Diocese of Alexandria School Superintendent on Leave

By Jim Smilie

Thomas “Tommy” Roque, Sr., Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Alexandria, is currently on leave officials with the Diocese confirmed Thursday.

“He (Roque) requested a temporary leave of absence, and it was granted,” said Deacon Richard Mitchell, public relations officer for the Diocese of Alexandria. Mitchell said the leave was effective June 17 and that no reason for the leave was explained to the staff.

Mitchell said staff members are overseeing day-to-day operations, which are minimal at this time due to summer break. As Vicar General for the Diocese of Alexandria, Father Craig Scott will oversee the school operations while Roque is on leave.

As Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese, Roque oversees eight elementary schools and three high schools. Per the diocese website, “The Catholic School System is comprised of eight elementary and three high schools in the Diocese of Alexandria. All elementary schools have both a Pre-K and a Kindergarten program. The schools are located on nine sites, two of the schools actually being a Pre-K through twelve program. Four of these school sites are in Avoyelles Parish, three in Rapides Parish and one in Natchitoches Parish.

The schools include:

  • Sacred Heart School, Moreauville
  • St. Anthony of Padua School, Bunkie
  • St. Joseph School, Plaucheville
  • St. Mary Assumption School, Cottonport
  • St. Mary’s School, Natchitoches
  • Holy Savior Menard Central High, Alexandria
  • Our Lady of Prompt Succor School, Alexandria
  • St. Frances Cabrini School, Alexandria

Position move will aid the rising profile of Tioga’s Norris

By LEE BRECHEEN, Louisiana Football Magazine/TV

A true legit Division 1 sleeper going into his senior season is wide receiver Ja’corian Norris from Tioga High School. The main reason he’s a sleeper — he moved to WR from safety for this season and has looked incredible ever since.

Tioga football coach Kevin Cook and his staff made the move and saw it quickly work out.

“Norris had a great spring for us and the move to WR has been really good for him and our program. He’s a great track athlete who is a big time football player,” said his coach.

Looking at Norris from a recruiting perspective, I like his frame. He currently 6-1, 185 pounds with room to get bigger in college.

You can tell he’s played defense and safety because at receiver, he’s tough, physical and strong when the ball is in the air.

Norris appreciates how Cook and the Tioga staff provide leadership and mentorship.

“My head coach, Kevin Cook, is great. He does a really good job of keeping us accountable for our actions and pushes us to our limit to get better each and every day. It’s not just him, it’s all our coaches pushing us to become a better version of ourselves every day.”

Norris says his roots in the Boot make his favorite college team an obvious choice.

“I grew up here and my favorite college football team is LSU, because it’s what I grew up around. When I went to one of their games it was the best experience,” he said. “The environment was even 10 times better in person.”

Norris fits the “sleeper” recruiting definition – for now.

“I don’t have offers yet, but I went to the LSU, UL Lafayette and Louisiana Tech camps,” he told me.

It will come as little surprise as to which game this fall he has circled on the calendar.

“My favorite high school to play every year is Pineville. It’s our rivalry game and nothing is better than a rivalry game with both of the stands packed.”

I asked Norris what he needs to work on as a football player.

“I need to work on my footwork and body control. In the game of football, footwork and body control are the keys to a lot of things,” he said.

Tidbits about Jacorian Norris:

He carries a 3.5 GPA and has posted an ACT score of 18.

Norris runs track and has played basketball. In track, Norris made it to regionals in three events and has helped the Indians’ track and field team to back-to-back state runner-up finishes in Class 4A.

When he gets to college, he has an eye on entrepreneurship and will major in that field or a business-related curriculum.

Norris says his hobbies are playing pickup games of basketball and football.

His family has been active in sports. Mom ran cross country, played softball and was on the dance line for Peabody High School.  His brother played football for Tioga. His uncle played football for Bolton. Cousins also played football for the Bears. His sister was on the dance line at ASH.

Norris started playing football at the tender age of 5. It was his first sport to try, and he plans to follow it to college.

Contact Lee at lbrecheen@aol.com

Lee Brecheen has operated Louisiana Football Magazine for over 30 years and is one of the state’s foremost experts on high school football and especially recruiting. Based in Baton Rouge, Lee travels statewide to watch practices and games and has broken down film and tape since the late 1980s.  He has converted the printed product to a website (Lafootballmagazine.com) that will preview every high school and college football program in the state before kickoff this fall. Lee also hosts a football-centric TV show on YouTube, The Sports Scouting Report, on weekdays.

Rapides Parish Journal will not publish on July 4

Today’s special edition of the Rapides Parish Journal delivers breaking news and other information to our readers, reflecting our commitment to deliver timely content of broad interest to all who have interest in the parish.

We also want to advise you that we will not publish on Tuesday, July 4, in order to allow our staff an extra day off and a longer Independence Day weekend.

Our next regular edition will be Wednesday, July 5. Thanks for reading the Rapides Parish Journal – free to anyone.


