Letter From the Editor

Dear Reader,

The Winn Parish Journal recently reached a significant milestone of 500,000 views. We at the WPJ want to say “thank you!” We are very proud and humbled by your response, the readers, to our work.

The last year and a half have been a labor of love for us. Although we’ve accomplished a lot, we still have big plans for making the WPJ better for you while always staying committed to bringing you truthful, unbiased, relevant news about our parish.

We appreciate your support and look forward to serving Winn Parish for many years to come.


Jodi Taylor
Executive Editor

Rotary Club of Winnfield Learns About the Women’s Resource Center in Natchitoches

On Wednesday, August 25, 2021, Jennifer Luna, Executive Director of the Women’s Resource Center in Natchitoches, told Winnfield’s Rotary Club members that her organization is a faith-based center dedicated to assisting and educating women to empower them to make good life choices for themselves and their children. All services are free.

The center offers pregnancy tests, ultrasound examinations, education and training on nutrition and health, birth plans for delivery of the baby, and post-birth child care including breast feeding, car safety seats and their installation, and other matters up to one year after the birth. The center also provides infant needs, such as diapers, baby wipes, clothing, prams, and all other required items, which can be redeemed with points awarded for attendance of classes and other achievements.

Ms. Luna reports that Louisiana has the second highest rate of pre-term child birth—before the 37th week of pregnancy—in the nation, which places infants at risk of health and development issues. However, 87% of the Women’s Resource Center’s clients carry their infants past the 37th week, clearly showing the success of the center in its mission of helping mothers deliver healthy babies.

The WRC also provides its clients with community referrals for everything from affordable housing, employment, college and vocational financial assistance, to medical care. It participates in many community events designed to support and assist babies and mothers.

The center serves a region covering a 150-mile radius around Natchitoches, so any woman living in this area can call and visit the Women’s Resource Center in Natchitoches, which of course includes Winn Parish and areas east of us.

While the center receives some funding through grants, most of its financial resources come from their major fundraisers, Run Baby Run 5K race held in Natchitoches every May and its Celebration of Life Gala, and individual donations of money and infant supplies. The Celebration of Life is scheduled as an in-person event this year on September 16, 2021 at the Natchitoches Event Center, and free tickets may be obtained by calling the Women’s Resource Center.

So what can an individual in Winnfield and Winn Parish do to help with the mission of the WRC? Volunteer and donate: donations of money and supplies are always welcomed. Personal volunteer assistance with things like sorting and organizing in-kind donations, counseling pregnant women and new mothers, serving as a liaison with your church congregation or your civic organization to share information about the center and its needs, assisting local women with transportation to the center, is also vital. Also tell your family, friends and neighbors about the center, its services and its needs, and encourage them to spread the word to their friends and neighbors.

According to Ms. Luna, the WRC serves between 350 and 500+ women per year, and the number of clients has increased greatly this year.

As customary, after Ms. Luna answered audience questions, the meeting was adjourned with the Rotary motto: “Service above self!”

The Rotary Club of Winnfield meets every Wednesday at Noon for lunch at Lynda’s Country Kitchen. For more information about the Rotary Club of Winnfield, you may contact President, Jodi Taylor (832) 573-5085. You can also find club information on Facebook at Rotary Club of Winnfield Facebook Page or online at Rotary.org.

Pictured above: Left – Jennifer Luna, Executive Director of the Women’s Resource Center in Natchitoches with Rotary Club of Winnfield President Jodi Taylor

Work for the Winn Parish School Board!

Job Vacancy: School Secretary, Calvin High School 

Qualifications: Applicant must be a high school graduate. Experience in bookkeeping, computerized accounting, and word processing is preferred. 

Term of Employment: 10 months 

Deadline for Application: Thursday, September 2, 2021, 12:00 noon 

Application should include: Letter of application Resume’ 

Make Application To:
Mrs. Aaron Durbin
Winn Parish School Board
Post Office Box 430
Winnfield, LA 71483 

Remarks: Selected applicants will be scheduled for interviews. 

The Winn Parish School Board is an equal opportunity employer, and provides equal educational opportunities in all programs and activities. No person is discriminated against because ofrace, color, national origin, sex, age, or disabling condition.

Bank of Winnfield – Weather Closure

Due to potential unsafe conditions from the approaching storm, Bank of Winnfield’s Main and Northside branches will be closed Monday, August 10, 2021, for the safety of our staff and customers. Weather permitting, we will reopen on Tuesday, August 31, 2021. Our ATM’s, Electronic Banking, and Telephone Banking are available 24/7.

Praying for safety for Louisiana and all our neighbors.

