Mills places in statewide 4-H Record Book Contest

Haynesville High School Junior Dustin Mills recently earned a trip to Orlando, Florida.

Mills participated in the Louisiana 4-H record book contest and took home a third place win. According to the LSU AgCenter website, this contest is a long-standing, traditional contest that encourages members to choose a project area, develop skills within that particular area, and keep records of their experiences and growth in that project. 

Mills chose the Claiborne Parish 4-H Livestock and Shooting Sports for his focused project area. 

The 4-H Youth Development Agent Destiny Hightower said, ” He is an outstanding 4-Her and Claiborne Parish 4-H is proud to have him and we are proud of his accomplishments.”


South Claiborne Fire Protection Distict receives AFG grant

The South Claiborne Fire Protection District was awarded an Assistance to Firefighters (AFG) Grant on August 25, in the amount of $295,600. This money will be shared between the Homer Fire Department and District 5.

The AFG grant program was established in 2001 with the primary goal of assisting firefighters and emergency responders obtain indespinsable equipment, protective gear, training and vehicles. By providing these grants fire departments and non-affiliated emergency medical service organizations are able to better serve their communities by protecting them from fire and other related medical emergencies.

Both Homer and District 5 fire departments will be using this money to upgrade their operations and safety.

Homer Fire Department posted to Facebook late last week thanking their Fire Chief Tommy Sanders for his dedication and assistance with getting this grant.

“With the regional grant shared with District 5, Homer will be receiving 16 new airpacks, air tanks and face pieces to better protect our men and women of Homer Fire Dept. This grant amount for Homer was over $115,000. Our old packs were 1990 and 2000 models. Thank you to Chief Sanders for not giving up on helping to acquire this equipment.”

Sign up this week for Mt. Olive’s ‘Pack the Bus’

Mt. Olive Christian school will be chartering a bus for an upcoming away game against John Paul the Great Academy. The game is set for Friday, September 8.

The luxury bus from Red River Trailways in Shreveport will sit up to 56 passengers. The charter is open to all football players, cheerleaders, students, parents and fans who wish to attend.

It will be departing from Mt. Olive Christian School parking lot at 1 p.m. on Friday to make it by game time at 7 p.m. Then, it will be traveling back home after the game with an expected 1 a.m. return.

It will cost $40 for all non-players/cheerleaders and $20 for all players, cheerleaders and coaches.

This does not include the cost for getting into the game. Tickets for the game are $2 for students and $8 for adults.

The deadline to sign up and pay for the bus fee is Wednesday, September 6. The fee can be paid directly to the school.

For any questions please reach out to 318-258-5661.

Board of Review for the 2023 Tax Roll


Notice is hereby given that the Claiborne Parish Police Jury will sit as a BOARD OF REVIEW for the 2023 Tax Roll for a 15-day period beginning September 6, 2023, and ending on September 20, 2023. The hearing date for the Board of Review will be Wednesday, September 13, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. at the Claiborne Parish Police Jury Complex in the Jury Chambers, located at 507 West Main Street, Homer, LA 71040.

The Board of Review shall consider the written or oral protests of any taxpayer desiring to be heard that has filed and provided a written appeal using Form 3101 to the Board of Review, no later than the 7th day after the final assessment lists exposure date, either through appearing in person at its office or by filing such appeal by means of certified mail. The final date to file such written appeal is Wednesday, September 5, 2023.

Protest shall be filed in person at the Police Jury Office or by Certified Mail to the following address –

Attention To:

Dwayne R. Woodard
Claiborne Parish Police Jury
P.O. Box 270
Homer, LA 71040

Remembering LaVonne ‘Boots’ Hodnett Speer

Funeral services for LaVonne “Boots” Hodnett Speer, 84 of Haynesville, LA will be held at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, August 30, 2023 at Haynesville Community Church in Haynesville with Bro. Tim Cole officiating.  Interment will be in the Waldo City Cemetery, Waldo, AR under the direction of Bailey Funeral Home of Haynesville, LA

Visitation will be 1:00 p.m. until 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, August 30,2023 at the church.

LaVonne was born February 14, 1939 in Waldo, AR and passed away Monday, August 28, 2023 at her home in Haynesville, LA

She was a member of the Haynesville Community Church.  LaVonne was an artist and loved painting with friends and working in her flower beds. She was a humorous person, and was active with the Butterfly Festival and enjoyed play Bridge at Ladies Day at the Country Club.

Survivors include two sons, Michael R. Speer and wife Peggy, pf Haynesville, Christopher Scott Speer, of Haynesville, one sister, Pat Teague and husband Anthony “Dub” of Buckner, AR, four grandchildren, Jordan Speer and wife Megan, Haley McHale and husband Dusty, Alyssa Speer, and Adrianna Newton and husband Jacob, ten great grandchildren, Lilly, Camryn, Miles, Allie, Ellie, Emmie, Kalyn, Adrienne, Ryder, and Fallyn.

Pallbearers will be Steve Lewis, Sammy Sims, Jonathan Love, Jacob Newton, Jordan Speer, and Dusty McHale.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Jewell T. Hodnett and Perlah Mae Best Hodnett, her husband of 62 years, Robert Reid Speer and one sister.

In lieu of flowers the family requests memorials to St. Jude or Haynesville Community Church

‘Who is the Bad Guy?’

