Notice of Death August 26, 2021

Barry Louis Phelps
September 24, 1957 – August 20, 2021
Memorial service arrangements will be announced by the family at a later date.

Sheri McManus Miller
February 17, 1969 – August 24, 2021
Service: Friday, August 27 at 1 pm at Southern Funeral Home

Annette Brigance Skains
May 10, 1964 – August 19, 2021
Service: Saturday, August 28 at 10 am at the First Presbyterian Church in Winnfield

Dorothy “Dot” Roig Knecht
August 06, 1930 – August 24, 2021
Service: Monday, August 30 at 1 pm at Trinity Episcopal Church

John Thomas Colligan
January 23, 1975 – August 19, 2021
Service: Saturday, August 28 at 1 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

Theresa “Terri” Durr
March 12, 1960 – August 25, 2021
Service: Tuesday, August 31 at 10 am at the Bethel Methodist Church

Virginia M. Wilson James
October 05, 1928 – August 25, 2021
Service: Friday, August 27 at 10 am at Beulah Methodist Cemetery in Marthaville

Lori Ann O’Bannon Savell
May 16, 1971 – August 24, 2021
Service: Sunday, August 29 at 10 am at 1st Baptist Church of Provencal

Paul O’Con
April 01, 1933 – August 24, 2021
Service: Saturday, August 28 at 10 am at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

Porcia Hooper
August 24, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Pastor Carl Means
August 23, 2021
Service: Saturday, August 28 at 10 am at the Christian Outreach Center, 106 Brickyard Road, Natchitoches

Sylvia Morrow
August 20, 2021
Service: Saturday, August 28 at 2 pm at the MLK Center of Natchitoches

James Leonard LaRue
July 8, 1946 – August 23, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Stevie Carroll
October 6, 1941 – August 22, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Stephen Ray Elias
December 30, 1968 – August 20, 2021
Service: Saturday, August 28 at 11 am at Grand Bayou Event Center

Winn Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Host Ribbon Cutting at the Social Coffee House

The Winn Chamber of Commerce and Tourism hosted a ribbon-cutting Monday, August 23rd, for the Social Coffee House at 301 E. Main Street in downtown Winnfield.

Winn Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Board members present were Shonna Moss, President, Ellen Russell, Secretary, Kristan Green, Kim Bruce, Jodi Taylor and Winona Harrell.

The Social Coffee House is owned and operated by Fredrick and Melody Bonnette. Their hours of operation are Monday – Friday 6 AM – 6 PM and Saturday 6 AM – 12 PM. They offer delivery to the Winnfield area and order ahead service by calling 318-209-5077 or using

“We saw a need in the community and thought to fill it with our coffee house, which we hope will be a gathering place for the community. We want for kids to do homework here, the community to have a place to host social events, and for people to meet and visit,” said Melody Bonnette.

The Social Coffee House also has a meeting room for rent for social events. You can find them on Facebook at

Pictured above: Bob Holeman, Shonna Moss, Ellen Russell, June Melton, Sydney Ferguson, Melody Bonnette, Fredrick Bonnette, Melissa Taylor, Kristan Green, Kim Bruce, Winona Harrell, Logan Elliott

Registration for Pee Wee Flag Football Now Open

The City of Winnfield Recreation Department registration for the Pee Wee Flag Football League is open! 

Boys and girls ages 4-12 are eligible for this exciting program. The registration fee is $40 per application. The registration deadline is Friday, September 17th.

Late registration will be held Monday, September 20th – Friday, September 24th and will be $50 per application. 

Tryouts will be held Saturday, September 18th at the Grove Street Recreation Center on Field #2. Tryout times for each age group will be posted at a later date. 

For more information concerning flag football please contact the City of Winnfield Recreation Department at 318-628-3413.

Matt Walton Speaks to Rotary Regarding Local Nursing Home Respons to COVID

“Keeping our residents safe is our top priority,” Autumn Leaves Nursing & Rehabilitation Center administrator Matt Walton told Winnfield Rotarians at their Aug. 18 meeting as part of his report on how this local nursing home has responded to the Covid pandemic since it first appeared early in 2020.

