Denise Strub

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Several accidents over the holiday

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Thanksgiving week saw several wrecks throughout Bolivar County including Shelby, Winstonville, and on North Bayou Road. This morning the Boliar County Volunteer Fire Department, Pafford EMS, and the Bolivar County Sheriff’s Department were dispatched around 10:15 to a wreck on Drew-Merigold Road. 

Closings set for holiday

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Many area schools have already closed for the Thanksgiving holiday but come Thursday all will be able to express what they are thankful for including a day off from work.

The Bolivar Commercial will be among the area businesses closed for the holiday. The paper will publish on Friday.

All federal and state government offices will be closed.

All doctor's offices and dentist's offices will be closed.

The Bolivar County Courthouses in Cleveland and Rosedale will be closed and will go back to normal hours on Monday.

The Bolivar County Library System and Delta State University will be closed.

All schools in Bolivar County will resume back on Monday.

The city halls of Boyle, Benoit, Beulah, Cleveland, Drew, Renova, Rosedale, Shaw, and Shelby will be closed on Thanksgiving Day and the following day, and will return to its normal hours on Monday.

All banks will be closed.

The U.S. Post Office will be closed on Thursday.

RES garbage collection will not pick up trash on Thursday.

3 arrested for contraband

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A cache of marijuana, cell phones and tobacco destined for the Bolivar County Regional Correctional Facility was stopped short of reaching its destination Thursday when a traffic stop lead to the seizure of the contraband.

Police seek donations for Shop with a Cop

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Ultimately Christmastime is for children and there is almost nothing better than seeing the joy on a child's face when they open presents Christmas morning.

Though the reality of life is that not every child will be blessed on that magical day.


Katherine Ann Sellers Lee

Katherine Ann Sellers Lee, daughter of the late Lewis Felton "Fat" Sellers and Josie Wilma Spivey Sellers, was born February 14, 1940, in Shaw.

She departed this life November 16, 2017, in Calico Rock, AR, at the age of 77 years, 9 months 2 days.

She graduated from Shaw High School and later attended Delta State University in Cleveland. She was united in marriage to Paul William Lee on November 1, 1959, and together they raised three children. She spent her life as a loving daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, homemaker and friend. She traveled extensively with her husband and family on his military assignments. She worked as a librarian and a variety store manager in her hometown of Shaw. She retired from Walmart and volunteered at the Manna House in Melbourne, AR. She was of the Baptist faith and an active member of Midway Baptist Church in Melbourne.

She is survived by her husband of 58 years Paul Lee of Melbourne; two daughters and two sons-in-law Terri and Frank Stampf of Colorado Springs, CO, and Patti and Eric Smith of Melbourne, AR; one son and daughter-in-law Danny and Heidi Lee of Jacksonville, NC; two brothers: Willie Sellers and Lewis Sellers both of Shaw; two sisters: Evelyn Fuxa of Ft. Lupton, CO, and Mary Coker of Clinton; six grandchildren Zach Watkins and wife Caitlyn, Ben Lee, Rebecca Lee, Hunter Smith, Erica Smith and Bailey Smith and a host of other relatives and many good friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents.

Visitation will be Monday, November 20, 2017, from 6-8 p.m. at Eddie’s Family Funeral Home in Melbourne.

Funeral service will be Tuesday, November 21, 2017, at 2 p.m. at Howard Memorial Funeral Chapel with Gene Baird officiating. Burial will be at Combs Cemetery.

Leigh Anne Williams Marquis, 55, of Cleveland

Leigh Anne Williams Marquis, 55, of Cleveland passed away on Saturday, November 18, 2017, at her home.

Visitation will be held Tuesday, November 21, 2017, from 9-11 a.m. at Cleveland Funeral Home.

Funeral Services will follow at 11 a.m. in the Cleveland Funeral Home Chapel. Burial will be at the New Cleveland Cemetery. Bro. Steve Huber will officiate the services.

Leigh Anne was born on June 21, 1962, to Jimmy Ray and Mary Nell (Land) Williams in Cleveland. She married James Gary Marquis, Jr. on March 13, 1999 in Cleveland. She was a 1980 Cleveland High School Graduate. She graduated from Delta State University with BS in Business Administration in 1984. Leigh Anne started work at the age of 18 with her father at the Delta State University Book Store. She then merged into the US Post Office on the Delta State Campus where she obtained Postmaster; she retired after 26 years of service. After her retirement she worked part time for Nehi Bottling and Company in Cleveland. Leigh Anne was a member of Immanuel Baptist Church. She was an avid follower of Delta State sports. Leigh Anne was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and aunt. Her greatest joy was spoiling her grandchildren and nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her father Jimmy Ray Williams.

