Winnfield Celebrates Louisiana Christmas Night at Christmas Parade

On Friday, December 2nd, Winnfield’s Christmas parade kicked off in a flurry of light, Christmas music, and smiles shortly after 6 pm! As the parade inched its usual route down Main St, community members had another opportunity to rub elbows with the holiday spirit, stash projectile sweets, and grab a lil’ tub (or two) of the fresh gumbo that circulated the streets!

Thank you to our parade sponsors: Kiwanis of Winnfield, Winn Chamber of Commerce, and the Lousiana Political Museum. And thank you to The City of Winnfield for the beautiful firework display that closed our evening!

*Not all parade floats or participants are included in the photos presented.


WPS Winter Fest Wrap Up 2022!

This past Wednesday, December 1st, From 5-7 pm, Winn Primary opened its doors and the use of the main campus in welcome to all students and their loved ones for this year’s annual Winter Fest!

All visitors had the opportunity to participate in several holiday-themed delights like Santa’s Secret Store, hay rides, face painting, and much more!

Thank you to WPS, their staff, and all volunteers who continue to provide safe and family-friendly fun for our students and community!

Remember to utilize the ‘wpjreporter@gmail.com’ email if you have a teacher, staff member, or even unique student(s) you believe deserve their moment of recognition for their acts, services, or accomplishments in our parish!


Bo Walker Updates the Rotary Club of Winnfield on Ride Ataxia Dallas and Kate’s Krewe

The topic of the day for Winnfield Rotary Club’s meeting on November 30, 2022, was RideAtaxia Dallas, the annual long distance bike ride to raise money for Friedrich’s Ataxia Research Alliance [FARA], an organization dedicated to researching treatment and a cure for Friedrich’s Ataxia [FA]. Rotarian of the Day Shea Sanders introduced the speaker, John “Bo” Walker, who told the audience of Rotarians about the success of the fundraiser, as well as the success of his granddaughter, Kate Walker, and her team, Kate’s Krewe, in raising money for the cause.

According to Mr. Walker, Kate was the second-highest individual fundraiser for this year’s RideAtaxia Dallas, raising $22,048, with the aid of her father, Jason Walker, her grandparents, Bo and Chris Walker, and Dr. Jimmy and Helene Walker, all residents of Winnfield for many years. Kate’s Krewe was the highest team fundraiser for the ride this year, with $29,344, with the collaboration of many friends and relatives adding to Kate’s personal fundraising efforts. Kate herself raised $4000 through a FaceBook fundraiser, while Laure Derr, along with her friends at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Winnfield, generated donations of $3500 with a spaghetti dinner, and Kim Caldwell raised donations of $900 with a bake sale. All of these funds went to FARA via RideAtaxia Dallas. The organizers of the Ride set a goal of $175,000, and at the time of the Rotary meeting on November 30, the amount raised was a little over $168,000, leaving little doubt that as the final donations arrive, the event will meet and exceed the goal.

So what is Friedrich’s Ataxia, and why do so many people in Winnfield care about it? FA is a relatively rare disease which affects only approximately 5,000 people in the United States and about 20,000 in the world. The condition is caused by lack of or mutations in the FXN gene on chromosome 9, which makes a protein called frataxin. When the body’s cells produce less frataxin, the lack of frataxin causes degeneration of nerve tissue in the spinal cord. This causes the ataxia, that is, lack of voluntary coordination of muscle movements. The degeneration of sensory neurons in the spinal cord essential for directing muscle movement of the arms and legs through connections with the brain are particularly affected. The spinal cord becomes thinner, and nerve cells lose some of their myelin sheath, which is responsible for insulating the nerve cells and increasing the rate at which electrical impulses pass along the connected nerve cells.

The low levels of frataxin means that the electrical impulses that fire to cause movement in the body pass along the nerve cells more slowly or sometimes not at all. Thus, muscle movement which most of us take for granted, particularly of the arms and legs, become slower and eventually impossible in many persons affected by the disorder. FA is one of a larger group of disorders known as muscular dystrophy.

Initial symptoms include difficulties with balance and motor movements. For example, one of Kate’s first symptoms was that she was not able to achieve adequate balance to ride a bicycle. She was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, hardening of the heart muscle, at the age of eight, but it was not until 2016 when Kate was 13 years old that a doctor suggested she be tested for FA, which revealed that Kate has the genetic abnormality that causes low levels of frataxin. Her parents both underwent genetic testing that revealed they both have the gene that causes a lack of frataxin. The disease only occurs in children whose parents both have the defective gene.