Notice of Death – June 29, 2023

Grace Isonhood Barron
May 10, 1937 – June 27, 2023
Service: Friday, June 30, 2023, at 11 am at Hixson Brothers of Jena.

Virgle Virginia McMullen
February 1, 1935 – June 27, 2023
Visitation: Friday, June 30, 2023, at 10 am at Hixson Brothers Funeral Home of Alexandria.
Service: Friday, June 30, 2023, at 11 am at Hixson Brothers Funeral Home of Alexandria.

Elizabeth “Izzy” Anne McCampbell Hunt
November 11, 1978 – June 23, 2023
Visitation: Saturday, July 1, 2023, at 9 am at Framer Funeral Home, Alexandria.
Service: Saturday, July 1, 2023, at 11 am at Framer Funeral Home, Alexandria.

The Rapides Parish Journal publishes paid obituaries – unlimited words and a photo, as well as unlimited access – $80. Contact your funeral provider or RPJNewsla@gmail.com . Must be paid in advance of publication. (Notice of Death shown above are FREE of charge. You may email them to RPJNewsla@gmail.com)

Saturday night stop results in plenty of problems for repeat offender


Maybe Jerry M. Stewart should just walk.

A traffic stop resulting in 13 charges put Stewart, 39, of Alexandria back in the parish jail.

He is charged with relatively minor vehicle transgressions but a felony drug accusation also resulted.

Officers allegedly found him in possession of fentanyl and carfentanil in the amount of 2 to 28 grams.

He is also booked with possession, manufacture, distribution or dispensing CDS I < 28 grams analogues or counterfeit thereof.

Also in the charges are two counts of possession of paraphernalia and one marijuana possession allegation.

Counts related to the Saturday night stop include no vehicle insurance, brake lamps required, hazard signals required, no license plate light and driving under suspension or revocation.

Adding to Stewart’s booking sheet are two counts of resisting arrest and one of obstruction of justice by evidence tampering.

The last time Stewart was in jail was in March 2020. He was charged with operating a bicycle not equipped with the required reflectors.

That led also to a charge of possession of CDS II < 2 grams, possession of paraphernalia, three contempt of court charges and one of domestic abuse battery strangulation.

There was no transportation device involved in his June 2019 arrest on charges of disturbing the peace, criminal trespass, domestic abuse strangulation, obstruction of justice counterfeit or forgery and aggravated assault resisting an officer with force or violence.

But on January 2019 a vehicle was involved in Stewart’s arrest.

He was charged with operating an off-road vehicle on a public road.

Additionally, he was charged with illegal carrying of a weapon, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and resisting arrest.

Available records do not indicate what or when the felony conviction was.

Bookings include murder charge, sex accusations

Recent Rapides Parish Jail felony bookings. Arrests are accusations, not convictions:

June 21

Bryant Osteen, 41, Alexandria — Possession CDS II < 2 grams;

Ashley Walker, 42, Bunkie — Possession CDS II < 2 grams;

Kelsey Watkins, 27, Pineville — Battery aggravated, Possession CDS II < 2 grams;

Deshawn West, 19, Alexandria — Flight from an officer.

June 22

Joshua Bourque, 49, Pineville — Possession CDS II < 2 grams;

Tommy Brown, 42, Alexandria  — Possession CDS II 2-28 grams;

Daniel Lachney, 40, Pineville  — Indecent behavior with juvenile, five counts; Sexual battery victim < 13 offender > 17, five counts, Sexual battery, five counts;

Stacey Maxwell, 43, Alexandria — Possession CDS I < 2 grams, heroin, mixture of substance containing heroin or analogues;

Tate Tuegel, 45, Pineville — Battery 2nd degree.

June 23

Charley Brown, 24, Colfax — Battery 2nd degree, Murder 2nd degree;

Kevin Coleman II, 40, Cheneyville — Possession CDS I < 2 grams;

Melissa Morel, 39, Alexandria  — Possession, manufacture, distribution, dispense CDS III; Possession, manufacture, distribution, dispense CDS II 28 grams or more; Sex offender failure to register;

Christy Pantallion, 38, Alexandria  — Possession CDS II < 2 grams;

Melissa Turney, 56, Boyce  — Possession CDS II < 2 grams;

Jane’ Watson, 26, Pineville — Possession CDS II < 2 grams.

June 24

Alex Deville, 44, Port Barre — Possession firearm by convicted felon;

John Spann, 36, Glenmora — Battery 2nd degree. 

June 25

Ray Corbett, 42, Deville  — Possession CDS I < 2 grams; Possession CDS II < 2 grams;

Heather Lejeune, 37, Port Barre — Illegal carry with firearms, Possession CDS II < 2 grams;

Johnta Patterson, 29, Alexandria  — Possession CDS III;

Jerry Stewart, 39, Alexandria — Possession, manufacture, distribution, dispense CDS 1 < 28 grams analogue or counterfeit thereof; Possession fentanyl, carfentanil 2-28 grams;

John Wise Sr., 34, Boyce — Possession CDS II < 2 grams.

