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Wednesday, March 6, 2024


Senator Alan Seabaugh is set to cut the ribbon on his new district office headquarters at 515 South Capitol Street in Many on Thursday.


For the first time ever, a member of the State Senate has opened a full-time district office in Sabine Parish.  This Thursday at noon, Sen. Alan Seabaugh and the Sabine Chamber of Commerce will hold a ribbon cutting at the Senator’s new office located at 515 South Capitol Street in Many. The public is invited to attend.

    

Response to the ribbon cutting invitation has been enthusiastic with supporters from across District 31 planning to join the celebration.


Please note that parking will be along San Antonio Ave. and Main Street, at the Sabine Parish Courthouse and in nearby lots.


The event promises to be an historic occasion with remarks by Chief Judge Elizabeth Pickett, Third Circuit Court of Appeal; Judge Verity Gentry, 11th Judicial District; Sabine District Attorney Don Burkett, Sabine Sheriff Aaron Mitchell, and Many Mayor Robert Hable.


Sabine Parish Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Shanna Gaspard will perform mc duties and conduct the official ribbon cutting after the elected officials’ brief remarks.


Serving as Sen. Seabaugh’s primary legislative assistant is my wife, Laurie Gentry, who accepted the position last fall. She began organizing his main district office in Many a few days after he was inaugurated on Jan. 8.



Laurie Gentry has joined Sen. Alan Seabaugh as primary Legislative Assistant. She is at the new District 31 headquarters here in Many.


Prior to taking the position, Laurie operated Laurie Gentry Designs in Many for almost ten years. After we married in 2006, she worked a few years at the Sabine Index and earned a journalism degree from Northwestern State University.


At that time Laurie became active on the boards of the Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony Society, Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches, CrimeStoppers of Sabine and the former Town of Many Cultural District. More recently, she co-founded Pink Sisters of Sabine, a regional non-profit serving breast cancer patients, and also serves on the board of the Sabine Hall of Fame, among other civic activities­.


During her years in graphic, event and social media design, she built a number of websites, including the Louisiana Political Hall of Fame induction banquet event site, worked on various political campaigns, and enjoyed handling publicity for numerous efforts.


“Sen. Seabaugh and his wife Laura are really looking forward to the ribbon cutting on Thursday,” Laurie shared. “He appreciates the amazing support Sabine gave him in the election, is excited about his new District 31 office here and eager to greet everyone who can join us for the event!”


Sen. Seabaugh serves 10 parishes, including all of Sabine and Red Rivers parishes and parts of Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, DeSoto, Natchitoches, Rapides, Webster and Winn parishes. 






On Friday evening, March 1, Henry Treyton Ezernack, age 33, of Noble was arrested and booked into the Sabine Parish Detention Center by the Louisiana State Police for:  Vehicular Homicide (Felony), First Degree Vehicular Negligent Injuring (Felony) and Careless Operation of a Motor Vehicle (Misdemeanor).


Ezernack's impairment was a determining factor in the crash investigation by the Louisiana State Police that claimed the life of 14-year-old Walker Lane Pickett on Feb. 7.


No bond had been set as of press deadline.


According to the Louisiana State Police investigation, the two-vehicle accident happened at approximately 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 7, on Hwy. 191 near the Union Springs community. Their initial investigation revealed a 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee, driven by Ezernack, was northbound on Hwy. 191 and crossed the center line into the southbound lane and collided head-on with a 2005 Dodge Ram.


Traveling in the Dodge were a 16-year-old juvenile driver, who sustained moderate injuries, and his juvenile passenger, 14-year-old Walker, who suffered fatal injuries.


The recent arrest followed the analysis of routine toxicology samples obtained from Ezernack which were submitted after the crash. 


(Special thanks to Det. D. W. Seegers for supplying the material for the article above.)                                           




Rita and Joe DeBose, the friendly faces of Country Boy Restaurant in Many for over 40 years, recently sold their business and retired.


