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August 05, 2004


Claiborne Parish Sheriff's Office Web Site
Now Online (the official web presence for all of Claiborne Parish) announces the addition of The Claiborne Parish Sheriff's Office to the hundreds of pages already online at Claiborne One.  The CPSO site is now online at The site includes: a welcome message from our new Claiborne Parish Sheriff, Ken Bailey, information on divisions and staff, detention center visitation procedures, community programs, tips on how to protect yourself and your family, and employment opportunities.


Saturday, July 31, 2004 Marked The

Grand Opening Of The Fourth

David Raines Community Health Center (DRCHC)

In North Louisiana

The new center is located at 1953 East Main Street in Haynesville. The other three centers are located in Gilliam, Shreveport and Minden.

Mayor of Haynesville Mickey Mayfield presided over the Grand Opening ceremony held at the new location of the clinic. Claiborne Chamber of Commerce member Gurvis Vines led the prayer blessing the business and services that would be provided to future patients of the center.

President of the Board of Directors for DRCHC Annie Pearl Wilson welcomed everyone to the event.  Former Mayor of the Town of Haynesville Tom Crocker said, "I am proud to see that the clinic is finally open. Years of hard work and efforts have paid off and I am glad that I was a part of this effort."

William Maddox, member of the Board of Directors, thanked everyone for their hard work and welcomed them to the ceremony. President of the Claiborne Chamber of Commerce, J.T. Taylor said, "I would like to take the time to thank everyone for coming out for this event. It is our pleasure to welcome this establishment to the Town. Facilities like this one are vital to our community and we wish them well with their future in Claiborne Parish."

DRCHC is an independent, community owned nonprofit health facility. The center strives to provide quality, affordable, primary and preventative service to all comers regardless of race, national origin or ability to pay.

All of David Raines Centers medical staff members are professionally trained and board certified in their field of study. The philosophy of DRCHC is to offer total health care for the whole family. Family health services, dental services and optometry services are offered to participants. DRCHC is a part of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). This accreditation implies that the DRCHC is nationally recognized for complying with rigorous national performance standards that promote quality health care. DRCHC is also a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). This states that the facilities qualify for nationally competitive grants that are funded under Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act.

As a FQHC, David Raines is mandated to provide a medical home to all patients. This would include insured, uninsured, underinsured as well as the underserved in the area. David Raines Centers are approved Medicaid application locations. Families that are at or below poverty level would qualify for Medicaid and may apply at the centers. DRCHC is a KIDMED approved facility. The KIDMED program provides medical, vision and hearing screenings for low-income families, Medicaid-eligible children and youth up to the age of 21.

The facility recognizes LaMOMS and WIC. LaMOMS is no-cost health coverage for pregnant women who qualify. Participants who have private insurance are capable of utilizing this program. The private insurance carrier would pay first then Medicaid would pay up to the maximum limit of the unpaid balance.  WIC is a special nutritional program for women, infants and children that provides a food package and nutritional education to participants.

These are just a few of the programs that DRCHC accepts and provides to its patients. If patients have any questions about these programs or wish to apply there will be someone at the clinic that will help them with the information.

For those who do not have transportation, DRCHC offers free transportation to the center for services. Their vans are wheel chair and handicap accessible. Transportation arrangements must be made at least two days in advance.



Hayride Country Music Show To Perform

For Senior Citizens


Heritage Nursing Center in Haynesville and Presbyterian Village in Homer will be entertained by Don Mason and Dean Mathis once again. The Hayride Sunshine, Country Music and Old-time Rock n’Roll Show will be visiting the area on Monday August 30th  at 2 p.m. in Homer and 6 p.m. in Haynesville.   The program will be presented to the Senior Citizens at no cost due to the support of local merchants who purchase advertising in the Show’s program.

During the year 1964 a group of harmony vocalists titled the Newbeats drew worldwide fame with their single titled “Bread and Butter.”

Working with a group of Nashville’s best songwriters and studio musicians the group toured with major artists like the Rolling Stones and were scheduled to perform for President Nixon at the Watergate Hotel.

Two of the group, Dean and Marc Mathis, were brothers one of which is part of the Hayride Sunshine Show. About a decade before “Bread and Butter,” Dean and Marc were touring with Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys and various other hit artists. The other entertainer in the Sunshine Show is Don Mason. Mason plays keyboard, sings and records.

Don first appeared in the Shreveport-Bossier area in 1977.  The places he’s played include LeBossier, Earnest’s Supper Club, The Chateau, The Sheraton, Holiday Inn, Ramada Inn and just about every other nice place in the area.

In 1988 he opened his own nightclub, The Branch Office in the Airline Best Western in Bossier.  Mr. Mason was there six nights a week for six years. Lately he’s been out playing the nice clubs and restaurants again.

