Goldonna News: December 28, 2022

Goldonna Elementary Junior High School student, Grace Day, was chosen to have her poem, “No More Bully’s” published by Appelly Publishing. Grace entered the contest through her school and was chosen as a “Rising Star”.

“ I’m honored to have been chosen for my writing to be published. My writing came from the heart,” said Miss Day.

Grace Day is in the 6th grade at Goldonna Elementary. She is also a past winner of the NPSB Student of the Year Competition. If you see Grace be sure and congratulate the rising star.

Goldonna Elementary Junior High is pleased to announce their Students of the Year for 22-23. The 5th grade Student of the Year is Bryson Carter. 8th grade Student of the Year is Carlie Spears! The students will now move on to the District competition. They will compete with portfolio and interviews with a panel of judges.

On December 30th at 6:00pm there will be a community church service held at Goldonna Assembly of God Church located at 108 Talley Street. Come join the community as they gather to worship and leave the past behind. “Behold I am making all Things New” is the theme of the evening. Mr. Tom Gresham will be ministering during the service.

If you have News to share please email Reba Phelps at

Remember This? A Father’s Advice

The coming of a new year brings hope for us all.  It is a chance to wipe the slate clean and start anew.  Many of us will set goals that we could never achieve, but we must believe that we can achieve anything.  We must believe in ourselves.  No matter what happens this coming year, don’t stop believing in yourself.

In the early 1970s, Jonathan moved from his hometown of Chicago to Los Angeles, California.  The only being Jonathan knew in “the City of Angels” was his beloved dog that he brought with him from Chicago.  Jonathan, a talented musician, hoped to “make it big” in the music industry.  At eight years old, Jonathan began taking accordion lessons.  As a teenager, he made extra money playing accordion and piano in clubs and at parties.  Following high school, Jonathan attended the Chicago Conservatory of Music.  His parents, teachers, and friends all thought he had the talent required to “make it,” and encouraged him to give it a shot. 

Jonathan was hopeful when he arrived in Los Angeles, but he quickly began to struggle just to survive.  There were opportunities for up-and-coming musicians to play, but the market was saturated with fine musicians who often played for little or no pay.  More often than not, Jonathan’s income from playing music was too little to allow him to pay his bills and eat, too.  He became one of Los Angeles’s many starving artists.  When he became desperate, which happened often, Jonathan ashamedly called his father and asked for a small loan.  His father always sent Jonathan what money he could and reassured him that one-day things would be better. 

Then, an event happened which brought Jonathan to the point of giving up on his dream, his beloved dog was hit by a car and severely injured.  He had no money to pay the vet.  Once again, he called his father for another loan.  His father could hear the discouragement in his voice more than any other time that Jonathan had called.  “Dad,” Jonathan asked in a dispirited voice, “should I just give up on this thing and come home?”  His father reassured him as he always had.  “No. Don’t come home,” his father said.  Always full of encouragement, his father gave him another piece of advice which Jonathan thought important enough to jot down in his notebook.

With his father’s reassurance, Jonathan kept searching for the right opportunity.  He thought that opportunity had finally arrived in 1976 when he recorded a solo album which he named after his hometown, “Windy City Breakdown.”  The album failed to chart, and Jonathan’s struggle continued.  In 1978, Jonathan joined a British rock group called The Babys.  Jonathan recorded two albums with The Babys, but the band failed to achieve the level of success they had hoped for and, in 1980, the group disbanded.  In that same year, Jonathan joined another band and began working on an album with them.  The band needed two more songs to complete the album, and the band’s lead singer asked Jonathan if he had any song ideas.  Jonathan flipped through his notebook and read again the advice his father had given him several years earlier.  Those three simple words of encouragement became the inspiration of and title of one of Jonathan’s band’s biggest hits.  It has been described as the “perfect rock song” which featured Jonathan playing “one of the best opening keyboard riffs in rock.”  The song was the best-selling digital track from the 20th century.  The band was Journey.  The name of the song and the advice his father gave Jonathan Cain was,… “Don’t Stop Believin’.”   

Those three words were good advice from Jonathan’s father then and have remained good advice to listeners for over forty years.  If we “Don’t Stop Believin’” in ourselves, we can accomplish anything in the coming new year. 