Autumn Leaves’ preparations and response to the virus have seen results far better than reports from some other homes, he said. “The most positive cases we’ve ever had at one time has been eight. We’ve been blessed.”

One likely reason for the low incident rates is the fact that by standard practice all residents have private rooms. Should one patient be tested as positive, they may continue to be served safely in their own room. If other cases occur, a second level of safety isolation comes into play: Autumn Leaves’ Covid Isolation Unit. At the isolation unit, staff members enter and exit through separate doors and do not come into the main area of the nursing home. And while reports continue to come out that perhaps it’s allowable to reduce isolation time from first exposure from the original 14 days to 10 or even 7, Walton says Autumn Leaves continues to hold to the 14-day precaution.

He also said that an open-air area with plexiglass partitions has been constructed on the activity patio for visitation while tablets for FaceTime communication were provided for residents during the period when only window visits were available.

While several vaccines are now available to all Americans, many have chosen not to be vaccinated due to fear, the uncertainty of mixed messages, politics or other. This is also true within nursing homes, Walton told Rotarians that there is a growing acceptance for the vaccination within the nursing home community. For the most part, residents who can make their own decisions have opted for the vaccine. Most of those few who remain unvaccinated depend on their families to make those decisions.

Following the first months with Covid lockdowns, cases were reduced and visitation measures at Autumn Leaves were relaxed though still tightly monitored. The number of visitors is limited and all must sign in at the front foyer desk. Temperatures are checked, hands sanitized, recent health questions asked and masks donned.

The speaker confirmed that with the new variant of Covid, “Yes, you can get it a second time, even if you’ve had the immunization.” Transmission of the virus seems to happen mostly through the air, not so much transmitted on surfaces, as first feared. The effectiveness of masks in all situations for all ages is still uncertain. One, two or three doses of vaccine?

One thing is certain, Walton concluded. “Health matters. Healthier people will generally handle this better. At Autumn Leaves we are going to continue to follow the directives of the CDC, CMS, and the Louisiana Department of Health, focusing on the Core Principles of COVID-19 Infection Prevention in order to ensure that we are Improving Quality of Life for all of our residents every day.”

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

Pictured above: Matt Walton spoke to Autumn Leaves’ response to Covid over the past 18 months of the pandemic. Shown with him is Robin Wisonant, director of nursing.

Window to Winn – Big Boy #4014 Rolls Into Natchitoches

“We just wish we’d had some grandkids there,” Bob and Diane Holeman observed after returning from Natchitoches on Monday, Aug. 23, where they’d been a part of the crowd to witness the whistle-stop tour of Union Pacific’s Big Boy #4014, the world’s largest steam locomotive.

Despite the sweltering heat under a nearly cloudless sky, a large crowd had gathered and waited patiently around the old Trudeau Street depot for the 3 p.m. arrival, finding shade where they could under scattered trees or in the shadows of the abandoned building which the Forest Service is hoping to renovate into a visitors center.

“Our two Texas grandsons got to see this 130-foot black giant pulling some half dozen yellow freight cars when it passed through East Texas last week. But the route doesn’t go through East Tennessee where our youngest, the most avid railroad enthusiast, lives so he’ll just hear our account with the pictures we took,” reported Diane.

The 560-ton locomotive was originally scheduled to arrive at 1 p.m. so many of the visitors had turned out early but it didn’t appear that any gave up and went home. But many did find shelter in their cars, with engines running and air conditioning on full. The crowd included many senior adults who remembered rail travel and many youngsters and youth in school uniforms simply excited about trains.

As 3 p.m. neared folks who were congregated about the depot, including the Forest Service rangers who’d been manning information tables, began to shift closer to the crossing anticipating the train’s northbound arrival. An announcement was heard over the crowd buzz that Big Boy was two miles out. People strained in hopes of hearing the track’s rumble or the sound of the whistle. Mostly they heard the sound of other excited spectators.

Then there was the familiar sound of warning bells of the railroad crossing as the traffic beams descended, police easing stragglers out of harm’s way, dividing the crowd into those on the depot side and those opposite. In a short time, there it was, first the whistle, then the rumble, then the black smoke mixed with white steam. Finally from around the bend came the bulk of the locomotive. Cell phones in camera or video mode were held aloft, it appeared, by virtually everyone out in the heat.

