Don’t Miss Whitetails Unlimited Winn Chapter Annual Banquet

The Winn chapter of Whitetails Unlimited is hosting its annual banquet Thursday, March 4, 2021, at the Winnfield Civic Center. 

This fundraising event will include a dinner, auction, and prizes with
various products such as firearms, outfitter packages, hunting and outdoor-related equipment, artwork, and collectibles only
available at WTU events. Check out what you could win here!

Tickets -$40 single, $20 spouse or child (15 & under). Tickets will be available at the door. Table sponsorships are still available.

Proceeds from this event will benefit the Hunting for Christ Banquet at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Calvin, LA.

Perspective is Everything

By: Reba Phelps

As I sat there with a racing heart and a nervous sweat in full motion it seemed to take forever for my high school English teacher to deliver her first graded paper of the year. Like most teachers, their reputation proceeds them. This one was known to be tough as nails and seemed to take great joy in the power that the red ink pen in her hand evoked. Rumor had it that she rarely gave a grade above a C and she did not put up with any humor or shenanigans in her class. The best of the best students barely skated by and warned every student that came behind them.

Simply put, she could fail you and you would have a repeat Senior year or a summer school enrollment. I knew without a doubt that I had poured my heart and soul into this paper. This would be the paper that would set the tone for the entire year and I had full confidence that I would earn the C that appeared to be her best grade.

I sat in my seat and looked straight ahead trying not to use my peripheral eyesight to see her exact location. Breathing in and out just trying to stay alive… she then appeared out of nowhere to slap the paper down on my desk. It was face down, and she gave me a very stern side eye at the very same time. There appeared to be something on her mind as she walked away. Not being able to wait for another second I flipped the paper over to see a large red “B” on the top of my paper with a small handwritten note beside it.

It was a blur of teary eyes and pure joy as I clutched the paper tight and celebrated my victory. Everyone around me was silently comparing their grades and I proudly showed off my kill. I had the highest grade within a two-seat radius and I wasn’t even concerning myself with her handwritten note until all of the high fives were delivered. My new pride and confidence radiated for the rest of the day.

There were not many occasions where I was actually proud to show my parents my work but, in this case, I knew they would be thrilled. When I handed the paper over to my mother, she applauded the hard-earned grade but she had a look of concern and advised me that my teacher was accusing me of cheating.

Keep in mind, at this point, I still had not read the handwritten note. I was too mesmerized by my grade.

My mother read the note out loud, “You are much smarter on paper than you are when you speak”.

Well, I just perplexed at my mother’s doubt and unbelief and I had no clue because she was being a negative Nancy. I knew I did not cheat and I was well aware of the man hours that went into this paper. From that day forward I chose to tell myself that I was a good writer. So much so, that the world’s biggest critic thinks that I can do this.

What was probably meant as an, “I have my eye on you comment”, truly made me feel as though I could write good sentences. And, sometimes even put them together to make a decent story. I completely chose to take her words as a compliment and build on top of it. From that moment I ventured out and started believing in myself and my abilities.

There is no doubt in my mind that my teacher’s words were seeds planted that eventually grew into a love of writing. It would have been so easy to be offended by her words and then make the decision not to learn and grow in her class. In our daily lives we are faced with so many decisions on a daily basis. The perspective we choose to respond with can change the trajectory of our lives. If you are always looking for and expecting the worst in people, you will surely find it. If you are always looking for and expecting the best in people you will find that as well.

“Your perspective will either become your prison or your passport” – Steven Furtick

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable…. if anything is excellent or praiseworthy…think about such things.” – Philippians 4:8

Snow and Ice Not in the Forecast for March 1-2

Meteorologist Nick Mikulas

I’ll never say never, but it’s not going to snow (disclaimer alert. Not going to means 99.99% chance it won’t. I’ve learned not to tempt fate and give a guarantee of anything ever) here on March 1-2. It is going to start raining here sometime Thursday, and do so off and on for several days. We could see 1-3 inches. Of rain. Not snow.

Do you know what this picture is? It’s all 30 ensemble runs of the GFS model showing how much snow will accumulate in Alexandria in the next 15 days. The Canadian model looks the same. The European model looks the same.

Angler’s Perspective

Is Pre-Fishing A Waste of Time?

