BP Journal Hosting $100 Giveaway as a Thank You to Readers

As a thank you to the readers of the Bienville Parish Journal and to enlist new email subscribers, we are hosting our first $100 Visa Gift Card giveaway.

Registering for the giveaway is easy.  No purchase is necessary.

Click here and enter your name and email address before May 31st.

If you already receive the Journal in your email, you’re already signed up for the giveaway.

The winner will be selected at random on June 1st and contacted via the provided email address.  If the winner fails to respond within 72 hours, another name will be drawn.  The winner will be announced in the Bienville Parish Journal.  

We are giving everyone who registers a complimentary subscription of the Bienville Parish Journal. Get all your local news in one place every Wednesday and Friday morning.

If you have any questions, please email the journal at BPJNewsLA@gmail.com or call the editor at 318-332-0558.

Governor Outlines $1.6 Billion Post-Pandemic Recovery Plan

Yesterday, Gov. John Bel Edwards outlined his plan for spending $1.6 billion in federal funding coming to Louisiana through President Joseph R. Biden’s American Rescue Plan to keep Louisiana on the road to post-pandemic recovery by investing in infrastructure, keeping the state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund solvent, addressing Louisiana’s aging water systems, assisting the tourism industry and supporting Louisiana’s ports.

The state is awaiting final federal guidance on spending these ARP dollars. The $1.6 billion represents the first amount of funding Louisiana will draw down, with additional funding being used to address long-term priorities in future years.

“At our COVID-19 bottom, Louisiana’s economy was generating about 86 percent of our pre-virus economic output. Today, we’re back to more than 94 percent of pre-COVID levels, and growing. There is no doubt that Louisiana is on the mend, but we still need some help in order to make a full recovery. By investing these American Rescue Plan dollars wisely, we can shore up our unemployment insurance trust fund and avoid businesses paying higher taxes, continue to chip away at Louisiana’s backlog of infrastructure projects, support our tourism industry and improve our aging water infrastructure,” Gov. Edwards said. “I am deeply grateful to President Biden for his commitment to helping Louisiana kickstart its economy again after the crushing blow dealt to our country by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“I’m so thankful the Governor recognizes the importance of tourism and supports our efforts to reignite the state’s fourth largest industry,” said Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser. “As every destination on the globe fights for potential visitors, these funds will give us the means to advertise and market our great state during a time of unprecedented competition. We want Louisiana to stand out from the crowd as a top travel destination.”

Governor Edwards’ priorities for the first $1.6 billion in funding are:

  • Shoring up the Unemployment Trust Fund – $400 million
  • Unemployment Insurance loan payment – $230 million
  • Infrastructure – $400 million
  • Water and Sewer Systems – $300 million
  • Tourism and Convention and Visitors Bureaus – $125 million
  • Department of Culture Recreation and Tourism – $20 million
  • Louisiana Ports – $50 million

Opportunity: Secretary

POSITION: Secretary

LOCATION: Central Office

QUALIFICATIONS: High School Diploma or equivalent, Associate or Bachelor’s Degree preferred, excellent communication skills, and proficiency in computer skills.

SALARY: According to Parish Salary Schedule


WHERE TO APPLY: Linda Page, Personnel Director

Natchitoches Parish School Board
P. O. Box 16
Natchitoches, LA 71458-0016
(318) 352-2358

DEADLINE: Monday, May 3, 2021
4:00 p.m.

APPLICATIONS: Application packet should consist of a letter of application, resume’, official transcript, and two
letters of reference.

Last Day to Bid on the Arcadia Outlet Mall is Approaching

According to Mayor O’Landis Millican, the Town of Arcadia is accepting bids for the Outlet Mall until 5:00 p.m. on May 10th, 2021. 

Any interested parties can drop their bids off the Arcadia Town Hall or leave it in the Town Hall’s drop box.  You can also mail bids to:

Arcadia Town Hall
1819 S Railroad Ave
Arcadia, LA 71001

There are two stipulations to placing a bid on the Arcadia Outlet Mall:

  • The minimum bid is $400,000.00.  
  • The new owner must honor existing contracts with current tenants.  

Current tenants include

  • All Seasons Scrubs & Uniforms
  • Scrugg’s Corner New & Used Furniture
  • S&P’s Barber & Styling Acadmey
  • Lady Lee Beauty Supply
  • XeKUTE Clothing Boutique
  • Pafford Uniforms


Print this page to work the puzzle.

