Mayor’s Monday night ambush



In a shocking move by the Homer Town Council, the Homer Police Department will be disbanded as of March 1.

In a special called meeting Monday night, it was reported that council members voted unanimously to disband its police department citing budgetary issues.  But in a phone interview, District 3 Councilman Don McCalman said he did NOT vote in favor of abolishing the police department.

“I want it known that I did not vote to do away with the police department,” he said. “Channel 12 reported that the vote was unanimous and it was not.”

Homer Police Chief Russell Mills declined to comment citing pending litigation in the matter. An attorney outside the town attorney has been retained to fight the issue. However, according to KSLA News 12’s website, Mills is quoted as saying “It hit me dead in the face.”

Homer Mayor Alecia Smith released a brief statement following the meeting and it follows in its entirety:

“On tonight at a special call [sic] meeting of the Homer Board of Selectmen, a motion was made by Councilwoman Carlette Sandford [sic] and seconded by Councilwoman Linda Mozeke to disband the Homer Police Department. The vote was unanimous. In the discussion leading up to the vote, Council member [sic] expressed numerous reasons for their decision including:

1. Concerns of leadership

2. Historical budget overruns.

3. Numerous pending lawsuits

“After Council meeting [sic], I immediately met with Sheriff Ken Bailey to discuss an appropriate transition. There are numerous details to be worked out dealing with this transition.

“However, citizens should know that safety will always be a priority and will not be compromised.”

The Homer Police Department has eight officers, the chief and a secretary/dispatcher, and beginning March 1, it will go down to two – Captain Donald Malray and Lt. Roger Smith – until August. Once the department is completely abolished and it transitions to the Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s Office, Chief Mills will still serve as the town’s marshal.

Sheriff Ken Bailey said he was surprised as much as anyone when he learned the council intended to abolish the police department.

“They dumped this in my lap without me knowing about it,” he said. “Nobody consulted me ahead of time.”

But, he made it clear that no matter what happens, the citizens of Homer will have law enforcement protection.

“I want the citizens of Homer to know that I’m going to protect them, but I do not appreciate what the council and the mayor did,” he said. “We’re going to get through it, but I have a bunch of stuff to sort out.”

Bailey said he will need time to draft a contract agreement and it will have to be brought before the council for approval. He also said there is no way he could have that done by March 1, that he would need at least 90 days to put everything into place, and he explained this to the mayor.

Terry Willis, president of the Claiborne Parish Chapter of the NAACP, said he too is outraged by such a move.

“It is my belief that this council has deliberately racially divided this community,” Willis said. “You just don’t have a meeting and say, ‘Chief, we are relieving you of your duty’ and then turn around and say, ‘Oh, and we’re doing away with term limits.’ I believe this is about power and hidden agendas and exploitation.”

He also said he believed that before 2014, the Homer Police Department could be restructured, but emphasized the need for the community to come together.

“I believe that until this community can work together and bring more here in the community besides shops and car washes that Homer’s going to dry up,” he said. “I think, as a community, we can recover and blacks and whites can come together and do what’s best for the community of Homer. Until we can work together, the city and this parish will fail and that saddens me.”

He spoke up on behalf of Mills saying he felt the chief was making some positive steps, but the council tied his hands.

So, what happens to the town’s budget for the police department? That is unknown at this time. The budget was already approved for the 2013 fiscal year, so the roughly $630,000 slated for the police department is still there.  Willis said he believes this is not a budgetary issue, and it’s only logical to think that there has to be some type of revenue for the sheriff to take this responsibility.

As for the quarter cent sales tax passed in 2010 which gave these police officers a raise, it’s unknown what will happen there too.

Monday night’s decision falls on the heels of much discussion and debate about the financial issues the police department has been plagued with. Until Smith’s administration, the town had previously moved money from its general fund to cover any overages incurred by the police department, such as car maintenance and repairs, overtime, equipment and other needs.

Also, in December, Captain Donald Malray was given a substantial hike in pay, which effectively raised his pay to more than what the chief makes each year. Council members said they were looking for a way to keep the police department within its budget, and putting an officer on salary to do away with overtime was one solution.

In another move, the council also decided to do away with term limits for the mayor and the council members. However, the legality of that issue is still under debate. Section 2, No. 3 of Homer’s charter says there shall be one mayor and five council members to serve a term of four years and is limited to two terms.

It says, “The mayor and selectmen for the Town of Homer shall serve a term of office for four (4) years, and neither the mayor nor the selectmen shall be eligible for election to more than two (2) consecutive terms of office.” (Act No. 111 of 1850, § 3; Act. No. 36 of 1876, § 3; Ord. No. 540 § 2, 4-13-64; Ord. No. 640, § 2, 5-10-76; Ord. No. 734, 11-4-85; Ord. No. 762, 1-23-89; Ord. No. 800, § 2, 10-4-93).

In an earlier edition of The Guardian-Journal, it was reported that the charter and the Lawrason Act were silent on the issue; however, information has come to light that the charter indeed limits the mayor and council members to two terms.

Calls to the mayor were unreturned as of press time.

Stay with The Guardian-Journal for more information as this story continues to develop.


Fielding formally sentenced for murder of Butch Bays


The Guardian-Journal

A man convicted in December of killing a Claiborne Parish Police Juror has been formally sentenced.

Donte Fielding, of Haynesville, was formally sentenced on Wednesday, February 6, to mandatory life in prison with the sentence handed down by 26th Judicial District Judge Glenn Fallin.

In December 2012, Fielding was convicted of second-degree murder by a Bienville Parish jury following a four-day trial which helped put some closure on the case that touched so many.