Last week we talked about victims and how they’re selected. This week I’d like to jump right into a discussion about the other side of a violent encounter – the criminal – and some of their common traits and behaviors. Let’s begin, shall we?

For starters, roughly 50% of violent attacks are committed by pairs or groups of bad guys. It’s generally easier for bad guys to do bad guy stuff to you if they have assistance. Therefore, if you’re prepared for violence and you’re able to stop an initial threat or attack, it’s extremely important to know that there might be another attacker present that you didn’t spot. Just because you successfully defend yourself against one person, don’t immediately assume an attack is over. You need to be looking around – you need to find other bad guys, good guys, and places to go – because standing in one spot with all your attention devoted to one person could get you killed.

Most bad guys committing violent acts against others will likely have an extensive criminal history. It’s unlikely that a bad guy begins their crime career with robbery, rape, or murder. Usually, criminals start young, committing various other crimes, and ultimately work their way to violence against other people. Bad guys spend a lot of time getting good at being bad. They hone their skills and escalate their behaviors over time. Criminals are constantly getting better at their “craft.” How much effort do you put into getting better at being a defender of yourself and others? Chances are you’re probably getting outworked and it’s up to you rectify the balance and tip the scales in your favor.

Bad guys who commit sexual offenses (especially against women or children) will likely be registered sex offenders. If they’re not registered sex offenders, they’re unregistered sex offenders which are just as bad and just as dangerous. One could argue that they’re even more dangerous than their registered predecessors because they’ve been clever enough not to get caught. Don’t think that just because someone is a violent criminal that they’re inherently stupid. A lot of violent criminals are highly intelligent and underestimating them can have tragic consequences.

A lot of violent criminals are drug and / or alcohol abusers. Everyone understands that hard drugs are bad, and that people under the influence of mind-altering substances can be dangerous. However, I’d like you to also consider the drug addict who isn’t high in the moment but is jonesing for his next fix. There’s not much that a meth-head won’t do for an 8-ball. A drug addict who isn’t high is always looking to get high, and they’re likely to maim or kill someone over a small amount of cash that they’re just going to put up their nose, or into a vein. They might not want to hurt you, but their need for a fix can be far more powerful than any shred of humanity they have left, making them particularly dangerous.

Most bad guys will have some sort of communicable disease. Evil doers tend to live high risk lifestyles, which opens them up to various illnesses and diseases which they can pass to you through bloodborne pathogens. If you missed it, I encourage you to go back and read Slicing the Pie installment #9 titled “There Will be Blood.” It covers this specific topic in more detail and outlines important steps to take following a self-defense scenario – to screen for various things that Ajax won’t take off.

Attackers might have a legitimate mental disorder. If you’re a follower of Slicing the Pie, or a student of Nine and One Tactical, then you know that avoidance, deterrence, and de-escalation are always preferred methods of conflict resolution, as opposed to using force. That said, folks who suffer from mental disorders such as bi-polar or schizophrenia, (yes, I had to use spell-check for that one) are far less likely to be phased by any attempt at deterrence or de-escalation for the simple fact that their capacity for reasoning is, at best, diminished. Some mental disorders can be managed with medication, but it’s very common for sufferers of mental illness to be non-compliant with their prescription regiment.

If you’re unfortunate enough to encounter a legitimate psychopath – a condition for which there is no known treatment – other than the once popular, Nobel Prize-winning Frontal Lobotomy – you should know that they don’t have the capacity to feel empathy, whatsoever. Not every psychopath is violent, but the ones that are can only be stopped one way – with extreme ruthlessness. Estimations of psychopathy cases in the United States range from approximately 1% to 4.5% – basically 1 – 5 out of every 100 people is a legitimate psychopath. Now, look up your community’s population and do the math. Frightening, isn’t it?

Almost all violent attackers will be armed. They’re more likely to have weapons than accomplices, but you should be prepared to encounter both. Just like having help, having weapons makes it easier for them to do bad guy stuff to you. Hopefully, this bit of information prompts you to arm yourself and, more importantly, get trained. Ending up at knifepoint or gunpoint is a terrible situation. Ending up there without a weapon of your own is likely a death sentence. Furthermore, you should know that nobody wins a knife fight – knife fights just determine who dies last. Firearms are the most effective and efficient tools at our disposal for personal defense and is why I love to see them in the hands of good, trained people. Good guys with guns make everyone safer.

If you have a topic you’d like to see addressed in Slicing the Pie, please email me. I’d love to hear from you, and if I can, I’d love to tackle your question. You can keep your questions anonymous or, if you like, I’d be glad to mention you in an article. Until next time…

Avoid what you can. Defeat what you can’t.

Please submit your questions to Ryan via email at

Ryan Barnette is not a licensed attorney or a medical provider, and no information provided in “Slicing the Pie,” or any other publication authored by Ryan Barnette should be construed, in any way, as official legal, or medical advice.

The Young Brave

On December 12, 1923, Byron, an electrician, and Tillie, a schoolteacher, welcomed a young Indian brave to the world.  The young brave spent most of his youth in the town of Mission on the Rosebud Indian reservation in South Dakota.  He and the others on this particular reservation were members of what the federal government called the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.  The elders called it Sicangu.  His father was one-quarter Sioux. His mother had no known Native American blood.  Like his parents, the young brave spoke fluent English, but little to no native tongue.  One day, the young brave was walking in Mission when he saw an Indian sitting on a bench.  “He had long hair, wore a blanket, and could not speak English.”  Most of the people he saw on the reservation were Americanized, although he pointed out that his friends in school included Alex Raincounter and Chris Yellow Robe, boys with Indian names.

