ATTENTION: Local businesses? You can be a winner!

Are you a business owner in Claiborne Parish or do you know of one? If so, you may want to share the good news.

Claiborne Parish Journal is celebrating this new and local media source that is dedicated to sharing news, sports, events and information that is important to Claiborne Parish residents by giving away free advertising to local businesses.

Whether your business is a restaurant, hair salon, doctor’s office, boutique or any and everything in between – we want to help you.

If your business signs up with the Claiborne Parish Journal on a one, three, six or twelve month contract, you will get an additional month for FREE.

If you are interested in receiving free advertisment for your business, please reach out to us at We will happily provide you with additional information including our very reasonable rates.

And as always, subscriptions are free. You can sign up to receive our publications every Wednesday and Friday at or follow us on Facebook.

Is your church hosting a Vacation Bible School?

Is your church hosting a Vacation Bible School? Claiborne Parish Journal would like to know about it, so we can inform the public on where they can bring their kids to join in on the fun. 

Please email the time, date and location of your church’s Vacation Bible School to and we will begin publishing immediately. 

Claiborne Parish students named to NSU Honor List for Spring 2023

Five hundred fifty-seven students were named to the Honor List at Northwestern State University for the Spring 2023 semester.  Students on the Honor List must be enrolled full-time at Northwestern and have a grade point average of between 3.0 and 3.49.

This list includes the names of students in alphabetical order by town in Claiborne Parish.

Haynesville: Kavacion Webster

Homer: Arrianna Mitchell

Construction fundraising halfway for Ronald McDonald House

By Bonnie Culverhouse

JOURNAL STAFF – As May is wrapping up, Ronald McDonald House Charities’ organizers have raised almost half of the $10 million needed to build a new facility in Shreveport-Bossier.

“As far as the construction part, we are more than halfway,” said CEO Janell Mason. “Our goal is to get to $6.4 million by the end of the year in donations and pledges so we can start construction.”

Last week, Mason was in Shreveport and said at that point, organizers had collected nearly $4.3 million.

“We’ve been meeting with philanthropists in the community just sharing about the project,” she said. “We are in that silent phase – we aren’t doing a broad ask.”

She said it often takes several meetings to get to the point of receiving a donation.

Ronald McDonald House has released plans to build the new $10 million, 3-story, 20,000 square ft. facility in the Shreveport-Bossier area that will house families and serve hospitals there and in surrounding parishes.

The complex will be located near Willis-Knighton South. There will be 20 family suites, indoor/outdoor place spaces, expansive kitchen and large dining room, laundry rooms, meals and snacks and personal care items, just to name a few amenities. All services are provided free to families.

While in town, Mason said she met with local architects TEG. Organizers want to keep the project as local as possible, she said.

“In a couple of weeks, we will have a meeting where the project is announced in the construction industry,” she said. “We will invite all subcontractors to come hear about the project. They will hear from families touched by Ronald McDonald House.

“When open, parents will no longer be forced to sleep in their cars while their child is hospitalized or miss life-saving appointments and procedures due to financial limitations,” Mason added.

First Woman to vote in Claiborne Parish

By Wesley Harris (Claiborne Parish Library Historian)

When Callie Hearn of Haynesville was given special permission to vote on a stock law in 1896, she became the first woman to vote in Claiborne Parish.

The widow of Flavius Josephus Hearn, who died in 1895, Mrs. Hearn and her two-year old son lived on and managed a farm two miles west of Haynesville. At that time there was no law to prohibit livestock from running loose in the parish, necessitating that farmers fence in their crops. A proposed stock law would keep the stock fenced up and leave the fields open.

Due to the heavy cost imposed on Mrs. Hearn to keep up long lanes of split rail fences she asked for and received permission from the Claiborne Parish Police Jury to vote in the place of her late husband for the stock law. This she did and the law was passed in 1896.

Later remarried as Mrs. L. K. Akin, she had five children who cherished their mother’s stance on her right to vote. She died in 1952 and is buried with most of her children and first husband in Whitehall Cemetery.

Nationally, women did not receive the right to vote until the 16 th Amendment was ratified in 1920.

–adapted from “Historic Claiborne, 1962” by the Claiborne Parish Historical Association

Piney Hills Harmony to offer guest nights, vocal workshops

Their shirts say “Come Sing With Us,” and that’s exactly what Piney Hills Harmony Chorus is saying to area singers. The a cappella group is offering a set of guest nights and vocal workshops in June.

Piney Hills Harmony Chorus, a chapter of Sweet Adelines International located in Ruston, is hosting guest nights mixed with sessions aimed at helping singers improve both their voices and their vocal performances.  

