McIntyte takes office

McIntyte takes office

Ann McIntyre was sworn in as the newest judge in the 5th Judicial District. McIntyre met with the public read more

House destroyed by fire

House destroyed by fire

The home of David Summers on Summers Road was destroyed by a fire Monday afternoon. The Archibald-Alto read more

Rayville gains new patrol cars

Rayville gains new patrol cars

Rayville Town Clerk Deborah Nealon, Mayor Harry Lewis, USDA Area Director Cathy Accardo, Chief Willie read more

Abraham takes oath of office

Abraham takes oath of office

Congressman Ralph Abraham, R-Alto, his wife, Dianne, and Speaker of the House John Boehner participate read more

  • McIntyte takes office

  • House destroyed by fire

  • Rayville gains new...

  • Abraham takes oath of...

Delhi can’t cut mayor’s salary

Newly elected Delhi Mayor Jesse Washington won’t be able to lower his salary after all.

The town council had called a special meeting Monday to adopt an ordinance reducing Washington’s pay from $68,000 a year to $58,000. Washington had asked the council to cut the mayor salary during his first regular meeting as mayor, saying that he believed $68,000 a year was too much the mayor of a town the size of Delhi and that he felt the money could be better used elsewhere.

However, at Monday’s meeting Delhi town attorney David Doughty explained that the town council doesn’t have the authority to reduce the mayor’s salary.

“You can’t reduce an elected official’s salary during his term in office,” Doughty said.

He explained the law was written as a safeguard for the town, noting without the law an official could say he wanted to serve without pay and then change his mind and demand back pay for the time he wasn’t paid.

Alderman Dub Sumner asked if the law held the mayor to the same salary for the entire four-year-term or just until the next yearly budget change.

“It would be the whole four years,” Doughty said. “You can reduce the mayor salary at the end of this term to take effect during the next term.”

Doughty added that although the town has to pay Washington the full salary, the mayor doesn’t have to keep it.

“He can donate the money back to the town,” Doughty said. “He would just have to write a check.”

When questioned on how the current salary for mayor was established, former mayor Lynn Lewis said “I have never given myself a raise.  It is neither legal nor a part of the mayor’s duties to give himself a raise.  This is a council function done by ordinance. Furthermore, the Louisiana Constitution does not allow the reduction of a mayor’s salary during his term.  Something Mayor Washington should have researched before making public statements.”

Lewis further stated, “The current salary of $68,000 a year was put into place by the Board of Alderman approximately two years ago, up from approximately $48,000 a year.  This was the first pay increase that I had received in approximately three years prior to the pay raise.  For almost 10 years, I was making less than my wife, a school teacher and far less than other mayors of the region.  When I became mayor thirteen years ago, four hourly employees were making more than the mayor.  And ask any employee if they are being overpaid.”

Lewis continued, “It is and has always been a function of the board of aldermen to manage the budget and determine the salary increases for the mayor, chief of police and town clerk. The mayor cannot make that decision, only make recommendations based on yearly projected income and expenses.”

Lewis stated that on three of the last four budget years, the council refused to grant the mayor any pay increase even though there was money available for the mayor and all employees to have a raise. 

When questioned on whether he feels that the current salary is justified, Lewis stated, “Yes, I feel the salary is justified.  The mayor of Delhi is running a corporation with a $6 million annual budget, $40 million in assets, 35 employees and is held responsible not only to the public for his actions, but to assure that the town is in compliance with all Federal and State laws as well as all other day to day operations. One is greatly mistaken to say that the elected position of mayor only warrants a part-time person.  I wish Mayor Washington success in his new position, especially when it comes to putting in twelve to fourteen hour days to accomplish all that is required of the mayor.”

Educators gather to discuss Jump Start

More than 700 educators and industry employers gathered in Baton Rouge on Jan. 21 for the state’s first Jump Start Convention, representing every district participating in one of 11 Regional Teams. 

Educators, including nearly 350 principals and counselors, along with industry leaders collaborated to learn how together they can prepare Louisiana students for a pathway out of high school that provides the promise of college and technical preparation toward a prosperous adulthood.

Jump Start is the state’s new initiative to provide students with basic and advanced career credentials that allow students to continue their education after high school. Jump Start is for all students. College-bound students can also earn industry-valued credentials. To achieve the Jump Start credential, students complete graduation pathways of courses and workplace-based experiences developed by Jump Start regional teams made up of industry, colleges, and school districts. Thousands of students in Louisiana are currently pursuing a high school diploma through one of 33 approved graduation pathways. Jump Start Regional Teams are currently developing 20 additional pathways to submit for approval.

