Winn Parish Early Voting Stats as of 10-27-22

Early voting for the Open Congressional Primary Election is Oct. 25th through Nov. 1 (excluding Sunday, Oct. 30) from 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m.

  • The deadline to request an absentee ballot is Nov. 4 by 4:30 p.m (other than military and overseas voters). You can request an absentee ballot online through our Voter Portal or in writing through your Registrar of Voters Office.
  • The deadline for a registrar of voters to receive a voted absentee ballot is Nov. 7 by 4:30 p.m. (other than military and overseas voters).
  • On election day, the polls are open from 6 a.m.-8 p.m.

Winn Parish Early Voting Results through Thursday, October 27, 2022.

TotalIn PersonAbsentee (Mail)



Louisiana Violent Crime Task Force Being Formed

Baton Rouge, LA – Legislation to create the new Louisiana Violent Crime Task Force is being drafted by State Representative Alan Seabaugh, R-Shreveport, to study the dramatic rise in violent crime in Louisiana with an emphasis on determining its cause and crafting solutions to help tackle the problem legislatively.

“The rise in violent crime is a significant problem in every part of Louisiana,” said Rep. Seabaugh. “From our most rural parishes to our largest urban centers, every corner of Louisiana has seen a significant rise in violent crime over the past few years. It’s me that we stop complaining about the problem and have some real discussions about why this is happening and what we can do to put an end to it.”

The proposal has gained significant support from groups across Louisiana. Everyone from the Sheriffs and District Attorneys associations to Attorney General Jeff Landry, and even the Bayou Mama Bears are excited about the prospect of implementing real solutions to Louisiana’s violent crime epidemic.

“Violent crime continues to plague our communities,” said Louisiana Sheriffs Association President and Franklin Parish Sheriff Kevin Cobb “Louisiana is the top state for homicides and has one of the highest violent crime rates in the nation. As sheriffs, we took an oath to protect public safety and ensure laws are enforced, and we cannot stand by and allow this trend to continue.”

Cobb continued, “That’s why sheriffs voted this week to pursue legislative priorities that help reduce violent crime in our communities and protect not just the people in our parishes, but also deputies on our streets. We’ll work with our criminal justice partners to research and propose common sense measures that keep Louisiana families safer. We want bad actors to know– we will protect our communities and violent crime will not be tolerated here in Louisiana.”

Representative Seabaugh stressed that the focus of any discussion regarding Louisiana’s violent crime problem must start with the 2017 criminal justice reforms referred to as the Justice Reinvestment Act. This was a highly controversial series of legislation designed to reduce Louisiana’s prison population, which it largely succeeded in doing. Louisiana’s current prison population is just over half of its 2017 levels. The dramatic spike in violent crime almost immediately followed this reduction in prison population across Louisiana.

“The relationship between the two seems clear, but there are those who deny the connection,” Rep. Seabaugh said. “It is time that we had a deeper, fact-based look into this issue and that we be willing to admit that perhaps some mistakes were made.”

The Louisiana District Attorneys Association agrees that the solutions must start with a close look at the 2017 legislation. Loren Lampert, Executive Director of the Louisiana District Attorneys Association, issued the following statement: “LA District Attorneys have always maintained that we needed 5 complete years of data before we will be able to determine the long-term impacts of the 2017 reforms.

“Nov. 1, 2023, marks the passing of 5 complete years,” he said. “We agree that it is time to objectively study the impact of this sweeping legislation and determine exactly what the costs and savings have been. This will also serve to determine what impact – if any – the reforms have had on the surge in violent crime over the last 3 years.”

Attorney General Jeff Landry has long been a critic of the 2017 criminal justice changes and strongly endorsed the task force.

“As I predicted, the governor’s failed criminal justice reform has resulted in new victims of violent crime,” said Landry. “Instead of dangerously releasing criminals back into society in order to simply check a political box, the governor should have ensured convicts get the treatment and training they need to become productive members of society.”

The Bayou Mama Bears, a rapidly growing statewide group of women fed up with the rise of violent crime and lack of safe streets for their children, has also endorsed the new task force.

“As crime surges across Louisiana, women across our state are now living in constant fear of being the next victim of violent crime,” said Laura Rodriguez, founder of the Bayou Mama Bears and a former prosecutor in Jefferson and Orleans Parishes. “We worry about protecting ourselves, and more importantly, our children. We applaud our leaders who recognize the need for change and who are committed to making that change. The Bayou Mama Bears will continue to fight to protect our Louisiana families and we will continue to recognize those leaders who stand beside us”

The new task force will be created by legislation currently being drafted by Rep. Seabaugh to be introduced during the 2023 legislative session, which begins in April.