Then it stopped in front of the aged depot where the name “Natchitoches” is still clearly visible on the side, letting out a small billow of steam like a sigh of relief for this brief respite from a circumlocutious trek around the country. No speeches. No key to the city. Just a smiling engineer smiling and waving from his station and trying to hear shouts of other railway workers as they tended to their duties. And endless photo ops.

The American Locomotive Co. built 25 of these monsters for one of Union Pacific’s western routes. Today, seven are housed in museums while 4014 is the last that is operational. When Big Boy completes its 10-state tour, it will be back in Cheyenne WY where it began.

“I didn’t know what to expect,” admitted Diane. “But when Big Boy came into view, I felt a real excitement. I could feel the engine’s power reverberate in my bones. I took a video as it came into view that I’ll send to my grandson. And the engineer, he was dressed in overalls and a cap, just like he’s supposed to be. I meant to bring my grandfather’s conductor’s hat but I forgot. He was a conductor with the Kansas City Southern and L&A railroads. The cap has two gold buttons with one railroad on one side and the other on the opposite side.
“This brings back memories.”

(Writer’s note: The scene described above is first-hand so I can vouch for it. The facts and history of Big Boy I gathered from other Internet sources and can only hope they are correct. It makes a good story anyhow).

Photo above: The world’s largest steam locomotive, Union Pacific’s 4014, steams into Natchitoches on Aug. 23 to a waiting crowd including Diane Holeman, center, with video rolling. 

Remember This? The Right Face

By Brad Dison

American Gothic is one of only a few paintings which has transcended being merely a painting and has become a cultural icon. Like Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Edvard Munch’s The Scream and James McNeill Whistler’s Arrangement in Grey and Black No.1, commonly known as Whistler’s Mother, American Gothic has become one of the most famous paintings in the world.

In the summer of 1930, Grant Wood, a painter from Cedar Rapids, Michigan, was riding with a friend and fellow painter named John Sharp through the town of Eldon, Iowa. The two painters were looking for inspiration when Grant spotted a little farmhouse with a distinctive upper window. Grant later explained he “saw such an American Gothic house in southern Iowa, and I imagined American Gothic people with their faces stretched out long, to go with it.”

Grant made a quick sketch of the house on the back of an envelope. On the following day, Grant got the permission of the homeowners and made a more detailed sketch with oil paints from the front yard. Grant never saw the house again. Back in his studio, Grant began painting the gothic farmhouse. Needing more detail, he requested and received a photograph of the house from the homeowners. Throughout the process of painting the house, the background in the painting, he considered who he would get to be the male and female models for the people in the painting.

He took great care in picking the female model because he needed someone who would be unoffended by his stretching her face in the painting. After considering several friends and family members, he settled on Nan Graham. Grant said Nan’s, “face is nearly as round as mine, so I had to do a great deal of stretching.”

Grant struggled to find the right face for the male figure for his painting, a struggle which had held up the works of other famous artists. While painting the Last Supper, Leonardo da Vinci had trouble finding the right face for Judas, which he said had to be villainous. Leonardo spent days walking the streets of Milan, Italy in search of just the right face. Each face he saw was eliminated for one reason or another until he finally found his Judas. Similarly, Grant looked carefully at every man he met and considered everyone he knew. Years before Grant had the idea for the painting, Byron McKeeby had built a bridge for him. Grant, somewhat of a starving artist, traded a bridge for a bridge. In lieu of payment, Byron accepted a painting by Grant of a famous bridge in Paris. Byron had just the right face for Grant’s painting. With little convincing, Byron agreed to be the male model for Grant’s American Gothic. A short while later, Grant finished the painting.

In October of 1930, the Art Institute of Chicago accepted two of Grant’s paintings, Stone City and American Gothic, for inclusion in their annual American Artists exposition. Hundreds of paintings were submitted and rejected. The Art Institute would accept no more than two paintings each year from the same artist. For Grant to have two entries accepted was an exceptional honor. In addition, Grant won the coveted Norman Wait Harris bronze medal and a cash prize of $300 for American Gothic. Newspapers at the time described it as “a painting of a Gothic type of home at Eldon, IA with two imaginary figures of the artist’s conception of Gothic individuals in the foreground.”

