CPA Delivers Clean Audit Report To Winn Police Jury For 2022 Activities

The concluding remarks by CPA Nicholas Fowlkes that the Winn Parish Police Jury has a clean audit brought smiles to jurors at their regular July 17th meeting.

The auditor with the Alexandria CPA Kolder, Slavenand & Co., LLC, gave his report of the annual audit just completed (January 1 through December 31, 2022). He described three aspects of that financial examination. As to the accounting side, Fowlkes reported that no changes need to be made in the manner that the parish is making current payments against long-term debt.

In the matter of federal monies, he explained that whenever a government entity receives more than $750,000, a single audit must be conducted. As the parish body worked with $3.7 million in federal funds last year, the single audit was conducted and the CPA confirmed that he found no instances of noncompliance.

The third aspect of the audit deals with internal controls or how the body handles day-to-day procedures. Fowlkes explained that time does not allow an auditor to review every action made. “I cannot look at everything, but I did not report any findings. There were no deficiencies, so it was a clean audit essentially.”

In other action, the jury agreed to assist the Village of Dodson by grading the Henry Kornegay Road, the red barn Road and Keith Street. Similar assistance was afforded to the village of Calvin with a request to perform side boom bush hogging inside the pond, lavish at Calvin oxidation pond.

Former WSHS pitcher Lawson cashes in draft pick, signs with Mets


The path to professional sports once again includes Winnfield Senior High School.

Former Winnfield Tigers pitcher Justin Lawson has signed with the New York Mets after being selected in the 15th round of the Major League Baseball Draft earlier this month.

Lawson pitched for Bossier Parish Community College during the 2020 and 2021 seasons, then moved on to North Carolina State. In two seasons with the Wolf Pack, he made 46 appearances, pitched 90 innings, recorded 108 strikeouts, and posted a 3.50 career earned run average. 

Nine days after being drafted, Lawson signed with the Mets on July 19.  While terms were not announced, BPCC baseball coach Bobby Gilliam noted that the slot value where Lawson was drafted was $150,000.

“His only offers coming out of high school were us and one Mississippi junior college,” said Gilliam. “In the recruiting process, our main selling point was our conference. Region 14 is all Texas JUCOs except us and it’s one of the premiere junior college conferences.

“It didn’t take long to realize he was special. His talent stood out right away, especially his slider. That pitch was the key to him getting drafted. The spin rate and all the data on it already has it above MLB average,” said Gilliam.

“His fastball is currently in the low to mid-90s but the ability to throw the slider at any time is what separates him from the crowd. We all had a lot of fun watching him be successful at the highest levels of college baseball,” the Cavaliers’ coach said.

Winnfield has produced NFL (Anthony Thomas) and NBA (P.J. Brown) stars who have gone on to be enshrined in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, along with many other outstanding athletes who went on to play pro sports. Lawson extends that tradition of Tigers who ultimately have been paid to play the sport they loved.

He will begin a minor league assignment soon, Gilliam said.

Tuesday School Provides Direction, Love and a Little Jesus for Local Children

You might call it a cross between Sunday School and Vacation Bible School.  “Show children love.  Tell them about Jesus.  Teach the Golden Rule of treating others as those children want to be treated,” say organizers of an active program in Winnfield called “Tuesday School.”

It was launched May 4, 2019, when four local women (Jane Purser, Annette Skains, Shelia Mitchell and Debbie Shows) developed the concept in the belief that children would behave better in school if they knew about Jesus.  Most of the children had little active church involvement.

The idea was to teach as in Sunday School, except on Tuesdays after school hours (4:30 until 6 p.m.)  Offer some snacks, maybe a little coloring, some fun activities.  Initially, there were 12, maybe as many as 18 children.  Success has been proven by the numbers which now range between 40 and 44, despite a trying time during the COVID years.

Tuesday School opened at First Presbyterian Church where numbers were growing until March 2020 when COVID shut down the in-person program.  But Mitchell and Mary Lou Blackley who became involved early on didn’t want to see the progress die.  Weekly they delivered snacks and lessons to the Tuesday School students.

As they looked to reopen school in January 2022, First Assembly of God which had been providing food once a month agreed to open its doors to the program.  Pastor Shaun Garner offered van transportation.  With vans to pick up the children, attendance grew.  South Winnfield Baptist has continued to provide financial support for Tuesday School.  When more transportation became needed, East Winnfield Baptist, First Baptist and First United Methodist pitched in.

So what’s the routine?  When children get off the van, they move into assembly to hear the afternoon’s plans and an opening prayer.  Then they break into age-related classes (K-Grade 2, 3-5 and 6-12, with that oldest group separated into boys and girls).  There are then times for recreation and for snacks.

