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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Roger Rivers captured this monster last week as he patiently waited for the right time to put out two nets.  He targeted two deep holes in a creek that runs into Toledo Bend.  Official weight was 160 lbs.  That’s a big one.

Dr. Mark Holder, detective with the Many Police Department, said the investigation into the strange, mysterious death of Steven Lilly is still ongoing.  Lilly's body was found in a well in front of his house on Feb. 2.  Reports showed the cause of death was drowning.  The strange thing about it was it was found that the cover of the well had been put back on after the body was thrown in.

Someone knows the details, and the Police Department needs that information in order to solve this murder.  Whatever is shared can be kept confidential.  Anyone with information should call the Many Police Department at (318) 256-5617.

Lauren Ray, new Communications intern at Observations

Lauren Ray of DeRidder started an internship with Observations Tuesday morning.  She is a major in Communications at Northwestern State University.  Her advisor is Dr. Jie (Jessica) Zhang, Director of the Communications Department.

In addition to working on Observations, Lauren will do some work at the BDC radio stations, including broadcasting on the air with Tedd Dumas.  She will also spend some time with the Sabine Parish Tourism Commission under the direction of Georgia Craven and at Sen. Alan Seabaugh’s office with Legislative Assistant Laurie Gentry.

Lauren was graduated from Rosepine High School and will receive her Bachelor of Science degree in May 2025.

Her work experience includes Rolling Hills Ministries in Natchitoches where she has been a team member since August 2023 and Roma's Italian Kitchen in Natchitoches where she has been a server since November 2022.

Lauren has been a member of Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society since 2022 and is a member of the Northwestern NSU-TV service which has streamed the Lady Demons Soccer games on ESPN.

We welcome Lauren for the summer and look forward to working with her.

Yours truly and Miss Lottie Bee

I was happy to have my little friend, Lottie Bee, drop by to visit me last week.  She is the five-month-old daughter of Jake Hebert and Elise Birmingham.  Jake works here at the radio station and is on Facebook at Jake RayDio.  Elise and Jake are mighty fine folks and so proud of their first child.

SENTENCED:  Joshua Cornell Palmer

A Sabine man convicted in April of murdering his ex-girlfriend's new partner recently received a life sentence in Caddo Parish.

The Caddo Parish District Attorney’s office reported 36-year-old Joshua Cornell Palmer, a Many resident, fatally shot 32-year-old Dominique Roland after Roland had visited Palmer's former girlfriend. After Roland left the apartment, Palmer followed him and fired three shots, hitting him once in the face and twice in the chest.

Palmer was handed a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of probation, parole, or suspension. Additionally, the judge imposed a consecutive 19-year sentence for Palmer's possession of a firearm as a convicted felon.

Pastor, historian and recently named Chaplain for Troop E of the Louisiana State Police Rickey Robertson

Rickey Robertson, a native of Peason, has been named Chaplain of Troop E of the Louisiana State Police.  He retired from the State Police in 2009, and he has been a minister for several years. 

He and wife Patsy founded the Peason Historical Foundation Inc. in 2007 to gather and preserve the rich history of the old sawmill town as well as the history of the settlers and homesteaders of Peason Ridge.  They founded the Peason Memorial Park, which houses two historical markers and photo kiosks open to the public, and they also have a small military museum in their home.  Rickey is one of the few Heritage Family Members from Peason Ridge.

Highly regarded as a patriotic historian, Rickey writes historical articles for several newspapers and local and national magazines.

Don’t forget! The unveiling of the Torres Brothers Louisiana Historical Marker at St. Joseph Catholic Church Cemetery and Hall in Zwolle will be held on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27, at 10 a.m. The public is welcome to attend.

The project has been some four years or so in the making headed up by Sabine historian Cody Bruce with a number of interested, local folks assisting.

The marker pays tribute to the service and sacrifice of Hosie Louis Torres, Willie Lee Torres, John B. Torres and Ernest R. Torres, four brothers who all served during World War II.

