Homer Football player injured in car crash

According to reports, Homer High School Pelicans wide receiver Ja’Marquese Hampton was in a car crash early Wednesday morning, September 27, while driving along Saint John Road in Homer. Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s Office and Louisiana State Police worked the crash.

Hampton suffered multiple injuries and was transferred to a hospital in Shreveport where he underwent surgery. An encouraging update from the family yesterday said, “Surgery went well to stablize his spine. All vitals are good, moving all limbs and he’s responding.”

The family asks for continued prayers as Hampton has a long road of recovery ahead of him.

Statewide burn ban has been modified

BATON ROUGE (September 27, 2023)- Following consultation among the State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFM), Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF), the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security (GOHSEP) and the National Weather Service (NWS), the statewide burn ban re-issued on August 25th has been modified to renew and establish certain exceptions.
The active burn ban order in effect as of August 25, 2023, at 12 p.m., which prohibits all private burning, with no limitations, pursuant to authority under R.S. 40:1602, is being modified in the following ways:
• Provides for individual parishes to opt out of the statewide burn ban
• Provides for fire chiefs to resume granting burn permissions
• Provides for certain live fire training to resume with written permission from the SFM
This modified order goes into effect Friday, September 29, 2023, at 5 p.m.
This modification coincides with updates to a separate burn ban order issued by LDAF prohibiting all agricultural burning including but not limited to prescribed burning. In that order modification, LDAF Commissioner Dr. Mike Strain provides for agricultural burning to resume except for standing sugar cane.
Additional details about that modified burn ban will be provided by LDAF.
As a reminder, where the statewide burn ban remains in effect, the use of open flames in fire pits, campfires, barrels, bonfires, burn piles and like open burning is still prohibited. In addition, it is still recommended for outdoor cooking to be conducted with safety measures in place including using contained cooking equipment like grills and smokers, designed for cooking purposes only, on a flame-resistant surface with a water source or fire extinguisher nearby. It is also still recommended to avoid activities on or near dried grass where a spark from that activity, like smoking, mowing and/or yard work, could cause a fire that could spread quickly.
The status of this burn ban order will continue to be reconsidered on a weekly basis.
SFM Public Affairs Director- Ashley Rodrigue
Contact Information- osfm.publicaffairs@la.gov

LIHEAP Energy Assistance call-ins scheduled for Oct. 19

Claiborne Parish Police Jury Office of Community Services will begin taking calls for LIHEAP Energy Assistance. Please note the changes below as some of these are VERY IMPORTANT!!

Thursday, October 19th, 2023
9am-11am- PRIORITY ONLY – Households that include individuals over 60 years old, drawing disability,
households with children under the age of 5 years old.

1pm-3pm NON-PRIORITY- all other households that are not considered priority listed above.

Income Qualifications:

Family Size             Monthly Income
1                                 $2,260
2                                 $2,956
3                                 $3,651
4                                 $4,347
5                                 $5,042
6                                 $5,738
7                                 $5,868
8                                 $5,998
9                                 $6,129
10                              $6,259

Please begin collecting the following items NOW!!!! (Use as a checklist).
– Current Louisiana issued Driver’s license or photo ID of EVERYONE in the household over 18.
– Social Security card of EVERYONE in the household.
– Proof of income (Social Security award letter or last 4 CONSECUTIVE pay stubs from your employer). If you are seen in 2023, we need a 2023 award letter. If you are seen in 2024, we need a 2024 award letter. You may also contact the Social Security Office and request your most recent award letter be mailed to you. If anyone over 18 has zero income, you must come pick up a form to be filled out prior to your appointment.
– Your most recent bills- lights, water, and gas/propane if applicable.
– Other documentation with your name and residence address (insurance, cable, phone, credit card, medical bill)
– Lease or rent agreement from the landlord.

If you have any questions about the process or any of the information listed above, you can call Monday-Friday 8:00-4:00 with questions and we will answer them, but we will ONLY take appointments on the dates and times above.

Rules for acceptance and participation in this program are the same for everyone, regardless of race, sex, national origin, age, religion, political affiliation, beliefs, or disability. Claiborne Parish Police Jury Office of Community Services is an equal opportunity employer/program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

Numbers to call: 1-800-870-4166 or 318-927-3557 or for TDD/TTY 1-800-947-5277 or 711.

“Equal Opportunity Employer/Provider”

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, if you need special assistance, please contact April Childress at 318-927-3557 describing the assistance needed.

Remembering Linda Ruth McCollum

Mrs. Linda Ruth Brown McCollom, age 63, was born February 24, 1960, in Newton, MS, to Bill and Elizabeth Watkins Brown. She entered into rest on September 21, 2023, in Homer, LA. Mrs. Linda loved spending time with her family and making memories. Her hobbies were cross-stitching, crocheting and crossword puzzles. She loved her Lord and served Him throughout her life.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Bill and Elizabeth Brown; husband of over 35 years, Rickey Lee McCollom; and daughter, Linda Marie McCollom.

She is survived by her son, Matthew McCollom and wife Tonya of Sebastopol, MS; daughter, Christine Jones and husband Michael of Forest, MS; brother, William “David” Brown and wife Lisa of Malvern, AR; eight grandchildren, Raymond, Brianna, Kevin, Jennifer, Michael, Jonathan, Caleb, and Christian;  two great-grandchildren, Noah and Liam; and numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

A Memorial Service will be conducted at a future date.

Deadline approaching for free political announcement, photo

If you are a candidate running for political office, you can get out your word in Claiborne Parish Journal, but time is running out.

All candidates in the upcoming October 14 election will receive one free announcement with photo if you contact us before October 10.