When the exhibition opened, American Gothic became an instant hit. Newspapers throughout the United States published photographs of the painting and incorrectly described the subjects in the foreground as being of a farmer and his wife. Wood set the record straight and explained that it was a farmer and his daughter. In late November, Wood learned that the Friends of American Art had purchased American Gothic for inclusion in the Art Institute of Chicago’s permanent collection.

Not all who saw the painting were impressed. Mrs. Earl Robinson of Collins, Iowa suggested the artist “hang the portrait in one of our Iowa cheese factories because the woman’s face would positively sour milk.” In response, Mrs. Nan Graham, the lady in the painting, said she was proud to have been the model for the painting and retorted, “I wish that jealous woman would send me her photograph. I have a very appropriate place to hang it.” The lady in the painting whom Grant carefully selected was his younger sister.

Byron McKeeby, uncomfortable with the publicity he received from the painting, said all of the publicity should go to Grant. For five years Byron refused to admit his connection with the painting. “Grant chose the face, I didn’t,” he said with his usual warm smile. It was true that Grant traded a bridge for a bridge. Byron builds Grant a bridge and Grant gave Byron a painting of a famous bridge he had painted in Paris, a painting which is now much more valuable than the bridge Byron made for Grant. You see, Byron was Dr. Byron McKeeby, Grant Wood’s dentist.


1. The Gazette (Cedar Rapids, Iowa), October 28, 1930, p. 5.

2. The Gazette (Cedar Rapids, Iowa), October 29, 1930, p. 19.

3. The Gazette (Cedar Rapids, Iowa), November 27, 1930, p. 12.

4. The Des Moines Register, December 28, 1930, p.39.

5. The Gazette (Cedar Rapids, Iowa), January 25, 1931, p.4.

6. The Gazette (Cedar Rapids, Iowa), February 28, 1931, p.5.

7. The Gazette (Cedar Rapids, Iowa), March 24, 1935, p.4.

My Opinion – The Afghanistan Debacle

As we watch Afghanistan again devolve dangerously into a terrorist magnet ruled by the Taliban, we witness once again the timeless and immutable principle of history and nations that strength deters bad actors while weakness begets war.

Yes, Afghanistan has been a 20-year war beginning after 9-11 and yes, the American people no doubt wish to conclude America’s engagement there and our troops, finally, return home. However, the American people also remember why they were deployed to Afghanistan in 2001 and recognize strong and effective leadership as well as politically driven tactical and strategic incompetence when they see it. They shudder when they realize their weak and inept national leadership has fallen far below America’s high standard of competence, courage, and commitment to our strategic interests, our values, and the security of our country, and that the trust our international allies have placed in us has been seriously damaged.

U.S. troops have regained control of the Kabul airport and its single runway but that’s the only strategic asset allied forces control. The rapidly developing problem is that thousands of American civilians, and those of our allies who were also shocked by our precipitous withdrawal, are still trapped behind enemy lines and unable to make it through a gauntlet of Taliban checkpoints to safety and safe passage out of this quagmire. Now, the Taliban, who provided Al Qaeda with the staging ground to plan and carry out the attack on America on September 11, 2001, rapidly fills the vacuum created by our quickly departing troops and security infrastructure.

In fact, the U.S. Embassy warned this week that “the U.S. government cannot ensure safe passage to the Hamid Karzai International Airport.” Further, Sec. of Defense, Lloyd Austin, when asked last week whether the U.S. would be able to rescue Americans who can’t make it to the airport, replied “I don’t have the capability to go out and extend operations currently into Kabul.”

What we are witnessing in real time is darkly reminiscent of the foreign policy disaster of President Jimmy Carter in Iran in 1979 when Islamic students overwhelmed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and took 53 American hostages. The similarly incompetent rescue mission President Carter ordered in 1980 to free the hostages was ultimately aborted—but not before five airmen and three Marines were killed—with the smoking wreckage of U.S. aircraft serving as a searing reminder of the high price to be paid for America’s presidential weakness. What we’ve seen these last few days in Afghanistan also brings to mind the fall of Saigon in 1975 with the rushed evacuation to safety of U.S. Embassy personnel by helicopter from the Embassy roof.

