WPSB Regular Meeting Today

The Winn Parish School Board will meet in regular public session today, at 5:30 p.m. in the meeting room of the Winn Parish School Board in Winnfield, Louisiana.

Winn Parish School Board
August 2, 2021

  1. Invocation
  2. Pledge of Allegiance
  3. Roll Call
  4. Executive Committee Report
  5. Order of Business
  6. School Spotlight
  7. Approval of Minutes – July 6, 2021
  8. Ratify Bids for Technology Equipment and Supplies
  9. Academics and Instruction Committee Report
  10. Maintenance and Building Committee Report
  11. Finance and Budget Committee Report
  12. Personnel and Salary Committee Report
  13. Personnel Information
  14. General Fund to Actual Report – July 31, 2021
  15. Superintendent Comments
  16. Board Member Comments

John Belton – Liconln/Union Parish DA Speaks to Rotary Club of Winnfield

Rotarian of the day, Jack McFarland, introduced John Belton, District Attorney for the Third Judicial District encompassing Lincoln and Union Parishes, as the speaker for the Winnfield Rotary Club on Wednesday, July 28, 2021.

Mr. Belton, a member of the Ruston Rotary Club, is a native of Basile in Evangeline Parish. He graduated from Basile High School, played football at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, and received his law degree from Southern University in Baton Rouge.

Belton was an assistant district attorney for Lincoln and Union Parishes for 23 years and the district attorney for the last seven years. Mr. Belton now aspires to become Louisiana’s attorney general in the general election, which will take place in 2023.

Mr. Belton is the son of a barber and a school teacher. As he put it, he was born with “crooked legs” and spent his early years wearing leg braces. The braces were so effective that, along with his determination and persistence, he went on to play football at Basile High School, where he was a Defensive All-State MVP.

Mr. Belton identified the key to his success and personal motto as “faith and hard work.” In addition, he expressed his most important role in life as a “soldier for Christ.”

His aspiration to go to college arose from working in his youth for his dad’s close friend, a farmer of soybeans and rice, for $5 and a meal per day. He realized that farmers must operate on faith and hard work to do what they do. Working on the farm helped convince him that farming was not the vocation for him, and he determined he would go to college.

Once he had entered college, Belton was told by a man who should have been a mentor that he was “not college material.” This experience only made him more determined to rely on faith and hard work to achieve his goals. He succeeded in playing football, obtaining his college degree and being accepted to law school.

Mr. Belton related that his aspirations to go into the field of law arose from his relationship with his uncle, Joseph Belton. The latter was a police officer in Basile. When he was young, he wanted to be a “police officer like Uncle Joe.” As he grew up and went to college, his aspirations moved more toward working with police officers. Finally, he became intent on becoming an attorney and prosecutor.

He met his wife, Alana, in Baton Rouge, and they married in 1991. That same year, Robert Levy, the Third Judicial District Attorney, hired him as an assistant DA. He and Alana moved to Ruston, where they have resided ever since. Their daughter Alexis is a professional golfer. Their son Jon Randall, who played college football at Louisiana Tech, was recently named the director of scouting for LSU football.

Mr. Belton is not a member of either the Republican or Democrat party, preferring to remain unaffiliated. His most crucial membership, he says, is “his membership in the body of Christ.” He identifies his values as “pro-life, pro-family, pro-law and order, and pro-Second Amendment.” As a hunter and gun collector, he is a staunch defender of the Second Amendment.

In his service as a juvenile prosecutor at times, his approach is to help youth get back on the right track in all cases except those of sexual assault and murder. He notes that 80% of the prison inmates in Louisiana are uneducated. Youth who graduate from high school are much less likely to get in trouble than those who drop out.

Belton began a Boys’ and Girls’ Club in Ruston to provide support and activities for latchkey kids. The organization targets children who otherwise have no supervision after school to help them get through school and stay out of trouble. It has now expanded into Jonesboro and Monroe.

After he was elected DA in 2014, he began a Christian-based mentoring program in his district. Recognizing that we are all products of a mentoring team in our lives, the program intends to decrease school truancy and increase high school graduation rates.