In Cryptoquotes, one letter stands for another. In the example above, Z is used for two E’s, I for the two N’s, etc. Single letters, double letters, apostrophes, the length and formation of the words are all hints. The code letters change with each puzzle.



Cryptoquote solution from April 23rd:  “Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.” ~ Margaret Mead

Work on Gibsland Branch of Bienville Parish Library is Progressing

Workers are making good progress on the Gibsland branch of Bienville Parish Library.  Triad Builders of Ruston is still on schedule to complete the new building this Fall.  Bricklayers are putting the finish touches on the brickwork, and it’s looking more and more like Architect Wayne Coco’s impression of the completed building.  

Architect Wayne Coco of Simmesport, Louisiana, designed the Gibsland branch building and has designed several other projects for the Bienville Parish Library system.

Suzanne James, library public relations manager said, “The Bienville Parish Library and Library Board of Control have been working for about two years to bring a library branch to Gibsland and we are so excited to finally see all that hard work come to fruition. This will be a part-time branch, open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Friday from 8:15 to 5:00 and Saturdays from 8:15 to noon.”

Architect Wayne Coco’s impression of the completed Gibsland branch.

An Anglers Learning Curve

As a young fisherman growing up in East Texas during the 70’s, there wasn’t a lot of material available on how to be a better angler. Sure, you could go down to the local library and maybe find a few books to check out but nothing that really made you sit up and take notice. Then came along Bassmaster Magazine, oh my Lord, are you kidding me? Wow…I mean it was the greatest thing to ever happen to bass fishing!

Finally, a monthly publication dedicated to nothing but bass fishing. It definitely shortened the learning curve of my generation. It had full color sketches of baits and techniques, how to fish wood, how to fish hydrilla (grass), and even how to make the proper cast. It had tips and pointers on how to catch fish under all conditions. It gave the results of all B.A.S.S. (Bass Angler Sportsman’s Society) tournaments and how the pro anglers caught their fish. It even had “best times to fish” calendar for every day of the month based on the moon phases. I mean are you kidding me, the moon phases. Who knew the moon had an impact on when a bass would feed or not feed. This was pure science for those of you that think bass fishing is all luck. Leave it to Bassmaster Magazine to be the educational leader of the outdoors world. I would literally sit by the mailbox near the end of each month just waiting for mine to be delivered. Nothing lit my fire for reading more than Bassmaster Magazine! It’s probably responsible for correcting my dyslexia issue I had in my early elementary years. That’s how good Bassmaster Magazine was and still is today.

Then came VHS tapes and so many videos that showed live footage of catching bass. Videos showing live underwater footage of bass in their natural environment. They had one called “Big Mouth” that showed an angler fishing a crankbait with two sets of treble hooks and a bass inhaling the lure and spitting it out and the angler never knew he had a bite. It was insane to think a bass could actually do this! Videos took bass fishing to a whole other level. They had professional bass fishermen like Bill Dance, Virgil Ward, John Fox, Ricky Green, Bobby & Billy Murray and one angler who many consider to be the best angler ever Roland Martin doing video presentations. “How to” videos designed to shorten your learning curve and make you a better angler. Of course, if you had a VCR to play your VHS tapes, you were considered wealthy. But once they became more affordable, everyone had one. You could even go to Blockbuster Video Store and rent these bass fishing tapes. How cool was that?

For today’s anglers, it’s a whole other world with the amount of bass fishing videos, books and magazines available. Oh, then came this thing called the internet which has more information than hundreds of thousands of libraries. It’s an information highway that has given anglers of today the ability to look up any topic about every facet of bass fishing. There are even videos from average anglers that like to share their fishing experiences and information via GoPro cameras. So, the learning curve for today’s anglers has been cut in half. Instead of taking years to accumulate knowledge like it has for my generation, today’s generation can learn the same amount of information in just a few weeks. But there’s one thing I’ve learned over my 40 plus years of bass fishing experience: there’s no replacing time on the water. No book, no video and no internet can replace time on the water. This is how an average angler can become a great angler. Till next time, don’t forget to set the hook!

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

BP Journal Adds Rare Bonnie & Clyde Film to Its Archive

Whether we like it or not, Bonnie and Clyde will be forever connected to Bienville Parish.  Bonnie and Clyde’s multiple-year violent crime spree ended the lives of several people, including their own.  On May 23, 1934, law enforcement officers ended their lives by gunfire on Hwy 154 about three miles west of Mt. Lebanon in Bienville Parish.   

