100 Years Ago in Bienville Parish – Shooting in Gibsland City Park

At about 1:30 a.m. on June 23, 1921, two men and a “woman of doubtful character,” were spending time together in Gibsland’s city park.  Both men shared affectionate feelings for the woman and a quarrel ensued.  The argument escalated until one of the men, who was described as being “a dangerous character,” pulled a pistol and shot the other man. 

Deputy Sheriff C. Webb of Gibsland heard the gunshot and ran to the scene.  An outbound freight train was just pulling out of Gibsland.  Deputy Webb found a panicked woman and a man with a serious, possibly fatal, gunshot wound.  Deputy Webb surveyed the scene and saw a man running away.  The deputy took chase.  The trigger man ran parallel to the freight train and jumped on it.  Deputy Webb was too far away to catch up to the train.  He could only watch as the shooter slipped away. 

The identities of the two men and the “woman of doubtful character” were never revealed in local newspapers.  Whether the injured man survived and whether the shooter was ever captured remains unclear.

Bienville Parish’s Angela Turner Johnson Set for LSHOF Induction

It’s been far too long since Shady Grove High School alumnus Angela Turner Johnson has been in the spotlight. Saturday night, she takes a permanent place in a big one.

Turner Johnson, the pride of Shady Grove in the late 1970s, helped the Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters reach four Final Fours in her career at Tech. She was Final Four MVP as a junior in 1981 when the Techsters won the first of two straight national championships, and she earned all-America honors as a senior. Her jersey is retired. After years of coming close to election, she has finally earned induction this weekend in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.

She was the state MVP for a 46-1 state championship team as a senior, was voted Miss Shady Grove and graduated atop her class. A.T. was a three-year All-State basketball star.

The state’s most spectacular sporting event of the summer takes place in Louisiana’s most historic and charming town, Natchitoches, today through Saturday night with the pandemic-delayed Class of 2020 Induction Celebration.

Reservations for the free Junior Training Camp and four ticketed events, including Saturday evening’s induction ceremony, are still available at LaSportsHall.com or by calling 318-238-4255. There’s also a free Rockin’ River Fest concert Friday night in Natchitoches, featuring fireworks at 9:15 after introduction of “A.T.” and the other 2020 inductees.

The Class of 2020 also includes world-famous Louisiana sports figures Ronnie Coleman and Phil Robertson, world-traveler Sweet Lou Dunbar of the Harlem Globetrotters, and nationally-acclaimed network sports broadcaster Tim Brando.

Pro Bowl cornerback Charles “Peanut” Tillman, NBA standout Kerry Kittles, and iconic Monroe-Richwood high school football coach Mackie Freeze are also among the star-studded class.

Coleman and Freeze are Grambling legends. Robertson, Mr. Duck Dynasty, is like Turner Johnson a holder of bachelor’s and masters’ degrees from Tech.

The Induction Celebration kicked off Thursday. Friday’s schedule begins around lunchtime with the Hall’s BOM Bowling Bash pairing 2020 inductees and more sports celebrities, including past inductees, with bowlers at All-Star Lanes in Shreveport.

Friday evening brings a free riverbank concert — the third annual Rockin’ River Fest presented by Rapides Regional Medical Center with bands and fireworks over Cane River Lake in historic downtown Natchitoches.

Kevin Naquin and the Ossun Playboys are the feature act, preceded by Johnny Earthquake and the Moondogs, with surprise special guests, and other musicians beginning at 6.

Tickets are on sale for the Taste of Tailgating party, presented by Hancock-Whitney, in an air-conditioned tent near the stage.

Saturday morning offers the last free event, the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Junior Training Camp, presented by the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office, will be held on the Northwestern State campus. Up to 300 youth ages 8-17 will be participating at no charge.

Hall of Fame inductees will be the featured instructors for drills in football and basketball while healthy living initiatives and other positive lifestyle messaging will be presented to boys and girls, and Raising Canes is providing a coupon for a free lunch to all the kids.

Campers should be registered before Saturday on the LaSportsHall.com website, or by calling 318-238-4255. They should report to the Webb WRAC in the middle of the NSU campus between 8:30-8:45 a.m. Saturday with the camp running from 9-11.

The 2020 Induction Class will be celebrated in the annual Induction Ceremony presented by State Farm Agents of Louisiana, Saturday night at the Natchitoches Events Center.

Guests will first enjoy an array of appetizers from 5-6:45 at the nearby Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame museum, and can migrate to the Events Center starting at 6 to be in their seats for the 7 p.m. kickoff with the stirring Walk of Legends. Cox Sports Television live coverage begins at 6.

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Another Mill Creek Reservoir Board Member Resigns

by Brad Dison

On Friday Morning, June 18, the Bienville Parish Journal published an article entitled “Summer Season Brings Questions about Mill Creek Reservoir Board’s Handling of Lake.” The article was a result of numerous complaints about the board’s collection of money and the condition of the grounds and buildings.

Following the article, two board members, Ann Garlington and Marion Morgan, resigned. A third board member, Rusty Kaiser, who had requested to be removed from the board last year, formally resigned.

Yesterday morning, June 22, a fourth board member, Danny Carr, resigned, leaving a single board member in place, Scott “Perch” Thrasher.

Michael Nelson, Police Juror of Ward 6, which includes all of Mill Creek Reservoir, and Rodney Warren, Secretary and Treasurer for the Police Jury, wanted to reassure the public that the Police Jury would continue to do all they can to help the lake commission and Mill Creek Reservoir.

The appointment of new board members will be on the agenda for the July 14th Police Jury meeting.

Previous articles pertaining to Mill Creek Reservoir:  (Click on each link to read the article)

  1. Summer Season Brings Questions about Mill Creek Reservoir Board’s Handling of Lake – June 18, 2021
  2. Three Mill Creek Reservoir Board Members Resign; Meeting Cancelled – June 18, 2021
  3. Police Juror Responds to Lake Commission Concerns – June 19, 2021

For more Bienville Parish News, get a free subscription to the Bienville Parish Journal by Clicking Here.  You can also Like and Follow Us on Facebook.