Belton’s goal is to take the mentoring program state-wide if elected as Louisiana’s attorney general. He believes this will improve the economy by improving the education of our youth and attracting more business and industry, and reducing crime in the state, which also improves the economy. He said he has the support of all the district attorneys in Louisiana. The current attorney general has indicated his intention of running for governor in 2023, so Belton will not be running against Jeff Landry.

In response to questions concerning the current crime rate, Belton said there had not been an increase in the overall crime rate over the last few years; however, there has been a spike in gang-related retribution-type murders across the country. There has also been an increase in murder and sexual assault in recent years, which he attributes to what the public, particularly youth, see and hear on television and electronic media.

Belton opposes the legalization of marijuana, which he believes is a gateway drug. Colorado has seen an increase in the murder rate and the rate of driving while intoxicated prosecutions since its legalization in that state. Also, prosecutors have neither the training nor the ability to gather the evidence to prosecute DWI’s based on marijuana use. The sellers of marijuana have a problem keeping their money safe because it is illegal to put the money in a bank.

Mr. Belton also mentioned that, in addition to being a member and past president of the Louisiana District Attorneys Association, a member and current Vice President of the National District Attorneys Association, he is also a member of the Louisiana Foresters Association because he has timber property and wants to stay abreast of issues and developments in the industry.

The meeting was adjourned, as usual, with the Rotary motto, “Service above self!”

The Rotary Club of Winnfield meets every Wednesday at Noon for lunch at Lynda’s Country Kitchen. For more information about the Rotary Club of Winnfield, you may contact President, Jodi Taylor (832) 573-5085. You can also find club information on Facebook at Rotary Club of Winnfield Facebook Page or online at Rotary.org.

Calvin High School Open House Information

Calvin High School will host their open house for grades pre-k – 6th grade on Thursday, August 5th, from 6 PM – 7 PM in the auditorium. The program may also be viewed on the CHS PTO Facebook Page.

Grades 7th – 12th open house will be held Tuesday, August 10th, from 6 PM – 7 PM in the auditorium. The program may also be viewed on the CHS PTO Facebook Page.

Notice of Death August 1, 2021

Brenda Lee Wiggins
October 16, 1960 – July 29, 2021
Service: Wednesday, August 4 at 10 am at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home Chapel

Lonie Imogene Andrews
March 29, 1931 – July 28, 2021
Service: Tuesday, August 3 at 11 am at Belah Cemetery in Trout

Mary Ann Mosley
December 19, 1935 – July 27, 2021
Service: Monday, August 2 at 1 pm at Temple Baptist Church

Douglas Couttee
July 27, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Deborah Joy McBride
November 01, 1952 – July 29, 2021
Service: Thursday, August 12 at 10 am at the Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

Patricia Metoyer
January 18, 1953 – July 27, 2021
Service: Saturday, August 7 at 11:30 am at the Pentecost Baptist Church, located on Hwy. 1 in Natchez

Ronald G. Pye
November 21, 1957 – July 31, 2021
Service: Saturday, August 7 at 2 pm in the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel in Natchitoches

Robert “Bob” Stiefvater
December 08, 1940 – July 29, 2021
The family will receive friends Monday, August 2 from 5-7 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home. Military honors will be performed at 7 pm on August 2 in the chapel of Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home.

Melvin Berryman
July 28, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Bruce Clark
July 26, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Cynthia D. French
May 15, 1958 – July 05, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Robert “Bobby” Willis Lum
March 15, 1931 – July 30, 2021
Service: Monday, August 2 at 2 pm at Ashland Baptist Church

Winn Parish Sheriff’s Office Arrest Report

Name: James Lamar Kelly
Date: 7-20-21
Race: White
Gender: Male
Age: 70
Charge: Terrorizing, Criminal Trespass

Name: Dale Erwin Keeney
Date: 7-23-21
Race: White
Gender: Male
Age: 32
Charge: Identity Theft, Forgery

Name: Cheyenne Halford
Date: 7-24-21
Race: White
Gender: Female
Age: 29
Charge: Failure to Appear