Happy New Year!


Source: Elkins, Kimberly, “Don’t Stop Believin’,” Guideposts, p.75.

Kiwanis November 2022 Terrific Kids

The Winnfield Kiwanis Club recently presented its Terrific Kid awards to students around Winn Parish.

Terrific Kids is a student-recognition program that promotes character development, self-esteem and perseverance. “Terrific” is an acronym for Thoughtful, Enthusiastic, Respectful, Responsible, Inclusive, Friendly, Inquisitive and Capable.

Students work with their classroom teacher to establish goals to improve behavior, peer relationships, attendance or schoolwork. All students who achieve their goals after a specified time are recognized as Terrific Kids. Recognition includes being pinned as a Terrific Kid; a pizza, ice cream or other food-themed party; and presentation of certificates and other giveaways.

left to right: Kionna Williams, Braycee Jackson, Mallory Ballard, Ryder Stewart, Cullen Desadier.
Principal Wendy Miller and Kiwanian Lamar Tarver

left to right: Jaxon Johnson, Grayson Edwards, Jolie Taylor, Peter Page, Will Taylor.
Kiwanian: Joe Evans

left to right: Ryder Diffey, Kinsley Ellison, Paisley O’Bryan, Lainey Ingles.
Not pictured: Ellyson Gates
Kiwanian: Mary Lou Blackley

Left to right: Paloma Vazquez, Kara Dark, Olivia Griffin.
Principal Byron King, Kiwanian Miranda Atkins, Administrative Assistant Resa Johnson

Grade 1
Left to right;Bradford Durbin, Sophia Horn, Issac Fletcher. Not pictured: Peyton Mockosher
Principal Byron King, Kiwanian Miranda Atkins, Administrative Assistant Resa Johnson

Grade 2
Left to right: Julianna Williams, Karlee King, Isaiah Starks. Not pictured: Bralynn Howell.
Principal Byron King, Kiwanian Miranda Atkins, Administrative Assistant Resa Johnson

Grade 3
Left to right: Jackson Compton, Emma Swensen, Adrik Silas.
Principal Byron King, Kiwanian Miranda Atkins, Administrative Assistant Resa Johnson

Grade 4
Left to right: Maddox Simons, Zy’yah Davis, Aria Wilson.
Principal Byron King, Kiwanian Miranda Atkins, Administrative Assistant Resa Johnson.

Notice of Death – December 27, 2022

Johnnette Smiley
October 30, 1970 – December 25, 2022
Service: Wednesday, December 28 at 2 pm at Southern Funeral Home


June Beatrice Stringer
May 27, 1926 – December 25, 2022
Service: Thursday, December 29 at 11 am at Trinity Baptist Church in Natchitoches
Carol Lauw Hays
April 10, 1959 – December 24, 2022
Service: Wednesday, December 28 at 2 pm at Crossroads Baptist Church in Marthaville
Jim Toney
January 8, 1951 – December 22, 2022
Service: Friday, December 30 at 2 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home
Nancy West Harrington
December 6, 1924 – December 21, 2022
Visitation: Will be in the church before the service, beginning at 8:30 am.
Service: Wednesday, December 28, 2022 at 10 am at Trinity Episcopal Church, Natchitoches.

First United Methodist Church Invites you to Candlelight Christmas Service

The First United Methodist Church wants to extend a warm invitation to everyone to join them for their Candlelight Christmas Service. We will sing together, share in Holy Communion, tell of the birth of the newborn King of Kings, and will share in singing Silent Night by candlelight.
The service will be on Friday, Dec. 23, at 6pm. Couley UMC will meet at 4:30pm.
A special note about the weather: it is projected to be below freezing all day. If they should lose power, please bundle up and bring a blanket with you to service, and they will truly have a candlelight service. Please travel safely, and don’t take unnecessary risks.