“Every student deserves access to the American Dream. Jump Start expands students’ pathways, offering them a boost into college or the workplace,” said State Superintendent John White. “Now the focus must be on building the plan to offer Jump Start to students and make their families aware of the opportunity.”

“Jump Start plays an integral role in Caddo’s overall mission to provide the best opportunities for all of our students,” said Caddo Parish Superintendent Dr. Lamar Goree. “Every child deserves to have the best programs at their fingertips to allow them to be competitive not only locally, but nationally. Jump Start quickly has become a signature component of our district’s future plans. Additionally, the program sets the stage for our district to provide our community with highly-skilled and qualified individuals who take pride in the work they are doing.”

“Associated Builders and Contractors is a big supporter of Jump Start and high school student career education in general,” said Al Bargas, president of the Pelican branch of ABC. “Over the last two years - and especially with the implementation of Jump Start - we’ve seen better, smarter support of career education in Louisiana than ever before.”

Business leaders delivered an overview of the economic trends in Louisiana - where the jobs will be - so district and schools can help students master the academic and technical content necessary for them to live here in Louisiana with great careers. Additionally, those in attendance participated in breakout session to learn the specifics about preparing schools and students for Jump Start implementation. 

Those session included information on:

• Developing, Funding, and Implementing Career Counseling - defining what career counseling is, and how students benefit from effecting counseling in terms of both college and career.

• Developing/Sharing Regional Capacity in High-Cost Construction Craft Training - examining how to utilize funds to help high school students graduate with NCCER welding and electrician certifications. 

• Implementing the New Generation of Career Readiness Courses - overview of how Regional Teams are developing Career Readiness courses, starting as early as middle school, with curricula targeting age-appropriate materials and skill readiness. 

• Implementing Steps for Offering Credentials at the School Level - a review of each type of industry-valued credential, and how students can attain the appropriate culminating credentials to graduate using different types of graduation pathways (statewide, regional, and integrated).

“The Jump Start initiative provides pathways for high school students to take career courses, earn workplace experiences and to become credentialed in high-demand, high-wage jobs,” said Ascension Parish Schools Superintendent Patrice Pujol. “We feel this initiative is especially important for Ascension Parish students as we live and work in area rich with business and industry career opportunities, many of which reside on or near the Mississippi River. Several of these businesses and those who provide services to them are planning to expand or have expanded, adding extra capacity and opening up numerous job opportunities.”

“I’ve been a district Superintendent, a teacher, and for many years the Director of Education and Training at ABC-Pelican. Jump Start is something that Louisiana students have needed for generations - a way to reward schools for helping students attain industry-valued credentials that will help them get high-wage jobs out of high school,” said Robert Clouatre, Associated Building and Contractors. “Successful Jump Start students will continue to earn credentials and college degrees while they earn terrific middle class wages. We’ve needed Jump Start for a long time - but the good news is it looks like Jump Start will benefit Louisiana and our high school students for generations to come.”

“We’ve collaborated extensively with our business community to implement Jump Start in Northwest Louisiana,” said Gayle Flowers, Director of Career, Adult, and Alternative Education for the Caddo Parish School Board. “Jump Start gives schools and teachers the incentives we deserve when we do a great job preparing students to be successful, employed adults. We are confident Jump Start will help schools in our region and across the state live up to the promise of offering a great career pathway for every student.”

“The best part about Jump Start is that it is challenging us to do more for students than ever before,” said Mary Wilson Arrasmith, Coordinator of Career & Technical Education for West Baton Rouge Schools. “Jump Start has given us the funding and the freedom to create upgraded Career Readiness courses for middle school and high school students. These courses will help students understand what’s unique and great about themselves, and give them the skills they need to find and hold great jobs.”

“We see Jump Start as a very positive development for young people in Louisiana,” said Ben Bordelon, President and CEO of Bollinger Shipyards. “Our business, like so many others in Louisiana, requires skilled labor. We have job openings that can and should be filled by young Louisianans, but we often have to go far outside our state to find individuals with the necessary skills and credentials. We’re confident that once Jump Start takes root, students in our Bayou Region and across the state will be able to learn the academic skills and earn the industry-valued credentials they need to be productive members of the Bollinger Shipyards team.”

