This past Monday, March 27th, the Winn Parish School Board met for their regularly scheduled committee meeting, with a special call to follow immediately afterward.
Winn Parish School Board
Committee Meeting Agenda
March, 27th, 2023
WPSB Meeting Room–5:30 p.m.
Academics and Instruction
Review the report of the school calendar options for the 2023-2024 school year.
Before receiving the report, Superintendent Al Simmons addressed the room with personal comments concerning the four-day school calendar, as well as an explanation of policy and procedure for the evening. Simmons then moved into the report, which included details about the three sample calendars up for discretion.
1.) 170 days total for the school year. Five-day school week. Current to what we have now, with only slight variations throughout the years.
2.)150 days total for the school year. Four-day school week. Those days require thirty-eight extra minutes of instruction to achieve the yearly credit.
3.) 153 days total for the school year. Five-day school week beginning the new year, reverting to a four-day school week after Labor Day (9/24). Those days require thirty-one extra minutes of instruction to achieve the yearly credit.
No action was taken during the committee meeting. The board adjourned and moved into the special session to take action on a calendar for the ’23-’24.
Winn Parish School Board
Special Meeting Agenda
March 27th, 2023
WPSB Meeting Room
B) Pledge of Allegiance
C) Roll Call
D) Order of Business
E) Consider Adopting a Calendar for the 2023-24 school year
After adopting the order of business, Underwood (District 11) motioned to adopt the five-day school calendar for the 23-24 school year, which was seconded by Scott (District 2). After this motion, the board took public comments—allowing anyone that filled out the public comment cards provided at the beginning of the committee meeting, allotting three minutes to speak on behalf of their concerns. As a result, eight individuals stood before the committee. They shared their sentiments, research and even apprehensions regarding the four-day school calendar and the quality and future of our student’s education. Immediately following, Vines (District 5) moved to strike out the previously made motion for a five-day calendar and to adopt the one hundred and fifty-three day in its place. The motion to strike passed.
After our superintendent clarified the actions taking place and explained the reasoning behind no pay raises in the history of our current system, the board began considering the one hundred and fifty-three, four-day calendar proposed. Then, after a brief delegation, voting commenced.
Those who voted in favor;
Lacey McManus/District 1 (318-302-2427)
Steve Vines/District 5 (318-413-1253)
Michael Riffe/District 6 (318-302-3171)
Joe Llaine Long/District 7 (318-413-4614)
Patrick J Howell/District 8 (318-623-8612)
Dan Taylor/District 9 (318-451-0456)
Those who voted against;
Harry Scott/District 2 (318-542-6294)
Amber Cox/District 3 (318-471-7783)
Michelle Carpenter/District 4 (318-413-2757)
Lance Underwood/District 11 (318-374-0505)
The four-day school week, one hundred and fifty-three-day calendar passed for the ’23-’24 school year.
The Municipal Primary Election was, Saturday, March 25th. The only item on the ballot was a parish wide Police Jury sales tax renewal.
Parish wide Proposition – 1% S&U Tax Renewal – PJ – 10 Yrs. Shall the Parish of Winn, State of Louisiana (the “Parish”), under applicable constitutional and statutory authority, be authorized to levy and collect a tax of one percent (1%) (the “Tax”), for a period of ten (10) years, commencing March 1, 2024, upon the sale at retail, the use, the lease or rental, the consumption, and the storage for use or consumption, of tangible property and on sales of services in the Parish, as defined by law, (an estimated $2,200,000 reasonably expected at this time to be collected from the levy of the Tax for an entire year), with the proceeds of the Tax (after paying the costs of collecting the Tax), to be allocated and divided as follows (i) 60% to the Parish for first, constructing, acquiring, maintaining, improving and operating a solid waste collection and disposal system for the Parish, with the balance of the proceeds for maintaining and supporting the Winn Parish Courthouse and providing other Parish services, and (ii) 40% to the City of Winnfield for providing solid waste collection and disposal, including the operation, maintenance and improvement of its Waste Compaction Station, and for providing other municipal services.