We are mighty proud to see this worthwhile project come to fruition. Kudos to all who played a part.

Sen. Alan Seabaugh recently submitted information to have the Zwolle Hawks Boys Basketball team and Coach Bradley McLaren honored by both houses of the state legislature in a Senate Concurrent Resolution to commemorate their historic 17th State Basketball Championship this past season. The Championship marks the most Boys Basketball state wins ever in Louisiana.

As Sabine well knows, basketball is a proud institution in Zwolle with around 1,000 fans packing into the Zwolle Gymnasium, known as “The Hawk's Nest,” on game nights to watch the Hawks compete.

The tradition of championships began in 1968 when the Hawks brought home the school's first Boys Basketball state title after defeating district rival Florien in the Class B title game. The Hawks regained championship status again in 1985, which foreshadowed successes to come. In 1988, the Hawks began a historic run until 1994. During this time, the Hawks would bring home seven consecutive championships in Classes B and AA.

In 2006, under the direction of Coach Bradley McLaren, the Hawks brought home their 10th championship. Since the 2006 title, the Hawks have been no stranger to the state tournament. In addition to the 2006 championship, Coach McLaren has led the Hawks to the 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2017, 2023, and 2024 state titles.

While the Hawks have routinely earned their way into the state championships, there have been many successful seasons that did not end with the team hoisting the gold trophy. Since 1968, the Zwolle Hawks have made 26 trips to the LHSAA State Tournament and obtained six state runner-up titles (2002, 2008, 2016, 2018, 2019, and 2022.)

The 2024 state championship marked a historic feat for Zwolle and the state of Louisiana. As the school's 17th championship in Boys Basketball, the 2024 state title placed Zwolle at the top of all schools in Louisiana. No other team in Louisiana has won more than 16 state championships. While the school and community are excited about this major accomplishment, they are confident the Hawks are not finished, and their proud tradition will continue.

We look forward to the talented team, Coach McLaren and the coaching staff receiving the upcoming special recognition from Sen. Seabaugh.

(Special thanks to Sabine educator and historian Peyton A. Arthur of Florien for compiling and writing the thorough Hawks Basketball history presented above.)

Louisiana could become the first state in the nation to mandate the display of the Ten Commandments in all publicly funded schools, including colleges and universities. The state Senate passed the bill with a 30-8 vote on Thursday, May 16, with an amendment to allow the displays to be funded by public donations.

The bill, HB71, was sponsored by Rep. Dodie Horton, a Republican of Bossier. The new bill specifies that the Ten Commandments must be printed on a poster measuring at least 11 inches by 14 inches, with the text being the central element.

Sen. Royce Duplessis, a Democrat of New Orleans, was the sole voice against the bill during its discussion, as reported by | The Times-Picayune. He argued, "I didn't have to learn the Ten Commandments in school. We went to Sunday school." Duplessis also highlighted potential legal challenges.

Sen. Duplessis was certainly fortunate someone cared enough about his spiritual growth as a young person to train him in faith. Sadly, today many young people and their parents have no clue what “Sunday School” is, much less are aware of the foundational principles of the Ten Commandments which encourage self-control and offers some meaning to life beyond pleasing self.

The proposed bill now requires a second vote in the full House before it can be sent to Gov. Jeff Landry for approval.

We’ll see.

According to information received from State Treasurer John Fleming, starting in June the Unclaimed Property Department will be mailing out checks to every parish in Louisiana from the annual data merge with the Louisiana Dept. of Revenue to match addresses with people owed money in the system.

Those who think they may have unclaimed cash in the state of Louisiana may visit for more information.

Many Mayor Robert Hable, center left, presents Chief of Police Cheryl Wooley, center right, with a Town of Many proclamation observing National Police Week. They are joined by MPD Shift Commander Stanley Cook, left, and Asst. Chief Mason Wiley, right.

Mayor of Many Robert Hable proudly presented the Many Police Dept. a proclamation last week observing May 12-18 as National Police Week.