She is survived by husband of 18 years, James Gary Marquis Jr. of Cleveland; mother Mary Nell Land Williams of Cleveland; daughter Evelyn Denise (Chris) Hudson of Shaw; sister Meg (Harry) Howarth of Cleveland; sister Jennifer (Trent) LaMastus of Cleveland; 4 grandchildren Austin Smith, Ryan Smith, Jacob Hudson, and Kameron Hudson; nieces and nephews; Lee (Brittany) Howarth and their children Trace, Brynn and Faith Howarth, Will (Cathy) Howarth and their children Avery Carter and Harrison Howarth, Claire Howarth (Sy) Wilson and their children, Sam Harris and Charlotte Wilson, Laura Howarth (Reed) Abraham and their children, Strickland and Mary Grace Abraham and Trent, Tuck and Megan LaMastus.

Pallbearers are Ryan Smith, Jacob Hudson, Lee Howarth, Will Howarth, Sy Wilson, Reed Abraham, Trent LaMastus and Tuck LaMastus.

Memorials may be made to the Delta State University Athletic Department c/o Development Office Box 3141 DSU Cleveland, MS 38733.

The on-line guest register may be viewed and signed at

Arthur “Artie” Eugene Nute, 72

Arthur “Artie” Eugene Nute, 72, was received into heaven on Wednesday, November 15, 2017, in Brighton, TN.

He was born May 9, 1945, in Memphis, TN, to Juanita Baird Nute and Lewis Sinclair Nute. He graduated from Linn High School, earned a bachelor’s degree from University of Mississippi, obtained a masters degree in education from Delta State University, and completed various coursework at Mid-America and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminaries. Artie worked as a bi-vocational pastor and school teacher/coach/administrator for many years in various schools and towns in Mississippi. He was a long-time pastor at Dockery Baptist Church in Cleveland, MS, and during that time, he was the headmaster at Bayou Academy from 1985-1991. Prior to his role at Bayou, he also worked as a headmaster at Clarksdale Baptist School. After relocating to Memphis, in 1991, he committed to full time ministry. At his death, he was active pastor of True Word Baptist Church in Arlington, TN. Simultaneously, he was the president and founder of Artie Nute Ministry, Inc., a Christian organization dedicated to preaching the gospel and providing resources for individuals struggling with addictions and mental health issues. Artie had an uncanny ability to connect with people in a deep and positive manner, and he had many, many friends.

He is survived by his wife, Dr. Nancy Earnheart Nute; daughters Courtney Nute Moore (Jonathan) and Victoria “Tori” Baird Nute; granddaughter Charlotte Moore; brother Charles “Chic” Nute and sister Barbara Crockett Springer; God-daughter and niece Angie Springer Brents; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Family, friends, and others whose lives Artie touched are invited to the Covington Funeral Home at 3499 Hwy 51 South, Covington, TN, 38019 and Memorial Park Cemetery, 5668 Poplar Ave, Memphis, TN 38119.

Visitation will take place in Covington on Monday, November 20, 2017, from 5-7 p.m.

His memorial service will be conducted in Covington on Tuesday, November 21, 2017, at 10 a.m., with burial to follow in Memphis.

The family requests that any memorials be sent to Artie Nute Ministry, Inc., St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, or True Word Baptist Church. His friends may sign the online guestbook at

We all saw her twinkle

Saturday night Cleveland experienced a new event and it was definitely worth the wait.

Everyone had been seeing the wonderful metal figures that were adorned with lights that just seemed to bring out the child in every one of all ages.

I was meeting Crawford at the lighting ceremony to pick him up from a play date with his friend Ford but I feel asleep in my chair.

When I woke up the clock said 6:10 and I jumped out of the chair flying. I left my house not even knowing if I needed some lipstick or a brush in my hair. I drove as fast as I could and parked at the courthouse.

I dashed through mounds and mounds of people when I came to a dead stop because the Cleveland Central Band was playing Christmas carols. As soon as that was complete, I hightailed it across the street and found myself in front of the presentation stage. I realized at that point the program was starting and even though I hadn’t found Crawford yet, I didn’t want to move. That would be rude, not to mention I am nosey and wanted to hear and see everything.

I listened to every word First Lady Becky Nowell said while thinking how wonderful that all these people came together, volunteered and worked to give the community a special gift for the holidays. There were “thank yous” and clapping and Tricia Walker sang in our Christmas season with festive tunes for the night. Senator Willie Simmons spoke and lit the JoBeth Tree and everyone clapped and cheered. Mary Parker and Bradford Janoush lit up the new nutcracker that their mom and grandmother bought for our little town and last but not least Senator Simmons lit all the rest up. You could see smiles as big as the tree itself.