Then there’s Pastor Shaun’s idea of emphasize behavior, one of the founding concepts of Tuesday School.  It’s a church-friendly boot camp drill where the children march to cadence as they recite Bible verses.  This routine had caught on.  The children will perform a special presentation in the First Assembly sanctuary on Aug. 1.

Those who’d like to enroll children in Tuesday School or to volunteer their own services may contact Mary Lou Blackley (318-481-0227) or Shelia Mitchell (318-209-0089)

Gifts from an Absent Friend

I learned life the hard way, I took all my knocks and lumps
But when I look back down the road at where I’ve been,
I can see that all the things I’ve done in this ol’ life have been more fun
’Cause I shared them with someone who was a friend.

 —  “A Friend,” written and recorded by Jerry Reed (and featured in the movie W.W. and the Dixie Dance Kings, which you should watch ASAP)

Few people if any enjoyed being themselves as much as Jack Brittain loved being Jack Brittain, or “Britt” as his friends called him, and he had more of those than you can find grains of sand and beer bottle tops at the Redneck Riviera.

This is the biggest weekend of the year for locals in my line of work; it’s the annual Louisiana Sports Writers Convention and the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Celebration in Natchitoches, where Britt has served as unofficial mayor for decades. You can find out more about the weekend and how you can enjoy it at You can find out more about Britt by asking anyone in Natchitoches or in the LSWA.

A piece of work and then some, this guy.

So, it was a profound and unwelcome sadness when Britt, our LSWA brother, died two weeks ago at age 67 after a short and surprising illness.

He was the red on the candy cane, the helium in the balloon, the sunshine through any cloud.

His attachment to the LSWA was solid and eternal, even though Britt was a lawyer and financial planner. He didn’t write any stories. He was the story. 

He was so good at St. Mary’s that he’s in the high school’s Hall of Fame, then he lettered four years in football at Northwestern State before law school, but shoot, lots of people could do that. What set him apart was a heart and smile big as centerfield, his uncanny ability to see the best in people and the brightest side of things virtually all the time. He went around lettering every day in life, a seed-sower of joy and laughter and earthy charisma.

One of those ‘girls want to ride in his boat, boys want to be his best buddy’ kind of dudes.

It’s hard to describe the impact he had on the LSWA and the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame because we don’t have anything to compare him to. He was just always there, a part of, a calm in a sometimes-stormy sea of egos and chaos, a smile to calm the tide.

In 2017, Britt was the recipient of the LSWA’s most prized honor, the Mac Russo Award, given to an individual who “contributes to the progress and ideals of the LSWA.” It was my lucky and treasured honor to present it to him. If memory serves, I said something clever like, “Here Britt; sorry it took us so long. We’d give you a half-dozen of these if we could — and you’d deserve everyone.”

“Think where man’s glory most begins and ends,

And say my glory was I had such friends.” — W. B. Yeats

 Contact Teddy at

World War II Interview with A.J Whitmore

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

World War II veteran A.J. Whitmore, 88, who lives south of Atlanta, says that war changed this whole world, impacting the United States in a way that no other veteran has mentioned in this feature series.

But let’s start with this octogenarian’s recollections of rural life before the war:  “As kids, we picked cotton for 20 cents a hundred.  Ginned cotton was 6 cents a pound, $30 for a 500-pound bale.  Eggs were 20 cents a dozen.  A milk cow cost $10.  Momma bought them and I milked.  Kerosene was 5 cents a gallon and even though we never bought gasoline, it couldn’t have been more than 15 or 20 cents.  Labor was $1 a day.  That was from after dew until after dark, a good 12 hours. We used to bale hay.”

During the War, the government under President Franklin Roosevelt froze prices, he says.  Top wages were $1.50 per hour.  On leave, I’d have only 5 gallons of gasoline for a month.  Coffee, sugar, everything was rationed.  You had to get permission from the OPA (Office of Price Administration) to buy a tire.”

“Let me tell you a story,” Whitmore begins.  “When Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, this country was still divided.  It was divided by the Civil War, the Mason-Dixon Line.  Anyone south of the line was called a Rebel, anyone north, damn Yankee.  All that changed on Dec. 7, 1941.  The entire country came together like glue on paper.

“I remember when I heard the news.  I was in the Joy Theater.  The Sunday show was 25 cents.  The only air conditioning there was a big fan.  We were still integrated.  Blacks sat in the balcony, whites were downstairs.  That afternoon when we heard the Japs had bombed Pearl Harbor, I didn’t know where Pearl Harbor was.”

