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In This Issue EFP School Board Seeks Tax Hike ..................... 1 Expressions of Gratitude .................................... 2 Junior Beta Inductions ........................................ 2 Scout Troop Receives Badges/Awards ................ 3 Temple Sinai Rededicated ................................... 4-5 Young Chefs Compete for Culinary Prize ........... 6 Milestones ........................................................... 6 Residents Graced with Merry Open House ........ 6 OLLI Seeking Curriculum Ideas ........................ 6 D.A. Encourages Holiday Camaraderie ............. 6 Classifieds ........................................................... 7 Calendar of Events ............................................. 8





Proud to be the Felicianas' only locally owned, managed, and staffed newspaper.

Feliciana Explorer • Tuesday, January 8 2013 • Vol. 3, No. 2 • Published Weekly • Circulation 17,000 • • © 2013

Historic Jewish Building Restored to Former Glory: Temple Sinai Rededicated Story and photos on pages 4-5

E. Feliciana Parish School Board Votes to Seek Increase in Property Tax Rate by

Daniel Duggan

The week prior to Christmas, the East Feliciana School Board voted to seek a tripling of the parish property tax rate which would be put before the voters in an April 6 election. The 38 mill increase would be in addition to the current 17 mill and 3.34 mill property taxes already approved by the voters of East Feliciana Parish. The proposed tax increase would provide an additional $4.4 million in revenue each year for the impoverished school system. The vote will be an up or down vote on whether to pass the tax. A motion to break the proposal into four separate propositions for technology enhancement, construction and maintenance, additional instructional materials and employee salaries failed to pass. Board members Elizabeth Dawson, Melvin Hollins, Benjamin Cupit, Paul Kent and Mitchell Harrell supported presenting voters with the four choices; however, Olivia Harris, Board President Michael Bradford, Deborah Spurlock Haynes, Broderick Brooks, Rhonda Matthews and Rufus Nesbitt out-voted them. Cupit and Harrell also voted later against presenting the tax proposal as one item. If voters approve the tax increase on the April 6 ballot, the school system would also pick up about $1.46 million more in state Minimum Foundation Program funds because of the increase in local support. The school board cited the need for the tax increase because East Feliciana has a backlog of construction and maintenance needs and only beats St. Helena Parish for teacher pay in the greater Baton Rouge region.


Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Outstanding Elementary Students at Junior Beta Inductions Feliciana Expressions Recognized Some of Jackson Elementary on, Shannon Hollins and DeMarcus

of Gratitude


The family of Riquita B. Jackson extends our appreciation for your prayers, visits, telephone calls, florals, plants, and the many acts of kindness and expressions of love extended to us during the homegoing of our loved one. We pray that God will continue to bless you as you have lifted our hearts and reminded us of how precious God’s gift of love is.

School’s brightest stars earned recognition at the recent Junior Beta Club induction held at the school. A total of 18 fifth grade students were elected to membership based on their outstanding records of achievement, character, leadership and service. New Junior Beta members include Ladaisha Burton, Ketron Jones, Ka’Nyjah Williams, Kendrick Stephens, Christopher London, Demetri Wright, Arineshia Wright, Andrew Jackson, Bryce Turner, Kamran Turner, Travis Chacon, DeJarian Jones, Aleesha Dunn, Jazimane Jones, Kullen Wilkinson, Nila Dix-

Hollins. “We are proud to have these 18 students represent JES,” noted principal Megan Phillips. “We look forward to watching them continue to grow and develop as citizens and scholars.” The members have already become an active force for positive service in their community, participating in the WCYO Breast Cancer Awareness Walk and a cookie sale fundraiser at the Wilson Christmas Parade. To learn more about their efforts, visit

EXPLORER P.O. Box 73 Norwood, LA 70761

Phone (225) 654-0122 Fax (225) 208-1165 Email stories and photos to Published Tuesdays 52 weeks a year

Publisher Daniel Duggan Associate Publisher Theresa Dold Payment Editor / Production Manager Nalini Raghavan Gore

~ Rickey and Vurla Jackson and Family

Account Executive Georgiana Walls Christmas Cookie Planner Calla Duggan

To the citizens of East Feliciana Parish (Town of Clinton): Thank you for standing with me, your prayers, support, and your votes. I am committed to making changes to improve our town, and I will stand by my word. Together, we will make a difference in our town. Again, thank you very much; I would not be in this position without your vote. Keep me in your prayers. I can be reached at

