Bienville Lumber Company holding job fair August 1

Bienville Lumber is hosting a job fair for its upcoming state-of-the-art lumber mill located in Gibsland.

It will be held on Aug. 1 at the Bossier Parish Community College’s Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Technology Building L from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Hiring representatives will be there to conduct on site interviews to potential new employees. They are asking they you bring at least three copies of your resumes.

Bienville Lumber is currently hiring for the following positions:

  • Electrcians
  • Millwrights
  • Forklift Operators (Green end, Dry side, Shipping and Kilns)
  • Crane Operators
  • Supervisors (Planer, Electrical, Mechanical, Kiln, Green end, Dry end and shipping)
  • Quality Control Techs
  • Debarker Operators
  • Canter Operators
  • Trimmer Operators
  • Stacker Operators
  • Tilthoise Operators
  • Planer Operators
  • Feeder and Setup Operators
  • Utility
  • Mobil Shop Mechanics
  • Parts/Warehouse

Construction of the new $240 million sawmill was announced in January 2021 and is well underway at this point. They are expecting to be fully staffed and operable by the last quarter of 2023. 

Memory Lane: Maurice Thrasher’s Memories of Pine Grove and Beyond

by Brad Dison

98-year-old  Maurice Thrasher shared with me some fascinating details of his life in the Pine Grove community of Bienville Parish, learning a trade, going to war, and coming home.  It is important that we document our memories so they will be preserved for future generations. If you would like to send me your memoirs for possible publication, or would like some tips on how to record your memoirs, please email me at  

Mr. Thrasher wrote the following account of his life:

Maurice Thrasher during World War II
Maurice Thrasher celebrating his 98th birthday

Humane Society of Louisiana sees need for animal shelter and services in Bienville Parish

A concerned citizen contacted the Bienville Parish Sheriff’s Office on Sunday, July 16 after seeing three puppies near the side of Highway 120 in Arcadia. Since the parish lacks a shelter or an animal control department, the sheriff’s office contacted the Humane Society of Louisiana (HSLA), based out of New Orleans, whom they have worked with in the past. The Humane Society, in turn, reached out to one of their few contacts in the area Julie Mitchell, and she graciously agreed to pick up and house the puppies. Ms. Mitchell runs one of the few rescues in the area, Cross My Heart N Paws Rescue ( Mitchell has converted part of her residence into a boarding facility for stray animals. The puppies were scared, hungry, and thirsty but are expected to make a full recovery.
“We are very grateful to Ms. Mitchell and all that she does to help the homeless and unwanted animals in her parish. But, she alone, obviously, can’t solve or address all the problems. I am hopeful that the parish will work with us and other organizations to finally study this problem and develop a program to house some strays in the near future. Something obviously needs to be done,” says Dorson. 
The Humane Society paid for the puppies’ wellness checks and vaccinations, and all are available for adoption. To adopt one or more, please contact Julie at 318-497-1311. The adoption fee is $100. There are two boys and a girl. Donations to support Julie’s efforts can be made to her PayPal account at Checks or money orders can be mailed to Ms. Michell at  2654 Hwy 563 Simsboro, LA 71275. 
Lauren Brown, a recent transplant from Texas, also desperately sees the need for a parish shelter and a full-time staff to respond to calls. Right now, citizens can only call the sheriff’s department for assistance. Unfortunately,  the deputies have no place to house criminally neglected animals or strays. In several cases last year that involved the mistreatment of multiple animals, the Humane Society arranged to house them at a local veterinary clinic. A more permanent arrangement, however,  is desperately needed, according to the Humane Society. 
“It would be wonderful and much needed for Bienville Parish to fund a true animal rescue or shelter. This parish lacks this type of resource and sadly many animals are abandoned along the roadside. I have personally rescued several dogs like this, of which we now have four that are personal pets. It is sickening and cruel to see puppies (and other animals” being left to starve to death or dying of heat/thirst. Many are scared, ill, and parasitic. They represent humanity’s failure at the most basic level.,” says Lauren Brown.
The Humane Society of Louisiana intends to contact members of the Bienville Parish Police Jury and lobby for the construction of a few pens or kennels. 
The group lobbied lawmakers during the past legislative session to set aside funds for the construction of two new shelters, but the capital outlay request died in a conference committee toward the end of the session. The plans to lobby lawmakers again during the 2024 session.  
Photos courtesy of Ms. Mitchell and may be reproduced.
Established in 1988, the Humane Society is one of the largest animal protection organizations in the state. For more information, please visit its website at

Ricardo Moore announces his candidacy for Bienville Parish Tax Assessor

I am excited and humbled to announce my candidacy for Bienville Parish Tax Assessor.

I was born in Gibsland and have been a life-long resident of Bienville Parish. I currently live in Arcadia. I have lived other places, but there is no other place that can compare to the rolling hills and the people of this parish.

Life often takes us in many directions and down many paths, but somehow the path always leads home.

I attended Gibsland Coleman and I graduated from Bossier Parish Community College in 2011 with an Associates Degree in Computer Science. I have also completed a 90-hour real estate course. I am currently in the process of obtaining my real estate license. My professional background consists of residential single and multifamily construction management, licensed insurance complex claims adjusting (multiple states). I am currently an operations supervisor for a transportation company in Shreveport. 

I feel that my back ground in residential construction management and my knowledge of the market in the parish makes me a great fit for this position.

If I am elected I will serve the people in my parish with the utmost respect. Property valuations will be fair and in compliance with all local and state guidelines. I am asking for your support and consideration!!!

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me at

Thanks and blessings to all…

JOB OPPORTUNITY: Paraprofessionals needed at three Bienville Parish schools

The Bienville Parish School Board is looking to fill three open paraprofessional positions at Bienville School, Castor High School and Arcadia High School. 

These are one-year only positions.

Applicants must possess a high school diploma or HISET (General Equivalency Diploma). This qualification must be met at the time of application submittal. The applicant must possess the physical ability and stamina to assist in meeting the health needs, physical hygiene and movement of students. 

A pre-employment drug screening and background check is required.

Bienville School

Submit applications by August 1 to:

Principal Katherine Winzer 

325 Main Street

Bienville, La. 71008

Castor High School

Submit applications by August 1 to:

Principal Joy-Dee Wallace

140 Front Street 

Castor, La. 71016

Arcadia High School

Submit applications by August 4 to:

Principal Sam Harris

967 Daniel Street

Arcadia, La 71001

Fishing for school bass can be educational

Although the sun had not yet appeared over the horizon, the air was already warm and sticky, typical of the onset of another hot July day in Louisiana just like what we woke up to this morning. This would have been a good day to work on articles in my air conditioned office but fishing guide and friend Eddie Halbrook’s call the night before had a sense of urgency about it.