June 26

Nathaniel Brady, 37, Pineville — Aggravated assault with firearm; Contributing to delinquency of juvenile; Molestation of juvenile victim > 13 by < 17; Indecent behavior; Crime against nature victim forced to compel unable to refuse victim < 17 offender > 3 years older; Carnal knowledge;

Kadedria Fields, 28, Pineville — Possession, manufacture, distribution or possession with intent CDS II < 28 grams or analogues;

Jared Johnson, 29, Pineville  — Possession CDS I < 2 grams;

Patrick Johnson, 19, Alexandria  — Aggravated assault with firearm; Attempted murder 2nd degree;

Destiny Lowe, 30, Glenmor — Possession CDS II < 2 grams; Legend possession, sale, distribution without prescription, two counts;

Noah Shaver, 41, Alexandria  — Contraband introduction into penal institution; Possession CDS II 2-28 grams;

Jaamal Smith, 34, Alexandria — Battery, aggravated. 

All persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

School board weathers property insurance increase


The Rapides Parish School Board could consider itself fortunate even though its property insurance for the new fiscal year will cost about $1 million more than this year, for less coverage.

Upheaval in the insurance industry – a combination of extraordinary weather-related claims and regulatory changes – has many carriers leaving the state and others just declining to offer coverage.

The board this year paid $1.4 million for $100 million in coverage, that being the total claim figure allowable for the year.

The quote for the new year’s policy is $2.35 million, for $25 million total claims.

That is an offer secured through a consortium of six carriers. According to the board’s insurance consultant, 37 other carriers declined participation.

The board this year secured a re-evaluation of its properties’ values, as recommended by its consultant.

Without the update, the consultant said, it’s unlikely the board would have received any coverage proposals.

System property values total rose from $632 million to about $1 billion.

How much insurance is enough? There’s no concrete answer. In this case the board has to accept that $25 million is enough.

That sum is the total available for any and all claims for the year, in an ordinary year likely more than enough. Yet the extraordinary has to be accounted for.

Board members questioned how long the spiral in premium costs and industry shakeup might last.

There is no finite answer, they were told. The most obvious factor would be a substantial stretch without record-setting calamitous weather disasters.

Self-insurance could be considered an option but FEMA rules regarding how much annually has to be allocated to the insurance fund make that a seemingly cost-prohibitive option.

LSUA Business Consultant Evelyn Jones Recognized for $1 Million in Capital Infusion for Central Louisiana Small Businesses

Evelyn Jones, business consultant for the Louisiana Small Business Development Center (SBDC) hosted by Louisiana State University of Alexandria (LSUA), has been honored with an award for her outstanding achievement of reaching the $1 million mark in capital infusion for the region. The LSUA SBDC serves seven central Louisiana parishes, including Avoyelles, Grant, Natchitoches, Rapides, Sabine, Vernon, and Winn. SBDCs across the country work towards the goals set by the Small Business Administration (SBA) to assist with business starts, capital infusion, and job creation.


Operating from the Central Louisiana Regional Chamber of Commerce in downtown Alexandria, the LSUA SBDC has provided invaluable support to over 300 clients in the past two years. The center offers a wide range of resources, including business planning and financial projections, to help entrepreneurs thrive. Thanks to funding from taxpayer dollars, business consulting services are provided to clients at no cost.

Randall Dupont, Dean of the LSUA College of Business and host of the Central Louisiana SBDC, commended Evelyn Jones and her team, stating, “Under the leadership of Evelyn Jones, the Small Business Development Center has made a significant impact on the Central Louisiana economy by infusing $1 million in capital into local small businesses. This infusion will have positive effects on job creation, increased production, and income growth.”

“LSUA is proud to partner with SBDC in support of small business development across the region.  Evelyn Jones has been an outstanding leader of this LSUA-SBDC partnership and she is truly worthy of special recognition for achieving high-impact results across Central Louisiana,” said LSUA Chancellor Paul Coreil. 

For more information about the LSUA Louisiana Small Business Development Center, please visit www.louisianasbdc.org. To speak with a representative about the program, please call 318-545-5077 or email ejones@louisianasbdc.org.

Written by Randall Dupont | LSUA College of Business

Photo credit – Adam Lord

Joe Delaney starred at NSU, in NFL, before this day in 1983

JOE D: Haughton’s Joe Delaney, a two-sport All-American at Northwestern State and the 1981 NFL Rookie of the Year for Kansas City, is honored in many ways in Natchitoches, including by this artwork in the university’s Friedman Student Union. Shown with the art is one of Delaney’s Demon teammates, Jack Brittain Jr. and artist Chris Brown (at right). (Photo by CHRIS REICH, Northwestern State).

By DOUG IRELAND, Journal Sports

It’s been 40 years now, and the tragedy is still resounding. But it also has become a vehicle for good, benefitting thousands of young people in Kansas City and back home in Louisiana.

On a steamy afternoon in Monroe, Haughton native Joe Delaney gave his life trying to save three drowning children.