Name: Joshua K Meche
Date: 7-25-21
Race: White
Gender: Male
Age: 40
Charge: Reckless Operation W/Acciend, Hit and Run

Name: Chinna Laue Thompson
Date: 7-27-21
Race: White
Gender: Female
Age: 28
Charge: Driving While Intoxicate 1st Offense w/o Test

Name: Daniel McHenry
Date: 7-27-21
Race: Black
Gender: Male
Age: 22
Charge: Theft of a Motor Vehicle X 2, Theft X 2

Name: Maci Hannah Ross
Date: 7-28-21
Race: White
Gender: Female
Age: 30
Charge: Possession of Schedule II Drugs

4th Annual Back to School Bash Today 9-1

The Winn Parish Healthy Initiative Coalition is happy to present the 4th Annual Back to School Bash today, at the First United Methodist Church of Winnfield from 9a.m. to 1p.m.

The Back to School Bash is held each year to assist children of Winn Parish with their back to school needs. Each child is given a book that resembles a passport. They visit each station and participate in an activity that the vendor has. Then their “passport” is stamped then they continue to the next station. When the book is filled up, the child receives a lunch, and a bag of school supplies they can use at home.

Many of the vendors are resources for parents who may need help not only getting their child ready for school but also for things throughout the year. Community service organizations also participate and provide information on the services they can offer to the community. Door prizes are given away throughout the event.

This event is free to children as well as vendors. If you would like more information on your child participating or about becoming a vendor, you can contact either Kimberly Bruce at 318-413-0040 or Kimberly Nation at 318-729-6756.

Winn Community Healthcare Center – School Based Healthcare Provider Spotlight – Julie Evans

Julie was raised by Christian parents and their faith, morals and Christian values were implemented at an early age. Julie proudly carries this set of standards with her as she provides counseling services, and emphatic care for her patients. Julie was born in Winn parish, and raised in the small town of Goldonna LA, where she still lives today. Julie retired from Winn Parish School Board to pursue a college degree. She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Addictions with a minor in Psychology from Northwestern State University in May 2012. Julie continued her studies to receive a Master’s in Counseling from Northwestern with a concentration in school counseling in December of 2014.

Two years later she received her state license as a Licensed Professional Counselor, (LPC). Julie began her second career in Red River parish, working as ninth and tenth grade counselor where she provided academic, personal, social, and family counseling to her students and their families, as well as many other duties with her position at Red River high school. With a desire to offer counseling services full time, and be closer to her grandchildren, Julie gained employment with Winn Community Health Center as a full time clinical Behavioral Health counselor. Julie is an active member of the Louisiana Counseling Association, and the American Psychological Association.

Hours of Operation
Monday – Friday: 8:00am – 3:00pm During the school year

For appointments, call 318-302-3263

Patients can be seen at the Winn Community Health Center when school is not in session.
There is no charge to the student for services. Medicaid and other third party insurers are billed, if available. The cost of services not provided on site at the school-based health center, such as some lab tests, x-rays, specialty consultations, and prescriptions, are the responsibility of the parent or guardian.

Services Provided
• Sick and urgent care

• Routine physical exams, including sports physicals

• Early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of illness and injury

• Vision, dental and blood pressure screenings

• Immunizations

• Basic dental screenings and cleaning

• Mental health services

• Routine lab tests

• Prescription medications

• Health education, counseling and wellness promotion

• Fitness and nutrition education and counseling

• Referrals for healthcare services not provided at the clinic

• Transportation provided as needed

Remember This? The Last Request

By Brad Dison

On Wednesday, June 19, 1957, workers drilled, moved and crushed the earth at the Rattlesnake Uranium Pit Mine, 37 miles north of Monticello, Utah. 46-year-old James W. Rodgers normally worked outside the open pit mine and had only been moved inside the mine that very day to help in drilling operations. 33-year-old Charles “Chuck” Merrifield operated a power shovel, a bucket-equipped machine used for excavating earth or fragmented rock. June 19 was the first day that James and Chuck worked together.

