Notice of Death September 27, 2020

NATCHITOCHES:
Lester Edwin Keeth
October 26, 1946 – September 24, 2020
Service: Tuesday, September 29 at 1 pm in the chapel of Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

Natalie Wilson
September 25, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Jessie Sawyer
September 24, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Vanilla Hardy
May 11, 1970 – September 23, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Laraja Brianne Nicholas
July 10, 1997 – September 23, 2020
Service: Wednesday, September 30 at 11 am at the Mt. Pilgrim Baptist Church, located at 2654 Highway 1226 in Clarence

Willie Baldwin
September 23, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Severe Weather Outlook – Flash Flood Watch for Winn Parish

Flood Watch
National Weather Service Shreveport LA
352 AM CDT Wed Sep 23 2020

Lincoln-Union-Jackson-Ouachita-Sabine-Natchitoches-Winn-Grant-
Caldwell-La Salle-
Including the cities of Colfax, Natchitoches, Columbia, Zwolle,
Olla, Many, Dry Prong, Ruston, Farmerville, Winnfield, Montgomery,
Jena, Grayson, Pleasant Hill, Jonesboro, Clarks, Midway, Monroe, and
Bernice

...FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE TONIGHT...

The National Weather Service in Shreveport has issued a

* Flash Flood Watch for portions of north central Louisiana and
  northwest Louisiana, including the following areas, in north
  central Louisiana, Caldwell, Grant, Jackson, La Salle, Lincoln,
  Ouachita, Union and Winn. In northwest Louisiana, Natchitoches and
  Sabine.

* Through late tonight

* Additional rainfall totals of 2 to 4 inches, with isolated higher
  amounts possible.

* Flooding may occur in urban and poor drainage areas.  Heavy
  rainfall may also cause flooding of creeks, streams, and rivers.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A Flash Flood Watch means that conditions may develop that lead to
Flash Flooding. Flash Flooding is a very dangerous situation. You
should monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action should
Flash Flood Warnings be issued.

Winn Parish Arrest Report

WINNFIELD POLICE DEPARTMENT
Name: WASHINGTON, NATASHA
Date: 09-14-2020
Age: 32
Address: WINNFIELD, LA
Gender: FEMALE
Race: BLACK
Charge: BENCH WARRANT

Name: KELLY, JACOB
Date: 09-19-2020
Age: 28
Address: GRAYSON, LA
Gender: MALE
Race: WHITE
Charge: THEFT

Name: BLACKSTUR, LESLIE
Date: 09-19-2020
Age: 32
Address: HANNIBAL, MO
Gender: FEMALE
Race: WHITE
Charge: BENCH WARRANT, POSSESSION OF METHAMPHETAMINE, OBSTRUCTING JUSTICE

Name: DAVIS, TRISHA
Date: 09-19-2020
Age: 35
Address: HANNIBAL, MO
Gender: FEMALE
Race: WHITE
Charge: ACCESS DEVICE FRAUD X 5, POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA

Name: SAPP, JOHNNY
Date: 09-20-2020
Age: 60
Address: WINNFIELD, LA
Gender: MALE
Race: BLACK
Charge: SIMPLE BATTERY

Window to Winn By Bob Holeman

Hurricane Laura dealt havoc to Winn Parish, leaving a tangle of downed trees, damaged homes and a spaghetti mix of wires, broken power poles and transformers that left us without power and in a communication blackout.

            Our home got power back after 10 days but it was two weeks before our internet and TV service was restored.  We then tuned in to see what damage Laura has wrought but found no coverage of a storm that had devastated Louisiana, for she was now two weeks old.  There was scant coverage even of the wildfires that continued to rage along the Pacific west coast.

            Instead the media, both left and right, seemed to focus their airtime on the acts of social and racial hatred that boiled over in a number of metro areas.  They’d like to hold that this is what America is today, a Republic founded on the Judeo-Christian ethic whose wheels have fallen off after some 250 years; a nation that has turned from God and is so flawed with discrimination in that quarter century that it can’t be fixed.

            I’m going to suggest that they’ve got it wrong.  Let me tell you a little about what we saw in Winn Parish following Laura.  I think it may give you a window into the fabric of which the American people really are made.  We saw it after Katrina in 2005.  We’re seeing it after Sally now.  And I’d like to believe we’re seeing it as people reach out to help others in the western fires.