Children playing and laughing with adults right behind them, most with cameras snapping. I still hadn’t found Crawford but I knew the area he was in from a text I had received from Ford’s daddy. I walked and walked just wanting to see Crawford’s face with all this new illuminations in front of us. Low and behold I ran smack into them. And there it was ... his smile, his laughter and a twinkle in his eye. He adored all of it from the smallest light bulb to the 50-foot candle wreath.

He wanted to take pictures with everything, so we ran from object to object trying to get them all in. Since it was getting late and we hadn’t had supper, I told him it was time to go. He asked if we could ride through one time to see it all again. I agreed, not really because I am a sweet mama but because I wanted to see too! How can you not just love to look at it all?

The traffic was creeping along because everyone wanted that last look before going to his or her next destination. I slowly made my way down Sharpe Street and Crawford looked like a giraffe with his neck stretched trying to see every detail of the lights. I was getting tickled at him because his love for all the scenes seemed to grow instead of settling down for the evening. Distracted by his excitement I looked up and there was the biggest and most beautiful nutcracker and this thought ran through my mind... “Lucy’s nutcracker.” He stood tall and stately and looked as though he was watching over everything that was going on.

Our light guard for the Greenstrip. This nutcracker was Lucy Janoush’s gift to us and just like I have said in previous columns it is a testament to her. She loved her city and she gave everything she could in all kinds of ways. She left this nutcracker to remind us that giving and serving your community gives back to you many times over. Now that I have been introduced to “the guard of the lights,” I will say again. We see you Lucy in the twinkle of the lights, shining with all the Clevelanders that have gone before you.

Caroline Laster is an employee of The Bolivar Commercial. She may be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Larry Davis, 71

Larry Davis, 71, died November 8, 2017, at his home. Funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, November 18, 2017, at Vernon Memorial Apostolic Faith Church with Elder Williams Cummings officiating. Burial will be in Merigold Memorial Gardens. Visitation will be from 2-5 p.m. Friday, November 17, 2017, with family hour from 5-6 p.m. at Brinson Funeral Home in Cleveland. Another visitation will be prior to the service Saturday beginning at 10 a.m. Survivors include children Larry Griffin (Felicia) of Jacksonville, FL, Lisa Davis-Sanders (Stanley) of Summit, Dorsett Davis of Jackson, TN, and Brenda Burnett (David) of Memphis; siblings Willie Lee Warren of Mound Bayou, Pearline Davis and Linda Faye Davis, both of Chicago, IL, James Weatherspoon of Los Angeles, CA, Charlene Finely of Flint, MI, Alphonso Weatherspoon of Nashville, TN, Edward Weatherspoon of Clarksville, TN, Charles Edward Weatherspoon of Winstonville, Larry Weatherspoon of Flint, MI, Patricia Lavalais of Lawrenceville, GA, Thomas Lee Weatherspoon of Plaquemine, LA; Audrey Robinson of Winstonville, Ceasar Weatherspoon of Los Angeles, CA, and Sherae Gillespie of Snellville, GA, and many grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Curtis Eugene Lofton, 73, of Cleveland

Curtis Eugene Lofton, 73, of Cleveland passed away Tuesday November 14, 2017 at his home. Visitation was Thursday, November 16, 2017, from 6-8 p.m. at Cleveland Funeral Home. Funeral service was Friday, November 17, 2017, at 10 a.m. in the Cleveland Funeral Home Chapel. Burial followed in the North Cleveland Cemetery. Rev. Gabby Hays and Rev. Ed Hall officiated the services. Curtis was born September 20, 1944, in Shaw to Nolan Lofton and Grace Price Lofton. He graduated from Benoit High School. He enlisted in the army in 1966. He married Janis Rush on March 27, 1970, in Shaw. Curtis worked at the Gypsum Mill in Greenville for a number of years. He began working for Lyons Catfish Farm in 1979 until he retired. Curtis loved to coon and deer hunt. He was of the Baptist faith. Curtis was preceded in death by his parents, Nolan Lofton and Grace Price Lofton; two brothers, Leroy and Jerry Lofton. Pallbearers were Larry Johnson, Mike Lofton, Butch Lofton, Terry Lofton, Danny Lofton, Shawn Lofton, Marcie Mullins, Edward Lofton and Darron Lofton. Curtis is survived by his wife of 47 years Janis Rush Lofton of Cleveland; son Christopher (Celeste) Lofton of Cleveland; sister Jane Lofton Simmons of Magnolia; granddaughter Anna Bryant Lofton of Cleveland. He also leaves a host of nieces and nephews to cherish his memory. Online guest register may be viewed and signed at