“I don’t care what you have planned for tomorrow,” Halbrook said, “put it off. The bass are schooling on Grand Bayou and you need to come with me.”

The “Grand Bayou” Halbrook mentioned is Grand Bayou Reservoir, a small 2500 acre impoundment located 50 miles south of Shreveport. I don’t mind admitting a degree of skepticism when Halbrook mentioned that for the past week, he’d been catching at least a hundred bass a day. Skeptical or not, I found myself in the back of Halbrook’s boat as the bright, and soon to be hot, sun made its appearance in a cloudless July sky.

Somewhere around 7 am, Halbrook caught the first bass of the day. At a little past noon, I released bass number 100. We had, indeed, hit the century mark with bass in a half day of fishing that can only be described as “hot”…in more ways than one.

Grand Bayou Reservoir is like so many lakes around the country. The lake has a thriving population of baitfish, in this case, threadfin shad, that seek the highest levels of oxygen. In warm months, oxygen is more plentiful in the top of the water column. Wave action near the surface continues to replenish dissolved oxygen and huge schools of baitfish move about in comfort just beneath the surface.

For predator fish like largemouth bass, these roaming pods of baitfish are seen as a gourmet feast there for the taking. Slashing into baitfish schools, bass gorge themselves and in the process, make their presence known to alert bass fishermen from hundreds of yards away. Their feeding activity agitates the surface, often sending plumes of water flying in all directions.

Fishing for schooling bass can be at the same time exciting and frustrating. Here’s a typical scenario…a couple of anglers see a school of feeding bass erupt from 100 yards away. Starting the engine, they rush to within casting distance of the school only to see the surface become quiet again before the first cast is made. Looking back to where they just came from, they’re frustrated to see the fish thrashing the surface back there.

Thus, patience is one of the key ingredients in fishing for schooling bass. When the fish are active, the best bet is to avoid the temptation of dashing from school to school. Just be patient; they’ll soon be thrashing the water’s surface where you are.

If you take a youngster along, there is no better way to spark an interest in bass fishing that could last a lifetime than to introduce him/her/them to fishing for school bass.

For starters, school bass are generally easy to catch, the fishing experience is filled with spine-tingling excitement, and the neophyte angler is almost always anxious to do it all over again another day. Equipment needs are simple and can be easily handled by a less-experienced angler.

As bass slash into baitfish on the surface, some of the bait will be injured or killed in the process and will likely be floating in the area. Scoop up a couple and determine their color but more importantly, the size. If they’re silver in color, as most baitfish are, and are two inches long, it’s not brain surgery to know what to do next. Simply dig in your tackle box and select a silvery lure, two inches in length. If you’re hungry for an ice cream cone, you’re not likely to head for the refrigerator and go slap-happy over a celery stick. Bass are no different; they want what they want when they want it.

If you get excited at the sight of bass exploding on the surface all around you; if you thrill to strike after strike; if you get pleasure at the look on the face of your youngster fighting a tenacious bass, then school bass fishing may be right up your alley.

Dave Grohl and… Leonadis?

For those of you that know me, you’re probably aware that I have music in my bones. I fancy myself something of a “below-above average” banger of the drum kit, and a true lover of all things rock & roll. In Dave Grohl’s book – “The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music,” he tells of his humble beginnings, growing up in a Virginia suburb outside Washington D.C. Dave would go on to be an international rock & roll superstar, with success and longevity of relevance that has and will continue to rival that of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

Dave learned the guitar from a Beatles songbook and from spinning various records in his childhood bedroom, and he learned to play drums from banging on pillows – arranged in a drum kit-like configuration. From a Beatles song book and pillow drums, to being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame TWICE is no small feat, especially considering both inductions came during his lifetime. Talk about a short list of peers. Anyway… So how does Dave’s story relate to an article like Slicing the Pie?

Like Dave’s musical journey, everyone’s martial lifestyle has a humble beginning, and the only end to our path comes when we die, or when we choose to stop improving.

You might think my martial journey began when I joined the police force in 2008, but you’d be mistaken.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve benefited greatly from lessons, experiences, and training that wouldn’t exist for me without my chosen career path. However, my martial path began with a YouTube video titled “.40s Suck.” It was my first exposure to James Yeager of Tactical Response, and I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when that video appeared on my screen. I had been a cop for about five or six years at that point and I thought I knew a thing or two about guns – handguns in particular. I’ll have to re-visit the significance of that video and the great caliber debate in a later article.

For now, just know that video encounter left an indelible mark on my life, and set me instantly on a course of enthusiastic, continued education – much the same way the band “Naked Raygun” changed the life of a young Dave Grohl.

Perhaps your path began by learning firearm safety from a parent or grandparent. Maybe it started when you joined the military, or when you took your first concealed carry class. Maybe the proverbial “light bulb” was lit when you read a book or an article that really spoke to you. Regardless, it started (or it needs to start) and it’s your responsibility to continue moving, learning, and growing.

In a 2010 interview with “PopMatters,” Foo Fighters Drummer Taylor Hawkins said “I know I’m not Freddie Mercury or Ann Wilson, and that’s okay. You don’t have to be a great singer to sing rock and roll. That’s not what it’s about.” Similarly, you don’t have to be the Spartan King Leonidas or a decorated Navy Seal to be successful in battle. Comparing yourself to others who have progressed further along the martial path is counterproductive. However, you can glean from their teachings and their bravery – as well as the lives of countless other notable warriors – things that will help you be successful in the most critical circumstances. Nobody expects you to be a high-speed, low-drag, steely- eyed dealer of death – just like nobody expects me to be the 2nd coming of John Bonham. That said, you can achieve a survival level of proficiency, and you can continue to advance even after mastery is obtained.

The decision to prioritize safety for yourself and others is entirely up to you, and how far you progress along the path is only limited by your willingness to put in the work. You can make safety a priority in your life and appreciate the efforts and sacrifices of so many that have gone before you, by continually doing things to make yourself an asset to those around you, rather than a complacent liability.

