Notice of Death June 1, 2021

WINN:
None to report

NATCHITOCHES:
Beverly Ann Brown
May 26, 1966 – May 30, 2021
Service: Saturday, June 5 at 12 pm at the Rock Island Baptist Church on Dixie Street

Glenda Jackson
September 13, 1955 – May 28, 2021
Service: Wednesday, June 2 at 2 pm at Memory Lawn Cemetery in Natchitoches

Thomas Alton Manry
January 29, 1937 – May 21, 2021
Service: Saturday, June 5 at 2 pm at Oasis of love Fellowship, located at 7681 Hwy 1 By-Pass in Natchitoches

Rosa Jones
May 28, 2021
Service: Saturday, June 5 at 2 pm at the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel

Henry Keith
May 22, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Carl Smith
June 21, 1955 – May 21, 2021
Arrangements TBA

L. J. Smith
May 23, 2021
Service: Wednesday, June 2 at 11 am at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church in Winnfield

Margaret Carter Cooper
November 2, 1961 – May 10, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Obbie Gillie, Jr.
March 23, 1943 – May 30, 2021
Service: Saturday, June 5 at 11 am at the St. Paul Baptist Church in Bermuda

SABINE:
Doyle Steven Simpson
October 26, 1950 – May 29, 2021
Service: Thursday, June 3 at 10 am at Warren Meadows Funeral Home Chapel

Grady Delane Wren
October 10, 1943 – May 23, 2021
Service: Saturday, June 5 at 1 pm at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home Chapel

Kenneth Ray Tilley
April 14, 1974 – May 28, 2021
Service: Thursday, June 3 at 2 pm at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home Chapel


School Board Member Upset After Students Not Allowed to Wear Stoles Recognizing Military Service at Graduation

Last week’s Winn Parish School Board Committee meeting started off business as usual. There’s a deficit in the budget, the hiring process for a new superintendent continues and the agenda for the regular school board meeting was set. 

Then, during final comments from board members District 11 Board Member Leah Clingan expressed that she was “very upset” regarding being recently informed that four Winnfield Senior High School students were not allowed to wear stoles that symbolized that they have committed to serving in the Army National Guard following high school graduation. “These kids deserve to be recognized just as much as any kid getting a $100,000 scholarship,” stated Clingan. 

The person or persons involved in the decision were not mentioned in the meeting per guidelines. However, the WPJ learned later from Seargent Jeffrey Finley, Louisiana Army National Guard Recruiter that Dr. Jane Griffin, WSHS Principal allegedly did not allow the students to wear the stoles during the graduation ceremony.

Sgt. Finley explained that, he arrived at the auditorium at least one hour prior to the ceremony approached Griffin with the stoles for the students when she informed him that the students would not be allowed to wear the stoles stating “we only honor academic achievement and plus they will look like Christmas Trees.” “It was very upsetting,” stated Finley. “It’s important that their commitment to serve our country be recognized, so important that I didn’t attend my own daughter’s graduation from pre-K to be there with them.”

Griffin vehemently denies that Finley’s version of events is accurate. According to Griffin, Sgt. Finley arrived at the graduation ceremony just moments before it started and aggressively insisted the students be allowed to wear the military stoles. “The first thing I saw was camouflage, which is strictly prohibited in the WPSB dress code. This was thrown at me at the very last minute. If I would have known a couple of weeks ago about the stoles I could have possibly received approval from the administration for the students to wear them. But being thrown at me at the last minute I decided to adhere to dress code policies and not allow them.” stated Griffin.

The four students committed to serving in the Louisiana National Guard are Kassidy Roberson, Kerenesky Green, Gavin Arnaud and Mikerra Evans.

“No one ever told us that we weren’t going to be able to wear our stoles. If we weren’t allowed to wear them because of policy I’d like to see that policy changed. I mean we are the class of change.” Green offered when the WPJ reached out to him.

Arnaud added, “It was disrespectful, what I did by joining the Louisiana National Guard is important, much more important than any high school achievement. I feel like all of us and our recruiter deserves an apology from her.”

“This had nothing to do with not supporting the military, we are a military family. This was a call I was forced to make at the last minute and I decided to stick to our school policies,” explained Griffin.

Roberson alleges “Dr. Griffin told me at graduation practice earlier in the day that we would not be allowed to wear the military stoles.”

All board members present at the meeting agreed that the matter needs to be addressed and that the students deserve to be recognized for their commitments to serve. 

Sgt. Jeffrey Finley and Kassidy Roberson are pictured above with Kassidy wearing the military stole in question.