The chorus is welcoming singers of all skill levels to join them for two nights of settings designed to enhance their choral abilities. The sessions will be held during the chorus’s regular rehearsals at 6:30 p.m. June 15 and June 22 in the fellowship hall of the Presbyterian Church of Ruston, located at 212 N. Bonner. 

Piney Hills Harmony currently draws its members from Caldwell, Lincoln, Ouachita and Union parishes. Visitors from other parishes are welcome as well.  

During the sessions, participants will receive instruction from a certified director as well as other experienced singers, with guidance on techniques and skills that are essential to becoming a successful vocalist. Musical arrangements will be four-part harmony, requiring both high and low voices. The ability to read music is not required as vocal learning aids will be provided. 

A community performance that the visitors can participate in is also in the planning stages. 

Piney Hills Harmony is one of approximately 500 chapters of Sweet Adelines International, which was founded in 1945 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, by a small group of women who loved to sing and whose dream has spread across the globe. 

For more information, contact Sallie Rose Hollis, vice president and membership chair, at You can also visit and Piney Hills Harmony Chorus / Sweet Adelines International on Facebook. 

Main Street Minute – May 31

Breaking News: Main Street Homer to Create a Downtown Transformation Strategy Roadmap and Seeks Community

We often hear talk about what downtown Homer looked in the ‘good old days’. Do you ever think about what downtown Homer will look like in the ‘good old future’? Now is the time to start thinking about that and we need community input and your guidance to plan the future that Homer needs and deserves.

Louisiana Main Street has selected Homer as the second Main Street community in the state of Louisiana to develop a Transformation Strategy. Over the next six months, Main Street Homer will receive intensive hands-on technical assistance to identify, develop, and implement a Transformation Strategy. Described as a “strategic plan to transform your town” and a “work plan on steroids,” a Transformation Strategy provides a unifying vision of the future for downtown Homer. Main Street Homer will use our Transformation Strategy to align programming and identify specific goals and measures of success. Louisiana Main Street will facilitate community visioning, market analysis, workshop sessions, and more.

The Transformation Strategy must be generated from community input and not from an outside source, so we are asking you, the citizens of Homer and surrounding areas to take 5 minutes to complete a community survey. Deadline for completion of the survey is June 20, 2023.

The Link to the online survey is:

Look for upcoming announcements for community meetings express your desires and concerns for community improvement soon!

About Main Street Homer
Main Street Homer seeks to revitalize Homer through economic development, cultural and historic preservation, and advancement of the arts.

About Louisiana Main Street
Since 1984, Louisiana Main Street has helped communities—large and small—revitalize their historic downtown commercial districts and neighborhood commercial corridors.

‘Make Your Home Unappealing’

Q: “How should I prepare for a home intruder?”

A: “Discourage criminals from entering your home in the first place.”

If you’re looking for ways to make your home more secure, you need to think from the outside in. What does your home look like from the street? What does your home look like compared to your neighbor’s?

You’ve likely heard the old adage, “I don’t have to outrun the bear – I just have to outrun you.” When it comes to home security there’s a lot of truth to that statement. Curb appeal is great if you’re trying to sell your house, but if there’s nothing at all “prickly” about your home’s appearance, it could look like a soft target to a criminal. I’m not suggesting you stop cutting your grass and trimming your hedges. Your home can appear neat and orderly, and at the same time be a deterrent to opportunistic bad guys.

Your yard doesn’t need to look like a LaGuardia runway at midnight, but having adequate outdoor lighting is important. Bad guys don’t like to be seen doing bad guy stuff. Security systems are great, but if you’re on a tight budget, yard signs and window stickers that say, “This home is secured by________” can be highly effective. “We don’t call 911,” or “2nd Amendment Security” signs should be avoided. If I’m a thief looking to steal guns, now I know exactly which house to burgle. Cameras are great for evidence collection after a crime has been committed but are not very effective as deterrents. That is unless you find some cameras with built-in, motion detecting mini guns. In which case, please forward me a link.

Anything a bad guy might have to climb over could be a deterrent. Fences or similar physical barriers are not impenetrable, but they can dissuade potential home invaders. Especially if they’d have to scale it when vacating your crib. It’s tough to climb a fence while carrying a flat screen TV. Also, criminals are often terrified of dogs. Ron Swanson tells us, “Any dog under fifty pounds is a cat and cats are pointless,” but like a security system, you can get much of the benefit of having a mean dog by simply posting a “Beware of Dog” sign in a conspicuous place.

Okay, okay. I know why you’re here. Let’s talk about the gun stuff. I’ll offer a few points, and hopefully these suggestions will be a catalyst for you to further your own research.

Pistol, rifle, or shotgun? It doesn’t matter as long as the gun is reliable, capable of effectively incapacitating a human threat, and suitable for your specific living arrangement. For example, if you live in an apartment complex, a high-powered rifle loaded with FMJ ammunition isn’t the wisest choice.