Just as inroads for modern rockstars were paved by the deeds (and misdeeds) of the flamboyant stage-divers who came before them, your martial path has been paved for you by some figurative giants. All you have to do is commit to walking it. If you never move beyond that article you read, or the hunting skills you learned, the class you attended, or if I’d dismissed that YouTube video – we’d be no good to anyone when the chips are down.

Wes Bayliss, of the band “The Steel Woods” sings “Nothing makes you old like holding onto youth.” If you remain an infant, standing at the precipice of your own journey, you will one day wake up as someone you don’t recognize. You will have been living in the past and on the day of your emergency, when you’re involuntarily thrust into the present, your body will have aged, but your mind will have remained the same. So, get to work – get to training – get to reading – be better tomorrow than you are today, and help keep fresh pavement on the road for the next generation of warriors.

Avoid what you can. Defeat what you can’t.

Please submit your questions to Ryan via email at

(Ryan Barnette is not a licensed attorney or a medical provider, and no information provided in “Slicing the Pie,” or any other publication authored by Ryan Barnette should be construed, in any way, as official legal or medical advice.)

‘Family is but an earlier Heaven’

This has been a pretty tough week for me. Not the worst, but definitely not the best.  

When I have weeks like this, there is nobody else I would rather be surrounded by than my family.  

No question.  

That is a key point: No question!  

Well, they may ask how I have been, how things are going, am I okay, etc. But if I do not feel like disclosing, they know and they do not press the situation.  

They just love me.  

And by doing so, they heal me.  

We go over to my mom and dad’s house almost every Sunday for dinner.  

This is my reset. This is my time to wipe the slate clean for the week and look forward to a new one.  

We may not do anything special at all. Most of the time, there is just good food, sitting on the front porch with my sisters, watching our kids play in the yard and an unspoken promise to keep doing this for as long as we possibly can.  

We know that not every family has this luxury. That it is special and rare.  

Some families have lost certain family members that held the glue together. Some consist of children or grandchildren that have moved on to start their own families across the state or country. And sadly, some just do not get along.  

I could not imagine. I think if my family fell apart for whatever reason, then I would crumble myself.  

My life changes on an almost daily basis, whether it be personal or professional. But one thing that I know I can count on is my family. When everything else is changing around me or when I am changing myself, my family remains constant. The only constant.  

I came across a quote the other day that said, “A happy family is but an earlier Heaven.” I think this has some merit because that is when I am happiest – after eating a good meal, sitting on the front porch with my family, listening to my girls, nieces and nephews laughing as they play. How could life on Earth get any better? 

I hope that as my girls witness and experience the importance of family and our effort to get together on Sundays, they will be instilled with the same comfort as I am.  

That no matter what life throws at them, how hard it gets or how much everything else is changing around them, they can always come home.  

No questions asked.  

(Paige Nash is a wife, mother of three, journalist for the Webster Parish Journal and publisher for the Bienville and Claiborne Parish Journal.)

A good foot forward

Last week I read an online article about feet. I can’t remember where I read it, or from which website I was perusing. I was probably during one of those Interweb rabbit holes where I’ll start watching a YouTube video about bicycle repair, and two hours later I’m glued to a music video of Herman’s Hermit’s singing “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter,” wondering how I ever got there.

On this day the rabbit hole led me to all things feet. More specifically, bare feet. The piece touted the positive effects and beneficial outcomes of spending a substantial amount of time each day walking around barefooted. The author referenced some science and a few studies to back up the claim and it all seemed plausible. Who am I to doubt foot experts?

I once read a book by Wayne Dyer in which he stated the health benefits of walking barefooted on grass for 10 minutes before bedtime. He had findings and data to back his claim, too. But I didn’t need any of that. Walking barefooted on grass is something in which I have a lot of experience. Not much as of late, but I spent my childhood summers sans shoes.

Summers in South Mississippi are hot. In those days schools held their final day of the year before Memorial Day and didn’t reconvene until after Labor Day. My generation had three full months of summer vacation. Three very hot months of summer vacation. Three months in which I spent 90% of my time barefooted.

Those summers started out with May feet. May feet were soft and tender and made it difficult to even walk softly without shoes. By the end of the summer, we had August feet. August feet were hard and calloused. May feet had a hard time tiptoeing through Bermuda grass. August feet could run down a gravel road at full speed.

May feet would probably gain a lot of benefit from Dr. Dyer’s walking-in-grass-before-bed principle. August feet, hardened by weeks of exposure to aggregate driveways, rigged sidewalks, and hot August asphalt might not feel the first blade of grass.

There are periods in my youth when the only time I wore shoes in the summer was to go to church. I didn’t do it because a scientific study published in some random medical journal said it was the thing to do. I did it because I am a child of the South, and it was the thing to do. It’s what we all did. It may still be the thing to do. Though I am much older and much heavier, and I live in a constant state of May feet. At 61, I may even have February feet.

As a kid I also spent a lot of time walking around on grocery store feet. For some reason walking barefooted in grocery stores yielded much dirtier feet than walking down a dirt road. I wouldn’t let my kids go barefooted in a grocery store when they were young, but, in my day, it was a common occurrence.

One of the great surprises I have experienced at this stage of my life— I’m not sure when it started, but probably around the time I started receiving unsolicited letters from the AARP— is that my feet are one of my most important body parts. Feet never gained a second thought from me as a kid. Unless I stumped a toe, stepped on a nail, or cut my heel, I never cared much about anything below my knees. Shoes, no shoes, flip flops, support, no support, it didn’t matter. They were a vehicle to get me around and they did a fine job and I had other body parts that needed attention. These days I have way since passed the stage of style-over-substance in footwear, and I have become the old guy who doesn’t give a damn about what his shoes look like as long as they are comfortable, have lots of cushion, and offer substantial support. I haven’t started mall walking yet, but I feel the pull as it is beginning to make perfect sense.

Feet may be a strange topic for a weekly column such as this, but I guess that goes along with age. This column has been a weekly commitment for me for the past 24+ years. Over 1,000 words a week and I’ve never missed a week. I’ve never written about feet. But I’ve also never been on the cusp of 62 years on this planet.

Bare feet have their issues. In the mid-1960s I cut my foot on a broken mayonnaise jar that required several stitches. ThoughI don’t remember that injury ever being a hinderance. A boy came to our door one day, collecting money for charity or a school project and I saw my mom put a dollar in his jar. Being an entrepreneurial-minded five-year-old, I went straight to the pantry, grabbed an empty mayonnaise jar, and set out going door-to-door— barefooted, of course— raising money. There was no charity or school project. All I knew is that if I showed up at my neighbor’s doors with a jar there was a good chance they’d put money in it. They did. “Would you like to give me some money?” That’s all I had to say, and I ended up collecting a lot of money for a five-year-old in 1967. That is when karma kicked in.