“When we first heard about Jump Start we were concerned we didn’t have the resources or the business community support here in the Delta region to give our students the opportunities students in other parts of the state have,” said Georgia Ineichen, Supervisor of Vocational Programs for the Richland Parish School Board. “The good news is we’ve learned we can implement Jump Start in our region in a way that’s best for our students and schools. We’re getting support from industry stakeholders in our region. We’re even exploring online links to industry experts anywhere in the United States. It’s clear that Jump Start will help our students prepare to become productive adults with rewarding careers.”

“We see Jump Start as a very positive development for young people in Louisiana,” said Ben Bordelon, President and CEO of Bollinger Shipyards. “Our business, like so many others in Louisiana, requires skilled labor. We have job openings that can and should be filled by young Louisianans, but we often have to go far outside our state to find individuals with the necessary skills and credentials. We’re confident once Jump Start takes root, students in our Bayou Region and across the state will be able to learn the academic skills and earn the industry-valued credentials they need to be productive members of the Bollinger Shipyards team.”

During the next two schools years, districts will develop instructional capabilities, instructors will become credentialed to help students achieve industry certifications, and students will have the option of graduation through the Jump Start Graduation Pathways. Full implementation of Jump Start will begin in the 2017-2018 school year.

Rayville Dixie Angels Allstars third in nation

On Sunday, August 3, 2014, the Louisiana State Champion Rayville Dixie Angel Allstars presented for opening ceremonies at the Alabama Theatre at North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  

The 2014 Louisiana State Champions are Molly Allen, Mary Madilynn Bennett, Rylee Gibson, Ashlyn Sepulvado, Moriah Adams, Katelyn Branch, Olivia Dannehl, Gabrielle Riggins, Gracie Rowton, Kaleigh Smith, Morgan Tumilson, and Amelia Williams.  The Rayville Angel Allstars are coached by Tom Allen, Dan Branch, Kenny Sepulvado, Lyle Bennett, and Chris Dannehl.  

After drawing a first round bye, the Louisiana ladies defeated Florida by the score of 14-13.  The game was a nail-biter which see-sawed back and forth several times and took two extra innings to complete. 

 The Louisiana State Champions were led by pitchers Mary Madilynn Bennett, Ashlyn Sepulvado, and Gabrielle Riggins.  The Louisiana Allstars came from behind on three different occasions to claim the win.  Down by three runs in the bottom of the 7th, Rylee Gibson walked, Ashlyn Sepulvado singled, and Mary Madilynn Bennett doubled to score two runs. 

 With one out, Amelia Williams and Gracie Rowton singled.  At this point, one of the stars of the state tournament and the World Series, Gabrielle Riggins, came to the plate and doubled in the winning runs.  Gabrielle Riggins was three for four in the contest with three doubles.  Other Louisiana Allstars with runs batted in were Molly Allen, Rylee Gibson, Mary Madilynn Bennett, Olivia Dannehl, Amelia Williams, and Gracie Rowton.  The game was the closest and best game of the entire World Series according to the tournament directors.  

Later on the same day and despite Ashlyn Sepulvado’s two hitter, the Louisiana ladies lost to Virginia, the eventual tournament runner-up, by the score of 3-1.  The Louisiana champions actually outhit Virginia three to two with Gabrielle Riggins going two for two and Rylee Gibson going one for two.  However, there were more Virginia base runners and more of them driven in to insure the Virginia victory.

On Wednesday, August 6th, Mary Madilynn Bennett and Gabrielle Riggins faced only twelve batters and combined for a no-hitter with Louisiana defeating Alabama by the score of 10-0.  

Amelia Williams at rover made three spectacular plays to insure and preserve the no-hitter.  

Amelia Williams also contributed with a two RBI triple in the contest.  The ladies from Rayville scored five runs in the first and five runs in the third to force elimination.  The final two runs in the third were driven in by Kaleigh Smith.  

Scoring in the game were Molly Allen, Katelyn Branch, Rylee Gibson, Ashlyn Sepulvado, Amelia Williams, Gabrielle Riggins, and Olivia Dannehl.  

On Thursday, August 7th, with only three teams remaining in the tournament, the Louisiana State Champions’ run came to an end as the Rayville girls fell to the eventual champion, Georgia, by the score of 3-0.  The Louisiana ace, Mary Madilynn Bennett, walked none and threw strikes, which Georgia hit and which Louisiana defended.   

The Louisiana infield was very busy and very efficient, recording twelve putouts in the game.  The Georgia runs came on a bunt single and two hard hits to right field.