If you have children running around, you need to secure you firearm in such a manner that it’s inaccessible to the kiddos but still lends itself to a speedy retrieval should the need arise. I’m a major proponent of toting your every-day carry gun on your person when you’re at home. Take it off at bedtime, and then stow it appropriately.

A rule that I live by is any firearm that might be used for home defense MUST have a white light attached to it. Failure to properly identify a target has caused many parents to mistake their own children for intruders, which usually ends in tragedy.

Be aware of the longest shot you might have to make inside your home and OWN that distance. That could be down a hallway and across a room, across two large rooms if your house sports the ever popular “open floor plan,” or, if you live in a two-story home, the distance from the bottom of the stairs to the landing or balcony.

Your home defense weapon needs to be readily accessible and loaded with a round in the chamber. Otherwise, you might spend the rest of your life chambering a round. Read that again.

Training is an investment. It’s an investment in your safety and the safety of those dependent upon you for protection. When your front door is smashed open at 2 a.m., you won’t have time to learn new skills. Find a reputable, qualified instructor or company that can teach you how to properly defend yourself with a firearm. You will be present at your home invasion long before the cops. So, imagine you were looking to hire someone to defend your home from a violent criminal. Would you accept your own resume?

Thanks for reading. And remember…

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 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 advice.

A Christmas to Remember

It was Christmas Day in 1982.  J.R. and his family and friends, which amounted to about a dozen people in all, were enjoying a wonderful and relaxing Christmas at J.R.’s home in St. James, Jamaica.  The day was bright and cheerful.  Due to Jamaica’s warm climate, there was no snow.  The warm temperature did not hinder their festive holiday moods in the least.  They thought back on previous Christmases they had spent together and looked forward to many more.  As the day slowly turned into evening on the tropical island, the dozen people readied themselves for dinner.  The dozen people entered the large dining room from other parts of the house through three large doors.  They began taking their places at a table large enough to accommodate 20 people which took up almost all of the space in the room.”  They were just about to say the blessing when something happened which would make this Christmas the most memorable of their lives. 

At precisely 6:00 p.m., with everyone seated, they bowed their heads to say the blessing.  At that instant, three masked young men quickly entered all three doors of the dining room.  One had a knife, another had a hatchet, and the third one had a pistol.  One of the masked intruders said, “Somebody’s going to die here tonight!”  J.R. and the others at the table were completely shocked.  Some of them screamed while others were too afraid to make a sound.  One of J.R.’s friends fainted out of fright.  J.R. calmly looked at the intruders.  He showed no fear but followed their instructions.  The intruders had them lay on their stomachs on the floor.  J.R. looked at each of the other 11 people who, before 6:00 p.m., had been enjoying a wonderful Christmas together.  J.R.’s wife, June, slowly moved her hands under her body to hide her jewelry, especially her wedding ring.  Seconds felt like hours. 

“We want a million dollars, or somebody’s going to die!” the pistol-wielding intruder yelled.  J.R. raised his head, looked at the intruder’s eyes, and explained that they did not have a million dollars.  “You’ve got money!” he insisted.  J.R. explained that they had some money but not such a large amount.  One of J.R.’s companions began screaming, “I’m going to have a heart attack! I’m going to have a heart attack!”  This shook the intruders who told one of their captives to go into the kitchen and fetch a glass of water.  They let J.R. and the others change into a sitting position.  J.R. realized that people who intended to kill would never show this sort of compassion.  J.R. studied their movements and the tones of their voices.  Although they were wearing stocking masks, J.R. was able to determine that the boy with the pistol was probably in his early 20s and the other two were only teenagers. He knew they were not professionals.

J.R. felt certain that if they could remain calm, they all might survive.  J.R.’s wife began to break down when one of the intruders began to forcibly remove her jewelry.  The intruder with the pistol grabbed J.R.’s eleven-year-old son and put the gun to his head.  “Everybody do as I say!”  For the next two hours, the armed robbers led the whole group of people through each room of the house and gathered anything of value that they could carry.  All the while, the gunman held the pistol to J.R.’s son’s head. 

At first, the intruders were rough with their captives.  Through it all, J.R. spoke softly and calmly.  Rather than try to hide things of value, he pointed out the most valuable items in the home.  His family and friends were more valuable to him than anything else.  After two hours together, the intruders began to relax and became friendly, polite, and even chatty.  They started calling J.R. “sir.”  The gunman asked J.R.’s son “What do you like to do in Jamaica?  Do you like to snorkel?”  The gunman still held the pistol to his head.  The gunman asked J.R.’s son, “Do you want to feel my gun?”  For the first time, J.R. was terrified by what the gunman meant.  J.R.’s son calmly replied, “No, sir.  I don’t play with guns.  I have a lot of respect for them.  They’re very dangerous.”  The gunman grinned behind his stock mask and said, “Hey, I like you man!” 