Brian G. “Butch” Bays was shot and killed on Thursday, December 16, 2010, in the early morning hours at Bays Country Store and Bait House, which he owned and operated for many years. Bays served on the Claiborne Parish Police Jury for 16 years and was dubbed the unofficial “mayor” of Summerfield.

Bays was shot multiple times and Fielding was identified as the triggerman. According to Claiborne authorities, the investigation revealed that Fielding and his accomplice, Hardy Taylor, robbed Bays. The police juror was found on the floor near the counter inside the store.

Fielding was arrested several days later, followed by the arrest of Taylor in January 2011. Taylor’s trial is expected to begin later this year.


Claiborne Parish School Board announces Students of the Year

The Guardian Journal photo/Jenni Williams

Pictured above, 2012-13 Claiborne Parish Students of the Year are, left to right, fifth grader Stephen Faulk from Homer Elementary; eighth grader Cody Long, from Homer Junior High; and senior Keyon Jones, from Summerfield High School.



The Claiborne Parish School Board recognized its students of the year for 2012-13.

This year, from Homer Elementary School, Stephen Faulk, a fifth grader, was announced as the student of the year.  Faulk plays sports and plays football in Minden. He also loves to hunt and fish and his grades are also outstanding with all A's. He is also a member of 4-H.

Cody Long, an eighth grade student at Homer Junior High, was announced as student of the year for the junior high division. Cody participates in archery, is a member of 4-H, likes to hunt with his family, ride his bicycle and is an honor roll student.

Keyon Smith, a senior at Summerfield High School, has a 4.0 grade point average and is valedictorian for his class. He is a member of the Beta Club, the Future Business Leaders of America president, and loves being involved in his community. He also loves sports and to hunt and fish.

“Congratulations to all the principals, parents, and the students,” said Claiborne Parish Superintendent Dr. Janice Williams.

“These are the young men of the future, and we need young men of the future,” said School Board President Will Maddox, “and we do thank you. This is one of the better things we get to do.”

Board members also congratulated the students on this achievement.

Both Summerfield High School and Haynesville Elementary School were recognized for its academic growth.

“This recognition comes on the heels of hard work,” Dr. Williams said. “There were a total of 440 schools throughout the State of Louisiana that were termed top term schools. They were termed because they demonstrated academic growth over their base line over the course of one year.”

Haynesville Elementary moved 16.8 points last year, and Summerfield High School moved 17.9. Because of this growth, each school will receive a monetary award in the amount of $8,453.85 to be spent at the principal’s discretion for educational purposes.

“I congratulate the principals, the faculty, the parents and the entire school community on a job well done,” Dr. Williams said.

“I just want to say thank you to the faculty, because they have been the driving force behind this,” Mr. Brian Biggs, principal of Haynesville Elementary, said.

Summerfield Principal James E. Scriber also said a word of thanks, recognizing the faculty and staff for the hard work they put into raising its academic levels.

In other news, the school board approved a bid for $10,000 for the Pineview High School baseball field. The bid was awarded to Liz Hatcher, who purchased a little more than six acres of the baseball field. There are 32 acres left.

The school board also approved a lease with the Claiborne Boys and Girls Club, which means the Boys and Girls Club will be responsible for the entire building, grounds and anything that may be damaged. The period of the lease is five years, with a 90-day termination clause that will allow either party to terminate the lease if so needed. The lease will be effective March 1.

Also, the school board approved a cooperative endeavor agreement with Mt. Olive Christian School for the flashing lights once placed in the school zone at the now closed Athens High School.

This approval gives Dr. Williams the authorization to sign the documents to finalize the agreement.

In personnel actions, Kenneth Lockhart was hired at Haynesville Jr./Sr. High School as a paraprofessional. He is replacing Felicia Buffett. Lockhart was hired from the last recalled RIF list.

Three resignations were also turned in. These include Buffett, Jeanine Hocke , a math teacher at Homer High School and Carrie Hathorne, principal at Homer High School.

In Dr. William’s superintendent’s report, she said federal monitoring occurred on February 4 and 5 at Summerfield High School and at Homer High’s cafeteria.

“Both cafeterias received a grade of A-plus,” she said. “I commend Paula Becker, our child nutrition advisor, cafeteria managers and staff and principals at each school for a job well done.”

In other superintendent news, Willia Hatter, a science teacher at Haynesville High School, will have a garden club dedication ceremony at 11:30 on Wednesday, February 20.

Schools will also be closed on February 18 for President’s Day.

The next school board meeting will be at 6 p.m., Thursday, March 7, in the school board meeting room at Central Office in Homer. For more information, or for questions, please call their office at 318-027-3502.


CPSB votes to end Junction City agreement



The Claiborne Parish School Board has decided unanimously to end its longstanding agreement with Junction City Schools.

Their decision will now go to the Junction City School Board for its acceptance or rejection of Claiborne Parish’s decision. In the unanimous vote, the school board will terminate its agreement at the end of this school year, with the exception of allowing the upcoming seniors to finish out their senior year. Students coming from Junction City will attend Summerfield High School in the fall of 2013.

Three options were put on the table including the one that was approved. The second option was to continue the agreement for one more year at the same funding level of the Minimum Foundation Program (MFP) and terminate the agreement at the end of school year 2014. The third option was to continue the agreement at roughly $6,000 per student and that would also terminate at the end of this school year 2014.

The votes on each option were handed down with a roll call vote as follows:

Option 3: Failed with a 7 no, three yes vote.  Danny Lee: yes, Linda Knox: no, Yolanda Coleman, no, Dr. Haynes: no, Vera Meadors: no, Will Maddox: no, Tommy Davidson: yes, Almeter Willis: no, Joey White: yes, Stewart Griffin, no.