Castor to Host First Annual Freedom Fest July 3rd


On Saturday, July 3, 2021, Castor will host its first annual Freedom Fest.

The Pine Beetle Festival has partnered with the Town of Castor to bring you some SUMMER FUN!

There will be food, free Bingo, a cake walk, corn hole, sno cones, a Treasure Hunt, a spectacular fireworks display, a grand finale provided by Alvie Myers, and more.


Local churches will have food booths to raise money to help their kids and youth with camp expenses. Only local churches are allowed to sell food. Each church will sell one thing. There will be no other vendors allowed to set up. We just want this to be a time of fun and fellowship.


At 5:00 p.m., join us at the pavilion for FREE BINGO. Bingo will be free because we want everyone to support our churches and kids with food purchases. Bingo prizes have been donated by local businesses and individuals. If you would like to donate prizes for Bingo, please drop them off to Mayor Pickett at the Castor City Hall.


We will host a Treasure Hunt with a prize in excess of $300.00.

Clues will be posted beginning Monday, June 28th and be posted daily until Friday, July 2nd. They will be posted daily at City Hall by 9:00 am, and on Bienville Parish Journal website and Facebook page soon thereafter.  If no one finds the treasure one last clue will be posted early Saturday am.  If the treasure is not found it will be added to the 2021 Pine Beetle Festival Treasure Hunt amount.


The celebration will end with the best fireworks show around.  We will have a pyrotechnic firework show that can be seen all over the town.  It will begin when it gets dark enough to be seen really well, probably around 9:00 pm give or take a few minutes.  You will be allowed to sit on the tracks, downtown, at the community center, or wherever you think you can see best. Fireworks will be launched from the Castor Fire Station.

***Masks are NOT required to attend any of these activities but if you feel better wearing one please do so.



Governor Signs Bill Detailing Responsibilities of Law Enforcement Officers

On Monday, Governor John Bel Edwards signed Bill No. 34 which detailed the responsibilities of law enforcement officers while interacting with the public.  

The Bill stated that:

  • No later than January 1, 2022, any law enforcement agency that utilizes body-worn cameras shall adopt a policy regarding the activation and deactivation of such cameras by the officer.
  • No later than January 1, 2022, any law enforcement motor vehicle that is equipped with a dash camera that has the technology to automatically record upon the activation of the motor vehicle’s police emergency lights shall utilize that technology.
  • The use of choke holds and carotid holds are prohibited, except when the officer reasonably believes he or another person is at risk of great bodily harm or when deadly force is authorized.
  • No law enforcement officer shall seek, execute, or participate in the execution of a no-knock warrant, except in certain cases.

Library Summer Reading Program to Host Dallas Puppet Theater

We’re in for a special treat with the arrival of the Dallas Puppet Theater! The Dallas Puppet Theater is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to promoting and preserving the ancient form of the performance art of puppetry. The organization maintains the art with an ongoing series of family performances, guest artists, school programs, workshops and outreach programs like the upcoming performance coming to the Bienville Parish Library June 24th and June 25th. Below are the program times for each library:

Thursday, June 24

  • Arcadia at 10:00 a.m.
  • Ringgold at 2:00 p.m.

Friday, June 25

  • Castor at 10:00 a.m.
  • Saline at 2:00 p.m.


Did you know historians can predate some form of puppetry as early as 2000 BC! Puppets or stringed puppets called “Marionettes” were found in Egyptian tombs and were made of clay and ivory. Some puppets were used to display rituals and ceremonies and later stringed and articulated puppets were used as a form of entertainment for the townspeople or villagers. Live performers, scenery, props, musicians and actors were far too expensive to bring to villages and remote towns, so brightly painted wagons with a miniature theatre was set up, bringing operas, morality plays, comedy acts and even religious reenactments during holidays and special religious feasts with Marionettes or hand puppets as the actors and actresses and even animal Marionettes had acting parts!

The Dallas Puppet Theater will have examples of the different kinds of puppets from different cultures around the world. We’ll probably even see shadow puppets used in many East Asian cultures. Be sure to come and experience the ancient and wondrous world of puppetry with the Dallas Puppet Theater!


This is a new Summer Reading Program reward and there are ten brag tags to snag! Preventing the “summer slide” continues to be the main objective of summer reading programs. This new reading incentive gives your reader extra motivation to read and collect all ten tags. It will impress teachers with how many books/pages they read during their summer vacation!

The 2021 Summer Reading Program is designed to help:

  • Children be motivated to read.
  • Children develop positive attitudes about reading, books, and the library.
  • Children maintain their reading skills during summer vacation.
  • Children have access to experiences that further their sense of discovery.
  • Children have access to experiences through which they can learn to work cooperatively.
  • Most of all – HAVE FUN!

Look for the Pull & Post Fridge Flyer in the Bienville Parish Library Event Guide for times and list of performers. You’ll also find all you need to know at bienvillelibrary.org.

Register Now for “Shot At A Million” Lottery for Vaccinated Residents

Fourteen vaccinated Louisianans will win scholarships and cash prizes – including one adult who will win $1 million – throughout July as part of the Shot At A Million campaign the state is launching to reward residents who have taken or who choose to get their COVID-19 vaccine, Gov. Edwards announced Thursday.

Registration for Louisiana’s Shot At A Million lottery began Monday, June 21, 2021. Louisianans who have gotten the vaccine can register online at ShotAtAMillion.com. Residents who do not have access to the internet or who have questions can call the toll-free hotline at 877-356-1511 to register, starting Monday.

“It’s time to take your Shot At A Million, Louisiana. Any resident who has taken at least one COVID vaccine dose can register to win life-changing cash and scholarship prizes. Get your first shot by July 31 and you could be our grand prize winner,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “Getting your COVID vaccine is already a huge win for Louisianans because they can safely take off their masks, be around other people and know that they are protected from serious COVID-19 infections, hospitalization and death. These safe and effective vaccines are the key to a brighter future full of music and festivals and fun for our state. But for 14 lucky Louisianans, getting the vaccine is going to mean even more. It’s time to go Sleeves Up to Bring Back Louisiana, because you don’t want to throw away your Shot At A Million.”