            When the hurricane’s winds had passed, folks didn’t wait on government to solve the problems.  Capable homeowners and loggers alike came out to clear roads alongside first responders where possible so folks could get through.  And they looked for ways to help each other.  A huge tree crushed the home of a police officer not far from us and his neighbors took him into their own home.  Across the parish, neighbors helped others put those familiar blue tarps over damaged roofs and offered other acts to help families impose some order over chaos.  When the National Guard arrived with water, ice and MREs at distribution points, people drove up to carry those supplies to others having difficulty.

            I was touched to see action by one group that some of us might call the “Entitled Generation.” These are young people we’ve labeled as not willing to work toward a goal because they believe they deserve it.  I was proved wrong again when volunteer distribution points for supplies and meals were manned in part by a host of young people.

            Let’s talk for a bit about a strike force of 68 Tennessee volunteers who brought love, hope and tree removal to some 250 home sites here over a two-week period.  A tremendous support team from area churches allowed them to work with minimal interruption.  A third team was planned for an additional week but urgency for help following Hurricane Sally saw that team redirected to the east.

            Ron Thompson, a Baptist Convention missions coordinator from Natchitoches arrived here once roads were passable and communication possible and worked with the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board’s disaster relief team.  The first group of eight arrived from Tennessee just a week after Laura had struck but when they found that First Baptist Church of Winnfield could host 30, the team quickly expanded to 30.  Group Two had 38.

            With two bucket trucks, a tractor, and Bobcat plus power saws, the volunteers daily broke into four teams and went to separate sites based on work orders prepared by a prioritization of requests.  Local volunteers had gone out to assess and prioritize work requests that were called in so that the Tennessee crew could help as many as possible in their limited time here.

            Harold Renfroe of Lexington, one of the youngsters at 62, said that one lady had “two great big trees down on her horse pen.  She had given up, thinking we couldn’t do anything.  But we did.  At the end, we presented her a Bible.  She broke down and cried.  So did we.  She didn’t realize we’d drive down this far to cut up her two trees.  We can’t get over how friendly and appreciative people here are.”

            “It’s not all about roofs and trees and tarps,” Thompson pointed out.  “It’s about the people who live there and their relationship to Christ.  Our team members can’t work and saw trees nonstop.  They take breaks and talk with homeowners.  One of the team has been involved with disaster relief for years and told me this was the first time he’s had to opportunity to lead a man to Christ.”

            Johnny Grimes observed that everyone was appreciative, never expecting more than the team could provide.  When asked how they could repay these volunteers, the answer often would be, “Is there a church nearby you could start attending?”

            “We came to give them hope,” said LaDonna Tucker of Signal Mountain.  “There was a lady, a widow who had no idea what she could do next.  Her trailer had a tree through the middle.  We got the tree out and put a tarp over the trailer.  We also got six big trees out of her yard.  When she got back and saw what we had done, she just sat in her car and cried.”  She hadn’t believed her home would look that whole again.

            David Owens, also of Signal Mountain, echoed that when a storm victim returns from work to find their property cleaned up of the downed trees and debris, they have a feeling of hope after all.  They’d left that morning wondering what their next step would be.

            When the teams show up, perhaps they can’t fix all the damage they encounter but they can give a little hope, Thompson said.  One older gentleman said, “You don’t know how much this means.  It’s a lot that someone cares, remembers and is there to help.”

            An operation like this takes a lot of support and much organization.  First Baptist hosted housing and a meal site for breakfast and dinner.  Thompson said pastors Dr. Jerry Pipes and Danny Keyes responded to any of the team’s requests.  Westside Baptist of Natchitoches provided the mobile kitchen capable for providing 150 to 200 meals.  Many churches provided volunteers, resources and food to assist the visitors.  “The food is great.  I usually gain some weight during these mission projects,” confessed Doyle Pittman of Chattanooga. 

A mobile shower unit was refreshing for the hard-working volunteers while its laundry unit was run nonstop by local volunteers.  Thompson praised the support of sheriff and emergency operations coordinator Cranford Jordan on logistics, information and food for the teams.  The Food Bank and generous cash donations also kept the serving tables loaded.

One of the volunteers carries an experience that allowed him to see Winn’s disaster from a different perspective.  Bill Luttrell was serving as a missionary in the Abaco Islands near Bermuda when Hurricane Dorian struck a year ago.  “After you go through this, you feel defeated, in a mental fog.  You’ve lost everything.  It’s hard to get anything going.  Then someone shows up to give you a little hope.  You can take your first step.”  He returned to the United States once communication was re-established after Dorian.  When he then went back to Abaco, he was one of those able to provide a little hope to those still in the devasted islands.