As I have pointed out before, tournament bass anglers are a strange bunch. We are constantly trying to outsmart, over think and over complicate how we should be catching fish. Growing up as an athlete, baseball was a sport that I truly loved, and to be good at it, took practice and lots of it. A lot of time spent in a batting cage, taking ground balls, catching fly balls and working on base running. As someone once said, “practice makes perfect.” But in bass fishing, that’s not always the case. You can spend or waste a lot of time practicing and catching fish days before an event only to have to disregard everything you put together due to a major change in weather. So many times, in my fishing career, I’ve had to adjust or abandon my game plan for a tournament. Which brings us to the question, “Is pre-fishing a waste of time?”

Well, my first reaction would be “yes” but then I think back over time how important my practice time was for me having a high finish. But so many times due to variables out of my control like a front coming through, high winds, temperature change, heavy rain, the lake rising can all contribute to a change in fish behavior. Mother Nature and what she can throw at a bass angler, can be brutal. But just like any other sport, bass fishing is a game of adjustments and sometimes due to how we caught them during our pre-fishing time, we tend to try and force the fish the bite the way they did in practice. This is major mistake when you’re competing in a tournament because bass are worse than women, they are constantly going through mood swings. (Sorry ladies)

For me the benefits of pre-fishing are getting out on the water and checking out the areas of the lake you want to fish. Looking at watercolor, is it muddy, stained or clear; what’s the water temperature and seeing what the bass are relating to. Are they on wood cover like cypress trees or maybe brush tops and laydowns off the bank? Are they in vegetation like hydrilla or coon tail moss, are they under lily pads or our newest invasive species of aquatic vegetation… Salvinia?. Are they on boat docks? Are they in the backwater or on main lake points?  Now most of these questions can be answered basically by what time of year it is as to where the bass should be.    

As you can see, bass fishing is more science than luck especially for a tournament bass angler. But the time you spend pre-fishing or practicing, can be crucial in determining when, where and how you will catch them on tournament day. But this is where a word that I used earlier comes into play, adjustments. Bass fishing is a constant game of adjustments and the angler that does this the best on tournament day, will be the most successful. More times than not, the conditions in which you found fish in practice, will not be the conditions you face on tournament day. So, is pre-fishing a waste of time? Well, the time of year has a lot to do with this in that with spring fishing, there are constant weather changes and fronts are more frequent making it hard to plan too far ahead for a tournament. But during the summer months, the weather is a lot more stable, and the fish are a lot more predictable as to where they will be. The fall can also be pretty easy to find fish in that bass tend to migrate up the creeks this time of year.

As you can see, pre-fishing can have it advantages. It all depends on what time of year it is.  To hear more fishing tips, tune in to Tackle Live every Monday on our Facebook page at 12:30 CST as we discuss the latest news and tournament results from Toledo Bend, Sam Rayburn and other great bodies of water found right here in the Ark-La-Tex region. Until next time, don’t forget to set the hook!!

Steve Graf
Hook’N Up & Track’N Down Show

Extreme Winter Weather Will Impact Aquatic Weed Coverage

The recent cold fronts that passed through Louisiana resulted in prolonged periods of sub-freezing temperatures, and single-digit temperatures in some areas. While these extreme conditions had many devastating effects on our state, they will also result in a reduction of aquatic weeds across the state.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is currently evaluating impacts of the freeze on aquatic vegetation coverage statewide and will continue this assessment as we move into the spring. The extent of this impact will not be known for several weeks, as consistently warm water temperatures are needed for the dead plants to decompose and drop from the water surface. Some plants will continue to float and remain green temporarily, but many will eventually die, break down and sink.

Aquatic weeds, such as giant salvinia and water hyacinth, are two of Louisiana’s “invasive species” – organisms that cause ecological and/or economic harm when found in areas where they are not native. This aquatic vegetation can multiply quickly and become incredibly dense, inhibiting access to waterways and shading out native vegetation.

The best way to control the impacts of invasive species is to control their spread. However, this can be challenging as aquatic vegetation is easily spread from one waterbody to another because it tends to cling to objects such as boat trailers. To help limit the spread of invasive species, the department encourages boaters to be diligent with cleaning boat trailers after a day on the water.

