My Opinion – Federal Intrusion Continues into School Boards, Banking

The ever-encroaching tentacles of the federal government are on display again.  In this past week we have seen two of the most recent examples.

The first involves the National School Boards Association which, in a letter to President Biden, argued this week that parents are engaged in “domestic terrorism” when they heatedly oppose, among other things, the endless and burdensome coronavirus mask mandates, the teaching of Critical Race Theory (CRT, which essentially argues that America is historically racist), transgender confusion policies as well as materials containing graphic sexual content (i.e. open porn disguised as literature) being forced upon their children in public schools.

The Association requested the federal government to investigate cases where threats or violence could be “handled as violations of federal laws protecting civil rights.”  It also asked for the Justice Department, FBI, Homeland Security and Secret Service to help monitor threat levels and assess risks to students, educators, board members and school buildings.  In response, Attorney General, Merrick Garland, ominously stated that the Justice Department would use its authority and resources to discourage the “threats” posed by parents of grade school children and “prosecute them when appropriate” when they voice opinions that dare to differ from the received wisdom of a hostile and distant federal governmental bureaucracy.

This is both surprising and disconcerting.  Concerned parents are not, by any stretch, like the threat posed, for example, by Columbian drug lords or the scourge of human trafficking and traffickers or the forest fire of new coronavirus cases spreading rapidly from the southern border and all over the nation because of the Biden Administration’s refusal to comprehensively and methodically test all those entering our country illegally, all the while this same Administration supports a vax and mask mandate for every American.  (What ever happened to, “no one tells me what to do with my own body?” Oh yes, that only applies to abortion).  Nevertheless, at the president’s request, the Attorney General has sicced the FBI Dobermans onto local school boards.  This governmental attempt to chill and suppress fundamental constitutional rights is simply over the top.  

The U.S. Supreme Court has many times recognized the fundamental liberty interest of American parents in—and constitutional right to control and direct—the education of their own children.  Further, rowdy and heated local opposition to local government decisions and policies has been a hallmark of civic engagement and our constitutional form of government.  How is it not perfectly reasonable that parents would become exercised and perhaps even a touch inflamed that such inappropriate and poisonous topics are being taught to their children? Broadly speaking, such local (here, parental) activism is exactly what our Constitution sets up and requires and why many of us believe the purest and most effective form of government is that which is most local and closest to the people.  It’s also why we demand that more political decision-making and policy determinations devolve back down to the states, cities, and local governments where they belong.

The second recent example of federal government overreach by the Biden Administration—in the form of IRS law enforcement—comes in an announcement this week of an invasive new plan that will allow the federal government to audit virtually every financial transaction of the American people who have bank accounts with a balance of $600. 

This is insane and un-American.  This is not only another drastic form of government overreach, but also illegal and unconstitutional.  The 4th Amendment protects every American against unreasonable searches and seizures—invasions of privacy—that are not supported by probable cause or a warrant.  This broad, generalized “mining” of private financial information using the pretext of “catching wealthy tax dodgers” is a major infringement of data privacy and grossly flouts the guarantees of the 4th Amendment.

Illegal and burdensome overreaches and infringements such as these by the federal government must be detected, called out and defeated.  We simply must take to heart President Reagan’s chilling warning: “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.  We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men and women were free.”

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 are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual or anyone or anything.


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Notice of Death October 12, 2021

WINN:
Naylyn Geraldine Dill
February 14, 1949 – October 11, 2021
Service: Wednesday, October 13 at 10 am at Nolley United Methodist Church Cemetery

RED RIVER:
Tracy Glen Scott
July 15, 1965 – October 11, 2021
Service: Wednesday, October 13 at 2 pm at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home Chapel

Stephanie Rose Corley
October 21, 1978 – October 09, 2021
Service: Wednesday, October 13 at 10 am at Bethany Cemetery


Pilot Club of Winnfield Proudly Presents the 2021 Winn Parish Fair Queens

The Pilot Club held the Winn Parish Fair Beauty Contest Sept. 25th, at the Leonard Allen Building in Winnfield. This year there were 28 contestants.