Of the appreciation Luttrell witnessed here, one comment stands out.  The two teams from Tennessee completed work at 250 sites.  Despite this accomplishment, there are still many more requests in the folder.  One homeowner who’d called in pulled up to the crew on their final day in town and called out, “Even if you don’t get to my house, thank you for what you’re doing for our community.”

On a personal note, when I first heard this disaster relief team was from Tennessee, I wondered about the possibility of any coming from the small town east of Knoxville where my daughter now lives.  Chances were good.  We visited the first crew one evening to discover that eight had traveled from Dandridge, with five of them members of Laura’s home church.  Small world.

That’s my observation.  I feel that what we’ve seen here since August 27 gives a truer representation of what America really is than is portrayal in the media.         

A Tennessee volunteer cuts limbs from a tree that landed on a home during Hurricane Laura
Following breakfast and a devotional, the Tennessee crew breaks into smaller teams and heads out very early each morning.  This is the crew of Week 2
‘Before’ photo shows a tree that has smashed through a trailer
‘After’ shows the trailer as the homeowner saw it later, with the tree removed, trailer tarped and lard cleaned up

Help Us Reduce Their R.I.S.K.

Members of the Northwest Louisiana Human Trafficking Task Force (Task Force), which is comprised of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and non-governmental organizations, have noticed a disturbing trend in the rise of sexual predator cases. For instance, the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office has reported a 200 percent increase in online sexual predator cases since the beginning of the pandemic. Because of this trend, the Task Force has launched “Project R.I.S.K.” (Reliable Internet Safety for Kids).

Since March of 2020, the coronavirus pandemic has pushed our youth more to the internet than ever before. Today, the internet not only entertains and connects our youth with their peers, but a vast majority of them are using the internet for virtual schooling. This increase in internet activity allows more opportunity for predators to interact with our youth. As we see in all cases, predators will also adapt to their changing environments.

In this Public Service Announcement (PSA), which launches Project R.I.S.K., leaders of area law enforcement agencies provide advice to help prevent predators from victimizing children. Leaders advise all guardians (parents, teachers, custodians, etc.) to place ALL devices (computers, laptops, tablets, and phones) in common areas. Phones, even those with no service, allow the same access to predators as a computer or other device. Guardians need to know what apps are on these devices and also know their children’s passwords. Project R.I.S.K. encourages all guardians to engage in their children’s activities.

All agencies in our Task Force share a united front to eliminate all human trafficking type cases; however, to be more successful, we need assistance from the public. We understand many guardians want to protect their kids but may not know where to look for “reliable internet safety information.” Project R.I.S.K. has asked all agencies in our Task Force to post this reliable information on their websites, so guardians will always have this information at their fingertips. Finally, members of the Task Force will be available to meet with citizens, local government officials, community organizations, school boards, churches, and other groups to discuss Project R.I.S.K. and internet safety.

 

My Opinion – The National Narrative Is A Deceit

By Royal Alexander/Opinion

The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.

George Orwell

We are living in a strange time when our country’s elite seek to create, rather than discern, the truth they want.  

We are viewing the equivalent of a distorting mirror in a carnival or fair.  We’re not allowed to say what we are truly seeing because it doesn’t fit the national media political narrative that our form of government is oppressive and that we are a nation of irredeemable racists.  

We’re not supposed to remember that people are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt or that fear of a mob shouldn’t determine who is prosecuted and who isn’t, or who is thrown out of college or fired from their job.  It’s grotesque to have hundreds of people outside of a courtroom demanding that someone be found guilty.  What if they’re not? (This is why courts require evidence of a crime, not perceptions, opinions, or grievances). 

We aren’t allowed to point out that the crime, violence, vandalism, and destruction we see occurring nightly in American cities is illegal and should be punished, and that these are not “peaceful protests.”  We aren’t allowed to say that all black lives matter—not just the fraction of black lives taken by white police officers—but also the hundreds of thousands of black babies aborted every year as well as the thousands of black lives tragically lost as a result of black-on-black crime in American inner cities every year. 

We aren’t supposed to notice that the months-long rioting, looting and destruction has only occurred in states and cities headed by Leftist governors and mayors.  We also aren’t allowed to point out that the virus mandates are arbitrary at best; or, that we find it transparently stupid and indefensible that people are allowed to march in massive protest rallies but not to attend church or the funeral of a loved one. 

Or, to remember that the original goal was to “flatten the curve” not commandeer our lives and wreck the economy.  Or, that the damage we have done to our national economy during the shutdown is likely worse than the virus itself.  If we suggest anything like this we are attacked as being anti-science and wanting people to die.   