When springtime weather returns, the public can request LDWF assistance for areas with green, actively growing aquatic vegetation at, then click on “Request Assistance with Invasive Aquatic Vegetation.” LDWF uses various methods to combat undesirable aquatic vegetation, including drawdowns, herbicide spray treatments and biological control such as salvinia weevils.

SWEPCO Thanks Customers for Patience, Conserving Energy During Extreme Weather

SWEPCO would like to thank all customers for their patience throughout last week’s severe weather event. Louisiana experienced record low temperatures, reaching as low as 7° F in Natchitoches, and 23,200 customers were without power at the peak of the storm. 

“We greatly appreciate everyone for bearing with us over the past week,” said Malcolm Smoak, SWEPCO president and chief operating officer. “We understand the issues that outages can create for our customers, and that’s why our crews worked around-the-clock in hazardous conditions to restore power for everyone.” 

A crew of 1,500 workers, including more than 300 SWEPCO employees, worked out of three basecamps to assist in restoration efforts. Power had been restored for the majority of customers across Northwest Louisiana by Sunday night. 

The storm caused almost a half-inch of ice to accumulate between Sabine and Natchitoches parishes. Temperatures remained near 32° F for much of the storm.

When temperatures reach extreme lows, power demand creates a heavy load on the regional electric grid. SWEPCO would like to thank all customers who helped conserve energy over the past week. Everyone working together to provide small contributions—such as minor adjustments to thermostats and reduced use of lighting and appliances—can make a significant difference to the overall electric system.

SWEPCO customers can report and check the status of outages by downloading the SWEPCO Customer Mobile App at or visiting  More information on what do to prepare for an outage and safety tips can be found at

Notice of Death February 25, 2021

Audrey Mae Patton Peavy
March 31, 1939 – February 24, 2021
Service: Saturday, February 27 at 1 pm at Garden of Memories Cemetery in Winnfield

Stafford Bill Moses
February 16, 2021
Service: Saturday, February 27 at 11 am in the Winnfield Funeral Home Chapel, located at 117 MLK Drive in Winnfield

Wanda Sue O’Bryan
April 08, 1944 – February 22, 2021
Service: Saturday, February 27 at 11 am at Bethlehem Baptist Church Cemetery in Calvin

Dorothy Fay Martin
May 19, 1932 – February 25, 2021
Service: Saturday, February 27 at 2 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

Vernell Brooks
April 29, 1982 – February 25, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Ray H. Allen
March 22, 1933 – February 23, 2021
Service: Saturday, February 27 at 11 am at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

Brother Christopher Willis Jr.
September 17, 2009 – February 23, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Mattie Mae Casson
August 6, 1961 – February 16, 2021
Service: Saturday, February 27 at 11 am in the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel

Nathaniel Scott
February 19, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Ada James
February 15, 2021
Service: Saturday, February 27 at 1 pm in the Bethlehem Baptist Church Cemetery in Atlanta

Alvin Smith
February 16, 2021
Service: Saturday, February 27 at 2 pm in the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel,located at 318 North Street in Natchitoches

Barbara Ann Veuleman
January 24, 1943 – February 25, 2021
Service: Sunday, February 28 at 2 pm at Friendship Nazarene

Jackie Rivers
November 3, 1958 – February 21, 2021
Service: Friday, February 26 at 10 am at St. Joseph Catholic Church

Sandy (Lysander) Allen Webb
October 17, 1951 – February 22, 2021
Service: Friday, February 26 at 11 am at Springville Cemetery in Coushatta

Louisianans Impacted by Winter Storms Are Urged to Fill Out the Louisiana Disaster Preliminary Damage Self-Report

Local and state officials are compiling damage reports from the recent winter storms and need your information regarding the impact to your property.

The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is seeking information from anyone who received damage due to the winter weather event this week.  The self-reporting survey, which can be found at, will help local and state emergency managers collect data to move forward with the recovery process. 

This step should not replace reporting damage to your insurance agency.Anyone impacted by the winter storm should fill out the survey to report damage to your home or business (structures only, no vehicles). 