You can watch Clingan’s comments here:


Winnfield Police Department Arrest Report

City of Winnfield Police Department

Name: Anthony Pikes
Date: 5-27-2021
Address: Natchitoches, LA
Race: Black 
Gender: Male
Age: 50
Charge: Failure to Appear X 3

Name: Christopher Jones
Date: 5-27-2021
Address: Dodson, LA
Race: White
Gender: Male
Age: 31
Charge: Failure to Appear

Name: Bobby L. West, Jr.
Date: 5-27-2021
Address: Alexandria, LA
Race: Black
Gender: Male
Age: 53
Charge: Theft, Entry or Remaining in Places or on Land After Being Forbidden

Name: Donnie W. Folden
Date: 5-27-2021
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: White
Gender: Male
Age: 44
Charge: Failure to Appear

Name: Jule J. Brew
Date: 5-30-2021
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: Black
Gender: Male
Age: 58
Charge: Failure to Appear

Name: Lucas S. Carter
Date: 5-31-2021
Address: Goldonna, LA
Race: White
Gender: Male
Age: 33
Charge: Failure to Appear


Alexandria Jury Convicts Armed Robbery Defendant From Winnfield

Larcentursa Mayweather a.k.a. “Cent” a.k.a “Lacenturia,”49, of Winnfield, Louisiana, has been convicted on armed bank robbery charges, Acting United States Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook announced. United States District Judge Dee D. Drell presided over the four-day trial held in Alexandria.

Mayweather was charged on July 8, 2020, in a federal indictment with conspiracy to commit armed bank robbery, two counts of armed bank robbery, and one count of making a false bomb threat. Evidence introduced at trial showed that Mayweather conspired with two other co-defendants, Paul Nash, Jr. and Tabitha Lee Gray a.k.a. “Tabitha White” to rob two banks in the Western District of Louisiana in April 2019.

Mayweather helped plan the bank robberies and instructed Nash and Gray on how to carry out the robberies and what to do and he acted as the getaway driver. On April 2, 2019, Mayweather drove Nash and Gray to Campti, Louisiana and dropped them off at the City Bank and waited for them while they were inside committing the armed robbery. Nash and Gray left the bank with the stolen money and fled to the car where Mayweather was waiting, and they drove away. Prior to the bank robbery and in an effort to divert the attention of law enforcement officers while the robbery was being committed, Mayweather provided Nash with a cell phone and instructed him to make a false report to law enforcement conveying that there was a bomb threat on the Lakeview High School property in Campti.

The second armed robbery occurred on April 16, 2019, at the Bank of Montgomery in Castor, Louisiana. Again, Mayweather helped plan the robbery and instructed Nash and Gray on how to carry out the robbery. Instead of calling in a false report of a bomb threat, this time they committed arson and set a house on fire to try and divert the attention of local law enforcement while the robbery was being committed. Nash and Gray entered the bank with firearms drawn and ordered the tellers to stay out of the way so they could take the money. After the money was stolen, Nash and Gray ran out of the bank intending to find Mayweather, who had promised he would be waiting to pick them up. Instead, once they exited the bank, Mayweather saw law enforcement officers in the area and instead of picking them up, he accelerated and left Nash and Gray to fend for themselves. Nash and Gray ran into a nearby wooded area and were later apprehended. Mayweather was seen leaving the area of the Bank of Montgomery and was stopped and arrested by law enforcement officers. Gray’s purse and a receipt belonging to Nash were found in his vehicle. 

Testimony at trial revealed that a glove belonging to Mayweather was found in the parking lot and his DNA was on the glove. Further, Nash and Gray each wore gloves during the robberies which were provided by Mayweather from his place of employment at the time.

Nash and Gray each previously pleaded guilty in this case and agreed to testify about their involvement in the robberies. Nash is scheduled to be sentenced on June 18, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. Gray is scheduled to be sentenced on August 19, 2021, at 2:00 p.m.

Mayweather faces up to 5 years in prison on the conspiracy count, up to 25 years on the armed bank robbery counts, up to 10 years on the false bomb threat count, and up to a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is set for August 27, 2021, at 11:00 a.m.

The FBI, Louisiana State Police, Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office, Bienville Parish Sheriff’s Office, Jackson Parish Sheriff’s Office, and Louisiana State Fire Marshal conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tennille Gilreath and Robert F. Moody prosecuted the case.


FEMA Financial Assistance for COVID-19 Related Funeral Expenses Available

Southern Funeral Home wants you to know that under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, FEMA is providing financial assistance for COVID-19 related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020.

