Sand & Sandbags Available Across the Parish

According to the most recent forecast from the National Hurricane Center, the majority of the rain will be to the east of Bienville Parish.  

The Police Jury has established six sand and sandbag distribution points in the parish.  Here are the site locations and contact information:

  • Arcadia City Hall
    Contact City Hall at 263-8456.
    If after hours, the Sheriff’s Office can dispatch out the public works department.
  • Gibsland Water Department
    Contact Gibsland City Hall at 843-6141
  • Castor High School
    Contact Rodney Warren at 245-0410
  • Ringgold City Hall
    Contact Ringgold City Hall at 894-4699
  • Shady Grove School
    Contact Raymond Malone at 259-2830
  • Saline Fire Station
    Contact Mayor Dorothy Satcher at 576-3272 or 576-3545
Expected Rainfall (National Hurricane Center)
Greatest Flash Flood Risk Over Next 3 Days (National Hurricane Center)

How to Create an Emergency Supply Kit

According to the National Hurricane Center, residents of Bienville Parish will experience high winds and rain from Hurricane Ida.  It’s always a good idea to be prepared for any type of emergency situation such hurricanes, storms, floods, extended power outages, and any other type of disaster.  The following is a good list of items you may need to gather for such an event.  

After an emergency, you may need to survive on your own for several days. Being prepared means having your own food, water and other supplies to last for at least 72 hours. A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.

Make sure your emergency kit is stocked with the items on the checklist below. Most of the items are inexpensive and easy to find and any one of them could save your life.  Once you take a look at the basic items consider what unique needs your family might have, such as supplies for pets or seniors.

Basic Disaster Supplies Kit

To assemble your kit store items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers such as plastic bins or a duffel bag.

A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:

  • Water (one gallon per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation)
  • Food (at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food)
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • Whistle (to signal for help)
  • Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
  • Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
  • Manual can opener (for food)
  • Gasoline for Backup Generator (Never operate a generator inside)
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
  • Cloth face coverings (for everyone ages 2 and above)
  • Soap
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Disinfecting wipes to disinfect surfaces
  • Prescription medications
  • Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives
  • Prescription eyeglasses and contact lens solution
  • Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes and diaper rash cream
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Cash or traveler’s checks
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
  • Complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children

Maintaining Your Kit

After assembling your kit remember to maintain it so it’s ready when needed:

  • Keep canned food in a cool, dry place.
  • Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers.
  • Replace expired items as needed.
  • Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family’s needs change.

3-Year-Old Killed by “Accidental Discharge” of Gun

The Bienville Parish Sheriff’s Office is investigating the fatal shooting of a 3-year-old child.

At about 10:51 p.m. on Tuesday, August 24, the Minden Medical Center contacted the Bienville Parish Sheriff’s Office and reported that a three-year-old gunshot victim had been brought to the emergency room by his mother, Brianna Bissel, age 22, of Hwy 80 West, Taylor, Louisiana.

The child, later identified as Timothy Murphy, was pronounced deceased at 11:01 p.m.

Sheriff Ballance described the incident as an accidental discharge of the gun.  The child, his mother, and mother’s boyfriend, Derome Williams, age 19, of Atkins Street in Arcadia, were living in a travel trailer in Taylor.  The victim was in a separate bed in the same room as his mother and her boyfriend.  The gun was in a cabinet within reach of the child.

According to statements of the mother and boyfriend and evidence obtained at the scene no foul play is suspected at this time. A complete investigative report including video statements will be submitted to District Attorney for further review.


LA Dept. of Health Recommends NOT Taking Horses Parasite Medication to Prevent or Treat Covid-19

In a statement released Wednesday, the Louisiana Department of Health said to “never use medications intended for animals on yourself.” 

The Louisiana Department of Health strongly recommends against the use of ivermectin for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19. Ivermectin is commonly used in animals to treat or prevent parasites. The FDA has not approved or authorized ivermectin for cases of COVID-19. Ivermectin tablets are approved at very specific doses for some parasitic worms in humans, as well as topical treatments for head lice and skin conditions like rosacea.