Option 2: Failed with six no and four yes. Danny: no, Linda: no, Yolanda: no, Dr. Haynes: no, Vera: no, Will: yes, Tommy: yes, Almeter: no, Joey: yes, Stewart: yes.

Option 1B (terminating the agreement with the exception of seniors next year) passed unanimously.

While the decision was made mostly due to financial reasons, there were other reasons as well, including the newly implemented value-added evaluation system for teachers, which makes it difficult for Claiborne Parish to evaluate its teachers who are teaching in another state.

Another factor, according to Claiborne Parish Schools Superintendent Dr. Janice Williams, is that the state intends to cut another $80 million from the state’s education budget this year. And the school board simply cannot afford to keep the agreement going.

In this decision, Claiborne Parish Schools will continue to send Minimum Foundation Program (MFP) money on a monthly basis to Junction City for its remaining students until the end of the agreement for the seniors in 2014. As of June 30, teachers in Junction City employed by Claiborne Parish will have some decisions to make.

“We will no longer have any employees in Junction City after June 30 of this year,” Dr. Williams said.

Teachers will have to decide whether to return to Claiborne Parish and be absorbed into Claiborne schools or whether they will be hired by Junction City or find other employment.

However, this may not mean the end of the road for the agreement in the long run. School Board President Will Maddox said this doesn’t mean they couldn’t work something out later on.

“You never know what’s coming down the road,” he said. “There’s always an option to open it back up.”

Board members spent some time discussing the issue, making sure they were making the right decision not only for the school system’s finances but for the students as well.

While the decision was made with heavy hearts, parents, community members and Junction City School officials pleaded with the board to allow the agreement to continue.

One parent, whose name was not given, said it has been difficult for her kids, because she came home to them crying, not understanding why they can’t attend school in Junction City next year.

“Junction is all they know,” the parent said. “That’s the only school they know. It’s hard on parents; it’s really a burden on them.”

Another parent, who said he lived within six blocks of Junction City Schools and lives in Louisiana, raised the issue of the longer amount of time their children will be on a school bus, saying the bus ride to Junction City is much shorter.

Community ties are also another important factor, another parent said. Her husband graduated from Junction City and their kids attend this school. She explained that her children were allowed to attend Junction City because of the agreement, and she’d like that agreement to continue.

And while tradition and ties are there to attend Junction City schools, they live in Louisiana because they love Louisiana. She asked the board to reconsider and make the agreement a long-term one, adding that Junction City administrators are more than willing to work with Claiborne Parish to come up with a plan that would work for everyone.

However, not all in attendance wanted the agreement to continue. Sadie Flucas said the board shares the responsibility of doing what’s best for the entire district, not what’s best for the northeast corner of the parish or the southern end of the parish.

Linda Mozeke, a teacher at Homer High School, agreed, saying that while change is hard, she understands that changes have to take place. She mentioned the closing of Pineview and Athens High Schools.

“It’s unfortunate because of all the changes that have taken place,” Mozeke said. “All of us hate to be uprooted, but I think we should be consistent and it should be fair across the board. Why should we send thousands of dollars to another state? Our schools are suffering right here in Claiborne Parish.”

For the 2012-13 school year, according to Central Office’s financial records, the Claiborne Parish School Board pays roughly $5,000 per student, totaling about $537,000 to Junction City for 105 students to attend their schools. This includes salaries and benefits for six teachers, paraprofessionals and a bus driver as well as the amount allocated for each student.

These funds are doled out from the school systems’ general fund.

The original agreement began as a “gentlemen’s agreement,” about 70 or 80 years ago because of travel issues. And over the last few years, Junction City has become an issue due to the ever changing regulations in the Louisiana education system. In fact, there is no other agreement like this one in the state.

When Louisiana’s finances began running into trouble, the state implemented what is called mid-year cuts, which means student population is counted twice per year. In 2012, Claiborne’s student population was counted in October, resulting in a head count of 1,945 students. As of February 1, 2013, the student population was counted again, resulting in a head count of 1,863 students.

Claiborne’s decision will now head to Junction City for its approval or rejection. As of press time, it was not known what Junction City’s board decided. Please see next week’s edition of The Guardian-Journal for a follow-up on this story.


Parish breaks ground on library renovation/expansion

The Guardian-Journal photo/Jenni Williams

Members of the Claiborne Parish Police Jury and Claiborne Parish Library Board broke ground on the library renovation and addition, Sunday, February 10 in a ceremony held in front of the current building.


Claiborne Parish was proud to break ground on what will soon be a state-of-the-art renovation and addition to the current public library.

The groundbreaking, held this past Sunday on the grounds of the original library, was very well attended and much anticipated.

Dignitaries present for the groundbreaking were State Representative Patrick O. Jefferson, House District 11, Mayor Alecia Smith, Sheriff Ken Bailey, School Superintendent Dr. Janice Kennedy Williams, Chamber of Commerce Director, John Watson,  and Sherry Whitman, Branch Manager Gibsland Bank & Trust.

Police Jury members present were Dwayne Woodard, Secretary/Treasurer, Mark Furlow, Robert McDaniel, Jerry Atkins, Lavelle Penix, Roy Lewis, Willie Young, Sr., School Board members Dr.Robert Haynes, Dr. Janice Kennedy Williams. Architect Wayne Coco, Coco and Company, and Jerry Garcia with Garcia Construction.

Library Board President Denice Owens, Dianne Speigener, Janis Daniels, Frank Speer, BeverlyHooks and Trudy Walker.