Click here to view the Bonnie and Clyde Collection

If you have photos or video to contribute to this collection, please contact the Journal at BPJNewsLA@gmail.com.  


Today in History – April 30

1492 – Christopher Columbus was given a royal commission by Spanish monarchs Isabella I and Ferdinand II to equip his fleet to go to the New World.

1789 – George Washington was inaugurated as the first President of the United States of America.

1803 – Chancellor Robert Livingston and James Monroe signed the Louisiana Purchase Treaty in Paris at a cost of $15 million.  The Louisiana Purchase doubled the size of the USA.

1808 – First practical typewriter finished by Italian Pellegrini Turri

1812 – (Eastern) Louisiana was admitted as 18th US state.

1859 – Charles Dickens’ “A Tale Of Two Cities” was first published in literary periodical “All the Year Round” (weekly installments until Nov 26).

1863 – Battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia: In a major victory General Robert E. Lee’s troops defeated the larger Army of the Potomac under Major General Joseph Hooker, Stonewall Jackson was fatally wounded when accidentally shot by his own men.

1864 – New York became the first state to charge a hunting license fee.

1889 – First US national holiday, on centennial of Washington’s inauguration.

1900 – The “Hawaiian Organic Act” was enacted by US Congress making Hawaii a US territory.

1900 – Casey Jones died heroically in a train wreck at Vaughn, Mississippi, while driving Cannonball Express (immortalized in”Ballad of Casey Jones”).

1904 – Ice cream cone made its debut at St. Louis World’s Fair invented by Ernest A. Hamwi (independently of other claimant Italo Marchiony in NY).

1905 – Albert Einstein completed his doctoral thesis at the University of Zurich.

1939 – NBC inaugurates its regularly scheduled television service in New York City, broadcasting President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s N.Y. World’s Fair opening day ceremonial address.

1945 – “Arthur Godfrey Time” began a 27-year run on CBS radio.

1945 – Adolf Hitler committed suicide along with his new wife Eva Braun in the Fuhrerbunker in Berlin as the Red Army captured the city.

1947 – In Nevada, Boulder Dam was renamed Hoover Dam.

1952 – Mr. Potato Head became the first toy advertised on television.

1961 – “Tossin’ and Turnin'” single was released by Bobby Lewis (Billboard Song of the Year 1961)

1972 – “Arthur Godfrey Time” ended its 27-year run on radio

1973 – Watergate scandal: U.S. President Richard Nixon announced that White House Counsel John Dean has been fired and that other top aides, most notably H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, had resigned.

1973 – Paul McCartney released “Red Rose Speedway” which included the song “My Love”.

1974 – US President Richard Nixon handed over partial transcripts of Watergate tape recordings.

1975 – North Vietnamese troops captured Saigon, ending the Vietnam War.

1976 – “Silly Love Songs” single was released by Wings (Billboard Song of the Year 1976).

1986 – Ashrita Furman performed 8,341 somersaults over 12 miles.

1988 – The then largest banana split ever, at 4.5 miles long, was made along Market Street in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania.

1989 – World Wide Web (WWW) was first launched in the public domain by CERN scientist Tim Berners-Lee.

1993 – The World Wide Web source code was released by CERN, making the software freely available to all.

1994 – Formula One racing driver Roland Ratzenberger was killed in a crash during the qualifying session of the San Marino Grand Prix run at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari outside Imola, Italy.

2004 – U.S. media released graphic photos of American soldiers abusing and sexually humiliating Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison.

2008 – Two skeletal remains found near Yekaterinburg, Russia were confirmed by Russian scientists to be the remains of Alexei and Anastasia, two of the children of the last Tsar of Russia, whose entire family was executed at Yekaterinburg by the Bolsheviks.

2009 – Chrysler automobile company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

2018 – Superhero film “Avengers: Infinity War” set a new record for an opening weekend earning $250 million in the US, $630 million worldwide.

Saline Bobcats Lost to Glenmora

Saline Bobcats fell behind early and couldn’t come back in a 17-1 loss to Glenmora on Wednesday. 

Saline was unable to contain the high-powered offense of Glenmora, and gave up 17 runs.

