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Wednesday, May29, 2024

Arden Settle, shown at right, a lifelong resident of Marthaville, was named Grand Marshal for the next Marthaville Good Ole Days Festival Parade set for Saturday, Sept. 28.  The announcement came Friday, May 24, in a special ceremony at the former T. Middleton Store, now the Marthaville home of Fuzzy and Shirley Hennigan.  Shown left to right are Connor Settle, Fuzzy Hennigan, Dale Settle, Mrs. Billie Settle and her husband, the man of the hour, Arden.

Another picture from the ceremony showing, left to right, Connor Settle, Arden Settle, wife Billie, Fuzzy Hennigan, last year’s Grand Marshal Laurie Gentry and Marthaville community leader Nolan Powell.

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT:  Re-electing Biden is like the Titantic backing up to hit the iceberg again.


Sabine Parish Sheriff Aaron Mitchell is shown going over case details with Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Stuart Wright near Marthaville Friday morning.  What appears to be the skeletal remains of Stephen W. Burkett were found in a pond off the Preston Hayes Road.

Stephen W. Burkett was reported missing on Feb. 13, 2022. It is believed his remains have been found.

According to reports, the skeletal remains of Stephen W. Burkett, 49, who lived on the Eddie Williams Rd. near Marthaville were found Friday on the outer banks and in the water of a private pond off Preston Hayes Rd. near Marthaville. The Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Department, and the North Sabine Parish Dive Team joined units from Natchitoches Parish in the recovery.  About 30 responders were on the scene.

Natchitoches Parish Coroner Steven Clanton stated, “It appears the remains had been in that area for a few years.”  The remains were transported to the LSU Forensic Anthropology and Computer Enhancement Service Lab for positive identification and further analysis.

Burkett was last heard from during the early morning hours of Feb. 12, 2022.  He was reported missing to the Natchitoches Sheriff’s Office at 11 p.m. on Feb. 13 by a female friend who termed his disappearance as “suspicious.”

Agents from both Sabine and Natchitoches had searched the area several days, but the area previously searched was about three-quarters of a mile from the pond.

Dr. Cody Bruce, one of the prime movers for many years in getting the Torres brothers historic marker, is shown speaking to a large gathering in the St. Joseph Catholic Church Cemetery on Memorial Day morning. Photo by Phyllis Lehr

Sylvester Martinez, at left, served as Master of Ceremonies for the program.  Here he is shown with the Rev. Rickey Robertson and SMSgt. Joe LaRoue, a Zwolle native who is retired from the Air Force.  Both were speakers on the program. Photo by Phyllis Lehr

A rifle salute and the playing of “Taps” closed the special graveside portion of the program honoring the Torres Brothers. Members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans did the 21-gun salute and VFW Post Commander Walt Korb played the mournful "Taps."

As members of the Torres family looked on, the marker in honor and remembrance of the four brothers was unveiled.

A crowd of around 150 came out Memorial Day morning to St. Joseph Catholic Church in Zwolle to remember and honor the four Torres brothers.

Commander Walt Korb of the Zwolle-Ebarb Veterans of Foreign Wars Post is shown speaking prior to unveiling of the marker.  Mr. Korb and the Post paid for the monument.

North Sabine Fire District had this massive American flying in the breeze Memorial Day at the dedication of the marker for the Torres brothers at St. Joseph Catholic Church Cemetery in Zwolle.

A crowd of around 150 came out Memorial Day morning to remember and honor four Torres brothers from Zwolle who were in World War II, three of them losing their lives in battle.  The event was held in St. Joseph’s Catholic Church Cemetery and also at the Church Hall.  The program was sponsored by Zwolle-Ebarb Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans Association, St. Joseph Catholic Church, Sons of Confederate Veterans and Natives of Zwolle and Ebarb Historical and Genealogical Society.

The four Torres brothers were Willie, John, Hosie and Ernest, who all served in the U.S. Army during World War II. They were the sons of Hosie and Josephine (Longoria) Torres.

Hosie was killed in action on July 12, 1945 on Luzon Island, Philippines. Willie was killed in action about two weeks later on July 25, 1945 on the same island, and John was fatally wounded in action on July 29, 1945, in Germany. He died on October 11, 1945. They were the first group of three brothers lost to one family in the state of Louisiana. The fourth brother, Ernest, survived the war and returned home.

Mrs. Josephine Torres was honored as a Four Star Mother for her sons' service in World War II.

Participating in the historic marker unveiling program Monday morning at the graveside were Sylvester Martinez, Dr. Cody Bruce, Walt Korb, the Torres family and the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Taking part in the ceremony inside the Church Hall afterward were Sylvester Martinez, Chloe Meshell, Walt Korb, Pam Russell, Rickey Robertson, SMSgt Joe LaRoue and the Reverends Keith Garvin and Johnny Falcon.