“This is a once-in-a-century event and we find ourselves at a pivotal point. Shot At A Million is bold and creative – and we’ll need more unconventional ideas like this to end this pandemic. Because when lives are on the line, you do whatever it takes,” said Dr. Joseph Kanter, State Health Officer. “The circulation of the COVID variants of concern, especially the fast-spreading Delta variant, adds further urgency to our vaccine campaign. What we do now will in part dictate what our fall looks like.”

“Cash for college is always a reason to celebrate,” said Commissioner of Higher Education Kim Hunter Reed. “This is an exciting opportunity for students to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the lagniappe is more than a little something extra. These scholarships will help our future students advance their education at a two-year or four-year college or university or through an apprenticeship program. Our message is clear – to bring back Louisiana geaux get your vaccine and geaux register to win these scholarships and cash prizes.”

Louisianans who have taken at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and are age 18 or older may enter to win one of four $100,000 prizes and the grand prize of $1 million. Louisianans who have taken at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and are between the ages of 12 and 17 may enter to win one of nine $100,000 scholarships. Louisianans are eligible if they have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine before the drawing date – regardless of when they were vaccinated.

Louisiana will have four weekly drawings for one $100,000 scholarship and one $100,000 cash prize. The final grand prize drawing on August 4, 2021 will award a $1 million cash award and five $100,000 scholarships. Overall awards will total $2.3 million, paid using federal COVID outreach dollars.

The Louisiana Lottery Corporation is assisting the Louisiana Department of Health with structuring the reward program and conducting the randomized drawings, with LDH and the Legislative Auditor present. LDH will not share a person’s vaccine status or health information with the Louisiana Lottery Corporation, and will confirm the vaccination status of the winner after de-identifying the person’s information.

Schedule of drawings:

  • Enter by July 9, 2021 by 11:59 p.m. CDT for the July 14 drawing
  • Enter by July 16, 2021 by 11:59 p.m. CDT for the July 21 drawing
  • Enter by July 23, 2021 by 11:59 p.m. CDT for the July 28 drawing
  • Enter by July 30, 2021 by 11:59 p.m. CDT for the August 4 drawing
  • Enter by July 31, 2021 by 11:59 p.m. CDT for the August 4 Grand Prize Drawing

Winners will be announced two days after the drawing to allow time to confirm vaccination status. The Grand Prize winners will be announced on August 13, 2021. For more information, visit ShotAtAMillion.com.

Need help getting a vaccine?

The three FDA-authorized COVID vaccines are very easy to find in Louisiana. People can call the vaccine hotline at 1-855-453-0774 between 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday.

The vaccine hotline can answer vaccine questions, schedule appointments, help people find a vaccine provider or community event near them, and connect people to medical professionals.

The federal government also runs Vaccines.gov, which helps people locate vaccination locations near them.

People can also text their ZIP code to GETVAX (438829) in English, or VACUNA (822862) in Spanish, to get the contact information of three locations near them with available vaccines.

Bienville Community Health Center Provide Spotlight Jenna Seets, FNP-C

Originally from New Orleans, LA, Jenna Seets, FNP-C/AGACNP-BC, received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, LA, in August 2011. She started her 8-year nursing career as a registered nurse on the stepdown unit and critical care unit at Christus- Highland Shreveport Bossier, then later the Pediatric Intensive Care Units at Louisiana State University. After working at LSU for five years, she went on to receive a Master of Science in nursing from the University of South Alabama in May 2018. While attending the USA, Jenna was inducted into two nursing honor societies Golden Key Society and Sigma Theta Tau. She’s also a member of the Louisiana Association of Nurse Practitioners. Jenna is certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner through the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. She is also a certified Adult-Gerontological Acute Care Nurse Practitioner through the American Nurses Credentialing Center. She began her employment with Bienville Community Health Center in Ringgold, LA, as a Primary Care Provider in December 2018. Jenna and her family reside in Bossier City, LA.

Bienville Community Health Center
3265 Military Rd, Ringgold, LA 71068

Phone: 318-894-2341

Monday – Friday: 8:00am – 5:00pm

Today in History – June 23

1611 – The mutinous crew of Henry Hudson’s fourth voyage set Henry, his son and seven loyal crew members adrift in an open boat in what is now Hudson Bay; they were never heard from again.

1713 – The French residents of Acadia were given one year to declare allegiance to Britain or leave Nova Scotia, Canada.

1812 – War of 1812: Great Britain revoked the restrictions on American commerce, thus eliminating one of the chief reasons for going to war.

1868 – Christopher Latham Sholes received a patent for an invention he called the “Type-Writer”.

1888 – Frederick Douglass was first African-American to be nominated for US Vice President.

1917 – In a game against the Washington Senators, Boston Red Sox pitcher Ernie Shore retired 26 batters in a row after replacing Babe Ruth, who had been ejected for punching the umpire.

1926 – The College Board administered the first SAT exam.

1938 – The Civil Aeronautics Act was signed into law, forming the Civil Aeronautics Authority in the United States.

1940 – Adolf Hitler went on a three-hour tour of the architecture of Paris with architect Albert Speer and sculptor Arno Breker in his only visit to the city.

1942 – World War II: Germany’s latest fighter aircraft, a Focke-Wulf Fw 190, was captured intact when the pilot mistakenly lands at a Royal Air Force base in Wales.

1960 – The United States Food and Drug Administration declared Enovid to be the first officially approved combined oral contraceptive pill in the world.

1969 – IBM announced that effective January 1970 it would price its software and services separately from hardware thus creating the modern software industry.

1970 – Singer Chubby Checker was arrested for marijuana possession.

1972 – Watergate scandal: U.S. President Richard M. Nixon and White House Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman were taped talking about using the Central Intelligence Agency to obstruct the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s investigation into the Watergate break-ins.

1973 – A fire at a house in Hull, England, which killed a six-year-old boy was passed off as an accident; it later emerged as the first of 26 deaths by fire caused over the next seven years by serial arsonist Peter Dinsdale.

1974 – First extraterrestrial message sent from Earth into space.

1975 – Rocker Alice Cooper fell off a stage in Vancouver and broke six ribs.

1976 – CCN Tower in Toronto, tallest free-standing structure at the time opened.

