Local Leaders and Businesses Now in Charge of Policies Requiring Masks in Louisiana

Following months of sustained improvement in COVID hospitalizations and an increase in the supply and availability of vaccines, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that some mitigation measures will be eased and, starting Wednesday, April 28, the statewide mask mandate will be lifted.

Mask policies in Louisiana will be set by local leaders and business owners. Under the Governor’s new public health order, masks will still be required on public transit and in state government buildings, K-12 schools, early childhood education centers, colleges and universities, and healthcare facilities.

More than one in four Louisianans are now fully vaccinated, including two-thirds of those 65 and older. The state of Louisiana joins the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other federal and medical officials in recommending that people wear masks in public or when they are with unvaccinated people outside of their households.

All Louisianans 16 and older have been eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine for more than a month and Louisiana was one of the first states to broaden vaccine eligibility to the full population. The three safe and effective COVID vaccines are widely available in Louisiana.

“Many Louisianans have been wearing masks for more than a year now and the statewide mask mandate has been in place for nearly 10 months. We know masks work – the science is clear and we’ve seen the positive impact in our own state. It’s intuitive for people to protect themselves with masks in higher risk situations, and this important mitigation measure should continue. But we have many more tools for slowing the spread of COVID than we did even a few months ago, including better treatments and, most importantly, several highly effective and safe vaccines,” Gov. Edwards said. “I want to be clear: this is not the end of wearing masks in public, as COVID-19 and the spread of variants are still a real threat in our communities. Louisianans should respect each other and businesses and places where masks will be required as we move into a new phase of slowing the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. I will continue to wear a mask in government buildings and in public, especially when I do not know if someone around me has been vaccinated, and I encourage everyone to do this as well.”

The order the Governor signed Tuesday also eases restrictions on live music and allows some businesses, like salons, to re-open their waiting areas. Outdoor events will no longer have crowd limitations.

Social distancing and masking are recommended by both the state of Louisiana and the CDC.

Lifting of the mask mandate does not affect the COVID-19 liability protections that were enacted by the Louisiana Legislature which require businesses and schools to follow the recommendations of state and federal health authorities, all of which recommend continued mask wearing.

For theaters, event spaces, festivals and fairs and other outdoor events, there will be no limitations on outdoor capacity. Indoors, a facility may choose to operate at 75 percent capacity while enforcing six feet of social distancing or at 100 percent capacity with masking required and enforced.

For indoor sporting events, capacity is limited to 75 percent of capacity with social distancing, or 100 percent capacity if a mask mandate is enforced at the venue. Capacity will not be limited outdoors.

For live music, new regulations will require 10 feet of space between the stage and the audience and crowds must be seated. Bars will still only be open to those 21 and older.

State agencies may choose to opt-out of the mask mandate for state-owned buildings in writing to the Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and also must inform people entering the building that masks are not mandatory. All state agencies in the Governor’s cabinet and under the Governor’s authority will keep their mask mandates.

The Department of Health additionally will issue a state health officer order that will mandate masks in all health care facilities.

MASKING RECOMMENDATIONS

The Louisiana Department of Health recommends that the public follow the “Two out of Three” rule to keep themselves safe during COVID.

When in doubt about whether to wear a mask at a certain activity where people outside of a person’s everyday household will be present, they can stay safe by:

Making sure everyone around them is vaccinated, or Maintaining the 2 out of 3 Rule: To lower risk for COVID-19, make sure the activity meets two out of the following three conditions.

Outdoors, Distanced and Masked:

Outdoors + Distanced = No Mask Recommended
Outdoors + Not Distanced = Mask Recommended
Indoor + Distanced = Mask Recommended

Residents can call the Bring Back Louisiana COVID-19 vaccine hotline at 1-855-453-0774 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday. The hotline can help residents schedule vaccine appointments, find vaccine providers in their area and connect people with medical professionals who can answer vaccine-related questions.


Goldonna News – April 28, 2021

The northern end of Natchitoches Parish has a league of their own. The Dusty Cut League has been around for decades and is the most competitive of softball leagues around. Participating in the Dusty Cut League for the 2021 Season is Goldonna, Readhimer, Fairview and Creston has two teams this year. Season kicks off, or throws the first pitch, on May 3rd. T-ball games will begin at 5:30. 8–10-year-olds will play at 6:30. 11-13 year olds will play at 7:30. Last, but certainly not least, the 14–17-year-olds will play at 8:30.