The present library headquarters began over 25 years ago and it did not take long before the  realization came that more room was needed for books, children’s programs, and more technology.

Through the support of The Friends of the Library, Claiborne Parish tax and library supporters, and the library board this special day has finally come.

A community is known for its churches, schools, hospitals, and libraries, and yes, it does take a village to raise a child.

The library has helped to raise our children and it plays a major role in the education of our citizens and our future. This library has many memories for all of us from the library on the Square to the many wonderful days at this site.

A special thanks was given to the very special Claiborne Parish Library Director Pam Suggs for her dedication and devotion to the library and this parish. She is a jewel in this parish!

Everyone looks forward to next February for the Dedication and grand reopening of the beloved parish library.

Reverent Willie Young led the prayer and Wayne Coco, the library’s architect, said a few words. We are privileged to have him as our architect, one of the most honored library architects in the nation, a former Avoyelles Parish Library Board Trustee member.

Jesse Garcia with Garcia Construction, a respected company in our parish gave everyone a timeline as to when the different phases of construction will, hopefully, occur. He is a Homer High and LA Tech graduate. Garcia Construction was awarded the construction bid to begin the library renovations and expansion.

The new additions will include a much larger meeting room, larger restrooms, new reading areas for children and adults. The adult reading area will house a fireplace. There will be more room for book stacks and two decks, along with other new amenities. A new raised ceiling entrance will greet patrons. 

Submitted By: Denise Owens, Library Board President


Woods arrested for burglary


On February 5, Deputy Randy Pugh of the Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s Office and Lt. Jimmy Brown responded to a report of a burglary with the suspect being detained.

Officers arrived and discovered Arthur Woods of Homer being detained.

Witnesses observed Woods go into a building that did not belong to him and throw items out of the door. Woods was also observed gathering three plastic gas containers and a rope and going to his truck.

The owner of the building reported that permission was not given to Woods to enter the building or to remove any items from it.

Deputy Pugh arrested Woods for simple burglary and searched his person.

Deputy Pugh discovered a clear plastic bag in Woods’ front chest pocket containing a green vegetable substance that appeared to be marijuana. There was also a three to four inch metal pipe which appeared to be drug paraphernalia.

Woods was placed under arrest for possession of marijuana with a $500 bond; possession of drug paraphernalia with a $500 bond and simple burglary, also with a $500 bond.


Primm, Estes booked on drug charges


On February 4, Claiborne Parish Deputy Aaron Christian was patrolling and observed a pickup with a broken tail lamp on the right rear.

Deputy Christian initiated a traffic stop and made contact with the driver Reginald C. Primm of Homer. The passenger in the vehicle Charles Estes of Winnfield, was fumbling through the glove box after the driver had given Deputy Christian the paperwork.

Haynesville Police Chief Anthony Smith and Officer Trent Cook arrived on scene to assist.

An investigation into the matter led to the discovery of a glass pipe with burnt residue on one end, commonly associated with drug use, in a black cloth bag in the center of the rear seat.

A plastic bag containing a white powder, crystal substance presumed to be methamphetamine was also found on the rear floorboard on the passenger’s side.

Both subjects denied ownership of the items and both were placed under arrest and transported to the Claiborne Detention Center.

Primm was booked for possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a schedule II controlled dangerous substance - methamphetamine and tail lamps required, with a bond of $6,000.

Estes was booked and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a schedule II controlled dangerous substance, with a bond of $5,500.


CNET makes drug arrests


On February 6, CNET (Claiborne Narcotic Enforcement Team) initiated the arrest phase of an investigation  which started in early January.

Last Wednesday morning CNET personnel served six arrest warrants on Joel Thomas Welch. These warrants were for three counts of distribution of schedule II controlled dangerous substance methamphetamine, distribution of a schedule II controlled dangerous substance amphetamine - Adderall, distribution of schedule III controlled dangerous hydrocodone and failure to pay child support.

These warrants were served when Welch was stopped on US Hwy 79 north after CNET personnel observed Welch leave a location at Gentry Road and US Hwy 79.

During this stop and ongoing investigation, a search of Welch’s vehicle was conducted. During this search CNET  agents seized a .357 caliber handgun, schedule II controlled dangerous substance methamphetamine, and $498.

In addition to the six warrants, Welch was also charged with possession of a firearm during a drug crime, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and possession of a schedule II controlled dangerous substance methamphetamine.

Welch was later booked into the Claiborne Detention Center on all charges with a total bond set at $177,000.

During this investigation, CNET  personnel knew from prior investigation that Welch was making trips to Arkansas to obtain methamphetamine and return it to Claiborne Parish for distribution.

On Wednesday, after Welch was stopped and arrested, Detective Sgt. Mike Caldwell of the Magnolia Police Department, along with the Arkansas State Police and the FBI Violent Crime Safe Streets Task Force served a search warrant at the residence of Laterrance Hardwell, 34, of Magnolia.

This search warrant was a result of prior investigation by CNET and Arkansas Law Enforcement. This search warrant resulted in the arrested of Hardwell for possession of methamphetamine with the purpose to deliver, distribution of methamphetamine within 1000 feet of a church, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and theft by receiving stolen good; firearm and other property.

Hardwell was booked into Magnolia with bond to be set.

To report suspicious or illegal activity, concerned citizens may call CNET at 927-9800, DEA/Louisiana State Police at 676-4080, Homer Police Department at 927-4000, Haynesville Police Department at 624-1355 or the Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s Office at 927-2011. Any and all information is considered confidential and is greatly appreciated.