All the residents anticipate the good music and good time that is coming their way, Monday August 30th at 2 p.m. in Homer and 6 p.m. in Haynesville.



Homer Town Council Agrees To Hire

Full Time Patrol Officer


Homer Mayor Huey Dean and the Board of Selectman of the Town of Homer met in the Mayor’s Chambers August 2 at 6:00 p.m. The meeting was called to order and prayer and Pledge of Allegiance to the flag were led. During public comments Councilman J.C. Moore read aloud a letter submitted by Mr. Scott "Doc" Roberson.  Mr. Roberson stated that he had previously talked with Mayor Dean concerning drainage and grass problems on Martin Luther King and Hill Streets in Homer.

Mr. Roberson said that grass had grown over the curbs and was growing out into the road.  He also requested that the house at 122 Hill Street be torn down.

Mayor Dean reported to the Council that he had paid for the lot to be cleaned up out of his own pocket for the past two years. Cutbacks in work forces have slowed progress in the grass-cutting department.

Mr. Roberson told the Council that he has not seen a mowing crew in the area this year and that the Mayor might need to see if they were doing their jobs.

Mayor Dean reassured Mr. Roberson that there should be two inmate crews in the area starting August 3, to assist Town workers in getting grass cut.

Chief of Police Rodney Hollenshead came before the Council requesting permission to hire one full time officer to replace Officer J.T. Williams who left the force. Chief Hollenshead stated that he had found an officer to replace him. Officer Gregory Pickens is currently employed by the Grambling Police Department, upon the decision of the Council to hire him he will resign from his position and go to work here.

Officer Pickens has two and a half years experience and has been State Certified for over a year.  Because of this he would not have to be trained, as would most new hires.  Councilman Moore asked Chief Hollenshead if he had searched within the Town for an officer.  Hollenshead stated that he had but had been unsuccessful in locating a certified officer.  He stated that having to many uncertified officers on the force was not good. The certified officer at a scene was the one capable of making decisions due to their experience and training. Councilwoman Johnette Faulkner made a motion that the Town hire Officer Pickens, Councilman Moore seconded and the motion passed. The officer would be hired at a $9.50 pay rate, since he is already receiving the $300 per month supplement from the State that is offered to certified officers.

Mr. David Greene, North Louisiana sites manager for BFI came before the Council to address concerns about residential trash pick-up. He stated that when the residential trash contract was signed with the Town of Homer, that it had nothing to do with Claiborne Parish or the Town of Haynesville's contracts. Greene said that when BFI offered bids for the service that they had used similar bid specifications for each municipality. This was done to make bidding easier and that none of the contracts had anything to do with each other. Get Rid of It has offered the Town residential pickup cheaper that BFI but there is a contract in place that should cover the next year and nine months for BFI. Greene stated that he would present his superiors with a lower amount for the Town, but that there would be a contract extension included with the figures.

He also said that if they approved lowering the rates that the same rates would be offered to Claiborne Parish and Haynesville, just out of fairness. Mr. Greene told the Council they were already enjoying a lower rate than the Parish because of the density of households inside the Town. He said that his crews could pick up all of Homer in a day, where as the Parish took four days, because of the distance between residences. Greene told the Council that he would help them clean up Mill Street dump if they would segregate the refuse at the location.

Mayor Dean informed Council members that BFI has been helping all along with the location, most of the time at no charge. Greene said that the services provided at the Mill Street location were not connected to the residential contract between BFI and the Town of Homer.  Therefore BFI was not responsible for the mess at the site. He stated that he was helping with what he could because the roll-off cans at the location were BFI property and he did not want their name to be linked to messes such as this. Greene also informed the Council that there were companies that would come by and get the refrigerators, stoves etc. for a nominal charge. Mr. Greene stated that he was going to make an offer for a cheaper residential rate to the company but could offer no guarantees. He stated that BFI received the work based on an open bid accepted by the Town. And that their original bid was $1.42 a month per home cheaper than any other waste removal company that offered a bid.

The Department of Environmental Quality is supposed to be in Homer this week to survey the Mill Street dump site. Councilman Jessie Ford had put the Arlington Cemetery on the agenda but reported that inmate crews had finished mowing it the morning of the meeting. He stated that they were going to spray the location to slow the growth cycle of the Bahia grass.

Councilman Ford asked Town Attorney David Newell if he had the ordinance concerning cluttered up yards within the Town prepared yet. Newell stated that he did not due to minor setbacks in paperwork concerning the project. He informed Ford that the current Weeds Ordinance that was in place would allow the Town to notify property owners of the problem and then mow it if there was no response.

Councilman Billy K. Jenkins requested that Mr. Newell add something to the new ordinance to cover abandoned vehicles.  Newell said that he would take care of it.