Winn Parish Sherriff’s Office Arrest Report

Date: 12-18-22
Name: Jeffery C Council
Address: Goldonna, LA
Race: White
Sex: Male
Age: 40
Charge: Criminal Trespassing 

Date: 12-21-22
Name: Laquetta M Thomas 
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: Black 
Sex: Female 
Age: 35
Charge: Cruelity to juveniles (second degree)

Date: 12-21-22
Name: Dekarian Starks 
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: Black 
Sex: Male 
Age: 24
Charge: Cruelity to juveniles (second degree)

Date: 12-21-22
Name: Juan Madero-Pocheco
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: Hispanic 
Sex: Male 
Age: 35
Charge: Simple Battery 

Date: 12-21-22
Name: Jakeithra R Starks 
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: Black
Sex: Female 
Age: 26
Charge: Cruelity to juveniles (second degree)

Date: 12-21-22
Name: Malia Snowden 
Address: Quitman, LA
Race: White
Sex: Female 
Age: 19
Charge: Cruelity to juveniles (second degree)

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.

Register Now – For Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) Interactive Workshop in Winnfield January 18-19, 2023

SaveCenla, a nonprofit organization focused on providing the public with information and events that will promote mental health awareness and suicide prevention, is hosting a two-day Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) interactive workshop on Jan 18, 2023, 8:00 AM CST – Jan 19, 2023, 4:00 PM CST  at CLTCC in Winnfield located at 5960 US-167, Winnfield, LA 71483. There is no cost to register. 

ASIST is a two-day interactive workshop in suicide first aid. ASIST teaches participants to recognize when someone may have thoughts of suicide and work with them to create a plan to support their immediate safety. Although healthcare providers widely use ASIST, participants don’t need formal training to attend the workshop—anyone 16 or older can learn and use the ASIST model.

​Since its development in 1983, ASIST has received regular updates to reflect improvements in knowledge and practice. As a result, over 2,000,000 people have taken the workshop. In addition, studies show that the ASIST method helps reduce suicidal feelings in those at risk and is a cost-effective way to help address the problem of suicide. 

Saving Lives from Suicide

Thoughts of suicide are surprisingly common. At any given time, around 1 in 25 people is thinking about suicide to some degree.

For most people, thinking about suicide isn’t about wanting to die. Instead, it’s the tension between their reasons for staying alive and their desire to escape from the pain that feels unbearable.

Within this tension lies the risk of death and the possibility of intervention, hope, and life. This is where someone with the right skills can help tip the balance and change a life forever. This is where LivingWorks training comes in.

For more information on the ASIST two-day training, click here.

Register for the two-day workshop in Winnfield, La here.

Remembering Nancy West Harrington

Nancy West Harrington departed this life on December 21, 2022 after a brief illness. She was 98.

Nancy was born December 6, 1924 in the village of Roxwell, Essex County, England to Charles Henry West and Phyllis Mildred West. She had one sibling, her brother, Don. Nancy had a happy life in the small village that was filled with many of her relatives. She attended Roxwell Church of England School, and was active at St. Michael’s and All Angels church in the village. She taught Sunday School while a teenager. Also as a teenager, Nancy founded a Brownie troop for girls in Roxwell, and became its captain. She graduated the Mid-Essex Technical College with a degree in business, and went to work for the school system. Nancy and her family lived through the Great Depression and World War II. They survived the bombing of their street and yard during the Battle of Britain.

In August 1943, Nancy and a friend were sitting on a bench at the end of her street when two American airmen from a nearby base walked by. One of them was her future husband, Billy. They started dating and became engaged. Billy was sent to France and then Belgium, as part of the Allied invasion of Europe. After Germany surrendered in May 1945, Billy learned that he was being sent to the Pacific theater with his B-26 bomber squadron. He was granted leave and rushed back to Roxwell to tell Nancy that they should get married. Her mother put together a wedding at St. Michael’s church in five days, with Nancy wearing a wedding gown borrowed from the widow of a British soldier who died at Dunkirk. They celebrated a three day honeymoon, and Billy went back to his unit.

After Japan surrendered in August 1945, Billy was sent home to Louisiana. In June 1946, Nancy finally got to join him as one of 65,000 British war brides that arrived in the U.S. by ship. They first lived at Monette’s Ferry with his family, then moved to Cypress and eventually to Flora. Nancy went to work for the Natchitoches Parish School Board, where she had a long career, including many years as the Executive Secretary to five superintendents of schools. When she retired, the School Board voted to permanently name its meeting room The Nancy West Harrington Board Room.