Parish property taxes coming up for renewal


The Guardian-Journal

The Claiborne Parish Police Jury tackled a short agenda, but some items will be coming up for renewal on the ballot for October 19.

A few housekeeping items will be set on the ballot for 2013, most likely in October, which if passed would renew the 2.710 mil building and maintenance ad valorem tax which will expire in 2014, the ad valorem exemption for the disabled veterans and the watershed sales tax.

“It’s been the police jury’s practice to renew these the year prior to [its expiration],”   Secretary Treasurer Dwayne Woodard said. “No renewal has failed to pass, but just in case it does not (pass), it gives us a full year to go back to the voters if we have to.”

October 19 is the election date that will be the most cost effective, Woodard said. Approval of this process means that he will be able to turn in all the paperwork to the bonding attorneys to get the ball rolling to get it on the ballot for October.

In the first item on the regular agenda, jurors were reminded about the groundbreaking ceremony for the reconstruction and renovation of the Claiborne Parish Library, which was at 2:30 p.m., Sunday, February 10.

Construction is expected to begin this month, no later than the first of March. The project should be completed within a year.

Jurors also accepted the lowest qualified bids for the purchase of culverts for the 2013 year. The lowest bid for corrugated metal culverts went to Wilson Culverts, Inc., from Elkhart, Texas. The lowest bid for corrugated dual-wall culverts went to Coburns Supply from Ruston.

“They (Coburns) also bid on the metal culverts but their bids were a little bit higher than Wilson’s,” said Woodard.

In other news, the jurors appointed two representatives to serve on the board of directors of the Coordinating & Development Corporation for the 2013 year. Current representatives were Joe Sturges and Jerry Adkins. Sturges and Adkins were reappointed.

Merit pay increases for highway department employees were also approved. Truck driver Jim Gardner received a raise of 50 cents per hour, Truck driver Brandon Allen received a raise of 75 cents per hour, Truck driver Gregg Buggs received a raise of 25 cents per hour and Operator II Larry Crew received a raise of 25 cents per hour.

Jurors also approved an assurance letter which “assures” the police jury will comply with the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act (Uniform Relocation Act). This program assures the police jury will give fair and reasonable relocation payments to or for displaced persons in accordance with the Uniform Relocation Act as well as other provisions.

The next police jury meeting will be at 9 a.m., Wednesday, March 6, in the meeting room at the Police Jury Complex. For more information, or for questions, please call their office at 318-927-2222.


Killgore's Pharmacy & Gift Shop announces opening of their website


KillgoresPharmacy.comKillgore's Pharmacy & Gift Shop announces the opening of their website as of 2012-12-28, online at

Killgore's Pharmacy & Gift Shop was opened by Pharmacist James "Keith" Killgore and wife/business partner Beverlee Killgore in 1980.

Beverlee is the store manager and catalyst behind the excellent seasonal gift selections and gift displays.

Keith has been a practicing pharmacist in his hometown, Haynesville, for over 30 years. Helping his customers understand the do's & don'ts in regards to their prescriptions is his pleasure not his obligation.

For many years, the Killgore's have selflessly devoted their time to promoting Haynesville & All of Claiborne Parish. Keith, the consummate artist, designed and painted the "Lonesome Drug", "Welcome to Haynesville" and "Main Street Haynesville" murals.

Keith's artistry is available to you through his Gift Personalization Calligraphy on many of the gift items (plates, ornaments, banners and more).

The Killgore's put the family in "Family Pharmacy & Gifts".

Killgore's Pharmacy & Gift Shop is your one stop for medicine when you're sick, vitamins to keep you well, gifts for the bride and groom to-be, custom framing for your most cherished memories, home/yard decorating accessories and hobby supplies.



Claiborne Parish tourism initiative is underway


JIMMY DEAN, Feature Writer

The Claiborne Chamber of Commerce has put together an assortment of materials to highlight where to go and what to do and see in Claiborne Parish. “Whether you’re a visitor or a local resident,Brochures and the Two Disc Driving CD available at several area locations - Click to Visit Claiborne Parish has a driving tour CD set that you will find interesting,” says John Watson, Executive Director of the Chamber.

“The CD is one part of a major initiative aimed at helping others see and appreciate what is wonderful about Claiborne Parish,” Watson notes.

Asked what else is a part of the initiative, Watson explains that a colorful tourism brochure has been prepared. In addition,  there is a new website

Also, a cemetery brochure includes a map of the parish with the locations of 156 cemeteries in the parish or within a few miles of the parish line.

Finally, television ads have appeared describing Claiborne Parish as a desirable tourist destination.

Describing the tourism brochure, Watson says it highlights points of interest in Homer, Haynesville, Athens, Lisbon, Summerfield, and other areas of Claiborne Parish. It points out that 10 buildings in the parish are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The brochure includes pictures of the Claiborne Parish Courthouse, Herbert S. Ford Museum, Lisbon’s Killgore House, the mural on the west wall of Haynesville’s Killgore Pharmacy,  Homer’s Old Town Cemetery, the Hill Farm, Summerfield’s Alberry Wasson House, and Lake Claiborne.

The cover of the “Claiborne Parish, Louisiana, Cemetery Guide” notes that it is intended to be “A guide to finding the resting places of your ancestors.” A brief description gives directions for each of the 156 cemeteries There is also a map in the brochure marking the approximate location of each.

The new tourism website,, describes Lake Claiborne State Park and lists local lodging such as Panther Creek Bed and Breakfast at Summerfield and Lake Claiborne Vacation Cottage on Harmon Loop.

