Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Baldridge-Dumas Communications is pleased to announce it will start running polls on subjects important and of interest to the public on its Facebook Page. The first poll will start June 19 and end June 25. Only one vote is allowed from each account. 

This poll will be about the public opinion of the Sabine Parish Police Jury. Questions on the poll will be:

1.       Are you satisfied with the condition of rural roads in Sabine Parish?

2.       Do you think the Sabine Parish Police Jury is spending your tax money wisely?

3.       Would you be in favor of abolishing the Sabine Police Jury and let private contractors maintain our parish roads?

4.       Are you satisfied with the job your Police Juror is doing?

To vote go to and click on Facebook. Results will be given Wednesday, June 26, on Tedd Dumas’ Open Line and on Robert Gentry’s Observations. Let your voice be heard. Go to and from there, visit Facebook to cast your vote.

The Tennessee Mafia Jug band is raring to come to Many for their Saturday night performances. Members of the group, seated left to right, are Leroy Troy, Ernie Sykes and Mike Armistead. Standing are Dan Kelly and Mike Webb. Not shown is Andy Todd.

The Tennessee Mafia Jug Band, along with banjo star Leroy Troy, will perform two shows at the Many Community Center [historic Sabine Theater] in downtown Many on Saturday, June 22. The first show starts at 5:45 p.m., with a second show at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10, and veterans will be admitted free. Seating is first come, first serve, so interested persons are encouraged to arrive early.

The Jug Band hails from the mountains of Tennessee and are known around the world for their authentic old-time Folk and early Country music. They are based out of Nashville, where they often appear on “The Marty Stuart Show” on RFD-TV, America’s only television network devoted to rural living.

The group was started by the late Lester Armistead and features Old-time music patterned after Uncle Dave Macon, the first superstar of the Grand Ole Opry; Roy Acuff, Pappy and his Jug Band and other legendary Old-time musicians.

The band has played the Grand Ole Opry dozens of times; they have headlined at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and have performed at hundreds of top-tier music festivals across the United States. Along the way, the group also provided entertainment for the society wedding of actress Angelina Jolie.

The troupe plays a wide variety of traditional acoustic instruments always found in the string bands of America’s frontier such as fiddle, mandolin, harmonica, guitar, slide guitar (now called dobro), upright string bass, washboard, bones, spoons and the jug.

Their repertoire consists of spirited “play party”-style songs of the 1800s and ballads that tell the stories and experiences of early American life.

The program is a special presentation of the No Man’s Land Bicentennial Celebration, headed by Sabine Tourist Commission Director Linda Curtis-Sparks, and also a special presentation of the Many Cultural District, chaired by Town of Many Councilwoman Mary Brocato.

Leroy Troy and the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band were chosen to appear in Many as part of the three-year long No Man’s Land Bicentennial Celebration for their unique skills and authenticity in Old-time music. The Tennessee Mafia Jug Band provides a highly-entertaining, yet historic romp through America’s past. The program will be filled with Old-time music, corny jokes and fun for all.

Major event sponsors are the No Man’s Land Bicentennial, Cypress Bend Resort, CAPCO Contractors Inc., Kelly & Townsend LLC, Curtis Family Pharmacy,, BOM of Many, Foy Motors, Lord Clinic and Judge Elizabeth Pickett.

Other sponsors include Ark-La-Tex Financial Consultants, Judge Stephen Beasley, Senate Candidate Louie Bernard, Attorney Ronald Brandon, Conrad Cathey, Rep. Frankie Howard, Mayor Ken and Mrs. Mary Ellen Freeman, Attorney Jimmy D. Long Jr., Nichols, Sabine Sheriff Ronny Richardson, Sabine Insurance Agency and Sabine River Authority.

Additional sponsors are Pete Abington, Bill and Hall Adams at Edward Jones, Bayou Crawfish Restaurant, Sabine District Attorney Don Burkett, Byles Welding & Tractor Co., Cleco, Cook’s Crawfish Hole, Country Boy Restaurant, Crittenden’s Garage, Sabine Clerk of Court Tammy Foster, Hacienda El Jimador, Hancock Furniture, K & W Clothing, McBryde & Associates Realty, Sabine Monument Co., Sabine Tire Inc., Candidate for Sabine Clerk of Court Shelly Salter, Candidate for Dist. 24 Representative Rodney Schamerhorn, Swepco, Buddy Wood State Farm Insurance and Vandegaer Insurance.

The historic Sabine Theater, now known as the Many Community Center, is one of only three single-screen theaters remaining in Louisiana. It is located at 675 San Antonio Ave. in downtown Many.

The box office will open at 5 p.m. on June 22, but advance tickets may be arranged by calling (318) 332-7873. The same number may be contacted for more information about the event.

The Mayor said the Chief, left, told a “fib,” and that Officer Stanley Cook, right, used body camera to video him.

The Many Town Council took Police Chief Roger Freeman to task about his job performance at a special meeting June 7.

Well, this is chapter two. Some of the patrolmen were worried about their jobs, so Mayor Ken Freeman called a meeting with them on June 10. He told them that they basically were a “group of good guys,” but they needed good training. The Mayor said Chief Freeman had agreed to provide training.