On the way home with my beggings, I dropped the jar. It broke. In the mad scramble to collect the coins— and a few bills— I cut a large gash in the middle of my foot. After getting stitched up at the emergency room, my mother made me limp up and down the sidewalk, from neighbor to neighbor, returning all the ill-gotten gains. It was a good lesson on several levels, but it didn’t stop me from going barefooted for the next decade.

Kids today get somewhere around six weeks of summer vacation. There is a local school that started their “fall” semester last week. That’s mid-July. Their feet hadn’t fully moved from June feet to July fee yet. Kids today are missing out on August feet and grocery store feet.

Beginning today, I think I’ll start going barefoot more. I won’t walk barefooted in my yard before bed because it’s dark out there and there are two dogs who use that back lawn as their toilet, and one of them is over 100 pounds, and eats a lot. But maybe I’ll just be the old eccentric guy who walks around town barefooted, even in the grocery store.

My life’s goal these days is to die young— as late as possible. Maybe it’ll be even later if I ditch the shoes and live year-round with August feet.


Dirty Rice

1 Tbl bacon fat

2 oz ground beef

2 oz ground pork

1 bay leaves

1 Tbl poultry seasoning

1 tsp dry mustard

1 /2  cup diced onion

1 /4  cup diced celery

1 /4 cup diced bell pepper

2 tsp minced garlic

2 Tbl butter

1 cup rice

2 cups pork stock, hot 

Brown the ground pork in the bacon fat.

Add veggies and seasoning and cook 10 minutes.

Stir in rice and hot stock, lower heat, cover and simmer 18 minutes.

Yield: 3 cups

(Robert St. John is a chef, restaurateur and published cookbook author who lives in Hattiesburg, Miss.)

Today in History

1821 – Peru declared its independence from Spain.

1865 – The American Dental Association proposed its first code of ethics.

1866 – The metric system was legalized by the U.S. Congress for the standardization of weights and measures throughout the United States.

1868 – The Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was declared in effect. The amendment guaranteed due process of law.

1896 – The city of Miami, FL, was incorporated.

1914 – World War I officially began when Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia.

1932 – Federal troops forcibly dispersed the “Bonus Army” of World War I veterans who had gathered in Washington, DC. They were demanding money they were not scheduled to receive until 1945.

1941 – Plans for the Pentagon were approved by the U.S. House of Representatives.

1942 – L.A. Thatcher received a patent for a coin-operated mailbox. The device stamped envelopes when money was inserted.

1945 – A U.S. Army bomber crashed into the 79th floor of New York City’s Empire State Building. 14 people were killed and 26 were injured.

1951 – The Walt Disney film “Alice in Wonderland” was released.

1965 – U.S. President Johnson announced he was increasing the number of American troops in South Vietnam from 75,000 to 125,000.

1973 – Lee Majors and Farrah Fawcett were married.

1982 – San Francisco, CA, became the first city in the U.S. to ban handguns.

1991 – Dennis Martinez (Montreal Expos) pitched the 13th perfect game in major league baseball history.

1994 – Kenny Rogers (Texas Rangers) pitched the 14th perfect game in major league baseball history.

1998 – Bell Atlantic and GTE announced $52 billion deal that created the second-largest phone company.

1998 – Serbian military forces seized the Kosovo town of Malisevo.

1998 – Monica Lewinsky received blanket immunity from prosecution to testify before a grand jury about her relationship with U.S. President Clinton.

2000 – Kathie Lee Gifford made her final appearance as co-host of the ABC talk show “Live with Regis and Kathie Lee.”

2006 – Researchers announced that two ancient reptiles had been found off Australia. The Umoonasaurus and Opallionectes were the first of their kind to be found in the period soon after the Jurassic era.

Upcoming Events

Please send all non-profit calendar events to

July 14 – August 14

Football Registration Open at Arcadia Parks and Recreation

Contact: Mario Jefferson at 318-436-6662 

July 28- 29 (8 p.m. nightly)

Mt. Olive Christian School Rodeo – 435 Gantt Rodeo Road in Athens

July 30 (5 p.m.)

Louvenia Gipson Chapter of GCAA’s Quarterly Meeting – Gibsland Coleman High School cafeteria

August 11 (6 p.m.)

Back to School Supply Giveaway – Jordan Henderson Park on North Railroad Ave. in Arcadia

August 13 (6 p.m.)

Red River Night of Worship – First Baptist Coushatta – 2006 Alonzo Street, Coushatta

August 19 (9 – 12 p.m.)

Art in the Park  – Jordan Henerson Park on North Railroad Ave. in Arcadia

August 28 (5 – 7 p.m.)

August After Hours Event by the Bienville Parish Chamber of Commerce – Gibsland Grill

Notice of Death – July 27

Notice of Death – July 27, 2023

Sharalyn “Shari” Abercrombie Pickett

Feb. 1, 1948 – July 32, 2023

Minden/Arcadia, La.

Funeral service: 2 p.m. Friday, July 28, 2023, Emmanuel Baptist Church, (Hurricane Community), Arcadia.

Burial: Hurricane Cemetery.

Frances E. Baker

Jan. 5, 1941 – July 22, 2023

Benton, La.

Visitation: 10 a.m. Friday, July 28, 2023, Cypress Baptist Church, Benton, La.

Funeral service: 11 a.m. immediately following visitation.

Burial: Noon, Rose-Neath Cemetery, Bossier City, La.

Melba Vaughan

Sept. 19, 1940 – July 26, 2023

Shongaloo/Homer, La.

Private family memorial, under the direction of Bailey Funeral Home, Springhill, La.

Bienville Parish Journal publishes paid complete obituaries – unlimited words and a photo, as well as unlimited access – $80. Contact your funeral provider or . Must be paid in advance of publication. (Above death notices are free of charge.)

Town of Arcadia Mayor questioned at Louisiana Audit Advisory Council Meeting

By Paige Nash

The Louisiana Legislative Auditors Council convened on Tuesday, July 25. During this meeting lawmakers reviewed the recent auditor’s reports for the town of Arcadia as well as the town’s approximate $677,000 deficit in the general fund and $871,000 deficit in other governmental funds.