He was born Jan. 12, 1925, the eldest of eight children of Wiley and Mildred Whitmore who, at that time, lived in Simmsboro.  Wiley was a dragline operator who’d started work at age 19, building levees on the Mississippi, Red and Atchafalaya rivers.  ”He started before the Flood of 1927 and our family moved all over that region.  We went to Snow Lake, Arkansas, when I was 6 where they built two ring levees around two huge plantations so they wouldn’t be flooded by the White River, and to Florida, working on the Intracoastal Canal.”

Whitmore admits he wasn’t much of a student.  Because of all their moving around, he was a grade behind.  “I could spell anything.  I liked English and History but I hated Algebra.  I saw WWII as my way out so when I made 17, I joined the Navy.  My daddy took me and a friend down to join.  I’d always wanted to be in the Navy.  I figured it would be a good time.  When I got out Oct. 28, 1945, I lacked 3 months of having served 4 years.”

In 2000, Whitmore went down to Baton Rouge where WWII veterans were given honorary high school diplomas in appreciation for their service.

Following base training in San Diego, the local veteran went to Hospital Corps School for several months.  Then he went to U.S. Naval Training Station to administer shots and X-rays to new recruits.  His next move was Camp Pendleton which was nothing more than a tent city at the time.  He was assigned to USMB 241, Marine Air Group 13.

He was never involved in the invasion of any of the Pacific islands as American forces moved slowly towards Japan but he went through many of them, Bougainville, Tawawa, Munday, Guadalcanal, Rendova and Gilbert.  He documents those travels with an impressive collection of Navy photos.  Still young, Whitmore learned how to drive in a crash ambulance on a Pacific runway.

“In my duties, I had to chlorinate the water supply after the Seabees built a dam for rainwater.  I was a Navy pharmacist mate, attached to the Marines…the Navy supplied the medical care.  I was in Samoa on the 4th of July, 1943.  We got a pig from the natives.  We barbecued that pig and it was the best food we had all war.  We’d been eating Spam and powdered eggs.  But I still like Spam.  It kept me from starving many a time.  I was 18 and stupid.”  (In another incident of poor decisions among the fighting men looking for some escape from the pressures of warfare, he told of losing 7 men, with another going blind after drinking wood alcohol.  “We lost more men due to stupidity and accidents.”)

Another Samoa memory involved a celebrity.  “We were out swimming one day and saw a passenger plane, a C-51, coming down.  I ran to get my clothes on.  My job was to go aboard any landing plane and spray for mosquitoes before anybody got off.  This helped control the spread of malarial mosquitoes from island to island.

“As I approached the plane, I saw a jeep coming with a Lt. General flag on it.  This major came over to keep me away from the plane.  ‘I’ve got to spray,’ I told him.  ‘No you ain’t,’ this major said and pulled me back.  Well, when the door opens, here comes Mrs. Roosevelt.  ‘Oh, my God,’ I think.

“Later I tell my chief that they wouldn’t let me spray the plane.  ‘That’s OK,’ he answered.  ‘The people on that plane are so important that a mosquito wouldn’t dare bite them.’  Mrs. Roosevelt was on tour to assure the troops that the coal mine strike was just a misunderstanding and soon things would be back to normal.”

He also remembers “the Japs had one plane and pilot called ‘Washing Machine Charlie.’  We couldn’t see him and he couldn’t see us but he kept us awake all night.”

In his timeline, one year after enlistment, Whitmore was sent overseas (Jan. 15, 1943) and a year later, as his ship approached the Gilbert Islands, he came down with elephantitis, a parasitic disease common among soldiers in the humid Pacific jungles.  He was shipped to Norman, OK, where he was treated in a huge naval hospital, with halls so long, he recalls, that they rode bicycles down them.

As he healed, his Hospital Corps training was put to good use.  “This had pilot training  and a Marine base.  It was like a city and on Saturday and Sunday, there were as many Marines there as on the streets in San Diego.  I sewed up many Saturday night split heads.”

As the U.S. prepared for the final assault on mainland Japan, a vast number of men was pulled back into action.  Whitmore was among them.  He was shipped down to Mobile, boarded the USS Sitka and steamed to Hawaii.  “We were waiting on an LST and I knew we were going in the Invasion.  During a film showing, they announced that we’d dropped an A-bomb on Hiroshima, killing thousands.  We started clapping and cheering, even though we didn’t know what an A-bomb was.  Harry Truman had saved my life.  I think he was our greatest president. He hurried development of the A-bomb and saved thousands of American lives.  We were going to invade Japan in November 1945.  They estimated we’d lose 1,000 of our A-1 ships…that’s our first-line ships, not the little LSTs. 