1979 – Charlie Daniels Band released “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”.

1979 – “My Sharona” single released by The Knack.

1979 – Supertramp’s “Breakfast in America” became No. 1 album in the US featuring “Take the Long Way Home”.

1980 – First solar-powered coast-to-coast two-way radio conversation.

1985 – A terrorist bomb exploded at Narita International Airport near Tokyo. An hour later, the same group detonated a second bomb aboard Air India Flight 182, bringing the Boeing 747 down off the coast of Ireland killing all 329 aboard.

1989 – Movie “Batman” premiered directed by Tim Burton, starring Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson.

1991 – Sonic the Hedgehog was released in North America on the Sega Genesis platform, beginning the popular video game franchise.

1993 – Lorena Gallo Bobbitt cut off John Wayne Bobbitt’s penis while he slept.

2004 – Bob Dylan accepted an honorary doctorate of music degree from the University of St Andrews, Scotland’s oldest university.

2013 – Nik Wallenda became the first man to successfully walk across the Grand Canyon on a tight rope.

2014 – Claude Monet’s Water Lilies was sold at auction for $54 million.

2016 – Led Zeppelin was cleared of stealing the riff from “Stairway to Heaven” from band Spirit in a Los Angeles court.

2016 – The United Kingdom voted in a referendum to leave the European Union, by 52% to 48%.

2018 – Twelve boys and an assistant coach from a soccer team in Thailand were trapped in a flooding cave, leading to an 18-day rescue operation.

Stanley’s Stump

Stanley Bert Eisen was born on January 20, 1952 in New York City.  On that day, doctors and nurses immediately realized Stanley had been born with a congenital deformity known as Microtia.    The deformity prevented his ear from forming properly and left him deaf in his right ear.  Rather than being deaf in his right ear, it would be better stated that he was deaf on his right side because there was no right ear.  Stanley was born with a stump where his right ear should have been.    

Stanley recalled that he had a “less than optimal childhood.”  His parents refused to acknowledge that Stanley had a deformity.  Rather than explaining his deformity and that he was half-deaf, his parents simply ignored the issue altogether.  Stanley recognized his deformity at an early age when people would stare at the right side of his face.  Stanley looked into mirrors and compared his left ear and the stump on the opposite side.  He knew he was different.  Stanley had trouble hearing on his right side but his family never spoke of his half-deafness.  Stanly recalled, “I was an angry, dysfunctional kid with a real image problem and a hearing problem that put me under constant scrutiny.  My family’s way was, ‘Everything’s OK.  Forward, march.’  But the idea that you make someone stronger by ignoring their pain shouldn’t be called ‘tough love.’ It should just be called ‘no love.’”

Stanley also struggled to fit in at school.  Being deaf on his right side, Stanley found it hard to tell from which direction sounds originated.  When everyone else responded to a sound by looking in a certain direction, Stanley usually looked the other way.  In a crowded room, he had a hard time differentiating people’s voices.  All of the voices sounded like jumbled up gibberish.  Because of his deformity the other students at his school treated him cruelly.  They teased and bullied him endlessly.  Stanley struggled with depression and social isolation.  He became a loner as his distrust of people grew. 

Stanley found solace in music.  His parents listened to classical music, which Stanley loved.  Stanley aimed his good toward the speakers and eagerly absorbed everything from Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach, to Rodgers and Hammerstein, Lerner and Loewe, and Stephen Sondheim.  On February 9, 1964, the Beatles played the Ed Sullivan Show in what were the early years of the British Invasion.  Twelve-year-old Stanley watched in awe.  The Beatles wore their hair long, which quickly became fashionable.  Stanley realized that wearing his hair long would hide his deformed ear and it was in style.  Once his hair grew long enough, strangers stopped staring at his deformity.  “What I found over the years,” Stanley said, “was that what you deny and cover up doesn’t cease to exist, and even if you can hide something from the public, you can’t hide it from yourself.”

Stanley became an artist.  Through the years, he has earned millions of dollars off of his artwork which includes portraits, abstracts, and logos.  Art collectors around the world proudly display his work among their collections.  The prestigious Wentworth Gallery still sells his original artwork in their galleries.  Stanley’s work in the arts afforded him the required surgeries to rebuild his disfigured ear.  In 1982, 30-year-old Stanley had fiver surgeries in which doctors removed cartilage from one of his ribs and constructed a new right ear.  Still self-conscious, Stanley kept his hair long, which was in style in the 1980s.

In 1988, Stanley saw the London company perform Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera.  He claimed that that show changed his life.  Stanley said “I had this momentary revelation, an epiphany where I went, ‘Wow, I can do that.”  For ten long years, Stanley dreamed of playing the part of the Phantom, a disfigured musical genius who was in love with a young protegee whom he had trained.  Finally, in 1998, Stanley got an audition to play the Phantom in the Toronto, Canada, production of The Phantom of the Opera.  In its ten-year run at the Pantages Theatre, the play had sold more than seven million tickets at $135 each for decent seats.  Stanley felt a personal connection to the Phantom.  He explained, “Here’s somebody who has a disfigurement that they’re covering and they’re trying to reach out to a woman, and, as much as they want to do it, they don’t know how.  Well, that pretty much summed up my life…”                     

To play the part of the Phantom required multiple auditions for singing, movement, and acting.    Stanley realized that this audition process was probably his only shot to play the Phantom.  Stanley prepared as best he could.  He had seen the play numerous times and knew the songs by heart.  There was no need for Stanley to worry.  Stanley passed the audition and got his coveted role.  For the first time since the 1960s, Stanley cut his long hair.  He had a month of rehearsals and voice lessons six days a week to prepare for the production.  Stanley told a reporter that playing the part was “the hardest work [he had] ever done.”  The critics, doubtful at first, thought he brought something special and new to the character.  Once his stint with the Toronto company ended, Stanley returned to his artwork. 

His most recognizable piece of art is well known around the world.  He was the artist who created the logo for the band KISS with its lightning bolt s’s.  He created the artwork for several of their album covers as well.  He was also one of the four artists who created KISS.  Stanley adopted the first name of one of the Beatles, the band he watched on the Ed Sullivan Show so long ago.  For the last half century, the world has known Stanley Bert Eisen as Paul Stanley. 