We’re not supposed to say that the most critical problem destroying many American inner cities is crime—armed robbery, murder, gang violence, drug dealing and drive-by shootings—because the national media political narrative is that the police are the problem and somehow if we defund them everything will be better.  Or, that what is really needed in crime-filled inner cities is not less law enforcement but more.

Or that our form of American free-market capitalism is the greatest economic system ever created and has lifted millions out of poverty, inspiring millions more worldwide who urgently seek to come here for the great freedoms, hope and promise of a better life.  And that maybe we shouldn’t create in America the very socialism these people are desperately fleeing!  

Don’t state that Communism, and Socialism, its precursor, is a cold, dark, atheistic ideology that denies people basic human rights and views the individual as nothing more than a cog in the wheel of an all-powerful government; or that historians estimate roughly 100 million were killed under communist rule in the 20th century; or that the anarchy and chaos of Antifa and the Marxist tactics  and public embrace of Marxist ideology of Black Lives Matter (“if this country doesn’t give us what we want, then we will burn down this system”) is not the way to advance freedom and justice or make democratic change because they guarantee the opposite will occur.   

We are not allowed to agree that while America is, indeed, an ethnic and cultural melting pot, the large majority of those who immigrated to America did so legally, and we shouldn’t be forced to subsidize the healthcare, welfare, education and Covid-relief of those in the country illegally.

Particularly now, we have an obligation to speak the truth about what we are seeing, and we must do so in order to preserve the America we love.

The views and opinions expressed in the My Opinion article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Winn Parish Journal. Any content provided by the authors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual or anyone or anything.

John Bell Edwards Releases Statement in Response to Lawmakers’ Call for Special Session

Late Monday afternoon, Gov. John Bel Edwards responded to lawmakers’ call for a special session.

He released the following statement:

“At a time when our state is dealing with the COVID-19 health emergency, hurricanes, and one severe weather event after another, I am concerned that the Legislature has again called themselves into a month-long session with an agenda of 70 items. This session will occur at a time when the public will again be restricted in their access to the State Capitol and their ability to give needed public input. 

“From the beginning of this emergency, I have relied on public health experts and the White House Coronavirus Task Force to guide Louisiana’s response to this historic emergency. Further, this response has been in line with the measures taken by our neighboring states that have unfortunately also been enormously impacted by COVID-19.   

“Put simply, the measures we have taken in Louisiana are working and we are making significant progress. However, to abandon these efforts in defiance of the unanimous advice of the public health experts and the Trump administration would seriously jeopardize the lives of our people and the gains we have made. Further, it is important to remember our work in containing COVID-19 is far from done, as Louisiana still has the highest number of per capita infections in the country. 

“I am hopeful that the Legislative leadership will significantly narrow the scope and the duration of this session so that they can do the work they deem necessary, while at the same time working in a bipartisan and cooperative manner to address our significant challenges in an honest and transparent manner. Louisianans have come too far to have all of our effective and life-saving work upended.”    

VOTER REGISTRATION WEEK 2020 BEGAN SEPT. 21

Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin is joining registrars of voters across the state the week of Sept. 21-25, 2020 to host Voter Registration Week activities aimed at registering eligible citizens to vote.

“Registering to vote is the critical first step in making your voice heard at the ballot box,” Ardoin said. “This fall, voters will select leaders at all levels of government and I encourage all unregistered voters to register to vote. 

Louisiana was one of the first states in the nation to implement an easy, convenient online voter registration portal. Citizens with a valid Louisiana driver’s license or Louisiana Special ID card can register online 24 hours a day, seven days a week from the convenience of their home or office by visiting https://voterportal.sos.la.gov.

Residents of Louisiana can also register in person at their parish Registrar of Voters Office, when they apply for or renew their driver’s license at any Office of Motor Vehicles or when obtaining services at public assistance agencies and Armed Forces recruitment offices. Citizens wishing to register by mail can download and print the application from our website at GeauxVote.com, or complete an application found at public libraries or through registration drives.

To register and vote in Louisiana individuals must:

· be a U.S. citizen;

· be at least 17 years old (16 years old if registering in person at the Registrar of Voters Office or at the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles) to register and 18 years old prior to the next election to vote;

· not be under an order of imprisonment for conviction of a felony or, if under such an order not have been incarcerated pursuant to the order within the last five years and not be under an order of imprisonment related to a felony conviction for election fraud or any other election offense pursuant to La. R.S. 18:1461.2;

· not be under a judgment of full interdiction for mental incompetence or partial interdiction with suspension of voting rights;

· be a resident in the state and parish in which you seek to register and vote;

· apply at least 20 days prior to an election if registering online or 30 days prior to an election if registering in person or by mail.