“We were in Pearl Harbor when we heard the Japs had surrendered.  They put tracer bullets in their guns and lit up the sky over the harbor, like fireworks.  But then some Washington delegates didn’t want to release us all at one time.  They figured we were all killers and a danger to the country.  So they came up with a point system, like years of service, wife, children and such.

“Well, I lacked a half point from being discharged.  I’d gotten married while I was on leave in 1944.  Me and a boatswain’s mate were in the barracks and here comes someone to say they want me in the office.  The ship headed for Japan and the Occupation has come in and they wanted me.  ‘Wait, you want a pharmacist mate second class?  I know two that just got here from San Diego.’  I’d worked with them there.  While I was in the Pacific, they’d been in San Diego since the start of the war.  I went and got them and told the personnel officer, ‘These are the two guys I told you about.’  And I walked out.  Not me.  I was going home.  I had a wife and baby at the house.  My son, Ronnie, was 3 months old and I hadn’t seen him.”

Two weeks later, he got the call he’d waited for and boarded a carrier with 5,000 returning servicemen (plus a crew of 5,000).  On the supply deck, cots were lined up head-to-head.  His return took him to Langley AFB, then Philadelphia and finally a train to New Orleans.  “When we got there, we went to the mess hall and they ask what we want.  I had a T-bone steak that was out of this world.  The next day they ask if I want to re-enlist.  ‘No thank you,’ I say so I’m discharged the next day.”

In New Orleans, Whitmore got a job as a deck hand on a tugboat.  Two years later, he got his license from the Coast Guard and started running survey boats.  Then in 1955, he went to work in the Gulf of Mexico as a captain for Halliburton, cementing offshore wells and worked there 20 years.  For the following 15 years, he worked construction in Baton Rouge, finally retiring in 1990.

When Whitmore was 16 in Simmsport, Lucille Brady (who would later be graduated from Atlanta High School) came to help her aunt who was expecting a baby.  “That’s how I met her,” he says and the two wrote back and forth during the war.  “I was in Rhode Island for a 10-day leave.  I was 18 and we decided to get married.  That was Jan. 28, 1944.  While I was still working for Halliburton in 1965, I built our home here on the Brady homestead.  We’d been married 62 years when she died in 2006.  We had 3 sons and a daughter, 9 grandkids and 9 great grandkids.”

Library Director Priscilla Massey Speaks To Rotary


“I started working in the library at age 14, while I was in high school, continued during my college years and have altogether worked in the library field for 26 years. I love sharing resources with the community!” says Priscilla Massey, director of the Winn Parish Library system, to members of the Winnfield Rotary Club at the regular meeting on July 19, 2023.

Ms. Massey is frequently asked, “Is the library obsolete?” She answers “yes and no.” While the traditional brick and mortar library with paper books is slowly becoming used by fewer people as more and more digital/electronic books and information resources become available, the services and information our library makes available to the public has increased rather than decreasing. As more and more public services and programs require access to the internet, and many people still lack access to a personal computer connected to the internet, the public in Winn Parish may avail themselves of computers provided at the library. 

“A world of digital resources are accessible to the public via a library card,” according to Ms. Massey, who brims with enthusiasm over the services the public may access through the Winn Parish Library system. Of course, Winn still has branch libraries in Atlanta, Calvin and Dodson as well as the relatively new location in Winnfield at 200 N St. John. With a Winn Parish library card, which is free of charge, one may access thousand of free e-books and audiobooks on your personal Kindle or other electronic smart device via the Libby app. A coalition of about 20 parish libraries in north Louisiana have joined their resources together on Libby so that any person with a library card of any of these libraries may download an ebook or audiobook from the system. And no late fees—ever! When the 14-day checkout period ends, the digital book automatically returns to the “library” unless the borrower renews the withdrawal.

The Louisiana Digital Library, accessible through the Winn Parish Library’s website, offers over 400,000 historical items from Louisiana’s digital archives, libraries, museums and other repositories. One may see archived newspapers, photographs, maps, manuscripts, books or oral histories. It may be accessed from a personal computer through the website.

Free on-demand, online tutoring and career support for adults is available through the library website on This same service offers students assistance with homework via the library website, through the Louisiana Library Connection which has access to HomeworkLouisiana.

Also accessible through the library via the Louisiana Library Connection are fill-in-the-blank, downloadable, continuously updates legal forms on Gale LegalForms.

For those needing personalized language services, the library offers free access to translations by native speakers, Englis as Second Language and American Sign Language courses, and study for the U. S. citizenship test, as well as language learning for kids grades K-12 on the Pronunciator foreign language app.

All one must do to access all these absolutely free services and more is to visit the library and sign up for your very own library card.

