COVID Vaccinations Available in Grant Parish on Friday

COVID vaccinations will be available by appointment only on Friday, February 12th at Grant Parish Civic Center located 420 Richardson Dr. in Colfax from 9 AM – 12 PM. 

To schedule an appointment please click the link: schedule appointment
or call 318-627-3133.

Vaccinations are currently available for Phase 1a and Phase 1b Tier 1 individuals with additional vaccinations allotted for persons 65 and older, ASL interpreters and SSPs, law enforcement and other first responders, LA UCG, state and local essential COVID emergency response personnel and poll workers.  A more comprehensive list can be found on the LDH website.

Historians Install Military Headstone at Yankee Springs After 150 Years

Roughly 150 years ago on July 6, 1866, an American soldier was murdered in cold blood at this site. The victim was Lt. Simeon Butts, who had the terrible misfortune of crossing paths with a homicidal mass murderer named John West.

West is the most diabolical man this part of the country has ever seen. He led the Nightriders, also known as the West Kimbrel Clan, which operated as a gang of ruthless mercenaries in Grant Parish and Winn Parish in the years following the Civil War. They viciously robbed and murdered travelers, often times dumping their bodies in wells that were dispersed along the wagon road.

One summer day as Lt. Butts was traveling on horseback on a wagon road to the Vernon community In Jackson Parish, John West and the Nightriders methodically stalked him. When the soldier stopped by this spring to get a drink of water in the July heat, John West sneaked up behind him and robbed him of his life and his gold. Lt. Butts’ body was later found and buried in an unmarked grave in a community in Winn Parish named after him: Yankee Springs.

And finally, after 150 years of resting in obscurity beneath the pine straw, we had the opportunity to install a military headstone honoring this nearly forgotten American soldier. Special thanks to Luke Letlow and William T. Butts.

Article courtesy of: History of Grant Parish

Pictured (front row, left to right): Paul French, USFS; Rachel Barnes, Gold Law Firm; Lora Peppers, Ouachita Parish Research Librarian; (back row, left to right) Craig Rice, USFS; Greg Cohrs, USFS; Gregg Davies, Historian; Trevor Fry, Gold Law Firm/Scoutmaster Troop 632; Dr. Terry Jones, Professor of History Emeritus, ULM; Adam Fry, Eagle Scout – Troop 632

Yankee Springs Church

Applications for 2021-22 Welding Society Scholarships Are Open

The AWS Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. It supports programs to ensure the growth and development of the welding industry through research and educational opportunities. Our industry depends upon education that prepares the next generation to meet the challenges ahead.

Scholarships Currently Accepting Applications:

National, District, and Section Scholarships – Deadline March 1st for scholarships to be used Fall 2021
For students in four-year, two-year, or certificate programs

Welder Training Scholarship – Application open through November 30th, 2021
For students in a welder training certificate program

On-Demand Webinar: Understanding the AWS Foundation Scholarship Application Process
Learn about scholarships available through the American Welding Society Foundation and what you need to complete the online application.

Please login or register for an account to get started on your applications.

There are four steps to the application process:

Step 1: Register for a Profile. Use an email address you will still be able to access in 18 months. 

Step 2: Create an Academic Profile, which includes your personal statement and career objectives.

Step 3: Find out which scholarships you are eligible for based on your academic profile and geographic location, and click to apply.

Step 4: Provide references and any required documentation to complete your applications.

Click here to register

10-year-old Found Safe After Statewide Amber Alert

A New Iberia girl who was taken Sunday afternoon has been found, Louisiana State Police said. 

The 10-year old was located Monday morning in St. Martin Parish and is being evaluated by medical personnel, state police spokesperson Trooper First Class Thomas Gossen said in a release. 

Witnesses saw the car the child was suspected to be in and called authorities, the New Iberia Police Department said in a Facebook post

Michael Sereal, of New Iberia, was arrested by St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s deputies. The 33-year-old is being transferred to the New Iberia Police Department where he’ll be charged with aggravated kidnapping, the department said in a Facebook post. 

One of the callers who alerted police to the vehicle made efforts to ensure the car couldn’t leave the area, the St. Martin Parish Police Office said.  

The investigation is ongoing. 

Investigators said the juvenile girl got into a sedan near Fulton Street in New Iberia. She was believed to be in imminent danger. 

Initially a Level II Endangered/Missing Child Advisory, the alert was upgraded to an Amber alert Sunday night. A notification went out on some cell phones at about 1:30 a.m. Monday. 

In January 1996, nine-year-old Amber Hagerman was abducted from her Dallas, Texas area neighborhood while she was riding her bicycle. A neighbor witnessed the abduction and reported the incident, in detail, to the police. Unfortunately, Amber’s body was found four days later in a ditch only four miles from her home. Following this tragedy, a concerned citizen had an idea. This idea later developed into the AMBER Alert plan.

Purpose of the Louisiana AMBER Alert plan:
It is a statewide, cohesive effort between law enforcement and broadcasters, whose goal is to safely locate an abducted child within the critical two-to-three hour time period following an abduction. It is an investigative tool and not designed to be relied upon as the sole means of recovery.