The deadline to register to vote in person or by mail is Monday, Oct. 5. The deadline to register to vote online is Tuesday, Oct. 13.

For a complete listing of voter registration activities in individual parishes, visit the Secretary of State’s website and social media platforms. For more information about elections and voting, contact the Secretary of State’s Elections Division at 800.883.2805 or elections@sos.la.gov.

Skippy The Scene Stealer

From the moment he came into the world, people were drawn to Skippy.  The youngster was put up for adoption immediately after he was born.  Whether Skippy was the name his biological parents had given him or just a nickname remains a mystery.  Information on his parentage was either sealed or lost.  One day, Henry East met two-week-old Skippy by chance.  He and his wife, Gale, were not looking to adopt but there was something special about Skippy.  The other youngsters of similar age paid no attention to Henry, but all of Skippy’s attention was on Henry.  Within a short time, all of the paperwork was arranged.  Henry and his wife adopted Skippy. 

Luck was on Skippy’s side.  The Easts had Hollywood connections.  Henry East worked in the special effects department of MGM, and Gale East was a veteran actress.  With proper training, Skippy was sure to eventually work in the film industry.  Skippy got his first film role in the 1932 film entitled “The Half-Naked Truth.”  Reviews for the young actor were positive, which led to a steady stream of small film roles. 

His breakthrough role came in the 1934 film “The Thin Man,” a comedy whodunit featuring personable alcoholic crime-solvers Nick and Nora Charles, played by William Powell and Myrna Loy.  Skippy almost lost his big break “by a hair.”  Henry had submitted a photo of Skippy to his boss at MGM for a small part in the upcoming film.  As a personal favor, his boss agreed to give Skippy a screen test.  On the day Henry got the call from MGM, Skippy’s barber was just finishing cutting his hair at the East’s home.  The Easts had planned to leave their home as soon as the barber finished.  Henry learned later that had they missed the call, MGM would have offered the small role to another young actor.    

Skippy’s screen test went better than anyone, especially the director, had expected.  Skippy got the part and filming soon began.  Skippy was athletic, a natural comedian with boundless energy, and his rough and wiry hair stood out on the silver screen.  Even during scenes in which he was just supposed to be a fixture in the background, he was so charismatic and charming on screen that the audience’s attention was drawn away from the lead characters and onto him.  Skippy quickly earned a reputation as a scene stealer.  Actors and actresses usually saw scene stealers as a threat, but not William Powell or Myrna Loy.  Powell was so captivated by the young actor that he tried to adopt Skippy from Henry and Gale East.  Stranger things have happened in Hollywood. 

Although Skippy was not a veteran actor, he took his cues like a true professional and did most of his scenes in a single take.  It was usually the other actors and actresses who flubbed their lines or missed their cues that required multiple takes.  Most directors cringed at the thought of working with children or pets, but no one complained about working with Skippy.  Even though he was not cast in the starring roles, he got his own dressing room and earned a large salary.     

In 1937, Skippy reprised his role in “Another Thin Man,” to much success.  Newspaper columnist Harriet Parsons of the San Francisco Examiner opined that Skippy “darn near stole the picture from Loy and Powell.”  Skippy’s part, which studio executives originally feared they had miscast, “won the hearts of millions of fans.”  When fans saw Skippy in public, they no longer referred to him by his real name but by his most popular onscreen name.  Skippy soon became typecast, which most actors and actresses desperately try to avoid.  But not Skippy.  Like Bela Lugosi following his portrayal of Count Dracula in the 1931 classic “Dracula” (Lugosi so loved the character that he was buried dressed as Dracula), Skippy relished his connection to the character. 

Skippy worked with some of the top-billed actors of the 1930s and 1940s, and charmed them all.  He appeared in a total of 22 films before he retired from acting.  During that time, he shared the screen with such notables as Mary Astor, Bette Davis, Spencer Tracy, George Burns, Gracie Allen, Bing Crosby, Jimmy Stewart, Olivia de Havilland, Ian Hunter, Irene Dunne, Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, Edward G. Robinson, Barbara O’Neil, and a host of others.