The winners were:

  • Toddler Miss Hayslee Mathis
  • Little Miss Ava Meadows
  • Petite Miss McKenna Box
  • Deb Miss Asytyn Cavazos
  • Teen Miss Madelyn Cotton
  • Baby Miss Audie McCartney
  • Miss Winn Parish Fair Queen Natalie Callender
  • Princess Miss Sienna Box

Pictured above: from left Front row: Toddler Miss Hayslee Mathis, daughter of Skylar and Colin Mathis, Little Miss Ava Meadows, daughter of Haley McClain and Cole Meadows, Petite Miss McKenna Box, daughter of Beth Box, Deb Miss Asytyn Cavazos, daughter of Dusty and Victoria Cavazos. Top row: Teen Miss Madelyn Cotton, daughter of Tommy and Christie Cotton, Baby Miss Audie McCartney, daughter of Cole and Holly McCartney, Miss Winn Parish Fair Queen Natalie Callender, daughter of Houston and Amber Callender, and Princess Miss Sienna Box, grand daughter of James and Sheila Box.


Winnfield Primary School Principal Tiffany Martin Speaks to Rotary Club of Winnfield

“It has been said, ‘if you want to change the world, be a teacher.’ I would make that broader and say ‘if you want to change the world, love a teacher!” So says Tiffany Martin, principal of the Winnfield Primary School, who spoke to members of the Winnfield Rotary Club on October 6, 2021 at the invitation of Melissa Trammel, Rotarian of the week.

Either way, it is certainly true that teachers and those who love them do change the world. They provide knowledge, training, ideas and inspiration to those children in their paths, and not just in their classrooms, but in the school as a whole and the community as well. And principals always begin as classroom teachers themselves before moving into the administrative arena, where they continue to teach and contribute to the education of our future, the children in our communities.

Ms. Martin was reared and educated in our neighboring community of Quitman, Louisiana, and went on to obtain her higher education at Louisiana Tech and ULM. She taught in the classroom in other communities for six years before moving to the Winn Parish school district as a teacher. She married a native of Dodson, Quint Martin, and is the mother of a seventh grade son and a daughter in Pre-K.

Ms. Martin has been part of the Winn Parish school district for the last 11 years, first as a teacher, then assistant principal of Winnfield Middle School, and for the last two years, as principal of Winnfield Primary School. She loves this school district, and was eager to give Rotarians a report on the status of the children attending Winnfield Primary.

Only a few months into her first year as principal of Winnfield Primary, the schools were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and children’s education came to a halt here, as it did practically everywhere. As the next school year of 2019-20 ended, about 25% of the students at Primary—those who did not pass a core subject or were identified by the staff as requiring extra support to succeed—needed additional work to master the knowledge and skills required to advance to the next grade level. Those children attended a very successful 4-days-a-week summer school term, after which a very high percentage—Ms. Martin did not have specific numbers, but estimated 95-98%–were able to progress to the next grade.

As of the beginning of this 2021-22 school year, the school has new playground equipment obtained with a combination of grant money from Jonesboro State Bank and community fundraising. This includes some equipment which is accessible to children with disabilities, so all children at the school can experience the recreational fun of the playground.

One of the school’s goals is to reach 100% certification in the teaching staff. Eleven of the teachers needed to obtain certification at the beginning of school last year, and seven have now obtained certification. Ms. Martin had to replace only one teacher, who passed away this summer for reasons unrelated to COVID, for the 2021-22 school year. No staff was lost as a result of the COVID-19 vaccination mandate.

The entire staff is working hard to reach literacy goals at Primary, and several programs have been developed to accomplish these objectives. Student Push to Accelerate Reading Knowledge (SPARK) has been implemented. Three teachers are planning explicit programs to advance reading knowledge of the children who need extra help reaching the average reading level for their age and grade level, and spend time throughout each day working one-on-one with those children. When one child reaches his goals, another child takes that place in the program. Another of these programs, What I Need (WIN) Time, focuses individual instruction in math and reading on specific children throughout the school day.

The school’s curriculum coordinator directs standard testing, observes models, and works with teachers to improve their skills. The school’s literacy coach works with children individually to improve reading and comprehension.  

Ms. Martin reported that COVID was a significant factor in causing gaps in children’s learning due to the loss of face-to-face teaching for such a long time. Also, the isolation of children from March 2019 to the beginning of this school year affected their development of social as well as academic skills. The school has developed an individual prescription for each child to close the gaps between actual knowledge and skills and the level of knowledge and skill expected for that child’s age and grade level. Although the school had a lower enrollment last school year than the 2019-20 school year, this year’s enrollment is back to previous levels.

All in all, Ms. Martin is enthusiastic about the advances she expects her school to make this year in improving the children’s knowledge and skills to bring them up to their age and grade level and beyond.