The survey is voluntary and does not guarantee any federal disaster relief assistance. It will be beneficial in assisting with the damage assessment process in Louisiana related to this event. To fill out the report, visit:

Winn Parish Sheriff’s Office Arrest Report

Name: James Byron Guichet
Date: 2-20-21
Race: White
Gender: Male
Age: 20
Charge: DWI 2nd, Careless Operation W/O Accident, Illegal Tinted Windows

Name: Deshawn M. Edwards
Date: 2-21-21
Race: Black
Gender: Male
Age: 30
Charge: Battery on police officer, Resisting arrest or officer

Name: Sean Brandon Berry
Date: 2-22-21
Race: White
Gender: Male
Age: 43
Charge: Failure to Appear

Name: Regina K. Elliott
Date: 2-22-21
Race: White
Gender: Female
Age: 50
Charge: Domestic Abuse Battery

Water Pressure: How it works

We’ve all just experienced what many are calling an unprecedented weather event and sadly that description seems to be turning into an excuse for the maladies we are experiencing with our water system and with it a wealth of misunderstanding. Many questions being asked of our government officials display a lack of understanding of the system and unfortunately some of the answers being given display the same amount of ignorance.

In order to understand the demands placed on water systems, first we have to delve into a little background of how these systems are supposed to work. The following five (5) minute video will explain the basics of our water system.

Snowbound and the Sound of the Cavalry

By: Bob Holeman

Snowbound.  If we thought we were isolated from others by the COVID situation, how about this snow, ice and below-freezing environment we find ourselves in now?  This is most un-Louisiana.  We’re not talking Minnesota snowdrifts over the top of the house but driveway and street conditions are such that few are venturing outdoors.  Not to mention downed limbs and trees you would have to dodge.

Someone pointed to another fact suggesting this is not a Louisiana event.  For most Louisiana snow, you have to be standing outside to see flakes falling to prove it really happened.  If you’re lucky, there’s enough accumulation on your car’s back window to make a good snowball.  Yes, there are occasional real snowfalls where we see an actual snow cover, kids playing outside and snowmen in yards here and there.  But snow and ice-covered trees that started Sunday and threaten to still be hanging around in a week?  No, we’re “snow today, gone tomorrow” sort of folks.

It’s quiet in our neighborhood.  I can’t say how things are going up on the five-lane because we can’t get up those five blocks.  We’d have to drive or walk up a couple of steep and icy streets to peek so we’re just going to wait until the thaw comes.  I’d guess that folks in rural areas with rural roads are facing the same.  Home is better.

The home quiet does give us time to ponder.  Diane observed rightly that Winn has experienced one heck of a six-month run.  Two hurricanes and two snow storms.  So what do you do?  Diane’s spent a lot of time bundled up under a blanket, reading Agatha Christie mysteries.  And together we launched a long-postponed chore of a photographic and written chronicle inventory of household items.  I think we’d all be amazed of the “stuff” we accumulate through the years.

In my own quiet time musings, I had a Gideon sort of wet-fleece-dry-fleece observation.  In the January snow we had, our back yard was blanketed with snow and the wrought iron table and chairs on the patio were piled nearly 5 inches high with the stuff.  Call that the wet fleece.  After Sunday’s snow this week, we awoke to a majestic landscape of snow Monday.  It was hard to tell where the patio ended and the yard began except for some bumps that were snow-covered bushes.  Then there was the wrought iron patio set, standing as black and metal and snowless as it could be.  We’ll call this the dry fleece.  So why the difference?  Here’s my quiet time logic:  January snow came with cold but not super-cold temperatures.  When the earliest flakes came down on the expended metal framework, there was some melting going on.  Later flakes were caught and soon the metal grids filled.  Snow piled and the effect was visually pleasing.  By contrast when this week’s snow came, temperatures had already been subfreezing for days and the metal furniture was just as cold.  The result was that snow did not melt as it hit the furniture but floated on through the gaps onto the patio.  So, lots of powdery snow rested on the ground, none on the furniture.  I’ll hold this theory until a science teacher tells me I’m wrong.

