Severe Weather Possible for Winn Parish this Morning But Should be Beautiful Memorial Day

A linear complex of showers and thunderstorms will be advancing south toward the I-20 corridor through the early morning hours on Friday. This linear storm complex should slowly weaken with additional southward progress, but strong and gusty winds will remain possible through daybreak on Friday morning.

Showers and thunderstorms will continue across the region Friday through at least the first half of Saturday across our southern zones as a cold front slowly advances south through the region.

The threat of some isolated damaging wind gusts will continue on Friday, generally along and south of Interstate 20. Locally heavy rainfall may also continue to pose a flash flood risk in some areas where recent rounds of heavy rainfall have occurred.

Beyond Saturday, the remainder of the Memorial Day weekend appears to be quite pleasant with ample sunshine before more widespread showers and thunderstorms return toward the middle of next week.

Winn Parish Power Outages

Friday, May 28, 2021, 5:22 AM the City of Winnfield reports that Pineville and Center Streets are currently closed due to downed trees and power lines. Crews are working as quickly and safely as possible to restore power. To report a power outage call (318) 998-7014.

Entergy Louisiana is currently reporting that 403 customers are currently without power in Winn Parish.
Swepco is currently reporting no customers without power in Winn Parish.

Homicide Suspect Arrested in Winnfield

On Tuesday, May 18, a New Orleans man was booked into the Winnfield City Jail on the charge of 2nd Degree Murder for the August 2020 shooting of local resident Antheus Johnson.
Winnfield Police initially responded to a call of a Motor Vehicle Accident on E Lafayette Street on the afternoon of August 20 only to discover shooting victim Antheus Johnson unresponsive in the car. He had several bullet wounds. Efforts to revive Johnson on scene and at the emergency room were unsuccessful.
The initial investigation led police to the scene of the shooting on Lena Street in Winnfield. After several days of investigation, an arrest warrant was issued for the suspect, Richard Harris, Jr, age 20, who had been living in Winnfield at the time of the shooting. Harris had departed the area and eluded capture for almost 2 months. With assistance from the US Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force, officers were able to determine he was in the New Orleans area. In conjunction with the Jefferson Parish’s Fugitive Task Force and the US Marshal’s Office, Harris was located and arrested in November 2020. He had additional, unrelated charges in Jefferson Parish and was held until he was indicted by a Winn Parish Grand Jury on May 10th.
He is currently being held in the Winn Parish Detention Center on the charge of 2nd Degree Murder with a bond of $1,000,000.
Chief Johnny R Carpenter wishes to thank all of the agencies involved in the capture as well as the grieving family of Antheus Johnson for their patience in the justice system.

2021 “Click It or Ticket” Campaign Under Way

The Winnfield Police Department is participating in the National Highway Safety Administration’s “Click it or Ticket” campaign that started May 24 and will continue through June 6. The department was awarded a grant from the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission to heavily enforce driver and occupant safety belt use during this time.
There was a recent reminder as our city experienced a fatality death at the intersection of US Hwys 167N and 84W just last month. That driver was not wearing his safety belt at the time.
No matter what type of vehicle you drive, one of the safest choices drivers and passengers can make is to buckle up. As you head out around the Memorial Day holiday, you’ll likely see more law enforcement on the roads as part of Click It or Ticket. This campaign reminds drivers and their passengers of the importance of buckling and the legal consequences – including fines – for not wearing a seat belt.
Always Remember to Buckle Up
In 2019, 9,466 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants were killed in crashes in the United States. While that was a decrease from 2018, an early study for 2020 suggests that during the COVID-19 public health emergency, driving patterns and behaviors changed significantly. Of those drivers who remained on the roads, there was more risky behavior, including people not wearing seat belts.
Buckle Up the Right Way
Always place the shoulder belt across the middle of your chest and away from your neck, and place the lap belt across your hips, not your stomach. You should never put the shoulder belt behind your back or under your arm. And remember: always buckle up
Seat Belt Safety Starts With You–Your kids are watching
Children whose parents or caregivers buckle up are much more likely to buckle up themselves.

