Winn Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Business of the Week – Sabine State Bank

Sabine State Bank and Trust Company is headquartered in Many and is the 10th largest bank in the state of Louisiana. It is also the 776th largest bank in the nation. It was established in 1902 and as of June of 2022, it had grown to 355 employees at 51 locations. 2 locations are located in Winnfield.
📞 318-628-6090
⏰ Mon-Thur 9-4 / Fri 9-5 / Sat closed
📍 401 W Court St
Winnfield La 71483
📞 318-628-2161
⏰ Mon-Fri 8-5 / Sat 9-12
📍 5917 US-167
Winnfield La 71483

WPJ Photo Contest! Do You Have the Perfect Photo to Represent Winn Parish? You Could Win $100 Gift Card

The Winn Parish Journal is holding a photo contest to find the perfect photo to represent Winn parish on our website. 

We will accept photo submissions from February 8, 2023, through February 28.

Persons submitting the photo must be the photo owner willing to sign a release releasing photo rights to Fidelis Media LLC. 

Photo submissions must be high definition. Please submit your photo to

The winning photo will replace the image shown below on the Winn Parish Journal website.

Winnfield Police Department Arrest Report

Date: 2-8-23
Name: Ervin Greer 
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: Black
Sex: Male 
Age: 57
Charge: Sexual Battery, Unsolicited touching and rubbing 

Date: 2-13-23
Name: Marvin Lewis Jr
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: Black
Sex: Male 
Age: 36
Charge: Forgary, Theft (over 1,000), Simple battery 

Date: 2-13-23
Name: Corey Sonier 
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: Black
Sex: Male 
Age: 33
Charge: Theft (over 1,000)

Date: 2-13-23
Name: Keisha Fobbs 
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: Black 
Sex: Female 
Age: 33
Charge: Theft (over 1,000)

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.

Window to Winn With Bob Holeman

(Bob Holeman conducted this series of interviews with local World War II in 2011-12.  Most of those 34 American heroes have passed away in the decade since).

                At age 86, World War II veteran Loy Gaar wanted to open his interview with another wartime romance, so explained that he was in love with a high school classmate, Grace McMurry.  “We graduated valedictorian and salutatorian from Gaars Mill High School.  I’ve always lived right here.”

                Gaar tried a semester at LSU but the separation from his love was too much and he traveled to Galveston to find Miss McMurry.  There, they tracked down a preacher and got married.  That was Jan. 30, 1942.  “But this was wartime and I knew I’d get called into service so we moved back to Gaars Mill.  He was inducted a short time after he turned 18.

                From Shreveport, Gaar was shipped to Camp Roberts, California, a field artillery center, where he was trained on 155mm howitzers.  Graduating that training, he headed further north in California to Camp Stoneman in Pittsburg for advanced training.  “Grace came out to see me.  I begged her not to come but she disobeyed me.”  As a result, the couple was able to spend three or four days together before Gaar and his fellow soldiers were “loaded up on an old converted oil tanker.  If you wanted to see a mess, that was it.”  He recalled sailing out under the Golden Gate Bridge.

                The men were heading to a “destination unknown.”  All they knew was that at one point, they crossed the International Date Line.  At another, they crossed the equator.  “We finally docked in New Guinea.  We were told it was a territory of the Dutch East Indies.  There was no fighting going on there at the time and we still weren’t attached to a battalion.

                “From there, we went on the small island of Biak, north of Papua, but still there was very little action so we went on to Leyte in the Philippines.  This was the first time we encountered any serious action.  We had been trained in field artillery and there we finally became a part of the 1st Cavalry Division.  Before we arrived, they only had a small artillery piece.  We had a company of 155mm Howitzers…cannons…that really boosted their firepower.”

                Gaar took time to explain that a gunner never sees his actual target.  “They have a forward observer.  That’s what I was.  I would go ahead of the unit to find a higher elevation where I could spot the target.  Then I’d radio back to the gunner and he’d fire a shell.  When I saw where it hit, I’d call back and get him to adjust his shot.”