In 1938, the 15-year-old brave met who would become his high school sweetheart, Dorothy Jo, not on the reservation as his parents had met, but at an Ella Fitzgerald concert.  The young brave was surprised to learn that his sweetheart was three-eighths Cherokee Indian.  In decades past, their love for each other would have caused controversy between the tribes.  The different tribes would have forbidden them to be together as it was in the teenage tragedy song “Running Bear,” made famous by Johnny Preston in 1959 (one of the two singers on the recording who provided the “uga-uga” and other Indian war cries was the not-yet famous George Jones).  In the song, Running Bear, a young Indian brave, was in love with an Indian maid named Little White Dove.  Their tribes were separated by hatred as well as a mighty, raging river.  The song ends with the Running Bear and Little White Dove swimming out to be together.  After a passionate kiss, the two drowned in the swift current.  “Now they’ll always be together in their happy hunting ground.”  By the 1940s, the Sioux and Cherokee tribes were no longer at war, and on January 12, 1945, the young brave and Dorothy Jo married with the blessing of their families. 

The young brave was always proud of his Indian heritage.  He once said, “I’ve always bragged about being part Indian, because they are a people to be proud of.  And the Sioux were the greatest warriors of them all.  They’ve been called the greatest light cavalry in the history of man.”  He quipped, “And I have never been on a horse without falling off.”

We know very little about the young brave’s life on the reservation because he rarely spoke about it.  We may know little about his early life, but we all know the young brave.  Last Wednesday, August 26, the young brave breathed his last.  He was just three-and-a-half months shy of reaching his 100th birthday.  From 1972 to 2007, we welcome him into our homes.  He was the host of the longest-running daytime game show in North American television history, The Price is Right.  You and I know that young brave from Rosebud Reservation.  His name was Robert William “Bob” Barker.


1.      Argus-Leader (Sioux Falls, South Dakota), March 25, 1962, p.17.

2.     “Bob Barker, Iconic Host of “the Price Is Right”, Dies.” Time, 26 Aug. 2023, Accessed 25 Aug. 2023.

3.     “Legacy Robert ‘Bob’ Barker – SD Hall of Fame Programs.” n.d. Accessed August 27, 2023.

Garlic Butter Shrimp

Sheet Pan Garlic Butter Shrimp is one of 10 recipes featured in my Back to School Survival Meals!  Go the extra mile to pick up fresh shrimp for this one.  I peeled them before baking so the boys wouldn’t make any extra mess.

This is a dinner-on-the-table in about 35 minutes meal.  My house gave it all their thumbs up so it’ll be a repeat!


  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 pounds shrimp, peeled
  • Parmesan if desired 


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly oil a baking sheet.

In a small bowl whisk together butter, garlic, lemon juice, and Italian seasoning.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Place shrimp in single layer on baking sheet. Stir in butter mixture and gently toss to combine.

Bake 8-10 minutes, just until shrimp are pink and cooked through. 

Garnish with Parmesan for serving if desired. 

(Ashley Madden Rowton is a wife, mom and published cookbook author who lives in Minden, La.)

Bad ideas and brain cramps

Some things are plain stupid. No gray area.

3-D Dumb.

Some people I know where robbed recently, but in his haste the robber dropped a piece of paper that was, unfortunately for him, a personal reminder of his upcoming court appearance. It included his name and address.


And then there was the story out of Opelousas this week of the gentleman who stuck a handgun in his waistband. The gun was loaded, a live round in the chamber. It went off. Now, the man from Opelousas —and I use the term “man” loosely here — is not as loaded as he once was – although the story did contain the phrase “underwent reattachment surgery” and “Police had not determined why (stupid man’s name) was walking around with a pistol in his pants.”

Easy. No brain in his head.

Stupid move.

There are lots of ways to say that a guy’s parents don’t have to worry about the Yale Admissions Department clogging up the family doorway to offer their kid a scholarship. For no other reason than they make me laugh, I’ll offer my Top 10.

He’s a few crumbs short of a biscuit.

Somewhere, a village is missing its idiot.

It’s almost like he has a small piece of brain lodged in his head.

Dumb as a bag of hammers/sharp as a bowling ball.

He has a room temperature (or shoe-sized) IQ.

He’s a regular “Elbert” Einstein.

He’s lost all contact with the mothership.

He doesn’t have both oars in the water.

He fell out of the Stupid Tree and hit every branch on the way down.

My favorite: The wheel is turning but the hamster’s dead.

We all swallow a Stupid Pill from time to time.

But then there are things more along the lines of bad ideas. We call them mental muscle spasms. Brain cramps.

A boss buddy of mine found out the hard way this week that the letters T and G are very close to each other on the keyboard. For this reason, he will never be ending a work email with the phrase “Regards” again.

Muscle spasm.

I was told of a funeral in which the preacher, who kept candy in his desk, said that each Sunday morning the deceased would come into his office and, with a “Good morning!” and a smile, “go through my drawers.”

Brain cramp.

