more than a thousand magazine and newspaper features about turkeys and turkey hunting, and now, a third book on the subject. In more than 40 years of being whipped by turkeys, he has hunted them in three countries and 30 states. He and his wife Jill (also a well-known outdoor writer) live in the north Arkansas Ozarks, near Calico Rock.”

The book is beautifully illustrated in photos taken by Spencer, his wife, and renowned wildlife photographer Tes Jolly. The foreword was written by Tes and her husband, Ron Jolly. Here’s what Ron Jolly wrote in the book’s foreword about the kind of turkey man Spencer is.

In describing a hunt in which Spencer was the shooter and Jolly the cameraman shooting a video for television, they had set up on a gobbler and when the gobbler closed the distance and was within shooting range, Spencer never got the signal to shoot before the gobbler walked away.

“When he was gone, Spencer pulled down his mask and grinned at me over his shoulder. ‘You couldn’t see him, could you?’ I shook my head. ‘You should have killed him anyway,’ I said. ‘Naw,’ he said, ‘that wasn’t the deal. You couldn’t get any footage, so I didn’t want to shoot. It’s just a turkey.’”

Giving it their all for two more days to film Spencer taking a gobbler they never had another chance but Jolly added, “Spencer proved to us to be a turkey man.”

Bad Birds 2 contains 40 stories of Spencer’s encounters with tough old birds, some he was able to conquer; some where the gobbler got the best of him. He affixed monikers to each of the bad ones he has met, names like Lazy Bones, Gabby, Sir Edmund, Ringo, Blinky and on and on.

As thrilling and frustrating and fun to read as Spencer’s stories are about the bad birds he has encountered, the book ends soberly with his epilogue where he describes in a manner only he can muster of the problems wild turkeys are facing in today’s world. “Something is happening out there in turkey country, and we need to get a handle on it,” he wrote.

This is a book every turkey hunter should read, for enjoyment, for pleasure and for instructions on what not to do. It’s also one that needs reading for his serious message about the plight of wild turkeys today.

To order your copy in time for Christmas giving, send a check for $26, which includes cost of shipping and handling to Treble Hook Unlimited, P.O. Box 758, Calico Rock, AR 72519.

Contact Glynn at glynnharris37@gmail.com

Natchitoches Police arrest juvenile for five burglaries

On November 22, 2022, detectives with the Natchitoches Police Department arrested a juvenile for five burglaries that occurred over the past month at several businesses near I-49.

Detectives assigned to the cases were able to learn that items stolen from the burglaries were inside an apartment in the 500 block of North Street. Investigators made contact with the occupants of the apartment and placed a seventeen year old juvenile under arrest without incident.

The seventeen year old juvenile was charged with five counts of simple burglary.

Detectives also arrested the mother of the juvenile who was charged with improper supervision of a minor.

If you would like to report suspicious activity please contact the Natchitoches Police Department at (318) 352-8101 or if you have additional information in regards to this investigation please contact Detective Shermaria Lewis at (318) 238-3911. Remember all information given shall remain confidential.

How to report an anonymous tip via Natchitoches Crime Stoppers:

You can also report a tip anonymously by downloading the P3 Tips app on your smart phone or by calling Natchitoches Crime Stoppers at (318) 238-2388. All tips remain confidential and the caller can receive a cash reward up to $2,000 for the arrest of an offender.

St. Mary’s quarterback excels in every way 

BE ALL YOU CAN BE: St. Mary’s quarterback Adam Parker uses his team’s and coaches’ confidence in him to achieve on and off the field.

By DWAIN SPILLMAN JR., Journal Sports  

When your head coach has full confidence in your ability, it only feeds fuel to a fire that already burns torridly in an optimum competitor. 

That’s the belief that St. Mary’s coach Aaron York has in his quarterback Adam Parker. 

“We’ve got a shot with (Parker) leading us in every game.” York started as he shared comments on his senior quarterback. “He’s not the biggest kid or has the strongest arm, but Parker finds a way to get it done. And the other kids feed into that and it makes them better. It makes the whole team better.” 

The Tigers have enjoyed one of the best regular seasons in program history in 2022, winning the District 3-1A crown  and earning a first-round playoff bye after bulldozing through the competition and outscoring league opponents 197-28.  

Now 9-1 after rolling past Hanson Memorial last Friday in their playoff opener, the Tigers earned the No. 5 seed in the LHSAA Division IV Select playoff bracket. They play in the state quarterfinals Friday night at Metairie against No. 4 St. Martin’s.

The St. Mary’s signal caller has been a major part of the Tigers’ success story. 