 The superb infield for the Louisiana Champions was Ashlyn Sepulvado at first base; Molly Allen at second base, Rylee Gibson at shortstop; Gracie Rowton at third base; Katelyn Branch at catcher; and Amelia Williams at rover.  The outfield consisted of Amelia Williams at rover; Gabrielle Riggins, Olivia Dannehl, Morgan Tumilson, Kaleigh Smith, and Moriah Adams. 

 The Dixie and tournament officials noted that the Louisiana team was the best defensive team at the tournament.  

After receiving their awards, the Louisiana State Champions retired from the complex where Georgia ultimately was crowned the Champion and Virginia was runner up. 

Rayville Dixie Belles win state

The Rayville Dixie Belles out-scored opponents 151 to 34 over six district tournament games and nine state championship tournament games to win the state title and are now qualified to play in the World Series. Players are Madison Frith, Macey Lee, Hannah Bickford, Micheala Lewis, Caitlyn Swain, Leann Franks, Marissa Crocket, Asia Wallace, Emily Neathery, Maggie Lee and Emily Hamm. Coaches are Darryn and Amber Frith.


Outlook for Jan. 29, 2015

By Melba Hendrix

Hello, hello to all of you dear and special readers out there who are now scanning the Richland Beacon News for whatever it may offer for this week.  And this is the last week for January and that means that the first month of this new year of 2015 is fast coming to a close as it ends on Saturday, January 3l.  And, it also means that we have eleven more months to follow in this same year.

I suppose I have to admit that I have always had a kind of fascination with time and the way it passes.  I have also been around enough years to be able to speak with some assurance on that matter.  And, I first saw the town of Rayville in the month of January of 1949 when my husband’s Uncle Dick Hendrix brought us to this area to get us acquainted with all the relatives living around here.  We spent more than a month on that trip. staying about a week with the various uncles and aunts living in this parish.

For the benefit of new readers or just to refresh anyone’s memory, my husband and I had returned from two years in Colorado where our son, Kirby, was born.  We came back to the SE corner of Arkansas where I had grown up and finished high school.  And, I had worked there that fall as a secretary for a cotton buyer until the ginning season was over.

And, I next spent three weeks later that fall in Monroe and W. Monroe with relatives of my husband and I looked for office work there.  But, it was the wrong time of the year with the holidays fast approaching, so I

gave up on that idea for a while.  (And, I know I would not want to be living in Monroe these days - no way, no indeed.....

CHUCKLE #1 - AT a dinner party, the host told the group about a six-year old lad whose talent astounded the critics; but also left them puzzled because it covered only half of its canvas.  When a psychiatrist was called in to question the little genius, the doctor got no-where asking oblique questions.

Finally, he asked the lad straight out, “Why do you always leave the top half of your paintings blank?”

“Because,” said the little shaver, “I can’t reach that high.” ?????

So, let’s move on and see what else I can dredge up to make this column a little longer. This week began as usual with my attending Sunday School and the morning worship service at Woodlawn Baptist Church here in town.  Afterward, my friend, Laura Pierce and I did a bit of shopping at Wal Mart to purchase some groceries and other things.  Upon returning home, we were warmly greeted by my little dog, “Cookie” and I promised her some chicken as soon as I could prepare it for her.  And. she does love that chicken.......Oh, yes indeed.........

We had a bit of rain this week; but, it seems to be all gone and the sun is shining brightly and warmly today.  I do believe that Cookie and I will get to take our walk later this afternoon around our big block of homes on the south side of town.  Cookie struts along like a little queen and we just enjoy being outside together.  Oh, yes......

CHUCKLE #2 -    Ralph was surprised to see his name in the obituary column instead of his father who had just died.  So, he phoned a friend to ask if he had seen the report of his death in the newspaper.

“Did you see that report of my death in this morning’s paper?” Ralph asked.

“Yes,” the friend replied.  “Where are you calling from?”   ?????

So, let me see if there is anything else I can add to this week’s Outlook column.  I sometimes wonder just how my column got the name of “Outlook”.  I just can’t recall anything specific about that matter; but, I do strive in my daily walk of life to keep a good attitude toward life in general.  I certainly don’t want to pass on a lot of “doom and gloom” to our readers; but, I have to also be realistic and report the bad news if and when it occurs.