Persons affected by FA generally have a life expectancy only into the mid-20’s, but some people can survive years longer. The effect on the heart is the main reason for the low years of life expectancy. One of the men with FA who began the bike rides to raise money for research, Kyle Bryant, is currently in his late 30’s. The symptoms progress at different rates in different people, and the mid-20’s is only an average of all people known by FARA to have suffered from the disorder.

Some of Kate’s symptoms have progressed since her diagnosis in 2016, while others are currently unchanged over the past year. She was unable to walk within four years of her diagnosis with FA, and she has begun to develop scoliosis (curvature of the spine) but is not experiencing difficulties because of that condition yet. For the last year, her cardiomyopathy has remained unchanged.

Despite the challenges presented by FA, Kate is thriving in many ways.  As a sophomore at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, she lives on campus, attending class and getting where she needs to go via wheelchair and a van with hand controls. She works with a personal trainer to improve her upper body strength, which aids her in transfers to and from her wheelchair. She is socially as well as educationally active, and is a tireless advocate for those with FA. She has a vlog on YouTube to which she posts videos about her activities when she has time. One may also follow Kate on FaceBook and Instagram.

“So how does a person who can’t walk ride a bike for miles and miles?” you ask. The bicycles are designed specifically for person with low levels of lower body strength. They have two wheels on the back and one on the front. The seat is recumbent, meaning that the rider is essentially lying on her back, almost straight out, in the seat of the bike, and is thus able to achieve enough leverage with the body that the legs can move the wheels on the bike to move forward.

Kate and her family and friends have been supporters of FARA since her diagnosis with FA in 2016. Over the six years, Kate and her Krewe have donated $159,576 to the organization to help fund research into FA, its causes, and drugs which can retard the progress of the disorder’s symptoms, as well as seeking a cure. As a charitable organization, FARA is rated 4 out of 5 on its ratio of administrative expenses to funding of research. Four percent of the money received by FARA goes to administration, which is 6 or 8 people in a small office in Philadelphia, and the other 96% is invested in research. A promising drug which appears to be able to retard progress of the symptoms of FA is in development by Reata Pharmaceuticals in collaboration with FARA, but the FDA did not consider it in the last round of approvals. But it is highly possible the drug might be FDA-approved in the first quarter of 2023. Unfortunately, Mr. Walker pointed out, drugs for diseases which affect only a relatively small number of people in the United States get little attention from the FDA as it spends most of its time on drugs for diseases which affect many people, and drugs for FA do not get much attention.

In addition to supporting FARA to stimulate research on drugs for treatment and a cure for FA, Kate’s parents formed a foundation called Make It Happen—Cure FA a couple of years ago. Contributions to this foundation are used to held young person with FA obtain the equipment and aids they need to maintain as much independence as possible, including electric wheelchairs, hand operated vehicles, service animals, walking aids such as canes and walkers, and other aids to help with dressing and other activities of daily living.

For anyone who would like to donate to FARA, the website for RideAtaxia Dallas is still available through which you may make your donation. Please be sure to select Kate as the individual and Kate’s Krewe as the team on whose behalf you are making the donation so it will be properly credited to her fundraising efforts. Even the smallest amount can make a difference, added to many other small amounts.

After Bo answered all questions, the meeting was adjourned, as customary, with the Rotary motto, “Service above self!”


Children’s Author/Illustrator Duo Matthew Swanson and Robbi Behr to Stop by Winnfield Primary School on Nationwide “Busload of Books Tour”

Winnfield Primary School is one of just 52 schools nationwide selected for the Busload of Books Tour, a major literacy project by author/illustrator duo Matthew Swanson and Robbi Behr.

Robbi and Matthew will be visiting Winnfield Primary School on Friday, December 9th, 2022.

The couple are crisscrossing the United States in a school bus-home with their four children for the 2022-2023 school year. They will visit Title I elementary schools – children from low-income families make up at least 40 percent of enrollment – in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., and gift 25,000 hardcover books to students and teachers.