Email your announcement and photo to cpjnewsla@gmail.com. We also have political advertising available, and one of our advertising staff will be in touch with you. Let us give you a hand at claiborneparishjournal.com 

Being normal is boring anyways

The other day we were jeans shopping for the girls. Emerson, much like me when I was her age, is incredibly hard to shop for. She is very tall for her age and very skinny. I try not to use that word often, but it came out after stopping by the fourth store to try and find pants that fit her in the waist and weren’t up to her knees in length.  

 After I said it, Ashton interjected and said, “Yea, Emerson you have a lot of skin.” She obviously has no idea what being “skinny” means and I took that as a win. I just agreed and was like, “Yea, she does have a lot of skin.” 

I feel like it is important for my girls not to even be thinking about weight at all. I try my best, although I do slip up on occasion, not to mention it in their presence. Most people believe commenting on someone’s weight loss may be positive and, in most cases, I am sure it is well intended. But when your 10-year-old hears you say something along the lines of, “You look so great. Have you lost weight,” that may actually be harmful.  

It is scary to think that a 10-year-old would be insecure about something like that, but you would be surprised at how young these girls are when they begin feeling insecure and in turn, they begin developing eating disorders and unhealthy eating habits. They hear you saying that this person looks great because they have lost weight, and a young impressionable mind may start to believe that they also must look like that to look “great.” Not to mention, commenting on a person’s weight whether it be positive or negative is just not a good move, in my opinion. You never know what another person may be dealing with that is attributed to them being their current size. It could be an illness, genetics, food insecurity and a list of other things.  

Obviously, you do not want your kids to hear you speaking negatively about anyone and that includes yourself. I know it is easy to pick ourselves apart. I do it often, but I try not to.  

Most of you know, but if you do not, I have struggled with acne almost all of my adult life. I tried anything and everything to fix it. I saw almost a dozen different dermatologists and estheticians, took twice as many different prescription medications and had close to 100 different treatments.  

My biggest flare up was right after I had Ashton. I was in such a bad place. I would not leave my house. I was angry, depressed and in constant pain. I would try to negotiate with myself (and God) that if my skin was better, then I wouldn’t be in such a bad mood or if my skin cleared up, I would be a better person and most often, if my skin was perfect, I would never take it for granted again. I honestly felt like I was being punished.  

I know during that time my kids would hear some of my negative comments that I would make about myself and see me crying in bed. It hurts my heart to think about what kind of impression they were under at that time, seeing me so upset over something I found physically unsatisfactory about myself.  

Of course, my friends and family were constantly giving me words of encouragement and challenging my inner monologue, which I appreciated but it should not have been necessary. It took me months to get out of that slump, but once I did, I promised myself that I would never allow myself to get back in it. I would never put so much emphasis on something so miniscule as physical appearance.  

Of course, I want my kids to be presentable in public, but beyond their hair, teeth and clothes being clean, that is where the buck stops. If they are happy, healthy and confident then I will be too. I have always encouraged my kids to be themselves and express that in whatever way they choose – right now it is pink hair for Ashton and JNCO jeans for Emerson (Yes, the huge baggy 90’s jeans).  

Being normal is boring anyways.

(Paige Nash is a wife, mother, publisher of Bienville Parish Journal and Claiborne Parish Journal and a digital journalist for Webster Parish Journal.)

It’s time for pumpkin spice

Pumpkin spice is a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and ginger. It was originally intended only for use in pumpkin pie but has since been added to a variety of different recipes. Pumpkin spice does not contain any pumpkin. You can add ingredients, such as pumpkin puree to compliment the flavor of pumpkin. Pumpkin pie spice earned the name “pumpkin spice” because it was originally used in cakes and pies that contained pumpkin.

 Pumpkin pie spice pairs well with various foods including, squash, sweet potatoes, breads, pies, cookies, soups, and oatmeal. Pumpkin pie spice also pairs perfect with beverages, such as coffee, smoothies, and lattes.

Here is a quick and easy recipe that you’ll love!

Pumpkin Pie Spice Overnight Oats Recipe

Ingredients (Makes 1 serving)

  • 1/3 cup old fashioned or quick cooking oats
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup nonfat milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons of brown sugar


  1. Pour all ingredients into a small container (1–2 cup size) with a lid that fits tight.
  2. Stir until all ingredients are combined.
  3. Seal container with a lid. Store in the refrigerator overnight.
  4. Serve for breakfast in the morning with chopped fruit or nuts, if desired.
  5. Enjoy!                                                                                                                                                      

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

An engagement to remember

This past weekend was a memorable one for our family. Our 26-year-old daughter got engaged to her longtime boyfriend. His name is Robert (good name), he’s a great guy, and he’ll be a nice addition to our small nucleus of four. Someone counseled me with the ol’ standby, “You’re not losing a daughter. You’re gaining a son.” That may be, but it sure feels like I’m losing my little girl.

He proposed to her on the roof of our apartment building in New Orleans. She lived in a one-bedroom apartment in the same building around the time they started dating. There wasn’t a lot of fanfare or props in place for the proposal, just his brother hiding in the wings to record the moment.

Once they were finished with all the engagement business on the roof they came down to our apartment where both families and their closest friends were all waiting to surprise them. It was a memorable moment. Tears were shed. Everyone spent the next 30 minutes toasting and nibbling on hors d’oeuvres and then we all went to dinner.

I am well versed in New Orleans cuisine. I have been dining around that city for six decades. I know a lot of the chefs and I’m familiar with so many of their restaurants. What I wasn’t familiar with was booking large groups. I turned to my friend Chef Eric Cook, who makes my favorite appetizer in town at his restaurant Gris Gris (the Fried Oyster BLT). He also makes one of the best gumbos— not just in New Orleans, but of all the gumbos— anywhere. He had a private space available at his French Quarter restaurant Saint John (another good name) and that’s where we took our party of 18 after the post proposal gathering in our apartment.