It was June 29, 1983. The Northwestern State two-sport All-American and Kansas City Chiefs Pro Bowl running back was attending a water park outing for children at Chennault Park when he heard cries for help outside the park, from a nearby oxidation pond.

He handed his wallet to a bystander, telling him, “I can’t swim good, but I’ve got to try to help those kids,” and dashed a couple hundred yards to the pond, and leaped in. He never made it back out. One child did.

Delaney was a two-time All-America running back in 1979-80 for the Demons. After being picked by Kansas City in the second round of the 1981 NFL Draft, he joined Mark Duper, Victor Oatis, and Mario Johnson on the Demons’ 1981 NCAA championship 4×100 meter relay team, earning All-America honors.

Delaney was the 1981 AFC Rookie of the Year for the Chiefs and played in the Pro Bowl. Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy, who drafted Delaney in the second round of the 1981 draft and coached him in 1981-82, said Delaney was one of the five best players he coached in his 45-year career, including nearly 30 years in the NFL. He thought Delaney was destined for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Delaney left behind his wife, Carolyn, and their three young daughters. His heroic act matched his selfless lifestyle and coupled with his astounding athletic career to make him an instant icon in north Louisiana and elsewhere far beyond the sports world. Among those attending his funeral: then-vice president George Bush.

His No. 44 Demon football jersey was retired at halftime of his final game at NSU. Since his death, no Kansas City player has worn his No. 37. He is immortalized in several ways at Northwestern, including plaques at Turpin Stadium and the Ledet Track Complex, a painting by renowned sports artist Chris Brown in the student union, and with the permanent football team captains receiving Joe Delaney Memorial Leadership Awards annually. The Demons’ spring football game has been known as the Joe Delaney Bowl since 1989.

He was the subject of a 2015 film entitled “Delaney,” part of ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 Shorts series, available through ESPN+.

The Joe Delaney Park in Haughton honors his memory and provides play space for youth in his hometown. Swimming lessons are taught in his name in Kansas City, and next month will begin in Haughton, supported by The 37 Forever Foundation.

Last fall, the “Joe Delaney Learn to Swim Program, Presented by GEHA Health” launched in Kansas City, supported by the Hunt Family Foundation and the YMCA of Greater Kansas City, reports Vahe Gregorian, a columnist for the Kansas City Star newspaper who covered Delaney in Kansas City and has avidly chronicled his story since. The Hunt family owns the Chiefs franchise and the late patriarch, Lamar Hunt, founded the team in Dallas and moved it to Kansas City shortly after being a founding owner of the American Football League in 1960.

The program is expanding this summer, Gregorian reports, including $10,000 in support to the Delaney37 Foundation to bolster its efforts to promote water safety in and around Haughton. Already, more than 100 local children have signed up.  By summer’s end, nearly 1,000 children in Haughton and Kansas City will have gone through the program, which will provide swimsuits, goggles, swim caps, and towels that bear the Delaney tribute decal the Chiefs wore in the 1983 season.

Three years ago, a monument honoring Delaney was dedicated at the site of the drowning in Monroe’s Chennault Park. The mayor of Kansas City declared Oct. 30, 2020, as “Joe Delaney Day” on what would have been his 62nd birthday.

In 2021, a two-mile stretch of I-435 going past Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City was renamed “Joe Delaney Memorial Highway.”

Delaney was posthumously awarded the Presidential Citizen’s Medal from President Ronald Reagan, presented at his funeral by then Vice President George H.W. Bush to the Delaney family. Delaney is enshrined in the N Club Hall of Fame, the Ark-La-Tex Museum of Champions, the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, the College Football Hall of Fame, and the Chiefs’ Ring of Honor at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.

LDWF says leave fawns alone, for their sake

On a Sunday afternoon, Kay and I were driving home after a special Father’s Day lunch in town, and as I glanced toward the pasture across the road from our home, something caught my eye. It was a tiny fawn standing within a few yards of the pasture fence.

I stopped, lowered the window and snapped a few photos of the little fellow before it wandered off across the pasture. I posted a snapshot of the little deer on Facebook and within an hour, there were responses from others around the region who had also seen newborn fawns.

“We saw one about 20 minutes ago less than a few hours old”…”I saw one outside of Tullos in Winn Parish last Wednesday.”….”One was in my yard.”…”My husband saw two today here in the woods.”

What does this all mean? You don’t have to be a wildlife biologist to realize that this is the time of year when fawns are being born in our area.

Every year about this time, I receive a press release from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) reminding people who encounter what appear to be abandoned young deer alone in the outdoors, that those fawns should be left undisturbed.

Here’s how the press release reads…”Every year the department receives calls from concerned citizens who have found what they consider to be ‘abandoned’ fawns. Well intentioned, concerned citizens sometimes bring fawns home and then call the department to retrieve and raise them.

“LDWF is alerting the public that it is against the law to capture young deer or any other wild animal. If caught transporting or possessing wild deer without a permit, well meaning individuals may be subject to citations and fines.