Drumstick Eating Champion Chandler Duggan Nature’s Alarm Clock Cecelia Duggan Potty Training Intern Colton Duggan The Rookie Ian Gore

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Scouts Receive Badges/Awards at End-of-year Ceremony

ence that I could not wait to start. After multiple weeks On December 10, Boy of meeting at the vocational Scout Troop 51 from Jackschool in Jackson, Louisiana son held their Court of Honor and watching video after vidceremony at the Lions Club eo on safety in welding, we Civic Center with Dylan finally made it to the welding Delee, Kyle Lanoue and Claybooths. Once we made it to ton Metz serving as masters the shop, it was harder than of ceremonies for the event. we thought. The thought of Triple Crown Awards were begetting burned always rested stowed and merit badges and in the back of our minds. It advancements were presented took a couple of tries, but affollowed by a closing recepter that we had the hang of tion at this annual Christmas it. Once we finished with all meeting. the hands-on activities we Numerous awards were were pretty much done with presented, including 35 merit the merit badge. So, from badges. In addition, four ranks all of Troop 51, I would like were achieved and seven to give a special thanks to members were presented the Mr.Willie Metz, Mr. John Triple Crown Awards. Arceneaux, and Mr. Frank A new merit badge for Reynolds. instruction in welding was Pictured are (l to r): Johnny Arceneaux, Seth Veillion, Kyle Lanoue, Aaron Day, Clayton Metz, Ethan Veilearned by seven scouts. Scout The seven scouts who leader Willie Metz arranged lion, Alex Myers,Christopher Palm and Willie Metz earned the welding badge a partnership between Boy were Kyle Lanoue, Aaron Day, the Baton Rouge area next year. I Scout Troop 51 and Capital Area Tech- Reynolds, a Folkes welding instructor Clayton Metz, Christopher Palm, Seth challenge you as family members nical College, Folkes Campus dur- served as welding teachers on a volVeillion, Alex Myers and Ethan Veiland friends to follow the lead of ing the fall 2012 semester, providing unteer basis. lion. Johnny Arceneaux, Folkes Camthese young men. Tell others welding training for scouts working on The Triple Crown is awarded to about the opportunities in welding this badge. “The welding merit badge pus dean, stated: scouts and adult leaders who comand encourage them to come talk was introduced at the beginning of plete three high adventure programs We are honored to partnerwith to us at Folkes. 2012. Going through the requirements – Northern Tier Canoe Base in CanTroop 51 to provide welding of this merit badge teaches scouts the ada, backpacking at Philmont Scout training for the scouts. These Scout Kyle Lanoue stated: basic fundamentals of welding,” Metz Ranch in New Mexico and sailing at young men demonstrated they As an active member in Boy explained. “The scouts were taught Sea Base in Key West, Florida. This wanted to learn to weld. They also Scouts of America, Troop 51, how welding plays a major role in our year, five scouts and two adult leaddemonstrated they were develwe do a lot of outdoor activimodern world; so many items we use ers earned the Triple Crown: scouts oping a good work ethic—they ties including camping, hiking today involve welding in the manuBlake Meyers, Kyle Davidson, Dylan came to class, they worked and and working in our community. facturing process. There are countless DeLee, Whit Vidrine and Christopher they learned. They set a good exSo, when we started our welding career opportunities associated with Palm and leaders Keith Meyers and ample of what can be. There will merit badge, it was a new experithe welding field.”  Metz and Frank Jody Vidrine. be a serious shortage of welders in by

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Historic Jewish Center of Worship Restored to Former Glory: The rededication of Temple Sinai