Once the intruders bagged up all they could carry, one of them said, “We’re going to lock you in the cellar.”  The intruders led them to the cellar, closed the door, and wedged a two-by-four across the outside of the door.  J.R. and the others could hear their footsteps fading as they walked away.  Before they had a chance to relax, they heard footsteps approaching the door.  Although none of the captives spoke, they all wondered if the intruders were coming back to kill them so as not to leave any witnesses.  Suddenly, they heard a scraping sound on the floor on the other side of the door.  Someone slid a large plate of turkey under the door.  “We want you people to have your Christmas dinner after all,” one of the intruders said.  “We don’t want to take that away from you.”  Again, they heard footsteps fading.  Moments later, when J.R. decided the intruders had gone, he and his brother-in-law began ramming the large, solid door.  After several tries, they finally broke the door down.  J.R. calmly called the police.  Within a few days, police captured each of the three intruders. 

The captives credited J.R.’s calmness for saving their lives.  On the rare occasions that he spoke of the armed robbery, J.R. said that for them to escape unharmed, he knew he had to remain calm.  Perhaps his stint in the U.S. Air Force helped him in this situation.  It was an Air Force rule that required J.R. to assume a name in place of the one his parents gave him.  J.R. chose John.  You and I know J.R. Cash as Johnny Cash, the Man in Black.

Source:  Cash, Johnny, and Patrick Carr. Cash : The Autobiography. San Francisco, Ca, HarperSanFrancisco, 1997, p. 34-43.

Strawberry Peach Nilla Wafer Dump Cake

If you did not know what your upcoming weekend needed, now you do!  Start your summer off by diving off into a big bowl of this warm out of the oven with some ice cream!

This is another simple layer cake that requires no mixing, bowls, or any mess other than the one pan.  The crunchy Nilla Wafers are set off with gooey pie filling and topped with strawberry cake mix and pats of butter.  NOTHING WRONG HERE!


  • 1 box Nilla Wafers
  • 1 box strawberry cake mix
  • 2 cans strawberry pie filling
  • 1 can peach pie filling
  • 1 stick butter, cut into 1/2” pats
  • Ice cream


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9×13 with cooking spray.  In 9×13 layer the Nilla Wafers to fit as many as you can evenly.  Next, gently pour and spread the 2 cans of strawberry pie filling followed by the peach pie filling. Sprinkle cake mix over evenly.  Top with butter squares.  Bake for 30 minutes or until cake is mostly done and top is almost golden.  Serve with ice cream.