  1. The National Post (Toronto, Canada) March 12, 1999, p.4.
  2. The Windsor Star, March 12, 1999, p.16.
  3. The Star-Phoenix, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada), May 26, 1999, p.29.
  4. Calgary Herald, May 27, 1999, p.48.
  5. Lansing State Journal, June 27, 1999, p.40.
  6. The Leader-Post (Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada) January 3, 2001, p.20.
  7. New York Daily News, April 7, 2014, p.34.
  8. The Daily Item (Sunbury, Pennsylvania), April 13, 2014, p.B2.
  9. The Vancouver Sun, April 25, 2014, p.42.
  10. WentworthGallery.com. “Paul Stanley.” Accessed June 14, 2020.

Arrest Report

June 14

  • Deshawn Gipson (Gibsland)
    • Simple Burglary – Motor Vehicle – Felony
    • Criminal Trespass – Immovable Structure – Misdemeanor
  • Schumann Pearson (Arcadia)
    • Failure to Appear – Execution of Sentence
  • Rodney Jackson, Jr. (Arcadia)
    • Failure to Appear Warrant – Felony
  • Anginette Walker (Arcadia)
    • Failure to Appear Warrant – Felony
  • Jamie King (Ringgold)
    • Illegal Carrying of Weapons – Misdemeanor
    • Art 575 – Fugitive – 2 Counts
  • Logan White (Ringgold)
    • Resisting an Officer – Misdemeanor – 4 counts
    • Disturbing the Peace – Offensive, Derisive, Annoying Words to Another – Misdemeanor – 2 Counts
    • Possession of Methamphetamine Less Than 28 Grams (Felony)
    • Possession or Distribution of Drug Paraphernalia – Misdemeanor

June 15

  • Jeffery Sampson, Jr. (Gibsland)
    • Illegal Carrying of Weapons – Felony
    • Possession or Distribution of Drug Paraphernalia – Misdemeanor
    • Violation of Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Law – Misdemeanor
    • Possession of Marijuana 1st Offense – Misdemeanor
  • Daniel Young (Arcadia)
    • Aggravated Battery with Dangerous Weapon – Felony

June 16

  • Logan White (Ringgold)
    • Simple Assault – Misdemeanor

June 18

  • Leila White (Bienville)
    • Operating a Vehicle while Intoxicated – Misdemeanor
    • Leaving the Scene of an Accident – No Injury
    • Careless Operation
  • William Houck, Jr. (Ringgold)
    • Domestic Abuse Battery – Felony
  • Brian Green (Ruston)
    • Operating Vehicle with Suspended License; other offenses
  • Lorenzo Franklin (Grambling)
    • Maximum Speed Limit
    • Resisting an Officer – Misdemeanor

June 19

  • Joshua Dominique (Shreveport)
    • Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana
    • Possession or Distribution of Drug Paraphernalia – Misdemeanor
    • Operating Vehicle with Suspended License; other offenses
    • Illegal Carrying of Weapon in Presence of CDS – Felony
    • Maximum Speed Limit (Highways)
  • Kevin Olsson (San, TX)
    • Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated – Misdemeanor
    • Driving on Roadway Laned for Traffic
    • Possession of Alcoholic Beverages in Motor Vehicles

Brought up in Bastrop, Grambling’s Coleman eventually Hit the World Stage

(Portrait by Chris Brown, Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame artist)

By Paul Letlow
Written for the Louisiana Sports Writers Association

Raised in Bastrop, Ronnie Coleman made his mark in college as a middle linebacker from 1983-86 for Coach Eddie Robinson’s Grambling Tigers on the football field, and by graduating cum laude in accounting.

His body rippled with muscles, the product of a zest for powerlifting that was ignited at Bastrop and continued through his college years.

But there was no hint how far that passion would take him: to the status of being the Michael Jordan of bodybuilding, with a world-record eight Mr. Olympia championships; to having a Netflix documentary done about him; and now, to entering the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame this weekend in Natchitoches.

He and another Grambling hero, Tigers’ baseball ace and Monroe-Richwood High championship football coach Mackie Freeze, are among the Hall’s 11 inductees Saturday night. So are Louisiana Tech icons Phil Robertson, the world-famous outdoorsman known as the Duck Commander, and Lady Techster basketball’s Angela Turner Johnson, a star on four straight Final Four teams, two national champions in 1981 and 1982.

For more information and participation opportunities for seven LSHOF events beginning Thursday, visit LaSportsHall.com or call 318-238-4255.

Prior to entering bodybuilding, Coleman was no stranger to the weight room, dating back to his formative years at Bastrop High School.

“I started on the powerlifting team,” Coleman said. “We didn’t have but a few sports back then. Basketball, football, track and baseball. So I was on the powerlifting team when I was in high school, along with the football team and track team.

“I was pretty strong back then, pretty big also. I showed my strength and size right away. I was pretty big in elementary school. I was bigger than everybody else. I’ve been muscular my entire life.”

In college, Coleman’s sporting life focused on the football field – and the weight room. His legendary coach made sure his players were on the right path away from the game.

“(Coach Robinson) always preached family and family values and doing the right things,” said Coleman. “He used to wake us up every morning to go to class. He made sure everybody went to class. If you somehow didn’t go to class, you had to run after practice. You’d only do that one time.”

After Grambling, Coleman never left the gym, while moving to Arlington and joining the police force. It wasn’t until he met Metroflex Gym owner Brian Dobson that he truly uncovered his natural gifts.

Dobson first wanted to bring in Coleman as a workout partner but realized quickly he’d found a powerhouse prodigy.

“He had the best arms I’d ever seen in person and I’d been around the best bodybuilders in the nation at that time,” Dobson said. “He’d never been in a contest or done a real arm workout outside of football training. He didn’t know who Mr. Olympia was when I told him he could probably be Mr. Olympia.”

Coleman enjoyed early success, including a Mr. Texas win in 1990, but his emergence on a world-wide stage took longer. Although he was sometimes frustrated along the way, the thrill of competition always brought him back.