With the enormous amount of deficits, State Senator for District 70 Barbara Frieburg was astounded that the town spent $1 million to two seperate vendors for tree cutting, debris removal, building maintenance and other repairs to town property. This $1 million was paid out between January 1, 2021 to June 10, 2022 and were not under contract or included in budgetary statements.

When asked for an explanation Arcadia Mayor O’Landis Millican responded saying, “We wasn’t aware the contracts were needed to be in place. Once the legislative auditors were doing there investigation and made us aware of that, we started implementing contracts for services.”

Frieburg asked, “Even if it wasn’t required, you did not feel that your city had any liability issues or any issues whether the work got done or didn’t get done?”

Millican explained that it was smaller amounts accumulated over a period of time. He said, “Before we do any outside work with private contractors, we do ensure that they have insurance, Workers’ Comp and all of that.”

Millican worked under past mayor Eugene Smith for four years before being elected to fill his role. He said, “I saw him do it that way, so I thought that was the right way to do it.”

The mayor told the council that during the pandemic when he was working a skeleton crew, he was out in the field assisting with the clean-up efforts following previous storms that hit the town.

“I spent two weeks myself out there with a chainsaw in my hand cutting up trees and removing debris from the roadway,” said Millican.

Senator Jay Luneau for District 29 explained, “I have held that chainsaw, too. That is a very admirable thing that you have done there, but at the end of the day nobody is going to remember that you got out there and cut limbs with a chainsaw. They are going to remember that you have a $600,000 deficit. They are going to remember that you didn’t do your documentation correctly and those kind of things. People tend to remember the faults that we have instead of the good things that we do.”

The rest of the meeting revolved around noncompliance issues the the Local Government Act, requirements for spending American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, violations for open meetings and improper incentives to town employees. The improper payments totaled $53,000 to the mayor, town clerk, chief of police, council members and other employees during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“At that time when we talked about this in that council meeting, the former attorney said it was legal to pay those incentives. That’s why those incentives was paid out. Since then, once we found out it was illegal, the majority of the poeple – the elected officials – have paid that money back,” said Millican.

He explained there were currently only three elected officials who have not paid back those incentives yet.

The Louisiana Municipal Association (LMA) provides training for newly elected officials, according to their documentation the town was invited to one of those training sessions, but did not attend. The mayor explained that during that time there was a lack of available travel allowances.

Millican assured the council that they are working towards rectifying the other issues regarding properly documenting board meetings with legal notice, budgeting and record keeping.

The Bienville Democrat is on the move

By Michelle Bates

By Aug. 1, The Bienville Democrat will have a new home, but it will still be in downtown Arcadia. The newspaper is moving to 1982 N. Railroad Ave., Suite B, which is located between Crafty Skills LLC and the old pharmacy.

On June 23, Mayor O’Landis Millican gave the newspaper 45 days notice, as per the rental agreement, to move as he said he had a “buyer” for the property, located at 1921 N. Railroad Ave.

In 2019, the town declared surplus, and put up for sale, the property at $75,000. Millican said the offer was for more than asking price and he could not disclose the name of the company or the offer made. In July’s town council meeting, when asked about the move, he said he’d signed a nondisclosure agreement, effectively putting a gag order on it.

According to the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana, the only way the sale of public property could be withheld from the public is if it’s “economic development negotiations,” or “trade secrets in a company.” However, it says nothing about making public the name of the company or the offer made.

And to date, according to the Bienville Parish Clerk of Court’s Office, no transaction has been made since the town purchased the building in 2009 for $28,000 from Louisiana National Bank, then First National Bank. The Bienville Democrat has rented the building from the town since Dec. 1, 2020.

The notice came on the heels of a story printed that wasn’t so favorable for Millican in the June 22 edition.

Whether the notice is because of that story is unclear.

The aforementioned story followed one a few weeks earlier in which an investigative audit regarding the spending of COVID-19 money was released by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s Office. Curtis Brown, an Arcadia citizen, who has also hassled the mayor since the beginning of the year, went to see Millican once the story published. He recorded the incident in which the mayor and Brown could be seen bickering regarding the investigative audit. The bickering escalated after Millican escorted Brown from Town Hall. Millican then made some allegedly disturbing remarks to Brown about his mother; and following the incident, the video went viral.

Catherine Perritt announces her candidacy for Bienville Parish Tax Assessor

Dear Bienville Parish residents,

Upon the announcement of our current Assessor’s retirement, I would like to formally announce my candidacy for Bienville Parish Assessor. 

I have dedicated the past 9 years to serving under Mr. Jimmie D. Smith and Mrs. Carol T. Brown. Prior to serving as your Certified Louisiana Deputy Assessor, I received my Geographic Information Systems (GIS) degree from Louisiana Tech University in 2014.

Along with this background I have developed and improved my knowledge in assessment practices, from customer service to property descriptions and mapping, to assisting in the annual tax roll submission. With this deep understanding of the intricacies of property valuation, I believe I am most suited to serving as your Bienville Parish Assessor.

I respectfully ask for your support and trust on October 14, 2023, as we begin this journey together. Bienville Parish is my home and I do not take this responsibility lightly.

I pray that I can continue this path to becoming your next Bienville Parish Assessor.


Catherine D. Perritt, CLDA

Candidate for Bienville Parish Assessor

Michael Nelson running for re-election of Bienville Parish Police Juror for District 6

On October 24, 2023, we will have an election for District 6 Bienville Parish Police Juror.

I have proudly and faithfully served you since 2016, and would love to continue serving you.  I will continue to represent you well, and keep you informed of all important developments and concerns for our district.  

I appreciate your support and your vote, and as always, I am only a phone call away for any questions, concerns, or needs regarding trash pickup, parish road maintenance, or other parish issues. 

Michael A. Nelson, Bienville Parish Police Juror, District 6

A scouting report on Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Celebration fun

It’s almost showtime for the 2023 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Celebration Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in Natchitoches (except for Friday’s BOM Celebrity Bowling Bash in Alexandria), so it’s time to plan to take in as much fun as you can.

The most-asked question — can I still get tickets for the Saturday evening Induction Reception (from 5-6:30 at the Hall of Fame museum) and Ceremony (at 7 in the Natchitoches Events Center)?

YES. While the usual big turnout is coming, there is still time to go online at to purchase admission to the signature event. But don’t delay – it could sell out.