Those who mean us harm are watching closely from Tehran, Beijing, and Moscow and must be happily shocked to see heavily armed Taliban fighters relaxing in the Afghan presidential palace and helicopters hovering over the American Embassy in Kabul to assist fleeing Americans. At the same time, our frightened and desperate Afghan allies—men, women, and children—desperately seek to escape the re-imposition of a cruel Medieval legal and social structure where no life is sacred or safe, and women and children suffer most from the fanatical religious despotism brutally imposed by the Taliban—whose fatal flaw was that they trusted the U.S. to protect them from this very predictable scenario.

Now, many more will be violently extricated from their homes to be summarily executed by the Taliban for their support of our twenty-year mission to bring more freedom, stability, economic prosperity and women’s’ rights to their nation—and to prevent their country from once again becoming a staging ground for lethal global attacks, including against Americans and America.

The most regrettable thing may be the fact that order in that country could have been maintained with comparatively little effort or expense by the U.S. or its allies to insure we didn’t allow extremist groups like ISIS or the Taliban to regroup and begin to grow and surge again. How must our American soldiers, Marines, Airmen, Sailors, and their families, who bravely fought in-country over the 20-year war, feel in seeing the enormous sacrifice of blood, sweat and tears—and lives—being lost through the imbecility of their national leadership literally over 3-4 days’ time.

However, despite the criminal incompetence of their Commander in Chief, their sacrifice, and that of their families, was not in vain. Recall that in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, the military and intelligence establishment believed we would be attacked again in days or weeks. I remember being in DC for 9/11 and seeing in the days following this national tragedy the Army installing anti-aircraft artillery placements on the Capital Mall in order to defend the White House, the Capitol and other government buildings from what was thought to be a certain second wave of attacks. The sacrifice of our Soldiers, Airmen, Marines, Sailors and Coast Guard purchased, at a very high price, a blessed 20-year peace from attacks on our homeland for which all Americans are grateful.

The second most regrettable thing is that Pres. Biden, after promising to be a “leader the world respects” has done the opposite—and has damaged the U.S.’s relationship and credibility with our allies. This arbitrary and capricious withdrawal from Afghanistan has stunned and angered many of our allies. Remember, our allies over the last 20 years have also made enormous investments—blood and resources—in the stabilization and peaceful coexistence of that country to prevent the very thing from happening that is happening now—Afghanistan transitioning back to being a terrorist haven which threatens the entire civilized world, as well as the mass exodus of fleeing Afghans seeking emergency naturalization and settlement in the countries of our allies.

Biden’s effort to blame President Trump for his own bad judgement is deeply dishonest. To suggest that Biden followed Trump’s policies in any area, especially in an area of foreign policy so important to our national strategic interests and the safety of our citizens, would be hysterical if not so tragic and dangerous. Rather, according to analysis by the Heritage Foundation, “Trump, in fact, handed Biden a problem mostly solved. All Biden had to do was negotiate a lasting settlement from a position of strength or maintain an economy of force presence in Afghanistan if the Taliban failed to deliver. Instead, Biden just decided to call it a day and call the troops home regardless of what the Taliban did on the ground.” (

This tragic error in judgment by the president recalls the statement of former Sec. of Defense, Robert Gates, who served both Republican and Democrat presidents, that “I think he’s [Biden] been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”

Biden, in another dazed and confused press event, made the comment Friday that “we are in constant contact with the Taliban” who he believes are allowing Americans with passports to pass through checkpoints without violence. If it weren’t so dangerous a situation this would be laughable. The most powerful nation on the earth is relying for the safety of its citizens on the word of the most vicious terrorists in the world—who have spent years killing Americans. Humiliating. And the fact that this foreign policy, defense, and intelligence disaster occurred roughly one month before the 20th anniversary of the attacks of 9/11 only rubs acid in our Nation’s wound.

This epic disaster underscores the essential lesson of history that the only way to ensure peace is through strength. As President Reagan said, “we know only too well that war comes not when the forces of freedom are strong, but when they are weak. It is then that tyrants are tempted.”

The “tender mercies” of the Taliban are not going to endure for long and this Administration would be wise to address this disaster before then.