The FDA has received multiple reports of patients who have required medical support and been hospitalized after self-medicating with ivermectin intended for horses. Using any treatment for COVID-19 that is not approved or authorized by the FDA, unless part of a clinical trial, can cause serious harm.

Large doses of ivermectin, such as those intended for horses, can be highly toxic in humans and cause serious harm. Please be safe and do not take ivermectin unless you have a prescription for an FDA-approved use, get it from a legitimate source and take it exactly as prescribed for the condition it was prescribed for.

Never use medications intended for animals on yourself. Ivermectin preparations for animals are very different from those approved for humans.

“I know people are concerned about the Delta variant and our recent COVID surge and may have questions,” said Dr. Joseph Kanter. “Please beware of misinformation online including around ivermectin. The FDA has not approved or authorized ivermectin for preventing or treating cases of COVID-19. If you want to prevent COVID-19, get the COVID-19 vaccine. All three vaccines are safe and effective, all three were authorized by the FDA, and Pfizer was just approved by the FDA for those 16 years old and above.”


“Ida” Heading Our Way; Gov. Declares State of Emergency

Tropical storm Ida is gaining strength and may reach hurricane strength before coming ashore.  According to the National Hurricane Center, Bienville Parish will likely see most activity from Ida beginning early Monday morning.  

Yesterday, Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency due to the potential impacts and further development of Tropical Storm Ida. According to the National Hurricane Center, this system is forecast to approach the northern Gulf Coast at or near major hurricane intensity Sunday. 

While there is some forecast uncertainty since the system is just forming, there is the potential for dangerous storm surge, damaging hurricane-force wind and heavy rainfall Sunday and Monday along the coast of Louisiana. A state of emergency is an administrative step that authorizes the use of state resources to aid in storm response efforts.

The Emergency Operations Center at the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) is activated, monitoring the potential storm, and coordinating with both FEMA and parish offices of emergency preparedness.

GOHSEP is urging all Louisianans to plan accordingly. Hurricane force winds of 110 miles per hour are currently forecasted. That is a strong Category 2 hurricane, and we should always prepare for a storm one category higher. Flash flooding from heavy rains can happen very quickly. While flooded roadways, flash flooding and storm surge are the immediate concerns, there is the potential for additional weather issues beginning as early as early Sunday morning with the arrival of tropical storm force winds.

Remember to take certain steps to prepare for your family and pets. Check on friends, neighbors or family members that may struggle with their preparedness plans. People should be sure to pack masks and hand sanitizer if they evacuate and if multiple households are sheltering together, they should consider indoor masking to reduce the chance of COVID-19 spreading. It is also not too late for people to get the COVID-19 vaccine, which is safe, effective and widely available all across Louisiana.

For updates from the Governor’s Office, text the word ‘IDA’ to 67283.


Absentee Ballots for October 9 Election Have Been Mailed

Absentee by mail ballots for the October 9, 2021 election have been mailed out.

The Registrar of Voters asked that you “Please be on the lookout for yours if you are currently enrolled in the mail out program. We ask that you return them to us by mail as soon as you can. The last day we can accept a mail ballot in our office either by mail or by hand is October 8th by 4:30 pm.”


Today in History – August 27

1776 – Battle of Long Island: In what is now Brooklyn, New York, British forces under General William Howe defeated Americans under General George Washington.

1793 – French Revolutionary Wars: The city of Toulon revolted against the French Republic and admitted the British and Spanish fleets to seize its port, leading to the Siege of Toulon by French Revolutionary forces.

1810 – Napoleonic Wars: The French Navy defeated the British Royal Navy, which prevented them from taking the harbor of Grand Port on Île de France.

1832 – Black Hawk, leader of the Sauk tribe of Native Americans, surrendered to U.S. authorities, thus ending the Black Hawk War.

1859 – Petroleum was discovered in Titusville, Pennsylvania which led to the world’s first commercially successful oil well.

1881 – The Georgia hurricane made landfall near Savannah, Georgia, resulting in an estimated 700 deaths.

1883 – Eruption of Krakatoa: Four enormous explosions almost completely destroyed the island of Krakatoa and caused years of climate change.