Glenmora scored 2 runs in the first inning, 2 runs in the second inning, 5 runs in the third, and 8 runs in the fourth.  Saline’s only score was a single run in the second inning.

Shawn Staggs pitched for Saline and struck out four.  Ethan Roberts threw one and one-third innings in relief out of the bullpen.  Kenton Lee Crawford went 1-for-2 at the plate to lead the Bobcats in hits.

Final score: Glenmore 17, Saline 1.

Library Shares a Virtual Mother’s Day Tribute for Month of May

Beginning on Monday, May 3, 2021, and throughout the month of May, the virtual Mother’s Day Tribute video will be available for viewing on the Bienville Parish Library YouTube™ Channel. The program opens with an introduction from Adult Outreach Services Coordinator, Jacqueline Cato and an original poem written and read by Andrea Davis, Circulation Clerk at the Bienville Parish’s Arcadia Main Library.

Musical arrangements and spoken performances are by Mr. Ricky Davis. Davis takes you through a montage of songs and spoken performances that honor the women who have influenced us, have been there to hold us when we were sad, lifted us up when we were down, disciplined us when we were ‘sassy’ and rebellious, offered guidance when we lost our way, and led us back to our faith with the certain knowledge of God’s continued love and devotion for us all.

With COVID restrictions still in place, especially among our older and more vulnerable patrons, this video is being posted to YouTube™ with the unlisted link being offered for playing in nursing homes, churches and facilities where contact is still limited. The link will also be posted to our Bienville Parish Library Facebook page and BPL Group Pages for viewing throughout the month of May and will remain with the other videos in the YouTube™ playlists.

We hope you enjoy this tribute to mothers everywhere! To all the influential women in our lives – We wish you a Happy Mother’s Day!

LA 507 Bridge Construction Update

Construction on the LA 507 bridge, which is just across the Bienville Parish line in Red River Parish near Womack, is progressing, but they still have a little over a month’s worth of work to go. 

On Tuesday afternoon (April 27th), Erin Buchanan, Public Information Officer of the Louisiana Department of Transportation, said workers are in the process of doing the dirt work for the approaches.  Recent rainfall has slowed work down.  Once the dirt work is completed, workers will be able to finish the approaches on each side of the bridge, stripe the highway, and add the signage.  If the weather holds out, Ms. Buchanan said she is hoping the bridge will be reopened in early June.

The 52-year-old bridge was closed on April 5, 2019, due to its condition.  The $2.2 million project to replace the bridge began in April 2020.

Two Ringgold Athletes Headed to State Championship Competition

Marvales Brown and Tyrin Cunningham (photos provided by LaToya Davis and Shon Trent)

Marvales Brown and Tyrin Bunningham triumphed at the regional track meet yesterday.  They will compete in the upcoming State Competition at LSU in Baton Rouge.

Marvales Brown won the regional championship with her javelin throw of 116.4 feet.

Tyrin Cunningham placed 3rd in the 100 meter dash and 2nd in the 200 meter dash.

Congratulations Marvales and Tyrin!!!

Governor Eases Some COVID-19 Restrictions

With new tools to fight the spread of COVID-19, Governor Edwards eases some COVID-19 mitigation measures.  Local leaders and businesses are now in charge of policies requiring masks in Louisiana.

Following months of sustained improvement in COVID hospitalizations and an increase in the supply and availability of vaccines, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that some mitigation measures will be eased and, starting Wednesday, April 28, the statewide mask mandate will be lifted.

Mask policies in Louisiana will be set by local leaders and business owners. Under the Governor’s new public health order, masks will still be required on public transit and in state government buildings, K-12 schools, early childhood education centers, colleges and universities, and healthcare facilities.

More than one in four Louisianans are now fully vaccinated, including two-thirds of those 65 and older. The state of Louisiana joins the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other federal and medical officials in recommending that people wear masks in public or when they are with unvaccinated people outside of their households.

All Louisianans 16 and older have been eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine for more than a month and Louisiana was one of the first states to broaden vaccine eligibility to the full population. The three safe and effective COVID vaccines are widely available in Louisiana.

