Notice of Death February 25, 2020

Dr. William “Bill” Robertson
November 13, 1952 – February 24, 2020
Visitation: Thursday, February 27 beginning at 5 pm at Fellowship Baptist Church in Jena
Service: Friday, February 28, 2020 at 10:00AM at the church under direction of Kinner & Stevens Funeral Home

James Cecil “Gabby” Freeman Sr.
August 13, 1930 – February 24, 2020
Visitation: Thursday, February 27 from 5-9 pm and Friday, February 28 from 10-11 am at Northside Baptist Church in Montgomery
Service: Friday, February 28 at 11 am at Northside Baptist Church

Jerry Larpenter
August 13, 1930 – February 21, 2020
Service: Tuesday, March 3 at 2 pm at Friendship Church of the Nazarene in Robeline

Will Smith
March 26, 1951 – February 21, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Steve Wiggins
May 14, 1948 – February 21, 2020
Visitation: Thursday, February 27 from 3:30-5:30 pm at Blanchard St. Denis Funeral Home in Natchitoches

Crawford Ficklin, Jr.
February 23, 2020
Service: Saturday, February 29 at 11 am at the First United Methodist Church, located at 411 Second Street in Natchitoches

Mary Jane Jackson Parker
February 22, 2020
Service: Saturday, February 29 at 9 am at Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel, located at 318 North Street in Natchitoches

Anna Lou Evans Beasley
February 7, 1918 – February 18, 2020
Service: Saturday, February 29 at 2 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home in Natchitoches
Interment: Weaver Cemetery in Flora

Cleveland Lewis
February 15, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Police Jury Seeks New Board Members for Industrial Development Board

The Winn Parish Police Jury is seeking at least one maybe two new people to serve on the Industrial Development Board of Winn Parish (IDB).

The IDB was created on August 21, 2006, to promote industry and develop trade by inducing manufacturing, industrial, commercial and other enterprises to locate in Winn Parish.

Per the IDB’s Bylaws, the board meets on the third Wednesday of every month unless no business that has come before the board. According to IDB President, Dickey Heard the board has not been very active lately. “We wait for either the parish or the state to present ideas to us and no one has approached us with anything in a while.” IDB Statutory Attorney, Chris Nevils stated that the board’s scope is not to proactively search out opportunities but to look into opportunities that are brought to them and then pass on the ones that they think are good to the Winn Parish Police Jury for consideration. The board met on February 2, 2020, but before that, it had not met since 2013.

During the most recent IDB meeting Winn Parish Police Jury President, Josh McAllister stated that he would like to see the IBD revitalized and at least two maybe three more members added to the board. McAllister also thanked Heard for his many years of service to the board. McAllister’s guest at the meeting was Robin Cummings, owner of Six C Fabrication, Inc in Winnfield. McAllister went on to make a motion at the last police jury meeting to have Cummings appointed to the board.

The current board members are President, Dickey Heard (served since 2006), Larry Bates (served since 2017), Toni McManus (served since 2017) and recently added Robin Cummings.

The IDB has over $600,000 at its disposal to invest in bringing industry to Winn Parish thanks to the payment in lieu of tax (PILOT) agreement signed in 2008 between the IDB and Jeld-Wen, INC, where in place of ad valorem taxes Jeld-Wen, Inc pays $50,000 per year to IBD. This is the twelfth year of a twenty-year term.

Police jurors will be considering nominees for the board at the next police jury meeting. The next IBD meeting is scheduled for March 4, 2020.

Last Day to Place Order for Pulled Pork Dinner to Benefit Make It Happen CureFA

Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church Women’s Group is taking orders for a pulled pork dinner to benefit the Make It Happen CureFA Organization on Thursday, March 5, 2020.

Make it Happen CureFA (MIH) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization created by the Walker family on behalf of Kate Walker. Kate is the sixteen-year-old daughter of Jason and Rachel Walker and granddaughter of Bo and Chris Walker and Dr. Jimmy and Helene Walker.