The website describes “eateries” such as the Rebel Stop and Moon’s toward Summerfield, Port-au-Prince on Lake Claiborne, Sunrise Bakery and Restaurant and Homer Seafood and Pizza as well as Yesterday’s Grill in Haynesville.

Highlights related to Homer, Haynesville, Lisbon, Athens, Summerfield, and the parish’s historic cemeteries are all mentioned on the website.

Some parish events are plugged including the Butterfly Festival, the Claiborne Jubilee, the 4th of July Fireworks and Boat Parade, Lake Claiborne Antique Auto and Bike Show, and the Christmas Festival.

The set consists of two CDs with 41 tracks of information highlighting areas of interest around the parish. For only $3 visitors or local residents can learn things about Claiborne Parish that’s not in the history books, stories passed down from grandparents to grandchildren that has become the stuff of local legend and lore.

Of course, the internet website is free as is the tourism brochure. With the cemetery guide available for $1 and the driving CD sets for $3, the whole tourism package is available for $4, a token cost to cover expenses of production.

Many local citizens donated many hours to the brochures, the cemetery guide, the driving CDs, and the website.

Brochures and CD sets are available at the following locations:

* The Grapevine

* Port-au-Prince Restaurant

* Killgore's Pharmacy & Gift Shop

* The Rebel Stop

* Claiborne Parish Library

* Delta Interiors

* The Chamber Office at Ford Museum

Brochures only are available at the following:

* Courtyard Florist

* Lake Claiborne State Park

* Haynesville City Hall

* The Guardian-Journal


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Archived Guardian Journal Headlines & News Briefs from November 1999

News Briefs

Homer Lions Club to meet February 14

The Homer Lions Club will meet at First Presbyterian Church in Homer, located just behind Capital One Bank. The guest speaker will be Chris Caswell, park manager of the Lake Claiborne State Park. All members are encouraged to attend and bring a guest!


NAACP ACT-SO to meet February 17

Claiborne Parish NAACP ACT-SO will meet 3:00 p.m. Sunday, February 17, 2013, at Mt Superior Baptist Church on Dansby Road in Homer. African-American high school students interested in participating in ACT-SO, an academic mentoring and competition program, can either attend the February 17 meeting or attend an informational meeting scheduled for 1:00 p.m. Monday, February 18 also at Mt. Superior. Parents are encouraged to attend. This year's competition is scheduled for Saturday, April 20, 2013. For more information contact or 318-927-6411.


CCC to meet February 18

The Community Coordinating Council, Inc., bi-monthly meeting for the Homer-Athens area participants will be held on February 18 at 1 p.m. at 1005 Pearl St., Homer. All participants are encouraged to please be present. Your cooperation is appreciated and needed for future planning.


Claiborne NAACP to meet February 19

The Claiborne Parish Chapter of the NAACP will meet at 6:30 p.m. at Lane Chapel CME Church on Tuesday, February 19. All members are encouraged to attend.


HMH Board to meet February 19

The Homer Memorial Hospital Board will meet at noon in the Brown Conference Room at the hospital for its monthly meeting. This meeting is open to the public. For more information, please call the hospital at 318-927-2024.


Garden Dedication Ceremony to be held February 20

The administration, faculty and staff of Haynesville High School request the honor of your presence at the garden club’s Year-Round Garden dedication ceremony  February 20 at 11:30 a.m.  A reception will follow.


Black History Parade to be held February 23

A Black History Parade will be held on Saturday, February 23 at 3 p.m. For more information, call 318-805-7218 or T&T Bail Bonds 927-9214.


CASA Training Course set for February 23

Training for the Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children will be from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. at the Arcadia CASA offices, located at 1968 N. Railroad. Breakfast and lunch will be provided, and dress is casual. Those interested in becoming a volunteer must complete 15 hours of training in the classroom. If you cannot make it to both sessions, you will have the opportunity to make the time up one-on-one. Please call Victoria Ricord at 318-425-4413 or email at for more information.


Homer Lions Club to meet February 28

The Homer Lions Club will meet at Nicky’s Mexican Restaurant at noon. All members are encouraged to attend and bring a guest!


Haynesville Town Council to meet February 28

The Haynesville Town Council will meet at 6 p.m. in council chambers, located behind City Hall for its monthly meeting. The council usually meets on the third Thursday of each month, but this month’s meeting was moved because of a conflict with the Louisiana Municipal Association (LMA) conference the previous week. For more information, please call their office at 318-624-0911.


CASA Training Course set for March 2

Training for the Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children will be from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. at the Arcadia CASA offices, located at 1968 N. Railroad. Breakfast and lunch will be provided, and dress is casual. Those interested in becoming a volunteer must complete 15 hours of training in the classroom. If you cannot make it to both sessions, you will have the opportunity to make the time up one-on-one. Please call Victoria Ricord at 318-425-4413 or email at for more information.


Homer Housing Authority to meet March 25

The Homer Housing Authority will hold a Public meeting on March 25 at 6 p.m. at 329 Oil Mill St., Homer to receive comments on the 20113-CFP Submission/Annual Plan for the Homer Housing Authority. All documents are on display at the office of the Housing Authority between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.



McMullan Realty, Springhill - Announces Opening of Their New Website

Denny McMullan of McMullan Realty Company in Springhill, LA, announces the opening of their McMullan Realty - Springhill, LAre-designed website as of 2012-08-06, with all current listings now available at:


Whether you're looking to buy or sell a home, commercial or investment property, McMullan Realty Company can help. They take pride in taking the time to get to know each and every client individually - listening to their specific needs and wishes. They are ready to negotiate the best deals, determine your optimal selling price and provide you with all the necessary facts you need to make a confident, informed decision.