A delicious homecooked meal was served following the program and everyone enjoyed visiting and looking at the interesting display on the Torres brothers.

Judy Winn Bridges, right, presented a gold basketball charm to Kerry Rawls, left, last week in Marthaville. The charm once belonged to Kerry's father, Nuel, some 70 years.

Everybody knows basketball was always a serious thing in Marthaville, and it was never more serious than in the 1950s. The Bears were invited to the Northwest Rally at Northwestern in Natchitoches in the mid-'50s and, of course, won. All the boys were presented gold basketball charms to celebrate their impressive win.

The former Bonnie Sue Winn and Nuel Rawls were an item in High School at the time, so after winning the big Northwest Rally, Nuel gave Bonnie Sue his basketball charm.

Nuel passed away several years ago, and Bonnie Sue now lives in a nursing home. When her daughter, Jill Cantrell Morrison, was going through her mother's things, she found the little, gold basketball charm and was puzzled. She asked her aunt Judy Winn Bridges what it was and why her mother had it.

"I knew immediately, and I told her all about it," Judy Winn smiled. "I thought Nuel's son, Kerry, should have it. Of course, his daddy had already told him the great Marthaville Bears Basketball stories from the '50s."

Judy Winn Bridges told the story of the charm and presented it to Kerry Rawls last week at the former T. Middleton Store in downtown Marthaville after this year's Good Ole Days Grand Marshal was announced.

Kerry was delighted to get his dad's championship charm some 70 years after his father received it playing High School basketball.

(Special thanks to Marthaville native Judy Winn Bridges for sharing the background of the charm.)

According to the latest figures from the Louisiana Dept. of Natural Resources for the week of May 20-27, no new wells were permitted in Sabine Parish, but eight were in pre-production, and 518 were producing for a total of 526. Since the last report, one Sabine well moved from pre-production to producing.

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

Louisiana totals last week showed nine wells that were permitted, 253 in pre-production and 28,264 producing, for a statewide total of 28,517.

A review of the full data from across the state showed Bossier Parish had the most wells permitted last week at three, Caddo Parish had the most wells in pre-production at 61, and the most wells producing at 9,002. 

IT IS STRANGE:  That a seven-year-old kid cannot pretend to be an Indian, yet a 40-year-old man can pretend to be a woman.

Sabine Sheriff Aaron Mitchell, right, and Louisiana Sheriffs' Scholarship recipient Rustin Morales of Many, left

Sheriff Aaron Mitchell announced last week that Rustin Morales of Many High School has been named the recipient of a $1,000 academic scholarship from the Louisiana Sheriffs’ Scholarship Program for the 2023-2024 school year.  Rustin plans to attend Louisiana Tech University and pursue a degree in Industrial Engineering. Rustin is the son of Rachel Morales and Roy Morales.

The Sheriff’s Scholarship is made possible by the Louisiana Sheriffs’ Honorary Membership Program (LSHMP).  Louisiana Sheriffs provide scholarships to graduating high school students from each parish where the Sheriff is an affiliate of the Program.

Qualities such as academic achievement, leadership, and character are considered in making selections of Sheriffs’ scholarship recipients.

Sheriff Mitchell said, “Academic awards by the Louisiana Sheriffs’ Scholarship Program to Louisiana students demonstrate what the LSHMP is all about.  This is one of our finest accomplishments.  It invests in Louisiana’s future and gives something back to our community.  This would not be possible without the kind and generous support of Sabine Parish’s Honorary Members.”

Sheriff Mitchell congratulates Rustin for his accomplishments and wishes him the best of luck in his college career.

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

Kathy Ebarb captured this shot of the 2816 Empress steam locomotive as it sped through Zwolle Saturday morning.

This picture of the historic steam engine was taken at the Hwy. 6 crossing in Many Saturday morning by Amber Gentry.

The Canadian Pacific Kansas City 2816 Empress historic steam locomotive sped through Sabine Parish Saturday morning as folks gathered at Converse, Noble, Zwolle, Many, Fisher and Florien to watch it go by.

The train left Calgary on April 24.  It stopped in Shreveport on Friday before coming through Sabine mid-morning on Saturday.  It will travel on to Mexico City.  It will return to Canada going back to Calgary about July 12 or so.  In doing so, it will again pass through Sabine Parish.

The 4-6-4 Hudson-type steam locomotive was built in December 1930 and was intended for fast freight and passenger service.  It was retired on May 26, 1960 and served as a steam-powered ambassador for Canadian Pacific before being placed in storage in 2012.  After a decade of slumber, the engine was carefully prepared to once again travel the rails.

“Our unique, unrivaled railway network connect a continent and links Canada, the U.S. and Mexico,” said Keith Creel, CPKC President.  “On April 14, 2023 we drove a ceremonial Final Spike completing that continental connection.  The special historic tour commemorates that event connecting the three nations.”