                He pointed out also that conditions in combat were not the same as they had been during training.  “He did things a little different in combat.  There was a lot more manhandling of equipment and shells than there’d been back home.”

                Gaar recalled that the Japanese would hide in caves on the island.  They would come out, take shots at the American troops, then run back to hide in the caves.  “But with good information, our boys could put those shells right into those caves.”

                The Japanese would counter American attacks with mortar shells that exploded on impact, sending deadly shrapnel in all directions.  “The closest I came to being wounded was one night during a mortar attack and I was down as deep in a foxhole as I could get.  I felt something warm by my leg and reched down to find a hot piece of shrapnel.”

                Action then moved on to Luzon, the big island in the Philippines and its capital, Manila.  “It impressed me that, in peacetime, Manila was a world trade center with a university.  When Japan took over the area, many of the businessmen and their families were confined there on the university grounds.  When the city was liberated, those people were all skin and bones.  The Japanese were very cruel.”

                The Americans next moved into the Lingayen Gulf, which played a prominent part in the Pacific war history.  Gaar recalled that there was one American commander who was determined to be the first to reach Manila.  “But it wasn’t an easy goal.  The Japanese weren’t much on surrender and would fight to the death.  In the process, this commander was shot and was shipped back to the U.S.  So when the Americans took Manila, he wasn’t there.”

                Gaar backtracked to recall that “somewhere before Manila, we had a lot of Japanese prisoners.  Our unit was in charge of an improvised POW encampment.  Well, one prisoner was an officer.  We usually think of them as small but this man was big, really tall.  I was ordered to take him and his aid to Manila for interrogation.  While we traveled, the officer never opened his mouth.  But the aid seemed happy to be on the trip and talked the whole way in broken English.”

                American forces were pressing northward.  “We were preparing to invade the Japanese homeland.  But somewhere along the way, the bomb was dropped and the war was over.”

                Once the war ended, they had to figure out who to send home first.  “They devised a point system.  Finally, I got to go home but this time it was on a converted aircraft carrier.  That was a different ride, a pleasant trip this time.  We sailed from Manila to Pittsburg, CA, in 19 days.  It had taken 29 days when we came over.  After spending the night, he was shipped on to Camp Fannin, TX, where he was discharged as a technician, fourth grade.  “It was the most beautiful day of my life.”

                Asked about other wartime recollections, Gaar says the Japanese occupational troops treated the local Filipinos so harshly that children were literally starving.  Boys would come to American camps, looking for food and scrounging through garbage.  The U.S. kept shipping them rice.”

                One time, he said, “I was driving this captain into Manila.  You see, in the Philippines, we’d only been driving in the jungle, never on roads, but on the way, we hit a road and got stopped by a security guard.  He wanted to see my government operator’s permit.  I’d never heard of one.  The captain asked the guard to give him a blank permit.  He filled it in, signed it and handed it back to the sentry.  So for the rest of the time, I was OK.  I had a permit.”

                Army food was another memory.  “My brother, Lee, was 5 years older than me and in the Air Force.  We always heard stories about the great meals they had every time they returned from flights.  But not us.  We always ate C-Rations.  There was one time, though, some Filipino natives had killed a wild hog and we cooked it.

                Though he was an integral part of the fighting, Gaar said he never faced hand-to-hand combat or even saw, up close, the results of the howitzer destruction.  “I was issued a 30-calibre carbine but I never fired it.”

                Headed home, our veteran learned his Grace had rented an apartment in Jonesboro.  He took a train to Alexandria then a bus to Jonesboro.  “That’s the best move I ever made when I married that woman,” he beamed.  They would have four children, Gloria, Dinah, Gary and Loyna, as well as 10 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.

                His howitzer training helped him land a job with a survey unit with the Highway Department, then he became postmaster at Dodson for 12 years.  That was followed by 30 years on a rural route before retirement.  He’s also served a term on the Winn Parish Police Jury and for 17 years as a bishop in the Mormon Church.