In 2018, Nancy was honored by the Citizens for Democratic Action for her tireless service to others.

Nancy first attended Trinity Episcopal Church on Easter Sunday, 1947, beginning a relationship with a church that she loved so much, and that she and Billy raised their children in.

Nancy and Billy had three children, Rick, Rodney, and Billy Joe. They all graduated Northwestern State University, and all became attorneys. One was elected district judge and another was elected district attorney of Natchitoches Parish. Another has a successful law practice.

Nancy and Billy loved their boys, and were active in their lives from their youngest days, teaching them to hunt and fish, play sports, and excel in school. They raised them as Christians. Nancy taught her sons, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren many life lessons, but perhaps the most important was to treat all people with respect and dignity, no matter who they were.

She lived her life with dignity and grace, and was a living example and inspiration to all who knew her.

Nancy lost her beloved husband in 2004 and moved from Flora to Natchitoches to be closer to her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She continued to stay active in their lives and attended their sporting events and other activities. She was her grandchildren’s adored “Grandma Nan”.

Nancy was proud of her English heritage and she and her family made many trips to England to visit their relatives there. Her English family also made many visits to Louisiana to see her. She eventually obtained her U. S. citizenship so that she could vote here, without surrendering her British citizenship.

Nancy was predeceased by her parents and brother, and her husband, Billy. She is survived by her sons, Rick (Carolyn), Rodney (Jan), and Billy Joe (Donna). She leaves eleven grandchildren and their spouses: Charlotte Harrington, Andy (Holly) Harrington, Camille Harrington, Curtis (Kasey) Harrington, Eddie (Emily) Harrington, Emily Erin Harrington, Mary Catherine Harrington, Drake (Brandi) Harrington, Claire (Brandon) Mayeaux, Kyle (Emily) Lechman and Peyton Rimmer. She had 13 great-grandchildren: Austin and Naomi Page, Nell and Lonnie Harrington, Alice and Edmund Harrington, Hudson, Hendrix and Hayes Harrington, Anna and Eva Mayeaux, and Charlotte and Amelia Lechman.

The family expresses its gratitude to Courtyard of Natchitoches, Hospice of Natchitoches, Ellen Chalk, Wanda Sykes and Pam Williams for their care of Nancy.

Services for Nancy will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church, 822 Second Street in Natchitoches, Louisiana on Wednesday, December 28, 2022, beginning at 10:00 a.m. Visitation will be in the church before the service, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Her pallbearers will be her grandsons Andrew, Curtis, Eddie and Drake Harrington, and her grandson-in-law, Brandon Mayeaux. Burial will follow at Weaver Cemetery in Flora, Louisiana, where she will be placed at rest beside Billy. On her gravestone is a phrase from a poem by the British poet Rupert Brooke: “There’s some corner that is forever England.”

Those wishing to honor Nancy’s memory with a donation may contribute to the Trinity Episcopal Church RRR Fund, 148 Touline, Natchitoches, LA 71457.

Angler Perspective – If Santa Claus Was a Bass Pro

Just for kicks and giggles, let’s pretend that Santa Claus became a touring bass pro. What would that look like? Who would be his major sponsors? What would be his favorite technique? What brand boat would Santa run, or would he just transform his sleigh into a fishing machine?

First, Santa would probably have to lose a few pounds in order to compete at the highest level. Fishing the tour is a grind and it’s not for someone carrying 50 to 80 pounds of extra weight. But the extra weight would come in handy for insulation on those cold early-season boat runs. He would definitely have to give up the cookies and gingerbread that he so dearly loves while joining the North Pole Fitness Center.

Now that we have a much slimmer Santa, let’s look at who would sponsor Jolly Ole Saint Nick. Obviously, it would have to be the best sponsors in the industry on a global level. When it comes to what rod and reel line he would choose, I think his first choice would be 13 Fishing. Since 2012 this company has risen to the highest ranks in the fishing industry. Of course, Santa would want nothing but the best and I think he would choose 13 Fishing’s Concept A3 series as his reel of choice.