Kate was diagnosed at age 12 with a rare, degenerative, neuromuscular condition called Friedreich’s Ataxia (FA), for which there is no medical regimen or cure. FA affects approximately 5,000 people in the US and 15,000 around the world. It is an inherited disorder and most children are diagnosed between the ages of 5-15. FA is a multi-system disease affecting mobility, fine motor skills, vision, hearing, speech, heart function and other body systems. FA does not affect cognitive ability.

The smoked pulled pork will be prepared by Tracy Kelley. A Lunch plate is $8.00 and will include a sandwich, chips and, a brownie or a one-pound container for $10.00 is also available. Deliveries will be made to Winnfield businesses with an order of eight or more between 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM. All other orders may be picked up at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church located at 772 Country Club Rd, Winnfield, LA 71483. To place an order or for more information please contact Tracy Kelley (318)727-4591 or Laure Derr (318)628-4079, (318)663-6701. Cut off date for orders is February 21, 2020.

Please make all checks payable to Make it Happen CureFA Foundation.

MIH is committed to finding a cure for FA and aiding those impacted by FA.

For more information visit Make it Happen CureFA.

To follow Kate’s journey subscribe to her YouTube Channel Kate’s YouTube Channel.

Follow her on Instagram at Make it Happen CureFA Instagram

Clergy Corner with Pastor Lee Tilton

FROM THE PASTORS PEN… 26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. James 1:26-27 KJV

In the first century , orphans and widows had very little means of economic support. Unless they had family that was willing to care for them they were reduced to begging, selling themselves as slaves , or starving. The early church put Gods Word into practice by helping these in need.

In today’s world we have many people in need all around us. And as we go about our daily lives we sometimes overlook someone in need . We forget about the little elderly lady whose husband has passed away or the single mom down the street that is struggling to make ends meet. Today the church has many programs and organizations to send funds to for missions and ministries and we give to them without thought thinking we are doing what God has told us to do. And just like that we are doing our Christian duty.

My dear friends if this is what you think is being religious you have missed the mark. We spend time in meetings and giving to programs but can I say our mission field is right outside your and my door. There are people that are in need all around us, and we should not just have church on Sunday and Wednesday but we should be the church Monday-Friday 365 days a year. And as the church , meaning you and me, when we do help someone never expect anything in return or brag about what you are doing or have done . When we give with no hope of receiving anything in return, we show what it means to truly serve others.

May God bless you and keep you all in His Grace today.

Love you in Christ
Bro. Lee Tilton
Pastor, Laurel Heights Baptist Church

City of Winnfield Submits Video for HGTV Home Town Takeover

The City of Winnfield in cooperation with the Winn Chamber of Commerce and Tourism have created a video to showcase Winnfield to submit in consideration for a new HGTV series called Home Town Takeover. 

The selected town will see renovations to homes and public spaces over a six-month period. The transformation will be captured in a six-episode limited series, “Home Town Takeover,” set to air on the network in 2021.

The network launched the contest in January. Residents of towns with fewer than 40,000 residents were eligible to apply. Applicants could submit materials online, including video, showcasing why their town deserves to be on the show. They were encouraged to highlight aspects of the town that makes it special, such as architecture, local landmarks or a main street.

The new show is a spinoff of the HGTV show “Home Town,” which features hosts Ben and Erin Napier renovating houses in their hometown of Laurel, Mississippi. That show has aired on HGTV since March 2017.

You can watch the video here:
Winnfield, LA HGTV Home Town Video Submission

Uncle Earl’s Hog Dog Trials Dates Announced

A quarter century of history and hog dogs. Come help us celebrate Earl K. Long the 45th Governor of Louisiana’s 125th birthday in his home town Winnfield, Louisiana. Arts, crafts, camping, dog supplies, and food vendors of all kinds will be at 2000 South Jones Street Winnfield, Louisiana (Winnfield Fairgrounds) for 5 days of fun and competition. Tell your friends to load up and check it out this will be the biggest one ever.