The second floor of Saint John was perfect for our group. It was in the French Quarter and a 10 minute walk from our apartment, it had the perfect amount of local flavor, and it had a private bar manned by two excellent servers. Chef Cook was there to greet us, and he and I visited for 20 minutes or so. The evening was a perfect mix of family, friends, and food.

The next day we had brunch at Rosedale, Susan Spicer’s casual joint tucked away on a small street somewhere between the Navarre neighborhood and Mid City. Susan was in there working brunch (usually her one day off) and I started wondering if I had ever been in there when Susan wasn’t there. I don’t think I have. It’s the same with Chef Frank Brigtsen. I have been eating at Brigtsen’s for over 36 years and have never dined there when he wasn’t in the kitchen.

I have often told friends that if someone were setting out to open a restaurant and said, “Let’s design a restaurant specifically for Robert St. John,” it would probably be Rosedale. It’s everything I love in a restaurant— casual, not stuffy, but dedicated to great food, no tweezers, just great ingredients, and great recipes prepared by skilled chefs.

I was sitting there at brunch basking in the afterglow of a wonderful evening the night before, counting my blessings of family and friends and began to think about my chef friends in New Orleans and others I admire who are in the trenches of this business day in and day out facing adversity at every corner and still maintaining their love and devotion for our craft.

I have always been grateful to live 90 minutes away from such greatness. As a part-time New Orleanian I eat around 120 meals a year in the city’s restaurants and admire and appreciate all of the people who work in our industry down there.

Today I began thinking about a relatively small— as American major cities go— city that is blessed with such culinary talent, and I thought about the chefs who are out there on the front lines of these challenging times continuing to persevere and thrive no matter what adversity comes their way.

My next thought was to make a list of my favorite chefs in the city. Here is that list (not ranked and in no particular order, just as it came to me while writing this column).

Frank Brigtsen— I think if you polled most chefs in New Orleans and asked them, “Who is the best chef in New Orleans?” Nine out of 10 would answer, “Frank Brigtsen.” He was a disciple of Paul Prudhomme at Commander’s Palace in the 1970s and was his hand-picked sous chef to join him at K-Paul’s. He’s been serving excellence on a plate since 1986 in his Riverbend shotgun.

Susan Spicer— on that poll of New Orleans chefs, Susan Spicer would also appear very high on the list. She’s a hard working woman with excellent taste, true skills, and an amazing work ethic. I’ve followed her career since her early days at The Bistro at Mason de Ville.

Emeril Lagasse— there seemed to be a lot of misplaced jealousy in the culinary world when Emeril hit it big in the early days of the Food Network. I never wavered. I’ve always admired this guy who was one of the youngest chefs ever to lead the kitchen at Commander’s. He’s got the knowledge, skill, and business smarts and has what would amount to a PhD in cooking.

Donald Link— has the Midas touch when it comes to New Orleans restaurants. I’ve never had a bad meal at any of his places and he’s obviously a skilled operator in addition to being a talented chef. His gumbo is one of my top three in town.

John Besh— I have been friends with John since the mid 1990s and friends stick by friends through adversity. Say what you want, but this guy can cook.

Eric Cook— he’s as humble as he is talented. Gris Gris is always a solid choice for lunch or dinner, and there’s always the aforementioned gumbo and Fried Oyster BLT.

Nina Compton— I got to know Nina during the pandemic as we were on daily Zoom calls with other restaurateurs from across the country. She is one of the most admired chefs in the country and New Orleans is a better place because she lives and works there.

Justin Devillier— La Petit Grocery was on the forefront of the new guard a decade or so ago. It hasn’t slipped one bit. Actually, it’s better today than it was when it opened and he won the Beard. Justine in the Quarter is fun, too.

Blake Aguillard and Trey Smith, Saint Germaine— this is such a great restaurant, and these guys have excellent touch when it comes to fine dining.

Rising Star: E.J. Lagasse— this young guy is going to do great things. He basically graduated high school and was enrolled in Johnson and Wales culinary school the next day. He’s still in his very early 20s and is about to take the reins at the reimagined Emeril’s. He’s as serious about his craft as any twentysomething I have ever known. There are great things ahead for this guy.

It might seem strange to write a column about your daughter’s engagement and include a list of your favorite chefs in New Orleans. But for those who know me, it makes perfect sense. And for those who know my daughter— and her disdain of bringing attention to herself or putting herself out there in the public eye— you’ll know that even the first five paragraphs in this column made her uncomfortable. But it’s my column and I’m a proud daddy.

I love my daughter more than life itself and am happy for her future.

I am also a fan of independent restaurateurs and chefs. It’s a brutal business. But for those who love it, it’s a wonderful life.


Shrimp and Okra Gumbo

1 /2 cup Canola oil

3 /4 cup Flour

2 Tbl File powder

1 cup Onion, diced

1 /2 cup Celery, diced

1 /2 cup Bell pepper, diced

1 1 /2 cups Fresh okra, sliced

2 Tbl Garlic, minced

1 1 /2 lbs Shrimp, small

2 tsp Salt

1 1 /2 tsp Black pepper

2 tsp Creole Seasoning

1 tsp Thyme, dry

1 cup Tomatoes, diced, canned or fresh

2 quarts Shrimp stock

1 Tbl Hot Sauce

1 /4 tsp Cayenne pepper

2 cups cooked white rice

In a large skillet, combine oil, flour and file powder to form a roux. Cook over medium heat, stirring often until roux is very dark (be careful not to burn). Add

vegetables, garlic, spices and shrimp and continue to cook for five to seven minutes, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Meanwhile, bring shrimp stock and tomatoes to a boil. Slowly add roux mixture to boiling stock and mix well. Lower heat to a slow simmer, and cook 10 more minutes. Add hot sauce and cayenne pepper.

To serve, place 2-3 tablespoons of rice in a bowl then pour the hot gumbo over the rice.