What kind of fisherman would Santa be? More than likely a power fisherman. A guy of his stature and physical presence would probably like to chunk and wind a spinnerbait or crankbait, or maybe he would like to flip and pitch a jig. Either way, he would be an angler who would never pick up a spinning rod, or as some pros call it…a Fairy wand.

Now, what kind of fishing line would he spool on his reels? Well, that’s an easy answer! Only the best will do for the man in the big red suit, so that would be Seaguar fishing line. They carry the best fluorocarbon and braided lines made on the planet. As for hooks, what would he use? Again, it’s a no-brainer! He would choose a Japanese brand, Gamakatsu Hooks, the number one brand used by the best pros in the world. Not even his elves could produce a better hook from scratch.

What about a boat…what brand of the boat would fit Santa and fulfill his every need? One thing we’ve made clear, Santa likes the latest and greatest when it comes to products and has nothing but the highest of standards. There are lots of boats that would be okay, like Ranger, Skeeter or Bass Cat, but today he would choose Caymas. This would give him the best combination in terms of speed, ride, comfort, and fishability. Caymas truly is not only a great boat but one of the newest brands on the market today and becoming very popular among tournament anglers. Don’t just take my word for it, stop by The Boat Shop in Shreveport, Louisiana, and see for yourself why so many anglers are switching over.

Can you imagine how his boat would be wrapped? There would be all the colors of Christmas and every sponsor would be displayed proudly all the while paying homage to Rudolph and the other eight reindeer with their photo image on the wrap. Obviously, there would be a grand display of red and green Christmas lights from bow to stern that would light up an entire body of water. No one would have a better-looking boat than Santa with his heated boat seats and automatic hot chocolate dispenser! Oh, he’ll also need a truck to pull that Caymas boat with. How about a new Ford F150 4X4 pick-up truck from Jimmy Granger’s Natchitoches Ford! This would complete Santa’s fishing rig and have him hitting the tournament trail in style.

Christmas is a special time of year and the fact that Santa is real makes it even more special. Like I still remind my kids who are now in their 20s and 30s, when you stop believing, he stops leaving the gifts you so enjoy. But at our house, we know the true meaning of Christmas and celebrate it by honoring the birth of Jesus by making a fresh batch of cinnamon rolls and placing a candle in the middle, and singing happy birthday to our Lord and Savior. I hope you’ve enjoyed looking at what kind of fishing pro-Saint Nick would be if he chose to change his profession. Till next time good luck, good fishing, and Merry Christmas! Here’s hoping your stocking is filled with some great bass-catching lures and plenty of sunscreens!

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

Blessed: My First Nativity Set

The very first Nativity scene of record dates back to the year 1223. History credits Saint Francis of Assisi, as the creator of a crèche for a Christmas Eve Mass while he was visiting in Grecio. After this meaningful display of an ox, donkey and a manger, it quickly became a trend. During these times sculptors mainly fabricated these out of marble. Through the years people began to use different materials such as clay and wood so they would be affordable for common people to have. Though the Nativity scene started with very humble beginnings, with only a few figurines depicting Jesus’ birth, it grew over time to include a variety of farm animals, numerous angels, Shepherds, the Wise Men and camels.

This tradition eventually morphed into the home variety of Nativity Sets that are still largely popular today.

Theologians agree that the typical Nativity Set that is sold in stores today inaccurately depicts the actual night of our Savior’s birth. They say that most Nativity Sets portray the first year of
of his life and the Magi followed the star to Jesus’ home a year after he was born.

Regardless of the historical accuracy, many people find comfort in having all of the pieces together in one big show. As a child growing up I remember our family having a Nativity Set that we set out every year as part of our Christmas decor. I vividly remember the grassy textured roof on top of the barn and it had all of the major players glued down to the bottom of the barn. I am fairly certain that my parents appreciated the fact that they were permanently in place but it bothered me.

Looking back, I think it was mainly because I wanted to integrate these figurines with my Barbies. My Barbie needed a baby wrapped in swaddling cloth and farm animals to complete her family.

Over time different pieces of our Nativity Set were broken, lost, and all that was left was the dusty barn. Since that time I truly never had a crèche of my own. Years later when my oldest daughter was born, my mother bought her a Fisher Price Nativity Set. It was brightly colored, child-size and child-proof. My daughter cherished it and passed it on to her younger sister years later. Unfortunately, some of these pieces were lost, chewed up by household pets and disposed of. As of today I can only find Mary….