Finally, the worst idea I’ve heard of in a long time happened last week in Detroit, where Hall of Fame voice of the Detroit Tigers Ernie Harwell passed away at 92. A public viewing was held at Comerica Park, where the Tigers play. I am not a big “lying in state” guy to start with, but a casket on the warning track is off base on several levels. I didn’t like the picture of Ernie lying there, flowers all around, his statue by him, velvet ropes marking “foul ground,” for lack of a better term.

“Hey dad, remember when you took me to the ballpark and we saw Mr. Ernie dead?”

“Those were great times son!”

At least there was no danger of him being hit by a foul ball. At least the ballclub didn’t lay their humble, summer-sweet play-by-play guy out during a game. Thankfully, the Tigers were on the road.

As was, I guess, Ernie.

(Originally published May, 2010)

Contact Teddy at

Upcoming Events

Please send all non-profit events to

September 1 (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.)

Healthy Aging – Education Lunch Seminar – Homer Library

September 8 (1 p.m.)

Mt. Olive’s Pack the Bus for Friday Football – Departure 1 p.m.

September 13 

Homer Elementary School – Grandparent’s Day Celebration

Pre-K – First (8 – 8:45 a.m.)

Second – Fourth (9:30 – 10:15 a.m.)

September 14 (9 a.m. – 1 p.m.)

Claiborne Council Social Event – Haynesville Fairground

Must register by September 11 to attend (318) 927 – 6922

September 14 (3:30 – 6 p.m.)

Homer Elementary – Candyland themed STEM Night

September 23 

25th Annual Haynesville Celebration of Butterflies

Claiborne Parish Fair Complex – 1563 Fairgrounds Dr. Haynesville

September 25 – 28 (6 – 9 p.m.)

Hunter’s Education Class Sponsored by Claiborne Parish Sheriff Sam Dowies

Class will be held at the Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s Office – 300 Highway 146 in Homer

To register please contact: Taylor Folmar at 318-464-0289

Arrest Reports

The following arrests were made by local law enforcement agencies.


Kendall Hampton of Haynesville was arrested by the Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s Office for reckless operation and driving under suspension.


Savannah Perry of Minden was arrested by the Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s Office for a warrant. Her bond was set at $30,000.

Taye Williams of Homer was arrested by the Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s Office for criminal trespassing.


Bernard Allen of Homer was arrested by the Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s Office for domestic abuse battery.

This information has been provided by a law enforcement agency as public information. Persons named as suspects in a criminal investigation, or arrested and charged with a crime, have not been convicted of any criminal offense and are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Notice of Death – August 29

Notice of Death – August 29, 2023

LaVonne “Boots” Hodnett Speer

Feb. 14, 1939 – August 28, 2023

Haynesville, La.

Visitation: 1 p.m. Wednesday, Augusts 30, 2023, Haynesville Community Church, Haynesville.

Funeral service: 2 p.m. immediately following visitation.

John Willis Haynes

Oct. 8, 1928 – Augusts 25, 2023

Shreveport/Ringgold, La.

Visitation: 9 a.m. Friday, Sept. 1, 2023, Rockett Funeral Home, Ringgold.

Celebration of life: 10 a.m. immediately following visitation.

Burial: Carolina Baptist Church, Saline, La.

Frank Jeffers

April 9, 1938 – August 27, 2023

Arcadia, La.

Funeral service: 10 a.m. Wednesday, August 30, 2023, First Pentecostal Church, Arcadia.

Mary Jo Chandler Smith

Nov. 27, 1930 – August 25, 2023

Arcadia, La.

Visitation: 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, August 30, 2023, Emmanuel Baptist Church, Arcadia, La.

Memorial service: 11 a.m. immediately following visitation.

Jereline “Sue” Adams

Dec. 23, 1934 – August 26, 2023

Castor/Shreveport, La.

Visitation: 10 a.m. Thursday, August 31, 2023, Rose Neath Funeral Home, Shreveport Southside.

Funeral service: 11 a.m. immediately following visitation.

Burial: New Ebenezer Baptist Cemetery, 1860 La. Hwy. 153, Castor.

Claiborne Parish Journal publishes paid complete obituaries – unlimited words and a photo, as well as unlimited access – $80. Contact your funeral provider or . Must be paid in advance of publication. (Above death notices are free of charge.)

Homer State Representative candidate could go unopposed if appeals fail

By Paige Nash

Judge Rogers of the Third Judicial District Court heard testimony of two Bienville Parish candidates running for the office of State Representative for District 11 on Tuesday, August 22. 

The hearing was held in Lincoln Parish, which is included in a portion of District 11 along with parts of Bienville and all of Claiborne parish. The court hearing ultimately resulted in the disqualification of Ray Ivory, Sr. of Gibsland and DeAndre Alexander of Arcadia. 

According to Alexander his attorney will be filing an appeal this morning by the deadline of 11:50 a.m., August 25.

He said, “I am appealing the decision that was made by Judge Rogers. I’m still standing, dutiful, dedicated and determined to serve the people of District 11.”

Alexander recently completed his fifteenth year as an educator at Arcadia High School.

Ivory previously held the mayoral office for the Town of Gibsland and served as a town councilman. 

If both candidates fail in appealing the case that will only leave Rashid Young of Homer as the unopposed candidate. Young owns his own law firm, Young Law Firm, in Homer. He is also a former Claiborne Parish educator. 