“Many Louisianans have been wearing masks for more than a year now and the statewide mask mandate has been in place for nearly 10 months. We know masks work – the science is clear and we’ve seen the positive impact in our own state. It’s intuitive for people to protect themselves with masks in higher risk situations, and this important mitigation measure should continue. But we have many more tools for slowing the spread of COVID than we did even a few months ago, including better treatments and, most importantly, several highly effective and safe vaccines,” Gov. Edwards said. “I want to be clear: this is not the end of wearing masks in public, as COVID-19 and the spread of variants are still a real threat in our communities. Louisianans should respect each other and businesses and places where masks will be required as we move into a new phase of slowing the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. I will continue to wear a mask in government buildings and in public, especially when I do not know if someone around me has been vaccinated, and I encourage everyone to do this as well.”

The order the Governor signed Tuesday also eases restrictions on live music and allows some businesses, like salons, to re-open their waiting areas. Outdoor events will no longer have crowd limitations.

Social distancing and masking are recommended by both the state of Louisiana and the CDC.

Lifting of the mask mandate does not affect the COVID-19 liability protections that were enacted by the Louisiana Legislature which require businesses and schools to follow the recommendations of state and federal health authorities, all of which recommend continued mask wearing.

For theaters, event spaces, festivals and fairs and other outdoor events, there will be no limitations on outdoor capacity. Indoors, a facility may choose to operate at 75 percent capacity while enforcing six feet of social distancing or at 100 percent capacity with masking required and enforced.

For indoor sporting events, capacity is limited to 75 percent of capacity with social distancing, or 100 percent capacity if a mask mandate is enforced at the venue. Capacity will not be limited outdoors.

For live music, new regulations will require 10 feet of space between the stage and the audience and crowds must be seated. Bars will still only be open to those 21 and older.

State agencies may choose to opt-out of the mask mandate for state-owned buildings in writing to the Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and also must inform people entering the building that masks are not mandatory. All state agencies in the Governor’s cabinet and under the Governor’s authority will keep their mask mandates.

The Department of Health additionally will issue a state health officer order that will mandate masks in all health care facilities.


The Louisiana Department of Health recommends that the public follow the “Two out of Three” rule to keep themselves safe during COVID.

When in doubt about whether to wear a mask at a certain activity where people outside of a person’s everyday household will be present, they can stay safe by:

  1. Making sure everyone around them is vaccinated, or
  2. Maintaining the 2 out of 3 Rule: To lower risk for COVID-19, make sure the activity meets two out of the following three conditions: Outdoors, Distanced and Masked.
  • Outdoors + Distanced = No Mask Recommended
  • Outdoors + Not Distanced = Mask Recommended
  • Indoor + Distanced = Mask Recommended

Residents can call the Bring Back Louisiana COVID-19 vaccine hotline at 1-855-453-0774 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday. The hotline can help residents schedule vaccine appointments, find vaccine providers in their area and connect people with medical professionals who can answer vaccine-related questions.

BESE Election Results

On Saturday, April 24, Cassie Williams and Michael Melerine were in a runoff for BESE District 4. BESE is short for the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. The BESE District 4 seat represents ten parishes in Northwest Louisiana including Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, De Soto, Natchitoches, Red River, Sabine, Vernon, Webster, and Winn.

When the all of the votes were tallied, Michael Melerine won by a large margin.  In the ten parishes, 38,087 votes were cast.  Melerine received 62% of votes and Williams received 38%.  

Melerine won by a large margin in eight of the ten parishes, with the exceptions being Bienville and Caddo parishes.  In those parishes, Williams won by a slim margin.  In Bienville Parish, Williams received 52% of the vote to Melerine’s 48%.  

Castor Tigers Lose To Doyline After Fourth Inning Score

Castor Tigers Varsity stayed in it until the end, but Doyline pulled away late in an 11-1 victory on Saturday. 

The Castor Tigers Varsity struggled to contain the high-powered offense of Doyline, giving up 11 runs.

In the bottom of the first inning, Castor Tigers tied things up at two when Arbaugh induced Caleb Shirley to hit into a fielder’s choice, but one run scored.

Shirley started the game for Castor. The righty went three and a third innings, allowing nine runs on seven hits and walking one. Will Bradford threw one and two-thirds innings out of the bullpen.

Cade Young and Bradford each collected one hit to lead Castor Tigers.

100 Years Ago in Bienville Parish – Ringgold Gets Up-To-Date Movie Theatre

C.E. Tomme opened a movie theatre at Ringgold on Saturday, April 23,1921.  At the opening, Mr. Tomme said that “nothing but good clean pictures will be shown.”  A team of workers installed a new and powerful “picture machine” along with a Delco lighting system to furnish electricity to the building.

