Police Jury Allocates ARPA Funds for Jamestown/Fryeburg Water System Improvements; Video Attached

The Bienville Parish Police Jury held their regular monthly meeting Wednesday morning, October 13, 2021.

In the meeting, the Police Jury passed a resolution committing $250,000 to the Jamestown/Fryeburg Water System for project funding.  Please see the video and complete minutes below.

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LA Archaeological Society Newsletter Article on Bienville Parish Indian Mound Research

The Fall Newsletter of the Louisiana Archaeological Society contains an article about several Indian mounds in Bienville Parish.  While researching another Bienville Parish topic, Brad Dison, editor of the Bienville Parish Journal, located a document written in 1935 which described several Indian mounds in the Gibsland area.  

Dison contacted Northwestern State University professor of Anthropology Dr. Pete Gregory.  Dr. Gregory said that the mounds were most likely of the Caddo tribe and date bake to 900 to 1500 A.D.  Dr. Gregory explained that some artifacts from this period and possibly from these locations are in the collections at NSU’s Williamson Museum.  Dr. Gregory suggested Dison contact Dr. Charles “Chip” McGimsey, State Archaeologist to see if the mounds were recorded with the state.  

Dr. McGimsey was excited to hear about the Indian Mounds in and near Gibsland.  Dr. McGimsey said Mr. William Walker Todd of Gibsland helped archaeologists record some of these sites with the state in the 1950s and 1960s.  Dr. McGimsey said, “We have very little information about each, but at least we have a dot on a map saying where they are.  If you are able to track down the current landowners and they are amenable, I would be very interested in visiting all of these sites with you.” 

From there, Dison contacted Bienville Parish Clerk of Court Eddie Holmes to see if he could assist in tracking down the current landowners.  He had never heard of Indian Mounds in Gibsland and was excited to join the search.  Within a short time, Holmes located a map which showed the location of at least one of the Indian Mounds.  

Once the proper permissions have been granted, Dr. McGimsey, Holmes, and Dison plan to visit each of the mentioned Indian Mounds.  Look for a follow-up article in the Bienville Parish Journal. 

Do you know of any Indian sites within the parish?  Do you have any Indian artifacts found in the parish?  Please contact the Journal at BPJNewsLA@gmail.com. 

The article pertaining to the Indian Mounds in and near Gibsland is on page 25 of the newsletter.   

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Monday’s Jury Trial has been CANCELLED

Clerk of Court Eddie Holmes announced this afternoon, October 13, that the Jury Trial which was set for Monday, October 18, 2021 has been Cancelled.

Holmes said, “All potential cases have been resolved.  You do not need to appear and your summons is invalid.  No payments or excuses will be given after cancellation is announced.”

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DOTD Announces Bridge Replacement Project on LA 507 in Bienville Parish

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development announced Wednesday a $1.5 million project to replace the LA 507 bridge over Saline Bayou Relief just east of the Village of Bienville in Bienville Parish.

The bridge, built in 1966, is scheduled to be closed beginning on Monday, October 25, 2021 for construction to begin on the replacement.

The bridge is located between the junctions of LA 9 and LA 508.

The project is anticipated to be complete in Spring 2022, with progress dependent on weather conditions.

Alternate Route: Detour route will be posted.

Permits/Restrictions: Total bridge closure. All vehicles must detour.

This work will be performed WEATHER PERMITTING.

Safety Reminder:

DOTD appreciates your patience and reminds you to please drive with caution through the construction site and be on the lookout for work crews and their equipment.

Area residents should exercise caution when driving, walking, or biking near an active construction zone.

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Clerk of Court Explains Proposed Constitutional Amendment #2, #3

Clerk of Court Eddie Holmes explained the proposed Constitutional Amendments #2 and #3.  Holmes said Amendment #2 “is more complicated [than proposed Amendment #1] and the ballot wording is terrible. This amendment changes several income tax laws for individuals and businesses.”

Amendment #2: Tax Reform

If you vote…
YES = I want to lower the State income tax rate from 6% to 4.75% and give up any federal tax deduction I could claim. I also want there to be tax reforms relating to businesses.
NO = I want to keep the State income tax rates the same and keep my federal tax deduction.