From the first walk-through to the signing of papers, McMullan Realty will be with you every step of the way. Their experienced agents are ready to help you achieve your real estate goals.


McMullan Realty Company was established in 1961 by Dennis and Evelyn McMullan. Continuously family owned and operated, McMullan Realty Company has specialized in REAL ESTATE SALES AND MARKETING in the North Webster Parish, Louisiana and Southwest Arkansas areas for more than 50-years.


Denny McMullan, broker at McMullan Realty, stated "We were looking for a web designer to re-build our existing site and someone that we could depend upon to maintain our site in a timely manner. After reviewing several area realtor sites, we came across Claiborne Parish web designer, Key-Comp Web Design, we visited the Key-Comp sites for Claiborne Parish realtors and were very impressed (JT Taylor Realty, Northest Properties & Toney Johnson Real Estate). We contacted Joel Ponder of Key-Comp Web Design, he subsequently submitted a very reasonable proposal for the design and maintenance of our site. We accepted the proposal and have been very pleased with the results. If any of you know anyone who wants a new website or has a site that is in need of a re-do, we strongly recommend Key-Comp. You can contact Joel via his new website at:"

Ford Museum Seeking Veterans' Photographs

The H.S. Ford Museum has received a grant from Entergy that will enable us to make its exhibits more interactive. Our first emphasis will focus on honoring our military veterans, especially those with a connection to North Central Louisiana. For this project, we are requesting the public's help in gathering photos, formal as well as candid photos that capture everyday life in the military. Artifacts and photos are needed from the Civil War era to the present. Items can be sent to the museum at or mailed to P.O. Box 157, Homer, LA 71040. The museum is opened Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 am to 4 pm for anyone wishing to deliver material in person.


Hilltop Campgrounds & RV Park announces opening of their website

HilltopCampgrounds.comHilltop Campgrounds & RV Park (Princeton/Haughton, LA) is proud to announce the opening of their website as of 06/10/2012, online at

Hilltop Campgrounds and RV Park is a work-camper, family and pet friendly park located just minutes from I-20 and I-220. The park is always clean with on-site management and maintenance for a worry free stay. The rental prices include lot, electric, water, sewer and trash pickup.

The park is located less than five miles from Haughton and 3 minutes from I-20 (Haughton/Fillmore exit - Hwy 157 North), and just 10-15 minutes from all the Hottest Gaming Locations in Shreveport-Bossier.

The park is open to the public year round. Features include Fishing and Swimming in their 5 acre natural spring pond. hiking & biking nature trails and beautiful, peaceful & serene surroundings throughout the year.

The park owners stated that "We contracted a Claiborne Parish based website designer, Key-Comp Web Design, and are very pleased with the results and recommend their services to anyone needing a new website or a face-lift of an existing site . Key-Comp can be contacted via their website at"



Golden Eagle Training & Safety - New Website

Steve Risner (Homer, LA) and Butch Shaver (Shreveport, La) announce the opening of their new Golden Eagle Training & Safety website, now online at


Golden Eagle Training & SafetyFor more than 18 years the founders of Golden Eagle Training & Saftey (GETS) have certified nearly a thousand Law Enforcement/Correctional Use of Force Instructors and certified over seven hundred civilians in Carry Concealed Handgun Classes for permits to carry concealed.


GETS offers Instructional/Certification courses for the General Public, Law Enforcement & Corrections, School Resource Officers & Staff, Churches, Organizations and Companies.


GETS training for the public includes: Carrying Concealed Handgun Permit Class, Personal Safety Course, Women’s Safety & Self-Defense Course, Sexual Harassment and Rape Prevention (known as SHARP), Weapon Retention & Disarming (if you carry a firearm, you need to know how to effectively retain it or disarm someone who has one), Escape & Evasion, and Advanced Carrying Concealed Handgun Courses.


Certification courses available for Law Enforcement and Correctional Agencies include: Defensive Tactics (DT), Impact Weapon (IW), Weapon Retention and Disarming (WRD), Ground Avoidance/Ground Escape (GAGE), Spontaneous Knife Defense (SKD), Inmate Control, and Pressure Point Control Tactic (PPCT).


For the educational arena (School Resource Officers & Staff) they offer: Safe Schools Resource Officer (SRO) Training & Certifcation, Basic & Instructor Certification Classes in Human Factor Research School Safety ( Bullying) & Healthy Children and Disruptive Student Management (DSM).


They have also held "Surviving a Critical Incident Courses" for churches in Bossier City and will be glad to do the same with any church in your area.


Steve Risner said "We have contracted Joel Ponder, long time resident of Claiborne Parish, and designer/webmaster of many of our local area websites, to rebuild our website and we are very pleased with the fine job he is doing for a very affordable price. If any of you know someone who wants to start a website or has one that needs a facelift, we strongly recommend Mr. Ponder. You can contact Joel via his new website at:"

Local CPA Signs On as ClaiborneOne Sponsor

The accounting firm of Steven J. Koskie, CPA LLC has signed on as a sponsor of the ClaiborneOne website.

Steven J Koskie CPA LLCSteve Koskie, Managing Member of the firm said, "Back in the fall, we decided we were going to enhance our presence on the internet. So many people now use the internet as a key way to get news and information. By improving our website and overall web presence, we felt we could achieve two important goals. They are, first, to be of more service to our existing clients and, second, to more effectively reach out to new clients."

After reviewing the web traffic statistics for ClaiborneOne the decision to become a sponsor was made. "I was surprised by the amount of web traffic that goes through the ClaiborneOne web site. ClaiborneOne provides a great service as a 24 hour a day clearinghouse of parish news and information that reaches literally around the world."