Below you will find an entire schedule for the season. All teams will play each other twice, once at home and once away. There will be a tournament schedule available soon. On a personal note, if you have nothing to do and you are in the area, I encourage you to go sit a spell and enjoy these games. There is always so much talent on the field and the whole community always shows up.

Goldonna Elementary School is currently getting ready to administer the Leap2025 test for 3rd-4th grade. Testing will begin on April 28 and run until May 5th. Principal Cori Beth Manuel would like to gently remind parents that all children need an adequate amount of sleep the night before, a healthy breakfast and please do not be tardy. Most importantly, perfect attendance during testing is strongly encouraged.

Christmas in the Park Committee hopes to begin meetings next month. There is still room for you if you are interested. Contact Mayor Smith for the many ways you can pitch in. No matter how small, you are needed!

The Goldonna Cemetery Memorial will be held on Friday, April 30. If you bring a dish and a lawn chair you can join the crowd for lunch at 11:30. If you are not to attend the meeting but would like to make a contribution for the upkeep of the historic cemetery, please make checks payable to, “Goldonna Cemetery”. Checks can be mailed to:

Goldonna Cemetery Fund
PO Box 263
Goldonna, LA 71031

There will be online donation information coming soon. Be on the lookout. Every little bit helps, no donation is too small for this effort.

If you have news to contribute, please email Reba Phelps at jreba.phelps@gmail.com


Remember This? Pudding and Pie

By: Brad Dison

For hundreds of years, London has attracted more inhabitants than the city could adequately house.  During Roman times, the city was enclosed by a wall on three sides and the Thames River on the fourth.  When the limited space was filled, workers built on top of existing buildings as well as across the London Bridge, the city’s only bridge.  These additions grew wider with each added level, which caused homes to almost touch across the street.

Fire was always a great concern to large cities.  By the 1600s, it was illegal to build with wood and to roof with thatch in London, but those building materials were much cheaper than stone and slate.  The public largely ignored the building codes and enforcement officers did little to enforce them.  The city was full of blacksmiths, glaziers, foundries, bakeries and a host of other craftsmen who manufactured their products by using open flames in wooden buildings.

London had no fire department but relied on its local militia to watch for fires.  Each church was required to house equipment for fighting fires including ladders, leather buckets, axes, and fire hooks.  In the event of a fire, the militia doused the flames by throwing water from leather buckets.  In order to keep the fire from spreading, the militia used the fire hooks to pull down flimsy houses.  If those efforts failed to stop the spreading flames, the militia created firebreaks by demolishing homes with controlled gunpowder explosions. 

Thomas Farringer owned a prominent bakery in the city.  The bakery was on the first floor and Thomas’s family lived in an upper floor.  Just after midnight on Sunday, September 2, 1666, a fire broke out at Thomas’s bakery and quickly spread.  Thomas and his family escaped from the fire by climbing through windows into an adjoining neighbor’s home.  Thomas’s maid, however, was unable to escape and was the fire’s first victim. 

Within a short time, the fire had spread to adjoining buildings.  The militia was unable to extinguish the fire with their water buckets and it gained momentum.  Militiamen wanted to pull down houses on the outer perimeter of the fire, but their tenants refused, and the Lord Mayor was slow to intervene.  A strong west wind fanned the flames.  All attempts to slow the spread of fire failed.

At first, Londoners who lived just a few streets away assumed the fire would not reach their homes.  When they realized the fire would likely destroy their homes, Londoners began loading the bulk of their possessions onto carts and hauling them away.  The streets of London were congested by hundreds of carts, full carts trying to get out of London and empty ones coming back in for another load.  The carts bottlenecked at each of the eight gates in the Roman wall.  Many people stored their possessions in stone buildings, mostly churches such as St. Paul’s Cathedral, because they were thought to be fireproof.  However, the contents of most of these buildings caught fire and added to the destruction.  Some wealthy Londoners hired boats on the Thames to transport their possessions away from the burning city.  Tenants scurried to grab whatever they could up until they were repelled by the heat of the fire.  Contemporary accounts claimed the fire created its own weather system and eyewitness accounts described what amounted to fiery tornadoes.

On the orders of King Charles II, the militia began using controlled gunpowder explosions to level buildings.  As soon as a building was detonated, teams of people cleared the area of the debris.  The fire spread to homes on the London Bridge and people feared the fire would spread to the opposite side of the river.  Luckily, a firebreak on the bridge prevented its crossing.