While this is a national effort, there is not one, unified plan among states. Some states have statewide plans, while other states may have AMBER Alert plans on a regional or metropolitan level and each plan operates independently of one another. In fact, there are over 100 plans in the country and many are not interoperable. The Louisiana AMBER Alert plan is a statewide plan which can act in conjunction with other plans if so requested. The Louisiana AMBER Alert plan became operational in October 2002.

Notice of Death February 9, 2020

Ralph Wright Jenkins
July 19, 1961 – February 06, 2021
Service: Wednesday, February 10 at 1 pm at Southern Funeral Home

Hyland Dubart Packard
January 16, 1929 – February 05, 2021
Service: Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at 1 PM in the chapel of Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home in Natchitoches, LA.  The family will receive friends on Wednesday the 10th from 11 am until service time.


Nell Maxey
July 29, 1934 – February 8, 2021
Service: Wednesday, February 10 at 11 AM at Warren Meadows Funeral Home Chapel


Louisiana State Police have now upgraded the Level II Advisory to an Amber Alert. The suspected abductor is 33-year-old Michael R. Sereal of New Iberia. He is described as a black male 5’ 9” tall, weighing 224 pounds. He was last seen driving a rented 2012 Nissan Altima bearing license plate N472845. (see attached photos)
Original Advisory:
Endangered/Missing Child Media Advisory
New Iberia – The Louisiana State Police has issued a Level II Endangered/Missing Child Advisory on behalf of the New Iberia Police Department for 10-year-old Jalisa Lassalle.
Jalisa was last seen on the 1400 block of Fulton Street in New Iberia. She was seen getting into a gray 4-door car (possibly Nissan or Honda) being driven by an older black male with sideburns, wearing a hat. She is described as being a 4-foot-6-inch tall, black female, weighing 75 pounds. She was wearing a red hoodie and blue jean shorts. She is believed to be in imminent danger.
Anyone with information as to the whereabouts of any of these subjects should immediately contact the New Iberia Police Department at 337-369-2306 or call 911.
Contact Information:
TPR Thomas Gossen
Louisiana State Police
Troop I Public Affairs
Office: (337) 262-5880

Capital Briefing – State Representative District 22 Gabe Firment

In a press conference last week President Biden’s Special Presidential Envoy for the Climate, elitist swamp dweller John Kerry, advised that American workers in the oil and gas industry who “are seeing an end to their livelihoods” due to some of Biden’s absurd executive orders should “go to work to make the solar panels”. The condescending tone and patronizing disdain for the common man spewing from Kerry’s lips immediately reminded me of Pharaoh’s command in Exodus chapter 5 for the Israelites to make bricks without straw in response to Moses’ message from God that Pharaoh “let my people go”. The president’s executive order halting new oil and gas leases on federal lands and his revocation of the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline sent a clear message that this administration has declared war on the industry that has been the economic lifeblood of our state for many decades.

Industry experts project that Biden’s ban on federal leases in the Gulf of Mexico alone could cost Louisiana 48,000 jobs and nearly $100 million in tax revenue. It is obvious that President Biden has embraced the radical environmentalism of AOC, Bernie Sanders, and the Far Left who have openly called for the end of fossil fuels as an energy source and implemented policies to achieve that end. The new administration’s policies could not come at a worse time for the industry which was already struggling with low oil prices and the economic downturn caused by the Covid-19 crisis.

I am concerned that in District 22 LaSalle and Red River parishes will be especially hard hit by the Marxist economic policies of the Biden administration who seek to destroy the oil and gas industry in the name of “environmental justice” and climate change. The success of the oil and gas industry is critical to the prosperity of LaSalle and Red River parishes, as well as to rest of District 22 and the entire state of Louisiana. As your state representative, I will continue to support policies that will help this important industry survive and thrive, including ending legacy lawsuits and lowering the nation’s highest severance tax.        

The fight for energy independence and economic freedom will not be easy. Unlike the ancient Israelites we will have no heavenly manna to sustain us as we wander through the wilderness of socialism and executive authoritarianism for the next four years.  Pharaoh Joe has released his own set of 40 plagues couched as executive orders that fund abortion, force our children to accept a radical transgender agenda, open the floodgates for illegal immigrants, and kill high-paying jobs in the energy sector. However bleak the situation may appear now, hope in a free and prosperous future remains. Although no present day Moses has appeared to lead a free people to the Promised Land, our faith lies in the same Sovereign God who provided a pillar of fire and cloud to guide His people through the wilderness. If we stand strong there will soon come a day when we cross the symbolic Jordan and see the Jerichoan walls of socialism, media bias, censorship, and identity politics torn down and the American dream restored.      

Gabe Firment

District 22 State Representative

Tyler Garner Awarded the Trevor and Yvie Fry Family Scholarship

Tyler Garner of Georgetown has been chosen to receive the Trevor & Yvie Fry Family Scholarship! This $1000 annual scholarship is awarded to a graduating Senior who has been selected as the Student of the Year in Grant Parish. Tyler is a Senior at Georgetown High School.

The proud parents of the scholar are Brandon and Shellye Garner. We know Tyler will continue to make Grant Parish proud in the future!