WE GET LETTERS. It is always a joy to hear from our longtime friend and faithful Observations reader Ronald Byrd of South Boston, VA. His latest note follows:

"Robert, I was touched by the article on the birthday ladies, Kassidy Busby and Rechell Torrans. They and so many others in various businesses touch our lives in a positive way every day, unlike the more publicized high-profile movers and shakers. A smile from such individuals is contagious, elevating the moods of those they serve. While the media highlights others, we should give thanks to those like Kassidy and Rechell whose services are too often taken for granted but shouldn't be. They are an important part of what makes our country great, and I appreciate the space given them in your Observations. Thanks, my friend. Ronny"

FOR SALE: This large retail complex on Hwy. 6 in Many is up for sale. It is home to Tractor Supply Co. and Dollar Tree, with room for one more business on the east end of the building.

The shopping area that is now leased to Tractor Supply and Dollar Tree at 155 San Antonio Ave. in Many is up for sale, according to Lewis McBryde of McBryde & Associates Realty.

The property includes 8.167 acres and 51,604 square feet of space.  The building was constructed for Walmart when it first opened in Many.  There is one vacant store space in the building remaining to be leased at present.

Asking price:  $1,925,000.  Questions:  give Lewis a call at (318) 256-2121.

Mrs. Nan Arthur of Florien is the new state director of Operation Lifesaver

Nan Arthur of Florien has been named Louisiana Director of Operation Lifesaver.  That is a non-profit organization that provides free public education and awareness programs to prevent collisions, injuries and fatalities on and around railroad tracks and highway-rail grade crossings.

Her first event was at the train yard in Shreveport Friday where thousands gathered to see the Canadian Pacific Kansas City Final Spike Steam Tour.  They talked to folks about train safety and gave out coloring books, pamphlets and other items to train enthusiasts.

The Zwolle Police Department posted on its Facebook page Sunday that folks involved in a fight that took place after the trail ride Saturday night had until 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon to come to the Police Station and turn themselves in.

The notice warned, “If you do not, warrants will be issued, and we don’t mind coming to get you off your job.” 

It continued, “We’re aware of who you are.  There is no way you are going to come to Zwolle and act like this.”

Observations learned Monday that everyone who was involved in the fight that broke out at the Courtside Café, 1364 Obrie St., had received a citation and one female who was involved went to jail on a felony charge.

It was also learned that the medical air-lift flight that answered a call in Zwolle on Saturday was not related to the fight. Reports are that someone was clowning around on a dirt bike, accidentally flipped it and got hurt.

Mayor of Many Robert Hable, center, is shown proudly presenting a proclamation in honor of National Travel and Tourism Week to Sabine Parish Tourist Commission Director Georgia Craven and SPTC Marketing and Events Manager Kelsi Horn. The proclamation was presented at the Tuesday, May 21, Many Town Council meeting at City Hall.

Two weekends of exciting activities are coming to Sabine Parish as part of this year’s local Juneteenth celebrations. The Zwolle Civic Group is presenting their 3rd Annual Juneteenth Celebration Friday-Sunday, June 7-9, at the Zwolle Festival Grounds, planning lots of family fun each day. The following weekend, the Black Heritage Festival Committee of Many will host a movie for children at the Many Community Center.

In Zwolle, the festival grounds will open at 5 p.m. both Friday and Saturday evenings, June 7 and 8. Each night musical entertainment, hosted by Jabber Jaws and Jubbery, will be provided by soulful performers like Nathaniel Kimble, Vickie Baker, RT Taylor, RNB Pooh and more.

Admission is $10 per day; children age 6 and under are free. Kids in attendance will enjoy the kids’ zone with activities like arts and crafts.

As a part of the special weekend, the 3rd Annual Kickback Trail Ride in Zwolle will be held Sunday, June 9, also at the Zwolle Festival Grounds. Gates open at 5 p.m., but early arrivals are welcome. To enjoy will be a parade of ATVs, Party Wagons, horses, and more. The horse judged “Finest Horse” will win a trophy.

The ride officially kicks off at 6:45 p.m. with music by DJ K9 Production. For more information about the event, sponsorship opportunities or to secure a vendor space, contact Darlene Frazier at (318) 947-5172.

"Sonic the Hedgehog 2" is set to show free of charge at Sabine Theater in Many on Saturday, June 15, as a special treat for kids and their families to celebrate Juneteenth in Many.

On Saturday, June 15, the Black Heritage Festival Committee in Many invites all area children to join them for a movie matinee at the historic Sabine Theater [Many Community Center] at 675 San Antonio Ave. in downtown Many.

Movie-goers are invited to kick back in the cool air conditioning and enjoy “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” at 3 p.m.  Admission is free and concessions will be available to purchase.

For a full schedule of events visit

(Special thanks to SPTC Marketing and Event Manager Kelsi Horn for the article above.)



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