Absentee/Early Voting Results (this includes the mail ballots received prior to early voting)
My name is Tyler Pyles, and I am a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT). Having strong ties to the area, I am excited to tell you about a new outpatient based Physical Therapy clinic in Winnfield, LA, that opened for practice in February 2023. At Winnfield Physical Therapy, my partner and I, along with our amazing staff, have a goal to serve the citizens of Winn Parish and surrounding areas by providing a more convenient, local option to help save people both time and money. Winnfield PT is located at 6252 US-167 Suite D, Winnfield, LA 71483. Our phone number is (318) 648-7482, and you can reach us Monday-Friday 8-5 p.m.
Now to the question at hand. What is it? What is Physical Therapy? As I have come to understand throughout my years practicing as a Physical Therapist (PT), the majority of the general public has little knowledge of what Physical Therapy is or when to see a PT. I have been asked questions like, “Do you have to go to college to be a PT?” “So you just stretch people for a living?” It’s deeper than that.
In the medical field, PTs have been deemed the “movement experts” who help improve individuals through prescribed exercise, hands-on care, and patient education. PTs play an integral role in the health and wellbeing of individuals. We function as part of an interdisciplinary team or as a primary provider for physical related injuries and/or setbacks. Many PTs are employed at hospitals, where we often help make the final decision on a patient’s next level of care. But PTs are also essential members of the medical teams that support college and professional athletes. Patrick Mahomes, Quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs recently proclaimed, “Julie (his PT) WAS the reason I was the guy I was on the field today! It takes everyone, but she lead the charge…” during their recent Super Bowl run.
To become a Physical Therapist, I first completed four years of college at Northwestern (Go Demons!). After earning my Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences, I then attended three years of Physical Therapy school obtaining a Doctorate of Physical Therapy or DPT. NO, physical therapists are not Medical Doctors, nor do we claim to be. The designation is a Professional Doctorate indicating we have earned the highest level of education in our respective field. Other examples include a Pharmacist (Doctor of Pharmacy or PharmD), a Lawyer (Doctor of Jurisprudence or JD), and an Optometrist (Doctor of Optometry or OD) just to name a few. Upon graduating PT school, PTs must pass a national board exam in order to practice, take a certain number of continuing education hours every two years for our license to stay in good standing, and can choose to further specialize in areas such as Cardiopulmonary, Geriatrics, Pediatrics, Neurology, Wound Care, Women’s Health, Orthopedics, and/or Sports through a residency or self study.
When should I see a Physical Therapist? Over the past 3 decades the body of evidence to support the utilization of PT in the treatment of musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction has increased exponentially. So much so that in 2015 all 50 states had granted “Direct Access” to physical therapy services. This means you can be evaluated and treated by a PT without having to be seen by your Physician to obtain a Referral. Imagine this scenario: You see your Primary Care Physician (PCP) because you tweaked your back when picking up something heavy, or you stepped off a curb and sprained your ankle. Once you get in to see your PCP 2-3 days later, you will likely be prescribed medication to help decrease your symptoms and be referred to a Physician who specializes in Orthopedics for further evaluation. According to a recent survey taken by Merritt Hawkins’ in 2022 on average this will take >16 days. They will likely order some type of imaging which could take another couple weeks. So after 4-6 weeks from your initial injury, taking drugs to help mask your symptoms, and seeing 2-3 Physicians, you finally leave the doctor with a referral to see a Physical Therapist. In that 4-6 week timeframe, you could have seen a PT first, carried out a plan of care, and been back to living your life at your prior level of function saving you time and money. All of this is to say that if you “tweak your back” or “roll your ankle”, you don’t need a referral from your Physician to see a Physical Therapist. PTs are highly trained in the evaluation, diagnosis, management, and treatment of musculoskeletal injuries, so much so that PTs have actually played a major role in the fight against the opioid epidemic in recent years. If we, however, determine your pain is being caused by something that does not fall within the scope of Physical Therapy practice, we will refer you to the proper provider to get you the help you need.
It should be noted that as the patient, you have the right to choose where you receive Physical Therapy services, and here at Winnfield Physical Therapy we seek to bring you high quality, evidence based PT care to best fit your needs. We offer pre-operative and post-operative rehab, evaluation and treatment for non-operative ailments, return to sport testing, dry needling, cupping, hot, cold, and electrotherapy, and joint manipulation of the neck, back, and extremities. Call us today or stop by to schedule an appointment so you can get back to doing the things you love!