Following the successful 1944 film entitled “The Thin Man Goes Home,” Skippy retired from acting.  Little is known about his life after 1944.  Even his death remains a mystery.  When he died, there were no accolades in newspapers, magazines, radio, or television.  No obituary appeared in newspapers and no death certificate exists for the actor whose film career began when he was just one year old.  There was no conspiracy to hide the details of his death.  You see, Skippy was not human.  Skippy was a dog, more particularly a Wire Fox Terrier.  His most famous roles were as Asta in the Thin Man film series. 

Sources:

  1. The San Francisco Examiner, January 3, 1937, p.22.
  2. Star Tribune (Minneapolis, Minnesota), March 9, 2019, p.E10.
  3. American Kennel Club. “Wire Fox Terrier.” Accessed September 17, 2020. https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/wire-fox-terrier/.
  4. Internet Movie DataBase. “Asta.” Accessed September 17, 2020. https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1208817/?ref_=ttfc_fc_cl_t15.

Important dates for LA Residents Voting in the 2020 Presidential Election

The U.S. presidential election is Tuesday, Nov. 3.

The following dates are important dates for Louisiana residents who wish to vote in the presidential election:

Monday, Oct. 5 – The deadline to register to vote in person or by mail

Tuesday, Oct. 13 – The deadline to register to vote online through the Louisiana Secretary of State’s GeauxVote Online Registration System. Click here to register to vote.

Friday, Oct. 16 through Tuesday, Oct. 27 – Early voting for the presidential election will be held in Louisiana from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., excluding Sunday, Oct. 18, and Sunday, Oct. 25.

Wednesday, Oct. 30 at 4:30 p.m. – The deadline to request an absentee by mail ballot. You can request an absentee by mail ballot online through our by clicking here or in writing through your Registrar of Voters Office (other than military and overseas voters)

Monday, Nov. 2 at 4:30 p.m. – The deadline for a Registrar of Voters to receive a voted mail ballot (other than military and overseas voters)

For more information on voter registration and voting in Louisiana, click here to visit the Louisiana Secretary of State’s website.

 

God’s Magnificent Humor

By Reba Phelps

The closer my relationship grows with God, the more I have discovered that he has a sense of humor that would outshine any of our modern day comedians….or, any comedian for that matter. He is a such clever one.

During our recent experience with Hurricane Laura my daughters and I made our way to Longview, Texas for a brief overnight stay. I had hotel points burning a hole in my pocket and I craved visiting a fully stocked Wal-Mart and cable tv. The fully air-conditioned drive over there was also a gigantic plus.

Just as soon as we got checked in I received the phone call that so many citizens had been waiting for. Our electricity had been restored. With the excitement of having power, I was eager to help whoever I could. The very next day I visited Wal-Mart with a new zest for life. I decided to open my home to anyone who needed their laundry done, a place to cool off and a warm meal.

Even though it was warm outside, I imagined everyone was tired of eating hurricane snacks.

My buggy was stocked with the ingredients that would soon become the largest pot of taco soup on this side of Cane River. I also decided to replace my shower curtains and upgrade my wash clothes. Nothing like the potential of having company to realize that your home needs some attention. I also purchased a cooler and ice to bring my groceries back across the state line.

On my way to the check-outs I noticed the isle that housed the beer, wine and other drinks. Right there on the corner was a large bottle of pre-made strawberry lime margarita. At the time it seemed like a bright light was shining down on the bottles as if to intentionally grab my attention.

It worked….In my eyes it was a reminder that mama could use a drink after riding out the Category 2 storm, surviving with no electricity, empty freezer, empty refrigerator, complaining kids and a mountain of office work to be handled after the storm passed. This margarita would also pair well with taco soup and company.

Being a single parent I guard every penny that visits my budget. This expenditure was not in my budget at all but I knew it was needed. And, God always provides. Everything in my buggy was for the welfare and comfort of others. The total on my receipt was $164.00. It was a small price to pay for a warm meal, household items and the margarita to share with the masses.

As my daughters and I rolled back in town we noticed that some people definitely had electricity and some did not. We could also tell that our neighbors had been working in yards helping everyone restore their yards to their natural order, including my own yard.

Our intentions were to unpack the car and get right to work. The priority on our agenda included cooking and cleaning. But first, I had to check the mail because it had been days since we last saw our postal worker. Much to my surprise, along with a load junk mail, I received a random check for $146 from an overpayment on my daughter’s braces.

I immediately felt the favor of God wash over me. I spent $164 out my household budget to help others and he literally reimbursed me a few hours later. How amazing is our God? I was so happy and couldn’t wait to tell my daughters about the great God that we serve. The Biblical lesson was going to include that this is a prime example of what happens when you are a giver who constantly tries to sew seeds.