My Presbyterian friends advise me there’s no such thing as coincidence.  If something happens, Providence had a hand in it.  Does this apply to portable generators?  We’ve lived in our home for 35 years and never needed one.  When Hurricane Laura hit on a Thursday last August, I still thought I’d be OK.  But I started to get nervous and ran an extension cord to the generator of kind neighbor Mickey Simmon to keep my refrigerator cold.  Our son Chris arrived late night Friday with his generator (plus gasoline) which we unloaded the next morning and got it hooked up to the house and running.  He wasn’t in a hurry to get his generator back so lo and behold, come Hurricane Delta we’ve still got the generator (though power loss is short-lived).  Chris had planned to pick up the generator after Christmas when they came for a visit but when he looked at the worn tires on his truck, he decided to come in Sarah’s car instead.  As a result, we had the generator for Snowstorm Alpha and Snowstorm Beta.  Now he’s not so sure he even needs a generator in east Texas.  Coincidence or the Hand of the Lord?  There is one small caveat.  I’d planned, gassed up, practiced and all with the generator from Sunday until we actually needed it in Wednesday’ sleet and ice.  We heard a transformer blow about 4 p.m. and lost power.  All was well with the generator until we were ready for bed (earlier than normal, you might expect).  We turned off the generator, topped off the gas and turned it back on.  But after a couple of unsuccessful pulls on the start cord in the dark, the third yank  brought the handle and about 8 inches of cord off in my right hand and the rest wound back into the generator.  Again perhaps the Lord tapping Bob’s “I can do it all” ego?

Remember all those Westerns you watched as a kid and you feared the wagon train or the homesteaders were about the buy the farm because of an Indian attack?  Then you heard the bugle call of the fast-approaching U.S. Cavalry and you know all would be saved?  Diane and I heard that bugle call Wednesday night.  As I mentioned, we’d gone to bed earlier than normal and after awhile it seemed like the two blankets and a spread would not be enough.  Around 10, I got up to get an old sleeping bag from another room and added a layer to our covers.  As I got back into the bed, I noticed Diane had left to take care of business.  Then I saw a small flicker of light, not from her flashlight but from a red-shaded lamp across the room.  “Could it be?” I wondered.  Sure enough, our power came back on a few minutes later.  The city’s power crew was out late in this terrible weather, working to bring normalcy to residents.

I’ll bet providers receive a lot of complaints from customers when things go wrong but precious few thanks when they go right.  I talked to City Hall to get a little information and they confirmed this.  As the storm approached Mayor George Moss called in the city’s power crew and made arrangements to house them here, since three of them live out of town and are away from their families during this period of bad weather.  They’re out working late, getting some sleep then out again working early, helping to restore electrical power to homes and businesses.  Meanwhile Nature uses sleet and limbs and trees and frozen rain to do what She can to disrupt power.  It’s cold, wet work but somebody has to do it.  And in this case, it’s Jonathan Paul, Josh Coyler, Larry Desadier and Joseph Conroe.

Thanks guys.  And be safe.

Goldonna News

By Reba Phelps

The fish fryers were lined up with care under the pavilion at Goldonna Town Hall as the volunteers worked tirelessly to make sure the fundraiser went off without a hitch. And, boy did it! The snow and ice began to melt just in time so residents could come out and enjoy the day.

On Sunday, February 21st the community of Goldonna rallied to support local resident, Kristin Dupree, as her and husband are having to travel to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota for treatments and testing for the next thirty days.

The residents really showed up and it was quite evident as the cooks could barely keep up with high demand. They sold out of every single thing they had to offer. They even had utility linemen visiting the area from as far as Florida who stopped in to support the cause and enjoy some of the fresh caught area fish. The Dupree family sent a video from their first day in Minnesota with a heartfelt message of gratitude and thanks.

On Sunday, February 28th, there will be a Ribbon Cutting at the Goldonna Elementary/Junior High School at 2:00 in the afternoon. This will be the groundbreaking ceremony for the Uniti Fiber Optic Internet service to the students of the school. The public is invited and encouraged to attend. Please wear a mask and observe social distancing rules.

“This is a historical moment for the students in Goldonna and we really hope the public can come out for the ribbon cutting. This is very exciting,” said School Board Member, Eugene Garner.

“This certainly helps pave the way in our getting residential access. Thanks to everyone that has worked so hard to make this happen,” shared Mayor Jennifer Smith.

In other news, the Louisiana based Creole food company, Tony Chachere’s in Opelousas, has donated boxed meal mixes to the Winn Baptist Association for churches affected by Hurricane Laura, in which Goldonna is a member. Former resident, David Dupree, will also be donating the sausage to help create the meals to feed the Goldonna Baptist Church at a future date. The church was very grateful for the show of support to entire community.

If you have news to contribute please email Reba Phelps