On Wednesday, September 5, the wind which had fanned the flames died down.  A slow and steady rain began to extinguish fires throughout the city.  The last fire to be extinguished was at the corner of Giltspur Street and Cock Lane in central London.  By the time it was extinguished, the fire had destroyed an estimated 13,500 houses, 87 churches, 44 trade associations and guild buildings, the Royal Exchange, the Custom House, several prisons, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and numerous other buildings.  The numbers vary depending on the source, but, surprisingly, only a few people died as a result of the fire.

During reconstruction efforts after the fire, Londoners created monuments to mark the starting and ending points of the fire.  The Monument to the Great Fire of London, colloquially referred to as “the monument,” is a 202-feet-high Doric column which stands 202 feet from where the fire began.  In an alcove at the corner of Giltspur Street and Cock Lane is a statue called “Golden Boy of Pye Corner”.  Pye was old English for Pie.  This statue marks the spot where the last of the fire was extinguished. 

Following the fire, some citizens of London perceived the Great Fire of London as a sign from a higher power of the evils of overeating.  An inscription on the “Golden Boy” statue states: “This Boy is in Memory put up for the late Fire of London, Occasion’s by the Sin of Gluttony.”  You see, the fire began at a bakery on Pudding Lane and was finally extinguished at Pie Corner.  The fire began on Pudding and ended at Pie.

Sources:

  1. The London Gazette, September 10, 1666, p.1.
  2. The Monument. “The Monument.” Accessed April 19, 2021. https://www.themonument.info/.
  3. Historic UK. “The Golden Boy of Pye Corner.” Accessed April 19, 2021. https://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryMagazine/DestinationsUK/The-Golden-Boy-of-Pye-Corner/.

LA. Oil and Gas Industry Needs “Sanctuary” Too

By: Royal Alexander/Opinion

State Rep. Danny McCormick recently introduced House Bill 617, seeking to have Louisiana designated and declared a “sanctuary” state for fossil fuels in order to protect our oil and gas industry—a critically important part of our state’s economy—that is again under attack, this time by the Biden Administration. 

There is certainly precedent for Rep. McCormick’s legislation.  We’ve seen sanctuary cities and states across the country, even without enabling legislation like McCormick’s, refuse to help enforce federal immigration law regarding the location and deportation of illegal aliens, often including criminal aliens.  So, the idea of a state ignoring federal law is not new.  

And, while McCormick’s legislation will face an uphill fight due to the Supremacy Clause of our U.S. Constitution—which essentially declares that federal law trumps state law—that in no way diminishes the principle underscoring the legislation.  

We are talking about the principle of state sovereignty.  We must remember that our Constitution created and designed our federal government and the 50 state governments to exist as co-equal sovereigns.  This principle of state sovereignty is powerfully pronounced and preserved by the 10th Amendment which clearly and succinctly declares that those rights not specifically and expressly enumerated in our Constitution as being granted to the federal government are reserved to and for the states and the people.  

Derived from the 10thAmendment, the legal theory upon which the legislation is based is the concept of nullification.  This is the process by which a state would nullify or declare null and void a federal law that violates the Constitution.  Here, the constitutional violation arguably includes the fact that the oil and gas industry, a major Louisiana industry with tens of thousands of jobs flowing directly and indirectly from it, are the “property” of Louisiana companies and individual citizens that are being deprived “without due process of law.”  This also arguably amounts to a 5th Amendment “taking” for a “public use” but “without just compensation.”  

[We should note that the production of fossil fuels has been attacked relentlessly, worldwide, supposedly to combat the eons-old cyclical warming and cooling of our planet. However, according to Dr. Patrick Moore, a Greenpeace co-founder, “there is nonscientific proof that human emissions of carbon dioxide are the dominant cause of the minor warming of the Earth’s atmosphere over the past 100 years … no actual proof, as it is understood in science, actually exists.”] 

McCormick’s legislation, similar to the way sanctuary cities and states have disregarded federal immigration law, would likely work like this: the federal government would obviously still be free to enforce its own anti-oil and gas regulations with its own resources but states like Louisiana could simply say to the feds “we are not going to cooperate in helping you enforce those laws” with our own efforts, funds, assets, or resources.  This is because the U.S. Supreme Court has held that, while the federal government may dangle federal dollars in front of states in order to incentivize certain conduct, it may not “commandeer” the states and force them to do so. 

It is beyond dispute that the economic impact of federal laws and regulations on Louisiana’s oil and gas industry has been devastating.  For this reason, we can and must find a way to balance energy and industry with good environmental stewardship while remembering that the worst environment one can be in is to be cold, hungry, and unemployed. 