In the middle of telling my daughters the wonderful news it suddenly crossed my mind to check and see what the cost of the margarita was. Including tax it was roughly $18. The humor was not lost in this moment. God reimbursed all of my expenses except for the price of the margarita.

A Theologian, I am not, this is mostly guess-work from prior spiritual experiences. I am convinced that God can reach us right where we are. I am convinced that he knows that the way to my heart and that way to get my attention is through wittiness and cleverness. Of course he would know this since he knitted me in my mother’s womb.

This is totally the gospel according to Reba….. But, our God is not a basic God. He wants us to find the humor and complete joy in serving him. Serving him does not have to be a mundane experience full of formalities and rules. When we love the Lord with our whole hearts it is so easy to find his loving hand and faithfulness in every situation that comes our way.


“These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be full.”
John 15:11

Notice of Death September 22, 2020

WINN:
Franklin DeLeon Howell
December 27, 1974 – September 16, 2020
Service: Wednesday, September 23 at 10 am at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Winnfield

NATCHITOCHES:
Patricia Ardison
September 13, 2020
Service: Saturday, September 26 at 11 am in the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel, located at 318 North Street in Natchitoches

SABINE:
Magda Lea McCormick
February 20, 1929 – September 20, 2020
Service: Thursday, September 24 at 10 am at the First Baptist Church of Many

Herman Sepulvado
February 14, 1931 – September 20, 2020
Service: Wednesday, September 23 at 2:30 pm at Ramah Cemetery in Ashland

RED RIVER:
Nora Elizabeth McEachern
December 01, 1955 – September 20, 2020
Service: Wednesday, September 23 at 10 am at Minden City Cemetery

Lonnie “Nubby” Eli Giddings, Jr.
December 28, 1958 – September 21, 2020
Service: Wednesday, September 23 at 10 am at Zion Baptist Church

 

DSNAP Approved for 16 Louisiana Parishes, Winn included in Phase 2

Virtual Application Process Rolling Out in Phases, Starting September 10th

BATON ROUGE- The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) received approval on Sept. 8 to begin virtual Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP) operations in sixteen parishes to provide additional food aid to families impacted by Hurricane Laura. The program will run in phases, with the first phase beginning Thursday, Sept. 10.

DSNAP, formerly called Disaster Food Stamps, provides food assistance to eligible households who do not receive regular SNAP benefits and who need help buying groceries due to lost income or damages following a disaster. The state must request that the federal government initiate DSNAP, but can only make the request after the president activates the Stafford Act and approves the parish for Individual Assistance (IA). Each IA-approved parish must also request DSNAP before the benefits can be provided to eligible residents of that parish.

The 16 parishes that have been approved for IA and have requested DSNAP are Acadia, Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Grant, Jackson, Jefferson Davis, Lincoln, Natchitoches, Ouachita, Rapides, Sabine, Vermilion, Vernon and Winn.

DSNAP will operate in the approved parishes in two phases, with Phase 1 beginning Sept. 10 for nine parishes and Phase 2 beginning Sept. 17 for seven parishes. If additional parishes are approved for IA and request DSNAP, DCFS will add a third phase of DSNAP beginning Sept. 23. For a complete schedule, see below.

SNAP recipients are not eligible for DSNAP and should not apply. Information about SNAP benefits changes related to Hurricane Laura, including replacement benefits for food lost due to power outages, can be found at http://www.dcfs.la.gov/SNAPLaura.

What Applicants Need to Know

Due to concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic, DSNAP applications will be handled by phone, and benefits cards will be mailed or sent through FedEx to approved applicants.

Residents in the approved parishes for each phase will be assigned a day, based on the first letter of their last name, to call the LAHelpU Customer Service Center to apply for DSNAP. On their designated day, residents will call 1-888-LA-HELP-U (1-888-524-3578), between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Translation services are available for individuals whose primary language is not English.

DCFS is anticipating significant interest in the DSNAP program. Three steps residents can take before calling to apply that will help reduce call wait times are:

Register online first. Step-by-step instructions for this can be found at http://www.dcfs.la.gov/DSNAP.
Download the LA Wallet mobile app for identity and residency verification. Information on the app, including download links, can be found at LAWallet.com.
Gather all information needed for the application. A list of what is needed can be found in the FAQs at http://www.dcfs.la.gov/DSNAP.