“Picking up fawns seriously diminishes their chance to live a normal and healthy life. When a fawn is born, it is weak, awkward and unable to move well enough to feed and escape predators. However, the newborn fawn has a coat of light brown hair liberally covered with white spots that provides excellent camouflage against predators. The mother doe will remain in the area to feed and nurture the fawn. When the young deer gets older and stronger it will be able to forage for food with its mother.

“When encountering fawns in the wild, simply leave them untouched and depart quietly from the area. This action will provide the young deer its best chance to survive in the wild and prevent a possible citation for a well-intentioned outdoorsman.

“There have been too many cases of kind-hearted folks picking up what they believe to be an abandoned fawn and with the idea of keeping it as a cute little pet. There have been numerous reports of that sweet little creature becoming aggressive and dangerous once it reaches maturity.

“If it is confirmed that the mother has in fact died, such as seeing a fawn next to a road-killed doe, what you should do is call the LDWF and report what you find. There are facilities that are licensed to take in such baby animals.”

If you should chance to walk up on one in the weeds or next to a log, snap a photo if you would like and back away slowly. The doe is likely peaking through the brush somewhere nearby and is probably watching you to see if you are a threat to her baby. Once things settle down and you leave, she’ll return and the little one will follow her away.           

It’s tempting, I know, to have compassion on what seems to be a helpless little baby deer and rescue it from harm when in fact, this is Mother Nature’s way of taking care of the situation.  Mother doesn’t need your help.

Contact Glynn at glynnharris37@gmail.com

Honey Bun Cake Cookies

You can definitely never go wrong with the combo of brown sugar and cinnamon in my book. I have so many variations for “honey bun” recipessssssss that I could probably make a mini cookbook of them! These cookies are scooped, pressed with a tablespoon, and filled to overflow with honey bun goodness. Then drizzle with extra icing to send them right over the top! Enjoy.

1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl cream the butter, sugar and brown sugar. Add egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Pour dry ingredients into the mixing bowl and mix until combined. Use a medium or large cookie scoop to place on baking sheets. Make the topping by whisking the flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. Add in melted butter and mix until combined. It will be crumbly. Use a tablespoon to press a well into the center of each cookie. Fill the well with the crumbly topping. Overflowing is ok! Bake for 12 minutes.

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

Remembering Shirley Carroll Mayeux

January 11, 1937 – June 28, 2023

Mass of Christian Burial for Mrs. Shirley Carroll Mayeux will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, June 30, 2023 in the St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church in Belldeau with Father Martin Laird and Father Edwin Rodriguez- Hernandez officiating. Interment will be in the St. Alphonsus Catholic Church Mausoleum. Arrangements are under Hixson Brothers Funeral home of Marksville.

Mrs. Mayeux age 86, of Hessmer, passed away on Wednesday, June 28, 2023 at her residence. She is preceded in death by her husband, Landry Mayeux, Jr.; parents, Edward and Agnes Laborde Carroll.

To cherish her memory, she leaves behind her four children, daughters, Carol Dean Gauthier and husband Dale, Tonya Kelly and husband Scott, both from Hessmer, Misty Wainwright and husband William from Covington, La. her son, Mason Mayeux and wife Gwen from Deville. She also leaves behind seven granddaughters and two grandsons, along with eight great grandchildren. She is survived by her only sister, Joyce Gaspard and husband, Valley of Hessmer; special neighbor, Enola Humphries.

Shirley has fought a difficult battle with cancer twice and won over other debilitating health issues in her life. Her strong faith and courage never diminished her times of suffering.

Shirley was a lifelong member of St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church. She was the first woman Eucharistic minister commissioned to serve by Father A. Molenschot in her beloved church. Staying active in all functions serving the leadership roles for the Sanctuary Society, Pastorwal Council, Cemetery Committee, and a faithful volunteer in maintaining office records, financial business, weekly news bulletins, general correspondence pertaining to the church.

She was no stranger to the work force. She grew up working in the family-owned Carroll’s General Merchandise Store in the rural community of Hessmer. Other work assignments were at Marksville General Hospital, now Avoyelles Hospital, then twenty years as a personal secretary at Prinveville Allen Canning Company, and retired once more from Rapides Regional Medical Center. Shirley was a program director of the Senior Program, remembered by many as “Senior Friends”. Her role in assisting seniors with Medicare, supplements, billing was appreciated by members. She is remembered for her ability to lead groups, plan functions, and organize group travels. Her pride was to be with members of the organization and would refer to them as her extended family. She and her husband Landry traveled most of the continental U.S. Mementos filled her home with reminders of destinations traveled. With her independent spirit, upbeat personality and strong work ethics, she made lifelong friendships.

During her employment at Rapides Regional Medical Center, she was nominated at employee of the month during 2001, and later was further recognized as Employee of the Year. She received the prestigious award from Alexandria Daily Town Talk and Rapides Regional as “Women of Distinction” for the year 2002.