Amendment #3: Levee District Tax Authority

If you vote…..
YES = I want levee districts created after 2005 but before October 2021 to be able to get property tax funding without needing to hold an election.
NO = I want new levee districts to require voter approval before getting any property tax funding.

This is not an issue we see in our parish, but requires a constitutional change. You may want to check with any friends or family living in the southern part of the State about their opinion.

On Tuesday, Holmes explained proposed Amendment #1.

AMENDMENT #1: Tax Commission

If you vote…..
YES = I want there to be an single Tax Commission that oversees, collects and distributes ALL sales tax in the State.
NO = I want to keep the current system where a local agency in each parish collects and distributes sales taxes.

Holmes encourages everyone to read the PAR articles which explain the proposed Constitutional Amendments.  

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Man Arrested for Shooting Death of Man Found in Lake Bistineau

According to KTBS, Shreveport police have made an arrest in the shooting death of man found in Lake Bistineau.

On Sunday, a crappie fisherman found a man’s heavily tattooed body partially submerged in Lake Bistineau.  He was later identified as 24-year-old Borris Williams of Shreveport. 

Grant and Williams were roommates in the 3000 block of Lufkin Street in Shreveport.  Detectives said Williams was shot multiple times at the home.  Detectives have not released the motive for the shooting.

Following the shooting, Williams’s body was transported approximately 25 miles where it was dumped off of the Highway 154 bridge.  Investigators located blood where they believe the man was pushed off of the bridge.  Grant may not have known that water level at Lake Bistineau is down by as much as eight feet due to the scheduled drawdown which began in July.

The Bienville Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries assisted with the body recovery and searched the surrounding area for evidence.

Shreveport police arrested and charged Reginald Grant, 24, of Shreveport with second-degree murder and convicted felon in possession of a firearm.  His bond has been set at $425,000.  Grant has a police record dating to December 2016.  

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D.A.R.T. Held Candlelight Vigil Against Domestic Abuse; Video Attached

On Wednesday night, the Bienville Parish D.A.R.T. (Domestic Abuse Resistance Team), in conjunction with Men Standing Strong Against Domestic Violence, held a vigil at Arcadia’s Town Hall.  

During the month of October, each of the seven parishes served by D.A.R.T. holds a candlelight vigil. At this ceremony, the names of people whose lives were ended by domestic violence is read aloud, and there is a moment of silence to remember these men, women and children who were murdered by a loved one.

Speakers at the event included Bienville Parish Sheriff’s Captain Micah Crawford, Pastor Craig Jenkins, Arcadia Mayor O’Landis Millican, the Grambling Chapter of Omega Psi Fi fraternity, Rural Parish Supervisor and Legal Advocate Wanda James, and Bienville Parish Rural Advocate Sharolyn Boston.

Sergeant Robert Skapura of the Bienville Parish Sheriff’s Department provided a law enforcement perspective of the parish.

Tommy Clark Jr., Chief of Police and Superintendent of Safety Services for the City of Grambling, gave an overview of domestic violence in the state.  

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Today in History – October 15

1066 – Following the death of Harold II at the Battle of Hastings, Edgar the Ætheling was proclaimed King of England by the Witan; he was never crowned, and conceded power to William the Conqueror two months later.

1582 – Adoption of the Gregorian calendar began.  It eventually led to near-universal adoption and is the calendar we use today.

1764 – Edward Gibbon observed a group of friars singing in the ruined Temple of Jupiter in Rome, which inspired him to begin work on The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

1783 – The Montgolfier brothers’ hot air balloon made the first human ascent, piloted by Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier.

1793 – Queen Marie Antoinette of France was tried and convicted of treason.

1815 – Napoleon began his exile on Saint Helena in the South Atlantic Ocean.

1827 – Charles Darwin was admitted to Christ’s College, Cambridge.

1860 – 11-year-old Grace Bedell wrote to Abraham Lincoln and suggested he grow a beard.  He took her advice.

1863 – American Civil War: The H. L. Hunley, the first submarine to sink a ship, sank and killed its inventor.

1878 – The Edison Electric Light Company began operation.