Winn Parish Gas Prices Are High But Below National Average

Average gas prices in Louisiana have risen almost constantly in the past year from $1.66 per gallon a year ago to $2.72 per gallon today.  In that time, Louisiana gas prices have remained about $.33 per gallon below the national average which was $3.04 at the time of publishing. 

The lowest reported gas price in the state is $2.38 per gallon in Baton Rouge. 

The lowest reported gas prices in Winn Parish according to GasBuddy:

  • Winnfield – $2.71 at Murphy’s, 5934 US-167 N
  • Winnfield – $2.74 at Valero, 910 W Court St
  • Winnfield – $2.74 at Exxon, 5733 US-167 N
  • Winnfield – $2.74, Chevron, 305 W Court St

Source: “Gas Price Charts,” GasBuddy, accessed May 27, 2021,

Angler’s Perspective – Find Your Own Fish!

With more anglers on the water today than in the previous 20 years, one thing has become very apparent. A lot of anglers cannot find their own fish! Now let’s address the main problem…overcrowded lakes. It is insane,  the number of boats on our area lakes and waterways compared to twenty years ago. The recent pandemic is also a major contributor to this issue as well. Boat’s sales soared in 2020 with many people not working and schools being shut down. A big majority of Americans all across the country took to the lakes and outdoors which is a great thing! Nothing bad can come of getting folks, old and young alike, out in the great outdoors. I mean what’s the worst thing that can happen?

Well, let me give you an idea and a few examples. First, overcrowded boat ramps! It amazes me how seven days a week, you have to wait in line just to launch your boat. Just two short years ago, you could go to any boat ramp Monday thru Thursday and NEVER have to wait to launch or worry how far you’ll have to park your truck and trailer after you launch your boat. Many of today’s lakes, especially Sam Rayburn or sometimes at Toledo Bend, it might be necessary to request an Uber just to get back to the ramp after parking your truck and trailer. Several times this past year I’ve seen people parked almost a mile from the ramp they launched at. It’s insane!

Now that we’re on the water and ready to go fishing, now let’s crank our motor and head to our favorite spot. Oh wow… guess what, after you run 5 miles up the lake dodging jet skiers and pleasure boaters who have not had a boater safety course, you arrive at your favorite spot, and someone is already there.  It’s the same person who saw you yesterday catching fish there. Shocker…but that’s exactly how it is today. There are more people scouting and spying on other anglers like detectives trying to solve a murder mystery. I mean I’ve seen guys using binoculars and watching other anglers at a distance only to wait until they move and then swoop in and mark that location with their electronics so they can return on another day. Tournament anglers are especially targeted and it’s even worse if you have an advertising wrap on your boat. But one thing I’ve done several times just to throw off would-be scouts and detectives is to fake hook sets and I’ve gone as far as to pretend I just caught a fish by leaning over the side of the boat and acting like I’m releasing a fish. It’s quite amusing to watch who moves into the area I just left. I think anyone who has a pair of binoculars in their boat is pathetic.

Next, are what I call “GPS robbers.” These guys are the worst and most unethical anglers on the water. If they see a well-known angler, guide or pro, they will ride up and down the lake looking for these good anglers and will shut down and idle towards the area they are in and hit their GPS button on their electronic units to mark the spot so they can come back later after the angler leaves. While I have never shot anyone before, this is the one thing that I might consider as a consequence for anglers who practice this technique.

Bass fishing is hard enough today with so many anglers competing for a limited number of fishing spots. It just makes an angler mad when you have people on the lake spying on other fishermen and looking to raid their best spots, especially the guides who work very hard to build a reputation for catching fish. This is how they make a living, and it affects their pocketbook when other anglers pull up on their best spots and catch fish. If you are one of those who need help finding fish, hire a guide and let him show you how to read your electronics so you can find your own fish. It’ll be the best money you ever spent and well worth your time. Till next time, find your own fish and don’t forget to set the hook!