Winn Parish Police Jury Files State of Emergency in Preparation of Ida

Winn Parish Police Jury President Josh McAllister has declared a state of emergency for Winn Parish in advanced preparation for Ida.

“The declaration protects our parish and gives the jury the ability to utilize all of the resources necessary to protect Winn Parish citizens and allows us to get assets we need to get back on track as soon as possible,” stated McAllister.

Watch for updates regarding Ida on the Winn Parish Journal.

All Eyes on Tropical Storm Ida

Meteorologist Nick Mikulas

Hurricane Hunter aircraft found that Tropical Depression 9 had strong enough sustained wind to upgrade it to Tropical Storm Ida. Here are the current stats on Ida.

Ida is moving along at a decent pace, and should continue on that general path for the next few days, though the forward speed may gradually slow. The ridge of high pressure building over the Carolinas could cause a slight bend to the west, which would seem insignificant, but could have huge implications for our area. The latest NHC forecast nudged just a hair to the east, but even with a storm passing 50 miles east of Alexandria, we’d still feel significant impacts. As I’ve said many times, don’t focus on that center track line. Focus on the cone. Our entire area is in the cone of uncertainty, so no one should let their guard down.

The aircraft investigating Ida is showing a weakly defined center, but much stronger winds well to the east and northeast. It’s possible we will see a center relocation as thunderstorms increase overnight. That could of course have an impact on the future track of Ida. I should know a lot more by tomorrow morning, and be able to do a parish by parish forecast by tomorrow evening. It does appear that Ida will make a run at category 3 intensity. Intensity is tricky, but you need to be prepared for a category 3 hurricane along the coast, and the potential for hurricane force wind gusts well inland. It also appears that Ida will slow down after landfall, which could bring flooding problems near the center, and to the east.

Remember, don’t focus on the track. Just because you are west of it doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. There will be significant impacts 50 miles west of the track. It’s just that the problems extend much further out along the east side. Make sure you have any preparations done by Saturday evening. We could start seeing fringe effects from Ida during the day Sunday. The forecast track error is about 120 miles 3 days from landfall. A 50-100 mile swing to the west means the entire area gets a big dose of Ida. A 50-100 mile shift east means we wouldn’t get much. So it’s a massive difference. Given the pattern, I think slight westward shifts are more likely than eastward shifts, but we shall see. I really think I’ll be able to pin this down with reasonable certainty by tomorrow. But it’s probably time to start prepping things.

Coming Soon – Job Fair Sponsored by Winn Parish School

The Winn Parish School Board will Sponsor a job fair Thursday, September 9th at several location throughout the day.

Bring your resume or evidence of qualifications. All positions require a criminal background check. Some positions require pre-employment drug testing.

Positions available:

  • Bus Drivers
  • Paraprofessionals
  • Subsitute Teachers
  • Food Service Workers
  • Custodial Workers
8:30 AM – 10:00 AMGrove Street Gym
10:30 AM – 12:00 PMMoss Street Gym
1:00 PM – 3:00 PMWinn Parish Library (Winnfield)

Dr. Deona Austin Receives Scholarship to Attend Louisiana Counseling Convention

Congratulations to Dr. Deona Austin, Counselor at Winnfield Senior High School for receiving a scholarship to attend the 2021 Louisiana Counseling Convention.

Alpha Delta Kappa International annually allocates each region funds to distribute to current members who apply to attend non AΔK-sponsored conferences, conventions, seminars, workshops and non-credit classes.

Alpha Delta Kappa was founded in 1947 by Agnes Shipman Robertson, Marie Neal, Marion Southall and Hattie Poppino, visionary women who saw a need to recognize and support the professional efforts of outstanding women educators. Since 1947, over 125,000 women educators around the world have discovered the many opportunities provided by membership in Alpha Delta Kappa — opportunities for recognition of commitment to educational excellence, for personal and professional growth and for collectively channeling their energies toward the good of schools, communities, the teaching profession and the world.


August 26, 2021 (Baton Rouge, LA) – Wednesday, Louisiana Women Lead celebrated Women’s Equality Day and 101 years since the certification of the 19th Amendment, enfranchising women with the right to vote. Great strides have been made by women in those 101 years, but there is still more work to be done to truly achieve equality.

We are grateful for all the women across the political spectrum that have paved the way for us today. Women like Governor Kathleen Blanco, Congresswoman Lindy Boggs, Congresswoman Julia Letlow, and Vice President Kamala Harris are trailblazers who were the first women elected to their respective offices and broke the glass ceiling for all of us. Their courage to step up and lead is a model for any aspiring female politician.