Councilman Jenkins questioned the Mayor as to the identity of a worker he saw at the Mayfield water treatment facility.  He stated that he was not a Town employee and just wondered what he was doing.

Mayor Dean informed him that there was a problem with the pumps at the location but that they were being repaired and there was no problem with the water levels at this time.  He was personally watching the tanks to make sure plenty of good water stayed available.

Terry Willis came before the Council concerning problems within the Homer Housing Authority. Mayor Dean told Willis to come to his office and they would discuss the problems and try to get them resolved. Willis told the Mayor that he had been trying to get something done for quite some time now.  He stated that so far HUD had not been of any help.

The State of Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals has written a letter to the Mayor stating that the Town failed to comply with laws stating that Homer needed to inform residents that the water supply exceeded the maximum contaminant levels as set forth in the State and Federal Primary Drinking Water Regulations. The letter concerned a problem with Town water between July 1st and July 31st of 2004. The DHH stated that there was never a emergency, if there had been the Town would have been notified immediately. All the letter was requesting at the time was a retest of the locations that showed higher levels of coliforms.  This type of bacteria is naturally occurring and is a sign that there may be a problem. Since coliforms can be transmitted by air, human and other ways, a second test was called for and proved there to be no problem.

Executive Director of the Claiborne Chamber of Commerce John Watson and Chamber member Gurvis Vines were present at the meeting. Vines addressed the Council letting them know about the Chamber's plan to check into a juvenile detention center for our area. Since the one in Sterlington has been closed there is a need for another facility in the area.

He also told the Council that the Chamber would support annexing some of the surrounding areas to the City Limits to add to land available for economic growth for the Town. Councilman Moore made a motion to amend the agenda to include the Watson Building, Councilman Jenkins seconded and the motion carried.

A motion was made to change the ordinance that was made at the last meeting concerning the acreage that went with the building. The original ordinance provided for two acres to be sold with the building. Town Attorney David Newell told the Council that if they would agree to sell Mr. Prentiss Washington five acres instead of the original two that he could wrap up the deal quickly since he already had the property description for that amount.  If the Council had decided to keep the two-acre tract, they would have to hire a surveyor.  The motion passed and the ordinance was amended to include five acres.



Malray Files Suit Against The Town Of Homer


Homer Police Captain Donald Malray, filed a suit in the District Court against the Town of Homer on July 20th. The suit stems from the officer being charged and later acquitted of perjury following a jury trial involving J.C. Curry in September 2003. Officer Malray and Vincent McDaniel had both been subpoenaed to testify and sequestered so they would not be able to discuss the proceedings. After allegedly being heard talking about the case by a FBI special agent assigned to the case, the pair were brought before the judge and later charged with perjury.

After investigations were completed a jury trial was held in March and both were found to be not guilty of the charges.

After being exonerated of the crimes Malray’s attorney handed the Town of Homer a bill that contained the charges incurred by Malray for legal defense.

The attorney later wrote the Town of his intentions to sue if the matter was not taken care of within 10 days.

A Louisiana Statute provides that when a law officer employed by a state or agency is charged and acquitted of an alleged crime when he is acting in good faith in the performance of his job, the officer shall be reimbursed for reasonable attorney’s fees incurred by him on account of the institution of persecution.

The statute also provides that the agency by whom he was employed at the time of the crime would be the responsible party.

No decisions have been made public by the Town as of yet, to indicate what recourse they will take.


Miss Lizzies Too Holds Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

On Homer Square

Miss Lizzies Too has been relocated to the North side of the square. Business owner, Dale Tulley, has operated several prosperous businesses within the Town of Homer.  Mrs. Tulley is also a very active member of the Christmas Festival Committee.

President of the Claiborne Chamber of Commerce, J.T. Taylor, Chamber member John Watson, Chamber member Gurvis Vines, Claiborne Parish Sheriff Ken Bailey as well as a host of friends, family and other local business owners were in attendance to give support to Mrs. Tulley in her business endeavors. Congratulations Miss Lizzies Too and good luck with your future.



THE BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB of Haynesville celebrated the last day of the summer season July 30th with a splash party. The children played in the water sprinkler while shooting each other and the cameraman with their powerful water guns. They also enjoyed a grilled hamburger for lunch. It's good to see the children staying cool and having a good time.