Ray Ivory Sr. could not be reached for comment, so it is unclear if he will also be proceeding with an appeal.

Departure by Train – Did contagious disease spread from Haynesville in 1922?

Microscopic image of smallpox virus

By Wesley Harris (Claiborne Parish Library Historian)

With the emphasis COVID received in recent years, one might think it was the first and only pandemic to strike America. Quite a number of diseases have terrorized the country, some inflicting tremendous injury on Louisiana. Thousands of Louisianans died in the yellow fever epidemic in the 1870s. Worldwide, the great influenza pandemic of 1918 infected 500 million and killed 50 million. Even smaller outbreaks of disease brought panic to our state.

1922 was a big year for Haynesville. The oil boom was at its height. With the influx of oil revenue, the Claiborne Parish town received new water and sewer systems, paved streets, improved telephone service, and two new schools. The Louisiana & North West Railroad was running three trains through Haynesville each day to handle traffic to and from the oil field. The economy had never been better.

Certainly, problems existed with masses of new arrivals to work in the oil fields. Several costly fires engulfed the downtown area and a rise in crime, including some ghastly murders, shook up the small town. Nothing caused more alarm than reports Haynesville was overrun with a terrible disease.

In early summer 1922, a rumor began to spread throughout Louisiana—Haynesville was suffering a massive smallpox epidemic and it was spreading.

Smallpox was a serious contagious disease caused by a virus. People who contracted smallpox developed a fever and a distinctive, progressive skin rash. In the early 1900s, it was greatly feared. Even though vaccinations against smallpox had been used since the 1500s, many Louisiana residents of the 1920s were not immunized.

Most people with smallpox recovered, but about three of every ten people with the disease died. Many smallpox survivors retained permanent scars over large areas of their body, especially their faces. Some were left blind.

In March, the Natchitoches Times reported the state epidemiologist had revealed smallpox had spread along railroad lines from Shreveport to Alexandria. Many oil executives maintained their offices and residences in Shreveport and commuted by train regularly to the fields near Haynesville.

In June, the Mansfield Enterprise reported, “Nearly every outbreak in [DeSoto] Parish has originated at Haynesville and we particularly caution everyone to take extra care not to expose themselves to anyone coming from that section until they are sure of themselves.”

The Guardian-Journal of Homer responded, “The Mansfield Enterprise attributes the outbreak of the disease in DeSoto Parish to Haynesville as the source of infection. Any yet, strange to say, the Haynesville papers and citizens of that community do not admit that smallpox exists there.

“We do not know whether it is true that there has even been a case of smallpox at Haynesville or not. But either the Mansfield paper is in error, or the existence of the disease is suppressed.”

The Guardian-Journal editor opined, “most assuredly a town and its officials would not refuse to publish the existence of such a dangerous disease for the reason that by so doing the town might lose a few dollars trade.”

Despite the rumors, the physicians of Haynesville denied an epidemic was occurring. A Shreveport Times article noted the Haynesville board of health “are much wrought up over” the reports in north Louisiana papers and the suggestion the board was suppressing information. The article included an official statement from the board president, Dr. J. D. Baucum.

“Like other communities,” Baucum said, “we have in the past few months had some scattered cases of the disease, but this board was cognizant of the matter and the cases were so few in number there was no reason for publication of the fact.

“We are glad to announce officially that Haynesville is free from all contagious and infectious diseases and that our little city is one of the healthiest in the state. We have nothing to conceal. Should we be unfortunate enough to have an outbreak of any contagious or infectious disease we will tell the world.”

Despite the denials by the Haynesville board, the president of the state board of health issued a report in July calling specific attention to 114 cases of smallpox in the Claiborne Parish town. The July 25 Shreveport Journal said Dr. Oscar Dowling “blamed the lack of compulsory vaccination law for this condition and said a recent survey of the United States showed those states which had such a law had a good deal less smallpox.”

According to the Journal, Dowling said, “persons, especially in the regions near Shreveport and Haynesville, should be vaccinated. Children should be vaccinated at one year and again between 10 and 12 years. An additional warning was issued to persons going to the oil fields to be inoculated against typhoid fever, which increases there because adequate sanitation cannot be maintained as rapidly as community growth in boom territory.”

The next day, the Haynesville board of health again denied 114 cases existed in the town. The Shreveport Times of July 27 reported the board’s insistence that “no cases of smallpox have been reported in Haynesville in several weeks, and there are very few, if any, cases in the city or oil fields.”

After protestations from the Haynesville health board, Dr. Dowling of the state board issued a clarification. The 114 number consisted of cases for the entire calendar year, many of them submitted late by physicians in seven different parishes who had concluded Haynesville was the source of the illness they were treating. There were not currently 114 cases inside Haynesville.

The controversy may have been one of the reasons Baucum joined the state board of health before later moving his medical practice to Longview, Texas.

Thanks to the success of vaccinations, smallpox was eradicated, and no cases of naturally occurring smallpox have materialized since 1977. The last natural outbreak of smallpox in the United States occurred in 1949.

JOB OPPORTUNITY: CPJ seeking coverage for parish football teams

The Claiborne Parish Journal (CPJ) is looking for four individuals to assist in covering parish football games this fall. No experience needed. This would be a great opportunity for a high school student and an easy way to make a little extra cash. 

