top of page

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Senator Alan Seabaugh, center, welcomed District Attorneys Billy Joe Harrington, left, and Don Burkett, right, to the Capitol last week.

Showing their support for Senator Alan Seabaugh last week were Sabine District Attorney Don Burkett and Natchitoches District Attorney Billy Joe Harrington, who were on hand when the Senator went before the Administration of Criminal Justice Committee to speak on his bill, SB105.

The bill ups the punishment and fine on persons convicted of certain felonies if they possess a firearm or carry a concealed weapon. In contrast to present law which requires no minimum sentence of imprisonment, the bill proposes a minimum of one year imprisonment and raises the present fine of $500-$2,500 to $1,000-$5,000 if the person violates present law while committing a crime of violence or has a prior conviction for a crime of violence.

The two DAs and some of their staff also took part in a legislative appreciation function put on by the Louisiana District Attorneys Association back in mid-March in Baton Rouge, as shown below.

Some from Sabine and Natchitoches were on hand for a Legislative Appreciation function hosted by the Louisiana District Attorneys Association, including DA Don Burkett, shown upper left with Senator Alan Seabaugh, DA Billy Joe Harrington, upper right, and Assistant DA Anna Garcie and J. R. Stevens, at bottom right, from the Sabine DA's Office.

Calcasieu Sheriff's Deputy David Lee Vandever

David Vandever is a long-time deputy with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office, but his roots grow in Sabine Parish also.

While working recently, he was approached by members of a private group that promotes recognition of peace officers and their dedication to serving and protecting the public.  One of the gentlemen thanked David profusely for his nearly quarter of a century of law enforcement service.  He said that in spite of negative reporting by the national news media, the vast majority of Americans stand solidly behind law enforcement officers.

The gentleman then presented David with a beautiful challenge coin.  He felt honored and humbled to be recognized.

The challenge coin recently presented to Deputy Vandever.

David is the son-in-law of the late Vester Cooper who was born in 1927 and raised in Many.  Mr. Cooper passed away a year ago at age 95.  But he instilled in David the hometown values that he felt in Sabine Parish.  They include a sense of decency and honesty, caring for your neighbors and many other things that make a good man better.

He said the Calcasieu Sheriff’s Office is one of the finest agencies around but admits he might be a little biased.

David was born in Jennings in 1956 and obtained BA and BS degrees from McNeese State University.  He was graduated from the School of Psychology.

He recalled that Mr. Cooper was like a second father to him when he was growing up.  David commented, “I spent many hours at the Old Place, just south of Bethsadia Church and Cemetery.  I ended up marrying his daughter, Jackie, and we recently celebrated our 46th anniversary.  Over the years I’ve acquired an extensive knowledge of and love for all things Sabine Parish.  Folks here are definitely the real deal.”

David and Jackie are the parents of three grown children.  We send our congratulations to David, an outstanding Christian, a dedicated law enforcement officer, a patriot, and the list goes on.

Congratulations to Jason McMillin and Stacey McPherson, soon to be Mr. and Mrs.

Laurie and I want to send best wishes and congratulations to my nephew, Jason McMillin of Olla, who will take Stacey McPherson of Deville as his bride in ceremonies this Saturday evening in Deville.

True love is a beautiful thing, and it sure is a blessing when you find that special one God has for you. Jason and Stacey are a match made in heaven, and we wish them a beautiful wedding day and a lifetime of happiness.

Sabine Parish Police Jurors Barry Stevens, Dist. 2, left, and Bruce Tayor, Dist. 3, center, spoke to the recent luncheon of the Vultures Club in Many.  That’s Donald Scaife at the far right. The two officials spoke about their efforts to improve the roads in the parish and also announced that the cell at the Sabine Parish Landfill is now full, and they are having to construct a new cell.

Romance author Jane Porter is coming to Sabine to join Susan Sands for Sands' new book launch and signing.

Popular romance author Susan Sands won’t be coming alone to her much-anticipated book launch at Many City Hall at noon on Saturday, May 4.

Her Tule publisher, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jane Porter will accompany Sands. Jane has written 75 novels since getting her first book sale to Harlequin Presents in 2000.

A six-time RITA finalist and RITA winner in July 2014 for “Take Me, Cowboy,” Jane is known for her passionate, powerful stories and relatable heroines. The RITA award is the highest award of distinction in romance fiction. It recognizes excellence in published romance novels.

An advocate for writers, Jane founded Tule Publishing in 2013 to give romance and women’s fiction authors support and opportunities.

Jane will fly to Louisiana from Los Angeles to join Susan in launching “Bayou Redemption,” Susan’s tenth published novel. Susan plans to show Jane around the Many-Natchitoches, Sabine Parish area during their visit.

Jane will be with Susan at the Many book launch party and will give a brief talk about her career as a romance author and publisher.

Jane holds an MA in Writing from the University of San Francisco. She and Tule Publishing are both based in San Clemente, CA.

(Special thanks to Mary Brocato for the article above.) 

Our longtime friend and faithful reader of Observations, Dr. Ronald Byrd of South Boston, VA, sounds off in his latest note to Observations, as follows:

“Robert, the Speaker has lost my support and I have no respect for him at this point. He caved to that senile old criminal and his handlers, and I have to wonder what promises were made to get him to abandon his original positions.  That picture of him shaking hands with Biden and Kamala standing by and clapping was disgusting. He has to be replaced as Speaker; the Republicans need conservative leadership. This was a perfect situation to tie funding to the border chaos; instead, we'll get another couple of million invaders over the next few months who will show up in the next census and eventually give the Democrats a solid and big block of additional representatives. Looking forward to our first transgender president. Ronny”

New Kiwanis Club of Sabine members, above, worked to fill Easter baskets before the recent Easter Drive-Thru event at Sabine Parish Fairgrounds. The club has partnered with Toledo Bend Family Adventure Park, below, to reward Sabine kids' progress and achievements.