As he addressed Chief of Police Cheryl Wooley, the Department officers and staff, Mayor Hable noted, “We appreciate all the hard work Many Police Dept., as well as all local law enforcement agencies, puts forth every day for our communities.”

Mary Brocato, Town of Many Councilwoman-At-Large

Noah Foulkes, Manager of Wildwood Resort and Toledo Bend Family Adventure Park

The Sabine Parish Tourist Commission (SPTC) Board and Staff are excited to welcome two new additions to the Board this summer.

Mary Brocato, Councilwoman-At-Large, has been appointed by the Town of Many to serve on the SPTC Board of Directors beginning in May 2024. Brocato serves the Town of Many and Sabine Parish by participating in community organizations like serving on the Sabine Humane Society Board of Directors, Many City Council, and being a Louisiana Public Broadcast radio host. She is excited to serve on the Tourist Commission Board now also.

Brocato will represent the Town of Many in place of her predecessor, Bobbie Jackson. Jackson was first appointed by the Town of Many in 2018 and served two consecutive terms. She has made the decision not to renew her appointment this year and retire her position on the Board.

“The Sabine Parish Tourist Commission sincerely appreciates Ms. Jackson’s contributions to the tourism industry during her time on the Board and will greatly miss her. However, the SPTC is enthusiastic about the future with Ms. Brocato and looks forward to new ideas and efforts that she will bring to the industry,” said SPTC Executive Director Georgia Craven.

Brocato was sworn in at their recent board meeting on May 16.

The other new board member replaces Bonnie Fox-Miles, who was first appointed to the SPTC Board back in 1995 by the Sabine Parish Police Jury. For 29 years, Fox-Miles selflessly gave her time and effort to help bring tourism to Sabine Parish. The SPTC family is most grateful for her service and recognizes the legacy she leaves behind.

In her place, the Sabine Parish Police Jury has appointed Noah Foulkes, Manager of Wildwood Resort and Toledo Bend Family Adventure Park, to serve a three-year term beginning in July 2024.

The SPTC believes that Foulkes undoubtedly has a passion for Toledo Bend Lake Country and the skills needed to fulfill his new duties in an impressive way. He will be sworn in at the SPTC July board meeting.

The Sabine Parish Tourist Commission Board consists of seven individuals, each nominated by a governmental or non-profit organization with an interest in the tourism industry.

Board meetings are held the second Tuesday of every month at the SPTC office at 1601 Texas Hwy. in Many. Meetings are open to the public, and all are welcome to attend and learn more about tourism in Sabine Parish.

Those who wish to see meeting schedules, agendas and minutes, are invited to visit or call (318) 256-5880.

(Special thanks to SPTC Marketing Manager Kelsi Horn for the above report.)

And in other news from the SPTC:

The Sabine Parish Tourist Commission is currently celebrating National Travel and Tourism Week, which began Sunday and ends this Saturday, May 25.

Established in 1983, National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW) is an annual celebration of the contributions of the U.S. travel industry, spotlighting the critical role that travel plays in driving economic growth.

The Louisiana Travel Association (LTA) and Sabine Parish Tourist Commission believe the tourism industry is a key economic driver in the state. Travel spending supports vibrant and safe communities in Sabine Parish, Louisiana and across the United States by historically generating billions of dollars in tax revenues every year. In 2022, Louisiana generated $17.1 billion in visitor spending, and of that, Sabine Parish generated $10.59 million.

The travel industry is the fourth largest employer in Louisiana. In Sabine Parish, 120 jobs were established in this industry and $3.49 million in employment earnings were generated by visitor spending in 2022. Because of this, visitors contributed nearly $1.23 million in state and local tax revenues for Sabine Parish.

SPTC Executive Director Georgia Craven said, “We are excited about the future of Toledo Bend Lake Country. We recognize the significant impact that tourism has on this area and believe in its possibilities. We know we can’t do it alone; it takes all of us working towards a common goal. We are all better when we work together.”