Shirley and her husband Landry were active members of the Hessmer Lodge 612 of Woodman of the World. She received Woman of Woodcraft award, and served as North La. Jurisdictional Secretary for two years, allowing them to develop lasting friendships throughout the state.

Her zeal for life, the love of family and friends were further displayed in her love to entertain, by bringing former classmates, or entertaining the “windows only” group at the holiday. Holiday time was always very special at the Mayeux home.

Those honored to serve as pallbearers will be, Zachary Wainwright, John Landry Mayeux, Jude Pitre, David Ponthieux, Perry Scieneaux, Andrew Bordelon, Glenn Blanchard, Jamie Moreau.

Visitation will be held on Thursday June 29, 2023 from 9:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. and will resume on Friday, June 30, 2023 from 8:00 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. Recitation of the Holy Rosary will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 29, 2023.

Remembering Lisa M. Chauvin

January 4, 1964 – June 19, 2023

Memorial services for Lisa M. Chauvin will be held at 2:00 p.m., Thursday, June 29, 2023 in the chapel of Hixson Brothers, Pineville with Reverend Richie Thornton officiating.

The family requests that visitation be observed at the funeral home Thursday from 12:00 p.m. until time of service.

Mrs. Chauvin, 59, of Pollock, passed from this life on Monday, June 19, 2023 at her home.

Mrs. Chauvin enjoyed her work at the Red River Treatment Center working with people who had problems with chemical dependency. She had a big heart and always wanted to help people in need. Lisa facilitated a group at Journey Church that helped abused women. Helping people was something that Lisa loved to do and will be remembered for.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Bryan Chauvin; daughter, Amy Nicole, and mother, Shirley Ouellette Williams.

Those left to cherish her memory include her son, Robert Strother; daughter, Jessica Carpenter (Dalton); father, Joseph Edward Williams; brother, Daniel Williams (Beverly); sisters, Lori Williams (Sarah), and Angela Firmin (Nina); six grandchildren, and numerous other family members and friends.

Sobriety Checkpoint Scheduled for Friday Night

Louisiana State Police has zero tolerance for impaired drivers.  To combat impaired driving in our area, Louisiana State Police Troop E, Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office, and Alexandria Police Department will conduct a sobriety checkpoint this Friday, June 30 from approximately 10 p.m. – 4 a.m.  The sobriety checkpoint will take place in Rapides Parish.  Our mission is to detect and arrest impaired drivers before they cause injury or death to themselves or others.  Drivers are less likely to drive impaired when they recognize the increased probability of law enforcement action.

Last year, nearly half of all fatal crashes investigated statewide involved impaired drivers.  Alcohol, prescription drugs, and other drugs have many effects on the body.  These substances can impair visual ability, alter the sense of time and space, impair fine motor skills needed to operate a motor vehicle, and decrease reaction times. If you feel different, you drive differently.  Motorists are encouraged to either designate a sober driver before driving to any place where alcohol will be consumed or utilize an alternate ride home such as a rideshare app or taxi.  Passengers should also never get into a vehicle with an impaired driver.

To report impaired drivers, motorists should dial *LSP (*577) to reach the nearest Louisiana State Police troop location or dial 911 to contact local law enforcement.

Support and funding for this sobriety checkpoint is provided through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission.

State Fire Marshal Offers Purchase, Use Tips As Fireworks Retail Sales for the Independence Day Holiday Begin

With fireworks tents and stands popping up across the state this week, the State Fire Marshal’s Office wants to encourage all Louisiana residents to not only be safe when using fireworks, but knowledgeable when buying them.

More than 300 retail fireworks permits have been issued for the 2023 Fourth of July season, as it is state law for wholesale and retail fireworks business operators to be appropriately licensed by the SFM, in the parishes and municipalities where they are legally allowed.  The sales season extends through 11:59 p.m. on July 5th.

The SFM encourages, first and foremost, that families choose to enjoy public fireworks displays over creating their own. However, if purchasing fireworks is your preference, we advise families to be mindful of whether the stand they are purchasing from has been permitted by this office. You can request to see permitting information from any retail fireworks business you patron. The SFM encourages reporting any suspicious or illegal sales of fireworks to 1-800-256-5452 or by visiting our website, lasfm.org.

In addition, we want everyone to enjoy fireworks in the safest way possible. A study by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) shows that more than 200 people on average go to the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the July 4th holiday.

To avoid becoming part of this statistic, the SFM advises:

  • Detonating devices at least 200 feet away from structures, vehicles and rubbish
  • Never allowing children to light fireworks; instead, provide glow sticks and trinkets as alternatives
  • Never operating fireworks while impaired
  • Lighting devices one at a time and monitoring embers released with a bucket of water or hose nearby
  • Discarding detonated items by wetting them down to prevent reignition and not disposing of them in a trash container immediately

In addition, we encourage everyone to be mindful of the weather conditions in your area when considering whether to pop your own fireworks. Make sure you are aware of any burn bans established and take into account the dryness of your surroundings when choosing a safe location for popping fireworks.