[I am confident that if the Biden Administration also overreaches on other issues like 2nd Amendment gun rights and gun ownership, we will see more states undertake efforts like this one.] 

Again, this undertaking will obviously face many obstacles but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth the effort.  Our Framers fully recognized that co-equal, shared power between the federal and state governments would necessarily involve tensions and friction, which they viewed as healthy in our system of dual sovereignty.  

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 is of their opinion and is not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual or anyone or anything.


Winn Parish School Board – Notice of Vacancy

The Winn Parish School Board is requesting applications for the position of Superintendent

The deadline for applying is May 14, 2021

Interested persons may obtain applications and instructions by visiting our website at https://www.winnpsb.us

Completed applications must be postmarked by the application deadline and must be mailed to:

Winn Superintendent Search
P.O. Box 1100
Winnfield, LA 71483

Minimum Requirements:

Certified (or eligible for immediate certification as confirmed in writing by LDOE) as Superintendent of Schools in the State of Louisiana

Salary: Negotiated by the Board

Equal Employment Opportunity Employer. *Winn Parish School Board does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age or disability in employment or the provision of service.


JOB VACANCIES: SECRETARY

LOCATION: Central Office

QUALIFICATIONS: High School Diploma or equivalent, Associate or Bachelor’s Degree preferred, excellent communication skills, and proficiency in computer skills.

SALARY: According to Parish Salary Schedule

TERMS OF EMPLOYMENT: 12 months

WHERE TO APPLY: Linda Page, Personnel Director

Natchitoches Parish School Board

P.O. Box 16
Natchitoches, LA 71458-0016
(318) 352-2358

DEADLINE: Monday, May 3, 2021
4:00 p.m.

APPLICATIONS: Application packet should consist of a letter of application, resume’, official transcript, and two letters of reference.


Notice of Death April 27, 2021

WINN:
None to report

NATCHITOCHES:
Sherry Dale Thomason DuBois
October 01, 1949 – April 18, 2021
No service information listed

Patsy Jo Young Bennett
July 18, 1935 – April 24, 2021
A private family graveside service was held on Monday, April 26 at Russell Cemetery in Natchitoches Parish

Randy Charlton Hall
March 26, 1954 – April 26, 2021
Service: Wednesday, April 28 at 1 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

Camille Hoover
April 24, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Harry Graham
April 24, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Amari Clark
April 28, 2002 – April 22, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Donnie Ray Armstrong
February 1, 1953 – April 18, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Rickey Lane Smith Sr.
October 7, 1968 – April 17, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Thelma Jean Morris
April 16, 2021
Arrangements TBA

SABINE:
Joanna McComic
April 19, 1971 – April 25, 2021
Service: Friday, April 30 at 2 pm at Warren Meadows Funeral Home Chapel


Calvin Lady Cougars are Headed to Sulphur!

The Calvin Lady Cougars have punched their ticket to the LHSAA softball state tournament. The Lady Cougars defeated the Evans Lady Eagles on Thursday 14-4 in six innings. 

Lauren Trawick got the Lady Cougars started with a leadoff home run in the first inning. However, the Lady Eagles one-upped the Cougars in the second inning. It didn’t take long for the Lady Cougars to retaliate. Freshman DP Camden Johnson hit a three-run homer in the fourth to start a scoring streak for the Lady Cougars. 

Six Lady Cougars Lauren Trawick, Jacie Carter, Josie Camp, Haley Martin, Camden Johnson and Lilly Barnes all hit over .500 making it hard for the Lady Eagles to catch up.

Haley Martin lead the Lady Cougars with an excellent performance from the mound.

The Lady Cougars are chasing a state championship after coming up short in 2019 in the final game. In order to make it back to the championship game, the Lady Cougars must defeat the Lady Rebels from Ebarb High School. They will play them in the semifinals at Frasch Park in Sulphur, LA on Thursday, April 28th at 11:00 AM. The game will be held on field 15.

The Lady Cougars are lead by four seniors Emma Bevill, Josie Camp, Jacie Carter, and Hannah Barbar, junior Lauren Trawick, three freshmen Lilly Barnes, Karlee Abels, and Natalie Callendar, 8th grader and pitcher Haley Martin.

The Lady Cougars are coached by Chad Camp, Stephen Turner and, Cody Martin.

The Lady Cougars appreciate all the support from the community and hope to see you in Sulphur.