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

Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Festivities Get Going Thursday Afternoon

It’s almost showtime for the Class of 2021 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Celebration kicking off Thursday in Natchitoches, including three free events and running through Saturday night’s induction ceremony.

Another star-studded group of inductees are, traveling to Natchitoches from six different states, including California, Florida and New Jersey. The hospitality they will experience while in town will create an extraordinary experience like the recently-inducted Class of 2020 (shown above) shared.

Due to last summer’s pandemic limitations, the Class of 2020’s enshrinement was delayed a year until this June; thus, the induction of the Class of 2021 shifted to the end of August.

All state protocols, notably masking and social distancing, will be observed during the upcoming indoor events.

Each day, there’s a free event starting with Thursday’s La Capitol Federal Credit Union Welcome Reception from 5-7 p.m. at the Hall of Fame museum, located at the traffic circle on Front Street.

Friday’s freebie is a big one – the Rockin’ River Fest concert on the downtown Natchitoches riverbank, with no admission charge. Music starts at 6 p.m. Friday from iconic local rockers Billy O’Con and BaDD Apple. Then, the red-hot Baton Rouge-based country band Parish County Line takes the stage from 8:30-10:30. After the 2021 inductees are introduced a little after 9 o’clock, a 10-minute sports-themed fireworks show will explode over Cane River, followed by more PCL tunes.

Saturday morning brings the free Junior Training Camp presented by Natchitoches Regional Medical Center for kids 7-17, hosted by Northwestern State at the WRAC. Football and basketball instruction along with basic sports skills will be taught. Parents need to take a couple of minutes before Saturday to register their kids and execute a waiver form on the website. Kids should check-in beginning at 8:30 a.m. Saturday.

For information on all events and to purchase admission to the four ticketed events, visit the website or call 318-238-4255.

The 2021 LSHOF inductees are headlined by New Orleans Saints star receiver Marques Colston, Major League Baseball All-Star Rickie Weeks from Southern University, and three of LSU’s greatest competitors – basketball’s Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, football stalwart Glenn Dorsey and 27-time national champion track and field coach Pat Henry.

The LSHOF Class of 2021 also spotlights Natchitoches native and 1980 Bassmaster Classic champion Villis “Bo” Dowden, chosen as one of the 35 greatest pro anglers of all time in a joint ESPN Outdoors/BASS package in 2004. In addition, former Northwestern State sports information director (1989-2019) and longtime Hall of Fame chairman Doug Ireland is going into the Hall as a recipient of the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism.

Baton Rouge ties connect six members of the LSHOF Class of 2021.

Baton Rouge native Courtney Blades Rogers, considered one of college softball’s best pitchers of all-time at Nicholls and Southern Mississippi, joins the trio of LSU competitors, along with LSU alumnus Terry McAulay, a Hammond native who in a 20-year NFL officiating career refereed three Super Bowls. Now the NBC Sports officiating analyst for Sunday Night Football and Notre Dame football, McAuley is the 2021 winner of the Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership Award.

Other recipients of the journalism award are trailblazing New Orleans television sports anchor Ro Brown and Baton Rouge Advocate sportswriter Sheldon Mickles.

Cox Sports Television live coverage will be provided at 3 p.m. Thursday for the opening press conference and from 6-10 Saturday for the induction activities, including a Purple Carpet Special presented by NSU.

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.

Obituary for Annette Brigance Skains

Annette Skains was born May 10, 1964, in Oxford, Mississippi. She passed away on August 19, 2021, at the age of 57, following a brief illness.

Annette was raised in Mississippi where she graduated from Lafayette High School, and the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) in Oxford, MS. She has worked in many capacities with students who have special needs. She had a wealth of knowledge pertaining to students with special needs and was considered by many to be an expert in her field. She worked for the North Mississippi Regional Center (1995-2000) in Oxford; Red River Parish School Board (2000-2001); and the Winn Parish School Board (2002-present). Annette had such a dedication and passion for the students in her classroom and the community. She tutored after hours for many years, helped with the backpack ministry, and just cared for the needs of any student in Winn Parish. While at Winnfield Primary School, she left an immeasurable mark on the school,
students, colleagues, and community. Gifted with many talents, she chose to use hers to educate the children of Winnfield Primary School in the most special way. Her colleagues would describe her as a “precious gem” and her students’ families considered her part of theirs.