“This is not the me for half-measures or another ‘step in the right direction’ type approach. This is a battle that we cannot afford to lose,” Seabaugh said.

The Winn Parish Journal reached out to Louisiana House Representative for District 13, Jack McFarland to get his thoughts on the task force. “I support this effort to review existing laws. I think it’s our responsibility as elected officials to review, understand, amend, and/or adopt legislation that provides our constituents with the opportunity to live in a peaceful society without fear.”

For more information regarding the new Louisiana Violent Crime Task force please contact Representative Alan Seabaugh by email at or by telephone at his district office, (318) 676-7990

Pictured above: State Representative Alan Seabaugh, R-Shreveport

Don’t Miss all the Family Fun at the 2022 Fall Festival Monday, October 31st

This year’s Fall Festival will be held on Monday, October 31st from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM in downtown Winnfield.

This year’s Fall Festival will include:

Jump Houses

Costume Contest
Location: Beside the Courthouse on the Pea Patch side Starts at 5:30 PM.
Age Groups: 0-3 yrs, 4-7 yrs, 8-10 yrs, 11-13 yrs, 14-17 yrs, 18 yrs +, & theme groups Pets (one category)

To Pre-Register for the costume contest scan the code on the flyer below.   

Pumpkin Decorating Contest
Drop off location: Police Jury Office (Courthouse)
Drop pumpkins off Thurs, Oct 27 or Friday, Oct 28 from 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Age Groups: PreK-1st, 2nd-5th, & 6th-8th

Groups or individuals interested in participating in Trunk or Treat, spots will be available along Main Street between the Courthouse & The Social Coffee House. Main Street will be blocked off at 4:30.

Hot Dogs, Chips, & Drinks will be located in front of the Courthouse.

Trunk or Treats will be lined up from the Courthouse to The Social Coffee House.

Awards will be given out for the costume contest and the pumpkin decorating contest.

This year’s sponsors:
First United Methodist Church
Autumn Leaves Nursing Home
First Assembly of God
First Baptist Church
The Family Church
South Winnfield Baptist Church
Winn Parish Police Jury
Pilot Club

WMS Students Participate in Impaired Driving Simulation During Red Ribbon Week

Winn Community Coalition to Prevent Youth Alcohol & Substance Use partnered with Central Louisiana Human Services District and the National Guard to bring a hands-on demonstration of the effects of drug and alcohol to students at Winnfield Middle School.

The students and a couple of teachers wore impairment goggles while peddling through an obstacle course. The goggles simulated various stages of intoxication, and out of 69 students, only two were able to complete the course without hitting and even running over multiple cones placed along the way. The students were told that the cones represented trees, other vehicles, family pets, and even pedestrians.

The students listened as a representative from each organization emphasized the importance of making good choices that save lives and prevent injuries. They were also informed that the human brain is not fully developed until a person’s mid-twenties and that the need for the brain to develop alcohol and drug-free is vital. Students were also provided materials and informative brochures from each participating agency.

It is the goal of the Winn Community Coalition to educate children and parents about the effects of alcohol and other drugs on the developing brain in an effort to influence individuals to make informed choices and take positive action to foster the well-being of themselves as well as others and to prevent the cycle of addiction. If you want more information about the Winn Community Coalition to Prevent Youth Alcohol & Substance Use, please contact Shonna Moss at 318-628-0169.

Blessed: Old Lady Problems

The much anticipated mother-daughter road trip was about to commence. The overnight bags were overpacked with care, the tickets to the concert had been purchased for weeks, and the hotel was reserved using a small bank of points. The youngest daughter was dropped off at school, we had piping hot coffee in hand and we were ready to hit the open road.

It was a beautiful drive as we were headed east to Birmingham. We were taking in the early fall foliage. I was feeling like the coolest mom on the planet. We were driving six hours and forty-five minutes one-way to watch an American alternative, folk band play at a popular brewery known for hosting large crowds at its trendy venue. My oldest daughter had been following the band for a few years, she could barely contain her excitement of actually getting to see them in person.

I, on the other hand, had only heard of them through her as she forced me to listen to them. They actually began to grow on me but I was more excited just to spend some one on one time with my daughter while she was home for fall break from her resort.