1893 – The Sea Islands hurricane struck the United States near Savannah, Georgia, and killed between 1,000 and 2,000 people.

1915 – Attempted assassination of Bishop Patrick Heffron, bishop of the Diocese of Winona by Rev. Louis M. Lesches.

1916 – World War I: The Kingdom of Romania declared war on Austria-Hungary, and entered the war as one of the Allied nations.

1918 – Mexican Revolution: Battle of Ambos Nogales: U.S. Army forces skirmish against Mexican Carrancistas in the only battle of World War I fought on American soil.

1928 – The Kellogg–Briand Pact outlawing war was signed by fifteen nations. Ultimately sixty-one nations signed it.

1939 – First flight of the turbojet-powered Heinkel He 178, the world’s first jet aircraft.

1943 – World War II: Aerial bombardment by the Luftwaffe razed to the ground the village of Vorizia in Crete.

1953 – “Roman Holiday”, starring Audrey Hepburn, Gregory Peck, and Eddie Albert, was released.

1955 – “Guinness Book of World Records” was first published.

1956 – The nuclear power station at Calder Hall in the United Kingdom was connected to the national power grid becoming the world’s first commercial nuclear power station to generate electricity on an industrial scale.

1958 – USSR launched Sputnik 3 with two dogs aboard.

1962 – The Mariner 2 unmanned space mission was launched to Venus by NASA.

1964 – Walt Disney’s “Mary Poppins” starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke premiered in Los Angeles.

1965 – The Beatles spent an evening with Elvis Presley.

1970 – Jimi Hendrix created his last studio recording at Electric Lady Studios in New York, an instrumental called “Slow Blues”.

1975 – Veronica & Colin Scargill (England) completed a tandem bicycle ride, a record 18,020 miles around the world.

1980 – A massive bomb planted by extortionist John Birges exploded at Harvey’s Resort Hotel in Stateline, Nevada after a failed disarming attempt by the FBI. Although the hotel was damaged, no one was injured.

1984 – US President Ronald Reagan announced the ‘Teacher in Space’ project.

1990 – “No Fences”, the second studio album by Garth Brooks, was released.  It was the Billboard Album of the Year in 1991.

2003 – Mars made its closest approach to Earth in nearly 60,000 years, passing 34,646,418 miles (55,758,005 km) distant.

2004 – Hong Kong martial arts film “Hero” starring Jet Li opened in the US and became the first Chinese-language film to go to #1 at US box office.

2006 – Comair Flight 5191 crashed on takeoff from Blue Grass Airport in Lexington, Kentucky bound for Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta. Of the passengers and crew, 49 of 50 were confirmed dead in the hours following the crash.

2012 – First interplanetary human voice recording was broadcast from the Mars Rover Curiosity.

2019 – Race car driver Jessi Combs died while setting a new fastest women’s land speed record of 522.783 mph at Alvord Desert, Oregon (posthumously awarded 2020).

2020 – Hurricane Laura made landfall in Louisiana near the Texas border as a category 4 storm with 150 mph winds.  It killed at least 16 people.


100 Years Ago in Bienville Parish – Gibsland Boy Injured when Hit By Truck

On Saturday morning, August 20, 1921, Paxton Callihan was making ice deliveries in Gibsland.  In the days before electricity, people regularly purchased ice from a local ice plant and had it delivered to their residence.  Before the invention of the refrigerator, people placed large blocks of ice and food they wanted to keep cool in an ice box.  Many people still refer to their refrigerator as an ice box. 

As Paxton was driving through Gibsland, 10-year-old Richard Hart ran in front of the truck.  Paxton had no time to swerve or to stop.  The ice truck rocked as it ran over young Richard.  Paxton must have thought he had killed the child.  Once he was able to stop, Paxton and several bystanders ran to Richard to check on his condition.  To their relief, Richard was alive.  The wheels of the truck had broken one of Richard’s legs.  They quickly took Richard to the local doctor for medical attention.  Richard was certainly more cautions around vehicles after this harrowing incident.

Source:  Bienville Democrat, September 1, 1921, p.1.