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Wednesday, February 28, 2024


Sabine Parish elected officials are shown with Speaker of the House Mike Johnson. Left to right are Police Jury President Ricky “K-Wall” Sepulvado, Judge Verity Gentry, Sheriff Aaron Mitchell, Many Chief of Police Cheryl Wooley, Town of Many Go Get ‘Er Suzanne Williams, Tax Assessor Chris Tidwell, Speaker Johnson, Sabine School Board Member Kowonno Green, Police Jury Vice-President William Ruffin, Clerk of Court Shelly Salter, District Attorney Don Burkett, State Sen. Alan Seabaugh, Police Juror Ronny Bison and Many Mayor Robert Hable.

11th Judicial District Judge Verity Gentry is shown speaking with Speaker Mike Johnson.

Many native Herbert Garner of Houston, TX provided a guided tour of the facility for Speaker Johnson.

State Sen. Alan Seabaugh and his wife Laura, who represented the Attorney General's office, made the tour Friday with their long-time, close friend Speaker Johnson. At right is Laurie Gentry, Legislative Assistant to Sen. Seabaugh. She is located at his new District 31 office in Many.

Speaker Johnson, center, is shown with Tax Assessor Chris Tidwell, at left, Police Juror William Ruffin, behind, and Clerk of Court Shelly Salter, right. Partially shown at left is Town of Many grants writer Suzanne Williams.

Sabine Parish District Attorney Don Burkett is shown in conversation with Speaker Johnson.

Harvey Nichols, Republican Member of the Sabine Parish Board of Election Supervisors, shares a laugh with Speaker Johnson.

Pete Abington, long-time political leader in this area, is shown visiting with Speaker Johnson.

99-year-old Evelyn Bush, center left, former Sabine High schoolteacher, came out to celebrate the day with the Speaker of the House. Gathered around, from left, are Toninette Parson, Jerome Parson, behind, and Tara Parson.

Blake Byles of Earthmovers Inc. is shown sharing a smile with Speaker Johnson.

Many Mayor Robert Hable, right, did an outstanding job of speaking and serving as Master of Ceremonies at the Friday function. His wife, Crystal, left, also did a fine job, along with her staff and the folks from Good Gracious, of providing beautiful décor and warm hospitality with food and drink for those who wished. They are shown here with Speaker Johnson after the event.

Rev. Recie Medlock Jr. is shown at left and at right is Herbert Garner, a Many native who now lives in Houston, TX. Both gentlemen spoke during the event at the old Sabine High.

Many Mayor Robert Hable is shown at left as Speaker Johnson takes the podium.  In the center is Rev. Donnie Edmondson who prayed the invocation.

It was a big event as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Mike Johnson visited Many on Friday morning. The occasion was held at the old Sabine High School Campus in Many, which is currently undergoing a revitalization project. Many Mayor Robert Hable served as master of ceremonies and gave a brilliant speech about the history and historical significance of the school.

The Mayor pointed out that the campus was designated a historic site by the Department of the Interior in 2020 and that in 1928, a historic Rosenwald School once stood there.  He said Sabine High was built in 1958 and closed in 1970 when all schools were desegregated. From 1970 until 2002 it was used as Many Junior High.

The Mayor gave a very interesting, detailed report on the old school, and we will carry more about it in next week’s Observations.

Speaker Johnson greeted and visited with everyone in attendance who wished to visit with him. He kept a sincere smile on his face and was very cordial. He has served the Fourth District in congress for almost seven years. Speaker Johnson lives in Bossier City, and his district serves 16 parishes and nearly 780,000 citizens.

In his brief remarks, Speaker said our country needs to be united now more than ever before. He pointed out the importance of preserving history. And while saying we are all Americans, he termed the Sabine High project a “great thing for Many.”