The Coolest Burt in the 1970s Wasn’t Reynolds

When Burt Bacharach, 94, died of natural causes in his Los Angeles home last week, it meant one of America’s most awarded and talented musical geniuses, a man who checked every box on the Cool Meter, had taken his final bow.

Hurt me.

In the 1970s, my teen years, you couldn’t swing a cat around any sort of show business venue and not hit Burt Bacharach, the composer, conductor, pianist, well-groomed movie-star-handsome American showman who didn’t show off.

For more than six decades he was in the biz (“the biz” is what Hollywood types call show business, don’t you know), was part of a prolific two-man songwriting team with lyricist Hal David (who passed away in 2012, age 91), and gave you something you’re likely to hum every other day or so.

Another Burt — Reynolds — was the biggest box office movie guy around that time for a few years. Sadly, he passed away at 82 in 2018. Love Burt. Love the other Burt more, though. Bacharach was in the spotlight plenty but mainly he was in the background, on your radio, in the elevator, wherever the hits were played.

Easy listening.

Through the 1970s he was married to Angie Dickinson, for goodness sakes, who had her legs insured for a million dollars, which was $500,000 per leg, and a hat tip to the person who sold her that policy. Can’t be too careful when you star in Police Woman on television and you’re married to Burt Bacharach. He played the piano, she had the two legs, or about eight less than the number of Emmys, Grammys, and Academy Awards her husband won.

Point of clarification: My favorite Bert of the 1970s was Jones, the quarterback of Baltimore’s Colts. NFL MVP in 1976. Ruston and all. I mean, come on. Everybody’s favorite Bert with a “e.”

But Burt Bacharach was my favorite Burt with a “u,” and to honor his passing, we offer The Top 10 Burt Bacharach Songs, According to Me. He and Hal David teamed up for literally hundreds, so Close to You and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and What the World Needs Now is Love Sweet Love and What’s New Pussycat? and The Look of Love and That’s What Friends Are For won’t even make the list. It’s a shame.

10. This Guy’s in Love with You: Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass were a thing back then and had a monster hit with this. It was a simpler time. Lots of other artists scored hits with this too; more than 1,000 artists have recorded Bacharach songs so …

9. You’ll Never Get to Heaven if You Break My Heart: Dionne Warwick (more on her in a sec) had a hit with this but I prefer The Stylistics’ version. Warwick and The Stylistics were very good but, in all honesty, it’s a bit egotistical of them to think they get to make this call. “If you break up with me, you’re going tothe bad place.” Neg. Good song though, especially for a tune about really, really high stakes dating. Maybe it wasn’t a simpler time …

8. Walk on By: “If you see me walking down the street / And I start to cry each time we meet / Walk on by, walk on by …” Bacharach wrote some happy songs; this is not one of them.

7. Say a Little Prayer for You: Warwick had hits with this and with the two songs above this one and with the two below. Warwick and Bacharach and Hal David were practically printing money for a while there in the ’70s.

6. I’ll Never Fall in Love Again: “So for at least, until tomorrow / I’ll never all in love again…”

5. Always Something There to Remind Me: Lot of co-dependency back then, apparently.

4. Arthur’s Theme (The Best That You Can Do): Christopher Cross had a hit with this song that batted leadoff in a terrific movie; quote it so much I get on my own nerves.

3. Alfie: This is on the list because Jerry Byrd sang it often in theShreveport Journal newsroom. Sounded nothing like Dionne Warwick. Precious memories though. Bacharach said these were his favorite lyrics created by his writing partner.

2. Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head: Where else would they fall? Somehow this fits into my favorite movie,Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

  1. Any Day Now: The original hit was by Chuck Jackson, then Elvis, but I prefer the cut by Ronnie Milsap. One of my favorite songs ever. By one of the best composers ever.