March 25th – Puppy and Old & Young
March 26th – One Dog
March 27th & 28th – Two Dog
March 29th – Youth, Best of the Best and Highpoint

LSMSA to Host Exploration Day for Prospective Students March 16

The Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LSMSA) is adding an additional Exploration Day for perspective students and their families on Monday, March 16, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Students, grades 8 to 11, are invited to tour the school, speak with current students and LSMSA administration, and sit in on classes taught by the school’s highly qualified faculty, 76% of whom have Ph.D.s or an equivalent terminal degree in his or her respective field.

Parents can to speak with the faculty and staff to learn more about the living/learning environment. Exploration Days allow students and their families to see what life at LSMSA is like.

The school has added the March 16 event to this year’s visitation day offerings. Families interested in becoming part of the LSMSA Community are encouraged to register.

LSMSA is the only state-funded residential high school for high achieving and highly motivated sophomores, juniors and seniors. Each year students from all across the state seek admission. Students from public, private and parochial schools, as well as those who are home schooled, are encouraged to apply. Admission is highly competitive. The school offers college level classes in a disciplined, nurturing environment, exposing students to rich opportunities through an extensive curriculum in all subject areas.

Robert Smalls’ Sails For Freedom

By Kevin Shannahan

Robert Smalls was a man whose life could have been the inspiration for an action-adventure movie. Born a slave, he won his, his family’s and his crew and their families’ freedom by commandeering a Confederate warship and sailing it from Charleston harbor to the Union fleet. He went on to serve the US Navy throughout the rest of the war utilizing his extensive knowledge of the area’s waters.

After the Civil War, Robert Smalls led a successful life in business and politics. He served in Congress, the South Carolina House and Senate and unsuccessfully ran for US Senate. As a businessman, he started a railroad with other investors and owned and published a newspaper. It was an enviable record of achievement by any measure.

He is most well known, however, for commandeering a Confederate warship, the CSS Planter and delivering it, along with his and his crew’s families, a cargo of guns and ammunition as well as the code books and maps of the harbor, to the Union navy blockading Charleston. His bold strike for freedom brought him fame, and a $4,000.00 price on his head from an enraged and embarrassed Confederacy.

Robert Smalls had been rented out by his master as a laborer on the docks of Charleston where he developed the skill and knowledge of the local waters that would prove so critical later on. At age 17, he married Hannah Jones and started to save to purchase their freedom, a process that could take years, if not decades. The advent of the Civil War, and the Union navy only a few miles offshore, was to present him an opportunity. Robert Smalls would win his family’s freedom.

In 1862, Smalls was a crewmember on the CSS Planter, a supply and transport ship used throughout the Charleston harbor and river area. He planned his escape with some of the other slaves on the ship’s crew. Finally, on May 13, 1862, their chance came. The Planter’s captain and White officers all went ashore for the evening, leaving the ship, its cargo, codebooks and maps to the crew. Robert Smalls dressed in the captain’s uniform and distinctive straw hat and the Planter left the dock. They stopped to pick up their families and turned to the sea and the Union navy.

There was no turning back. There could be no surrender. They would either achieve freedom or die in the attempt. As they approached checkpoints in the harbor, Smalls would use the ship’s codebook to give the proper response to the challenge. Dressed as the ship’s captain and even imitating his mannerisms, Smalls slipped past each post. He even blew the ship’s steam whistle in salute of Ft. Sumpter as the Planter had always done before. The Union blockade and freedom was just a few miles away, but tragedy almost stuck at the last minute. The Planter’s Confederate flag had been hauled down and replaced with a white bed sheet, but it wasn’t visible in the pre-dawn darkness. The USS Onward was preparing to fire on the Planter when at last the dawn came and they were able to see the white flag.