Steve Graf
Hook’N Up & Track’N Down Show
And Tackle Talk Live

Fishing, Hunting, Boating License Restructure Plan Moves to Senate; Proposed Price Increases

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ proposed legislation for license restructuring went to the floor of the House of Representatives last week.

The restructured plan was approved, with some changes, and is now at the Senate.

If passed:

  • Boat Registration will be simplified but will increase in most cases. (see Revised License Restructure Plan below)
  • Hook & Line Fishing License will double from $2.50 to $5.00
  • Freshwater/Basic Fishing License will increase from $9.50 to $17.00, but will include certain privileges that fisherman currently have to pay extra for such as:
    • Res Rec Wire Net (5) $20.00
    • Res Rec Pipes/Drums (5) $10.00
    • Res Rec Cans/Buckets (5) $10.00
    • Resident Hoop Nets (5) $20.00
    • Res Rec Crawfish Traps (5) $15.00
    • Res Rec Slat Traps (5) $20.00
  • Basic Hunting License will increase from $15.00 to $20.00.
  • Res Big Game will be renamed Res Deer and will increase from $14.00 to $15.00, but will include certain privileges that hunters currently have to pay for individually such as:
    • Res Bow Hunting $10.50
    • Res Primitive Firearm $10.50
  • Res Big Game (Currently $14.00) and Res Wild Turkey (Currently $5.50) will be combined into Res Wild Turkey, and will be $12.00.
  • Res La Duck will be renamed Res Waterfowl and will increase from $5.50 to $12.00.

Many people visited the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Facebook page and expressed their irritation at the proposed price increases.

  • Bruce Dauzat said, “Basic fishing will be outrageous. Most people won’t need/use the extras on the revised license. Senior hunt/fish comb takes a $15 increase, really?!”
  • Daniel Wilson said, “What’s it going to take for you to understand this is a terrible idea? All your going to do here is drive people away.”
  • David Foote said, “Glad I have my lifetime hunting and fishing license already.”
  • Adam Downing said, “Gotta love paying more for no added value…”
  • Lon Prioux said, “Seems like us Seniors will get a 300% increase in our licensing this year? Remember this at election time!!!”
  • Scott Farar said, “Did I read it right it’s gunna cost me $27 a day to hunt and camp in the wma now???? I must of read it WRONG??????? LOL I’ll never step foot on one again if this is true.”

What is your opinion of the Revised License Restructure?

Substitute School Bus Driver Positions Available at Winn Parish School Board

The Winn Parish School Board has IMMEDIATE  opportunities for substitute school bus drivers.

Requirements: Class A or B CDL with Passenger, School Bus, and Air Brakes endorsements (obtained through OMV)

Winn Parish will host a 30-hour pre-service training for school bus drivers at the Winn Parish School Board Office June 21-23. This course is one of the requirements for becoming a licensed/certified school bus driver. Anyone interested in applying for a position as a substitute, activity, or regular route driver must have this training. The course will begin at 8:00 a.m. and end at 4:30 p.m. each day.

For more information or to register please contact:
Al Simmons
Marianne Little

Winn Parish School Board
304 E. Court
Winnfield, LA 71483
318 628 6936

Winn Parish School Board is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Notice of Death May 27, 2021

Kevin Ray Jordan
December 14, 1963
Service: Saturday, May 29 at 11 am at Southern Funeral Home

Charles Dewayne LaCaze
July 27, 1965 – May 25, 2021
Service: Friday, May 28 at 2 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home in Natchitoches

Thomas “Tommy” Lonadier
February 20, 1968 – May 19, 2021
Service: Saturday, May 29 at 2 pm at Pace Recreational Center, located at 2138 Hwy 1226 in Natchitoches

Elnora Gillie
April 14, 1950 – May 23, 2021
Service: Saturday, May 29 at 2 pm in the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel, located at 318 North Street in Natchitoches

Henry Keith
May 22, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Earl Tucker Sr.
August 25, 1960 – May 22, 2021
Service: Saturday, May 29 at 11 am at the Evergreen Baptist Church, located at 8260 Hwy 71 in St. Maurice