The newest civic club in the parish is the Kiwanis Club of Sabine, which was organized in late February. The club’s purpose is to be an organization that is solely devoted to children and youth, to encourage and promote daily living by the Golden Rule and to help create a safer environment for young people to grow and thrive while learning how to become profitable and prosperous adults.

Kiwanis is an international organization, since 1915, and is made up of volunteers who are solely dedicated to improving the world - one child and one community at a time. The purpose of Kiwanis is to provide, through clubs, a practical means to form enduring friendships, to render altruistic service and to build better communities. The club members cooperate as a team in creating and maintaining sound public opinion and high idealism which make possible the increase of righteousness, justice, patriotism and goodwill.

The new Kiwanis Club of Sabine officers are President Kelly Dye, President-Elect James Wagley, Treasurer Suzanne Williams and Secretary Wilma Brumley. Board members include Chris Sylvia, Joseph Stevens, Crystal Bass, Mike Gunter, Shane Wright, and Cheryl Wooley.

“This Club is a fantastic way for caring adults outside the classroom to get involved with our students to ensure they are on track to become successful adults,” said Many Chief of Police Cheryl Wooley. “I am honored to serve on the Board of such a fantastic organization,” she added.

Kiwanis Club of Sabine has partnered with Toledo Bend Family Adventure Park to create a couple of really great programs for parish students. The “Terrific Kid” student recognition program promotes character development, self-esteem and perseverance. Students work with their classroom teacher and establish goals to improve behavior, peer relationships, attendance or schoolwork.

The other recognition plan is called “BUG,” an acronym for "Bring Up Grades." This program recognizes students who raise their grades or maintain good grades from one grading period to the next. Students are motivated to excel because they set their own goals and they participate in peer mentoring, which involves their classmates in their success. When they reach their goals, the entire class celebrates.

One of the prizes for being a “Terrific Kid” or “BUG,” is a free pass to Toledo Bend Family Adventure Park, located at Wildwood Resort & RV Park on Toledo Bend Lake in Zwolle. The park offers lots of water attractions including a lazy river, four swimming pools, a splash pad for kids, adult and kiddie waterslides along with mini golf, a kangaroo jumper, playground, gift shop, café and more.

Noah Foulkes, General Manager of Toledo Bend Family Adventure Park said, “When I was a kid, my brother came home from school wearing a ‘Terrific Kid’ t-shirt, and he was so excited because he got free ice cream, had donuts and kolaches with his principal, and bought home a yard sign saying ‘A Terrific Kid Lives Here.’ I wanted all that free stuff, too, so I worked hard to do well in school and became a ‘Terrific Kid’ myself.” He went on to add, “Toledo Bend Family Adventure Park just wants to help the kids here in the parish and working with the Kiwanis Club of Sabine is a great way to incentivize students to do well in school.”

Kiwanis Club of Sabine President Kelly Dye said, “It is wonderful that our local Toledo Bend Family Adventure Park has offered to partner with us to encourage good behavior and good grades with these student recognition programs that will begin with the next school year.” Ms. Dye, who is also Principal at SPARK school in Many, added, “We appreciate their generous gift of free admission for students who become a ‘Terrific Kid’ or a ‘BUG.’”

Anyone in Sabine Parish with a heart for children and youth who wants to become part of this new club is welcome to attend a meeting and/or join the club by simply visiting the group’s Facebook page at

“We are dedicated to making Sabine Parish better for our children and youth. The club meets on the first and third Thursdays of the month at 5 p.m. at the Sabine Medical Center’s Conference Center,” Treasurer Suzanne Williams shared.

(Special thanks to Suzanne Williams for the information above.)

Sabine and the entire region will be full of fun finds and bargains at the upcoming El Camino Real Sale on the Trail set for May 4 and 5.

Ready to “shop ‘til you drop”? The 16th Annual El Camino Real Sale on the Trail is coming up the first Friday and Saturday in May - May 3 and 4. Shoppers can travel along 175 miles of the historic El Camino Real de los Tejas through the Caddo region which stretches from Louisiana Hwy. 6 in Natchitoches to Texas Hwy. 21 in Crockett, TX.

Along the trail, shoppers will find new and used items sold by local businesses and regional vendors. If you are a shopping warrior, collector, or just looking for fun, a weekend spent shopping the trail is a wonderful way to take advantage of the beautiful spring scenery and historical markers along the El Camino Real. You can’t beat the bargains and unique items you will find!

Designated as a National Historic Trail in 2004, El Camino Real de los Tejas has existed for more than 300 years. The Spaniards and the French who marked the trail were followed by such men as Stephen F. Austin, Jim Bowie, Davy Crockett, Sam Houston, and early missionaries of multiple faiths.

For more information on shopping or participating in the “Sale on the Trail,” visit or call the Sabine Parish Tourist Commission at (318) 256-5880.

(A big thank you to Sabine Tourist Commission Marketing Manager Kelsi Horn for the above article.)   

Saturday is Election Day in Sabine Parish, and several tax propositions are on the ballot as follows:

Many School District No. 34, renewal of a 7.50 mill property tax for 10 years.

Ebarb School District 17, renewal of a 18.49 mill tax for 10 years.

Negreet School District No. 62A, renewal of a 6.63 mill tax for 10 years.

South Sabine Consolidated School District No. 20, renewal of a 7.82 mill tax for 10 years.

Converse School District No 8A, renewal of a 13.21 mill tax for 10 years.

Polls are open from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m.






bottom of page