Tale of Two Cancers

By Reba Phelps

Over two and half years ago when JohnDavid and Tiffany Warren held hands and recited the vows, “in sickness and in health”, never did they dream those words would become their reality, sooner rather than later. 

The now married couple met just a few short years ago while at church camp in Crowley, Louisiana where they were both in leadership. Tiffany described JohnDavid as “a loyal and faithful friend to many with a servants’ heart.”  While it wasn’t love at first sight, it was definitely friendship and respect at first sight that grew through the years. 

When they met Tiffany was aware of JohnDavid having cancer in the past. She knew the struggle he went through and never imagined she would be where he was. 

Earlier this year, Tiffany noticed a lump on her foot. She wasn’t initially concerned and considered it a nuisance. But she took a photo of it and sent it to a friend in the medical field. Again, not much to worry about until a little later. She woke up with stabbing pains in her foot, she still wanted to brush it off but her foot became so swollen you could not see the lump at all. On Valentine’s Day she was sent to an Orthopedic Surgeon who told her it was a Ganglion Cyst, sometimes referred to as a “Bible Cyst”. 

The doctor proceeded to tell her that she could just live with it or have it removed and it was quite common. The swelling never subsided and the pain intensified so she went back to the doctor. This time further tests were ordered and they expedited her visit. Tiffany began to realize that it may be serious but cancer was never in her thought pattern. Once the scans came back they were certain of the diagnosis. Non-Skeletal Ewing’s sarcoma. 

Tiffany actually felt relief knowing the cause of her pain. Through the month’s she felt like her condition was minimized. 

Tiffany’s husband, JohnDavid is a Patrolman for the Natchitoches City Police Department. While his job is to protect and to serve, he knew he needed divine intervention and protection for him and his wife. As soon as this news was confirmed, he immediately began praying. 

“I always rely on my faith. I wasn’t scared but definitely surprised. I knew that my God could get us through this,” shared JohnDavid. 

Get us through this….The Warren’s battle quickly became an “Us” battle. During this time JohnDavid was having symptoms that he was all too familiar with from his previous cancer, Hogdkins Lymphoma. Even though he beat it five years ago, he never forgot the symptoms and how he felt. 

During a June PET Scan it was revealed that an active infection in his liver, abdomen, lungs and bones is mostly likely a relapse of Hogkin’s lymphoma. At this time he is relying on a well crafted treatment plan from his MD Anderson care team. 

JohnDavid shared, “I am doing well with my symptoms. The doctors are still 90% sure it’s Hodgkin’s lymphoma but there are other things happening that bring up questions, especially with my bone marrow and immune system. This weekend I will have a biopsy to confirm.”

The tale of two cancers is also a tale of two different treatment plans. Tiffany had surgery to remove some masses and is undergoing chemo treatment at LSU Oshner in Shreveport. JohnDavid will begin with a couple of cycles of chemo followed by an 11 week period where he is required to be in Houston. Once Tiffany has completed her treatment the plan is for her to go to Houston to be with JohnDavid. 

The Warren’s both admit that their parents have been life savers. While they have been shocked and blindsided by all of the news, they are very optimistic and not discouraged when it comes to the health of their children. 

While their whole marriage has been about faith and caring for each other, this cancer has given them the chance to focus on each other’s wellness instead of their own illness. This cancer is giving them purpose in each other. “We are definitely making sacrifices for each other and it is making our marriage stronger for sure. Allowing both of us to care even in weakness”, said JohnDavid. 

Tiffany and JohnDavid are convinced and have peace that God has a plan for them. They do not believe this is coincidental and can already see God working for them. While they are both still shocked that they are fighting the same health battle, they know that God directed their steps to Natchitoches where they would find the love and support they didn’t even know that they needed. When they first arrived in Natchitoches neither of them had jobs but they knew they were being sent and they began trusting the Lord. That trust was already in place long before they were ever diagnosed. 

Tiffany shared, “I am so blessed that I already knew God’s character and I’m not trying to get to know him through this. God is who he is, he is love and faith…regardless.”

During all of this, Tiffany and John David still have hope and humor. Tiffany recently Googled, “What are the odds of a married couple having cancer at the same time.” There was nothing. No articles to read, no jokes to be had. Nothing was available at all. Their hope is found in their faith. The humor is found in the fact that no one has really traveled this road before them. They are okay with this because they have each other, with their faith they know they are not alone on this road. 

The Warren’s are eternally very grateful for their friends, the Meal Trains, and the wish list of “comfort items” donated to her as she started her treatment, and the outpouring of prayers for their family. They ask that you continue to pray for God’s perfect will for them. When asked what scriptures they pray or keep close to them, Tiffany simply replied, “God has plans for us, he has thoughts about us, he has more thoughts about us than we can even imagine.”