We stopped an hour away from our location to grab a quick bite to eat. When we exited the car I felt somewhat stiff after the long car ride. I was feeling like the oldest mom on the planet. I tried to look young and agile as I stretched with a slight limp while walking through the parking lot. Lucky for me my daughter had bounced ten steps ahead of me and missed the awkward walk. My body had me wondering if my plantar fasciitis had returned with vengeance.

Gosh, these were total old lady problems that were dancing around in my head.

When we arrived at our hotel, I checked in on the app and was able to by-pass the front desk. The feeling of being the coolest mom returned as my daughter was impressed with my use of technology. Just as quick as we settled into the room it was time to shake the travel dust off and get ready for the concert. There was no time for a nap. I was soon feeling like the oldest mom on the planet again.

We loaded our weary traveling selves into an Uber and headed to the trendy venue only to learn the driver was dropping us off a block away. Lucky for me I had opted for the comfortable shoes and comfortable outfit while my daughter opted for stylish and uncomfortable clothing. The Edison lights were shining brightly on a small pathway that led to the Avondale Brewery. The music was extremely loud and it smelled…welll…exactly like a Brewery.

The first band came out and I know I would have enjoyed them much more had I known a few of their songs. I nodded and pretended to know some of the words. It was going amazingly well until the band instructed the audience to crouch down to the ground as low as they could go…until they gave the signal to jump up in unison. I just wasn’t interested, so I stood there in a sea of youngsters who were all crouching and waiting. That’s when it happened.

Without a doubt I do believe I aged a whole decade at that very moment. It was evident to hundreds of strangers that I was the oldest and most uncool mom in the crowd.

The next day we headed back with a ton of new memories and laughs. Oh, and it only took me two days of rest to recover from the overnight concert. Definitely old lady problems.

Not many people can say they remember the exact date and time that they started to feel a smidgen old. I say this mainly joking because I am acutely aware that age is merely a number assigned to you on your birthday. I will always consider it to be the biggest blessing of my life to be able to age gracefully and move from season to season of my life while enjoying good health and every moment with my precious daughters.

The older I get the more my faith grows, the more I learn to rely on my relationship with the Lord and I wouldn’t trade that for anything in this world. I pray every year that rolls by will be filled with just as many memories, life lessons, cherishing friendships, putting others needs before my own, and loving everyone the Lord puts in my path.

“I will be the same until your old age, and I will bear you up when you turn gray. I have made you and I will carry you; I will bear and rescue you.” – Isaiah 46:4

Winnfield Fire Department Boot Drive Monday Nov. 7th

Monday, November 7, 2022 from 10am-2pm the Winnfield Fire Department will be having a boot drive located at the red light at US Hwy 167N @ Thomas Mill Rd.

This boot drive is to raise money for the department to be able to purchase thermal imaging cameras for each full time Firefighter within the department. Each thermal camera cost around $1700. These cameras play a vital role in Fire-ground operations with locating possible victims inside residences as well as overhaul procedures.

Donations are accepted, if you would like to make a donation you may stop by the Fire Station at 306 S Abel St. A letter for tax write off purposes is available upon request.

The Winnfield Fire Department would like to thank Donald Rudd and North Louisiana Isshinryu Karate in Winnfield for their generous donation to the department of $1500 which is going towards the purchase of the cameras!

Winn Parish Sheriff’s Office Arrest Report

Date: 10-21-22
Name: Joshua L Smith
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: White
Sex: Male
Age: 25
Charge: Resisting an officer, Battery of a police officer (3 counts)

Date: 10-23-22
Name: Dillon Jones 
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: White
Sex: Male 
Age: 18
Charge: Domestic abuse battery

Date: 10-24-22
Name: Ray Anthony Hollingsworth
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: Black
Sex: Male 
Age: 35
Charge: Distribution of a schedule 2

Date: 10-26-22
Name: Amy Heather Sanders-Norris 
Address: Dodson, LA
Race: White 
Sex: Female 
Age: 41
Charge: Failure to apppear 

Date: 10-26-22
Name: Mason Babers
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: White 
Sex: Female 
Age: 26
Charge: Possession of schedule 2 (meth), Posession of schedule 2 (oxy)

Date: 10-27-22
Name: Wilbur Beard Jr
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: Black
Sex: Male 
Age: 24
Charge: Failure to appear (x2)

This information has been provided by a law enforcement agency as public information. Persons named or shown in photographs or video as suspects in a criminal investigation, or arrested and charged with a crime, have not been convicted of any criminal offense and are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.