Pictured above: Front row from left Camden Johnson, Karlee Abels, Kyleigh Blundell, Natalie Callendar, Mattie Barnes, Jacie Carter, Lilly Barnes. Back row from left, Peyton Smith, Haley Martin, Alexis Vercher, Emma Bevill, Hannah Barber, Josie Camp, Becky Peters, Maddy Caskey, Lauren Trawick. 


Winn Parish 4-H Spotlight – Meet Anna Little

The Winn Parish Journal recently sat down with Winn Parish 4-H member and Louisiana 4-H President Anna Little. Miss Little is a senior at Winnfield Senior High School. Her parents are Rob and Marianne Little and she has one brother, Eli who is a freshman at WSHS. She plans to attend Louisiana Tech University in the fall to major in Accounting. When she isn’t preparing for college, Anna spends time with her pets (dogs, cats, chickens, and ducks), family, and friends.

WPJ: How long have you been in 4-H?
Little: I started in 4-H as a Clover Bud in the 3rd grade (9 years.) 

WPJ: What do you like about 4-H?
Little: I loved going to 4-H Camp and 4-H Fashion Camp every Summer from 4th grade to 6th grade. When I first started going it was strange for me because I had never been away from home, really. But, I loved it! Since 6th grade, I’ve gone to 4-H University every Summer and it’s something I’ve looked forward to every Summer.

WPJ: You’re President of Louisiana 4-H. Tell us about that.
Little: My journey to becoming President of Louisiana 4-H started in 9th grade when I applied and was accepted to be on the Fashion Board, which I served on during 9th and 10th grade. Then, in 11th grade I applied, interviewed and was chosen to be a National Conference Delegate, which consists of four 11th graders from around the state. 

Then Mrs. Karen encouraged me to run for President and I wouldn’t be in this position without her. I really didn’t want to do it at first but Mrs. Karen just kept encouraging me so, I finally decided to do it. The President is selected by 128 4-H delegates from around the state. I’m not a risk-taker and running for this office was definitely a huge risk and out of my comfort zone.

WPJ: What’s been your biggest challenge as President?
Little: Juggling my responsibilities has definitely been a challenge. I try to attend as many events as possible in order to set an example because I know other 4-Hers are watching and thinking “if she’s president and she’s not here, why should I be here?”

WPJ: What have you learned while serving as President?
Little: I’m more confident taking risks now and this experience will help me to be more confident taking risks in the future. It’s helped me improve my communication skills by being more outgoing and taught me how to delegate and that I don’t have to shoulder all the responsibility. 

WPJ: Has being President helped you become a leader?
Little: Yes! I’ve learned to learn my team’s strengths and to assign them jobs that they excel at.

Miss Little has an impressive list of accomplishments including Winn Parish 2021 Student of the Year, WSHS 2021 Valedictorian, Cheer Co-Captain, as well as state awards in FFA (Future Farmers of America) and FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America).


April 24th Election Results

Winn Parish voters went to the polls Saturday, April 24th to decide two races. On the ballot was BESE – District 4 (multi-parish race) and those in District 7 Police Juror.

In the BESE District 4 race, Michael Melerine defeated Cassie Williams with 62% of the votes.

Police Juror District 7 race Frank McLaren defeated Jesse Cox with 55% of the votes.

Winn Parish Results:

Multi-parish Results:


Atlanta Baptist Spring Revival is This Week

The Atlanta Baptist Church invites you to their Spring Revival starting Sunday, April 25th – Wednesday, April 28th. Special music featured April 25th from Graceway. Evangelist Brother Daniel Breithaupt will speak each night with worship music by Atlanta Baptist Praise Team. 

Services begin at 6:30 PM. Make plans to attend! Invite your friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors!! Atlanta Baptist Church expects great and mighty things to happen- Souls to be delivered, lives to be changed, bodies to be healed, broken things to be restored, and miracles to take place! 

Come be part of what God is doing!


Notice of Death April 25, 2021

WINN:
None to report

NATCHITOCHES:
Harry Graham
April 24, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Amari Clark
April 28, 2002 – April 22, 2021
Arrangements TBA

D’Ann Evon Potts
September 21, 1946 – April 23, 2021
No service information listed

Donnie Ray Armstrong
February 1, 1953 – April 18, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Rickey Lane Smith Sr.
October 7, 1968 – April 17, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Thelma Jean Morris
April 16, 2021
Arrangements TBA

RED RIVER:
Rabie Shive Coleman
October 25, 1925 – April 23, 2021
Service: Monday, April 26 at 1 pm at Springville Cemetery