Contact Teddy at or on Twitter @MamaLuvsManning

Dylan Womack Announces Candidacy for Winn Parish Sheriff

To the citizens of Winn Parish,

After careful consideration and prayer, I would like to take this opportunity to announce my candidacy for Sheriff of Winn Parish.  My wife, Starr Hanna Womack and I have one son Walter. I grew up in Sikes, attended Dodson High School, and I am a homegrown product of this parish. I believe I know what the citizens expect from their Sheriff’s Office; to be humble and respectful, available when called upon, and to be diligent in working their cases. 

My career in law enforcement began ten years ago while I was a student attending LSU-A in Alexandria and working part-time at the Winn Correctional Center.  In 2014, I moved to the Sheriff’s Office as a part-time dispatcher and changed my major to Criminal Justice. I accepted a full-time position at the Sheriff’s Office and successfully graduated from the North Louisiana Criminal Justice Academy as a P.O.S.T. certified police officer.  The following year, I attended Tarheel Canine Training Inc. in Sanford, North Carolina and became a certified K-9 handler.

While I am proud of my time at the Sheriff’s Office as a deputy, there are things I would like to do to improve the department and service given to our community. I am experienced and have first-hand knowledge of the day-to-day operations of the Sheriff’s Office.  I see the issues that I feel can be changed and I have a plan for the betterment of Winn Parish.

I hope that I have an opportunity to speak to each one of you. Thank you for your time and I look forward to visiting with you.


Dylan Womack

Winn Parish Sheriff’s Office Arrest Report

Date: 2-2-23
Name: Glenn J Dupree 
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: White
Sex: Male 
Age: 46
Charge: Damage to property 

Date: 2-3-23
Name: Raccio D Evans 
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: Black
Sex: Male 
Age: 21
Charge: Failure to appear (x2)

Date: 2-2-23
Name: Germany Thomas
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: Black
Sex: Male
Age: 40
Charge: Failure to appear, Bench warrant 

Date: 2-3-23
Name: Randall N Vines 
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: White
Sex: Male 
Age: 45
Charge: Failure to appear (x2)

Date: 2-8-23
Name: Ervin Grimes
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: Black
Sex: Male 
Age: 57
Charge: Affidavt warrant for Sexual Battery (rubbing and touching without consent)

Date: 2-8-23
Name: George D Franklin 
Address: Simsboro, LA
Race: Black 
Sex: Male 
Age: 34
Charge: Speeding, driving under suspension 

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.

We need you! Share your Heart Volunteer Recruitment Breakfast

Catholic Charities of Central Louisiana is busy at work to serve the needs of our community in the areas of mental health, disaster relief and basic needs. We need volunteers in the following areas: take and process basic needs applications, assist with SNAP enrollment, help with fundraisers, work with staff and community partners on disaster preparedness.

Please join us for a light breakfast and learn more about our emerging services at Catholic Charities and how you may share your gifts and talents with us! We appreciate your prayerful consideration of working with us.

Thursday, February 23, 9am 
St Joseph Catholic Center Conference Room
4400 Coliseum Blvd, Alexandria

RSVP to Jennifer Gilchrist,
or call (318) 445-2401, EXT 533
by Wednesday, February 15th

Desperate Moms Call for Desperate Measures

Once the nose and throat were swabbed there was nothing I could do but wait on the results. Wait and hope. Wait because I had to, hope because if anything came back positive there was a to-do list three miles long that would not get tended to.

My throat felt as though I had swallowed glass and chased it with a shot of sandpaper. I had a sinus headache the size of Texas, and my eye was even hurting.

While my body was feeling all sorts of pain in all different areas, I was more concerned about the volleyball tournament that my daughter would potentially miss if I tested positive for COVID. I eagerly began to text parents who I knew had children on the team….but decided to wait until I knew what illness had befallen upon me.