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

End of The Cereal Sagas

Two of the past three weeks, we’ve traded love notes about one of the Major Food Groups.
Been a good run, our time with cereal.
And it doesn’t have to end — not in real life. Not as long as the amber waves of grain are a thing.
But it does have to end here. Time to move on to other Foods, other Friends, other Things.
As an exclamation point, we’ll do something I used to do semi-regularly but we haven’t done yet in the SBJ. Today, a few of you take the wheel and share some Very Personal Stories. Had to leave out so many, including a favorite from a friend who loves cereal so much, he uses many of his favorites in his various passwords. Thank you to all who took the time to bear their Cereal Souls.
From Donnie Golfgame: There was a time in my life I was torn between Quisp, which I’m proud you mentioned, and Quake – which was like a sister cereal to Quisp, although instead of a sister there was a picture on the box of a miner with a light on his hardhat. As George Herbert Walker Bush would say, Quisp was a “kinder, gentler” form of Cap’n Crunch, which we all know is like having a mouthful of thumbtacks in your mouth. Quake, however, was Cap’n Crunch’s evil uncle as far as texture. Eat a bowl of Quake and you weren’t eating — couldn’t eat — anything else that day. Gum carnage.
I noticed when my kids were little that Sugar Crisp had suddenly become Honey Crisp and then later on it was just Crisp on the box. Same thing with Sugar Pops, which became Corn Pops and I think today it might just be Pops. Sugar has gotten a bad rap.
My Top 10, starting at the top:
1. Cap’n Crunch
2. Raisin Bran
3. 40 Percent Bran Flakes, (which now are just Bran Flakes; I always wondered why they didn’t call themselves 60-Percent-Of-Whatever-Else-Was-In-The-Box Flakes).
4. Rice Krispies; (are they just Krispies now? Is rice wrong?)
5. Fruit Loops
6. Corn Flakes, (or is it just Flakes?)
7. Sugar Pops
8. Honey Comb
9. Cap’n Crunch with Crunch Berries
10. Quaker Oats Oatmeal; (when I was a kid, there was a glass dish inside the oats).
From Duke of Don: There’s nothing more numerous than different people’s sense of humorous, right? I sent your Cereal Piece to a nephew in England. He responded, “Sadly nearly every cereal mentioned is not known to me; here we have our own which are the same as yours only under a different name. My breakfasts are not usually cereal-based but are instead …
1: Muesli (our own make barley flakes, rolled oats, porridge oats, oat bran, every kind of nut crushed up, mixed seeds, and raw cacao pieces plus milk); keeps you going through the day.
2: Croissants with lashings of extra butter, (Sundays only).
3: Porridge
4: Bacon Sandwich
5: Cold meats and cheese when in Europe
6: Crumpets
7: Toast
8: Lashings of coffee
9: Weetabix with warm milk but not very often
10: Corn flakes but only with a gun pointed at my head
From JayVee, Team Captain: First, a resounding NO to Trix, or any cereal with colors, and also to Grape Nuts (who in the world thinks this is really human food?! And why ruin the good name “Grape” by associating it with this product?)
1. Raisin Bran Crunch
2. Frosted Mini Wheats
3 and 4. Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios (tie game)
5. Frosted Flakes
6. Sugar Crisp (as in — add music — “Can’t get enough of them Sugar Crisp.” It’s a different name now — heaven forbid we actually put “sugar” in a name anymore. Gotta eat ’em fast; if soggy it’s a different ballgame.
7. Sugar pops, (ditto previous comment).
8. Raisin Bran
From The Skynman: My go-to is Honey Nut Cheerios. I have ditched the rest. I can do both ways. With milk or without. A handful of HNC for a quick snack is a pick-me-up. And on long trips there is a box in the seat next to me to munch on while I drive and listen to my book on tape.
From Train: If a team of cereal played ball, here’s my batting order:
1. Fruity Pebbles
2. Frosted Flakes
3. Honey Nut Cheerios
4. Lucky Charms
5. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
6. Cocoa Puffs
7. Cap’n Crunch
8. Raisin Bran
9. Count Chocula
Naturally, a bowl would coach first, a spoon third, and milk would be the manager.

Contact Teddy at

Upcoming Events

Please send all non-profit events to

June 1 (6 p.m.)

Summerfield Academic Foundation Meeting

June 3 (9 a.m.)

Haynesville Lions Club Jimmy Langford Memorial Golf Tournament – Haynesville Golf Course

3-Man Scramble with lunch provided

To register call 318-624-0022.

June 10 (9 a.m.)

Main Street Homer’s 2-Man Scramble Golf Tournament – Homer Golf Course

To register please reach out to

June 10 (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.)

Homer Parks and Recreation’s Fun Day with Firefighters and Friends – Mayfield Park

Free lunch, public safety, fire prevention, demonstrations and water activities.

June 16 (6:30 p.m.)

Town of Homer and Parks and Recreation – The All Ages Talent Show – The Town of Homer City Hall

Free General Admission

June 17 (10 a.m.)

Juneteenth Celebration Event – Town of Homer

Open to the public. 

For more information contact the Town of Homer at 318-927-1313.

June 17 (8 p.m.)

Juneteenth Sneaker Ball – The Town of Homer City Hall

(Tickets go on sale May 30)

June 18 (6 p.m.)

Southern Soul Sunday – Mayfield Park

Arrest Reports

The following arrests were made by local law enforcement agencies.


Kevin Ford of Homer was arrested by Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s Office on a warrant. His bond was set at $1,000.


Noah Peters of Claiborne Parish was arrested by Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Department for driving while intoxicated.


Patrick Hones of Bienville was arrested by Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s Office for driving under suspension and exceeding the maximum speed limit.

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 – May 30

Notice of Death – May 30, 2023

Billy Ray Meshell

Oct. 21, 1956 – May 24, 2023

Zwolle, La.

Visitation: 5 until 9 p.m., Wednesday, May 31, 2023 and 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. Thursday, June 1, 2023, Rose-Neath Funeral Home, Many, La.

Funeral service: 2 p.m. Thursday, June 1, 2023, Rose-Neath Funeral Home, Many, La.

Burial: Aimwell Cemetery

Linda Whitlow Washington

April 20, 1941 – May 29, 2023

Springhill, La.

Visitation: 5 until 7 p.m., Bailey Funeral Home, Springhill, La.

Funeral service: 2 p.m. Thursday, June 1, 2023, Springhill Methodist Church, Springhill, La.

Burial: Harmony Cemetery, Magnolia, Ark., under the direction Bailey Funeral Home, Springhill.

Dr. J. Robert Kemmerly

August 15, 1936 – May 27, 2023

Minden,  La.

Visitation: 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 31, 2023, First Methodist Church Sanctuary, Minden, La.