The Town of Many read a proclamation at a recent council meeting declaring May 19-25 National Travel and Tourism Week for Sabine Parish, encouraging all citizens to partner in and support tourism throughout the region.

To learn more about LTA and National Tourism Week, visit

(A big thank you to Kelsi Horn, SPTC Marketing Manager, for providing the above information on National Tourism Week.)

Sheriff Aaron Mitchell and the Sabine Parish Sheriff's Office announced on Monday morning the release of their newly redesigned website.

The website is interactive with the free Sabine Parish Sheriff App, containing news releases, local school information, most wanted, sex offender information, submit a tip, submit a compliment or complaint, and much more. Visitors can also view and pay property taxes, traffic fines, court fines, and download a copy of a Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office employment application.

Sheriff Mitchell said one of his main goals since taking office four years ago is providing citizens with important, relevant, up-to-date information that Sabine Parish residents need to know.

“Please visit our website link below and let us know what you think,” the Sheriff’s Office invited.

Visit the new Sabine Parish Sheriff's website at         


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

According to figures from the Louisiana Dept. of Natural Resources for the week of May 13-20, there were no new wells permitted in Sabine Parish, but there were nine in pre-production and 517 producing, for a total of 526.

Pre-production includes permitted, drilling and completion, but does not include shut in.

Total for the state last week showed 16 wells permitted, 255 in pre-production and 28,263 producing, for a state total of 28,518.

As future reports are released, Observations will update the available numbers.

Many Mayor Robert Hable, center, was guest speaker at the Tuesday luncheon of the Vultures Club.  Among topics he covered were painting and improvements for the Many water towers, grants the town is attempting to secure, how good the Police Department is operating under Chief Cheryl Wooley, street improvements and a few other topics.  At left is former Mayor Ken Freeman and at right is Jerry Brown.

The following piece was shared on social media with the photo above by our longtime friend and photographer Cindy Ezernack. We enjoyed it, and we hope you will, too. Her remarks follow.

“In the Catholic Church, the dove is the universal symbol of the Holy Spirit as described in all four Gospels. (See Matthew 3:15, Mark 1:10, Luke 3:21-22 and John 1:32.)

“The dove frequently represents the Sacrament of Baptism. In truth, it can be said that God sent His Spirit in the form of a dove to gather mankind into His church.

“I was compelled to share a photograph I captured [on May 15] at St. Ann's Catholic Church [in Ebarb.]  I initially overlooked the shape of the clouds. Yet, upon reviewing the pictures, this image struck me profoundly and reinforced my belief.  I see the shape of a dove. How amazing.  What are the odds of this ever happening again?  And it's perfectly centered over the cross.  God is Good.”

A local electronic billboard promotes the "Click It or Ticket" seat belt enforcement that is underway now.

Record-high traffic is expected on Louisiana roads during the 2024 Memorial Day holiday, and law enforcement will be writing tickets to anyone not wearing a seat belt during the “Click It or Ticket” campaign, which remains in effect through Sunday, June 2.

“There are some things out of your control in a vehicle, and one of them is what the other driver is going to do,” Lisa Freeman, Executive Director of the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission (LHSC) said. “Wearing a seat belt and ensuring children are in an age- and size-appropriate child seat is the best way to protect against that other driver.”

She continued, “Louisiana’s latest seat belt survey shows less than 15% of drivers and passengers do not wear their seat belts. Yet, in cases where seat belt use is known, more than 48% of the people who died in crashes here in 2022 were not wearing a seat belt. If we can get that last 15% to wear a seat belt, we can save hundreds of lives every year.”

In Louisiana, a ticket for a seat belt violation is $50 for a first offense.

(Special thanks to Gregory Fischer of the LHSC for the above report.)




1 comentário

22 de mai.

Thank you for sharing my picture of St. Ann’s. I felt I needed to share it in hopes it would touch people’s heart, like it did mine.

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