With that being said, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates 51.2 percent of Louisianans and 50.8 percent of Americans are female and yet only 18 percent of our legislature and 26.7 percent of Congress reflect the dominant sex in both our state and nation. How can this be? What is it that is keeping women from running or being appointed to office? That is the question we asked ourselves before arriving at a potential answer: some just do not know where to start.

We decided to change that.

Louisiana Women Lead is offering a full day of training for center-right women where they will learn how to fundraise, run a campaign, utilize their networks, and other critical skills needed to run and win. Training will be held in Monroe on October 16 and we encourage all women who are passionate about their community, concerned about the direction our country is heading, or just want to make a difference to apply today at our website www.louisianawomenlead.org.

Women were able to achieve the right to vote with little financial, legal or political power. In 101 years, we can now achieve so much more by giving you that power to win. Today serves as a symbol of our continued fight for equal representation at all levels of government and we need you to help make that happen.

 Renee Amar, Founder and Executive Director, Louisiana Women Lead

Louisiana Women Lead was formed in 2020 to engage more center-right women in politics. Lead’s goal is to increase the number of women elected or appointed to leadership positions in Louisiana by breaking down barriers, create a statewide network for support, and provide tools to women so they have a leg up when running for or being appointed to office. For more information, visit http://www.louisianawomenlead.org.

Angler Perspective – The Most Fun I Ever Had Fishing

I’ve been fishing tournaments since 1990 and have loved every minute with most of the guys or gals I’ve had the pleasure to fish with. I’ve participated in team and pro/am events and each format is unique unto itself. But one question I’ve been asked over the years, is what have I enjoyed the most? Well, my experience with team trails has been awesome and I have had the best partners an angler could ever ask for. Nothing is more fun than you and a buddy (team partner) going out and putting a pattern together and doing well. And nothing is more rewarding than crawling into the back of a touring pro’s boat and catching fish. Fishing at the highest level certainly has its rewards but it can also be your worst nightmare if you draw the wrong pro.

Some pros are super nice and will do whatever they can to help a co-angler catch fish. Then there are some who won’t give you the time of day even if they’re wearing a watch. But the majority of the pros are great guys who want to see their co-anglers succeed. I’ve always tried to make sure my co-anglers catch fish because I’ve been a co-angler myself before and know what’ it’s like to be ignored or even recognized that you’re in the boat. I’ve always looked at it like this… the co-angler that’s fishing in my boat has paid his hard-earned money to fish just like I have. But the difference is that my entry fee is double what the co-angler pays and that’s why you’re at the mercy of the pro/boater in a pro/am event as the pro/boater has complete control of the boat at all times.

But to answer the question of my most rewarding year; was fishing as a co-angler on the FLW Tour in 2004. What an awesome experience that was to get in the boat with some of the best anglers on the planet and watch them work their magic. But the one thing I figured out real early, was that there is no magic…professional bass fishermen are on another level when it comes to skills like reading the water, understanding their electronics, not to mention their ability to cast and put baits in places average anglers would not even attempt. The skill level of the B.A.S.S. Elite and Major League Fishing (MLF) Series guys is off the chart and amazing to see in person. In 2004, I had the pleasure to fish with some of the best to ever wet a hook like former FLW and Basmaster Classic Champion Dion Hibdon, 2020 Elite Series Angler of the Year Clark Wendlandt, Japanese MLF Pro Shin Fukea and Texas MLF Pro Kelly Jordan. All of these guys were not only great anglers, but fine people as well. I learned a lot during my eight hours of fishing with each of these guys.

But why was 2004 the most fun I ever had fishing? First of all, I drew some of the top anglers on tour and caught a lot of fish behind these guys as I had three Top 10 finishes that year. But what I really enjoyed the most that year as a co-angler, I did not have to worry about all the details that come with fishing the pro/boater side. Co-anglers don’t have to worry about finding fish, putting gas in the boat, making sure they have enough oil in the reservoir, charging the batteries, or fixing and repairing things on the boat. Co-anglers don’t have to worry about a blown tire on their boat trailer or the wheel bearings going out. All I had to do was show up, put my tackle in the boat and go fishing with the best anglers in America! Not a bad way to go fishing and enjoy the day while learning from the best in the business.

One thing that’s very disappointing to me in 2021, is that MLF (formerly FLW) and the B.A.S.S. Elite Series Pro Circuits have eliminated the co-angler. The Elite Series does have what they call the Marshall program which is where you can apply and pay to sit in the boat and observed all day. But Major League Fishing (MLF) has not allowed that yet as their pros have a referee (who records each fish they catch) and a camera man. So, in the future when someone asks me “What’s the most fun you ever had fishing?” I’ll always reply 2004! Till we meet again, good luck, good fishing and don’t forget to set the hook!!!

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