As the Planter drew near the Union ship, a man stepped forward, took off his hat and said “Good morning, sir! I’ve brought you some of the old United States guns, sir!” Robert Smalls, his crew and their families were free. In battle and in peace, Robert Smalls never stopped fighting for freedom and dignity. He died in 1915 owning the house in which he was born into slavery. He is a true American Hero.

Photo: NOAA (Nat Oceanic & Atmospheric Admin)

Notice of Death February 20, 2020

Alma Ruie Cockerham
April 09, 1938 – February 17, 2020
Visitation: February 21 from 5-8:00 PM and on Saturday from 10 AM until time of service Southern Funeral Home in Winnfield, Louisiana
Service: Saturday, February 22, 2020 at 1 PM at Southern Funeral Home 
Interment: Bethlehem Cemetery in Calvin, Louisiana

Helen Jordan Millican
October 15, 1934 – February 19, 2020
Visitation: Saturday, February 22, 2020 12 PM until time of services at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church
Service: Saturday, February 22 at 1 pm at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church

Carol Taylor Mondello
November 09, 1938 – February 19, 2020
Visitation: Monday, February 24 from 5-9 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home
Service: Tuesday, February 25 at 10 am at St. Francis Catholic Church in Powhattan
Interment: Catholic Cemetery Mausoleum in Natchitoches

Anna Lou Evans Beasley
February 07, 1918 – February 18, 2020
Service: Saturday, February 29 at 2 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home in Natchitoches
Interment: Weaver Cemetery in Flora

Melba Masson Ackel
January 19, 1928 – February 18, 2020
Visitation: Saturday, February 22 from 5-7 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home
Service: Sunday, February 23 at 2 pm at The Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church
Interment: Catholic Cemetery Mausoleum in Natchitoches

Doris Roge’
April 16, 1937 – February 17, 2020
Service: Friday, February 21 at 10 am at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Cloutierville
Interment: Cloutierville Catholic Cemetery

Katherine Tonnas
October 23, 1950 – February 18, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Jimmie Achord Wynn
September 4, 1937 – February 16, 2020
Visitation: Friday, February 21 from 1-2:45 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home
Service: Friday, February 21 at 3 pm at Fern Park Cemetery in Natchitoches

Cameron Harville
February 17, 2020
Service: Saturday, February 22 at 11 am at the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel
Interment: Mt. Pilgrim Baptist Church Cemetery

Cleveland Lewis
February 15, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Eyvette Harris
February 15, 2020
Service: Saturday, February 22 at 11 am at the Abundant Life Ministries Church on Ben Drive in Natchitoches
Interment: Lawrence Serenity Sanctum

Delores Chevalier Sylvie
October 18, 1930 – January 22, 2020
Service: Saturday, January 25 at 11 am at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Natchez

Kathryn Elaine Martinez
March 9, 1951 – February 20, 2020
Visitation: Saturday, February 22 at 10 am at Warren Meadows Funeral Home in Many
Service: Saturday, February 22 at 1 pm at Warren Meadows Funeral Home Chapel
Interment: Prospect Cemetery

Robie Longino
December 27, 1946 – February 18, 2020
Visitation: Friday, February 21 from 9:30-11:30 am at Open Door Fellowship Church
Service: Friday, February 21 at 11:30 am at Open Door Fellowship Church
Interment: Bethany Cemetery

Erma Ruth Tyler Scallion
July 30, 1949 – February 20, 2020
Visitation: Friday, February 21 from 5-8 pm at Creston Baptist Church
Service: Saturday, February 22 at 1 pm at Creston Baptist Church
Interment: Oak Grove Cemetery

Motion to End Health Insurance for Winn Parish Police Jurors Passes

A Motion to end health insurance as a paid benefit for Jurors at the end of the current term passed with a unanimous vote at last night’s Winn Parish Police Jury meeting. The motion was made by Winn Parish Police Jury Vice President Allen Michael McCartney, District 7 and seconded by Juror Kirk Miles, District 5.