Chestertown, MD – Children’s author/illustrator duo Matthew Swanson and Robbi Behr will launch a nationwide literacy and creativity tour on September 2, 2022 in Wilmington, DE. The couple and their four school-age children will spend the 2022-2023 school year living and traveling in a converted school bus.

This first-of-its kind tour will combine a nationwide book giveaway and the ultimate family road trip with a major research study on the impact of creator / student engagement. The key objectives are raising awareness of the challenges facing America’s public schools and empowering reading, creativity, and collaboration in children ages 5 to 12.

In addition to the Tour’s central mission, Swanson and Behr will:

• Partner with Build-A-Bear Foundation and First Book to distribute an additional 125,000 free books to students and educators in Title I schools across America.

• Conduct a groundbreaking research study with Washington College, in Chestertown, Md., to measure the impact of author/illustrator visits (filling a key gap in the research on this topic).

• Share the ultimate virtual road trip via daily digital content – photos, essays, sketches, and videos – that teachers and librarians can enjoy and follow with their students.

The Chestertown-based couple developed the idea in 2019 when they received a $30,000 grant to “do something awesome.” This initial support swelled with contributions from 1,000+ individual donors, making a nationwide tour a reality.

“We’ve seen hundreds of times the empowering impact author / illustrator visits can have on school communities. When kids realize we are just regular people, they recognize their own capacity to create. They start reading, writing, drawing, and telling their own stories.” -Matthew Swanson and Robbi Behr

Author / illustrator visits can promote reading and creativity, but many schools can’t afford to bring in authors or buy new books. By visiting a Title I school in each state, Swanson and Behr (themselves the products of Title I schools) hope to bring books and creative learning opportunities to historically underserved communities and highlight the heroic work of public educators.

Swanson and Behr partnered with First Book to select the schools for the Tour. First Book is a Washington, DC-based nonprofit, providing books to underserved schools and educators across the United States. Pre-K-1st graders will receive Everywhere, Wonder, a picture book about observation and storytelling. The 2nd nd5th graders will receive Ben Yokoyama and the Cookie of Doom, an illustrated middle grade book (the first in a series) about figuring out what’s most important and living one’s life to the fullest.

“While access to books at home is one of the most important predictors of educational achievement, millions of children in low-income households are growing up in book deserts. First Book has spent the past three decades furthering educational equity – and increasing access to diverse and relevant books has been a core part of our work for all these 30 years. We’re looking forward to following Robbi’s and Matthew’s journey and celebrating the power of books in children’s lives.” -Kyle Zimmer, First Book President and CEO

Swanson and Behr will also work with the departments of education and sociology at Washington College to measure the impact of one-time author visits in Title I elementary schools—filling a critical gap in the research on this topic. The data could provide a powerful tool for promoting future literacy programming. The Tour is fueled by a unique combination of enthusiasm, generosity, diesel, data, community, and coffee.


Winnfield Police Department Arrest Report

Date: 11-29-22
Name: O’Bryan Holden 
Address: Homless 
Race: Black 
Sex: Male  
Age: 39
Charge: Warrant, Simple battery, Possessing contraband on the grounds of a penal institution 

Date: 12-3-22
Name: John Gross
Address: Natchitoches, LA
Race: White
Sex: Male 
Age: 45
Charge: DWI (3rd offense, Resisting an officer 

Date: 12-5-22
Name: Martez D Clatman
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: Black
Sex: Male 
Age: 28
Charge: Aggravated assault with a firearm, possession of stolen things, criminal trespassing, Entering an inhabited dwelling without permission 

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.


Remember This? The Duke of Bohemia

In 922, Duke Borivoy, leader of Bohemia, died in battle.  Duke Borivoy had twin sons, the eldest of which inherited his title of duke.  The young duke was just 15 years old.  He and his younger twin brother had largely been raised by their grandmother, Ludmilla, a devoted Christian who taught them the meaning of hope, faith, and charity.  The duke took Ludmilla’s teachings to heart.