When the nurse casually walked back into my room, I could see the look of empathy on her face. She confirmed that I had COVID, strep throat and pink eye. She began explaining what type of medicine she was going to give me along with all of the instructions. I am not sure that I really listened to her, she sounded like Charlie Brown’s teacher. All I could think was….”how was my daughter going to make it to her volleyball tournament in Longview”.

Once I left the clinic, I began to text parents. As soon as I pressed send on the first text asking an innocent parent to haul my COVID exposed, STREP exposed and PINK EYE exposed child across state lines, I thought….what kind of monster am I? Of course, the sweet parent politely declined and I would have done the same. Still determined to get my daughter to her weekend destination, I told my daughter that I would drive her there myself and sleep in the car while she played, stay the night in the hotel and do the same on the next day. I felt so desperate.

Single mom guilt for being ill had overtaken my soul. I was feeling so bad for my daughter. While I was explaining my plan to her, she gently grabbed me by my shoulders and said, “Dude, you are not doing that. I will stay here and take care of you.” She stayed for a while but soon decided to save herself and move in with her dad for a few days to avoid potential illness and quarantine.

As desperate and hopeless as I felt for disappointing my daughter, I knew I would cross the ocean in a dinghy just to make sure she was taken care of. I would lay my COVID body in a Buick for hours on end while she played volleyball, or sat on the bench. Moms will truly do whatever it takes to make sure their children are provided for. Even at their own detriment.

All of this love that moms have for their children does not even compare to the love that our father has for us. His love for his children was magnified on a cross. He would leave ninety-nine sheep to come find the one who went astray. When he created the world he had us in mind. One cannot even fathom the depths of his love.

He hears us when we call on him. He gives us wisdom and helps us keep a straight path. He never leaves our side. He strengthens us and forgives. He longs to be near us.

The motherly love is merely drops in the bucket compared to our father’s love.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
John 3:6-17

Angler’s Perspective – How Quickly It Can Happen

Over the course of an angler’s career, there are times and situations that can turn deadly really quickly. How you react when you’re in one of these unexpected disasters can be the difference between living or dying. Your ability to remain calm is very important in maintaining a clear head and thinking things through. Today, we’ll go over one of these life-or-death events that this angler had to live through.
During the course of a bass tournament, things can go wrong. You hit a stump and destroy your lower unit on your big motor. You run into a log with your trolling motor and break the shaft. You blow a fuse, and all your electronics stop working. You lose your aerator system with your live wells and all your fish die. But there’s also the possibility that your batteries go dead, leaving you without the ability to use the trolling motor. This is what happened to me during a promotional tournament sponsored by the Horseshoe Casino.

For three or four years, the Horseshoe Casino sponsored an event in which they brought in all their “high rollers” and hired 20 to 25 of the best anglers in the area to guide these guys while they fished for a $10,000 purse, a “winner take all tournament.” It was truly a fun event with some great guys who were just looking to go fishing and have a good time. But make no mistake, each wanted to win, and they would sell their mother down the river in order to get the win. Horseshoe paid us (guides) well to take these guys out for a two-day tournament. We fished from daylight till about 1:00 each day and had to be at the Horseshoe for the weigh-in by 2:00.

One of these events was on Red River and this is where one of my worst nightmares unfolded. My partner and I were fishing and doing pretty good, when around 10:00 AM that morning my trolling motor batteries went dead. At the time, we had about 14 pounds of fish in the live-well with three hours of fishing left. Well, let’s just say the wind was not our friend, blowing about 15 to 20 MPH out of the south, so not having a trolling motor was going to make fishing very difficult. So, I decided to go back close to the boat ramp we launched from and let the wind push us down a stretch of bank that I had caught good fish off of before. We made one pass down this 150-yard stretch and culled two good keepers that gave us about 16 pounds by 11:00 AM with two hours left.