Applications begin on April 12, 2021. Call  844-684-6333 or TTY: 800-462-7585 to get a COVID-19 Funeral Assistance application completed with help from FEMA’s representatives. Multilingual services will be available.

Get answers to frequently asked questions about the application process on our Funeral Assistance FAQ page.

If you use a relay service, such as your videophone, Innocaption or CapTel, please provide your specific number assigned to that service. It is important that FEMA is able to contact you, and you should be aware phone calls from FEMA may come from an unidentified number.

Who is Eligible?

To be eligible for funeral assistance, you must meet these conditions:

  • The death must have occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia.
  • The death certificate must indicate the death was attributed to COVID-19.
  • The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or a qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after January 20, 2020.
  • There is no requirement for the deceased person to have been a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien.

If you had COVID-19 funeral expenses, we encourage you to keep and gather documentation. Types of information should include:

  • An official death certificate that attributes the death directly or indirectly to COVID-19 and shows that the death occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia.
  • Funeral expenses documents (receipts, funeral home contract, etc.) that include the applicant’s name, the deceased person’s name, the amount of funeral expenses, and the dates the funeral expenses happened.
  • Proof of funds received from other sources specifically for use toward funeral costs. We are not able to duplicate benefits received from burial or funeral insurance, financial assistance received from voluntary agencies, government agencies, or other sources.

How Funds are Received

If you are eligible for funeral assistance you will receive a check by mail, or funds by direct deposit, depending on which option you choose when you apply for assistance.


Winn Parish School Board 2021-2022 School Year Virtual Learning Registration Information

Virtual Learning for the 2021-2022 school year will be available for students in grades 3rd – 12th. Virtual Learning will not be available for PreK-2nd grade students. All PreK- 2nd grade instruction will be face to face.

Registration will be held June 7-24, 2021. Parents/guardians will complete a survey to select the Virtual Learning option. The survey link will be sent through a Jcall on June 7, 2021. Virtual Learning registration will NOT be accepted after June 24, 2021.

The Virtual Learning option will be facilitated by the third party vendor Edgenuity. Winn Parish teachers will NOT conduct Virtual Learning.

Students who register for the Virtual Learning option will be committed to Virtual Learning for a full semester. There will be no option for transfer.

Only those parents selecting Virtual Learning for their students need to complete the survey.

Face to face instruction will be held Monday-Friday, 5 days a week, at all Winn Parish schools.

Please contact the Winn Parish school where your student is zoned to attend for further information.


Agents Arrest Dodson Man for Illegal Drug and Firearm Possession

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents arrested a convicted felon in Winn Parish for alleged drug, firearm and turkey hunting violations on April 23.

Agents arrested Justin Carpenter, 37, of Dodson, for possession of a firearm by convicted felon, possession of methamphetamines, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a firearm in the presence of illegal drugs, and failing to comply with turkey tagging requirements.

Agents were on patrol near Dodson on April 23 when they made contact with Carpenter while he was walking out of the woods wearing camouflage with a turkey call in his mouth.  Agents also found a shotgun, hunting vest and similar turkey calls next to a bush about 20 yards away.  Agents then found suspected methamphetamines and a glass pipe inside of the vest.

Carpenter also admitted to agents about harvesting two turkeys earlier in the season.  Agents confirmed that Carpenter did not tag or validate either turkey harvest.

Agents arrested Carpenter and booked him into the Winn Parish Jail.

Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon carries a $1,000 to $5,000 fine and up to 10 years in jail.  Possession of methamphetamines brings up to a $5,000 fine and two years in jail.  Possession of a firearm in the presence of illegal drugs brings up to a $10,000 fine and five years in jail.  Possession of drug paraphernalia carries up to a $300 fine and 15 days in jail.  Failing to comply with turkey tagging requirements brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.

Agents participating in the case are Corporal Joshua Dibenedetto and Agent Dustin Nash.


Lane Closure on Grand Ecore Bridge June 3 for Inspection

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, (DOTD), advises the public that on Thursday, June 3, 2021, from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, weather permitting, Bridge# 034-06-0402-1 on LA 6 over Red River will be reduced to one lane for routine bridge inspections. The bridge is on LA 6 and is located 2.3 miles north of the LA 6/LA 3175 intersection near Natchitoches.

Permit/Detour section
No detour will be needed as one lane will be open at all times

Safety Reminder
DOTD appreciates your patience and reminds you to please drive with caution around the construction sites and be on the lookout for work crews and their equipment.