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

Burial: Zion Rest Primitive Baptist Church, Jonesboro, La.

Emily Halsey Prothro Van Horn

May 4, 1923 – May 25, 2023

Baton Rouge/Minden, La.

Funeral service: 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 31, 2023, St. John’s Episcopal Church, Minden, La.

Burial: Gardens of Memory Cemetery, Minden.

John Everett Speer

Dec. 23, 1956 – May 22, 2023

Haynesville, La.

Funeral service: No information is available at this time. Thursday, June 1, 2023, Rose-Neath Funeral Home, Many, La.

Claiborne 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.)

Jury finds Claiborne Parish man guilty of aggravated battery

On December 4th , 2021, Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s Office launched an investigation following a domestic disturbance incident on County Line Road that left an Arcadia man stabbed and bludgeoned.

Arrest warrants were subsequently issued for Contravious Patterson and Kanecia Patterson after CPSO
investigators learned of their direct involvement in the attack of the victim, who was a family member of
the sibling pair. Both Kanecia and Contravious were subsequently arrested and faced charges in the 2nd
Judicial District Court, in Homer.

Kanecia Patterson pleaded guilty to simple battery shortly after her arrest. Contravious however, pleaded not guilty when charged by the Claiborne Parish District Attorney’s Office with Aggravated Second Degree Battery, for the stabbing of the victim.

On May 15 th , 2023, a criminal trial began for Contravious. The lead prosecutor in the case was Assistant District Attorney, Jim Colvin, who was assisted by Assistant District Attorney, Daniel Bays. District Judge, Walter May presided over the trial proceedings. Having been charged by the District Attorney’s Office with Aggravated Second Degree Battery, a crime punishable with or without hard labor, a six-person jury was selected to determine Patterson’s guilt or innocence.

After the jury was selected, testimonial evidence was presented by the prosecution and the defense. After closing arguments were made by respective counsels, on May 16 th , 2023, the jury returned a verdict against Contravious of “guilty of Aggravated Battery,” a lesser included offense, for
stabbing the victim in the back.

At the time of the incident, Contravious was under the supervision of Louisiana State Probation and Parole officials, following a prior conviction (guilty plea) for Aggravated Second Degree Battery, in
Webster Parish.

Following the guilty verdict, Contravious was remanded to the custody of the Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s Office and is currently incarcerated at the Claiborne Parish Detention Center. Contravious is scheduled to return to court on July 11th , 2023, for sentencing.

The two successful prosecutions in this case were the result of a joint effort between the Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s Office, and The Claiborne Parish District Attorney’s Office.

Sheriff Dowies would also like to thank personnel from Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Office and Bienville Parish Sheriff’s Office for their assistance in the case, having assisted CPSO investigators execute warrants, and locate involved parties during the investigation and prior to the trial.

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.

Community Survey: Assist in the revitalization of Main Street Homer

Louisiana Main Street selected Homer as the second community for the Transformation Strategies Pilot Project. Over the next six months, Main Street Homer will receive intensive technical assistance to identify, develop, and implement a Transformation Strategy.

A Transformation Strategy provides a focused and deliberate path to revitalizing or strengthening a downtown area, like Main Street Homer. In order for this strategy to come to fruition and be successful Louisiana Main Street will require feedback from the community. One of the most important characteristics of a transformation strategy like this one is that it is rooted in community’s vision for the area that Main Street Homer serves.

Based on the completion of a five minute survey, a transformation strategy will be formed based on a solid analysis and understading of the area’s economic needs and opportunities.

Please complete this community survery online at by June 20th.

Main Street Homer will use the strategy to align programming and identify specific goals and measures of success. Louisiana Main Street will facilitate community visioning, market analysis, workshop sessions, and more.
About Main Street Homer
Main Street Homer seeks to revitalize Homer through economic development, cultural and historic preservation, and advancement of the arts.

About Louisiana Main Street
Since 1984, Louisiana Main Street has helped communities—large and small—revitalize their historic downtown commercial districts and neighborhood commercial corridors.


The Claiborne Parish Police Jury has declared the following piece of property to be surplus.
Land & Building – Parcel No. – 8730000600C
Old Armory Building Garage/Shop
753 Lyons Hill Road
Homer, LA 71040

Lots 06 of Block C of the Town of Homer
0.93 Acres with improvements
The property is sold “as is” with no implied warranties
Minimum is bid $5,000.00 (Five thousand dollars and no cents)

Sealed bids will be received at the Claiborne Parish Police Jury Complex, located at 507 West Main, Homer, LA 71040, between the hours of 8:00 am and 4:30 pm Monday – Friday. Said bids will be received until 10:00 am on Monday, June 5, 2022, at which time they will be opened and read aloud. The said bids will be acted on at the regularly scheduled Police Jury meeting on Wednesday, June 7, 2022, at 10:00 am.