The reception provides an array of food stations with fare from not only local restaurants, but some from around the state, along with refreshments and music. It’s a chance to see new exhibits (the Kim Mulkey showcase, for example), new display items to celebrate the museum’s 10th anniversary, the just-installed Class of 2023 display cases, and to meet all of the new inductees and perhaps snap a selfie.

The Induction Ceremony at the neighboring Events Center kicks off promptly at 7 with the National Anthem, followed by the stirring Walk of Legends showcasing past Hall of Fame members returning, then introducing the Class of ’23, set to music from The Natural. The 12 inductions begin immediately after, featuring compelling video introductions followed by on-stage conversations with inductees – producing lots of laughter and some misty-eyed moments certain to create lasting memories.

Saturday evening is the only “dress up” event of the Induction Celebration. Blazers for the men and cocktail dress-style attire for the women are requested.

Otherwise, it’s casual for the rest of the festivities, starting with the free, open to everyone Thursday evening Welcome Reception from 5-7 at the museum. La Capitol Federal Credit Union will mark its 20th year presenting that signature event – again with food, refreshments and music, and the new inductees and their families having traveled in some cases almost 2,000 miles to celebrate the occasion.

There’s still room for bowlers to join in Friday’s BOM Celebrity Bowling Bash at Four Seasons Bowling Center in Alexandria. The doors open at 11:30 with lunch provided by Walk On’s, plenty of warm up bowling and music, and more mingling with inductees, their families, and other sports celebrities before they’re introduced and “competition” begins at 1. Again – sign up at

The biggest free event is Friday evening on the downtown Natchitoches riverbank stage – the Rockin’ River Fest Concert, from 6-10:30.

It’s family friendly. A free interactive kids zone presented by Louisiana Propane Dealers will include basketball, football, golf and science games for all ages to enjoy.

Rockin’ Dopsie Jr. & the Zydeco Twisters are back as the headline act. Dopsie has played the White House to the Jazz Fest, boogied with James Brown and John Fogerty, and wowed crowds all over, described as “Mick Jagger of the marsh” as “a party seems to break out whenever and wherever Dopsie and his band show up.”

The opening act is Jason Ashley & The Hot Sauce Band, featuring the Alexandria native and regional country music star playing hits from yesterday and today, an act popular around the Gulf Coast and all the way to Nashville.

If you want to beat the summer heat and enjoy a tasty collection of Louisiana foods and specialty refreshments, you can visit to snap up some of the few remaining $100 tickets to the VIP Taste of Tailgating presented by Hancock Whitney.

That party runs from 7-10 p.m. in the air-conditioned comfort of Mama’s Oyster House and Blues Room that will provide exclusive access to the 12-member 2023 Induction Class. They will also be introduced on stage at 9:15, just before a 10-minute fireworks show set to sports-themed music.

Saturday morning’s Junior Training Camp hosted by the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans at NSU’s Webb Wellness and Recreation Center has only a handful of free spots left for kids 7-17. Advance registration is required at

There’s no more room for Saturday’s Round Table Lunch downtown at The Venue. It’s sold out.

But there are plenty of other chances to see the Class of 2023:  Eli Manning, Alana Beard, Paul Mainieri, Matt Forte, Wendell Davis, Paul Byrd, Walter Davis, Ron Washington, Walter Imahara, M.L. Woodruff, and sports journalists Bruce Brown and Lori Lyons.

You’re invited to join the fun, starting Thursday evening in Natchitoches.

Stop and Go Traffic

In 1923, Garrett Morgan was driving along the busy streets of Cleveland, Ohio.  By the age of 43, he had achieved the American dream which was characterized in the 1920s as the pursuit of material success, social status, and personal freedom.  Garrett was the owner and editor of the Cleveland Call newspaper, but he came from humble beginnings.  Garrett was born in rural Kentucky in 1877.  His parents were former slaves who survived on the crops they grew.  By the time Garrett turned 14, he realized he wanted more than to eke out an existence on the farm. 

In 1891, the 14-year-old left Kentucky and moved to Cincinnati, Ohio to look for work.  His sights were not set too high.  Garrett initially worked as a handyman.  He had a mechanical mind and could build and repair any machine, even ones he had never seen before.  Within a few years, Garrett left Cincinnati and moved to Cleveland.  His ability to quickly repair machines enabled him to secure a position as a sewing machine repairman.  By 1907, Garrett had saved enough money and opened his own sewing machine repair shop.  Garrett’s reputation grew quickly based on the quality of his work and the speed at which he completed repairs.  His business thrived.  Two years later, Garrett added a garment shop to his business.  In 1920, Garrett started the newspaper, the Cleveland Call, from scratch.  Like his sewing machine repair shop and garment shop, the Cleveland Call was a huge success.

In 1923, when a lot of people in Cleveland still traveled by horse-drawn vehicles, bicycles, and streetcars, Garrett’s successes enabled him to purchase an automobile.  One day in 1923, Garrett shared the busy road with all manner of vehicles including many other automobiles.  At each major intersection, a policeman manually moved levers which raised and lowered metal signs.  Painted on the signs were the words “GO,” or “STOP.”  This type of traffic signal had been in use for decades and had saved countless lives. 

As Garrett neared one of these major intersections, the policeman moved the levers and the signs changed.  Specific details of the accident that followed vary depending on the source.  Some sources assert that the collision was between a horse-drawn wagon and a car, and other sources claim that two cars were involved.  What we know for sure is that there was a horrible collision which resulted in at least one person’s death, and Garrett witnessed the whole thing.  Gruesome images of the collision replayed over and over in his mind.  At night, he had nightmares of the collision.  After a few days, Garrett began to take a different view of the collision.  He began to analyze what he had witnessed to try to determine what had caused the collision.  The traffic signals had worked as designed.  The policeman moved the levers and one lane of traffic’s signal changed from “Go” to “STOP,” and, at the same moment, the signal from the crossing traffic changed from “STOP” to “GO.”  Garrett found what he thought would solve the issue and, on November 20,1923, he received a patent for it.  He eventually sold the rights to his invention to General Electric for $40,000.00, an enormous sum at the time.

Garrett’s invention evolved into something that we all still see and use today.  Rather than slowing traffic down, Garrett’s invention makes most drivers want to increase their speed.  Garrett’s invention added a “WARNING” sign to the two-sign traffic signal to warn drivers that the stop signal would soon change from “GO” to “STOP.”  Garrett’s invention evolved into the yellow caution signal on traffic lights.