In just nine regular-season games this season, he was often limited to only first-half appearances because of the Tigers’ starters moving to the bench for most of the second halves. After a bye in the opening playoff round, Parker upped his statistical line to completing 127 of his 181 passing attempts for 1,805 yards with 20 touchdowns and an overall passer rating of 180.7.  

He also contributed heavily as a dual threat with 289 rushing yards on 57 carries and finding the end zone an additional 11 times on the run. Parker has accounted for 2,094 yards of total offense.

When not leading the Tiger offense, Parker doubles as a free safety on defense and has 10 tackles, one interception and one fumble recovery. 

“He’s a competitor,” York continued in his praise of his offensive field general. “It doesn’t matter what he plays or what he does off of the field, he is going to find a way to be the best at it.” 

Parker reflected on his approach to the game of football.  

“I just want to understand the (opponent’s) defense the best that I can in order to exploit them in every way and just win,” he said. “I just want the ball. I’m a little nervous when the game starts but that all goes away and I become completely focused with the first touch.” 

He was also quick to give praise to his teammates and described just how enjoyable this season has been playing alongside trusted colleagues.  

“I believe we are the most complete team we have been in a while,” Parker added. “Our comradery is so high, probably as high as it has been since we have been teammates. We are all on the same page.” 

Parker added the extraordinary attention that coaches have given both him and the team and the impact that has. 

“The coaches prepare us 100 percent for each game. It’s like having a second set of parents out there. We can always go to them, and they discuss things with us and help us where they can.” 

He also expressed immense gratitude for family support as well.  

“It means everything to me just knowing they are there and that they believe in me,” Parker said. “They can truthfully tell me the good and help me correct anything they see as bad. It makes me want to be the best that I can be.” 

Parker also shines off the field. The senior Tiger carries a 4.0 GPA while participating in Future Business Leaders of America, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, BETA and the Pro-Life group. He also plays basketball for the Tigers. 

Like most high school athletes, especially those with great talent and superior work ethic, Parker has hopes of playing at the next level. He also expressed that his focus is earning a college degree while gaining a professional career after football.  

His future appears to be bright and successful. Parker just finds a way to be the best at whatever he does and “just gets it done.” 

CREDIT: Elizabeth Yopp/St. Mary’s Media Relations

Over the river and through the ’hood, complaining away we go

With the Pilgrims held up as our example, we learned early to “be grateful.” 

As they dragged us to various in-laws’ in assorted neighborhoods for turkey and pumpkin pie and secondhand smoke, our parents reminded us that at the first Thanksgiving in 1621 (give or take), the settlers of the New World had it much tougher than we do. They had to eat outside. They didn’t have potatoes over here yet. The yeast rolls didn’t rise. William Bradford forgot to pick up a Marie Callender’s Apple Crumb Cobbler at the store, and the cable went out halfway through the Detroit Lions-Chicago Cardinals football game. 

“And they didn’t even complain,” our parents said. 

“Bet they got drunk then,” I said. 

“No, they most certainly did not!” 

The Pilgrims really WERE tough; I would have complained if there’d been no potatoes. Loud and clear. They could have heard me back over in England.  

But to hear our parents testify, no one 40 years ago ever complained about anything, especially on Thanksgiving. When you are spoiled like I am, that is setting the bar sort of high. But hey, I’m old school too and really not much of a complainer – as long as everything goes right. That’s just me. 

This week, complaining is a given. This week is about the pre-Thanksgiving misgivings about “where we’re going for Thanksgiving.” Do you know where you’re going yet? Or what you’re bringing? Or the order in which you’re going to whomever’s house when? Are we all on the same page? 

It can be dicey. 

“Are we going to grandmama’s?” 

“Not this year. But we’re not sure. We might.” 

“When will we know?” 

“I don’t know. Who are you, Dan Rather? We’ll know when we hear from everybody and decide.” 

“It’s Tuesday.” 

“Then good! Since Thanksgiving is on Thursday, as it usually is, that means we don’t have to know yet.” 

“We’re cutting it close.” 

“I’ll show you what cutting it close is, mister!” 

“I was just asking…” 

“Well just quit just asking, mister man. Your grandmother might meet us at Big Aunty’s. We might go there.” 

“Not to Big Aunty’s! Big Aunty can’t cook, momma. Big Aunty won’t have nothing even done until supper. We’ll starve.” 

“She most certainly will have and you most certainly will not starve. I’ll make you a pimento cheese to hold you over. We might just all bring different things.” 

“What do you mean, ‘we all?’ Who all is coming?” 