The Claiborne Parish Police Jury reserves the right to reject any and all bids.
Dwayne R. Woodard
Claiborne Parish Police Jury
P.O. Box 270
Homer, LA 71040-0270

Claiborne Parish Library announces Summer Reading Program theme

The 2023 Summer Reading Program will be kicking off soon at the Claiborne Parish Library. The theme this year is “All Together Now, Reading Brings Us Together.”

Registration begins next Tuesday, May 30, at the Homer Main Branch and the Joe W. Webb Memorial Library in Haynesville.

The Summer Reading Program starts on June 1. During the month of June the library will be hosting a ton of events including story times, crafting programs, special movie presentations, special performers and loads of prizes.

Due to space restrictions all programs will be held at the Homer Main Branch.

All programs are free and open to the public.

To learn more about specific dates and times follow the Claiborne Parish Library Facebook page or stop by and pick up a Summer Reading Program registration packet.

Summer Reading Program T-Shirts and book bags will be on sale until supply runs out.

If you have questions, please call Gina Howell at the Claiborne Parish Library.

Salute to Vietnam Veteran: James Edward Delrie

PFC James Edward Delrie (August 3, 1946 – June 26,1967)

(United States Army Private First Class served with Company E, 12th Infantry, 199th Light Infantry Brigade. He was killed in action from small arms fire while serving in Gia Dinh, South Vietnam.


PFC – E3 – Army – Selective Service
199th Light Infantry Brigade

Length of service 1 years
His tour began on Nov 21, 1966
Casualty was on Jun 26, 1967
Body was recovered

Panel 22E – Line 65

AWARD: Purple Heart

Sources: Find a Grave –

Account Executive Needed

Do you enjoy meeting new people and greeting old friends?

You may be perfect for an account executive’s position with the Claiborne Parish Journal. You don’t have to fit a particular profile, you just need to be as passionate about spreading the news as those with whom you will be working.

CPJ subscriptions are – and always will be – free. We depend on businesses and advertising to help us meet our goals and keep the public informed. That’s where you may be able to help. We need an outgoing individual to sell advertising for CPJ – the fastest growing publication in Claiborne Parish.

Contact us at, if this describes you.

Memorial Day food safety tips

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2022), approximately 48 million individuals get sick,128,000 are hospitalized and sadly 3,000 people die from a foodborne illness each year in the United States. Foodborne illness, often called food poisoning, is an illness that comes from a food that you eat. It is important that adult consumers know and practice safe food-handling behaviors regularly to help reduce and prevent the spread of foodborne illness. Foodborne pathogens can appear on foods that looks completely normal; however, unsafe foods may carry bacteria, viruses, or parasites which can make an individual extremely sick. The rule of thumb is to never taste a food to determine if it is safe to eat. When in doubt throw it out. To reduce the spread of foodborne illness please follow these four food safety tips below. 

  1. Clean : Wash hands and surfaces often

Bacteria can spread throughout the kitchen and get onto cutting boards, utensils, counter tops, and food.

• Wash hands in warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food and after using the bathroom, changing diapers, or

handling pets.

• Wash cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and counter tops with hot soapy water between the preparation of raw meat, poultry, and seafood products and preparation of any other food that will not be cooked. As an added precaution, sanitize cutting boards and countertops by rinsing them in a solution made of one tablespoon of unscented liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of water, or, as an alternative, you may run the plastic board through the wash cycle in your dishwasher.

• Use paper towels to clean up kitchen surfaces. If using cloth towels, you should wash them often in the hot cycle of the washing machine.

• Wash produce. Rinse fruits and vegetables, and rub firm-skin fruits and

vegetables under running tap water, including those with skins and rinds

that are not eaten.

• With canned goods: remember to clean lids before opening.

  1. Separate: Don’t cross- contaminate 

Cross-contamination occurs when bacteria are spread from one food product to another. This is especially common when handling raw meat, poultry, seafood,

and eggs. The key message is to keep these foods and their juices away from ready-to-eat foods.

To prevent cross-contamination, remember to:

• Separate raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs from other foods in your

grocery shopping cart, grocery bags, and in your refrigerator.

• Never place cooked food on a plate that previously held raw meat,

poultry, seafood, or eggs without first washing the plate with hot soapy water.

• Don’t reuse marinades used on raw foods unless you bring them to a boil first.

• Consider using one cutting board only for raw foods and another only for

ready-to-eat foods, such as bread, fresh fruits and vegetables, and cooked meat.

  1. Cook: Cook foods to safe internal temperatures

To ensure that your foods are cooked safely, always:

• Use a food thermometer to measure the internal temperature of cooked foods. Remember color is not an indicator of the doneness of foods. Check the internal temperature in several places to make sure that the meat, poultry, seafood, or egg product is cooked to safe minimum internal temperatures. 