Carl Smith
June 21, 1955 – May 21, 2021
Arrangements TBA

L. J. Smith
May 23, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Henry Braxton
May 18, 2021
Service: Saturday, May 29 at 11 am at the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel

Margaret Carter Cooper
November 2, 1961 – May 10, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Phillip Lloyd Gillis
March 13, 1968 – April 29, 2021
Service: Saturday, May 29, 2021 from 1-5 pm at the home of Ryan and Bekah French Home, located at 1615 Williams Ave. in Natchitoches

Pauline Lee Shaw
December 31, 1923 – May 25, 2021
Service: Friday, May 28 at 10 am at Fort Jesup Cemetery

Justin Toby Morvan
January 8, 1986 – May 26, 2021
Service: Saturday, May 29 at 2 pm at Pleasant View Baptist Church

Earl Wayman “Sam” Tarpley
October 1, 1939 – May 26, 2021
Service: Saturday, May 29 at 10 am at Siloam Baptist Church

Wilson Triplets Receive COVID Vaccine

Winnfield natives and 2021 Grambling graduates Stevie, Steven and Stephon Wilson and their parents recently received the COVID-19 vaccination at Winn Community Health Center in Winnfield.

The Trinity Community Health Centers of Louisiana have vaccinated over ten thousand patients across six parishes since vaccinations have become available.

Appointments are available for those who want to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. You can request an appointment by calling (318) 648-0375.

Pictured above are triplets Stevie, Steven, and Stephon Wilson.

Please Join WPSB for a Retirement Celebration Honoring Superintendent Steve Bartlett Today

The Winn Parish School Board invites the Winn Parish community to a retirement celebration for Winn Parish School Board Superintendent Steve Bartlett.

The event will be held at CLTCC Huey P. Long Campus in Winnfield today from 3 PM to 5 PM.

After 47 years as an educator and 21 years as WPSB Superintendent Bartlett announced his retirement on April 6th. 

LA House Republicans Announce the Formation of the Conservative Caucus – Both Winn Parish Reps Founding Members

Conservative House Republicans unify to form the Louisiana Conservative Caucus to support fiscally conservative policies, the House Speaker, and the Republican Delegation Leader.

BATON ROUGE, May 25 – Conservatives in the Louisiana House of Representatives have unified together to form the Louisiana Conservative Caucus. The new caucus will focus on supporting the Speaker and the Republican Delegation to steer the legislature in a direction that more closely reflects the fiscally conservative values of Louisiana’s people. The Conservative Caucus is organized to promote Louisiana’s economic prosperity through the conservative principles of fiscal responsibility, protecting the unborn, and ensuring the protection of 2nd Amendment rights.

If needed, the Caucus will be able to withhold their votes to prevent a 70 vote majority that is required to pass many fiscal bills in the House. With 39 founding members, the “invite-only” Conservative Caucus is already positioned to be a dominating force in Louisiana politics. “While we have 39 founding members, within just a few days of being formed our voting numbers are already over 40. That means that we’ll control every tax, budget, and constitutional amendment that the Caucus takes a position on,” said Representative Jack McFarland (R- Winnfield), the newly elected chairman of the Conservative Caucus. He continued, “With that level of influence, we’re going to strengthen our Republican Delegation and ensure that our Republican Speaker knows that he can count on us to advance a conservative agenda.”

Representative Alan Seabaugh (R- Shreveport), a board member of the Conservative Caucus, added, “This group of mostly freshmen legislators will be the dominating force in state politics for the next decade. However, they’re also going to be forced to deal with the shortcomings and broken promises of their predecessors. Collectively, our biggest focus is on responsibly right-sizing our budget. We’ve made no progress in preparing for the ‘temporary’ 0.45% sales tax increase to expire in 2025. Instead, if this year’s budget passes, in just the last two budgets we’ll have increased recurring state spending by almost $600 million.”