Notice of Death – June 28, 2023

Grace Isonhood Barron
May 10, 1937 – June 27, 2023
Visitation: Thursday, June 29, 2023, at 6 pm at Hixson Brothers of Jena.
Service: Friday, June 30, 2023, at 11 am at Hixson Brothers of Jena.

Lisa M. Chauvin
January 4, 1964 – June 19, 2023
Visitation: Thursday, June 29, 2023, at Noon at Hixson Brothers Funeral Home of Pineville.
Service: Thursday, June 29, 2023, at 2 pm at Hixson Brothers Funeral Home of Pineville.

Virgle Virginia McMullen
February 1, 1935 – June 27, 2023
Visitation: Friday, June 30, 2023, at 10 am at Hixson Brothers Funeral Home of Alexandria.
Service: Friday, June 30, 2023, at 11 am at Hixson Brothers Funeral Home of Alexandria.

Shirley Carroll Mayeux
January 11, 1937 – June 28, 2023
Visitation: Thursday, June 29, 2023, at 9 am at Hixson Brothers, Marksville.
Service: Thursday, June 29, 2023, at 6 pm at Hixson Brothers, Marksville.

Elizabeth “Izzy” Anne McCampbell Hunt
November 11, 1978 – June 23, 2023
Visitation: Saturday, July 1, 2023, at 9 am at Framer Funeral Home, Alexandria.
Service: Saturday, July 1, 2023, at 11 am at Framer Funeral Home, Alexandria.

The Rapides Parish Journal publishes paid obituaries – unlimited words and a photo, as well as unlimited access – $80. Contact your funeral provider or RPJNewsla@gmail.com . Must be paid in advance of publication. (Notice of Death shown above are FREE of charge. You may email them to RPJNewsla@gmail.com)

Sheriff’s Office seeks assistance locating runaway juvenile

Juvenile Detectives with the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office are requesting the public’s assistance in locating a runaway juvenile, Christian Deon Bynog.
Christian is a 16 year old black male, with black hair and brown eyes. Christian is 5’ 6” tall and weighs approximately 150 pounds.
On June 22 Christian was reported missing from his residence located in the Grundy Cooper Subdivision. Christian was last seen that night leaving the residence in white Adidas sweat pants and a dark colored hoodie.
If anyone has any information on where Christian is located, you are asked to contact Detective Edrick Coleman at (318} 473-6727, or at the RPSO main office {318} 473-6700 or any local law enforcement.

Cheneyville officials not alarmed, but advise customers of murky water supply status


Cheneyville officials have advised customers of significant shortcomings found by the state’s sanitary survey of the town’s water system.

Officials say the town failed to take corrective action or develop a correction plan within the permissible time.

In perhaps the governmental understatement of the year the town says the deficiencies noted in the January 2021 inspection and evaluation do not constitute an emergency.

It should be noted that the La. Dept. of Health 2022 evaluation of the Cheneyville system graded it “A”, scoring it 76 of a possible 80 points.

Officials have told customers there is no need for them to boil water or take other actions in response to the sanitary survey.

“If a situation arises where the water is no longer safe to drink, you will be notified within 24 hours. What does this mean? This is not an emergency. If it had been an emergency, you would have been notified within 24 hours,” the message notes.

According to officials, the significant deficiency has the potential to result in lack of proper treatment and oversight of the water system.

EPA’s Ground Water Rule (GWR), which the system fell short of, is in place to reduce disease incidence associated with harmful microorganisms in drinking water. The GWR applies to public water systems that use ground water as a source of drinking water.

The town notes that inadequately treated or inadequately protected water may contain disease-causing organisms. These organisms can cause symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, cramps, and associated headaches.

“While we have not detected any evidence of contamination or other health threats related to our source water, we are still committed to correcting the deficiency to eliminate the threat of contamination,” the message notes.

What was done? The Town of Cheneyville is currently working on resolving the significant deficiencies identified during the Sanitary Survey. Some deficiencies have already been resolved.

The wire mesh screen required over the overflow pipe was replaced in August of 2022, and again in May of 2023. A Cross Connection Ordinance was passed by the Town, with plans of full implementation by December 4, the town reports.

“Cross-connection” means any connection or arrangement, physical or otherwise, between a potable water supply system and any plumbing fixture or any tank, receptacle, equipment or device, through which it may be possible for non-potable, used, unclean, polluted or contaminated water, or other substances, to enter into any part of such potable water system under any condition.

Recreation Topics Dominate Alexandria City Council Meeting

By Jim Smilie

An update on Bringhurst Golf Course, the status of playground equipment at various city parks, the upcoming Dixie Girls Softball World Series and appointments to a citizen panel to advise officials on recreation and education efforts were among the recreation-related topics discussed at Tuesday’s meeting of the Alexandria City Council.

At 4:45 p.m., prior to the start of the main council meeting, council members Cynthia Perry, REDDEX Washington and Lizzie Felter met as the Community Affairs, Services and Events Committee to hear a report from the administration regarding playground equipment in city parks.