Source:, “Garrett Morgan Patents Three-Position Traffic Signal.” HISTORY, 13 Dec. 2018,

Don’t worry about the ‘woke;’ worry about the robots

Woke, woke, woke, woke, woke. You can’t doom-scroll on Facebook for five seconds without a “friend” posting a meme about “them” coming to convert your kids into transgender Devil worshippers. Heck, Ron Desantis, the least charismatic and most vacant-eyed politician to ever mount a run on the president’s office, has built his entire campaign on “woke.” That’s it. His entire deal is stopping the “woke.”

Y’all, “woke” is a boogeyman, a pejorative term meant to rile you up and stoke your fear, turn it into a roaring hate toward a small minority of people that are vastly different than what’s considered traditional America. Not saying the “woke” are bad. Just different. See but the Desantis crowd and pretty much all politicians with an R by their name go along with the “woke” fear they helped create in hopes you’ll run with that fear all the way to the voting booth. Push that button to fight the war against the “woke.”

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the other side, of course. The Rs have the “woke” and the Ds have the perpetual all conservatives are racist, homophobic, and misogynistic cards to play. Each side flip those out like UNO Reverse Cards every second of every day. 

A wise guy once said all liberals think conservatives are evil and all conservatives think liberals are stupid. They’re just wired differently, and it’s easy to target what’s different.

Throughout human history, fear has driven people more than love. Hate is more powerful. Fear keeps you alive. Love makes you vulnerable and reach out. Sometimes reaching out gets you bit. No one ever got bit by pulling away. It’s basic offense versus defense. In other words, it’s easier to get elected through a campaign of fear – “you better elect me to stop the evil conservatives or the stupid liberals” – than it is to run on a campaign to fix things. 

Because fixing things, repairing the broken bits of America, is danged hard. And, moreover, there ain’t much money in it. Curing a disease isn’t as profitable as indefinitely treating its symptoms.

You want a real threat? Stop doom-scrolling and read about the imminent threat of AI. 

Artificial Intelligence is here and within a few years it’s going to eliminate hundreds of millions of jobs. These aren’t just jobs like cashiers and fast food. These are truck drivers, nurses, writers, designers, architects, paralegals, researchers, front office staff, on and on. 

And when robotics catches up? No more than 20 years from now, the world economy is going to be in shambles. The very real threat of AI and robotics is going to destroy America. Pretty much every job will be able to be done by a machine. This isn’t a boogeyman. It’s a real-life monster that’s about to pounce. 

Politicians have been warned about this. Congress has had hearings and given the very real and scary truth from tech leaders such as Elon and Zuckerberg and many others. 

They all have told the politicians the same thing – this is coming, it’s already pounding on the door. They’ve warned the politicians to do something now, regulate the industry because if they don’t, the people you serve aren’t going to have jobs and won’t be able to buy gas to drive to the voter booth to put you back in office. 

The response from the politicians? Blank stares and empty promises. They don’t get it. It’s too big for them. Some of them can’t even turn on computers, y’all. How can they comprehend a world where jobs are as rare as winning the lottery? 

So it gets filed away, kicked down the road for younger folk to deal with. And they go back to fighting the evil conservatives or the stupid liberals. 

Listen to me, folks. You want to really make a difference? Next time you go to one of those rallies where the politician is trying to get your money in the fight against the boogeymen, ask them what they’re doing to address the real monster at the door. You have to educate yourself. You have to ask questions because politicians are human, and humans don’t like tough problems. It’ll get kicked down the road and you’ll be the one out of a job, not the politician. 

AI is real and it’s coming. And bad times are coming with it. 

(Josh Beavers is an award winning writer and author. He has earned more than 40 individual writing awards and is syndicated in 12 North Louisiana news journals. The Louisiana Press Association has recognized him five times for excellence in opinion writing, and he has earned numerous Best Investigative Reporting Awards and Freedom of Information Awards for exposure of governmental corruption in Webster Parish.)

Fruit Salsa

Could anything be better for summer than this sweet and spicy dip served with cinnamon pita chips!? I surely think not! I love the juiciness of the fruit combined with the heat of the jalapeno and cilantro flavor.  This is also extremely good over ice cream or yogurt!


  • Strawberries
  • Pineapple
  • 3 kiwi
  • Jalapeños
  • Purple onion
  • Cilantro
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Cinnamon chips for serving


Dice the strawberries, pineapple, kiwi, jalapeños, and purple onion.  Mix together.  Stir in cilantro to your desired taste (fresh is better!).  Squeeze lime juice in and stir.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

(Ashley Madden Rowton is a wife, mom and published cookbook author who lives in Minden, La.)

Gifts from an absent friend

I learned life the hard way, I took all my knocks and lumps

But when I look back down the road at where I’ve been,

I can see that all the things I’ve done in this ol’ life have been more fun

’Cause I shared them with someone who was a friend.  

—  “A Friend,” written and recorded by Jerry Reed (and featured in the movie W.W. and the Dixie Dance Kings, which you should watch ASAP) 

Few people if any enjoyed being themselves as much as Jack Brittain loved being Jack Brittain, or “Britt” as his friends called him, and he had more of those than you can find grains of sand and beer bottle tops at the Redneck Riviera. 

This is the biggest weekend of the year for locals in my line of work; it’s the annual Louisiana Sports Writers Convention and the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Celebration in Natchitoches, where Britt has served as unofficial mayor for decades. You can find out more about the weekend and how you can enjoy it at You can find out more about Britt by asking anyone in Natchitoches or in the LSWA. 

A piece of work and then some, this guy. 

So, it was a profound and unwelcome sadness when Britt, our LSWA brother, died two weeks ago at age 67 after a short and surprising illness. 

He was the red on the candy cane, the helium in the balloon, the sunshine through any cloud. 

His attachment to the LSWA was solid and eternal, even though Britt was a lawyer and financial planner. He didn’t write any stories. He was the story.  

He was so good at St. Mary’s that he’s in the high school’s Hall of Fame, then he lettered four years in football at Northwestern State before law school, but shoot, lots of people could do that. What set him apart was a heart and smile big as centerfield, his uncanny ability to see the best in people and the brightest side of things virtually all the time. He went around lettering every day in life, a seed-sower of joy and laughter and earthy charisma. 

One of those ‘girls want to ride in his boat, boys want to be his best buddy’ kind of dudes. 