“I was pretty hooked on it my first show,” Coleman said. “I had so much fun up there on that stage. I enjoyed myself so much, even if I wasn’t winning. There were a bunch of times I didn’t win and I still had a lot of fun. Once I started winning and became No. 1 in the whole world, the feeling was so great it’s hard to describe.”

Then came more accolades, including the prestigious Mr. Universe title in 1991 and ultimately his first Mr. Olympia crown in 1998. Coleman won his eight titles consecutively through 2005, tied with Lee Haney for the longest streak in Mr. Olympia history.

Coleman’s reign ended when he lost the Mr. Olympia title to Jay Cutler in 2006. He finished fourth in 2007, his last Mr. Olympia competition.

From there, Coleman used his brains by launching a business selling his own line of bodybuilding products. The athlete’s encouraging catchphrases like “Yeah buddy!” and “Light weight baby!” became famous to his followers.

Coleman’s story reached a wider audience in in 2018, thanks to Russian filmmaker Vlad Yudin’s documentary “Ronnie Coleman: The King,” released on Netflix. This weekend, he’ll be knighted as state sports royalty.

Bienville Parish Man Killed in Shooting at Gas Station just off I-20 in Ruston

Police in Ruston are investigating a shooting which claimed the life of a Bienville Parish man.  

According to KSLA News 12, the shooting happened on June 19 at 2:23 a.m. at the Chevron/Subway gas station located at 110 Woodward Avenue.  

Ruston police received a call about the shooting and quickly responded to the scene.  There they saw several vehicles and a crowd of people.  Police immediately secured the scene.

While police were investigating the shooting, the North Louisiana Medical Center Emergency Room contacted the police department about an unidentified man who arrived at the emergency room with a fatal gunshot wound.  Police determined that he was shot at the gas station.  He was later identified as 21-year-old Brandon Rallins, aka “Big B.”

Rallins played football for the Hornets and graduated from Arcadia High School in 2018.

Police questioned approximately 10 to 12 individuals who were at the gas station when police arrived.  They learned that the people involved were all from Bienville Parish, more specifically, Arcadia and Ringgold.

Police towed several vehicles, confiscated several firearms, and arrested two individuals on drug charges.  

The investigation is still active. 

YOU CAN HELP!!!  Ruston Police Investigators are asking that anyone with information on this case call the police department at 318-255-4141 or Crime Stoppers at 318-255-1111.  You can also submit tips online at rustonlincolncrimestoppers.com, or text “TIP515” to Crimes (274637) to send a text message.  Tipsters will remain anonymous and are eligible to receive a cash reward if information leads to arrest or indictment.

For more Bienville Parish News, get a free subscription to the Bienville Parish Journal by Clicking Here.  You can also Like and Follow Us on Facebook.

Police Juror Responds to Lake Commission Concerns

by Brad Dison

On Saturday, June 19, I spoke with Michael Nelson, Police Juror of Ward 6, which includes all of Mill Creek Reservoir.  

Nelson said he was surprised by the comments made by Ann Garlington, president of the Mill Creek lake commission.  He said he was in constant contact with Garlington during her time on the lake commission.  Nelson said he has helped and would continue to help the lake commission as much as he could, and gave examples of how he has helped in the past.

Some of those examples included:

  • The Police Jury helped the lake commission lower the lake to control vegetation such as Salvinia.
  • The Police Jury helped the lake commission get a grant, which paid for the bathrooms at the Point and Watergate.
  • When the water level was down, the Policy Jury brought in loads of rocks so people were still able to launch boats.

Nelson said the Police Jury could only legally help with certain aspects of Mill Creek Reservoir.  The Police Jury did not pay for the picnic tables, barbecue grills, etc.

He said he did not want to deter possible future board members, but “there is more to being on the board than collecting money.”  For instance, the spillway actually belongs to the lake commission.  Opening the gate to release water cannot be done by the Police Jury, the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, or the Department of Transportation and Development, it can only be done by the lake commission.  In the past, they tried to have the state take the spillway over but were unsuccessful.  Nelson said they would  continue to work to get the state to take it over.

Nelson commended Garlington for her hard work through the years and said he would continue to do all he could to help the lake commission.

Previous articles pertaining to Mill Creek Reservoir:  (Click on each link to read the article)

  1. Summer Season Brings Questions about Mill Creek Reservoir Board’s Handling of Lake – June 18, 2021
  2. Three Mill Creek Reservoir Board Members Resign; Meeting Cancelled – June 18, 2021

For more Bienville Parish News, get a free subscription to the Bienville Parish Journal by Clicking Here.  You can also Like and Follow Us on Facebook.

Three Mill Creek Reservoir Board Members Resign; Meeting Cancelled

On Friday Morning, June 18, the Bienville Parish Journal published an article entitled “Summer Season Brings Questions about Mill Creek Reservoir Board’s Handling of Lake.”  The article was a result of numerous complaints about the board’s collection of money and the condition of the grounds and buildings. 

During the interview for the article, Ann Garlington quoted Sheriff John Balance as saying in response to vandalism and theft, ‘What do you want me to do about it?’  Sheriff Ballance has since responded by saying he did not make the comments Ms. Garlington quoted him as saying. He said deputies have responded to every call they have received pertaining to Mill Creek Reservoir.

Before the article was published, Ann Garlington, president of the board, scheduled a public meeting to discuss the issues at hand.

Following the article, two board members, Ann Garlington and Marion Morgan, resigned.  A third board member, Rusty Kaiser, who had requested to be removed from the board last year, formally resigned.

The Police Jury notified the public that “The Mill Creek Reservoir Board meeting scheduled for next Thursday, June 24th, has been cancelled. At this time a majority of the board members have resigned. The appointment of new board members will be on the agenda at the July 14th Police Jury meeting. 

Previous article pertaining to Mill Creek Reservoir:  (Click on the link to read the article)

  1. Summer Season Brings Questions about Mill Creek Reservoir Board’s Handling of Lake – June 18, 2021

For more Bienville Parish News, get a free subscription to the Bienville Parish Journal by Clicking Here.  You can also Like and Follow Us on Facebook.