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


Special Episode of “LOUISIANA LAW” Features LDWF Enforcement Division Efforts for Hurricane Ida

-Special Episode of LOUISIANA LAW Premiered on Animal Planet and Streams on discovery+ Sunday, Oct. 10-

On Aug. 29, 2021, Hurricane Ida made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane, slamming Louisiana’s coastline with 150 mile per hour winds and catastrophic storm surge. One of the strongest storms in Louisiana’s history, Ida left a trail of devastation across the state and triggered a heroic response from emergency personnel, including the Wildlife Agents of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF). An all-new special episode of Animal Planet’s Louisiana Law offers a stunning up-close look at the Wildlife Agents’ missions during Hurricane Ida, from the hours leading up to landfall through the aftermath and recovery.

LOUISIANA LAW: IN THE EYE OF HURRICANE IDA premieres on Animal Planet Sunday Oct. 10 at 8 p.m. central and streams on discovery+, the definitive non-fiction, real-life subscription streaming service, the same day.

LOUISIANA LAW: IN THE EYE OF HURRICANE IDA features Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Agents conducting search and rescue missions through the floodwaters and wrecked homes. With communications and utilities down, Agents bring their unique skillsets and equipment to the aid of their fellow Louisianans. In the aftermath of the hurricane, agents go door to door on humanitarian missions getting critical supplies to those who need them the most.

“Louisiana experienced one of the most destructive hurricanes in the state’s history and we felt a responsibility to bring these search and rescue stories to our audiences,” said Amy Introcaso-Davis, Executive Vice President, Development and Production, Factual Programming, Discovery.

“What the public sees in this segment of Louisiana Law is the best example of how our agents immediately answer the call to help the great people of our state during times of disaster, while in some instances, those agents are leaving their own homes and families at risk,” said LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet. “It is gratifying to see the resilience of the people our agents interacted with. They are the best examples of Louisianans who get stronger and battle back, both emotionally and physically, after catastrophes.”

Colonel Chad Hebert, head of the LDWF Enforcement Division said, “We are super proud of the job our agents did in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida. From search and rescue to humanitarian and security patrols, our agents stepped up and performed their duties to the best of their abilities. This Hurricane Ida special of Louisiana Law showcases the job our agents did and also the spirit of the Louisiana people for the rest of the nation to see.

LOUISIANA LAW: IN THE EYE OF HURRICANE IDA is produced for Animal Planet by Warm Springs Productions in Association with Watson Pond Productions where Christopher Voos, Marc Pierce, Chris Richardson and Brad Johnson serve as executive producers. For Animal Planet, Lisa Lucas is executive producer with Katie Meloy as production coordinator.


Winnfield Police Department Arrest Report

City of Winnfield Police Department

Name: Christopher F. Myles
Date: 10-7-2021
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: Black
Sex: Male
Age: 50
Charge: Driving Under Suspension, Security Required

Name: Jzemon Wyatt
Date: 10-7-2021
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: Black
Sex: Male
Age: 31
Charge: Criminal Damage to Property X 2

Name: Jackie L. Johnson
Date: 12-8-2021
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: Black
Sex: Male
Age: 56
Charge: Failure to Appear to Trial in 8th JDC

Name: Adrianna M. Taylor
Date: 10-8-2021
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: White
Sex: Female
Age: 43
Charge: Theft

Name: Da’Mariae C. Pleasant
Date: 10-9-2021
Address: Alexandria, LA
Race: Black
Sex: Male
Age: 20
Charge: Driving Under Suspension

Name: Adrianna M. Taylor
Date: 10-9-2021
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: White
Sex: Female
Age: 43
Charge: Driving Under Suspension, Security Required, Expired Moving Vehicle Inspection, Failure to Register, Unauthorized Use of Food Stamps

Name: Ramil Lalisan
Date: 10-9-2021
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: Asian
Sex: Male
Age: 47
Charge: Prohibited Acts

Name: Christopher Gordon
Date: 10-10-2021
Address: Natchitoches, LA
Race: White
Sex: Male
Age:52
Charge: Domestic Abuse Battery


Notice of Death October 10, 2021

WINN:
Jesse Ray Brown
September 02, 1936 – October 06, 2021
Service: Monday, October 11 at 2 pm in the Chapel of Kinner & Stevens Funeral Home

SABINE:
Dedrah Annette Parker
September 10, 1963 – October 8, 2021
Service: Monday, October 11 at 10 am at Rocky Mount Congregational Methodist Church

Denise Gardner
November 25, 1963 – October 7, 2021
Service: Monday, October 11 at 2 pm at Siloam Baptist Church

Nadine Ellen Wooley
June 23, 1936 – October 8, 2021
Service: Tuesday, October 12 at 11 am at Pendleton Assembly of God Church


Winn Parish Beautification Project Kicks Off Tomorrow at 9 AM – Volunteer Opportunity!