By: Glynn Harris

There are sights and sounds from the past that trigger memories I can’t help but long to see return. When we turn on the news and see all the turmoil taking place in our country, I want to see the return to those days of innocence, peace and tranquility.

I want to be able to walk out into the field and see a meadow lark explode under my feet, its undulating flight transporting it to a fence nearby where a few yards down the fence line sits a shrike, or as we called them, “butcher bird”. I haven’t seen either of these two species in years. What happened to them?

The absence of another bird hurts my heart more than missing the meadow lark and shrike. It wasn’t too many years ago when I would leave my home for an early morning walk down the road and hear the plaintive whistle of a bobwhite quail. It’s been years since I heard one. Where did they go and why don’t I get to hear them any longer?

There may be nothing I can do to bring back the meadow lark and shrike but I am optimistic about something being done, not only nationally but locally to work to bring back the quail. An organization, Quail Forever, is pulling out all the stops to try and help fashion the recovery of these beloved birds.

Sabrina Claeys is a field biologist for the national organization who works tirelessly to promote the return of quail to our world. The mission statement of Quail Forever is “to conserve quail, pheasants and other wildlife through habitat improvements, public access, education and conservation advocacy.”

“The main problem as we see it for the loss of quail has to do with habitat; we’re losing it faster than we can create it,” said Claeys.

As a biologist, Claeys had heard it all when it comes to possible explanations as to why quail numbers had plummeted.

“We hear the problem is fire ants, more predators impacting quail numbers as well as habitat loss. Losing habitat favored by quail seems to be the major problem,” she said.

I can remember during my growing-up days out on the rural route that practically everybody had a garden or truck patch with grassy edges along fence rows. You could walk out to such areas and just about always send a covey of bobwhites airborne. Today, clean farming and clearing out the fence rows have taken from quail the habitat they need for rearing broods.

“Think about the ‘back forty’ and how it has changed over the years. Those areas provided ideal nesting areas and many of these sites have been converted to pine stands that don’t provide nesting and brooding areas. Quail Forever is working to reclaim some of that old habitat.

“Another thing that has hindered the maintenance of quail populations is the absence of prescribed fire which not only removes undesirable plant life but opens areas where quail thrive best,” Claeys added.

One way that Quail Forever strives to see its mission become reality is the establishing of local chapters. The Piney Hills Quail Forever chapter is based in Ruston and holds regular meetings to discuss problems and possible solutions. Search on-line for information on a chapter in your area and how you can become a part in helping return the plaintive call of the bobwhite back to your part of the world.

Angler’s Perspective – Educating Our Younger Generation of Anglers

When you take a look at the landscape of both high school and college fishing, it’s obvious that up and coming anglers of today are not being taught the ethics or etiquette of bass fishing…the unwritten rules of the water! Young anglers fishing today are falling short in knowing how to handle certain situations in several areas. In this article, we’ll educate and go over a couple of these scenarios and who’s to blame for the younger generation not knowing.

One thing about being young and ignorant… it’s someone’s responsibility to teach you the knowledge you’re lacking in order to learn. Young bass fishermen, on the rise and looking to compete at the highest level of professional fishing, need direction and guidance. This guidance is not just on how to find and catch bass, but how to handle themselves on the water… what anglers call “etiquette.” Now understand, there is no rule book on fishing etiquette. There is no sign hanging at a boat ramp on how to handle situations on the water. Someone must teach these young anglers what the expectations are. A few of these are kind of common sense and others are unwritten rules that have been established over time by anglers who came before us.

First let’s look at the phrase “cutting someone off.” This has become the number one problem on our overcrowded lakes and waterways today! This is when an angler runs past another angler who is fishing down a stretch of bank and cuts in front of him on the same stretch of bank and starts fishing…in some cases as close as a few feet to less than 100 yards. Once again, there is no written rule preventing an angler from doing this. But in the bass fishing world, this is considered bad etiquette. If you want to see an angler get upset, cut in front of him on the stretch of bank or tree line he’s fishing. Always avoid cutting in front of another angler for the purpose of fishing. Good rule of thumb… if you have to think about or try and justify if it’s wrong to cut someone off, then you probably already know you shouldn’t do it. A good example of this would be if someone is fishing down a row of boat docks, don’t go in front of him two or three docks to start fishing. Go ten to twelve docks down and respect his space.