How can you help? Friends and family of Tiffany and JohnDavid have organized a BBQ Pulled Pork Fundraiser to be held on Friday, July 14th at the Creston Baptist Church, from 11:00am until 2:00pm. For the low cost of $10 you can enjoy a pulled pork sandwich, baked beans, chips and dessert. Deliveries can be made to Goldonna, Winnfield, and Natchitoches. For bulk orders you may call Delores Sampey at 318-663-4584. 

4H Members Participate in 4H University

“Excel” was the theme for 4-H University, held on June 19th-23rd on Louisiana State University’s Campus. Twenty-nine Winn Parish youths participated in this annual event. Over 1000 4-H members came together from across Louisiana and spent the week participating in state-level competitions and educational programs.

Of the 29 teens competing from Winn, 27 received blue ribbons in their respective contests:

Lauren Poole, second place, Career Preparation Interview

Mattie Miller, tenth place, Civic Engagement/Leadership Talk

Joy So, fourth place, Civic Engagement/Leadership Talk

Izabella O’Bannon, Raelynn Bartlett, Rilend Lawson, and Ellie Bryant, first place, Consumer Decision Making 

Tanner Lawson, Eli Little, Daniel Page, fourth place, Esports

Harleigh Rouse, eighth place, Ready to Wear, Fashion Revue

Gracie Moore, fifth place, Ready to Wear, Fashion Revue

Elizabeth Page, tenth place, Upcycled Fashion, Fashion Revue

Allison Wren, fifth place, Upcycled Fashion, Fashion Revue

Mason Green, tenth place, High Point Individual, Forestry

Emily Nevils, seventh place, High Point Individual, Forestry

Emily Higginbotham, second place, High Point Individual, Forestry

Emily Higginbotham, Emily Nevils, Mason Green, and Addison Griffin, second place, High Point Team, Forestry. 

Josie Perrett, Isabella Shilling, fourth place, Healthy Living Method Demo

Gabriel Wren, first place, Personal Trainer

Joe Lewis, second place, Public Speaking-Cooperatives

Emily Higginbotham, Emily Nevils, third place, Sports Broadcasting

Mattie Miller is the Northwest Regional Representative; Joe Lewis, Citizenship Board; Brady Fallis, STEM Board; Andrew Chevallier and Peyton Glenn, Shooting Sports Board.

4-H University is one part of the LSU AgCenter’s Youth Development programs. The AgCenter is designed to teach students valuable life skills by involving them in educational projects and service-learning activities. Throughout its history, the program has sought to help young people and their families improve their quality of life. 4-H University is open to 4-H members in grades 8th-12th. It is conducted in June of each year and includes competitive and non-competitive educational opportunities. For more information about this event or other 4-H opportunities, please contact the Winn Parish Extension office at 318-628-4528.

A scouting report on Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Celebration fun

It’s almost showtime for the 2023 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Celebration Thursday, Friday and Saturday in Natchitoches (except for Friday’s BOM Celebrity Bowling Bash in Alexandria), so it’s time to plan to take in as much fun as you can.

The most-asked question — can I still get tickets for the Saturday evening Induction Reception (from 5-6:30 at the Hall of Fame museum) and Ceremony (at 7 in the Natchitoches Events Center)?

YES. While the usual big turnout is coming, there is still time to go online at to purchase admission to the signature event. But don’t delay – it could sell out.

The reception provides an array of food stations with fare from not only local restaurants, but some from around the state, along with refreshments and music. It’s a chance to see new exhibits (the Kim Mulkey showcase, for example), new display items to celebrate the museum’s 10th anniversary, the just-installed Class of 2023 display cases, and to meet all of the new inductees and perhaps snap a selfie.

The Induction Ceremony at the neighboring Events Center kicks off promptly at 7 with the National Anthem, followed by the stirring Walk of Legends showcasing past Hall of Fame members returning, then introducing the Class of ’23, set to music from The Natural. The 12 inductions begin immediately after, featuring compelling video introductions followed by on-stage conversations with inductees – producing lots of laughter and some misty-eyed moments certain to create lasting memories.

Saturday evening is the only “dress up” event of the Induction Celebration. Blazers for the men and cocktail dress-style attire for the women are requested.

Otherwise, it’s casual for the rest of the festivities, starting with the free, open to everyone Thursday evening Welcome Reception from 5-7 at the museum. La Capitol Federal Credit Union will mark its 20th year presenting that signature event – again with food, refreshments and music, and the new inductees and their families having traveled in some cases almost 2,000 miles to celebrate the occasion.