Steven J. Koskie CPA LLC is located at 417 North Main Street in Homer. The firm focuses on preparing personal income tax returns, business income tax returns, and bookkeeping/accounting services for business. The firm also provides a variety of financial planning services for individuals and consulting services for business.

"Our experience covers a broad horizon. We have a lot of experience in oil & gas as regards income tax, lease negotiations, and royalty/working interest accounting. We also are very engaged in agricultural endeavors like poultry farming, timber farming and cattle operations. Through the years, I've helped manage some very significant investment portfolios of stocks, bonds, and limited partnerships. When it comes to helping businesses, having 10 years experience as a controller and CFO for significant private companies gives me a unique hands-on perspective of what business owners face in their daily lives. I know their problems and opportunities because I've lived with the very things they deal with everyday. Plus the fact that I've dealt with the day-to-day business decisions of my own firm for a decade."

"We look forward to serving the citizens and businesses of Claiborne Parish and the surrounding area for many years to come. We have a vested interest in the growth of the area and work hard to provide a high quality service. This means much more than delivering a tax return or a set of books to a client. We have the privilege of helping people live their lives and manage their resources. That responsibility to our clients is why we say our income tax, accounting and consulting services require we make a point to 'Provide more than numbers on a page'."

J.T. Taylor RealtyJ.T. Taylor Realty/Dimex Sales - Now Online

J.T. Taylor Realty has provided Real Estate Sales and Buyer Representation in Homer, Haynesville and Claiborne Parish for Commercial, Residential and Timberland Properties since 1984.

With over 56 years experience in the Commercial and Home Markets, J.T. Taylor offers a wealth of knowledge To Help You Avoid the Pitfalls of Buying, Selling or Remodeling a property!

For over 10 years, Dimex Sales has offered a full line of Portable Buildings for Home, Home/Office, Construction Sites, and Storage needs.


DNG ConsultingDNG Consulting - Now Online

Based in Claiborne Parish, Louisiana, DNG Consulting, LLC provides a wide range of consulting services to meet the needs of a variety of client types. DNG Consulting assists clients in Mergers & Acquisitions, Management Organization Study & Re-structuring, Project Management, Critical Path Recovery Scheduling, Construction Claims Analysis, Business Development, Professional/Technical Recruitment Services and Fuel Services.


Don Grimes, President of DNG Consulting, and wife Bea are long time Claiborne Parish residents. The Grimes' have been involved in promoting Claiborne Parish for many years.


Key-Comp Web Design Announces the Opening of their Redesigned Website

Key-Comp Web Design was originally established in 1980 as Key-Comp Computer Services. Providing computer programming and support services in Monroe, LA, Ouachita Parish, re-locating to Claiborne Parish in September of 1987.

Key-Comp 2012Since 1996, Key-Comp has provided web site design, hosting and maintenance to a variety of businesses and organizations, including those in Homer, Haynesville, Tulsa, Monroe, Shreveport, El Dorado, and Gibsland.

Key-Comp's services also include Print/Web Ad design, Business Card design, Logo design, software training, system analysis/purchasing, custom database programming and Special Event & Family Reunion Photography. Visit Key-Comp's Portfolio to view their work.

Key-Comp is operated by, long time Claiborne Parish residents, Joel Ponder & Pam Thompson-Ponder (Pet Pampering Grooming & Boarding) with photography and graphics design assistance by their sons, Homer High grads, TJ & Tanner.

Key-Comp designed many of our local sites including (which includes Claiborne Parish Police Jury, Town of Homer & Town of Haynesville),, Claiborne Chamber of Commerce, J.T.Taylor Realty & Dimex Sales, Northeast Properties, Toney Johnson Real Estate, Advertising Unlimited, and DNG Consulting. Key-Comp's Portfolio presents legacy/retired designs that include Allison Law Firm (Shreveport), Homer Memorial Hospital, Hall Boat Lifts, Speech Language Pathology & Associates and Gibsland Bank & Trust.

Key-Comp's new sites are produced using the most current & popular Content Management Systems (CMS) that will allow their clients to easily add and/or delete content. Key-Comp has built this owner friendly functionality (password protected & secure) into their sites for years, however almost all of their clients have opted to depend upon Key-Comp for maintenance and updates - Key-Comp says "(Concentrate on Your Business - We'll Handle the Web)".

Redesign projects now underway include Golden Eagle Training & Safety and McMullan Realty (Springhill).

For more information on Key-Comp's services visit



Claiborne One Site Now Features Area Image Archive

Archives Now Online include:

Money Available for New or Expanding Businesses in Homer

The Claiborne Chamber of Commerce now has monies to lend through the Revolving Loan Program. Anyone who is interested in starting a business or enlarging an existing business within Claiborne Parish may be eligible. These funds were received from the USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant Program to assist small businesses and provide for jobs in Claiborne Parish. Loan preferences will be made on the basis of job creation. Further information may be obtained by contacting John Watson, Executive Director of the Claiborne Chamber of Commerce at (318) 927-3271. The Claiborne Chamber of Commerce is an equal opportunity provider. To file a complaint of discrimination write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave. S.W. Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).

Smoke Detectors For The Elderly Offered through TRIAD

TRIAD of Claiborne wants all seniors age 65 and above, to have a smoke detector. You may also qualify if you're disabled. Having a smoke detector can mean the difference of life or death. Smoke detectors are available without charge. If you don't have a smoke detector, call 927-2011.


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The Guardian-Journal
The Guardian-Journal
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