City Urban Forester Darren Green spoke on behalf of the administration, telling the committee members that it will likely be a year before improvements are made. Green said they are currently seeking design proposals to replace much of the equipment, which in some cases is more than 30 years old. He expects that process to take three months. Once a design is agreed upon, he said the bid process will take another three months. He also noted that currently, playground equipment is taking 8-9 months to arrive after being ordered.

District 4 councilwoman Felter asked which parks would be affected, to which Green replied there is a list, and the goal is to update the aging equipment at all parks. He did note that Compton Park is expected to be removed from the list as a private donor has offered to provide equipment for that park.

Once the main council meeting began at 5 p.m., Frank and Jack Brame provided a brief update on Bringhurst Golf Course. They acknowledged the work of Jack’s father, the late Scott Brame, for creating the Friends of Bringhurst support organization and all of the fundraising that has been done to help support the city-owned facility.

The course, believed to be the oldest par 3 course in the United States, was built in 1926 or 1927. Over the years, the Brame family, as well as the Trotter family, have worked to help maintain the course. “As much as we love the Zoo, we don’t want to see it become a Zoo parking lot,” Frank Brame said. “It’s 100 year anniversary will be coming up soon. We’re proud of that.”

Frank Brame noted the course is open Thursday-Sunday and that there is no charge to play the 9-hole course. He said the course is in good condition and that attendance is strong, with approximately 70 players in the most recent tournament at the facility and approximately 90 in the tournament before that.

Jack Brame said the course averages 40 rounds per day when it is open, with as many as 70 rounds on a busy day. “It draws people from all over,” Jack said. “To me, it’s the prettiest thing on Masonic Drive. Of course, I’m biased.”

Following the update on the golf course, an ordinance was introduced to authorize the city to host and co-sponsor the Dixie Girls Softball World Series, scheduled for July 28-August 2 in Alexandria. That item will be up for final approval at the July 11 council meeting.

The council also approved appointing 13 members to the Alexandria Recreation and Education Program Commission, or AREP, to help advise the administration and city council on recreation and education matters. Each city council member nominated a member of the commission as did Mayor Jacques Roy. Roy said he expects the group will provide reports quarterly and they will work with the Director of Community Services, Recreation Director and other support staff as needed.

Members nominated and approved Tuesday night include Shelly Jinx Johnson, Roosevelt Johnson, Larry Turner, Jessica Lowe, Bart Schmolke, Ralph Covington, Tommy Milo, Zeb Winstead, Nydia Freedman, Kristy Wilson Flynn, and Sterling Brown. Two other members remain to be appointed, with one from the Mayor’s Youth Commission and one designated by the Superintendent of Rapides Parish Schools.

In other business, the council approved the appointment of Brannin Leglue to serve as a commissioner on the Central Louisiana Regional Port Board. The city also accepted the construction of the improvements for the North 16th Street Bridge Replacement, which recently reopened to traffic after more than five years.

The council also approved renewing the operations and management agreement for the Coughlin-Saunders Performing Arts Center with the Arts Council of Central Louisiana at the current terms and conditions as agreed to in 2019 until a new agreement is entered into.

Pineville moves forward in class action seeking damages for chemical contamination


The City of Pineville has retained counsel in the class action against manufacturers of chemicals used for years by water systems and other governmental activities.

Discussion of the matter was held in closed session during this month’s City Council meeting. The intention to discuss the subject in executive session was included on the published agenda.

State law permits, though doesn’t require, elected bodies to go into executive session to discuss litigation and legal strategy, an action almost always taken. No votes can be taken in such session.

The litigation in this instance is the groundswell against Perfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS).

Once back in open session, the council voted to add to the agenda a resolution authorizing the Mayor to enter into a Legal Services Agreement related to the presence or potential presence of PFAS in the city’s water supplies, and to engage the firms of Luneau & Beck LLC and Fagan Scott Law Firm to represent the city in the class action.

While there has been no previous formal indication of concerns regarding the city and PFAS, contaminations at Camp Beauregard and the former Dresser Industries site are close to home as ground water tables go.

Chemical manufacturer 3M Co. announced earlier this year it will pay at least $10.3 billion to settle lawsuits over contamination of many U.S. public drinking water systems with potentially harmful compounds used in firefighting foam and a host of consumer products.

The deal would compensate water providers for pollution with per- and polyfluorinated substances, known collectively as PFAS — a broad class of chemicals used in nonstick, water- and grease-resistant products such as clothing and cookware.

Described as “forever chemicals” because they don’t degrade naturally in the environment, PFAS have been linked to a variety of health problems, including liver and immune-system damage and some cancers.

Dresser operated from the 1960s until 2016 when it was permanently closed. It manufactured couplings and valves using chlorinated solvents, including trichloroethylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethylene (PERC), in the process.

In 2011, Dresser reported a spill at the Pineville facility and drilled monitoring wells to test and monitor the groundwater at the site. The tests found dangerously high levels of TCE in the groundwater. TCE is very mobile in soil and extremely persistent in groundwater.