There’s still room for bowlers to join in Friday’s BOM Celebrity Bowling Bash at Four Seasons Bowling Center in Alexandria. The doors open at 11:30 with lunch provided by Walk On’s, plenty of warm up bowling and music, and more mingling with inductees, their families, and other sports celebrities before they’re introduced and “competition” begins at 1. Again – sign up at

The biggest free event is Friday evening on the downtown Natchitoches riverbank stage – the Rockin’ River Fest Concert, from 6-10:30.

It’s family friendly. A free interactive kids zone presented by Louisiana Propane Dealers will include basketball, football, golf and science games for all ages to enjoy.

Rockin’ Dopsie Jr. & the Zydeco Twisters are back as the headline act. Dopsie has played the White House to the Jazz Fest, boogied with James Brown and John Fogerty, and wowed crowds all over, described as “Mick Jagger of the marsh” as “a party seems to break out whenever and wherever Dopsie and his band show up.”

The opening act is Jason Ashley & The Hot Sauce Band, featuring the Alexandria native and regional country music star playing hits from yesterday and today, an act popular around the Gulf Coast and all the way to Nashville.

If you want to beat the summer heat and enjoy a tasty collection of Louisiana foods and specialty refreshments, you can visit to snap up some of the few remaining $100 tickets to the VIP Taste of Tailgating presented by Hancock Whitney.

That party runs from 7-10 p.m. in the air-conditioned comfort of Mama’s Oyster House and Blues Room that will provide exclusive access to the 12-member 2023 Induction Class. They will also be introduced on stage at 9:15, just before a 10-minute fireworks show set to sports-themed music.

Saturday morning’s Junior Training Camp hosted by the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans at NSU’s Webb Wellness and Recreation Center has only a handful of free spots left for kids 7-17. Advance registration is required at

There’s no more room for Saturday’s Round Table Lunch downtown at The Venue. It’s sold out.

But there are plenty of other chances to see the Class of 2023: Eli Manning, Alana Beard, Paul Mainieri, Matt Forte, Wendell Davis, Paul Byrd, Walter Davis, Ron Washington, Walter Imahara, M.L. Woodruff, and sports journalists Bruce Brown and Lori Lyons.

You’re invited to join the fun, starting Thursday evening in Natchitoches.

Nearby Events Set August, September for Local Involvement with Operation Christmas Child

A number of Winn churches that each year support Operation Christmas Child may want to mark their calendars for two upcoming nearby events, said the area team coordinator Jeanine Ford of Winnfield.

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse that delivers shoeboxes filled with toys, hygiene items, and school supplies to children around the world as a tangible expression of God’s love through the hands of local partners to share the Good News of Jesus Christ, God’s Greatest Gift.  

Since 1993, more than 200 million children in over 170 countries and territories have received a shoebox gift.  Shoebox gifts are collected in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Spain, Finland, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea.  In addition to the millions of shoebox packers, a network of more than 15,000 volunteers—9,000 in the U.S. and 6,000 worldwide—serve year-round to carry out this project.  

Samaritan’s Purse/Operation Christmas Child has organized the United States into regional and local area teams. Louisiana is in the regional team with Texas.  “We are officially known as the Texas/Louisiana Region. Winn Parish is in the local area known as West Central Louisiana Area.  The West Central Louisiana Area includes the parishes of Natchitoches, Red River, Sabine, and Winn,” explained Mrs. Ford.

The West Central Louisiana Area Team has 2 upcoming events.  The first event is a Project Leader Workshop that takes place on Saturday, Aug. 19, at First Baptist Church Natchitoches, 508 Second St. 71457.

The second event will be held on Sunday evening, September 10, at 5 p.m. in Natchitoches in the First Baptist Church sanctuary.  Dania Yadago Andraos, shoebox recipient from a middle eastern country, received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift as a child. She will share her story of how the Lord answered her prayers through a shoebox.

Winn Parish Team:  Candy Bedgood, WCLA Winn Parish Drop-Off Team Leader, Jeanine Ford, WCLA Area Coordinator; and Ciena Thompson, WCLA Church Relations Team Member.

WCLA team to work the Dallas Processing Center in December:  Those from Winn Parish are Angela Austin, Jeanine Ford, Kim Desadier, Candy Bedgood, Kevin and Ginny Koeppen, Brendan Thomas, and Landon Creel.

200 million Shoeboxes sign shows  Ciena Thompson, Jeanine Ford, Brenda Ingram, WCLA Logistics Coordinator and Jack Ingram, WCLA Media Relations.  (This picture was taken at the Global Connect Conference this past April.)

WCLA Team  Processing shoeboxes at the Dallas Processing Center.

Landon Creel  Working at the Dallas Processing Center.