Shortly after becoming duke, his younger brother, Boleslaus, who had been born only a few minutes after the duke, along with their mother, Drahomira, staged a Pagan revolt against the Christian duke.  They and their followers assassinated the duke’s beloved grandmother, Ludmilla, as she prayed.  Remember that Ludmilla was Boleslaus’s grandmother as well and was Drahomira’s mother-in-law.  Boleslaus earned the nickname Boleslaus the Cruel.  After killing Ludmilla, they planned to overthrow the duke.  The revolt had hardly begun when the young duke took charge and put down the rebellion.  His countrymen assumed that the leaders of the revolt, Boleslaus, and Drahomira, would be executed.  To everyone’s surprise, the duke treated them with mercy and kindness, and rather than executing them, the duke expelled his mother and brother from Bohemia.  

This first major act as Duke of Bohemia was an example of how the duke ruled his nation, with true justice, mercy, and kindness.  He often traveled throughout his country to learn what his people needed.  He often shared firewood, food, and other needful things with his subjects.  He took pity on the poor and urged the wealthy to help the less fortunate.  Due to his kindness and charity, many of his Pagan subjects converted to Christianity. 

Centuries before people began giving gifts as part of the Christmas celebration, the duke, aided by his pages, gave the poorest of his subjects gifts of firewood, food, and clothing on Christmas Eve.  Much like our modern Santa Claus, nothing, not even the harshest winter weather, kept the duke from visiting his subjects every Christmas Eve.  The duke’s charity gave his subjects even more reason to celebrate Christmas.  The duke had become one of the most revered leaders in history.  

In 929 or 935, the date varies according to sources, the duke greeted his subjects with a warm smile and asked about their health as he walked to church to say his daily prayers.  The duke genuinely cared about the welfare of his people.  As he neared the church, the duke heard a familiar voice, one he thought he would never hear again.  The duke turned and was shocked to see his brother, Boleslaus, the brother whom he had expelled some years earlier.  Acting on this as a signal, Boleslaus’s Pagan followers attacked and stabbed the duke multiple times.  The duke fell on his knees on the church steps.  His last words were said to have been “Brother, may God forgive you.”  With this murder of the revered duke, Boleslaus became the new Duke of Bohemia.

Boleslaus became remorseful of the murderous deeds of which he was responsible.  He turned against his Pagan followers and embraced the teachings that he had learned from his grandmother, Ludmilla, whom he had murdered.  Boleslaus is largely responsible for maintaining the legend of the brother he murdered.  The slain duke was considered a martyr and saint immediately following his murder.  Multiple hagiographies, biographies of a saint or an ecclesiastical leader, were written about the slain duke within a few decades of his death.  Although he was only a duke during his lifetime, Holy Roman Emperor Otto I posthumously conferred upon him the regal dignity and title of righteous king due to his faith and charity.

Nearly 1,000 years later, in 1853, English Anglican priest and hymnwriter John Mason Neale published a song based on the hagiographies of the slain duke.  In Neale’s carol, the duke and his page were trekking on foot through deep snow to deliver gifts to the needy when the page decided to give up the struggle against the harsh winter weather.  Neale explained that the duke convinced his page to continue in a stanza which is normally omitted from the carol we hear each year during Christmastime:

In his masters’ steps he trod

Where the snow lay dinted;

Heat was in the very sod

Which the saint had printed.

Therefore, Christian men, be sure,

Wealth or rank possession,

Ye who now will bless the poor,

Shall yourselves find blessing.

The slain Duke of Bohemia, who became a martyr and saint, and who was posthumously given the title of king for his faith and charity was Good King Wenceslas.

Source: Ace Collins, Stories behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2001), 64-69.


There’s a New Kid in Town

The moment you meet your first granddaughter, you intuitively know that you have not saved enough money and never could save enough money to buy this child everything you would want to give her, whether she needed it (she won’t) or not.  

Abigail Jane Hilton showed up on a Monday, July 18, in Murray, Ky., where, conveniently, her mother was. I met her mother when she was three years old. I met Abigail Jane Saturday when she was just over four months old. 

I’m getting better at timing.  

She was 21 inches long and weighed 8 pounds and 1 ounce. In other words, perfect size. (I guess. Who knows?) I was proud — overcome with emotion, near tears and trembling — that the world’s best daughter and best son-in-law named the child after me. (Teddy’s just my nickname.) 

The main thing is that she hasn’t been sickly, seems very healthy, has a good disposition, and sports plumbing that is on the money. It all comes back to plumbing. 