Just last week, the state’s Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) recognized another $357 million for legislators to spend by July 1 and $320 million for them to spend after July 1. Despite the increase in allowed spending for this fiscal year and next, the state is still forecasting deficits of between a half a billion and a billion dollars in the coming years. “The abundance of federal money and the increased money from the REC gives us the opportunity to start responsibly fixing our budget. The formation of the Conservative Caucus couldn’t have come at a better time as we now have the ability to enforce fiscal constraints on our state’s spending while ensuring that we’re still taking care of our citizens’ needs,” said Representative Larry Frieman (R- Abita Springs), a Vice Chairman of the Conservative Caucus.

The Conservative Caucus has extended an invitation to Republican Delegation Leader Blake Miguez (R- Erath) who was recovering from an emergency surgery during its formation.

“I am proud to be a founding member of the Louisiana Conservative Caucus, a group of nearly 40 like-minded state representatives committed to fighting for traditional conservative values.  The Caucus will stand for principles shared by the citizens of District 22 such as fiscal responsibility, protecting the unborn, and preserving our Constitutional right to bear arms,” said Gabe Firment District 22 Rep.

The Conservative Caucus can be found on Facebook @LaConservativeCaucus. Below is a complete list of the 39 founding members of the Louisiana Conservative Caucus:

Jack McFarland (R – Winnfield) – Chairman

Ray Garofalo (R – Chalmette) – 3rd Term Vice Chairman

Beryl Amedee (R – Houma) – 2nd Term Vice Chairman

Larry Frieman (R – Abita Springs) – 1st Term Vice Chairman

Rhonda Butler (R – Turkey Creek) – Secretary

Debbie Villio (R – Kenner) – Treasurer

Raymond Crews (R – Bossier City) – At Large Board Member

Polly Thomas (R – Metairie) – At Large Board Member

Gabe Firment (R – Pollock) – At Large Board Member

Alan Seabaugh (R – Shreveport) – Board Member

Tony Bacala (R – Prairieville)

Daryl Deshotel (R – Marksville)

Phillip DeVillier (R – Eunice)

Michael Echols (R – Monroe)

Rick Edmonds (R – Baton Rouge)

Kathy Edmonston (R – Gonzales)

Julie Emerson (R – Carencro)

Bryan Fontenot (R – Thibodaux)

Foy Gadberry (R – West Monroe)

Jonathan Goudeau (R – Lafayette)

Valarie Hodges (R – Denham Springs)

Paul Hollis (R – Covington)

John Illg (R – River Ridge)

Mike Johnson (R – Pineville)

Sherman Mack (R – Albany)

Danny McCormick (R – Oil City)

Nicholas Muscarello (R – Hammond)

Richard Nelson (R – Mandeville)

Joseph Orgeron (R – Larose)

Bob Owen (R – Slidell)

Chuck Owen (R – Rosepine)

Thomas Pressly (R – Shreveport)

Troy Romero (R – Jennings)

Rodney Schamerhorn (R – Hornbeck)

Laurie Schlegel (R – Jefferson)

Phillip Tarver (R – Lake Charles)

Bill Wheat (R – Ponchatoula)

Mark Wright (R – Covington)

Remember This? Blowing Off Steam

By: Brad Dison

Blowing Off Steam is an oft-used expression to describe someone who is doing or saying something to relieve built-up feelings or energy.  Sometimes the person exerts a sudden act of verbal or physical violence.  This expression has its roots in steam engines.  Steam engines use boilers to boil water.  The boiling water produces steam pressure, which, when channeled properly, can propel vehicles including pre-diesel train locomotives and water vessels.  When functioning properly, safety valves on the engines release or blow off steam to keep the boilers operating at a safe pressure.  When not functioning properly, the boilers are unable to release the built-up steam and the pressure increases until the boilers rupture which creates a massive explosion.

In the mid-1850s, steamboats which travelled along the Mississippi River were seen by many as romantic.  Children and teenagers idolized the crew of these large vessels, especially the pilots.  Steamboats were at the height of technology and offered thrilling adventures with a twinge of danger.  Like so many other young men, Henry dreamed of working on a steamboat and eventually becoming a steamboat pilot.  Henry’s older brother was a crewman on the sidewheeler steamboat Pennsylvania, and, in the first week of June of 1858, got Henry a job on the same vessel as a “Mud Clerk.”  This was an entry level position with no salary but would become a paid position once the crewman proved himself.  On June 5, 1858, Henry’s brother and the Pennsylvania’s pilot got into an altercation which resulted in Henry’s brother’s resignation.  Following his brother’s departure, Henry knew he would have to work even harder to impress the pilot.      