Click the link below to download the most updated food temperature chart provided by Food

  1. Chill: Refrigerate promptly

Cold temperatures slow the growth of harmful bacteria. Keeping a constant refrigerator temperature of 40 °F or below is one of the most effective ways to reduce risk of foodborne illness. Use an appliance thermometer to be sure

the refrigerator temperature is always 40 °F or below and the freezer temperature is 0 °F or below.

To chill foods properly:

• Refrigerate or freeze meat, poultry, eggs, seafood, and other perishables within

2 hours of cooking or purchasing. Refrigerate within 1 hour if the temperature

outside is above 90 °F.

• Never thaw food at room temperature, such as on the countertop. It is safe to

thaw food in the refrigerator, in cold water, or in the microwave. If you thaw

food in cold water or in the microwave, you should cook it immediately. When using the cold-water method to thaw foods, the water must be changed every 30 minutes, so the food item continues to thaw and not enter the danger zone. The “Danger Zone,” is between 40 and 140 °degrees Fahrenheit. At those temperatures bacteria multiplies more rapidly.

• Divide large amounts of food into shallow containers for quicker cooling in the refrigerator.

(Shakera Williams, M.P.H. is Assistant Nutrition Extension Agent- FCS for Webster/Claiborne parishes. Contact her at (318) 371-1371.)

Does he have an unfair advantage?

Over the past couple of years, there’s been some controversy with a certain professional angler having an unfair advantage. Today we’ll look at this particular angler who is at the root of this controversy. He’s a guy who is not a cheater, but an angler who takes advantage of how the rules of the game are written. He’s an angler, fishing at the highest level with both B.A.S.S. and Major League Fishing, who has had a lot of success doing it his way.
The angler we’re talking about is Keith Poche. Keith was raised in Natchitoches, Louisiana, attended Natchitoches Central High School, and after graduation went on to play football at Troy State University. After a knee injury, Keith decided to walk away from football and pick up a rod and reel. Even though he grew up fishing the banks of Cane River, he decided to take his fishing to another level and pursue a career as a professional angler.
In 2014, Keith qualified to fish his first Bassmaster Classic, held on the Red River out of Shreveport, where he finished 3rd overall. To say Keith has had “a little success” is an understatement. He’s had 46 top 50 finishes, 21 top 20’s, and 7 top 10’s, with a few victories mixed in.
So, a few seasons ago, Keith made a decision to fish out of a custom-built aluminum boat that allowed him to get into areas that other anglers could not. He did not want the fully wrapped fiberglass boat that 98% of the professional anglers fish out of. But his competition was not happy with him having such an advantage with his custom boat. After several events, protests were made and there were many attempts to have him disqualified for the way he was accessing backwater areas. This special boat, built to his specifications, allowed him to gain access into backwater areas holding bass that had zero pressure and, in some cases, had never seen a bait before.
As I’ve illustrated in past articles, anglers are a fickle bunch and hate it when one guy figures something out they did not. Keith figured out quickly that this was his niche, and how he could have success without breaking any rules. Now he obviously pushes the envelope, but he never violates a written rule. Still, anglers and officials knew something had to be done to “level the playing field.” One rule implemented a couple of years ago was that whatever boat you start the season with, is the same boat you must fish out of in all the tournaments.
But here’s what is amazing…these same anglers complaining are not recognizing that Keith is at a huge disadvantage when tournaments are held on large bodies of water like the Great Lakes. His small custom boat with a 90-horsepower engine is not conducive for fishing the larger bodies of water, putting him at a distinct disadvantage. Keith is restricted on how far he can go compared to the guys running 20 to 21-foot boats with 250 horsepower engines. Now Keith has never complained about him being at a disadvantage when the tour reaches these massive lakes. He just puts his head down and tries to make the best of it. Not sure if it’s just a coincidence, but no one is complaining about Keith’s small aluminum boat unless he is at or near the top of the leaderboard.  
The most recent issue came last week at the Toledo Bend B.A.S.S. Open Series where Keith ran up the lake and gained access into an area other anglers could not go. He finished 29th in this event, but a protest was made on the area and how Keith gained access.
This is a continuing story that I will make sure to monitor as Keith and his lawyers, along with B.A.S.S. officials, are working together to try and come to a mutual agreement on what’s allowed and not allowed. One thing is for sure…look for some major rule changes at B.A.S.S for the upcoming 2024 season to take away Keith’s advantage. Till next week, good luck, good fishing and make sure to wear sunscreen and good protective clothing. No one is immune to skin cancer like Melanoma.  
Steve Graf
Angler’s Perspective