State will Require National Anthem at Certain Athletic Contests

On Monday, Governor John Bel Edwards signed Act No. 224 which states that “No competitive athletic event may be held in a venue, the construction, operation, or maintenance of which is financed wholly or partially by the state or a political subdivision of the state, unless the event is preceded by the playing or singing of the national anthem.”  The Act will become effective on August 1, 2021.

Gibsland Attorney Arrested on Drug Charges

On Tuesday morning, June 15, 2021, two BPSO deputies served a court subpoena to Gibsland attorney Jeffery D. Sampson Jr. at his residence on Gibbs Street in Gibsland.  Upon approaching the residence, the deputies smelled the strong odor of marijuana.

Sampson refused to give the deputies consent to search his residence.

Sheriff John Ballance said, “Investigators obtained a search warrant for Sampson’s residence which resulted in the seizure of several ounces of marijuana “buds”, a marijuana cigar, three packages of suspected THC edibles, two AR-15 rifles with extra magazines, 5.56 mm ammunition and drug paraphernalia.”

Deputies arrested Sampson with charges of possession of marijuana, possession of paraphernalia, illegal carrying of weapons in the presence of a controlled dangerous substance, and violation of uniform controlled dangerous drug laws. 

Judge Glenn Fallin set the bond at $17,000 and Sampson was later released on his own recognizance.

All State Offices will be Closed Today for a Half-Day; BP Court Will Proceed as Scheduled

On Wednesday, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that in honor of Juneteenth becoming a legal holiday in the State of Louisiana, on Friday, June 18, 2021, all state offices will be closed for a half-day. Gov. Edwards signed HB 554 (Act 128) by Baton Rouge Rep. Larry Selders enacting the Juneteenth celebration into law and making it a permanent state holiday.

Juneteenth is a day celebrating June 19, 1865 when Major General Gordon Granger led Union soldiers into Galveston, Texas bringing the news that the Civil War had ended and the Emancipation Proclamation declared all those enslaved that they had been freed nearly two and a half years earlier.

“I was proud to sign HB 554 by Rep. Selders and co-authored by the entire Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus, finally recognizing Juneteenth Day as a legal holiday in Louisiana,” said Gov. Edwards. “This is an important part of American history, commemorating the day those who had been enslaved in the United States learned of their freedom. There are meaningful lessons for everyone to learn.”

Act 128 designates the third Saturday in June as Juneteenth Day throughout the State of Louisiana, in honor of the day African Americans celebrate Emancipation Day. Beginning in 2022, all state offices will be closed the Friday before that Saturday.

NOTE:  BIENVILLE PARISH CLERK’S OFFICE will be closed today, Friday the 18th, AFTER 12 PM in observance of the Juneteenth State Holiday.


The clerk’s office will have regular business from 8:30 AM to 12 PM, but will be closed after lunch for the remainder of the day.

All court proceedings currently scheduled for the day will still be conducted, but no further services from the clerk will be available.

Per the proclamation, this holiday will become a FULL DAY State declared holiday beginning in 2022.

Click here to read the proclamation.

UPDATED: Summer Season Brings Questions about Mill Creek Reservoir Board’s Handling of Lake

by Brad Dison

UPDATE:  I spoke with Sheriff John Ballance this morning.  The sheriff said he did not say what Ms. Garlington quoted him as saying in the article.  He said deputies have responded to every call dispatch has received about the Mill Creek Reservoir. 

UPDATE:  According to the Bienville Parish Police Jury, the board meeting which was set for Thursday, June 24, has been cancelled.  A majority of the board members, three of the five resigned this morning, Ann Garlington, Marion Morgan, and Rusty Kaiser (Kaiser requested and thought he had been removed from the board last year).

Original Article:

Many people who visit Mill Creek Reservoir or have visited it in the past have become irritated over multiple aspects of the handling of the lake by the Board of Commission.  Many locals have abandoned going to the lake altogether.

For years, people have complained about being charged to fish, swim, launch a boat, picnic, etc. on a public lake which was built with local tax dollars.  Residents assert that some people are charged while others are not, that the condition of the areas of the lake which are open to the public are in deplorable and dangerous condition, and that representatives of the commission have made people leave from private property including what locals refer to as the Clay Banks.  Some residents claim the board is trying to turn Mill Creek Reservoir into their own private lake.

On Tuesday evening, June 15, Stephen Brown posted on Mill Creek Lake Parks Facebook page, “Can you buy a yearly pass to fish on Mill Creek reservoir instead of paying $6.00 [every] time you want to go fishing on a public Mill Creek Lake Parks?”

Within hours, the Facebook page was flooded with comments in response to Brown’s question.  Some Facebook users argued that the lake is being mismanaged while others commented in defense of the board:

Stephen Brown: “I think they trying to turn it into their own private lake”

Jeff Enloe: “Don’t y’all remember when we didn’t have to pay to swim, fish, or even to build a fire to socialize. The lake was always packed with people. Saline’s small businesses were prospering. Of course, you will get the good and the bad people. Whomever was sitting on the board at Saline thought it was getting out of hand [and] shut it down. When they did, they killed Saline.

David Mauthe: “To me it’s no different than going to saline creek bridge and setting up a toll booth. The tax payers built it with public tax dollars and it should be open to public… If there’s problems then last time I checked there’s still a Sheriff’s department to take care of that. But in my opinion to leave a place open to the public for 25 years then decide to fence and gate it because a few people aren’t satisfied with others behavior isn’t the right solution to me.”

Nathan Brown: “This whole thing has been done wrong from the beginning.”

Some members of the Facebook group commented in defense of the board but requested that they not be quoted in this article.  The majority of those comments spoke of the improvements that the commission has done through the years and how difficult their job is.

I spoke with Ann Garlington, president of the Board of Commission.  Garlington said she has served on the board “for a loooooooong time because nobody else wants to do it.”  “A lot of people want to be on the board but don’t want to do the work.”  She said she “can’t get them [board members] together for a meeting. We’ve got to have three people to have a meeting.  Usually it’s me and Marion [Morgan] and that’s it, and we can’t do nothing.”  She said two sheriff’s deputies are board members but they work different shifts so they can’t have a meeting with everyone present. 