The CPJ needs one person per school – Homer High School, Haynesville High School, Mt. Olive Christian School and Claiborne Academy. 

We would just require a short and to the point write up per game along with a photo. 

Please join our team for the football season!

Email if you would like to be a part of the fastest growing online publication in the parish.

Register now for upcoming Hunter’s Education

The Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s Office is currently making plans for the upcoming Hunter’s Education Class.

The course will begin on September 25th through the 28th from 6 to 9 p.m. each day. 

Anyone interested in this Hunter’s Education Class must pre-register with the Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s Office by contacting Taylor Folmar at 318-464-0289.
In 1985, Louisiana mandated that all hunters are required to pass a Hunter’s Education course. 
Individuals born after September 1, 1969 must complete a course before they are able to purchase a hunting license. 
You must be at least 10 years of age to acquire a certification. 
Courses focus on expanding upon knowledge, responsibility and the importance that all hunters comply with hunting laws and behave ethically. These courses provide beginnners with a  good foundation and veteran hunters with a refresher. 

Office of Community Services looking to fill open position

Claiborne Parish Police Jury Office of Community Services has one opening for the Advisory Board of Directors. The position is open for individuals to represent the low-income households and individuals of Claiborne Parish in Police Jury Districts 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, and 9.

Certification of candidates seeking to become a member of the Advisory Board of Claiborne Parish Police Jury Office of Community Services opens August 25th , 2023.

In order to qualify as a candidate to serve as a representative of the low-income an individual must be 18 years of age and a resident in the target area in which he/she is seeking election. A petition containing signatures of (25) twenty-five residents in the target area who are 18 years of age or older and is registered to vote with the registrar’s office is required to certify an individual as a valid candidate.

Candidate qualifications will be closed September 15th, 2023. If any additional information is needed, call (318) 927-3557 between 8:00 to 4:00 PM Monday – Friday and ask for April Childress.

LDWF reminds hunters that dove fields cannot be burned due to state-wide burn ban

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) would like to remind hunters that dove fields cannot be burned in preparation for opening weekend of dove season, which begins Sept. 2, due to the state-wide burn ban in effect.

With the burn ban in effect, one of the most popular methods for preparing dove fields is not an option. The goal behind preparing a dove field for opening day, or any other day, of dove hunting is to have available food that is easily accessible to doves. Doves feed on small grains and need easy access to them. Therefore, your dove field must have bare ground or be cut such that the vegetation is short and not covered with stalk residue.

A good alternative to burning is to mow or bush hog a field. In order to create the clean ground desired by doves, the residue can be raked, shredded, or lightly disked; heavy disking will cover too much of the seed. Remember, although it is legal to manipulate planted grains for doves it is NOT legal to add grains to a field and hunt over them.

Updated information on the burn ban in Louisiana can be found at:

For more information, contact Jeff Duguay, Ph.D., 225-765-2353.

How to freeze eggs safely

Do you have a large number of fresh eggs on hand? One safe method for preserving eggs is freezing and the other is pickling. Pickled eggs must be stored in the refrigerator at all times. Pickled eggs are peeled, hard-cooked eggs in a solution consisting of vinegar, salt, spices, and other seasonings. At this time there are no safe home canning methods for eggs. Here are the steps below for freezing eggs.

Freezing Eggs

Wash utensils, equipment, and work areas with soapy water before and after contact with eggs. It is important to know that eggs cannot be frozen in the shell. Eggs can be frozen with the yolk and white mixed together (whole) or separated into yolks and whites.

Freezing Whole Eggs

  1. Crack each egg separately into a clean bowl. Examine for freshness and remove any pieces of shell before mixing with other eggs.
  2. Thoroughly mix yolks and whites together. Do not over whip which incorporates air.
  3. To prevent graininess of the yolks, add 1 ½ tablespoons sugar, 1 ½ tablespoons corn syrup OR ½ teaspoon salt per cup of whole eggs. This will stop the gelation of the yolks. Use salt or sugar according to whether you intend to use the egg contents for sweet or savory dishes.
  4. Strain through a colander to improve uniformity.
  5. Pack for freezing allowing ½-inch headspace. Seal, label, and freeze.
  6. Another method of freezing a whole-egg mixture is to use ice cube trays. Pour egg mixture into each compartment of an ice cube tray. Freeze until solid. Remove frozen cubes, and package in moisture-vapor resistant containers. Seal, label, and freeze.

Freezing Egg Yolks

  1. Separate eggs and gently stir egg yolks.
  2. To prevent graininess, add 1 ½ tablespoons sugar, 1 ½ tablespoons corn syrup OR ½ teaspoon salt per cup of egg yolks. This will stop the gelation of the yolks. Use salt or sugar according to whether you intend to use the egg contents for sweet or savory dishes. 
  3. Strain yolks through a sieve or colander.
  4. Pack in freezer containers, allowing ½-inch headspace.
  5. Seal, label, and freeze.

Freezing Egg Whites

  1. Gently mix egg whites; do not whip.
  2. Strain through a sieve or colander. No sugar or salt is needed.
  3. Pack in freezer containers, allowing ½-inch headspace.
  4. Seal, label, and freeze.