During a discussion of the motion before the jury voted, McCartney outlined the rising cost of health insurance and the toll it could take on the police jury budget in the future. Police Jury President Josh McAllister commented that “the hard pill to swallow” is that health insurance is an uncontrollable cost that the jury may not be able to afford at some point in time. McAllister also pointed out that he has never taken the insurance and has always agreed that jurors should not have health insurance for a part-time job. “Although if you do this job right it’s a full-time job,” stated McAllister. 

District 6 Juror, Author Robinson added that he stands by his previous comments that eliminating health insurance for jurors will make it harder to find responsible jurors to run for a police jury seat. He added that he does not agree with the motion but since it will be four years before it takes effect he is “going to go with it.” 

District 4 Juror Tammy Griffin expressed that the numbers sound “horrific” when they are added up but you have to stop and think that not every juror is on the health insurance and so the huge number that “freaked” everyone out is not the actual number that it has been costing. Griffin added that she has decided to not take the health insurance because she would rather that money go to her community. “It would have benefited me to be on the health insurance because my deductible is much higher paying personally and I do not have any other coverage as some of the other jurors do, but I agree that it does cost our community a lot of money,” stated Griffin.

Ending health insurance for police jurors is something that Mike Carpenter and I’ve been trying to get passed since the last term said, McCartney. “I feel like and I’ve always felt like it’s the right thing to do and it’s more in alignment with the opinions of the people who elect us,” he added.

Join Kate’s Krewe for a Fun Night Out to Raise Money For FARA

Help support Kate’s Krewe by dining in or taking out some delicious food from 11 Am – 9 PM on Tuesday, February 25, 2020, at Log Cabin Grill & Market located at 1906 Farmerville Hwy, Ruston, LA 71270 or Ponchatoulas located at 109 East Park Avenue, Ruston, LA 71270. 15% of all sales will be donated to Freidrieich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA) when you present the attached flyer. 

Download the flyer here.


Keith Gates Announces Candidacy for Winnfield City Judge

The long-time Winnfield City Prosecutor today announced his candidacy for City Judge in Winnfield.

Keith Gates, Winnfield City Prosecutor since 2014, stated: “I am humbled at the opportunity to serve the citizens of Winn Parish as City Judge. Having served as City Prosecutor for several years, I am familiar with the needs of the City Court and the citizens who appear before the City Judge. I promise to bring the same level of integrity, impartiality, and service to the Court that our citizens deserve.”

Gates graduated from the Louisiana State University Law Center in 2007, and afterward had the honor of holding a clerkship at the Louisiana Supreme Court. Gates also worked in Washington, D.C., starting a law center committed to keeping an eye on government spending and over-reach. Afterwards, Gates moved home to open his own firm where he has served the citizens of Winn Parish and the surrounding communities. Gates currently represents the attorneys of Winn Parish on the House of Delegates of the Louisiana State Bar Association, the association of all attorneys in Louisiana.

Gates is also active in the community. He is a member and Past Master of O.K. Allen Masonic Lodge in Winnfield, past President of the Dugdemona High-12 Club, past Captain and King of the Krewe of Kingfish Mardi Gras Krewe, current President of the Winn Parish Chamber of Commerce and Tourism and is a member of the Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs and the Barak Shriners where he actively supports the Shriners’ Hospitals. Gates is a member of Goldonna Baptist Church where he serves as the Pianist and has served on various committees of the North Central Baptist Association.

Gates is engaged to Miss Amber Leder and is the son of Jimmie and Eva Gates of Goldonna.

Gates is running for the open City Court Judge position. Current Judge Anastasia Wiley is running for District Court Judge. All citizens in Winn Parish, except those in the Dodson/Sikes area, are within the jurisdiction of the City Court and can vote in the City Judge election on November 3, 2020.