This year, for the very first time in my life, I am the proud owner of my own Nativity Set. It proudly sits in a place of honor on my fireplace mantle and it includes all of the extra people and animals who were not present on the actual night of his birth. It serves a gentle reminder that Christ entered this world in the most humble of ways. He was carried by a virgin teenager who God handpicked for this monumental task. He came as a baby, lived a natural and human life. He was born with the purpose of being the Savior of the world.

When I ponder all of the reasons that we need a Savior, it floods my soul to know that God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son. This is a gift that lives in our hearts and not on a mantle or stored away in box year to year. Merry Christmas….

“She will give birth to a son, and you are give him the name Jesus because he will save his people from their sins.”
Mathew 1:21


By: Glynn Harris

I had the privilege of writing a story 36 years ago of an impressive buck taken by the late Tommy Simmons of Ruston. On November 13, 1986 Simmons was hunting in northern Lincoln Parish when a buster of a buck stepped out and he dropped the 12 point. I still recall the emotion Simmons shared with me as he told his story. Although this was before antler score and measurements were in vogue his buck was likely in the 160 inch class.

Tommy’s son, Joe, not yet born when his dad nailed the big buck, took up where his dad left off. After an extended illness, Tommy passed away in 2020. Joe, age 29, encountered another big Lincoln Parish buck this season and was successful in bringing the big 13 point trophy to the ground on November 27.

“When you write the story of my buck,” Joe Simmons said, “please include the fact that my dad set the stage for my success. In fact, he got his big buck within a couple of miles of where I currently live in the Pea Ridge community of Lincoln Parish.”

Joe Simmons was hunting on a 53 acre tract north of Choudrant in Lincoln Parish. The day before his encounter with his buck, he was bow hunting from his lock-on stand when he heard a fierce fight between two bucks.

“They were fighting in a thicket next to my stand and it went on for five or six minutes. I’d hear antlers clashing, brush breaking and deer running when finally a small 8 point stepped out. I felt the other buck was likely the big one several of us had been after but he didn’t show. I

decided that tomorrow, I’d be in my box stand with my rifle because I felt like he was in the area and I might have a chance at him,” Simmons said.

It had rained the day he was bow hunting but the rain had stopped and the morning of November 27 dawned cool and damp. Simmons’ stand overlooks two shooting lanes where wheat, oats and rye are planted. The woods were previously a mixture of pines and hardwoods that had been cut some 15 years ago leaving the area a dense thicket, perfect habitat for a big buck.

“I got out early and had to walk through corn I had scattered on one of my lanes. I used an Ever Calm scent cover on my boots and every 50 yards or so, I put out some Code Blue estrous doe scent before climbing into my stand” he recalled.
Not seeing any action the first hour or so after daylight, a buddy hunting nearby texted him about a nice buck he had just shot with his bow.

“Since I wasn’t seeing anything and my buddy was excited about his bow kill, I shut the windows on my stand, called him to hear his story and we talked for maybe 15 minutes. After we finished talking, I opened the windows again and half an hour later, I looked up to see a big buck walking across my lane at 65 yards. I couldn’t be sure if it was the big one I was after but since it was bigger than any others I knew about in this area, I put my Browning BAR .270 short mag on the window, grunted to make the deer stop and I took the shot. The buck crumpled but then disappeared into the woods,” said Simmons.

Walking to the site of the shot, there was no blood and Simmons considered going to get his blood tracking dog. There was no need for a tracking dog because he took two steps into the woods and saw antlers. The big buck had only run 15 yards before collapsing.

The buck sported 13 points with an inside spread of 17 5/8 inches, bases around 5 inches each with main beams stretching to near 27 inches each. The buck which was rutted down weighed 170 pounds and was determined to be around 5 ½ years old. Taking the buck to Greg Hicks, official scorer for Buck Masters, the rack measured 174 3/8 inches.

“It’s hard to express what I feel,” Simmons said, “about getting another Lincoln Parish trophy buck 36 years after my dad got his.”