For the last forty-one and a half years, customers of Country Boy Restaurant in Many, LA have been greeted by Joe and Rita DeBose. Over the decades the food has become famous throughout the region and many of the customers, some driving from hours away, have become lifelong friends. A few weeks ago, the DeBoses passed the Country Boy tradition to new owners Chris and Julie Henley and began settling into retirement.


The funny part is, Joe and Rita never planned to be restaurant owners and had never even worked in a restaurant. In fact, when Joe came home and announced to Rita that he bought Country Boy, Rita’s reply was “You bought Boy what?”


Joe and Rita are lifelong residents of Sabine Parish. Joe graduated from Many High School in 1961, and Rita graduated from Negreet High School  the same year.  They married the next year in June 1962. After high school, Joe attended LeTourneau College and Kilgore Junior College, both in Texas, and Rita attended Norton Business College in Shreveport. They lived in Longview, TX for five years where Joe worked as a machinist for LeTournueau Industries and Rita worked in the office of Mr. R. G. LeTourneau.


After their first son was born, they moved back to Sabine Parish to be closer to the family, settling in Many. Joe worked at the Vancouver Plywood Mill and began raising cattle and for a time had chicken houses. A few years later, he bought a vending business which serviced businesses throughout Sabine Parish, as well as operating a car wash and washateria. On July 1, 1982, he purchased Country Boy.


Fresh ingredients, hard work, and a concern for customer service helped Country Boy grow into what it is today and many people who have fond memories of eating there as a child are now sharing those memories with their children and grandchildren. There are now multiple generations of customers who have enjoyed the chicken, fish and seafood as well as homemade tartar sauce and coleslaw.


Joe has also been active in the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation for decades, where he served as Sabine Parish President for almost thirty years and as a state board member for several terms. He is still an active member of the board of directors for the Sabine Parish Federation.  The DeBoses attend Alford Heights Baptist Church where Joe serves as a Deacon and Rita teaches the adult Sunday School class.


At the time they purchased Country Boy, Joe and Rita had three children - two in Junior High and a three-year-old. The family grew up with the restaurant and all worked at one time or other in the family business.  Their oldest son, Mike, and his wife, Sharon, live in Baton Rouge; their daughter, Stacey, and husband, Randy, claim Tennessee as their home but are also full time RVers, and youngest son, Scott, and his wife, Courtney, live in Many where he is Band Director at Many Jr. High and High School. Joe and Rita have ten grandchildren and four great grandchildren.


They are looking forward to being able to spend more time on the farm and visiting friends and family. They would like to thank their customers and employees for all the years of support and wish new owners Chris and Julie Henley the best of luck.



Sheriff Aaron Mitchell recently reported James Olin Manshack Jr., age 36, of Many was booked into the Sabine Parish Detention Center on Feb. 28.


His detention resulted from Sheriff Deputies’ attempt to locate Manshack for several felony arrest warrants on Monday morning, Feb. 26. When they located Manshack, he ran and also shot at a Deputy. The Deputy returned fire and struck Manshack once in the right leg.


Manshack was provided medical care and then released from Ochsner LSU Medical Center in Shreveport Wednesday evening, Feb. 28, and brought back to Sabine Parish.


Manshack was arrested and booked for several warrants:  Attempted first degree murder of a peace officer, Illegal carrying of a weapon, Illegal use of a weapon, Possession of firearm by person convicted of certain felonies, Resisting an officer by force or violence, Failure to registered address by sex offender, Failure to register phone number by sex offender, Failure to notify the community by sex offender, Failure to register social media account by sex offender, Failure to display sex offender status on social media account, Failure to register alias name by sex offender and State probation/parole violation.


As of press deadline, no bond had been set.


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



And in other SPSO arrest news, Sheriff Aaron Mitchell reports the Feb. 29 arrest of Darious Dejuan Brumfield, age 39, of Many for Second degree murder.


Sabine Parish Sheriff Detectives obtained the arrest warrant for Brumfield following the Dec. 11, 2023, drug overdose death of Brock Strahan, age 43, of Many. Investigators contend Strahan’s cause of death was a direct result of a Fentanyl overdose supplied to him by Brumfield.