At about 3:30 p.m., Dee Gardner, a truck driver at the mine, saw James walk from the pit to the red pickup truck assigned to James for working in the mine. The truck was owned by the mining company and painted a high-visibility red for safety. James told Dee and other workers nearby, “I guess I’m going to have to kill him (Chuck) before I leave this job.” James retrieved a .38 caliber revolver from the truck and headed back into the pit. James walked back past Dee and toward Chuck’s power shovel. Another mine worker told Dee, “I guess Rodgers is going to scare Chuck with a gun.”

At the power shovel, James motioned for Chuck to get off of the machine. Chuck stood up, put one foot down out of the cab, and James began firing his pistol. The first shot was not aimed at Chuck and hit the ground. A split second later, James aimed the pistol at Chuck and fired until the revolver was empty, with each shot taking effect. Chuck fell to the ground. Dee was afraid to move because he “felt Rodgers didn’t like [him] either.” James turned to Dee and other witnesses and said, “Well, I guess that takes care of that.” James put the pistol back in his belt and walked toward the pickup truck. He passed another mine worker as he neared his truck. James calmly told him, “Well, he asked for it and he got it.” James got into the pickup truck and drove away. Chuck died within a few short minutes.

Law enforcement officers in Utah set up roadblocks on the main roads in the area but James had taken a back road into Colorado. Utah law enforcement officers notified Colorado police near the Utah line of the shooting and told them to be on the lookout for the bright red mine truck. A policeman near Cortez, Colorado, about 100 miles east of the mine, recognized the vehicle immediately and initiated a traffic stop. The officer told James that a lot of policemen were looking for him, to which he replied, “Yes, I guess you are.” The officer arrested James without incident. He was armed with a .22 caliber rifle and the .38 caliber pistol he used in the shooting. James reassured officers that he “wasn’t going to shoot anybody else.” While in custody, James eagerly confessed to killing Chuck.

When questioned about the shooting, James told reporters, “I can’t tell you why I did it. He’d been getting on my nerves for some time, and I knew it was going to lead to serious trouble… But I just can’t explain why I did it. He came at me one time with a wrench in his hand and I thought he was going to hit me. He didn’t, but I felt he didn’t like me, and he kept on needling me. Not anything in particular, but all the time. I just couldn’t take any more of it. But I can’t tell you why I shot him.”

In court, James pled not guilty by reason of insanity. His attorneys argued that James was suffering from Syphilis which impaired his mental processes. The disease, his attorneys argued, had deteriorated his brain, which affected his thinking and reasoning capabilities. After two trials and a host of appeals, James was ultimately found guilty and sentenced to death by firing squad.

In the early morning hours on March 30, 1960, Sheriff Seth Wright and prison warden John Turner sat with James and waited for daylight, the time of his execution. The sheriff held a black hood that would be put over James’s head during the execution. James looked at the hood and asked the sheriff, “What you got there?” Sheriff Wright replied, “something to keep you warm.” “Don’t worry,” James answered, “I’ll be where it’s warm pretty quick.” When it was time to go to the prison field, Sheriff Wright asked if he was ready. James quipped, “Yes, give me an hour’s head start.” Just before the five riflemen “blasted him into eternity,” Sheriff Wright asked James if he had a last request. “Sure,” James replied, “how about a bullet-proof suit?” His request was denied.


1. The San Juan Record (Monticello, Utah), June 20, 1957, p.1.

2. The San Juan Record, December 12, 1957, p.1.

3. Deseret News (Salt Lake City, Utah), December 9, 1958, p.21.

4. The Ogden Standard-Examiner (Ogden, Utah), March 30, 196

Angler’s Perspective – Women And Bass Fishing Part I

Today’s article may get me trouble but here it goes. Why are women not more prevalent in the bass fishing tours and why hasn’t their own pro tour taken off. Can women really compete on the pro tour with the men? Boy, these are some interesting questions that I’ll try an answer for you today and hopefully I won’t get myself in a pickle with all my lady friends.