As part of the theatre’s entertainment, Mr. Tomme assembled a band they called the Ringgold Brass Band to perform from time-to-time before the featured movie.  The Ringgold Brass Band, which consisted of local businessmen and students of Ringgold High School, were able to “render very difficult selections in a most pleasing manner.”

Source:  The Bienville Democrat, April 28, 1921, p.1.

Arrest Report

April 18

  • Christopher Brown (Ringgold)
    • False Communication with Intent to Cause an Emergency Response (with no emergency response)
  • Thomas Kennedy (Castor)
    • Simple Criminal Damage to Property – Misdemeanor
    • Aggravated Battery with Dangerous Weapon – Felony
  • Brittan Young (Coushatta)
    • Suspension/Revocation/Cancellation of Licenses; Judicial Review

April 19

  • Jeffery McCoy (Jamestown)
    • Aggravated Assault with a Firearm – Felony
    • Simple Cruelty to Animals – Misdemeanor
  • Danny Gates (Jonesboro)
    • Simple Criminal Damage to Property – Misdemeanor
  • Rickey Moore (Houston, Texas)
    • Resisting an Officer – Misdemeanor

April 20

  • Jackie Reynolds (Oak Grove)
    • Simple Criminal Damage to Property – Misdemeanor
    • Theft – Felony
    • Violation of Probation/Parole
  • Derek Rutherford (Bienville)
    • Prohibited Acts – Schedule II
  • De’merio Thomas (Vicksburg, Mississippi)
    • Flight from an Officer – Misdemeanor
    • Driver Must be Licensed

April 21

  • Jeremy Sheppard (Dubberly)
    • Fugitive
  • Jeremy White (Ringgold)
    • Obscenity – Felony – Principal
    • Cyberstalking – Misdemeanor – Principal
  • Demontae Collins (Ringgold)
    • Distribution of Cannabinoids/Synthetic Marijuana – Felony – 2 counts

April 23

  • Fabian Geiger (Killeen, Texas)
    • Battery of a Police Officer – Felony – Minor Injury
    • Criminal Trespass – Immovable Structure – Misdemeanor
    • Resisting an Officer – Misdemeanor – 2 Counts

April 24

  • Christopher Williams (Heflin)
    • Possession of Firearm/Carry Concealed Weapon by Convicted Felon – Felony

District Attorney’s Disposition of Cases

Daniel W. Newell, District Attorney for the Second Judicial District in and for the Parish of Bienville, makes the following announcement relative to disposition of cases in Bienville Parish on the dates indicated:


  • William James Cox of Gibsland, LA—Pled guilty to Domestic Abuse Battery-Child Endangerment and was sentenced to time served since July 11, 2020. He also pled guilty to Simple Battery and was sentenced to 3 months in the parish jail. These sentences will run concurrently.
  • Gerry Paul McCoy of Jamestown, LA—Pled guilty to Disturbing the Peace and was sentenced to time served since July 3, 2020.
  • Michael C. Palmer, Jr. of Ringgold, LA—Pled guilty to Distribution of Schedule II CDS (Methamphetamine) and Distribution of Schedule I CDS (Marijuana) and was sentenced to 5 years hard labor on each. These sentences will run concurrently. He was given credit for any time served while awaiting sentencing.


  • Vanruss Robinson, Jr. of Kansas City, KS—Pled guilty to Aggravated Flight from an Officer and was sentenced to 2 years hard labor, which was suspended. He will be placed on 2 years unsupervised probation. He will also be required to pay $838 in fines and court costs.