Yield: 1 gallon

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

Upcoming Events

Please send all non-profit calendar events to cpjnewsla@gmail.com

September 29 (1-4 p.m.)

Rocky Springs Baptist Church – Craft/Sewing Club

October 4 (6 p.m.)

FAM Church Claiborne – Free fish dinner, fellowship and fun

First Baptist Church – Family Life Center – 2021 Main Street in Haynesville

October 5 (6 p.m.)

Explore the Paranormal Possibilities with Lyle Blackburn – Claiborne Parish Library

October 7 (4 p.m.)

Bingo – Athens Town Hall

October 9 – 14 (6 p.m. nightly)

Claiborne Parish Livestock Show & Youth Livestock Auction – Haynesville

October 9 (5 – 7:30 p.m.)

Claiborne Parish 4-H Chili Cookoff – Haynesville Fair Barn

October 10 (2 p.m.)

Free Family Movie – Clifford the Big Red Dog – Claiborne Parish Library

October 21 (10 a.m. – 6 p.m.)

Louisiana Legends Fest – Downtown Homer

October 22 (4 – 6 p.m.)

Trunk or Treat with Cake Walk and Costume Contest – Rocky Springs Baptist Church

October 26 (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.)

Claiborne Parish Job Fair – 1563 Fairgrounds Drive in Haynesville

October 28 (Registration begins at 9 a.m.)

Seniors Golf Tournament – Homer Golf Course

October 28 (10 – 1 p.m.)

Fall Craft Fair – Claiborne Parish Library 

October 31 (5 – 7 p.m.)

Trunk or Treat – Claiborne Academy Parking Lot

Notice of Death – September 28

Notice of Death – September 28, 2023

Keldrick Kiez Dunn

June 24, 1997 – Sept. 24, 2023

Homer, La. 

Visitation: 1 – 7 p.m., Friday, Sept. 29, 2023, Memorial Funeral Home, Homer. Wake to follow

Funeral: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023, Homer High School Auditorium

Ruth Ann Critton

Feb. 26, 1952 – Sept. 25, 2023

Homer, La.

Visitation: 2- 6 p.m., Friday, Sept. 29, 2023, Memorial Funeral Home, Homer

Funeral: 2:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023, Friendship Baptist Church, Haynesville. Interment to follow

Charles Edgar Tyson

June 5, 1930 – Sept. 23, 2023

Gibsland/Bossier City

Visitation: 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023, Rose-Neath Funeral Home, Bossier City, La.

Funeral service: 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023, Rose-Neath Funeral Home, Bossier City, La.

Burial: Hill Crest Memorial Park Cemetery

Etta Jo New McCullough

July 5, 1937 – Sept. 16, 2023

Homer/Minden, La.

Reception/visitation: Following graveside service.

Graveside service: 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023, Mt. Mariah Church and Cemetery, 2 miles north of Arcadia on Highway 9.

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

Lisbon man facing 480-year prison sentence for sex crimes

It took a Claiborne Parish jury approximately twenty minutes Wednesday afternoon, September 20, to find Christopher L. Coliston guilty of one count of Third Degree Rape, two counts of Sexual Battery, one count of Attempted Sexual Battery, and three counts of Indecent Behavior with a Juvenile. The Honorable Walter E. May, Jr. presided over the three-day trial.

District Attorney Daniel W. Newell stated, “I am extremely proud of each of the girls in this case and the courage that they demonstrated by coming forward and reporting the abuse that they suffered at the hands of the defendant. Crimes against children in our community will not be tolerated and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent.”

Christopher L. Coliston was ordered to be held without bond pending his sentencing on December 5, 2023. Coliston faces a maximum sentence of 480 years in prison on all of the charges as a Second Felony Offender having previously been convicted of Forcible Rape of a minor in Webster Parish. The case was
investigated by the Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s Office and prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Cary T. Brown.

Something’s in the air at Haynesville… defeats Glenbrook

Photo by Emily Glasscock

By Shawn C. White (Under the Radar NWLA)

If you know Haynesville Golden Tornado football, you know that it is a ground-and-pound offense.  If you look at the Haynesville stats, you may see 1 or 2 passes a game.  Well, on Friday a strange object appeared in the air over Red Franklin Stadium.  After further review, it was a football…

The Haynesville Tornado collected a key district win over the Glenbrook.  The win keeps Haynesville undefeated at 4-0.

Isaiah Washington was allowed to throw a total of eight passes but accumulated 163 yards and three touchdown passes.  Two of those were from a storm of four touchdowns that came from Alonzo Jackson, Jr.. 

Glenbrook’s Eason Sanders struggled on the passing front only going 9 for 30 for 91 yards, a touchdown but four interceptions.  A bright star for the Apaches was Landry Powel who had 14 carries for 124 yards and a touchdown.  

Haynesville didn’t was time as Jackson jetted downfield on a 33-yard touchdown run.  Washington added a second score for the Tornado with a 53-yard pass.  Glenbrook was already down 14-0 in the first four minutes.  Glenbrook closed in with a 4-yard run from Landry Powell.  Haynesville maintained the 14-7 lead to the end of the first quarter. 

Washington launched an 81-yard touchdown pass to Damondra Martin in the second quarter.  The Tornado padded the lead to 28-7 with a 15-yard run from Jackson in the closing minute.  Haynesville took a 28-7 halftime lead. 

No score in the third quarter, but Glenbrook tried to make it a game again in the fourth quarter as Eason Sanders connected with Jackson Waller on a 20-yard touchdown pass and closed the gap to 28-14.  Haynesville made sure it didn’t get any closer as the Washington-Jackson combination struck again on a 29-yard touchdown pass.  Haynesville took the district 34-14 win.  