Louisiana Loggers Association and PAC Host Day of Louisiana Logging

From left to right: Josh McAllister, Bradley McDowell, Cade Young, Andrew Tant, Sen. Mike Reese, Sue Tant, Toni McAllister, Kenny Goins, Peyton Weeks, Jason Colvin, Todd Martin, Stephen Upton, Tony Sadler, Luke Letlow, Congressman Rodney Alexander, Jody Woodard, Murphy Chestnut, Rep. Mike Johnson, Rep. Danny McCormick, Sen. Louie Bernard, Sen. Jay Luneau, Sen. Stewart Cathey, Rep. Neil Riser, Rep. Jack McFarland, Sen. Glen Womack, Sen. Robert Mills, Cary Koch, Rep. Gabe Firment, Mark Files, Jamie Daughtry, Chad Smith, Chad Still, Dustin Robison, Tony McManus, Dave Cupp

The Louisiana Loggers Association hosted the FIRST Legislative Day in Winn Parish. We want to thank the Louisiana Political Museum for allowing us to entertain in such a unique space! Also, to the seven Louisiana senators and seven representatives, the chief of staff for Congressman Abraham, former congressman Rodney Alexander, local police jurors and city council and of course our Louisiana Loggers! The amount of rain fall discouraged our onsite logging job tour, but we will reschedule that for a later, dryer date!

Thank you to our amazing, informative speakers!

Todd Martin of Southern Loggers Coop
Dave Cupp of Walsh Timber representing the American Logging Council
Cade Young of Roy O Martin
Peyton Weeks of Weyerhaeuser
Luke Letlow representing Congressman Abraham
Jody Woodard of Timberland Services representing Pace Insurance
Representative Jack McFarland of McFarland Timber
Arthur Robinson of Adrian James Logging
Josh McAllister of Winn Parish Police Jury

The purpose of the day was to build relationships with our legislators and to present information for everyone to know all about the day of the life of a Louisiana Logger. At the conclusion of the meeting we used drone footage of logging sets and also showed tree rows of different ages and explained how loggers work to harvest crops and protect the ground and, how timber owners replant and how our relationship works together to keep Louisiana forests as healthy as we can. 16% reforesting and one timber company can replant over 28 million trees a year.

** J&J Catering, Denise Hebert and the Grant Parish Home Ec department, Winn Parish 4-H, Louisiana CAT (Chad Smith) & Louisiana Loggers Self Insured Fund

Winn Parish Churches Announce Schedule of Ash Wednesday Services on February 26

Abraham said, in Genesis 18,” Let me take it upon myself to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes.” Faithful people have always used the symbols of ashes and dust as signs of the penitential approach to God. The Christian church has included ashes in their practice, as noted by Tertullian in the mid-second century. Currently, many people live into that ancient tradition in the Liturgies of Ashes that begin the season of Lent. Hence, the first day of Lent is Ash Wednesday.

The custom of marking the foreheads of worshipers with a cross of ashes is shared among many denominations, often with solemn liturgies and reading Psalm 51; occasionally with almost no liturgy at all, apart from the pronouncement from the Psalm. ” Remember that you are but dust, and to dust you shall return.” Participants come from a broad variety of Christian traditions, or from no tradition at all. One of the qualities of the Imposition of Ashes services is that they are open to all who feel drawn to participate.

Here in Winn Parish, ashes will be offered in several churches to anyone who is moved to participate:

First United Methodist Church, 300 W. Main St., Winnfield, dinner at 5 PM, worship at 5:45 PM

Couley United Methodist Church, 14245 Hwy 84 West, Couley, LA 4:00 PM
Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, 772 Country Club Rd., Winnfield, 5:30 PM

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Pecan and North Division streets, 5 PM

The Rev. Kevin Smith, First United Methodist Church, Couley UMC, Sanders Chapel UMC 318-628-4181

The Rev. Brian Seiler, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, St William Chapel 318-628-2561

The Rev. Frank Fuller, St Paul’s Episcopal Church