When residents call to apply, a worker will verify the applicant’s identity and residency, and obtain information about their income, resources and disaster-related expenses. Applicants will be told on the phone immediately after completing their application whether they have been approved to receive DSNAP and, if so, the amount of benefits they will receive. Applicants also will receive a letter by mail, confirming the eligibility decision made on their application.

Applicants may name an Authorized Representative (AR) to apply for DSNAP benefits on their behalf. The head of household must authorize the person to serve as AR on their behalf, and the worker will need to speak to the head of household to confirm that they agree for the AR to speak on their behalf.

Application Schedule

Phase 1: Acadia, Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis, Rapides, Vermilion and Vernon Parishes

(Sept. 15-16) – Open for all (letters A-Z) in the Phase 1 parishes

Phase 2: Grant, Jackson, Lincoln, Natchitoches, Ouachita, Sabine and Winn Parishes

Application period opens on Thursday, Sept. 17, with residents calling to apply according to the following schedule:

Day 1 (Sept. 17) – Residents with last names beginning with A-C
Day 2 (Sept. 18) – D-G
Day 3 (Sept. 19) – H-L
Day 4 (Sept. 20) – M-R
Day 5 (Sept. 21) – S-Z
Days 6 & 7 (Sept. 22-23) – Open for all (letters A-Z) in the Phase 2 parishes

Additional information about DSNAP can be found by texting LADSNAP to 898-211 or at www.dcfs.la.gov/DSNAP.

McManus Timber Company Named 2020 Logging Business of The Year by National Logging Magazine

McManus Timber Co. of Winnfield, La. is the 2020 Timber Harvesting Logging Business of the Year, named by Timber Harvesting magazine in its September-October 2020 issue. McManus Timber Co. is the 23rd logging operation to win this prestigious national award, which began in 1998, and the first logging company from Louisiana. The award honors contractors who operate top-notch logging companies in the woods, make an impact in their communities and work to build a better forest products industry.

Owners Tony and Liz McManus have been leaders in the Winnfield community their entire lives, and McManus Timber has been one of the largest employers in Winn Parish over the years—with 30 currently on the payroll. The McManuses say one of the keys to their success over the years is the combined work ethic among the four family members—Tony and Liz, and their daughter Toni and her husband Josh McAllister. Toni broke it down for Timber Harvesting like this, “For everything to work right with McManus Timber Co., I am more concerned about my families and taking care of them and them being happy on the jobs, being appreciated and respected. Josh is straightforward, this is how the job works; my dad brings another element. It’s a perfect balance. Unlike where it is just one person’s business, it’s a like a family, so we all feel like we’re family.”

The company operates three logging crews and runs 11 log hauling trucks. Many employees have been with the McManuses for years, including a saw man with 37 years on the job and the trucking foreman with 25. Working primarily with Weyerhaeuser, the crews plan ahead for typically wet winter work, and all operations are fully compliant with state and federal environmental regulations.

A big part of the Timber Harvesting Logging Business of the Year Award is loggers who take the time to give back to the industry and work to create better relationships among the industry, landowners and the public. Politically active, the McManus family has long served the logging community in Louisiana: Tony McManus helped start the Louisiana Loggers Self-Insured Fund 25 years ago, and remains active today, serving as Vice Chair; while daughter Toni is the Executive Director of the Louisiana Loggers Association. Josh McAllister is President of the LLA’s PAC, and serves as the Police Jury President for Winn Parish.

For the McManuses, focusing on family first has led to success in the woods, leadership roles in the community and a better working environment for all Louisiana loggers.

Founded in 1952, Timber Harvesting is America’s only national logging magazine. Timber Harvesting is part of Hatton-Brown Publishers, the forest products industry’s leading publishing, media and event company.

September/October 2020

COVER STORY – 2020 Timber Harvesting Logging Business of the Year

WINNFIELD, La. – In 1983, Tony and Liz McManus, alongside Tony’s father, borrowed $35,000 and started a logging job with just their family and one other – a log cutter who ran the chain saw, Robert Nichols, whose son ultimately became one of McManus’ best friends. The families have remained close to this day because that’s the kind of guy McManus, 62, is: He hires you in 1983 and remains your life-long friend. He doesn’t see employees as anything other than family. He says part of that is because when he first started the company, he ran the job himself and really didn’t have any help – it was just Tony and Liz. “We had to depend on each other,” McManus says of the early years. “I’m so thankful to her.” It was just family, so once McManus Timber got big enough to add on, those employees became the McManus Timber family.

September/October cover of Timber Harvesting Magazine
Josh and Toni McAllister
Toni and Liz McManus