The Rev. Donnie Edmonson prayed a heartfelt invocation that drew a lot of approving amens throughout. After his prayer, Speaker Johnson said he wished the Reverend could just travel with him and lead prayer like that all the time. Following Speaker Johnson’s remarks, the Rev. Recie Medlock Jr. spoke, as did Herbert Garner, a native of Many, who now lives in Houston.

Garner also gave the Speaker a tour of the Sabine High campus.

Mark it down and don’t miss it:  Next Thursday, March 7, at noon is the Sabine Parish Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting to welcome into its membership the new downtown office of State Senator Alan Seabaugh.

Sen. Seabaugh's new District 31 main office is located at 515 South Capitol Street in Many. He has satellite offices in Shreveport and Natchitoches.

The establishment of a State Senate office here marks the first time Sabine Parish has been accorded the honor. So, those who attend will experience an historic event.

Sheriff Aaron Mitchell on Monday afternoon, Feb. 26, reported a deputy-involved shooting occurred that occurred Monday morning off Louisiana Ave. in the Town of Many.

According to the report, shortly after 9:15 a.m. on Feb. 26, Sabine Parish Sheriff's Deputies were attempting to locate James Olin Manshack Jr., age 36, of Many for state probation/parole violations and several Failure to Register as Sex Offender charges.

Deputies saw Manshack on a porch at a residence on Taylor St. When he saw them approaching, Manshack ran from deputies towards Winnie Dr. and McClain Circle. Deputies pursued Manshack behind a residence off McClain Circle when Manshack pointed a pistol and shot at one of the deputies. The deputy returned fire and struck Manshack once in the leg.

Manshack was transported to Ochsner LSU Medical Center in Shreveport for non-life-threatening injuries. The deputy was not injured.

Manshack faces numerous felony charges including Attempted First Degree Murder of a Peace Officer.

The case remains under investigation, and the Sheriff’s Department said no other details will be released at this time.

(Special thanks to Det. D. W. Seegers for the above information.)

Russell Aucoin of Florien, shown above, caught this 10.18 lb. bass on Toledo Bend Lake Sunday, Feb. 25.

Backpack Joe traveled through Natchitoches Parish last week.

There was excitement and interest generated in Natchitoches Parish last week when a fellow called “Backpack Joe” visited the area. The 29-year-old man is walking from the Statue of Liberty in New York City to San Francisco, CA, praying for America. His mission started on Aug. 29, 2023 and he hopes to finish by the end of this year.

He informed Natchitoches Parish deputies that he had been traveling along on old Hwy. 1 but made a detour to Melrose because he wanted to see the historic St. Augustine Catholic Church at Isle Brevelle.

He said the hospitality he has found along the way has been humbling. He rested in Natchitoches Parish over the weekend, before leaving the area Monday, going through Campti as he headed for Shreveport.

Young Brody McKee, grandson of our good friend Debbie Stewart, got to visit with Backpack Joe after he left the church in Isle Brevelle.

Brody asked his mom on Wednesday evening if they could go look for the backpacker, and as luck (or divine intervention) would have it, they met the traveler just as he was coming out of St. Augustine Church.

Young Brody McKee, at left, greeted Joe and prayed for him as he journeyed through Natchitoches Parish last week. At right, Brody is shown holding the bandana Backpack Joe gave him.

Brody met the backpacker and asked Joe if he could pray for him, and Joe readily agreed. He then gave Brody his patriotic bandana he had been wearing and told him he would probably want to wash it.

But Brody told his mother, Courtney, “Mama, do you know how many prayers this bandana has on it?! There’s no way I’m washing it!” As they left the meeting Brody told his mom, “In a world full of celebrities, I want to be like Joe.”  

Brody, this world could use a whole lot more just like you. You are a wise young man to have found the right path so early in life.

The newly renovated Pleasant Hill Methodist Church

The Pleasant Hill Methodist Church will have a special blessing and serve communion at their newly remodeled church this Sunday, March 3, beginning at 11 a.m. The Rev. Scott Adams, former pastor of the church, will bring the message. Lunch will be served after worship. The public is invited to attend.



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