Notice of Death April 13, 2021

GRANT:
None to report

WINN:
Larry Williams
November 19, 1938 – April 08, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Darren Jackson
April 1, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Mary Lee Sproles Ortego
May 29, 1949 – March 18, 2021
Arrangements TBA

NATCHITOCHES:
Thomas Allen Solomon
September 14, 1950 – April 12, 2021
Service: Friday, April 16 at 1 pm at the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church of Natchitoches

Keshundrel DeQuez Russell
June 8, 1978 – March 31, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Sean Anthony Revels
June 22, 1968 – April 7, 2021
Service: Friday, April 16 from 6-9 pm at the Winnfield Life Funeral Home in Natchitoches

Johnnie Coleman
April 10, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Sean Revels
June 22, 1968 – April 7, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Amos Payton Jr.
April 4, 2021
Arrangements TBA


Fires Burn Hundreds of Acres of Timber in Kisatchie National Forest in Grant Parish

Five fires in the past 18 days burned hundreds of acres of timber at Kisatchie National Forest in Grant Parish alone, officials said.

Authorities in Central Louisiana are asking for the public’s help in finding whoever set multiple fires in the Kisatchie National Forest.

Sources report that firefighters responded to about 10 wildfires in different parts of the forest in the last month.

A March 8 fire in the Melder area of Rapides Parish occurred in an area littered with unexploded ordnance from World War II, according to officials.

Because of that, firefighters couldn’t use heavy equipment so they had to set additional fires to control the wildfire. In the end, about 2,062 acres were burned.

The forest covers parts of seven parishes. Grant Parish Sheriff Steven McCain said five of the fires have been in his parish.

The sheriff said people can make anonymous tips online at GrantSO.org/tipsubmit 

Chris LeDoux, an officer with the Forestry Service, gave a summary of the March fires, including the Bentley Fire, which threatened several homes.

“On March 25, the Bentley Fire burned 734 acres before it was contained,” LeDoux said. “It was ignited less than one mile west of Grant High School.”

The next day, another fire was lit across the street from where the Bentley Fire burned. LeDoux said this was a separate fire, not connected to the fire the day before.

“The fires have burned hundreds and hundreds of acres of timber in Grant Parish, and this is much more than just somebody setting the woods on fire,” the sheriff said in a video posted to the department’s Facebook page. “There’s been three houses that have come very close to being burned by these fires, and we’re asking for your help today.”

A Louisiana Forestry Association spokesman, Jeff Zeringue, said the group is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of those responsible for the fires and causing woods arson.

“It’s bad for the community. It’s bad for the economy,” Zeringue said. “The Louisiana Forestry Association thinks it’s very important to catch who is lighting these fires.”


Grant Community Health Center Provider Spotlight

Kristin Williams, FNP

Kristin Williams, FNP-C, is a native of Alexandria, LA. She graduated from Louisiana College with her BSN in 2007. She was inducted into Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society in nursing school. She worked as a registered nurse in the medical ICU at Rapides Regional Medical Center for 4 years while attending graduate school. She graduated from Northwestern State University with a master’s in science in Nursing with emphasis in family nurse practitioner in 2011. She is certified by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. She is also a member of the Louisiana Association of Nurse Practitioners. She worked as a nurse practitioner at Red River Cardiology for 8 years before coming to Grant Community Health Center.

Kristin began working for Grant Community Health Center in 2018. She is married with 1 child. Kristin is excited to provide quality care to all residents of Grant Parish and the surrounding areas.

Grant Community Health Center

340 Webb Smith Drive, Colfax, LA 71417
Phone: (318) 627–5021 – Fax: (318) 627–5999
Monday – Friday: 8:00am – 5:00pm


Remember This? Moyna’s Family

By Brad Dison

Moyna Macgill was an actress from Northern Ireland.  She performed regularly in London’s West End, and also appeared in film and, many years later, in television productions.  Her husband, Edgar, was a successful English politician, and had served as the mayor of the Metropolitan Borough of Poplar, England.  Theirs was an upper middle-class family. 

Their daughter, Brigid, was born in a Central London hospital in 1925.  Brigid had an older stepsister from her mother’s previous marriage, and two younger brothers, Edgar and Bruce.  When Brigid was nine years old, her father died of stomach cancer.  That same year, Moyna got engaged to a former colonel with the British Army.  Moyna and her children moved in with the former colonel and his children.  For five years, the two families lived in a tense environment.  The former colonel ruled his home like a tyrant.  Moyna wanted to escape.