Kiwanians Les Michie, Jeanine Michie and Dr. Jerry Williams shared a very informative program about genealogy and how to research your family history. They used Dr. William’s family as an example. Genealogy is the second largest industry on the Internet. Michie did a slide presentation and shared the Latter Day Saints site which is called Family Search. It is free. It is a collaborative tree which means that you put in the information that you know and it can be shared. Other people can add to it or make changes. You can also scan pictures into this program. One interesting thing is that you can put in other people’s names and find out whether they are related to you. Many people today are really involved in genealogy and researching their family history.
Date: 3/20/23 Name: Tristan Hill Address: Winnfield, LA Race: White Sex: Male Age: 22 Charge: Theft (over 1,000)
Date: 3-23-23 Name: Kenneth Dudley Address: Winnfield, LA Race: Black Sex: Male Age: 72 Charge: Theft, Harassment, Criminal mischief
Date: 3-24-23 Name: Tiliah K Davis Address: Winnfield, LA Race: Black Sex: Female Age: 22 Charge: Direct contempt of court
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.
(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).
When the military advertised that men with college degrees in engineering would automatically qualify as commissioned officers, John Holeman of Baton Rouge decided it was time to get involved in America’s World War II war effort. This was late in 1943.
The Shreveport boy had received his degree in engineering from LSU where he was in ROTC and a member of the Pershing Rifles team. He’d gone to work for a short time afterwards as a chemical engineer at the government-built alumina refinery at the foot of the Huey P. Long Bridge on the Mississippi River. The light-weight metal was much in demand for airplanes.
Once he signed up, Holeman traveled to New Orleans where he got his commission as an ensign in the U. S. Navy. Then he went up to Plattsburg, New York, for six weeks of training (on the lake) where they learned the basics of navigation and ship-handling on Lake Champlain. Then the men were shipped to San Francisco where they reported to billet (“a place to eat and sleep,” he explained). There would be no additional training during this time, just waiting for transportation to the Pacific.
When the time came, Holeman headed to the South Pacific, to Bougainville Island, just east of New Guinea in the Solomon Islands, where he was attached to Flotilla 7. The flotilla consisted of 15 LCTs (landing craft tank), smaller than the LCTs of the Normandy landing but with the same drop hatch for loading in the front.
“The island had no deep water ports,” the veteran recalls. “The LCTs would come alongside the big supply ships to offload supplies by hand. The LCTs could then supply everything for the Army, Navy and Air Force. They also supplied outlying bases.”
The veteran recalls that when he arrived, “Dick ‘Pop’ Swiat was on the same boat. He was the skipper, I was the trainee. After three months, it was deemed that I could run LCT 946.”
Probably 300 or 400 tons of cargo was taken off each ship onto the LCTs by hand, using Fiji Islander Harbor “or anyone else who could stow stuff. It took a couple of days to offload a big ship.”
Holeman said that when the smaller LCT neared shore, the front end dropped for unloading, still in shallow water. As the boat was approaching, they’d drop a large anchor into the deeper water. When unloaded, if the LCT was still grounded, the cable connected to the anchor could be reeled in “like a giant fishing reel” to haul the LCT back to deeper water.
While the Bougainville Campaign, from late 1943 through most of 1944, was a significant conflict in the Pacific Theater, that action took place on the north end of the large island and Holeman on the south end said they saw no more conflict activity that occasional planes on the horizon, hearing no gunfire.
He explained that one of the first priorities upon arriving on Bougainville was construction of an Officers’ Club, “a place you could drink for a dime and play cards.”
Holeman said, “One time we ended up with the job of carrying 90 tons of express cargo…stuff that was badly needed, like spare parts for repairs. We went up the Wang Poo River, into Saigon. Going from ocean to river was like going down the main street in New York, except instead of cars, there were junks as far as you could see. They put a Chinese guide on board to show us how to navigate through those junks. He stood at the rail and blew a whistle. All at once, the junks parted to make room for our boat.”
When word of the end of the war came through, there was an Australian destroyer in port. “The skipper invited a dozen of us aboard for ‘booze and fun.’ The Australian and British ships allowed booze on board. American ships didn’t. That was my only encounter with the Australians until much later. I helped them drink their beer, which was excellent.”
The lieutenant (junior grade) boarded a ship with 10,000 soldiers in Guam to return stateside. “They drafted people to stand guard over cargo holds, to keep the peace. I didn’t get drafted. But three days later, this announcement came over the ship’s speakers, ‘Lt. Holeman, report to the Bridge.’