It’s hard to describe the impact he had on the LSWA and the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame because we don’t have anything to compare him to. He was just always there, a part of, a calm in a sometimes-stormy sea of egos and chaos, a smile to calm the tide. 

In 2017, Britt was the recipient of the LSWA’s most prized honor, the Mac Russo Award, given to an individual who “contributes to the progress and ideals of the LSWA.” It was my lucky and treasured honor to present it to him. If memory serves, I said something clever like, “Here Britt; sorry it took us so long. We’d give you a half-dozen of these if we could — and you’d deserve everyone.” 

“Think where man’s glory most begins and ends,And say my glory was I had such friends.” — W. B. Yeats 

Contact Teddy at

Upcoming Events

Please send all non-profit calendar events to

July 14 – August 14

Football Registration Open at Arcadia Parks and Recreation

Contact: Mario Jefferson at 318-436-6662 

July 27 (4 – 6 p.m.)

Back to School Bash – Ringgold Elementary Gym 

July 27 (6:30 p.m.)

Informal Meeting – Castor Town Hall

Meeting is with Hi 5 Communications Inc. in regards to potential fiber optic cable in the parish.

July 28- 29 (8 p.m. nightly)

Mt. Olive Christian School Rodeo – 435 Gantt Rodeo Road in Athens

July 30 (5 p.m.)

Louvenia Gipson Chapter of GCAA’s Quarterly Meeting – Gibsland Coleman High School cafeteria

August 11 (6 p.m.)

Back to School Supply Giveaway – Jordan Henderson Park on North Railroad Ave. in Arcadia

August 13 (6 p.m.)

Red River Night of Worship – First Baptist Coushatta – 2006 Alonzo Street, Coushatta

August 19 (9 – 12 p.m.)

Art in the Park  – Jordan Henerson Park on North Railroad Ave. in Arcadia

August 28 (5 – 7 p.m.)

August After Hours Event by the Bienville Parish Chamber of Commerce – Gibsland Grill

Arrest Reports

The following arrests were made by local law enforcement agencies.


Deshundra Johnson of Jonesboro was arrested on a failure to appear warrant. 


Darmarques Quarles of Gibsland was arrested for operating a vehicle with a suspended license/no license issued and failure to appear warrant. 

Jason Grillette of Ringgold was arrested as a fugitive.


Derrick Moore of Ringgold was arrested on failure to appear  (felony) and failure to appear (misdemeanor).


Larry Roberson of Arcadia was arrested for sexual battery with an object (sex offense – registration required).

Francisco Perez- Barajas of Garland, Texas was arrested for no driver’s license. 


Jerathan Lindsey of Shreveport was arrested for operating a vehicle with a suspended license and other offenses. 

Ashley Rolando of Ringgold was arrested for possession or distribution of drug parapheranlia, criminal trespass and theft.


Casey Liles of Athens was arrested for first offense D.W.I. with child endangerment. 

Jason Edwards of Taylor was arrested for failure to appear warrant (two counts).


Curtis Harrell of Castor was arrested for resisting an officer, possession of methamphetamine, possession or distribution of drug paraphernalia and domestic abuse battery.

This information has been provided by a law enforcement agency as public information. Persons named as suspects in a criminal investigation, or arrested and charged with a crime, have not been convicted of any criminal offense and are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Notice of Death – July 25

Notice of Death – July 25, 2023

Sharalyn “Shari” Abercrombie Pickett

Feb. 1, 1948 – July 32, 2023

Minden/Arcadia, La.

Visitation: 5 until 8 p.m. Thursday, July 27, 2023, Emmanuel Baptist Church, (Hurricane Community), Arcadia, La.

Funeral service: 2 p.m. Friday, July 28, 2023, Emmanuel Baptist Church, (Hurricane Community), Arcadia.

Burial: Hurricane Cemetery.

Linda “Jo” Bell Allen

Feb. 7, 1949 – July 24, 2023

Funeral service: 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 26, 2023, Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home Chapel, Coushatta, La.

Burial: Mt. Zion Cemetery.

Kenneth Bryan Middleton

Feb. 27, 1951 – July 22, 2023

Doyline, La.

Celebration of Life: Noon, Thursday, July 27, 2023, Evening Light Tabernacle in Dixie Inn.

Burial: 10 a.m. Thursday, July 27, 2023, Lebanon Cemetery, Ruple Community, under the direction of Rose-Neath Funeral Home, Minden.

Estelle Christian

July 13, 1943 – July 21, 2023

Arcadia, La.

Funeral service: 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 26, 2023, Rose-Neath Funeral Home, Arcadia.

Burial: Alabama Cemetery.

Bienville Parish Journal publishes paid complete obituaries – unlimited words and a photo, as well as unlimited access – $80. Contact your funeral provider or . Must be paid in advance of publication. (Above death notices are free of charge.)

Grow with us! Community Garden coming to Downtown Arcadia

Grab your gardening tools and get ready to get your hands dirty. There is a new Community Garden coming to Downtown Arcadia.

Town of Arcadia Community Development Director Mario Jefferson is always looking for creative ways to break ground and bring the community together.

He said, “It will open to all the citizens but the produce will be distributed by us that way we can make sure everyone will get a chance to enjoy the fruit and vegetables. We will be asking for volunteers to assist with maintaining it also.”

Jefferson along with District 5 Councilman Timothy Williams recently toured the community garden located in Grambling. “We learned that it is more than a patch of land with plants,” said Williams. “It is a shared space where we can sow seeds of friendship, nurture the enviroment and reap the rewards of collaboration.”

Not only will this piece of land be used to provide fresh fruits and vegetables, but will also serve as an oasis where community members can gather, fellowship and enjoy the scenery that the Town of Arcadia has to offer.

“We will be planting flowers to add more beauty and most importantly to attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies,” said Jefferson. “Without pollinators, many of the foods, beverages, fibers, spices and medicines we use daily wouldn’t be possible.”

The next steps are collecting soil samples on the designated land and sending them off for evaluation.

“It takes 2-3 weeks for results to get back. The results will basically tell us if the soil is lacking any nutrients so we can add to it,” said Jefferson. “When we get the samples back we will have a projected date and decide what we will plant based on the time of year.”

Jefferson has already gathered a group of volunteers willing to serve on a committee to get the garden growing, but he could use a few more hands. If you would like to volunteer to assist in making sure this new community garden flourishes, you can contact Mario Jefferson at 318-436-6662.