On Sunday, June 9, 1858, the Pennsylvania left New Orleans, Louisiana bound for St. Louis, Missouri.  It was Henry’s first trip as a member of a steamboat crew.  Although the work was grueling, Henry was ecstatic.  On June 13th, four days into the trip, the Pennsylvania neared Ship Island, about sixty miles south of Memphis, Tennessee.  The crew noticed that the steamboat’s boiler was building up pressure to a dangerous level.  The safety valves had failed.  The crew tried to manually open pressure release valves, but the pressure continued to climb.  At about 6:00 a.m., the Pennsylvania’s boiler exploded.  Within an instant, red-hot metal shrapnel, wood splinters, and scalding hot water violently shot in every direction.

A survivor of the explosion wrote, “The boilers seemed to be heaved upward and forward parting the cabin at the gangway and rendering the upper works of the boat from that point forward a complete wreck.  When the steam and smoke had cleared up from the wreck, there indeed was a mournful spectacle to be seen by the few survivors.  The boilers and smokestacks were twisted together like hungry serpents, locking in their hot embrace scores of human beings, dead and dying.  Some were killed instantly; others were buried beneath the rubbish to await the advance of the flames which as yet slumbered in the hold.”

Survivors scrambled to aid the wounded.  The pilot and some surviving crew members commandeered a local flatboat and, after nearly half an hour, returned to the drifting wreck.  The crew loaded survivors and victims onto the flatboat.  Using buckets, survivors had nearly extinguished all of the small fires in the forward part of the Pennsylvania when a much larger fire suddenly erupted in the middle of the ship.  The heat from the fire was so intense that the crew on the flatboat had to abandon their rescue operation.  Survivors, many of whom were wearing cork life vests while others grabbed anything which would float, jumped into the swift current of the Mississippi River.  The fire aboard the Pennsylvania burned the steamboat down to the waterline.

The current carried the flatboat and the floating survivors down the Mississippi River.  Up ahead was Ship Island, which was mostly underwater due to high rainfall.  The crew aimed the flatboat toward the island.  Survivors who had enough energy swam to the island.  The burning steamboat, survivors who were too weak to swim, and others who were less fortunate, coasted down the river past the island.

Henry had survived the initial blast, but his body was scalded by the boiling water from the steamboat’s boilers.  Survivors loaded Henry onto the flatboat and transferred him to Ship Island.  Henry’s brother stayed with him in the hospital, but there was little hope for his recovery.  On June 21, 1858, eight days after the explosion, Henry died from his wounds.  He was just nineteen years old.

Henry’s brother regretted getting Henry the position on the Pennsylvania for the rest of his life.  He wrote, “My poor Henry — my darling, my pride, my glory, my all, will have finished his blameless career, and the light of my life will have gone out in utter darkness. O, God! This is hard to bear … ”  

Henry’s brother continued to work on steamboats until the Civil War crippled the shipping industry in the south.  Following the war, Henry’s brother entered into an entirely different career field.  Had Henry’s brother not argued with the ship’s pilot, he too would have been on the steamboat when it exploded, and he might not have lived to write the literary classics “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”.  Henry’s brother was Sam Clemens, who is known around the world as Mark Twain.


  1.  The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, Louisiana), June 14, 1858, p.1.
  2.  The Greenville Journal (Greenville, Ohio), June 23, 1858, p.2.
  3. “Henry Clemens (Mark Twain’s Brother) Dies While Working On Steamboat.” Accessed May 18, 2021.
  4.  Julia Keller, “Death of Sibling Crucial Moment,” Chicago Tribune, December 29, 2005,
  5.  Find A Grave. “Henry Clemens.” Accessed May 18, 2021.