The Golden Tornado will be back home next week as they will face the winless Plain Dealing Lions 

Pelicans Sink Mariners on Homecoming Night

Despite all the pageantry of all the Homecoming festivities at the Nest on Friday night, the Homer Pelican laid down a brutal 48-12 defeat in the opening district game against Magnolia School of Excellence Mariners out of Shreveport. 

The stats don’t reflect a 48-point game by Homer and were even verified by the head coach before writing this article.  Homer put up only 189 yards total offense.   The answer was really good pubt returns and starting in excellent field position.

Despite stats, Gregory Williams treated the homecoming crowd to three touchdown. Zyon Warren kept a quarterback keeper to the end zone and threw two touchdowns to Katrevick Banks and Spencer Dunn.  Brandon Williams took a punt return home for a touchdown.

Jatavion Webb was top on defense with 5.5 tackles (5 solo, 1 assist). 

Gregory Williams started in the first 30 seconds with run to the end zone.  Zyon Warren took the air with a touchdown pass.  Homer is already up 12-0 in the first three minutes.  Warren makes a rushing touchdown and pushes the lead to 20-0. Brandon Williams punches in six points on the punt return.  Pels up 26-0 at the end of the first quarter.  

Katrevick Banks takes the Pels to the 2 for Gregory Williams finish the drive with another touchdown.  Banks gets his opportunity to reach the end zone from a Zyon Warren pass and the Pels are up 42-0 with a running clock in the first half.  The Mariners sneak a touchdown pass in before the halftime mark but Homer is dominating at 42-6  Williams makes them pay for breaking in the end zone with another touchdown just 20 seconds left in the half.  Homer leads 48-6 at halftime. 

Magnolia gets one more score in the running clock second half but Homer wins 48-12. 

The Pelicans will be on the road for the next four weeks as the road trip starts in Ringgold on Friday night. 

Lessons with Marbles

By Wesley Harris
(Claiborne Parish Library Historian)

I still have my marbles. At least some of them.

I wasn’t involved in sports as a kid, at least not as a participant. I did read the entire set of World Book Encyclopedia by end of sixth grade, though. Never joined Little League or joined school or rec league sports teams. The school playground was the extent of my sports participation and even that was tentative, always the smallest boy in my class and perpetually one of the last chosen when teams were selected.

The competitiveness on the playground was fierce.

Whether it was attacking one another’s pine straw forts, playing ball, or shooting marbles, some of my classmates took the games way too seriously. Friendships were placed on temporary hold while on the field of battle.

The fights linked to the rough-and-tumble life of growing up on the wrong side of town in the sixties were innocuous for the most part. You didn’t throw punches. More like the Mid-South Wrestling we watched on Saturdays than real fighting. You got taken to the principal’s office but unlike today, you didn’t get charged criminally and kicked out of school.

Recess did not provide time for full-fledged ball games. Even in P.E. class, by the time we got organized into teams and assignments made, the period ended. Sometimes you were glad of the brevity of the class considering the wide range of sizes and strengths among the boys in fifth and sixth grade. It could be brutal out there.

But marbles were the playground equalizer. Physical strength, size, and speed don’t matter in a game of marbles. Since the action is subdued in marbles, there’s less chance heat will rise to the level of fisticuffs.

Marbles have a long history. They have been excavated in the ruins of the Pharaohs’ Egypt and on Civil War battlefields. Marbles are mentioned in the writings of ancient Rome and were even banned from a town in medieval Germany.

In my youth, the keenest contests on the playground came in marbles. The most ferocious competitors collected the marbles of unfortunate losers like they were gold nuggets. Marbles are a competition, but one where skill and luck both play a role. Less skillful players can participate knowing at least a chance of success exists as opposed to game of skill like chess with little to no chance of a win. You had to know the rules. The greatest faux pas in any competition was to be in the middle of the action and realize you didn’t know the rules. Embarrassment and humiliation followed.

The first rule was to decide if you were playing for “keeps.” Either marbles are given back to the owner at the end of the game, or players keep the marbles they win. Though playing for “keeps” emphasizes claiming the property of others, it provided lessons in loss, fairness, and status building.

To begin a game, normally a circle is drawn on the ground with a diameter of 3- 6 feet. You can use chalk on the sidewalk or blacktop. Our circles were much smaller to compensate for the drag of marbles rolling on our rough hardpacked dirt playground. Marbles were placed near the center of the circle. To determine who went first, we “lagged,” tossing a marble at the line drawn about ten feet away. Order of play was
determined by how close each marble came to the line.

To shoot the marble, a player rested his knuckles on the ground and used his thumb to flick the marble from his hand. The goal of each shot was to hit a marble and knock it out of the circle. If the player knocked a marble out, then he kept the marble for the rest of the game and took another turn. If no marble was knocked out of the circle, the next player took a turn. The first shot must be taken from the edge of the circle. If the shooter stayed inside the circle, then the next shot was taken from the spot where the shooter landed.

Cheating brought cries of unfairness, but complaints rarely changed the outcome. Winners and losers were expected to finish the match with grace and sportsmanship and those attitudes prevailed most of the time. The courage needed to face a playground champion was no small matter for a newcomer, previous loser, or tentative player, but he knew instant recognition and status came with success in the fateful encounter of the game. A player risked his marbles, but more important, he risked his pride.

The phrase “to lose one’s marbles” is more than just an expression about one’s mental state. To lose a prized marble carried a price. And it is no mistake that someone who has “lost his marbles” idiomatically also suffers losses.

We prize status markers, and games like marbles teach us early about their importance. But they also force us to face loss as a part of life—and perhaps this is why we find marbles in so many places throughout history. Even the expert can lose, so marbles teach about calculating risks and when to take chances. It’s not easy facing the playground champion, but a path of potential matches can lead up to that ultimate battle. Though possible loss exists, nothing is gained unless something is gambled.