At the June 7 meeting, Chief Freeman was asked if he had an officer at Converse who took a patrol car home with him, because Alderwoman Gay Corley had seen one there early one morning. The Chief told the Council he did not have an officer who lived there.

Mayor Freeman said they learned the Chief had told them a fib, because Speedy Santos lives at Converse. “It was said that his car was repossessed and the Chief told him to use the [police] car to travel back and forth.” Mind you, that’s at taxpayers’ expense.

And as an added note, the Mayor said Policeman Stanley Cook used his body cam to video the Mayor during the meeting.

Observations has requested that Tax Assessor Cindy Manasco provide the public, through us, information on the status of re-assessment in Sabine Parish.  For the second week, no reply.

Alton Mahaffey, a veteran of World War II, is shown receiving a beautiful plaque that was given him by Louie Bernard, a candidate for State Senate. Making the presentation was Conrad Cathey, a candidate for Sabine Parish Tax Assessor.

The Many Police Department issued a warning to the public on Thursday of last week due to a rash of recent vehicle break-ins and burglaries.

The announcement said:  “Please be safety-minded and lock your home and vehicles, and please make sure no valuables are left visible in your vehicles when they are parked.”

Mrs. Brenda Ezernack holds a beautiful coconut cake that she recently made and delivered to the office. My wife Laurie who operates Laurie Gentry Designs restored some photos for Brenda and husband Wayne’s 50th Anniversary Celebration some time back. Ms. Ezernack was so pleased that she delivered a cake. And we were so pleased to eat the cake! It was delicious! And remember for all your photo restoration needs or graphic design call Laurie at (318) 332-7873.

Mrs. Hazel Procell Dyess, wife of Harold Dyess, announced last week that she is thinking about running for Sheriff.  Said she had already been to the Courthouse to check the procedure.

Then on Thursday, June 13, she and hubby Harold put an announcement on Facebook. She said they had visited with Sheriff Ronny Richardson and he told her “to stay off of Facebook.” She made the announcement on Facebook, but did not say whether or not she was going to stay off.

Work is presently underway on a South Star Urgent Care Clinic in Many.  The located is on Hwy. 6 West just before the railroad track. The company is owned by Hulin Health Care. They have 20 locations either operating or under construction. Most of the locations in operation are in south Louisiana.

Hulin Health Care was founded in 2011 and prides its operation as a product of hard work, unmatched customer service and a sincere passion for changing the way health care is delivered, one community at a time.

Work crews put in a long night when a construction company cut into a water main in Many about noon on June 4. The location was just across the railroad tracks on Hwy. 6. Water was off in many areas of town, but some service was restored by 10:30 p.m. It was 3 a.m. before the repair was completed. A boil advisory was issued and continued until 9:30 a.m. on June 7.

Pictures Along Life’s Highway

I took this unusual sunset photo June 3 about 7:30 p.m. between Marthaville and Belmont.

Sandy Hill Road

Bruce Taylor, well-known dirt contractor, continues to be vocal about the Sabine Parish Police Jury.

He complained recently about the potholes on Sandy Hill Road. And he said a few days later they were patched. Bruce said Ronny Bison is the Police Juror in that district.

Bruce also posted on Facebook a picture of a motor grader parked on the C. B. Byrd Road. He wrote:  “Must be motor grader cemetery, over a week resting, but operator still getting paid. Where is the supervisor?”

And election for Police Jury is coming up this fall.

Speaking of the election, Clerk of Court Tammy Foster has announced that qualifying for the Oct. 12 Primary Election will take place Tuesday, Aug. 6, through Aug. 8. The Clerk’s office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Qualifying will take place for State Senator, State Representative, Sheriff, Clerk of Court, Assessor, Coroner and Police Juror. Persons can also qualify to fill the unexpired term of Noble Alderman, Noble Chief of Police, Many Alderman-At-Large and Dist. 5 School Board Member.

Also on the Oct. 12 ballot will be Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Treasurer, Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry, Commissioner of Insurance and BESE Members.

If you need more information, feel free to call Ms. Foster at (318) 256-6225.

Vast improvements are currently underway at Hart Airport according to Many Mayor Ken Freeman. An extension of 1,000 feet is currently being constructed, making the runway total 5,000 feet. In addition, the old runway will be resurfaced. “This will allow small jets to use our airport,” the Mayor explained.

He said for the firth year, the Many Airport was rated as the best-run airport in Louisiana for a town our size. He said such a rating will mean more funds from the Federal Government.

 “We just got $1 million last month,” he commented. “We recently got $750,000 for a new lighting system,” he said.

 ‘The grants come through the Federal Aviation Administration,” the Mayor explained. “The money is generated through aviation fuel sales across the country.”

 “We are very pleased with the overall program of improvements,” the Mayor stated.  “Everything should be finished in the next three to four years. A good airport will help with tourism, with the development of Toledo Bend and with industry coming in. We have already had inquiries about industry location at the airport.”

That is all for now. Please call or write with your ideas for future Observations. I love to hear them. Call (318) 332-8653 or send an email to To print, save or send this week’s column, click on the appropriate icon below. To read recently archived Observations, follow the pages below. Older columns are archived on our Facebook Observations page, where they are listed under Photos and Albums by date.


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