Annette is survived by her husband, Eugene Dale Skains of Winnfield, LA; her daughter, Carol Lanette Drewery; grandson, Aiden Joseph Drewery; mother, Fran Brigance; sister, Lynn Tramel and husband, Terry; and, brother, David Brigance, all of Oxford, MS. She is preceded in death by her adopted father, Joe Brigance; father, Ace Stanford; and grandparents, Will and Vera Standford and George and Connie Baggett. Annette is also survived by her beloved pets, Moe, Curly, and Bullie, for whom she had an undeniable love.

Annette’s family, friends, and students will forever have fond memories of her loving care and concern. She was a kind and gentle soul who went above and beyond to serve others. Her legacy of laughter, friendship, giving spirit, and love will be cherished by all who were privileged to know her.

Friends may visit with the family from 5PM until 7PM on Friday, August 27, 2021, at Southern Funeral Home in Winnfield, LA. Funeral services will be held at 10:00AM on Saturday, August 28, 2021, at the First Presbyterian Church in Winnfield, LA, under the direction of Southern Funeral Home.

Notice of Death August 24, 2021

James E. Sandifer, Sr.
October 22, 1938 – August 23, 2021
Service: Thursday, August 26 at 11 am at Southern Funeral Home

Annette Brigance Skains
May 10, 1964 – August 19, 2021
Service: Saturday, August 28 at 10 am at the First Presbyterian Church in Winnfield

Paul O’Con
April 01, 1933 – August 24, 2021
Service: Saturday, August 28 at 10 am at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

Porcia Hooper
August 24, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Pastor Carl Means
August 23, 2021
Service: Saturday, August 28 at 10 am at the Christian Outreach Center, 106 Brickyard Road, Natchitoches

Sylvia Morrow
August 20, 2021
The final care arrangements for this former City Councilwoman and Natchitoches Parish educator are pending at this writing. Keep this family lifted in prayer.

James Leonard LaRue
July 8, 1946 – August 23, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Stevie Carroll
October 6, 1941 – August 22, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Bro. Howard Pennington
October 8, 1946 – August 22, 2021
Service: Wednesday, August 25 at 1 pm at Emmanuel Gospel Pentecostal Church

Shari Ann Balzrette
July 15, 1941 – August 22, 2021
Service: Wednesday, August 25 at 11 am at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home Chapel

Stephen Ray Elias
December 30, 1968 – August 20, 2021
Service: Saturday, August 28 at 11 am at Grand Bayou Event Center

Low-Income Home Entergy Assistance Program Available for Winn Parish Residents – Call Today for Appointment

Low-Income Home Entergy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a federally funded program that helps low-income households with their home energy bills.

The LIHEAP may provide bill payment assistance and/or energy crisis assistance.

Program Overview

  • Applicant must have an energy account & be responsible for the household energy bill.
  • Applicant may only receive one LIHEAP Benefit each season.
    • Heating: November 15th – March 15th
    • Cooling: April – September 30th
    • Crisis: October 1st – September 30th

Residents of Winn Parish please call (318) 389-4810 to schedule appointments on the 1st Thursday of each month from 9 AM – 11 AM. 

Residents of Winn Parish that have received an appointment are seen at the Allen Building located at 104 W. Main Street, Winnfield, LA 71483. Residents in need of crisis assistance can call to verify eligibility & schedule a date for service.

Information Needed to Apply

  • Unexpired Louisiana Identification Card or Driver’s License
  • Social Security Card for all members of the household
  • Proof of Income (last four check stubs or unearned income award letter, unemployment insurance, pension fund, disability, etc.)
  • Recent copy of your utility bills
  • Proof of residency at the address on the bill (rent receipt, lease or deed)
  • Disconnect notice or the bill that corresponds with disconnect notice is required for a crisis

Please contact LaSalle Community Action Association, Inc. at 825 Hwy. 9, Sicily Island, LA 71368, (318) 389-4810,

Current Income Guidelines

Household SizeMaximum Income
Per Household Per Month