Next, let’s address asking for permission to fish a certain area with another angler. This can be a little touchy, as it all depends on the angler you’re asking. If you pull up on an underwater hump or wind row (line of treetops) and you see another angler already fishing this spot, ask for permission to fish the area with him. He’ll either say, “Sure,” or he’ll say, “No, I’d rather you didn’t.” He’s really not obligated to say yes, especially since he was there first. So always ask if it’s ok for you fish the area together. Now most touring pros will automatically pass up a spot if someone is already on it. But sometimes depending on who the other angler is, especially if they are close friends, the other angler might say it’s ok. But in some instances, they have already talked about the spot that both might have found during practice, and they have made an agreement on fishing it at the same time. Again, always ask for permission to fish, don’t just hop on the front deck and start fishing.

So other than reading this informative article, how does someone learn these unwritten rules of the water? It’s up to us as experienced anglers to teach the younger generation of high school and college anglers how to handle certain situations that they may encountered. It’s our job to share and teach these youngsters the right way of doing things so that in the future, we have less confrontations on the water. Next week, we’ll continue this discussion on the unwritten rules of bass fishing with a hard look at how to deal with dock owners, a hot topic nationwide. Till next time, good luck, good fishing and don’t forget your sunscreen!

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

Notice of Death – October 27, 2022


Harley Jordan Glaze
May 8, 1991 – October 23, 2022
Service: Friday, October 28 at 2 pm in the chapel of the Southern Funeral Home of Winnfield


Judge Fred Sconyers Gahagan
October 24, 2022
Service: Saturday, October 29 at 1 pm at The Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Natchitoches

James Willard Johnson
December 25, 1938 – October 24, 2022
Service: Friday, October 28 at 3 pm at the Provencal United Pentecostal Church

Freddie Jean Mitchell
October 21, 2022
Service: Sunday October 30 at 11 am at Rocky Mount Church in Robeline

Eula Mae Harris
October 23, 2022
Service: Saturday, October 29 at 11 am at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Natchitoches

Kristi Kelli (Mathis) Stephens
May 15, 1984 – October 20, 2022
Service: Friday, October 28 at 10 am at the Red River Cowboy Church in Lake End

Eric Rupert Nelson
April 26, 1943 – October 4, 2022
Service: Saturday, October 29 at 10 am at Lambertown Cemetery in Shamrock


Bertha Jean Randolph Merritt
March 13, 1931 – October 17, 2022
Service: Saturday, October 29 at 2 pm at Pendleton Assembly of God Church, located at 14152 Texas Hwy (1 mile east of Pendleton Bridge) in Many

Chick-fil-A Natchitoches Approaches Opening; Restaurant Looking to Hire 100 Team Members

Now Hiring

New Chick-fil-A® restaurant is now accepting applications for a variety of positions as it prepares to open this fall

WHAT: Chick-fil-A Natchitoches, which plans to open later this fall, is looking to hire 100 part-time and full-time Team Members. The roles span from a variety of positions including back-of-house, front-of-house, leadership and more. Operator Leigh Ann Gilley is excited to bring a new restaurant to the community and share the many benefits of working at Chick-fil-A.

Chick-fil-A is known for hiring, developing and retaining top talent, and providing a positive work environment for people of all ages and backgrounds. Working in a Chick-fil-A restaurant offers the opportunity for teamwork and leadership development in a fast-paced environment. In addition to competitive pay and benefits, Chick-fil-A restaurants offer: 

  • Scholarships varying from $2,000 to $25,000
  • Tuition discounts at more than 100 universities across the U.S.
  • Opportunities for career and leadership development
  • Hands-on training 

“We’re excited to welcome 100 Team Members to Chick-fil-A Natchitoches,” said Gilley. “Working at a Chick-fil-A restaurant is more than a job – it’s an opportunity for teamwork and leadership development in a positive, people-focused environment. We look forward to building a team focused on creating a welcoming environment for our guests and making a positive impact on the Natchitoches community.”

WHEN: From Monday, Oct. 24 to restaurant opening (fall 2022)
WHERE: Chick-fil-A Natchitoches 440 Keyser Ave., Natchitoches, LA 71457
HOW: Applicants interested can text “MYPLEASURE” to (337) 509-0022 to apply.