“A young officer told me I was supposed to relieve him 30 minutes earlier. I hadn’t realized I had duty assignements. It turned out that with all these men aboard, there were only four commisisoned officers and I was one of them. I was the deck officer, in charge of running the ship while the captain is not there. The biggest thing I’d skippered until that time was my LCT. The junior officer explained things to me and I took it from there. A couple of days later, I was looking from the bridge to the deck below. The soldiers were getting some sun when I saw them all begin to move to one side of the ship. They were pointing and about 20 yards out was a floating mine, with horns just like you see in the movies. The captain was called to the bridge. The Marines came with their rifles and sank the mine.”
After spending a few weeks in San Francisco, Holeman went with a trainload of soldiers to New Orleans where he was discharged. From there, it was destination Shreveport.
“The GI Bill meant I got to go back to school for free so I got my Masters degree in engineering.” He went to work at the same refinery on the river by the bridge. But now it was owned by Kaiser Aluminum. Postwar Holeman volunteered for and served in the Naval Reserve.
He had met a pretty young woman, New Orleans native Katherine Wilson, prior to the war but had paid little attention and neither correspondend during the war. “But after the war when I opened an account at Louisiana National Bank where she was a teller (one of the first two female tellers in the city), I learned more about her. Our acquaintance, you could say, improved.”
They were married on his birthday, December 22, 1946, in First Baptist Church and recently celebrated their 65th anniversary. They have four sons, ten grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
As a footnote to his wartime encounter with the Australians, his career would eventually take him and his family to Australia on the design and construction project of a major alumina refinery on the east coast that would grow to become the largest in the world.
(Editor’s note: The writer of this series realizes that John Holeman is not a Winn native or resident. However, Bob Holeman takes the liberty this week to interview his dad).
Britton set a goal for himself that would terrify the toughest of people. He wanted to become the youngest person to climb the tallest mountains on each of the world’s continents, what mountain climbers refer to as the “Seven Summits.” At the time, less than 100 people had ever accomplished this feat. When asked why he would make such an attempt, Britton said, “I dreamed of throwing myself at a goal, at a challenge that seemed so insurmountable in the face of the odds, that I was willing to risk death in the name of success.” By 2001, Britton had climbed Denali, Aconcagua, Elbrus, and Kilimanjaro, four of the seven highest mountains. By 2004, Britton had conquered Mount Kosciuszko in Australia. In January of 2004, Britton reached the summit of Vinson, the tallest mountain in Antarctica. On January 23, on the day Britton returned home to Greenwich, Connecticut, his 76-year-old beloved grandfather, Bob, died. Britton was crushed.
Britton had just one more mountain to go to become the youngest person to reach each of the Seven Summits, Mount Everest. Within weeks of tackling Vinson, as he began packing for Earth’s highest mountain above sea level, Mount Everest, Britton’s thoughts kept returning to his grandfather. “His memory will be pushing me to strive even harder than I’ve ever strived before,” he said. “He really just pushed me to push the boundaries and seek the outer limits of whatever I was doing.” To honor his grandfather, Britton packed a photo of Bob to take to the summit of Mount Everest.
Finally, in March of 2004, Britton began his climb up Mount Everest with Bob’s photo in his pack. For two months, Britton and his team struggled through winds which reached up to 125 miles per hour, had to use ladders tied to each other to cross 50-foot deep and 30-foot-wide crevasses, and, had to wear oxygen masks when the air became too thin to breath. At one point, a falling boulder barely missed hitting his face by only a few inches. On May 24, Britton became the youngest person at the time to reach the Seven Summits. While atop the summit, Britton removed his grandfather’s photo from his pack and carefully buried it on Mount Everest.
Britton grandfather was certainly an inspiration to his grandson Britton, but he also inspired and entertained millions of children on television. From 1948-1952, he was Clarabell the Clown on the “Howdy Doody Show.” From 1953-1955 he was Corny the Clown on “Time for Fun,” and from 1954-1955 he was Tinker the Toymaker on “Tinker’s Workshop.” From 1955 to 1985, Bob hosted a children’s television program for which he is most remembered. The photo which remains atop mount Everest is of Britton Keeshan’s grandfather, Robert James “Bob” Keeshan, but you and I know Bob as Captain Kangaroo.
Standing in line for more than two hours in a receiving line at the funeral home, not just standing in line but moving in line and sharing in line and encouraging in line — living in line — gives you time to think.