Winn Parish Sheriff’s Office Arrest Report

Date: 7-19-23 
Name: Shannon D Farmer 
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: Black 
Sex: Male 
Age: 31
Charge: Simple criminal damage to property 

Date: 7-20-23
Name: Philip D Jackson 
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: Black 
Sex: Male 
Age: N/A
Charge: Domestic Abuse Battery, Failure to apppear 

Date: 7-21-23
Name: Banon Collins Jr
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: Black 
Sex: Male 
Age: 22
Charge: Second Degree Battery 

Date: 7-21-23
Name: Latreveoa Terrell Brewer
Address: Coushatta, LA
Race: Black 
Sex: Male 
Age: 21
Charge: Fugative from Red River 

Date: 7-22-23
Name: Huey O Wyatt Jr
Address Winnfield, LA
Race: Black 
Sex: Male 
Age: 66
Charge: Driving on divided highways, Driving under suspension, DWI (1st), Possession of schedule 2 (fentanyl) with Intent to Distribute 

Date: 7-24-23
Name: Deanna H Gorham
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: White 
Sex: Female 
Age: 53
Charge: Failure to appear (plea hearing)

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.

Winnfield Police Department Arrest Report

Date: 7-18-23
Name: Leonard Collins Jr
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: Black 
Sex: Male 
Age:  60
Charge: Direct contempt of court 

Date: 7-23-23
Name: Courtland Turner 
Address: Winnfield,LA
Race: Black 
Sex: Male 
Age: 20 
Charge: Theft x2 (mis) (felony)

Date: 7-25-23
Name: Joshua Allwell
Address: Winnfield, LA 
Race: White 
Sex: Male 
Age: 33
Charge: Theft

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.

Notice of Death – July 25, 2023

Bryan Taft Smith III
October 29, 1952 — July 23, 2023
Service: Saturday, July 29 at 2 pm at Beulah Methodist Church in Marthaville

Melba Orsborn Sparks
September 5, 1945 — July 24, 2023
Service: Thursday, July 27 at 10 am at Provencal United Pentecostal Church

Donald L. Wells
June 8, 1939 — July 20, 2023
Service: Wednesday, July 26 at 3 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home in Natchitoches

Precincts Merge But Voting Places Remain Same as Jury Complies with Redistricting Plans

In preparation for fall elections, the Winn Parish Police Jury voted in a special session to merge 20 precincts into nine in accordance with post-census reapportionment.  While the precinct numbers will change, lawmakers are confident that the “voting places” where voters will go will not change.

“After redistricting, this is something we have to go over,” explained jury president Josh McAllister.  But since this process is controlled at higher state levels, “it’s kind of out of our hands.  We have to merge precincts but I don’t think a whole lot will change.  Everyone will get a card from the Registrar of Voters Office.”

Responding to travel and the ease of voting, juror Tammy Griffin observed that “there are a lot more available days (one week) down here at the Registrar’s Office during early voting than on Election Day at the precinct.”  After some discussion, jurors concluded that nobody’s voting location should change due to the mergers.

With the action, Precinct 2-1A merges with 2-1 to create New Precinct 2-1, polling at 401 S St John St.

Precincts 3-1C and 3-1D merge with 3-1A to create the New Precinct 3-1A, polling at 401 S St John St.

Precinct 3-3A merges with 3-3 to create the New Precinct 3-3, polling at 334 Collins Camp Road.

Precinct 4-1A merges with 4-1 to create the New Precinct 4-1, polling at 631 Thomas Mill Road.

Precinct 7-1B merges with 7-1 to create the New Precinct 7-1, polling at 1607 Maples St.

Precinct 7-3 merges with 7-2A to create the New Precinct 7-2A, polling at 1607 Maple St.

Precincts 1-3, 1-4 and 3-2A merge to create the New Precinct 1-3, polling at 176 Collier St., Atlanta.

Precinct 2-2 merges with 6-1A to create the New Precinct 6-1A, polling at 200 N St John St.

Precinct 4-2A merges with 4-3 to create the New Precinct 4-3, polling at 255 Second St., Calvin.\

In other action the jury voted to assess a 4% administrative charge on sales tax and ad valorum  (property) tax revenues effective this year beginning January 2023.  Jurors heard that this is a financial move that the auditor has been advising for several years.  The fee will not affect the amount that taxpayers are paying.  

Based on 2022 figures, the new fee could bring about $197,000 into the jury’s General Fund.  Those funds would not be dedicated and lawmakers could amend the budget to transfer monies to other jury funds as needed.

The jury also agreed to create and place three blue and while road signs at the approaches to the Wattsville Community near Calvin.  In the same manner as unincorporated communities like St Maurice, “folks in the Wattsville Community wanted a place name,” said juror Griffin.