After we made that first pass, we ended up by a boat dock where people had a couple of houseboats tied up. Again, the wind was really blowing hard and as we drifted, we got hung up on the boat dock and I had to try and push us off. There was one piling that was in my way and as I was trying to push the boat away from this piling, my hand slipped off and into the water I went! One thing I learned when I hit the water was not just how cold the water was, but that the pullover jacket I had on, which was made of Burma fleece, was equivalent to a huge sponge. Understand this, you cannot imagine how absorbent  Burma fleece really is. The minute I hit the water, I gained 25 pounds of extra weight on top of my 230-pound frame. I went straight to the bottom and landed like an anchor being dropped from the Titanic.

The first thing that went through my mind was, “This is not good,” as I opened my eyes and realized I was in a bad situation in 15 feet of water. I attempted to try and remove my pullover, but it was as if I had been shrink wrapped with this Burma fleece jacket. There was no getting it off, so now I’m just trying to figure out how to get back to the surface. The piling my hand had slipped off of was about 4 feet away from me, so I started walking on the bottom of the riverbed and wrapped my legs around the piling and started trying to shimmy my way up. Problem was, the piling was covered in algae, and it was like a  monkey trying to climb a greased pole. Finally, I was able to get enough grip with my shoes, that it allowed me to get my head above water. I’m not sure how long I was under the water, but according to my 75-year-old partner, it was at least 2 minutes. He thought I had drowned and was in total panic mode.

 After surfacing I asked him to throw my life jacket to me. Even though it was laying in the driver’s seat in plain sight, he could not see it. At this point there was no choice, it was either swim to the bank or try to get back to the boat. Getting to the boat, in my mind, was a priority as my partner was on the verge of a heart attack! At this point I pushed off the piling and swam towards the boat and lifted myself back into the boat with the help of the trim switch on the motor. Totally exhausted, I laid on the back deck of the boat for about 15 minutes trying to recover and gain my energy back.

Once fully recovered, it was time to get these wet clothes off. This is why you should keep a complete change of clothes in your boat at all times. Once changed out, we went back to fishing…. against my partners wishes. But as far as I was concerned, we were in it to win it and we needed to get to 18 pounds to have a shot. Well, we ended up in 3rd with a little over 16 pounds, but to say it was an adventure is an understatement.

After it was all said and done, I realized on my drive back home that day just how quickly things can take a turn for the worst. But looking back, the thing that stood out from this experience was that I never panicked. For some reason, I was able to maintain my composure, think clearly and slowly process my situation, and find my way back to the surface. Talking to a game warden one day about my experience, he told me that most drownings take place in water 4 feet or less, all because people panic and lose their thought process…when all they really had to do was stand up. 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  

Harrington Law Firm Receives Superior Rating

Martindale-Hubbell, the leading worldwide legal information service, which has been providing background information on lawyers and law firms in the United States and other countries for over 150 years, has given The Harrington Law Firm and partner C. Rodney Harrington an “AV Preeminent Rating, the company’s highest possible rating.

According to Martindale-Hubbell, the AV Preeminent Rating, which is established by the company obtaining peer reviews from other attorneys in the same geographical area, recognizes law firms and attorneys for their strong legal ability and high ethical standards.
An elite group of approximately 10 percent of all firms and attorneys holds an AV Preeminent Rating, a designation recognized as “The Gold Standard” of legal ratings and recognized worldwide by buyers and referrers of legal services.
The Harrington Law Firm and C. Rodney Harrington are included in that elite group.
C. Rodney Harrington says the rating, while appreciated, is humbling.
“It is especially humbling and gratifying to know that our peers and colleagues, who we deal with on a daily basis, thought enough of us to give us this Preeminent Rating”, said Harrington, “To think that we’re recognized among the top 10 percent of all attorneys and firms in the nation is simply unbelievable.”

The Harrington Law Firm is composed of partners C. Rodney Harrington and C. Edward “Eddie” Harrington and is located at 459 Jefferson St., Natchitoches, La. 71457. Their areas of practice are Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice, Bankruptcy, Social Security Disability, Wills and Succession, and Divorces.