Thawing Eggs

Frozen eggs in any form need to be fully thawed to be used and should only be eaten in thoroughly cooked dishes. Never cook eggs directly from frozen. To defrost, move the egg from the freezer to the refrigerator to be stored overnight, this will help to avoid any exposure to bacteria. To quicken the process, run cold water over the freezing container. Be sure to use the eggs as soon as they have thawed. Stir or shake them before using. Use the thawed eggs within 3 to 5 days. Eggs can be frozen for up to a year, although it is recommended to use them within four months for freshness.

Other Helpful Information

It is not recommended to freeze hard-boiled eggs. Never freeze raw eggs that are still in their shell. 

The LSU AgCenter and LSU provide equal opportunities in programs and employment.

(Shakera Williams, M.P.H. is Assistant Nutrition Extension Agent- FCS for Webster/Claiborne parishes. Contact her at (318) 371-1371.)

If these walls could speak

“If these old walls could speak
Of things that they remember well,
Stories and faces dearly held” – Jimmy Webb

As human beings we like to assign humanoid characteristics to inanimate objects. The late great comedian Richard Pryor was a master of it. He often brought various body parts and pieces of furniture alive in his act. This morning I caught myself doing it when the oft used and cliched phrase, “If these walls could speak,” popped into my head.  

I was alone at 5:00 a.m. in the former dining room of one of my concepts that is currently under construction. I love walking around an empty restaurant in the stillness of the early morning. I do it often. There’s a different energy before the first team member clocks in for the morning shift. I’m not quite sure what it is but I know that in a matter of hours the restaurant will be buzzing with energy. The contrast to the tranquility of the morning is appealing to me.

It’s the very first dining room of the very first restaurant I ever owned. We are in the process of making a change. That’s nothing new. It’s something I’ve done over the last 36 years, especially in this room. Wandering around in that space I began to ponder— if these walls really could speak what amazing stories would they tell. From 1975 to 1987 the walls housed a dress shop. I don’t know who owned the store, but the walls contained a lot of floral wallpaper and mauve paint.

In the summer of 1987 when my original business partner and I were looking to open a fine-dining restaurant the dress shop had recently closed. The building was on the edge of town. If one drove another 30 feet west, they’d enter a dry county The location was the last spot in Forrest County one could dine with a glass of wine for dinner. It was also the first spot you could reach if you were in Lamar County and looking for a cocktail.

The restaurant was the Purple Parrot Cafe. The walls were green. I don’t know why I chose green and not sure why the name Purple Parrot stuck. It was a joke one night when we were trying to think of a name. It became the temporary name and never came up with a better name, so it stuck.

There was never anything tropical on those walls. There were large oil paintings by one of the art professors on campus because we couldn’t afford art. The wine list was minuscule, not only because we didn’t have money to have a substantial wine list, but the state of Mississippi didn’t carry many wines back then. That is a battle we would fight, and win, a few years later in the mid 1990s.

If those walls could speak they would relay countless tales of romantic marriage proposals, anniversary celebrations, thousands of birthdays, bar mitzvahs, and all manner of festive events.

Sitting in that small space this morning I could see where the construction workers had peeled back several layers of walls from previous concepts. In 1993 I undertook a one-week changeover and re-concepted the space into a casual steakhouse. The steakhouse walls were intentionally tacky. There was taxidermy and old signs and other things to “country-up” the place. It was night and day from where it had been. It was a reactionary move at the time, and I learned a lesson. That lesson was: Don’t worry about the competition, just be yourself. It’s a lesson I’ve had to remind myself of recently and is the reason these walls are currently under construction. That steakhouse made money and we opened another one in Jackson. But I missed the fine dining aspect of things. So, in 1995 I reopened the Purple Parrot and put up yet another set of new walls.

“In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety” –Abraham Maslow

People seemed to be happy with the Purple Parrot 2.0. I was happy. I was newly married and about to become a father. Our wine list began to grow into an award-winning list. The walls definitely heard celebration and merriment in those days.

“Don’t be afraid to change. You may lose something good, but you may gain something better.” Unknown

Those walls stood during Hurricane Katrina when the second floor of the restaurant concept that shares the building blew away. They also barely made it through an F4 tornado that laid a path of destruction just a block away. There were several remodels over the years. The walls always held fine art, most of which we changed out on a regular basis.

The Purple Parrot probably hit its peak in the years between 2012 and 2016. We had a great 10-year run as a Four Diamond AAA-rated restaurant with a “Best Of” Wine Spectator award-winning list that had grown to over 1,000 labels with 4,000+ bottles in inventory.

The walls saw another change when I tweaked the concept to a steamed seafood and steak restaurant. Again, there was taxidermy, but this time it was fish. It was the right move at the time, but no one else in my company bought in. That’s a dangerous space, and it shows a lack of leadership. The leader of the company should always bring everyone along and have the team buy into their vision. I was the leader. I dropped the ball.

“Change is hard at first, messy in the middle, and gorgeous in the end.” –Robin Sharma

There seemed to be a negative energy between those walls in those days. Again, probably lack of leadership at the top. So, the old reliable Purple Parrot surfaced once again, 3.0. The walls were changed, but the concept had run its course. I probably held on eight years too long, but the restaurant was so near and dear to me, it was like one of my kids. Actually, it was several years older than both of my children.