 She said that all board members are volunteers and receive no monetary compensation.  However, Garlington said board members’ families don’t have to pay to swim, launch a boat or enter the park.  They still have to pay for camping.  She said all board members must own property on the lake.    

She said she is the only one taking money for the time being because they haven’t been able to find anyone to do it.  “The only reason we’ve got what we’ve got,” Garlington said, “is because I work for nothing.  Saturday’s, I’m there most of the day.”  She explained that she isn’t available to be at the lake all the time to collect money and they can’t afford to pay someone to be there all the time.  She said that a lot of people refuse to pay and “I don’t guess the sheriff can do anything about it.”  “You can’t put people in jail because they’re broke,” she said.     

Garlington said that people continually vandalize the signs, buildings, and park equipment.  When the board fixes them, vandals destroy or steal them again.  She said she spoke with the sheriff about the problems with theft and vandalism and he asked ‘What do you want me to do about it?’  “They won’t do nothing,” Garlington said.  She said the board installed cameras but they’ve not been able to catch anyone vandalizing the property.

Garlington said money received from visitors goes toward repairs and upkeep.  She said the board receives no money from the Police Jury.  She pointed out that the board paid for the bathrooms, not the Police Jury.  She stated that the Police Jury wouldn’t fix the damaged fence at the Watergate.   

Garlington said last year that she wasn’t going to be on the board anymore but she couldn’t find anyone to take her place.  “I hate to see it destroyed,” she said “I live here.”  She said repeatedly, “I hope the state would come in and take it over.  I hope to goodness that the state would come in and take it over.”

I spoke with Stephen Brown who said that the board is not maintaining the property but is still collecting money.  “If the lake commission is taking up money, why are things such as these not being fixed.  Does everyone who pays cash get a receipt?”  He questioned whether the board has receipts for money taken in and deposited. 

Brown pointed out that according to the Lake Commission Charter [Acts 1995, No. 443, §2, eff. June 17, 1995.] (see full charter below), board members can serve a maximum of eight consecutive years.  Therefore, Garlington and Morgan are ineligible to serve on the board.  Brown said that the board is required by law to hold regular meetings which are open to the public, and the board must post the time, date, place, and agenda for each meeting at least 24 hours prior to the meeting.  “I talked to a board member who said they have never been to a meeting or contacted to go to one.” Brown said, “If there is nothing to hide, why not have regularly scheduled meetings with financial records and transparency, which is required by Louisiana law.” “When was their last audit?”

Brown is in the process of requesting the lake commission’s financial records.  He said they should be held accountable for all the money they’ve collected and spent.  Brown argued that it is not legal for board members and their families to be exempt from paying to use the lake.  They should have to pay like everyone else.  Everyone should be charged the same.  He argued that the board should follow their own charter.  “If they’re gonna run it,” Brown said, “it should be by the book.” 

On Wednesday and Thursday, June 16 and 17, I visited the spots on the lake which are open to the public for a fee.  (see photos below)

Dam and Spillway

  • There is no sign to tell visitors that they are entering a paid part of the lake. Two posts which once held a sign are all that remain.  A sign titled “Location of Dam” has been attached to and is covering a LA DOTD sign.
  • There is a metal money box welded onto a pole near the dock. There is no writing or signage on the money box to let visitors know that they are required to pay to launch a boat.
  • The dock is a danger to the public because it is missing four boards on the main walking deck.
  • There was litter, including glass bottles and broken glass, on the ground.

The Point

  • A small sign sitting on the ground on Hwy 155 advertises “Mill Creek RV Park.”
  • A larger sign near the RV Park entrance specifies the fees associated with the use of the park.
  • The bathroom building exterior is in good condition. The interior of the bathroom was clean and toilets working.    

The Watergate

  • The gate closest to Hwy 155 appears to have been run over.
  • The gate closest to the lake shows the hours of operation and a partial phone number.
  • The dock is a danger to the public because there is a separation of several feet between the bank and the dock. Visitors who want to use the dock have to step onto a large concrete block to get onto the dock.
  • Several of the BBQ pits are a danger to the public because the grill portions have been removed or broken away, which has left poles with rusty, jagged edges.
  • The exterior of the bathroom building is in good condition. None of the toilets are flushable.  The showers were inoperable and had pieces missing. 

In response to the public commentary, Ann Garlington, president of the Board of Commission, has called a public meeting which will be held June 24, 2021 at 6:30 p.m. at Magnolia Baptist Church in Saline.  Garlington said, “I want them all to be there at the meeting… If you want to find out what goes with the money and how it’s taken care of, who pays the bills.  The Police Jury ain’t paid nothing, I’ll tell you for sure.”

I plan to do a live stream of the meeting and by that time hope to have comments from the other four board members which will be included in a follow up article.

Click Here to Read the The Lake Commission Charter

For more Bienville Parish News, get a free subscription to the Bienville Parish Journal by Clicking Here.  You can also Like and Follow Us on Facebook.

Governor Signs Bill Expanding Early Voting for Presidential Elections

On Wednesday, Gov. John Bel Edwards signed House Bill 286 by Rep. Frederick D. Jones, which extended the period of early voting for presidential elections in Louisiana.

Gov. Edwards said:

“I am proud to sign HB 286 by Rep. Jones, which extends the early voting period for presidential elections by three days. All across the country, we have seen partisan efforts to limit access to voting. That’s not the case here in Louisiana, where we are now adding more early voting days for one of the most consequential and popular elections people vote in – the presidential election. Voting is one of our most sacred rights and responsibilities as Americans. As public officials, we should make it easier for people to exercise their right to vote, not harder. This bill does just that. By adding additional days of early voting in advance of presidential elections, it means Louisianans will have more opportunities to cast their votes and make their voices heard. I am thankful the Legislature sent me this bill and I will continue to advocate to expand access to voting.”

Castor’s Family Dollar/Dollar Tree Opening Delayed

On Wednesday, June 16, this Journal announced that the Family Dollar/Dollar Tree Combo Store was scheduled to open at 9:00 a.m. yesterday, June 17.  A steady stream of shoppers who were eager to visit the new store went to the doors only to be told that it would be later in the afternoon before the store would open because they were still waiting on deliveries.  They apologized for any inconvenience this delay may have caused.