The player with the most marbles at the end of the game was the winner. The saying, “He who dies with the most toys wins,” attributed to multimillionaire Malcolm Forbes, would suggest the most important thing in life is collecting playthings. That’s a trivial life priority, but by itself might mean having fun while you can enjoy it. But it depicts life as a contest where “winning” comes not through fulfillment or happiness while living, but by accumulating the most stuff by death. Unfortunately, the win comes posthumously.

The message here is simple. Who we are is far more important than what we have! Life is more than stuff.

The last time I played marbles was in sixth grade in 1969. You put away your marbles when you entered junior high. We weren’t kids any more. At least that’s what we thought. It was a turning point; we were growing and hopefully learned some lessons on the playground, but moving on from elementary school opened a season for other lessons.

I haven’t lost my marbles. Yet. At least not the ones in the glass jar in the closet.

Piney Hills Louisiana Master Gardners Graduation

By John Monzingo, Assistant County Agent

The Piney Hills Louisiana Master Gardeners, in conjunction with the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service in Webster Parish, offers the Louisiana Master Gardener Program yearly in the summer.

The program is offered one night a week over the course of twelve weeks. During this 12-week period, participants learn about botany, entomology, organic gardening, plant pathology, propagation, weed science, and other subjects related to horticulture.

The Piney Hills Louisiana Master Gardeners recently completed the program and are pleased to announce this year’s 2023 graduating class. Back row from left to right are Sybil McClesky, Becky Guillory, Briggette Ketchell, Cynthia Page, Gwen Voltz, Randy Leonard, Regina Brunson, and Ken Robinson. Front row from left to right Leslie Nallin and Emily Galindo.

‘Tap – Rack – Bang’

“My gun never malfunctions.” Perhaps you’re right. Perhaps your gun has been malfunction free for its entire existence. However, when I hear this from people, I immediately know two things are absolutely true. One, they don’t shoot that gun very much, and two, they definitely don’t train in any serious manner.

“Well, I’ve got 50,000 rounds through this thing with no issues whatsoever.” Well, now you’ve graduated from hyperbole to outright dishonesty. The fact is that guns are man-made, and man is fallible. Yes, even Gaston Glock – as much as it pains me to say it. So, today’s article is going to be about the most common types of malfunctions associated with magazine fed, semi-automatic guns, and how to fix those issues on the fly.

There are generally three common malfunctions associated with magazine fed, semi-auto guns. They are known as “failure to fire” (type 1), “failure to eject” (type 2) and the ever dreaded “double feed” (type 3). Let’s discuss these in order, shall we?

A type 1 malfunction is the most common. It could be caused by several different things, but basically a type 1 malfunction occurs anytime you press the trigger expecting the gun to go “bang,” but it goes “click” instead. Side note, hearing a click when you need a bang is one of the loudest sounds you’ll ever hear. Anyway, a type 1 malfunction could be caused by bad ammunition. I get it, that’s not necessarily the gun’s fault but it’s a malfunction, nonetheless. A type 1 malfunction could also be the result of light primer strikes because there’s a bad spring in the gun. This happens most often when someone thinks they know more than the engineers and puts after-market doodads inside their blaster. Just leave the after-market internals at the market, Jethro. Over-lubrication is a common problem, too. Semi-auto guns don’t need nearly as much lube as you may think. If you over-do the oil, or put lube where lube doesn’t belong, you’re likely to cause issues. All that said, the most common reason for getting a click where a bang should be is that the gun isn’t loaded.

A type 2 malfunction is commonly referred to as a “stove pipe.” This is when a round is fired and the spent casing doesn’t get all the way out of the ejection port, preventing the gun from cycling fully and returning to battery. This too can be caused by more than one thing. A loose or otherwise improper grip on your pistol can result in a stove pipe – as can something impeding the movement of the slide or bolt when firing the gun. Underpowered ammo can cause a type 2 malfunction also, and if you’re talking about an AR style rifle, the gun being under-gassed will likely produce the same result.

So, how do you fix these malfunctions? It’s true that there might be something so wrong with your gun that it needs to be repaired by a professional, but if you’re in a fight and you need to clear a type 1 or type 2 malfunction and get that gun back in the fight – tap the magazine to make sure it’s seated properly inside the mag well, rack the slide, (or run the bolt) and get back to work. It’s that simple. A magazine that’s not seated is the first thing you should check, because an unseated magazine can cause any of the three most common malfunctions. After that, cycle the action. After you tap and rack, you should be able to make the gun go bang. A properly executed “tap – rack” will fix a type 1 or type 2 malfunction.

A type 3 malfunction is a different animal entirely. This occurs when two rounds try to enter the chamber at the same time. This can be caused by damaged or worn-out magazines or by people “riding the slide” when they cycle the action. Stop handling them so gently, folks. When you run the slide or the bolt on a semi-auto gun, run it hard. If you limp-wrist it, you’re going to cause problems more often than not. It’s okay, they like it rough.

To clear a type 3 malfunction, you first have to remove the magazine from the gun. Some instructors say that you should lock the slide or bolt open first, but I find this step to be time consuming and wholly unnecessary. There will be pressure on the magazine, so you’ll have to forcefully remove or “strip” the magazine out of the gun. After that, there might still be a round or spent casing lodged in the chamber or ejection port, so you need to run the slide to clear any obstruction. Doing this with the ejection port toward the ground means you get a little help from our old pal, gravity. Once you’ve removed the magazine and cleared any obstruction, forcefully insert a loaded mag (maybe the same one, maybe a new one) and cycle the action. Bam! You’re back in the fight.