Detectives began an investigation into Strahan’s death on Dec. 11 and developed Brumfield as the suspect. Detectives obtained toxicology and autopsy reports, cell phone records and other digital data as evidence in the case, as well as witness information.


Several pills were located at the scene which tested positive for Fentanyl and methamphetamine. Detectives discovered messages between Strahan and Brumfield showing Strahan purchased the pills from Brumfield. Strahan’s home video surveillance system also provided crucial evidence in the case.


On Dec. 15, 2023, Detectives obtained a search warrant for Brumfield’s apartment in Many where they located and seized marijuana, methamphetamine, Ecstasy, drug paraphernalia, and a firearm. An arrest warrant was obtained for Brumfield for Distribution of Schedule II, and he was initially arrested on Dec. 15.


Brumfield was arrested and booked for the above murder charge while incarcerated since his initial arrest on Distribution charges in mid-December.


Section (3) of L.R.S. 14:30.1 states “Second degree murder is the killing of a human being when the offender unlawfully distributes or dispenses a controlled dangerous substance listed in Schedules I through V of the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Law, or any combination thereof, which is the direct cause of the death of the recipient who ingested or consumed the controlled dangerous substance.” “Whoever commits the crime of second degree murder shall be punished by life imprisonment at hard labor without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.”


Sheriff Mitchell stresses in the strongest terms possible that even a tiny amount of Fentanyl can be lethal. Fentanyl is a dangerous synthetic opioid used to treat pain.


The Sheriff said his Tactical Narcotics Team Agents and Detectives will thoroughly and aggressively investigate whoever provides narcotics that are the direct cause of death in Sabine Parish overdose cases.


As of press deadline, no bond had been set.


(Thank you to Det. D. W. Seegers, who provided the material for the article above.)





Kristi Mitchell took this picture of a bald eagle last week while traveling on Hwy. 171 in Zwolle.  It was beautiful she told Observations.  The eagle is our national bird and the symbol of liberty, strength, unity and all the good things that make America great.

It is interesting to note that Ben Franklin wanted to name the turkey as the national bird, but he got voted down.  We now have a number of turkeys trying to run Washington.  Wonder what Ole Ben would say about that.



Mr. P. M. Woods, former Mayor of Zwolle and active civic leader


We were sorry to learn of the death of former Zwolle Mayor P. M. Woods, 84.  Services will be held at 4 p.m. Thursday at Warren Meadows Funeral Home in Zwolle.


He was very active in community affairs and will be remembered as the founder of the now-famous Zwolle Loggers Festival.  He was active in so many things, including serving as Treasurer for the Masonic Lodge in Zwolle, President of the Ebarb Water District and serving on the LRWA’s Board for 27 years.


P. M. will be missed, and we extend our deepest sympathy to his family and friends.




Ms. Evelyn Bush received a standing ovation from the crowd celebrating the Revitalization Project at Sabine High School when Speaker Mike Johnson visited Many.


While in Many recently, Speaker of the House Mike Johnson had the chance to meet Ms. Evelyn Bush, who recently celebrated her 99th Birthday.  He was greatly impressed by the former educator, and he invited her to attend Thursday night’s State of the Union address in Washington DC.  But due to the distance and rigors of travel, she decided to decline. It was certainly an outstanding gesture on his part, and he could not have selected a finer guest.




Air Force chaplain, Lt. Col. and former pastor of Pleasant Hill Methodist Church, the Rev. Scott Adams returned to the pulpit at Pleasant Hill last Sunday for a special service to celebrate the historic church's renovation.


The Pleasant Hill Methodist Church held a “Service of Re-Consecration” Sunday following the beautiful remodeling of the beautiful old church.  Doing the honors was former pastor, the Rev. Scott Adams.


A nice turnout was present for the service.  After it ended, attendees enjoyed a wonderful lunch.