Since she lives in Kentucky, mooching off her parents, we are not able to see her daily BUT … her mother is great about sending pictures, and not just the cute ones. We get the ones of her all bundled up and smiling or on the floor with Stanley the dachshund, her big brother, laughing and making baby noises, but we also get photos of her with a triple chin and videos of accidental spit up, which she did on me when I met her Saturday, and it was neat smelling like baby formula the rest of the day. 

I’d missed it.  

Love that kid. 

When she was 10 weeks old, they took her in to get measured again and her mom proudly wrote to tell us that Abigail Jane, or AJ, ranked in the 98th percentile in head size. And after viewing it in person, I can tell you this precious little person has a noggin perfect for selling advertising space. A quality melon. A head the size of your favorite team’s sideline mascot. I’m convinced that if we could light it up, you could see it from outer space.  

We are hopeful she grows into it and that there are lots of smart brains up in there. Regardless, it is my favorite baby dome at present, the perfect topper for what grandmama calls her “snuggle muffin.”  

She was on the floor on her back “watching” a football game in the den when I got to visit with her. Like most babies, she moves her hands and feet as if she’s trying to break out of an invisible bubble. She loves playing with your fingers and holding her feet together up in the air so her legs form an oval. She is quick to smile and even laugh, and she seemed to understand when I explained the rules when TCU and Kansas State went into overtime in the Big 12 Championship, her first overtime ever. She giggled, but the urgency seemed lost on her 

She also seemed confused with TCU choice to run dive plays instead of options with their Heisman-finalist quarterback on third- and fourth-and-goal plays from the 1. 

That’s when granddaddy suggested that sometimes life is like that, that acceptance is necessary and a time-saver, that you salute the past, dust yourself off, drink some more formula, have a good burp, and move on. 

We’ve got a lot to learn from each other.   

Contact Teddy at teddy@latech.edu 


My Opinion – Religious Liberty, 10th Amendment Infringed by So-Called Respect for Marriage Law

On November 29, 2022, the so-called “Respect for Marriage Act” was approved in the U.S. Senate.   It will now head to the U.S. House for approval and then to President Biden.

 The law is unnecessary, redundant, and constitutionally suspect.

 One of the central tenets of our constitutional scheme is that, with the exception of the limited, enumerated rights and powers granted by our U.S Constitution to the federal government, all power and policymaking authority is reserved to the states and, therefore, to the people.  This constitutional structure stems from the Framers unquestioned belief that the states and their citizens are far better suited to make life, health, safety, and other social policy decisions—such as the definition of marriage—than is the federal government which is so far removed both geographically and culturally from the American people.  

 “Marriage” is not mentioned in the Constitution.  Not a word. So, the states should be free to define the marriage relationship as they see fit.  This means that states like California, Oregon and Massachusetts have already recognized gay marriage while states like Texas, Mississippi, and Louisiana do not.  That’s the exact result the Framers of our Constitution intended with our system of co-federalism—our 50 states and the federal government—working in unison but along different tracks of jurisdiction.

 However, that’s not what has happened.

 In the 2015 Obergefell decision the Supreme Court, yet again, “found” a “fundamental right,” this time to gay marriage.  This is very similar to how the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973, in Roe v. Wade “discovered” another so-called right that is also nowhere mentioned in the Constitution—the “right” to abortion.

It is a dangerous use of judicial power for the Supreme Court to “create” fundamental rights that are found nowhere in the Constitution.  Nevertheless, over the years the U.S. Supreme Court has held both that there is a fundamental right to marry generally and now, in Obergefell, a fundamental right to gay marriage. 

 Whether or not this is the correct policy choice is not the issue. The issue is that this “right” is not found in the U.S. Constitution.

 But once again, as in Roe, by creating a right not found in the Constitution, the Supreme Court has stripped from all 50 states the authority to make the serious policy decision about what constitutes a marriage within a given state.  The result is that, exactly as in Roe, unelected, life-tenured federal judges on the Supreme Court have substituted their social and policy preferences for those of over 330 million Americans. 

 The second issue is that the new federal law allowing gay marriage is unnecessary because there are no new rights conferred under the new federal law that are not already provided for by the Obergefell decision itself—i.e., married same-sex couples already cannot lose any of their benefits or legal status. 

 But that’s not really the goal of the Biden Administration.

 Their real purpose for this new law is to provide a legal “hammer”—a private right of action—with which groups who support gay marriage may sue organizations and entities that support traditional, biblical marriage.   