Most malfunctions are the result of operator error. Malfunction frequency will be greatly diminished if you use a quality firearm (which 99% of 1911 pistols are not) loaded with quality, factory loaded ammunition. However, when problems arise, clearing a type 1 or type 2 malfunction is done the same way – tap the mag, rack the slide, and you’re back in business. The steps for type 3 malfunction clearing are – strip, rack, insert, rack. Don’t think carrying a spare mag with your everyday carry pistol is because you might need extra ammo. It’s true, you could end up in a protracted gunfight, although it’s statistically improbable. The main reason for carrying a spare magazine is so you can fix your gun. Operator error and environmental issues can cause more problems than most folks ever think about when they strap up and leave the house. If a “tap-rack” doesn’t fix it, reload your gun because either your gun is empty, or you have a type 3 malfunction. In either instance the remedy is a loaded magazine. Without one, you’ll be in a gunfight armed only with a $600 paperweight.

Before anyone suggests that simply buying a revolver is the answer to keeping your handgun malfunction free, allow me to quash that notion. Revolvers absolutely can and do malfunction. This column isn’t about antiques, so I’m not going to waste your time with wheel gun talk, but if you don’t believe me, do a simple Google search of revolver malfunctions, and see for yourself. Lastly, for my fellow Kalashnikov shooters out there, remember, those magazines “rock” into place. So, when seating a magazine in your AK, hit the front strap of the magazine, not the base plate.

Until next week…

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


Please submit your questions to Ryan via email at Ryan@9and1tactical.com

(Ryan Barnette is not a licensed attorney 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 advice.)


It was a hot July day in Nashville, Tennessee.  Bill Dees and his friend Kelton were at Kelton’s home trying to write a song.  They needed a melody, a clever phrase, a catchy guitar riff, or anything else that could spark an idea.  They played anything that came to mind on their guitars, discussed several phrases, but they were unimpressed with the results.  They kept at it.  At one point, Kelton’s wife walked into the room.  Bill and Kelton’s attention immediately shifted from their task at hand to Kelton’s wife.  She was a knockout.  Bill and Kelton’s gaze shifted to her yellow skirt and red shoes.  Anytime Bill saw a woman he thought was pretty, he exclaimed, “Mercy!”  Like the involuntary actions of our bodies such as blinking our eyelids or breathing, Bill exclaimed “Mercy!” before he could stop himself.  Bill shifted his gaze from Kelton’s wife to Kelton.  Kelton was smiling.  He looked back and Kelton’s wife was smiling as well. 

The three of them chatted briefly and Kelton’s wife said she was going to a nearby store to buy something.  Kelton, ever the gentleman, asked if she needed any money.  Before Kelton’s wife had a chance to respond, Bill spoke up and said, “a pretty woman never needs any money.”  They all smiled.  Kelton’s wife turned and walked away.  As she walked out of the house and onto the sidewalk, Bill heard her red high heels clicking on the pavement.  Click! Click! Click! Click!  Bill tapped his finger on his guitar to the same tempo as the sound of Kelton’s wife’s clicking shoes.  Before the sound of Kelton’s wife’s clicking heels had faded, Kelton came up with a fitting guitar riff.  Lyrics came next as if they had been there all along just waiting to be written down.  By the time Kelton’s wife returned, about 40 minutes later, Bill and Kelton had finished the song. 

A week later, on August 1, Bill and Kelton went into the studio to record the song.  Once again, Bill tapped his finger to the tempo he remembered of Kelton’s wife walking away in her red high-heeled shoes.  Click! Click! Click! Click!  The studio drummer played this tempo on his snare drum, Kelton’s guitar riff was added, and finally, Kelton sang lead and Bill sang harmony.  In one point in the song, Kelton said there was something missing.  He needed to say something short, just a word or two.  He remembered what Bill said upon seeing his wife the previous week.  He sang one more word, “mercy,” and the song was finished.  Bill and Kelton were pleased with the song.

On August 15, 1964, Bill and Kelton’s song was released.  Less than two weeks later, their song entered the charts at number 49.  By early September, newspapers all over the world predicted that the song would sell well.  On September 6, the number one song in the country was “House of the Rising Sun” by the Animals.  Bill and Kelton’s song reached number 13.  A week later, September 13, Bill and Kelton’s song was at number 2 just behind “House of the Rising Sun.”  A week after that, on September 20, Bill and Kelton’s song had replaced “House of the Rising Sun” in the number one spot.  “In a 68-week period that began on August 8, 1963,” during the British Invasion, Kelton “was the only American artist to have a number one single in Britain.”  In addition to reaching number one in the United States and the United Kingdom, Bill and Kelton’s song reached the top spot in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Switzerland, and West Germany.  Mercy!   

When Bill and Kelton’s songwriting session was interrupted on that hot July day in 1964, none of them could have realized the impact of Kelton’s wife walking into and out of the room.  Kelton’s wife’s name was Claudette.  The name of the Bill and Kelton’s song came directly from Bill’s comment that “a pretty woman never needs any money.”  For almost fifty years now, you and I have heard Bill and Kelton sing “Oh, Pretty Woman.”  Kelton is the middle name of Roy Orbison.  Mercy!


1.  The Paducah Sun, August 28, 1964, p.10.

2.  Valley Morning Star, September 6, 1964, p.3.

3.  Omaha World-Herald, September 20, 1964, p.100.

4.  Rock, The History of, and Roll. n.d. “Roy Orbison (1936-1988) | the History of Rock and Roll Radio Show.” Accessed September 24, 2023. https://thehistoryofrockandroll.net/roy-orbison-1936-1988/.

5.  NPR. 2008. “Mercy: Behind Roy Orbison’s ‘Pretty Woman.’” NPR. December 6, 2008. https://www.npr.org/2008/12/06/97826285/mercy-behind-roy-orbisons-pretty-woman.

6.  “ShieldSquare Captcha.” www.songfacts.comhttps://www.songfacts.com/facts/roy-orbison/oh-pretty-woman.

Italian Sausage Sandwiches

The easiest to throw together and even served on hot dog buns. These are GOOD and even heat up well in the air fryer for leftovers. Mozzarella pearls and sliced pepperoncini peppers set the bar high with this yummy sandwich!