Let’s make one thing clear, without women there probably would not be professional bass fishing tours! Now why is that? Because without the ladies back home holding down the fort, the men would not be able to go fishing! To be a professional bass fisherman, someone has to take care of kids and all their needs from doing homework to dance lessons to baseball practice to piano lessons and so on. Getting the kids up every day and ready for school and making sure they are fed, bathed and ready for bed at a descent hour. Taking care of all the bills rolling in and handling everything by themselves from a leaky faucet to changing a flat tire. This routine takes place every single day by the women who take on the role of being the home CEO. Yes, it’s a tough job and if you talk to any professional angler, they will tell without the women back at home doing all these things and raising the kids, they would not be able to be successful and fish the pro tour. It takes a special lady to be the wife of a professional bass fisherman.

Why aren’t more women fishing the pro tours with the men? As I have just revealed, 98% of the wives/women take care of everything going on in the household. This means that the ladies have less opportunity to get away and go fishing. To fish the professional level, requires a lot of time away from home with speaking engagements, travel, practice days and the 3- or 4-day tournament itself. When it’s all said and done, an angler will be gone from home 10 to 14 days straight at a time; sometimes even up to a month if the schedule calls for back-to-back events. Honestly, most men are not programed to handle the daily household chores and commitments with the kids required to keep a house running smoothly. Yes, this is sad but true! Us men know our limitations!

Now let’s look at women competing against the men. This is where I might get into some hot live well water. First, yes women can catch fish just like the men do but there seems to be a disconnect with catching bigger fish which I feel comes into play because of technique. Most men tend to power fish more than the ladies do. By that I mean men like flip and punch heavy cover like hydrilla, lily pads, deep brush tops and flip bushes with jigs and soft plastic lures; they like to throw big crankbaits all day which can take a physical toll on even the most fit angler. Most of the women I have fished with, tend to be more finesse type fishermen with lighter/smaller lures. A lot of women I’ve noticed really like to use a Carolina rig which is also more of a finesse technique.

Nothing wrong with anything the women are using; it’s just that finesse style fishing tends to produce smaller bags weighed in on tournament day. Trust me, I know there are times when finesse techniques work better for the men as well. But this is not the norm with guys most of the time. Now I know I’ll hear from some lady bass anglers how wrong I am but all I have to go by is what I have observed in my 31 years of tournament experience fishing with the ladies or guiding some of the pro tour ladies for an upcoming event. It’s just like any other sport; women are going to do things a little differently most of the time than men do basically because of our physical makeup. Another thing that gives the men an advantage is the fact that men will more than likely make more casts in a day than the ladies therefore giving them more opportunities to catch more fish again due to the power fishing techniques men tend to use.

Understand, that these are general rules of thumb and there are exceptions to these so-called rules I’ve established. Next week we’ll take a serious look at some of the best women bass anglers of all time. I just want to make sure you understand that I’m not trying to slight the ladies at all, but I want people to understand the reasons why there aren’t more ladies fishing either the women’s pro tour like the LBAA (Lady Bass Anglers Association) or fishing on the men’s tours. Again, without the ladies, it would be very difficult for the men to go fishing and make a living on the pro tour. Till next week, good luck, good fishing and don’t forget to set the hook!

Steve Graf


Hook’N Up & Track’N Down Show
And Tackle Talk Live

Recent Events in Cuba Reflect the American Fight for Liberty

By: Royal Alexander/Opinion

The U.S. must take bold and concrete steps to assist these freedom seekers in Cuba, not just because that nation is 90 miles off the Florida coast but because our strong and visible support of the courage and bravery of these Cubans is a direct reflection on our own commitment to the same precious freedoms and sacred rights.

History never ceases to repeat itself. Totalitarian regimes, founded on Marxism and Leninism and employing communist government-centric models, led by dictators who are absolutely committed to an iron grip on their nations, eventually fall into chaos and strife and then fail. That is what we are witnessing yet again in Cuba.

We have seen images recently of brave Cuban citizens massing in streets all across that island country for the first time in more than 60 years. They risk their lives to speak in protest of the rapidly deteriorating economic and humanitarian conditions including a lack of basic goods and services—food, medicine, and other staples as well as electricity outages.

These people—men, women, teenagers, children—are standing up for their basic human rights and dignity to a degree unprecedented in Cuba. In the past, under the longtime communist rule of Fidel Castro protests were virtually non-existent and they were brutally put down when they did arise. Now, however, aided by social media, these freedom fighters appear willing to stand up to the government, speak truth to power, and chant in unison, No More! No Mas!