Then COVID hit. It was apparent that a white-tablecloth restaurant was not a viable entity in the market going forward. I was in the process of working on Tex Mex concept for another locale, and with uncertainty in the air— and the fate of our restaurants seemingly hanging on a thin thread— I decided to move the Tex Mex concept into the space I already owned. We built an amazing patio. The recipes were spot on. The problem was we opened ten months into a global pandemic and were short 25 staff members on the day we opened.

“Change before you have to.” –Jack Welch

That brings us to today. I’m sitting in the early morning stillness of an empty room. A room filled with memories, 36 years-worth of memories. The old dress shop building has doubled in size over the past 36 years. The construction team will be here in a couple of hours. They don’t know all the stories these walls could tell. They just know to follow the set of architectural drawings to make more changes to the walls. I’m so excited about this next concept. It’s probably what I should have done 10 or 12 years ago. I actually thought about it, and had people advise me to do so, but I hung on to the past for sentimental reasons.

“Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and start getting excited about what could go right.” –Tony Robbins

I am more enthusiastic about this change than I have been about anything since the original opening 36 years ago. It will allow us to reach a point where we can truly strive for excellence in all we do. All the days of confusing imaging and branding and complicated operational structures will be gone. We are the Crescent City Grill and Mahogany Bar. That’s our brand. That’s who we are and we’re about to be the best we’ve ever been because our focus will be zeroed in on one menu.

I’m not sure what has happened recently, but I have a renewed energy and passion for the restaurant business. It’s happened in the last 18 months. I feel as if I have the energy and drive I had when I was 26 and first opened this place. Maybe being an empty nester has something to do with it. Maybe it’s just that I am following my deepest intuitions again and not being a reactionary owner while striving to plow new ground. That lesson I learned 30 years ago— be yourself and be the best you can be at what you do and let others do what they do— has come full circle. Hold on. Here we go!

“There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” –CS Lewis


Pineapple Sherbet

1 whole Pineapple, cored and peeled

3 /4 cup Sugar

1 /2 cup Corn syrup

1 /2 cup Water

1 cup Milk

1 Tbl Lemon juice

Mince 1 /4 of the pineapple and set aside. In a small saucepot, heat sugar, corn syrup and water just long enough for the sugar to dissolve. Remove from heat and cool. Place remaining pineapple, sugar syrup and milk in a blender and puree until smooth. Strain mixture through a colander. Fold in minced pineapple chunks and freeze in an ice-cream maker following the manufacturer’s directions. Place frozen mixture in the freezer and allow to sit for 2 hours before serving. Yield: 6-8 servings

(Robert St. John is a chef, restaurateur and published cookbook author who lives in Hattiesburg, Miss.)

Upcoming Events

Please send all non-profit events to

August 25 (10 a.m.)

Firesale Grover Grand Re-Opening

August 25 (1 – 4 p.m.)

Rocky Springs Baptist Church Craft/Sewing Club Meeting

August 25 (6:30 p.m.)

2023 Pineland Jamboree – Ronny G. Beard Memorial Stadium in Homer

August 27 (3 – 5 p.m.)

Homer High School Meet the Teacher Night

September 13 

Homer Elementary School – Grandparent’s Day Celebration

Pre-K – First (8 – 8:45 a.m.)

Second – Fourth (9:30 – 10:15 a.m.)

September 14 (9 a.m. – 1 p.m.)

Claiborne Council Social Event – Haynesville Fairground

Must register by September 11 to attend (318) 927 – 6922

September 14 (3:30 – 6 p.m.)

Homer Elementary – Candyland themed STEM Night

September 23 

25th Annual Haynesville Celebration of Butterflies

Claiborne Parish Fair Complex – 1563 Fairgrounds Dr. Haynesville

September 25 – 28 (6 – 9 p.m.)

Hunter’s Education Class Sponsored by Claiborne Parish Sheriff Sam Dowies

Class will be held at the Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s Office – 300 Highway 146 in Homer

To register please contact: Taylor Folmar at 318-464-0289

Notice of Death – August 24

Notice of Death – August 22, 2023

LeVader “Vader” Ann Ross Richardson

July 17, 1952 – August 15, 2023

Homer, La.

Service to be set at a future date, Rose-Neath Funeral Home, Homer Chapel.

Ruby Jo Gay

August 18, 1938 – August 16, 2023

Ringgold, La.

Funeral service to be set at a future date, Rockett Funeral Home, Ringgold.

Dana Marie Wise Perkins

Oct. 17, 1956 – August 16, 2023

Shongaloo/Haynesville, La.

Memorial Graveside service: 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023, Pilgrims Rest Cemetery, Shongaloo, La., under the direction of Bailey Funeral Home, Haynesville.

William Glenn Friday

April 12, 1954 – August 21, 2023

Creston, La.

Visitation: 5 p.m. Saturday, August 26, 2023, Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home Chapel.

Memorial service: 6:30 p.m., immediately following visitation.

Sandra Morgan Hunter Braswell

August 21, 2023

Martin, La.

Visitation: 6 until 9 p.m.Friday, August 25 and noon until 2 p.m. Saturday, Rockett Nettles Funeral Home.

Funeral service: 3 p.m. Saturday, August 26, 2023, Liberty Baptist Church.

Claiborne Parish Journal publishes paid complete obituaries – unlimited words and a photo, as well as unlimited access – $80. Contact your funeral provider or . Must be paid in advance of publication. (Above death notices are free of charge.)