“Aunt Jean will bring the macaroni and cheese and we’ll bring the bean casserole and…” 

“Momma that means Uncle Lester is coming. He’s a professional smoker. We’ll all smell like something burnt. They’ll be ashes in the macaroni.” 

“No there will not!” 

“There was last year.” 

“You’ll think last year if you don’t shut up! Now I mean it!” 

“Can we just stay home and make hamburgers?” 

“NO! We can be thankful and not complain about gummy rice and ashes in the food and Jello with nuts in it and getting your picture taken. And if I hear one word, ONE MORE WORD….” 

Precious memories. And Happy Thanksgiving; I hope you get where you’re going. 

(Originally ran Nov. 20, 2009) 

Contact Teddy at teddy@latech.edu 

Charlie Brown once said, “What if today, we were just grateful for everything?”

This Thanksgiving I had the distinct pleasure of talking turkey with several of Goldonna’s residents. Each one of them were grateful for different things but they all held one common thread. All of them choose to be grateful and thankful every day of the year and not just on a beautiful fall day that is riddled with delicious food, parades and football games.

Natchitoches Parish School Board Member, Eugene Garner, shared, “Thanksgiving means a lot for my family and grandchildren. I love them so much and enjoy spending time with them. Soon it will be Christmas time and life gets even better! Living with grandchildren is a life-changing experience for and I will always cherish this time.”

Goldonna Assembly of God Pastors, Timmy and Pam Harris said, “Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks, stop for a moment and reflect on God’s blessings! Simply take a breath, be quiet for a few moments, bow your heads in humble surrender to the creator and lover of our souls, and just say thank you. The list of things to be thankful for is forever long we all know; but if I had to mention just one it would be, Jesus! Our Savior. John 3:16”.

Linda Dupree- One blessing leads to another. I can most clearly see my blessings in my rear view mirror! Paul tells us to always be grateful. That’s difficult in some areas, but he encourages us to have an attitude of gratitude. It lasts a lifetime. Salvation. Family. Church. Friends. Opportunities for serving and helping.

Goldonna Baptist Church Pastor Ben Dupree- “Ive always liked 1 Thessalonians 5:18 “Give thanks in all circumstance, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” There are blessings everywhere. Once we begin to search for them, even in situations we may deem as unpleasant, we will soon find out that God is far more good than we can ever imagine and certainly more than we deserve. So this Thanksgiving season, I’m thanking God for himself. He’s a God so powerful, he extinguished the sting of sin at the cross but he did so because he couldn’t imagine eternity without you. I can’t limit that Thankfulness to just the 3rd Thursday in November.

River of Life Family Worship Center Pastor George Procell “Thanksgiving is a reminder of how much God has given us. Blessings and hardships. We must be thankful for everything, all year long and not just one day of the year.”

Goldonna Mayor Jennifer Smith – “Every year as we enter the Thanksgiving season, we often find ourselves taking assessment of our lives and what we are most thankful for. One thing that comes to mind is my upbringing. I’m thankful my parents were Godly parents who made it a priority to raise me and my siblings in church. Their dedication to seek God has been a cornerstone of my life.”

Mayor-Elect Gayle Cloud- “I am thankful for my family, my health and the ability to continue an active lifestyle. I am also very thankful that I am still able to keep the store open, and especially for all of my incredible customers.

Don’t forget the following events happening soon!

On Saturday, November 26th at 1:00 the Village will welcome back the Indian Santa who visited last year. Children of all ages are invited to take pictures with Santa and he will have a special gift for everyone that comes to Town Hall.

Goldonna Christmas in the Park Committee is still seeking donations and volunteers for the Festival that will take place on Friday, December 9th. Pictures with Santa will take place at 4:00pm until 5:30pm. The parade will begin at 6:00pm with lineup beginning at the School. The fireworks show will start at 8:00. There will be refreshment served. If you have a business who would like to sponsor please reach out to Mayor Smith or one of the councilmen.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and may God shine his face upon you.

If you have news to share please email Reba Phelps at jreba.phelps@gmail.com

Fleur de Lis Christmas Craft Market is coming to Natchitoches on November 26

The Fleur de Lis Christmas Craft Market will celebrate its 17th year in operation on Saturday, Nov. 26 from 9 am – 4:30 pm at the Natchitoches Events Center, located at 750 Second Street in Natchitoches. This event is free and open to the public.

There will be gifts for the whole family, from adults to children. Over 110 vendors from a four-state area will come to Natchitoches to sell their wares.

“The best part is everything offered at our craft market is handmade,” said organizer Cheryl Gianforte.