  • Derrick Baines of Rockwell, TX—Pled guilty to Aggravated Flight from an Officer and was sentenced to 2 years hard labor, which was suspended. He will be placed on 2 years supervised probation. He was given credit for any time served while awaiting sentencing.
  • Tevin Dewayne Brackens of Ringgold, LA—Pled guilty to two counts of Distribution of Schedule II CDS (Methamphetamine) and was sentenced to 5 years hard labor on each. These sentences will run concurrently. He was given credit for any time served while awaiting sentencing.
  • Shaquille Brooks of Ringgold, LA—Pled guilty to Criminal Mischief, Possession of Schedule I CDS (Synthetic Cannabinoid), and Theft Less than $1,000 and was sentenced to 6 months in the parish jail on each count, which are to run consecutively. He was given credit for any time served while awaiting sentencing.
  • Lawrence Dominique of Shreveport, LA—Pled guilty to Aggravated Flight from an Officer and was sentenced to 2 years hard labor. He was given credit for any time served while awaiting sentencing.
  • Joshua Estes of Heflin, LA—Pled guilty to Simple Cruelty to Animals and was sentenced to pay a fine and court cost of $438.00.
  • Christopher Hefferman of Arcadia, LA—Pled guilty to Aggravated Assault with a Firearm and was sentenced to 10 years hard labor. He also pled guilty to Aggravated Criminal Damage to Property and was sentenced to 15 years hard labor. These sentences will run concurrently. He was given credit for any time served while awaiting sentencing.
  • Danielle Joiner of Ringgold, LA—Pled guilty to Theft Less than $1,000 and was sentenced to 6 months in the parish jail, which was suspended. She will be placed to 2 years supervised probation. She will also pay restitution to the victim.
  • Broderick L. Ramey of Homer, LA—Pled guilty to Domestic Abuse Battery- Strangulation and was sentenced to 3 years hard labor. He was given credit for any time served while awaiting sentencing.
  • Deoderick Russell of Arcadia, LA—Pled guilty to Attempted Simple Escape and was sentenced to 1 year hard labor. He also pled guilty to Domestic Abuse Battery and was sentenced to 6 months in the parish jail. These sentences will run consecutively to each other and to any pending parole or probation matters. He was given credit for any time served while awaiting sentencing.
  • Roderick Scott of Arcadia, LA—Pled guilty to Possession of Schedule II CDS (Cocaine) and was sentenced to 2 years hard labor, all of which was suspended but 1 year. He will be placed on 2 years supervised probation. He also pled guilty to Resisting an Officer and was sentenced to 3 months in the parish jail. These sentences will run concurrently. He was given credit for any time served while awaiting sentencing.
  • Dontavious Tibbs of Arcadia, LA—Pled guilty to Simple Robbery and was sentenced to 7 years hard labor. He was given credit for any time served while awaiting sentencing.
  • Amber S. Vernon of Arcadia, LA—Pled guilty to Simple Criminal Damage to Property and was sentenced to 6 months in the parish jail, which was suspended. She will be placed on 1 year supervised probation and will be required to make restitution to the victim.
  • Jeffery V. Walker of Sibley, LA—Pled guilty to Aggravated Criminal Damage to Property and was sentenced to 10 years hard labor, all of which was suspended but 4 years. He will be placed on 3 years supervised probation. He also pled guilty to Second Degree Battery and was sentenced to 4 years hard labor. These sentences will run concurrently. He was given credit for any time served while awaiting sentencing.
  • Russell D. Wrenn of Minden, LA—Pled guilty to Theft Over $5,000 but Less than $25,000 and was sentenced to 3 years hard labor, which was suspended. He will be placed on 3 years hard labor and will be required to make restitution to the victim. He was given credit for any time served while awaiting sentencing.


  • Charleston Dewayne Patterson of Ringgold, LA—Pled guilty to two counts of Attempted Second Degree Murder and was sentenced to serve 25 years hard labor on each, which will run concurrently. He was given credit for any time served while awaiting sentencing.

Save the Date: LSU AgCenter to Host Small Cookers 101 Class

Are you interested in learning new ways to use those small cookers that may be taking up space in your kitchen? Maybe you are on the fence about purchasing one? Nutrition Agents, Kimberlyn Jones, and Cathy Judd are partnering up to host small cookers 101 class! The class will be held at Castor Community Center from 10:00am to 12:00pm on Tuesday, May 11th.

Nutrition Agents will discuss:

  • How to use a variety of small cookers, such as multi-cookers, slow cookers, air fryers, toaster ovens, and rice cookers.
  • Food safety
  • Share new recipes and ideas on how to use the equipment
  • Provide a food tasting using 6 different small cookers.

There is a $10 fee which includes the food tasting and recipe handouts.

Register for the class at, https://forms.office.com/r/3UfVGjHRm6. Call 318-263-7400 for any questions!

The LSU AgCenter and LSU provide equal opportunities in programs and employment.

Pudding and Pie

For hundreds of years, London has attracted more inhabitants than the city could adequately house. During Roman times, the city was enclosed by a wall on three sides and the Thames River on the fourth. When the limited space was filled, workers built on top of existing buildings as well as across the London Bridge, the city’s only bridge. These additions grew wider with each added level, which caused homes to almost touch across the street.