– 1 package Italian sausage
– 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce
– 1 tablespoon pesto
– 2 garlic cloves, minced
– S&P to taste
– 1 teaspoon sugar
– 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
– 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
– 2 tablespoons melted butter
– 1 1/2 cup shredded Italian cheese
– Mozzarella pearls
– Sliced pepperoncini peppers
– Hot dog buns

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook sausage in a large skillet, crumbling as you cook. Drain. Add back to the skillet and add marinara, pesto, garlic, S&P, sugar, onion powder, and red pepper flakes. Let simmer while you prepare the buns. Brush melted butter on inside of buns. Toast in oven for a few minutes. Remove from oven and add shredded cheese to buns. Fill with sausage mixture. Add mozzarella pearls and peppers on top. Sprinkle with more shredded cheese. Bake 10-15 minutes.

(Ashley Madden is a wife, mother and published cookbook author from Minden, La.)

How ‘sweet’ it is

So it all comes back to Skittles.

Who knew?

Let us explain …

Between 2011 and 2014, Trey Hadnot was a seven-time All-America sprinter at Louisiana Tech, won 16 conference championships and was All-Western Athletic Conference 24 times.

It’s a ridiculous number of trophies and medals that his mom religiously dusts to this day in her Ruston home.

Now she has another trophy to shine since her boy and six other Tech standouts were inducted into the University’s Athletics Hall of Fame September 15.

Just five days later, the University honored its six Pro Football and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductees, a once-in-a-lifetime sort of event with all six live and in person for a short Q&A ceremony before the unveiling of their individual statues in the new Sarah and A.L. Williams Champions Plaza in the northeast corner of Joe Aillet Stadium.

You can read about both events here and here. It was quite a lot to digest in the span of 120 hours. Wall-to-wall athletic gold. Star-spangled doubleheader for a school of any size, especially a mid-major.

And consider one Naismith inductee, former Bulldog player Leon Barmore (his jersey is retired) and Lady Techster coach, was in attendance for the statue unveiling but didn’t participate in the ceremony because he already has a statue (yawn…) over by the Thomas Assembly Center.

Hard not to be impressed.

All these stars included hometown hero Hadnot, who holds all 10 of the Tech program’s Top 10 indoor 200m records, including the No.1 time of 20.48, which is moving about as briskly as a human can. (The world record is 19.92, so …20.48 defines “moving.”)

Naturally, one would want to know the secret of Hadnot’s swift success. Pregame meal of bananas and baked chicken? An hour of stretching? Prayer?

“Skittles,” he said, with an honest little-boy smile that kids wear when they’re getting away with something.

Skittles? Is that a track-and-field word for a special kind of loosening-up scissor-kick? Another word for special spikes?

Negative. It’s the candy.

“Always ate Skittles before a race,” he said. “And water. Drank lots and lots of water.”

And there you have it. Skittles. Although something tells me that diet only works if you’re Trey Hadnot.

Funny, but he started out running cross country. His coach took him and some other long-distance wannabes several miles from the school, dropped them off, told them to run back, and drove away. It wasn’t but a few minutes before the others had run off and left Hadnot, who had no real idea where he was.

Bewildered and with no Skittles to save him, Hadnot decided sprints might be his future. At least he’d never get lost.

Another quick story. A linebacker out of tiny Clinton, Glenell Sanders became a three-time All-American at Tech. With tears on his face, he introduced his family — Gwen, his wife of 30 years; Genaye, a senior at the University of Houston where she’s a bio-medical engineering major on a full soccer scholarship; and soon-to-be Captain Geraud Sanders, a 2020 Air Force graduate and fighter instructor pilot who was at the controls of one of four T-38 jets that performed the flyover Saturday at Memorial Stadium before the Tech-Nebraska football game.

“All this started,” Sanders said quietly, “because of faith in God, and because some men believed in me, and gave me a chance.”

Theirs were just two of many stories from ordinary people who managed to exceed beyond their imaginations through developing their talent and believing what a coach or parent or friend believed about them and fed into them, a couple of sweet reminders that we can make it — if we all stick together, and coach each other up.

Contact Teddy at teddy@latech.edu

Upcoming Events

Please send all non-profit calendar events to cpjnewsla@gmail.com

September 27 (5:30 p.m.)

Claiborne Watershed District – Quarterly Meeting

October 4 (6 p.m.)

FAM Church Claiborne – Free fish dinner, fellowship and fun

First Baptist Church – Family Life Center – 2021 Main Street in Haynesville

October 5 (6 p.m.)

Explore the Paranormal Possibilities with Lyle Blackburn – Claiborne Parish Library

October 7 (4 p.m.)

Bingo – Athens Town Hall

October 9 – 14 (6 p.m. nightly)

Claiborne Parish Livestock Show & Youth Livestock Auction – Haynesville

October 9 (5 – 7:30 p.m.)

Claiborne Parish 4-H Chili Cookoff – Haynesville Fair Barn

October 10 (2 p.m.)

Free Family Movie – Clifford the Big Red Dog – Claiborne Parish Library

October 21 (10 a.m. – 6 p.m.)

Louisiana Legends Fest – Downtown Homer

October 26 (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.)

Claiborne Parish Job Fair – 1563 Fairgrounds Drive in Haynesville

October 28 (Registration begins at 9 a.m.)

Seniors Golf Tournament – Homer Golf Course

Arrest Reports

The following arrests were made by local law enforcement agencies.


Dedric Frazier, 28, of Homer was arrested by Springhill Police Department on a warrant for criminal neglect of family.


Windy King of Bernice was arrested by the Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s Office as a fugitive from Union Parish.

Daniel Horton of Bernice was arrested by the Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s Office as a fugitive from Union Parish for theft.

Ronald Vietch, 66, of Homer was arrested by the Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office for theft and mingling substances.

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.