 Specifically, the lawsuits under this new federal law will be predictably used to target people of faith and to strip them of their IRS tax-exempt status.  The same fate awaits houses of worship and adoption agencies that believe that the most ideal placement for a child is with a married mother and father, as well as for those who contract or receive grants from the government and who want to choose to live according to their beliefs with respect to marriage. 

 Many of these religious liberty concerns could have been addressed if an amendment, offered by U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah), had been adopted.  Senator Lee’s amendment would have prohibited the federal government from punishing individuals, organizations, nonprofits, and other entities based on their sincerely held religious beliefs about marriage by prohibiting the denial or revocation of tax-exempt status, licenses, contracts, benefits, etc.

 But that amendment wasn’t adopted.

 So, this is where we are: 

 Groups that adhere to a traditional definition of marriage will, by the lawsuits enabled in this new law, have their ability to participate in the public square undermined because, without their critically needed tax-exempt status, many of these organizations will not survive.

 This outcome effectively favors one group at the expense of another and doing so cannot be reconciled within our constitutional scheme.

Pictured above: Royal Alexander is an attorney, writer, and former politician in his native Shreveport, Louisiana. In 2007, he was the Republican candidate for Louisiana Attorney General. In addition to his law practice, Alexander is an opinion writer, a guest lecturer at public events and education forums, and a frequent guest on various TV and radio outlets.

The views and opinions expressed in the My Opinion article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Winn Parish Journal. Any content provided by the authors is of their opinion and is not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual or anyone or anything.


Notice of Death – December 6, 2022

WINN:
 
Harold Thomas Tarver
December 29, 1931 – December 4, 2022
Service: Wednesday, December 7 at 11 am at First Baptist Church
 
Lula Mae Ebarb
September 22, 1935 – December 4, 2022
Service: Wednesday, December 7 at 10 am at St. Joseph Catholic Church

John Edward Procell
December 3, 1960 – December 3, 2022
Service: Saturday, December 10 at 10 am at Warren Meadows Funeral Home Chapel

Ann Natalie Sepulvado
October 28, 1929 – December 2, 2022
Service: Friday, December 9 at 10 am at St. Joseph Catholic Church 

NATCHITOCHES:

Niel Lonkar
May 1, 1938 – December 5, 2022
Service: Thursday, December 8 at 2 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

Jack Huelin Crowell
January 25, 1985 – December 4, 2022
Service: Thursday, Dec. 8 at 10 am at First Baptist Church of Natchitoches

Curtis Lawrence Johnson
November 28, 2022
Service: Saturday, December 17 at 10 am at Calvary Baptist Church, located at 312 LA-3191 in Natchitoches

Louise Lirette
January 14, 1946 – December 3, 2022
Service: Wednesday, December 7 at 11 am at The Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Natchitoches


Window to Winn with Bob Holeman – WWII Vet Jack Evans: Small town Student to AF Instructor After European Flying Missions

(Bob Holeman conducted this series of interviews with local World War II veterans as a lead-up to Veterans Day 2011.  Interviews continued into 2012 with any veteran he could find who, in turn, was willing to talk.  Not all were interested.  Virturally all of these American heroes have passed away during the decade following these interviews).

The son of a Catahoula Parish logger-turned-farmer, Harrisonburg High School student Jack Evans had no chance at college due to poverty and the Depression.  So he joined the military in 1939 in hopes of receiving training and that higher education “at their expense.”

He was learning the plumbing trade in a raked-out WWI naval base when the single radio in the non-air conditioned barracks crackled out the news announcement that England and France were soon meeting to consider an alliance against Germany and Hitler.  “All 300 of us were of the same opinion,” Evans said some 70 years later.  “If they would ally, the U.S. would follow suit, just like in the previous war.  Word came out just before daylight the next day that this had happened and we all went down and signed up with everyone…Army, Navy, Marines, Air Corps.  There wasn’t an Air Force at that time.”

Evans, known best for his 40 “serious years” of dentistry here in Winnfield, was selected by the Air Corps and further picked among an elite group of 63 as bombardiers to test and train in new bomb site technology.  They operated out of an abandoned dirigible hangar at Fort Dix, N.J., defending New York.  The reminder that a German threat to the continental United States was very real was constantly in front of them.  “At that time, we were never out of sight of sunken American freighters along our own coastline.