Events of World War II had a profound effect on the lives of Moyna and her family.  In 1939, war with Germany was inevitable.  In addition to Moyna’s desire to escape from the former colonel, she also wanted her family to escape from the looming war.  Moyna secretly finagled passage for herself and her children to Canada aboard an ocean liner called the RMS Duchess of Atholl

Late one night in late 1940, Moyna gathered Brigid, Edgar, and Bruce, along with their belongings, and left London.  Moyna and her children never saw the former colonel again.  Moyna’s oldest daughter, a newlywed, remained in London.  After a four-and-a-half-hour trip, Brigid’s family arrived at the docks in Liverpool.

The Duchess of Atholl was a grand ship, about two-third the size of the Titanic.  In December of 1939, the British military requisitioned the ship for troop transportation.  Although the ship was not supposed to be used for passenger transportation at this point in the war, Brigid’s mother got herself, her children, and what little they brought with them, aboard the ship.  Many people have theorized that Brigid’s mother used her celebrity status or her late husband’s political connections to gain passage to Canada. 

Later that afternoon, the Duchess of Atholl left Liverpool and headed into the Atlantic Ocean toward Canada.  Rather than traveling in a straight line, the ship zigzagged through the ocean to lessen the chances of being struck by a torpedo from a sneaky German submarine.  On the night Moyna, Brigid, Edgar, and Bruce left England, Germany began a nighttime bombing raid on Liverpool, the main Atlantic seaport, in what is referred to as the Liverpool Blitz.  Brigid’s family had escaped just in time. 

Several days later, Moyna and her family arrived in Canada and eventually made their way down to New York.  With no money and few possessions with which to barter, their futures seemed miserable.  Just when their situations seemed hopeless, a kind family took them in and helped them gain a foothold on their new lives in America.  Moyna and her children had heard that America was the land of opportunity, and the kind family helped reinforce that notion. 

Had Moyna and her family waited just one more day to leave Liverpool, they might not have survived the Liverpool Blitz.  During World War II, after Moyna and her family traveled to the new world on the Duchess of Atholl, the ship was struck by several torpedoes from a German submarine and sank in the Atlantic Ocean.      

Within two years of their arrival, Moyna began acting in Hollywood films.  From 1943 to 1945, Moyna appeared in no less than ten films.  The Irish Times ranked Moyna Macgill 35th in Ireland’s greatest film actors of all time.  In her more than four decades in film and television, she appeared in productions including The Picture of Dorian GrayThe Twilight Zone, and Black Beauty.  Her children followed her into theater.  Edgar became a multiple award-winning theater, film, and television producer.  He produced Broadway plays such as The Subject Was RosesPromenade, and Gypsy.  Bruce became a television producer, television writer and screenwriter in a career which spanned over thirty years.  He worked on such iconic television shows as The Wild Wild WestMission: ImpossibleWonder Woman, Knight Rider, The Brady Bunch, Happy Days, The Odd Couple, and Murder, She Wrote.  Brigid’s acting career has spanned eight decades so far.  Brigid occasionally shared the screen with her mother.  Her other numerous film credits include The Manchurian CandidateBlue Hawaii, and Beauty and the Beast.  Like her brother Bruce, Brigid also worked on the Murder, She Wrote television series.  Moyna Macgill is better known for being the mother of Brigid than for her work as an actress.  You see, Brigid’s family called her by her middle name.  The rest of the world knows Brigid as… Angela Lansbury.       

 Sources:

  1. “Lesser-Told Story of Belfast-Born Film Star Who Was Mother of Iconic Superstar,” NewsLetter, accessed March 30, 2021, https://www.newsletter.co.uk/retro/lesser-told-story-belfast-born-film-star-who-was-mother-iconic-superstar-985733.
  2. “Moyna Macgill,” IMDb.com, accessed March 31, 2021, https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0532256/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1.
  3. “Edgar Lansbury,” IMDb.com, accessed March 31, 2021, https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0487052/?ref_=nmbio_trv_1.
  4. “Bruce Lansbury,” IMDb.com, accessed March 31, 2021, https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0487049/?ref_=nmbio_trv_1.
  5. “Angela Lansbury,” IMDb.com, accessed March 31, 2021, https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001450/?ref_=nmbio_trv_1.
  6. “Angela Lansbury – Interview On Her Life, Career,” YouTube.com, accessed April 4, 2021, https://youtu.be/yHtq-kGzF9o.

The Photo is of Moyna Macgill in 1945.


New Georgia Voting Law Is Common Sense Reform

By Royal Alexander/Opinion

The hallmark of a free society and a legitimately functioning democracy is the honest and legal exercise of the voting franchise by its citizens because our fundamental and sacred right to vote is preservative of all other rights.