As the beginning of Fall can be felt in the air, the changing of the season is a great time to make changes in our community. 

A small group of Winnfield citizens has come together to better our community and parish with volunteer and donation-based beautification projects.

The first project will be to clean up and decorate the Welcome to Winnfield signs around the parish. Volunteers will remove overgrowth and debris, repaint the wooden signs and decorate with Fall decors such as hay, scarecrow, flowers and pumpkins. 

The project will kick off Saturday, October 9, 2021, at 9 AM. Volunteers will meet at the Farmer’s Market, and teams will head out to work on the signs.

If you would like to make a monetary contribution to the project, contact Kelley Skains at 318-332-9488 or message Winn Parish Beautification Project on Facebook. Any amount is appreciated and will go a long way to help our effort.


39 People in Winn Parish Are Now ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) Certified

Congratulations to 39 people who dedicated 2 days of their time to learn a life-long, life-saving skill!

We are so proud of Winn Parish School System for coming together to become pro-active against suicide.

On October 5-6, 2021, 34 members of WPSB (faculty of Atlanta HS, Calvin HS, Dodson HS, VAMC, Winnfield Elementary, Winnfield Middle School, Winnfield Senior High, Winnfield School Board, and 1 student), and 5 other participants: including CASA, LSU AgCenter, parent, State-Trooper, and U.S. Forest Service became ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) certified.

Our sponsors deserve a huge thank you, because without them, this workshop would not have been possible: Huey P. Long CLTCC Winnfield (facility); CLHSD (materials and trainer fees), Sheriff C. L. Jordan of Winn Parish (lunches), First Baptist Church of Winnfield (snacks and refreshments), VA (trainer), and all the sponsors listed on the banner below. #sucidesafercommunities #ASIST #sucideprevention #SaveCenla


How To Recognize Signs of Mental and Emotional Abuse

By: Stacey Rachal

You probably know many of the more obvious signs of mental and emotional abuse.  But when you’re in the midst of it, it can be east to miss the persistent undercurrent of abusive behavior.

Psychological abuse involves a person’s attempts to frighten, control, or isolate you.  It’s in the abuser’s words and actions, as well as their persistence in these behaviors.

The abuser could be your spouse or other romantic partner.  They could be your business partner, parent, or caretaker.  No matter who it is, you don’t deserve it and it’s not your fault.

Humiliating, negating, and criticizing are all tactics meant to undermine your self-esteem.  The abuse is harsh and unrelenting in matters big and small. 

Here are some examples:

  • Name calling. They will blatantly call you “stupid,” “a loser,” or words other derogatory words.
  • Character assassination. This usually involves the word “always”.  You’re always late, wrong, screwing up, disagreeable, and so on.  Basically, they are saying you are not a good person.
  • Yelling, screaming, and swearing are meant to intimidate and make you feel small and inconsequential.  It might be accompanied by fist-pounding or throwing things.
  • “Aw, sweetie, I know you try, but this is just beyond your understanding.”
  • Public embarrassment. They pick fights, expose your secrets, or make fun of your shortcomings in public.
  • You tell them about something that’s important to you and they say it’s nothing.  Body language like eye-rolling, smirking, headshaking, and sighing help convey the message.
  • “Joking.” The jokes might have a grain of truth to them or be a complete fabrication.  Either way, they make you look foolish.
  • Often just a dig in disguise.  When you object, they claim to have been teasing and tell you to stop taking everything so seriously.

Trying to make you feel ashamed of your inadequacies is another path to power. 

Tools of shame and control include:

  • Telling you they’ll take the kids and disappear, or saying “There’s no telling what I might do.”
  • Monitoring your whereabouts. They want to know where you are all the time and insist that you respond to calls or texts immediately.  They might show up just to see if you’re where you’re supposed to be.
  • Digital spying. They might check your internet history, emails, texts, and call log.  They might even demand your passwords.
  • Unilateral decision-making. They might close a joint bank account, cancel your doctor’s appointment, or speak with your boss without asking.
  • Financial control. They might keep bank accounts in their name only and make you ask for money.  You might be expected to account for every penny you spend.

Accusing, blaming, and denial comes from an abuser’s insecurities.  They want to create a hierarchy in which they’re at the top and you’re at the bottom.