To get his commission as an officer, Evans signed up for all available formal training programs…pilot, bombardier and navigator…and qualified for Pilot School.  “But I kept my bombardier training up my sleeve, just in case.”  He qualified for multi-engine flying, trained as a unit leader.  The heavy bomber B-17 was his first assignment.

Evans was flying one of his many missions over France when a visiting commanding officer bumped him from the cockpit to the rear of the bomber.  There he caught some flack from an exploding shell near the plane and was seriously injured.  At the hospital in England, “it took a bunch of them to hold me down when they treated me with this new, experimental drug called penicillin…it was tremendously painful.  But I’m sure it saved my life…it wasn’t available anywhere else in the world.  That’s where it was developed.”

It would take some time but eventually Evans received his Purple Heart recognition for his wartime injuries, with documentation signed by Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Barely tipping the scales at 118 pounds, the recovering Evans managed to buffalo his was back into the cockpit (although 137 pounds was the minimum required).  “But I was flying again, always stationed about 90 miles north of London.”  When the war ended in Europe, our pilot returned to Texas as war continued in the Pacific.

Once again, Evans found himself in a training and educational position as the Air Force developed new technologies.  They were upgrading to the B-29 (the bomber that would eventually deliver atomic bombs to two Japanese sites).  “At the area that is now Texas A&M, I went to instrument-flying school, then they kept me on as instructor.  Can you imagine?  I was a graduate of a little old school in Harrisonburg, then I was an instructor for the U.S. Air Force.”

Born in 1919, Jack Evans married his childhood sweetheart, Helen, in 1943 and they have one daughter, Ann.  He did allow the GI Bill to pay for his education, after all.  He hung out a shingle as a dentist in Winnsboro for one year, then Dr. Evans moved to Winnfield in 1953 where he put in a “serious” 40-year career before staying home for good.  He said he was “literally worn out,” but never too worn out for his vegetable garden.  During his work years and ever since, he’s been an avid gardener.


Winn Parish Sheriff’s Office Arrest Report

Date: 11-18-22
Name: Marvin Lewis
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: Black
Sex: Male
Age: 36
Charge:Warrant, Hit and run

Date: 11-21-22
Name: Richard O Brouillette
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: White
Sex: Male 
Age: 31
Charge: Theft (over 1,000), Criminal damage to property 

Date: 11-22-22
Name: Richard Alan Jordan 
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: White 
Sex: Male 
Age: 47
Charge: Failure to appear 

Date: 11-24-22
Name: Alan Seth Gray 
Address: Dodson, LA
Race: White
Sex: Male 
Age: 33
Charge: Illegal possession of stolen things, Simple escape 

Date: 11-25-22
Name: Joshua M Silas 
Address: Joyce, LA
Race: White 
Sex: Male 
Age: 31
Charge: Cyber stalking 

Date: 11-27-22
Name: Jeremy D Wise 
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: White
Sex: Male 
Age: 22
Charge: Domestic abuse with child endangerment 

Date: 11-28-22
Name: Elbert H Higgs 
Address: Dodson, LA
Race: White 
Sex: Male 
Age: N/A
Charge: Resisting an officer, Possession of Schedule 1 (Marijuana), Possession Schedule 2 (Meth and Fentanyl)

Date: 11-28-22
Name: Misty Martin 
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: White 
Sex: Female 
Age: 41
Charge: Warrant, Extortion, Theft

Date: 11-28-22
Name: Rodney G McCarty
Address: Joyce, LA
Race: White 
Sex: Male 
Age: 48
Charge: Simple cruelty to animals 

Date: 11-28-22
Name: Carol O’Bryan 
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: White
Sex: Female 
Age: 60
Charge: Identity theft, Online impersonation, Access device fraud, Theft, Forgery (6 counts)

Date: 11-29-22
Name: Leon A Racine III
Address: Dodson, LA
Race: White 
Sex: Male 
Age: 49
Charge: Sexual battery 

Date: 11-29-22
Name: O’Bryan Holden 
Address: Homeless
Race: Black
Sex: Male 
Age: 39
Charge: Simple Battery, Contraband 

Date: 11-30-22
Name: Shenika D Russell 
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: Black 
Sex: Female 
Age: 40
Charge: Failure to appear 

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.