1888 – The “From Hell” letter allegedly sent by Jack the Ripper was received by investigators.  The letter was sent along with half of a preserved human kidney.  The author claimed to have fried and eaten the other half.

1895 – Henry Perky patented a machine he developed with William Ford for the preparation of cereals for food, otherwise known as shredded wheat.

1910 – Airship America was launched from New Jersey in the first attempt to cross the Atlantic by a powered aircraft.

1917 – World War I: Dutch dancer Mata Hari was executed by France for espionage.

1919 – 14 horses began a 300-mile race from Vermont to Massachusetts for $1000 prize money.

1924 – US President “Silent” Calvin Coolidge declared the Statue of Liberty a national monument.

1928 – The airship Graf Zeppelin completed its first trans-Atlantic flight when it landed at Lakehurst, New Jersey, United States.

1937 – Ernest Hemingway’s novel “To Have & Have Not” was published.

1940 – “The Great Dictator”, a satiric social commentary film by and starring Charlie Chaplin, was released.

1951 – Mexican chemist Luis E. Miramontes completed the synthesis of norethisterone, the basis of an early oral contraceptive.

1951 – “I Love Lucy”, starring Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, debuted on CBS.

1952 – “Charlotte’s Web” by E. B. White and illustrated by Garth Williams was published by Harper & Brothers.

1956 – FORTRAN, the first modern computer language, was first shared with the coding community.

1959 – TV series “The Untouchables” starring Robert Stack premiered.

1965 – Vietnam War: A draft card was burned during an anti-war rally by the Catholic Worker Movement, resulting in the first arrest under a new law.

1966 – The Black Panther Party was created by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale.

1966 – President Lyndon Johnson signed a bill which created the US Department of Transportation.

1970 – During the construction of Australia’s West Gate Bridge, a span of the bridge fell and killed 35 workers. The incident is the country’s worst industrial accident to date.

1973 – Country music artist Dolly Parton released her single “Jolene”.

1977 – Debbie Boone’s “You Light Up My Life” reached #1 and remained at that position for 10 weeks.

1981 – Professional cheerleader Krazy George Henderson led what is thought to be the first audience wave in Oakland, California.

1989 – Wayne Gretzky became the all-time leading points scorer in the NHL.

1989 – American radio and television evangelist Billy Graham was given the 1,900th star on Hollywood Boulevard, the first clergyman to be granted a star.

1990 – Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to lessen Cold War tensions and open up his nation.

1991 – The “Oh-My-God particle”, an ultra-high-energy cosmic ray measured at 40,000,000 times that of the highest energy protons produced in a particle accelerator, was observed at the University of Utah HiRes observatory in Dugway Proving Ground, Utah.

1995 –Saddam Hussein was reelected president of Iraq through a referendum.

1997 – The Cassini probe launched from Cape Canaveral on its way to Saturn.

2001 – NASA’s Galileo spacecraft passed within 112 miles of Jupiter’s moon Io.

2003 – China launched Shenzhou 5, its first manned space mission.

2005 – A planned neo-Nazi protest against African-American street gangs set off a riot in Toledo, Ohio. Twenty-nine people are arrested.

2018 – 13-year-old American girl, Jayme Closs, was kidnapped from her Barron, Wisconsin home after her parents were both murdered.  She escaped on January 10, 2019, after 88 days in captivity.  Her kidnapper, who also killed her parents, was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences in prison without the possibility of parole plus an additional 40 years.

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BPJ Seeks Halloween Tales from Local K-12 Students

As Halloween season approaches and neighborhoods prepare for trick-or-treaters, the Bienville Parish Journal would like to extend an invitation to K-12 Bienville Parish students to submit a Halloween story for potential publication.

The story can be fiction or non-fiction and must center around the theme of Halloween.

“We want to give the young writers of Bienville Parish the opportunity to showcase their writing talents in a fun way,” said Bienville Parish Journal editor Brad Dison.

Students who are interested in submitting should write a 300-500 word story and include their name, age, and school. If they wish, they can also submit a picture of themselves or a drawing. The story, information, and picture should be sent to BPJNewsLA@gmail.com. Questions can also be sent to that email.

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