How has the Cuban government responded? The same way dictators always respond, by brutally cracking down on the demonstrations all the while employing the same lies, doublespeak and euphemisms tyrants always use.

Cuban President Diaz-Canel dishonestly described the demonstrations as being led by a small group of “counter revolutionaries, sold out to the U.S. government” and he encouraged supporters of the government to defeat these freedom seekers. Not long after, government officials terminated virtually all communication with the rest of the world and then unleashed “security forces” across the country.

Is this not a tired, yet unsettling, refrain? This is how tyrants and dictatorships always respond.

First, employing censorship, propaganda and control these thuggish tyrants first step is to deploy all media to lie to their citizens and the world about the very existence of the demonstrations; Second, tyrants deny and suppress the deplorable human rights abuses and economic desperation that triggered the freedom fighters to risk their lives to speak out demanding change. This false narrative has included painting the uprising as an attack on the virtue and sanctity of “Mother Russia” or the challenge to a nation’s brutal tyrant as an attack on that nation’s “enlightened” way of life and the so-called “God king” leader who himself is a cult of personality.

Third, tyrants cut off outside communication of every kind. Fourth, they attack their own people to crush the resistance while labeling the uprising as involving a small group of “counter revolutionaries.” After that, “show trials” are conducted and the “guilty” are convicted, then often “disappeared” from the face of the earth. Lastly, we often see a fake, choreographed “show of support” for the regime.

Whether we are speaking of the former Soviet Union (or the current predatory territorial view of other nations Russian president Vladimir Putin might seek to conquer—like the Crimean Peninsula in Ukraine); or the iron grip of the Chinese Communist Party, the brutal theocracy of Iran or the vicious tactics of North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, the motives and methods of tyrants never change.

America must respond clearly and boldly and not risk further damage to our moral authority in a way reminiscent of other American derelictions like our government’s handling of the Arab Spring or our weak and emasculated response to Putin’s annexation of Crimea, or to the gassing by Syria of its own people notwithstanding the U.S.’s so-called “red line.”

The courage we are witnessing by the long subjugated Cuban people “yearning to breathe free” is a truly historic moment that cannot be ignored. Again, our commitment to this Cuban fight for freedom is a direct reflection of our commitment to our own way of life.

U.S. apologists of the Cuban government allege that these protests were caused by the Coronavirus. If so, this raises key questions about the ability of the much-heralded Cuban health care system (socialized medicine) to care for its own people without completely melting down.

Cuba’s freedom fighters confirm, yet again, that socialism—including the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (the Nazi Party; yes, Nazism was Socialism and in addition to his intrinsic evil, Hitler was a Socialist and that movement must claim him too)—maintains its perfect record of failure throughout the world, and that given a chance and time, freedom will always find a way.

It has been a source of great pride to watch freedom fighters in the streets of Havana proudly flying high the beautiful American Flag as a symbol of their willingness to fight and die for the justice and liberty and freedom that it represents to them and to the entire world.

For the same reason, it has been a source of great sorrow to recall the protests of U.S. domestic terrorists in Portland and Seattle and in numerous other U.S. cities burning, trampling and urinating on the same American Flag that, from the time of our Nation’s founding, more than 1.1 million Americans have paid the ultimate price to preserve and protect by freely giving the “last full measure of devotion” on brutal, unforgiving battlefields, and in the skies and on seas and oceans the world over—and then to reflect upon statements from Pres. Biden, AOC and many other defenders and apologists of this anti-American anarchy.

In 1982, President Ronald Reagan spoke to members of the British Parliament. In the speech, he predicted the collapse of Communism and its evil twin, Socialism, saying these anti-freedom “isms” would be left on the ‘ash heap of history.’ Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, his prediction has been born out in much of the world.

Now, the U.S. government must do all within its power to ensure that this Cuban vestige of Marxism/Communism/Socialism is also buried for good. The long arc of history is said to bend toward justice and freedom and, if so, that means aiding this historic and pivotal Cuban fight for freedom now.

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.