Additional Information
Motorists can access the latest updates on real-time traffic and road conditions using the 511 Traveler Information System by dialing 511 from their telephone and saying the route or region on which they are seeking information. Out-of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511). 



Substitute School Bus Driver Positions Available at Winn Parish School Board

The Winn Parish School Board has IMMEDIATE  opportunities for substitute school bus drivers.

Requirements: Class A or B CDL with Passenger, School Bus, and Air Brakes endorsements (obtained through OMV)

Winn Parish will host a 30-hour pre-service training for school bus drivers at the Winn Parish School Board Office June 21-23. This course is one of the requirements for becoming a licensed/certified school bus driver. Anyone interested in applying for a position as a substitute, activity, or regular route driver must have this training. The course will begin at 8:00 a.m. and end at 4:30 p.m. each day.

For more information or to register please contact:
Al Simmons
asimmons@winnpsb.org
OR
Marianne Little
mlittle@winnpsb.org

Winn Parish School Board
304 E. Court
Winnfield, LA 71483
318 628 6936

Winn Parish School Board is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


Notice of Death May 31, 2021

WINN:
None to report

NATCHITOCHES:
Thomas Alton Manry
January 29, 1937 – May 21, 2021
Service: Saturday, June 5 at 2 pm at Oasis of love Fellowship, located at 7681 Hwy 1 By-Pass in Natchitoches

Rosa Jones
May 28, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Henry Keith
May 22, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Carl Smith
June 21, 1955 – May 21, 2021
Arrangements TBA

L. J. Smith
May 23, 2021
Service: Wednesday, June 2 at 11 am at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church in Winnfield

Margaret Carter Cooper
November 2, 1961 – May 10, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Obbie Gillie, Jr.
March 23, 1943 – May 30, 2021
Arrangements TBA

SABINE:
Rufus Gene Meshell
July 6, 1945 – May 28, 2021
Service: Tuesday, June 1 at 1 pm at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Zwolle


Severe Weather Possible for Winn Parish this Morning But Should be Beautiful Memorial Day

A linear complex of showers and thunderstorms will be advancing south toward the I-20 corridor through the early morning hours on Friday. This linear storm complex should slowly weaken with additional southward progress, but strong and gusty winds will remain possible through daybreak on Friday morning.

Showers and thunderstorms will continue across the region Friday through at least the first half of Saturday across our southern zones as a cold front slowly advances south through the region.

The threat of some isolated damaging wind gusts will continue on Friday, generally along and south of Interstate 20. Locally heavy rainfall may also continue to pose a flash flood risk in some areas where recent rounds of heavy rainfall have occurred.

Beyond Saturday, the remainder of the Memorial Day weekend appears to be quite pleasant with ample sunshine before more widespread showers and thunderstorms return toward the middle of next week.


Winn Parish Power Outages

Friday, May 28, 2021, 5:22 AM the City of Winnfield reports that Pineville and Center Streets are currently closed due to downed trees and power lines. Crews are working as quickly and safely as possible to restore power. To report a power outage call (318) 998-7014.

Entergy Louisiana is currently reporting that 403 customers are currently without power in Winn Parish.
 
Swepco is currently reporting no customers without power in Winn Parish.

Homicide Suspect Arrested in Winnfield

On Tuesday, May 18, a New Orleans man was booked into the Winnfield City Jail on the charge of 2nd Degree Murder for the August 2020 shooting of local resident Antheus Johnson.
 
Winnfield Police initially responded to a call of a Motor Vehicle Accident on E Lafayette Street on the afternoon of August 20 only to discover shooting victim Antheus Johnson unresponsive in the car. He had several bullet wounds. Efforts to revive Johnson on scene and at the emergency room were unsuccessful.
 
The initial investigation led police to the scene of the shooting on Lena Street in Winnfield. After several days of investigation, an arrest warrant was issued for the suspect, Richard Harris, Jr, age 20, who had been living in Winnfield at the time of the shooting. Harris had departed the area and eluded capture for almost 2 months. With assistance from the US Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force, officers were able to determine he was in the New Orleans area. In conjunction with the Jefferson Parish’s Fugitive Task Force and the US Marshal’s Office, Harris was located and arrested in November 2020. He had additional, unrelated charges in Jefferson Parish and was held until he was indicted by a Winn Parish Grand Jury on May 10th.
 
He is currently being held in the Winn Parish Detention Center on the charge of 2nd Degree Murder with a bond of $1,000,000.
 
Chief Johnny R Carpenter wishes to thank all of the agencies involved in the capture as well as the grieving family of Antheus Johnson for their patience in the justice system.