Here are some examples:

  • They accuse you of flirting or cheating on them.
  • Turning the tables. They say you cause their rage and control issues by being such a pain.
  • Denying something you know is true. An abuser will deny that an argument or even an agreement took place.  This is called gaslighting.  It’s meant to make you question your own memory or sanity.
  • Using guilt. They might say something like, “You owe me this.  Look at all I’ve done for you,” in an attempt to get their way.
  • Denying their abuse. When you complain about their attacks, abusers will deny it, seemingly bewildered at the very thought of it.

Abusers tend to place their own emotional needs ahead of yours.  Many abusers will try to come between you and people who are supportive of you to make you more dependent on them.

They do this by:

  • Demanding respect. No perceived slight will go unpunished, and you’re expected to defer to them.  But it’s a one-way street.
  • Shutting down communication. They’ll ignore your attempts at conversation in person, by text, or by phone.
  • Dehumanizing you. They’ll look away when you’re talking or stare at something else when they speak to you.
  • Keeping you from socializing. Whenever you have plans to go out, they come up with a distraction or beg you not to go.
  • Trying to come between you and your family. They’ll tell family members that you don’t want to see them or make excuses why you can’t attend family functions.

A codependent relationship is when everything you do is in reaction to your abuser’s behavior. 

You might be codependent if you:

  • are unhappy in the relationship but fear alternatives
  • consistently neglect your own needs for sake of theirs
  • ditch friends and sideling your family to please your partner
  • critique yourself through your partners eyes, ignoring your own instincts
  • defend your abuser when others point out what is happening.
  • feel guilty when you stand up for yourself

If you are being mentally and emotionally abused, trust your instincts.  Know that it isn’t right and you don’t have to live this way.  If you fear physical violence, call 911. 

If you are in immediate danger and you need to talk or find a safe place to go, call 1-888-411-1333/318-251-2255.  This is DART’s 24/7 hotline.  Our local number is 648-0559 and our office is located at 301 W Main St.  here in Winnfield. 

All of our services are free and confidential. 


LOUISIANA WOMEN LEAD LAUNCHES NEW WEBINAR SERIES

October 7, 2021 (Baton Rouge, LA) – In August of this year, Louisiana Women Lead announced the date of our Fall 2021 Training, which we greatly anticipated and looked forward to. However, due to the stunning impact of Hurricane Ida on so many, we have made the decision to postpone our Fall Training to the Spring of 2022 so our friends and colleagues can focus on recovery.

With our focus on what is important, we developed a new webinar series “LEADing the Way” with the intention to connect Louisiana women, no matter where they are, interested in learning about the political process with experts in the political field and sitting lawmakers. We will be offering three one-hour training sessions with our trainers and legislators, who will share their best practices, advice, and experience.

Our training series dates, times, and topics are as follows:

  • Fundraising 101: Trainer Nicole DesOrmeaux and Sen. Heather Cloud – Thursday, October 28 beginning at 6:00PM
  • Public Speaking: Trainer Anna Dearmon and Rep. Paula Davis – Saturday, October 30 beginning at 9:00 AM
  • Launch Your Campaign: Trainer Marie Centanni and Rep. Julie Emerson – Tuesday, November 2 beginning at 6:00 PM

“This is a unique opportunity to gain insight through a welcoming environment with some of the best political insiders in the state,” Renee Amar, Executive Director of Louisiana Women Lead. “We intend for these sessions to demystify some of the political issues that make women fearful to run for office.”

The sessions will be held via Zoom and will last approximately one hour. There is limited availability for these three sessions. We encourage anyone who is interested in learning about the political process to register at https://www.louisianawomenlead.org/events .

Renee Amar, Founder and Executive Director, Louisiana Women Lead

Louisiana Women Lead was formed in 2020 to engage more center-right women in politics. Lead’s goal is to increase the number of women elected or appointed to leadership positions in Louisiana by breaking down barriers, create a statewide network for support, and provide tools to women so they have a leg up when running for or being appointed to office. For more information, visit http://www.louisianawomenlead.org


TappedTober: This Weekend; Tickets on sale!

TappedTober week is here! Join us this Saturday, October 9th for the third edition of Natchitoches’ only Craft Beer & Wine Festival presented by Jimmy Granger Ford Lincoln in Natchitoches! We’ve added a third musical act, Kendall Shaffer, to keep the Riverbank stage rocking all day!

This annual event is known for its family friendly environment, top-notch entertainment, and ever expanding beer and wine tasting selections, without missing a second of everyone’s favorite fall activity on the gigantic riverfront screen. Headlining this year’s musical lineup, brought to you by Rhodes Properties & Development, is Louisiana’s own, Frank Foster!

Purchase your tickets now www.thetappedtober.com