The “Words of Re-Consecration” ended with:  “Now, O God, sanctify this place, for everything in heaven and on earth is Yours.  Yours, Lord, is the dominion, and You are exalted as Head above all.”


We understand the church was first located at old Pleasant Hill, which was located just inside the DeSoto Parish line where it was founded in 1846.  When the railroad came through the present Pleasant Hill, many of the buildings were moved to the new location, a few miles away.


We are told that oxen pulled the buildings, which were rolled on pine logs to their new homes.




Ms. Marie McCurdy was recently celebrated in honor of her 99th.


Happy Birthday wishes to Marie McCurdy on reaching 90.  She had a great celebration Saturday, March 2, at Cypress Bend Resort.  There was plenty of good food and many friends and relatives turned out to wish her the best.  We add our congratulations and look forward to her 100th.



We love to get messages and one we got last week from David West, head of the News Bureau at Northwestern, was very special.  He reflected on Speaker of the House Mike Johnson visiting Many as reported in last week’s Observations.


“When you were growing up, did you ever think you would know someone who knew the President of the United States?” he asked.  “I thought of that when I saw my cousin Shelly’s photo with Speaker Johnson. [He was referencing our Clerk of Court Shelly Salter.]  I thought could her father or grandparents imagine she would be in a position to meet one of the most important people in our country?”


He concluded, “One thing I remember is that God places all our elected officials in place.  Many times, we would like someone different, but it is God’s will they are there.  We may not understand why, but that is the case with many things.  I remember hearing sermons that said we are not capable of understanding God’s plan.”



The Sabine High School Revitalization Project (SHSRP) Management Group requests the public’s support in their current fundraiser.


The group is selling raffle ticket books, containing 10 tickets per book, at $20. Interested persons are encouraged to purchase five books.


“All proceeds from the fundraiser will be used to pay the operational expenses as we move forward in Phase One of our revitalization project,” President Sandra Garner Coleman explained. “[That will consist of] rehabbing the gym and weatherizing the remaining buildings on the campus of Sabine High School.”


Prizes are as follows:  1st Prize - $500; 2nd Prize - $250; and 3rd Prize - $125. The drawing will be held via Facebook Livestream on April 1.


Checks or money orders may be made payable to SHSRP Mgt. Group Inc. and mailed to SHSRP Mgt. Group Inc., c/o Joyce Burr, 850 Highland, Many, LA  71449. Supporters are asked to supply their mobile number so they can receive a text message with the ticket stub numbers purchased.


The group also has an online purchase option available at www.sabinebluewaves.org. Simply visit the site and click "donate" then enter the desired raffle ticket purchase amount. If using the online option, an extra $4 is required to cover the processing fee.


Those who purchase should text Sandra Garner Coleman at (434) 470-6305 immediately after their purchase. They will be sent the ticket stub numbers of their purchase.


Alumni, family and friends of Sabine High School who live in Many are asked to see Joyce Burr to get raffle tickets to sell as soon as possible.


The group’s fundraising goal is $5,000.


For more information, contact Sandra Garner Coleman, SHSRP Management Group, Inc. President, at 850 Highland Ave., P.O. Box 1367, Many, LA  71449, (434) 470-6305 or visit www.sabinebluewaves.org.





Project Celebration, Inc. who offers shelter to battered women and family, and also do other good work throughout Sabine, has some big fundraisers underway and upcoming.


They are offering t-shirts for $20 each and will soon announce a day when everyone is invited to wear their shirts in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month upcoming in April. The shirts are black, short-sleeve and feature the design shown above.


Interested persons should place their t-shirt order before Friday, March 15, by calling Luci Collins at (318) 256-6342 or (318) 349-8938.


Those interested in purchasing PCI t-shirts may follow the directions on the above form to do so.


Another fundraising activity is a painting party to be held Thursday, April 18.


“The painting party will be a blast,” Collins shared. “I hope everyone can come. If you plan on attending, please let me know so we can count you.” Pre-registration is required so the class leader can provide the correct number of painting canvases. 


The painting party is primarily to observe Child Abuse Awareness Month.



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