For starters, even though you don’t know everyone in line and they don’t know you, you feel a part of a greater good, a part of the force that was this life and this family you are here to honor. This one life, in ways special to each of us, touched all these people and hundreds more who couldn’t be here.
The emotional mix is stunning: the uncomfortable feeling of loss and unfairness, and at the same time gratitude for being able to count among your friends this life that radiated a deep and unselfish goodness.
It’s early spring and yet so many are going through a storm. There will always be storms but if you live long enough, they will now and then come one right after the other and you can’t keep the pieces all picked up, for yourself or for your friends. You are tying but more pieces keep falling. Breaking.
Mercy at the loss lately, and the threat of more loss. It all combines to remind me how little control we have, and how I am blind at times to things I do have control over. Which is pathetic. Sad. I am waiting in line to hug the family of a friend who was a master of doing the little things. I’m not sure he even thought so much about it. He just did them. He was aware that he had control over these little actions. He knew they made the difference.
And the difference is real, because all these people are around me. To thank him.
You can make someone happier today. You can. It might be paying for coffee for the person behind you in line at the drive-thru, or it might be calling an old friend, or thanking your Sunday school teacher, or the custodian who keeps your building clean, or the boss who signs the checks.
You ever color a picture and send it to someone for no reason? I do. It’s stupid. But it’s a surprise, and they’ll always call to thank you, because for one moment an ordinary day held a silly surprise for them, and only heaven knows how those kinds of things make a difference, but they do.
I’ve heard these things called “the smallest acts of love.” Remind someone how strong they’ve been. Compliment them for whatever makes them them. Praise. Encourage. Smile. These little things add up.
Our friend we lost, he did lots of big things. Beautiful things. He made the world prettier, literally. But when I think of him — and this has been for years, not just now — I am always left with how he made me feel. He had plenty to do but when we were together, he was present. Honest. Funny without meaning to be because he was just him. A friend.
We are all just people but somehow, we have the gift inside that, if we share it, has the potential to help a sister or brother over the next hill. The smallest thing, if it’s real, can be the thing that holds up, can be the stuff that works. The smallest thing can make a difference.
And that’s when, in the middle of the storms, the miracles show up. In the smallest, most sincere acts. One thoughtful moment, one honest ear to listen or hand to hold. Be present and be ready. We need you. You can make the difference that makes the difference for someone today, and the difference for today can make the difference for forever.
The Municipal Primary Election is tomorrow, Saturday, March 25th. Polls will be open from 7 AM – 8 PM. On the ballot is a parishwide Police Jury sales tax renewal.
Download the GeauxVote app which allows you to view your sample ballot and monitor results on Election night.
Parishwide Proposition – 1% S&U Tax Renewal – PJ – 10 Yrs. Shall the Parish of Winn, State of Louisiana (the “Parish”), under applicable constitutional and statutory authority, be authorized to levy and collect a tax of one percent (1%) (the “Tax”), for a period of ten (10) years, commencing March 1, 2024, upon the sale at retail, the use, the lease or rental, the consumption, and the storage for use or consumption, of tangible property and on sales of services in the Parish, as defined by law, (an estimated $2,200,000 reasonably expected at this time to be collected from the levy of the Tax for an entire year), with the proceeds of the Tax (after paying the costs of collecting the Tax), to be allocated and divided as follows (i) 60% to the Parish for first, constructing, acquiring, maintaining, improving and operating a solid waste collection and disposal system for the Parish, with the balance of the proceeds for maintaining and supporting the Winn Parish Courthouse and providing other Parish services, and (ii) 40% to the City of Winnfield for providing solid waste collection and disposal, including the operation, maintenance and improvement of its Waste Compaction Station, and for providing other municipal services?
Final Absentee/early voting stat (this includes the mail ballots received prior to early voting)
The 2023 Community Easter Celebration is Saturday, April 8th at 11:00 AM at Earl K. Long Park in Winnfield.
The Easter Egg Hunt is for children ages 0 to 12 years old. The celebration will also include games, food and jumpers.
The event is coordinated by the Ministerial Alliance (First United Methodist Church, First Baptist Church, The Family Church, South Winnfield Baptist Church & New Zion Baptist Church), with cooperation from the City of Winnfield, Winn Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, Lions & Kiwanis & Pilot Clubs of Winnfield.