I do have a visit to my local doctor coming up soon; but, I am not worried about that matter.  I usually get a good report and I have no reason to be concerned about this next visit.  At my age, I am happy to report that I don’t have any real aches or pains and I take only a couple of some kind of prescribed vitamins.  I do try to eat a fairly well-balanced diet from day to day and I think I am getting along very well.  Oh, yes, indeed........

Birthdays are soon coming up for: Chris Stewart, Matt Gwin and Tim Hales on 1/31; Crystal Allen, Dr. Nathan Morris and Nancy Harrigill on 2/1 and for Billy Whitten on 2/2; Brenda McManus, Jenna Loftin, Íandra Adams and Jenny W. Do....

Birthdays are soon coming up for some of our area folks and they are as follows: Jackie Brown, Pat Guynes, Brittany McClain, Randy Long and Joye Lewis on 1/29; for Rhonda Corley, Robin Mulhern and Frank Walker   on 1/30; Chris Stewart, Matt Gwin and Tim Hales on 1/31; Crystal Allen, Dr. Nathan Morris and Nancy Harigill on 2/1; Billy Whitten on 2/2; Brenda McManus, Jenna Loftin, Sandra Adams and Jenny W. Doughty on 2/3 and for Stacy McCowin, Mark Bennett and Bonnie Rockett on 2/4.  May all of these “birthday” folks enjoy a really nice celebration of their special natal day and we wish all of them many, many more in the years to come.  Oh, Yes, indeed we do............

And that will bring another Outlook effort to a close for one more week and by that time, we will be into the month of February and some of us folks will be thinking about Valentine’s Day on the 14th.  Oh. yes......But, in the meantime, I will be enjoying myself from day to day with what-ever comes along with each day.  And I don’t expect anything really new and/or exciting.  My ole’ ticker might not stand a great amount of excitement.........

PARTING THOUGHT:  The joy of friendship is a “forever” kind of joy.  Memories of happy, laughing times with friends get pasted in our mental scrapbooks and stay with us always. “ Forever friends.”

Hollly Ridge Happenings for Jan. 29, 2015

By Shirley Thompson

Yes, I’m a Christian. Yes, I can be the biggest hypocrite ever. I backslide. I stumble. I fall. I stray onto the wrong path. But God is working on me. I may be a mess, but I’m His mess. And he is slowly straightening me out. And the day will come when I will be by His side. His work in me completed. And until that day I will take His hand, and let Him do in me whatever needs to be done, no matter how painful it will be for me. When He is finished, it will all be worth it.


Listening for Jesus

A mother of and her 3-year-old daughter were riding in a car when suddenly the little girl put her head on her mother’s chest and began to listen.

 “What are you doing?” mom asked. 

“I’m listening for Jesus in your heart.” was her reply.

 “Well, what do you hear?” 

The innocent child looked up with the satisfied look of discovery in her eyes and said, “Sounds like He’s making coffee to me!”



The Sunday School teacher was describing how Lots wife looked back and turned into a pillar of salt, when little Johnny interrupted. “My Mommy looked back once while she was driving,” he announced triumphantly, “and she turned into a telephone pole.”


Stopping in on Wednesday was my cousins, Mark and Tammy Sistrunk from Bastrop. It was a short visit but, hey I’ll take any kind, anytime!

Hilda and Lawrence were here Friday, their excuse for not coming sooner was they had been so busy in the yard, Well you know and I know the weather has not been for yard work, Ha!

Coming by on Saturday was Betty Ann Darnell, Gerrie Hill and Mrs. Evelyn Dumus. They were out riding to see if they could find the place they lived back in the day. 

There has been so much flu and whatever spreading around. I’ll be so glad when all get well.

Happy Birthday the week: Hallie Maire Graham and Carson Grantham on January 29th, My granddaughter Kelsie Cheek, Susan Graham, Alvin Hough, Joan Kilgore and my little niece Terrah T. Jackson on January 30th, Spence Chowns, Hannah and Haley Cheek on January 31st, Carly Thompson on February 1st, Skipper Vaughn, Ben Clack, Calib Tarver, Tory Dee Stout on February 2nd, Jenna Loftin, Jimmy Smith, Richard Bennevida, Brenda McManus on February 3rd, Stacy McCowin Cordell, Lisa Caston, Grant Nix on February 4th. May these celebrate many more!

Anniversary wishes to: Regina A and Bryan Lipscomb on January 1st, May they share many more happy years together!

Have a good week, please call and share!

Remember; God’s plan is bigger than your mistake!

Check back for the latest sports scores. Sports scores coming soon!

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