Fire was always a great concern to large cities. By the 1600s, it was illegal to build with wood and to roof with thatch in London, but those building materials were much cheaper than stone and slate. The public largely ignored the building codes and enforcement officers did little to enforce them. The city was full of blacksmiths, glaziers, foundries, bakeries and a host of other craftsmen who manufactured their products by using open flames in wooden buildings.

London had no fire department, but relied on its local militia to watch for fires. Each church was required to house equipment for fighting fires including ladders, leather buckets, axes, and firehooks. In the event of a fire, the militia doused the flames by throwing water from leather buckets. In order to keep the fire from spreading, the militia used the firehooks to pull down flimsy houses. If those efforts failed to stop the spreading flames, the militia created firebreaks by demolishing homes with controlled gunpowder explosions.

Thomas Farriner owned a prominent bakery in the city. The bakery was on the first floor and Thomas’s family lived in an upper floor. Just after midnight on Sunday, September 2, 1666, a fire broke out at Thomas’s bakery and quickly spread. Thomas and his family escaped from the fire by climbing through windows into an adjoining neighbor’s home. Thomas’s maid, however, was unable to escape and was the fire’s first victim.

Within a short time, the fire had spread to adjoining buildings. The militia was unable to extinguish the fire with their water buckets and it gained momentum. Militiamen wanted to pull down houses on the outer perimeter of the fire but their tenants refused and the Lord Mayor was slow to intervene. A strong west wind fanned the flames. All attempts to slow the spread of fire failed.

At first, Londoners who lived just a few streets away assumed the fire would not reach their homes. When they realized the fire would likely destroy their homes, Londoners began loading the bulk of their possessions onto carts and hauling them away. The streets of London were congested by hundreds of carts, full carts trying to get out of London and empty ones coming back in for another load. The carts bottlenecked at each of the eight gates in the Roman wall. Many people stored their possessions in stone buildings, mostly churches such as St. Paul’s Cathedral, because they were thought to be fireproof. However, the contents of most of these buildings caught fire and added to the destruction. Some wealthy Londoners hired boats on the Thames to transport their possessions away from the burning city. Tenants scurried to grab whatever they could up until they were repelled by the heat of the fire. Contemporary accounts claimed the fire created its own weather system and eyewitness accounts described what amounted to fiery tornadoes.

On the orders of King Charles II, the militia began using controlled gunpowder explosions to level buildings. As soon as a building was detonated, teams of people cleared the area of the debris. The fire spread to homes on the London Bridge and people feared the fire would spread to the opposite side of the river. Luckily, a firebreak on the bridge prevented its crossing.

On Wednesday, September 5, the wind which had fanned the flames died down. A slow and steady rain began to extinguish fires throughout the city. The last fire to be extinguished was at the corner of Giltspur Street and Cock Lane in central London. By the time it was extinguished, the fire had destroyed an estimated 13,500 houses, 87 churches, 44 trade associations and guild buildings, the Royal Exchange, the Custom House, several prisons, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and numerous other buildings. The numbers vary depending on the source, but, surprisingly, only a few people died as a result of the fire.

The Monument and the Golden Boy

During reconstruction efforts after the fire, Londoners created monuments to mark the starting and ending points of the fire. The Monument to the Great Fire of London, colloquially referred to as “the monument,” is a 202-feet-high Doric column which stands 202 feet from where the fire began. In an alcove at the corner of Giltspur Street and Cock Lane is a statue called “Golden Boy of Pye Corner”. Pye was old English for Pie. This statue marks the spot where the last of the fire was extinguished.

Following the fire, some citizens of London perceived the Great Fire of London as a sign from a higher power of the evils of overeating. An inscription on the “Golden Boy” statue states: “This Boy is in Memory put up for the late Fire of London, Occasion’d by the Sin of Gluttony.” You see, the fire began at a bakery on Pudding Lane and was finally extinguished at Pie Corner. The fire began on Pudding and ended at Pie.

1. The London Gazette, September 10, 1666, p.1.
2. The Monument. “The Monument.” Accessed April 19, 2021. https://www.themonument.info/.
3. Historic UK. “The Golden Boy of Pye Corner.” Accessed April 19, 2021. https://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryMagazine/DestinationsUK/The-Golden-Boy-of-Pye-Corner/.