The hotly debated Georgia election reform law that passed this week, like voting reforms taking place in states across the country, has been highly and purposely mischaracterized.  (Louisiana is considering certain election and voting reforms as well).  The Georgia law actually expands voting rights and voting flexibility by adding early voting on more weekends and providing additional equipment and workers in larger precincts.

For example, while legal voting would reasonably include requiring a voter to display a valid driver license the Georgia law, nevertheless, allows for a free, state-issued non-driver ID for those without a driver license.  However, even those who lack a free, state-issued non-driver ID may still vote if they present a Social Security number, a copy of a current bank statement, utility bill, government check, or paycheck.

It is worth reiterating an unassailable principle:  genuine reform of voting laws must begin with requiring valid ID.  The request to see a valid ID occurs millions of times across our country every day and the only people who object to its use in voting are doing so on behalf of those who aren’t supposed to be voting in the first place.

In fact, many of the civil liberties we exercise every day are based upon freedoms that stem directly from the Constitution: purchasing a firearm requires valid ID, marrying requires valid ID to obtain a license, boarding an airplane (freedom of movement) requires valid ID, petitioning the government (right of assembly/free speech) in a rally at a public place requires a permit that often requires valid ID, or checking into a hotel (public accommodations) requires valid ID.   There are many other similar examples.

Still further, Georgia’s law leaves in place Sunday voting and it also leaves in place “no excuses” absentee voting.  This means that every registered Georgia voter may still simply and easily request an absentee ballot for any reason at all.  (Many states still require voters, wisely in my view, to provide a valid excuse to vote absentee).  Additionally, rather than having poll workers be responsible for deciding if signatures match, Georgia voters will instead submit a state ID number with their ballot.  The ID number will either match or it won’t, eliminating the need for subjective scrutiny of a voter’s signature by an election worker.

No election reform or election rules will ever be perfect, but we must strive at the very minimum, in Louisiana and across the country, to ensure that our votes are received and counted honestly.  Numerous states already have voter ID requirements enshrined in law and they have been upheld by the Supreme Court.  

It cannot be said often enough or loudly enough: our freedom depends upon an honest and transparent vote.  The right to vote is a gift that has been purchased with the blood and lives of American soldiers and citizens who bravely spoke out and suffered and died to have their votes—and ours—counted.  The right to vote is exceedingly rare throughout history as most who have ever walked on and drawn a breath on this planet have lived under some form of dictatorship, tyrant, or other strongman.  That is why Lincoln powerfully and memorably called America’s experiment in democracy the “last best hope” for man on earth.  And that is why the legitimate right to vote must be defended at all costs, so we preserve the legitimacy of the government by retaining the consent of the governed.

The views and opinions expressed in the My Opinion article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Grant Parish Journal. Any content provided by the authors is of their opinion and is not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual or anyone or anything.


Notice of Death April 6, 2021

GRANT:
None to report

WINN:
Jody Renae Grant
March 03, 1962 – March 10, 2021
Service: Friday, March 12 at 10:30 am at the Summerville Cemetery

Darren Jackson
April 1, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Mary Lee Sproles Ortego
May 29, 1949 – March 18, 2021
Arrangements TBA

NATCHITOCHES:
Earana Varra Metoyer
December 13, 1928 – April 02, 2021
Service: Friday April 9 at 11 am at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Natchitoches

Elizabeth Dean Vercher Trichel
March 04, 1940 – April 01, 2021
Service: Friday, April 9 at 10 am at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

Henry Jernigan
April 5, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Mitchell Clark
April 2, 2021
Service: Saturday, April 10 at 11 am in the Rock Creek Baptist Church Cemetery in Ajax

Daniel Haig Kitishian
May 10, 1949 – April 03, 2021
Service: Saturday, April 10 at 1 pm at the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church

Amos Payton Jr.
April 4, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Troy Jackson, Jr.
August 19, 1954 – March 30, 2021
Service: Saturday, April 10 at 11 am at Central Baptist Church in Robeline

Van Thomas Barker, Jr.
January 03, 1945 – December 26, 2020
Service: Friday, April 9 from 5-6:30 pm in the chapel of Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

SABINE:
Elizabeth Ann Terrell
December 13, 1942 – April 3, 2021
Service: Wednesday April 7 at 2 pm at Warren Meadows Funeral Home Chapel

RED RIVER:
O. B. “Cooter” Madden
November 10, 1926 – April 03, 2021
Service: Thursday, April 8 at 3:30 pm at Mt. Zion Cemetery