Dr. James Robert Michael met with United States Geological Survey Supervisory (USGS) Hydrologist Ben McGee and LSU AgCenter's Water Resource Specialist, Biological & Agricultural Engineering representative Dr. Bill Branch in Ruston Thursday, July 29th at the USGS office. The topic of discussion at the meeting was the dam for the proposed Flat Lick Lake. Ben McGee, Webster Parish Police Juror, Sparta Commissioner and co-author of the Sparta Recharge/Retirement Development initiative Herb Byars, Dr. James R. Michael, Dr. Bill Branch and Lake Claiborne Volunteer Commissioner Dr. Alice Stewart studied a contour map to decide upon the best location for the dam.  The lake currently has a proposed 250-foot contour, which would make the dam approximately 50 feet tall.  The experts told Dr. Michael that the water shed would determine the exact depth and size of the lake.


Dr. Michael wanted to get input from the organizations to get plans started for the proposed Flat Lick Lake damn. Dr. Branch said that they would assist in the layout of the lake if the committee would provide him with the proposed dam location.  He said that all you had to do was take the damn location and the estimated contour height and the lake would lay itself out.

Branch stated that if he remembered correctly there was a 70 square mile, 40,000 acre watershed in the Flatlick area.  Some of the 40,000 acres would not flow into the lake because of the land contour, it would by pass and run away from the lake.

The proposed contour of the lake is to be 250 feet. This would make the damn 50 feet tall.

Some of the 40,000 would not flow into the lake.

Mr. Branch stated that the one concern he had was the size of the damn.  If it was too tall it would present a safety hazard for highways and settlements that were downstream to the lake. If something happened that the area would be flooded. Another would be the existing wetlands, but that wetland areas could be traded out.

Mr. Michael said he wanted to get as much as possible in Webster Parish.  He said he would gladly pay double the amount for the damn to get more shoreline in Webster Parish.  That would help their Economic Development as well.

Herb Byars said that he wanted to see as much as he could in Webster Parish, also, but with the depth as it was proposed it would be deep enough to have a good shoreline in Webster even if the damn height were reduced back to 230 feet, reducing the minimum height of the damn to 30 feet.

Mr. Michael said that at the proposed contour the lake would back all the way up into the Homer Oilfield.

Ben said that having a deeper lake was always good, that during times of drought the lake would not be as apt to dry up and also support fish and wildlife in the lake.  He went on to say that it did not matter how deep the lake was planned to be, that the watershed would ultimately determine the size of the lake. The lake could be no larger than the water shed could support.

Ben stated that the topography of the proposed site would already increase the shoreline area. 

He said that you could look at Lake Claiborne as a model.  There should be about the same refreshment rate and fresh water input as Flat Lick.

More importantly any body of water that was to be built would benefit the Sparta Aquifer.

The Watershed program that the USGA has used for the past fifty years, proposes that there be several small dams built across the tributaries that are coming into the lake to trap silt.  This would slow the silt in of the main body of water but would require that the spillways be dredged out periodically to keep them operating proficiently.

Dr. Branch said that the Watershed is already in place for the area in question and can’t be moved or altered.  The lake has to be planned around this area.

Dr. Michael stated that he and Ben had discussed at an earlier date about the possibility of building 2 damns. This would allow the upper and lower portions of the lake to both have deep sections. Doing this would increase the cost of the project but would also increase the shoreline, therefore increase the economic return from the lake.

Michael asked Dr. Branch what he thought the next step should be in getting things in gear to get the project underway.

Dr. Branch stated that he would probably get approval from the legislature to build the dam and start gathering core samples.

He asked Dr. Michael if the legislature had been asked for money to start the project. Michael told him that he had not. He suggested that the state help pay for the construction of the dam and that revenue bonds be used for other construction necessary. By going this route the time involved in the lake construction would be greatly reduced because they would not have to wait on the legislature to approve funds for the construction project. Dr. Branch commended Dr. Michael on the effort he had put into the studies he presented.

Dr. Alice Stewart told the group about things that were being done to improve Lake Claiborne. There are plans to improve the Lisbon Landing area and build another boat ramp at the location. Also during the drawdown plans are being made to make improvements to the buoys located on the boating channels on the lake.

She stated that DOTD has been contacted concerning the conditions of the dam and spillway.  There are trees and bushes growing on the dam.  Local facilities have been contacted concerning the possible use of inmate labor to remove them. After all this planning DOTD will barely make a commitment to mow the dam.  If it is left to grow the trees and bushes will grow back in a short period of time.



Archived Haynesville News Headlines & Special Features
From August 2004


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Buy A Book - Build A Child

Click for FlyerCompletion of the Homer Elementary School Library is expected late August 2004. Librarian Maggie Harris is requesting businesses and individuals to donate $25 per book, to help build a child's future through reading. A recognition label will be placed on the inside front cover of each book purchased through your donations. Donating a book in their name is a great way to honor a friend or family member. Donations may be mailed to Homer Elementary School Library, 624 Bonner St, Homer, LA 71040. For more information, contact Librarian Maggie Harris at 318-927-2393. Please print the program flyer and post at your place of business.


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