Nalini Raghavan Gore

On December 9, 2012 the newlyrenovated, historic Temple Sinai in St. Francisville was rededicated in a ceremony that purposefully harkened back to the original dedication occurring in 1903. Helen Williams, a board member of the Julius Freyhan Foundation, reported that St. Francisville residents and Jewish families with an ancestral connection to the temple packed the modest, one-room building on the afternoon of the dedication in addition to local dignitaries and politicians. St. Francisville author Anne Butler, a descendent of one of the speakers at the original dedication ceremony, offered a history of the temple. Local children also played

a part in the ceremony, echoing the procession of young Jewish congregants that took place in 1903. The closing reception, again replaying history, was held at Grace Episcopal Church’s Jackson Hall, called Pythian Hall in 1903. The rededication was the culmination of a renovation of the 100-year-old temple, overseen by the Julius Freyhan Foundation and made possible through a Save America’s Treasures federal grant. Founded in 1984, the Julius Freyhan Foundation was originally formed with the sole mission of restoring the Julius Freyhan High School, which stands in significant disrepair next to Temple Sinai at 4740 Prosperity Street. Mr. Julius Freyhan, for whom the foundation

is named, was a prominent Jewish merchant and the primary benefactor for the school’s construction back in 1905. Thanks to the federal grant as well as private donations, however, the Foundation was able to complete the restoration of the temple first, including this historic center of worship in its larger mission of resurrecting the structures for use as non-denominational community centers, event spaces and museum, according to Williams. The temple renovation plans were completed by Hammond-based Holly & Smith Architects. The firm was charged with restoring the structure using its original form and materials as well as designing and adding an adjoining service building at the back of the original temple to

replace a dated, 1950s addition. According to the firm’s website, “The new service building’s design was developed to allow it to blend into the site and allow the adjacent historic structures to take center-stage whilst still retaining a unique contemporary character of its own.” An article appearing in local paper The True Democrat described the then-new temple as: 35 x 50 ft. in length with a high ceiling and many large stained glass windows, giving abundant light and ventilation. The acoustics of the building is perfect. The interior walls are painted white and the trimmings, furnishings of the altar and choir gallery are of quarter sawed oak,

(Top of page): The interior of the newlyrenovated Temple Sinai features shafts of lights casting rainbow patterns on original wooden pews and floors. (Top left): A view of the temple and its contemporary service building, designed by Holly & Smith Architects, which is attached at the rear of the temple. (Bottom left): The rear view of the temple’s service building, which replaced a demolished 1950s era addition. (Bottom right): Original scrolled wood work graces the pews in the temple’s lightfilled interior. (Top): The Julius Freyhan Foundation is currently raising funds to renovate the Julius Freyhan High School, pictured here, to be used as a community center and a museum dedicated to St. Francisville’s historic Jewish population. (Above): Side view of Temple Sinai.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013 as are the handsome circular pews, which are comfortable and handsome. The exterior is painted in dove grey with trimmings of green. The approach is by a wide flight of steps with graceful turrets on either side.  Save for the dove grey exterior and the turrets, which Williams explained were cost prohibitive to rebuild, the current renovation has honored the building’s original appearance and construction. Though successful and influential, St. Francisville’s Jewish community, which dates back to the late 1800s, was always small. Within two decades of the temple’s opening, so many of the congregation’s


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members had passed on or moved to larger cities that the temple was sold to the Presbyterians who used the structure until 1994 when it was donated to the West Feliciana Parish Police Jury. According to reporting by the Advocate, renovation of the old Julius Freyhan High School will cost around $2.3 million, which the Foundation is still working to secure. Perhaps the successful resurrection of the historic temple, which followed upon the heels of a $300,000 endowment made by a granddaughter of Julius Freyhan for the sole purpose of restoring the school, will reinvigorate public and private generosity.

The public as well as dignitaries were invited to the rededication of Temple Sinai. Included among the afternoon’s guests were (top, l to r): Mayor Billy D’Aquilla Representative Kenny Havard, Julius Freyhan Foundation President Nancy Vinci, Senator Neil Riser and Mayor Pro Tem Rucker Leake Jr. Also in attendance were the committee members (bottom, l to r): LeighAnne Jones, Karry Hosford, Janice Wynn, former Julius Freyhan Foundation Director Johanna Sternberg and Julie Brashier.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Young Chefs Compete for Culinary Prize Residents Graced With a Merry Open House

The 4-H Club’s 2012 Holiday Food Contest was held on December 15 at the West Feliciana Community Center in Independence. Competitors prepared a dish along with a recipe, which was judged by local volunteers. The cooking con-

test provided 4-Hers the opportunity to develop healthy cooking practices while still producing dishes that were tasty and creative. The winners in the poultry, egg, seafood and ground beef divisions will be competing at the district level in Hammond.

Pictured are this year’s Holiday Food Contest winners, holding the ornamentals they transplanted while their dishes were being judged (l to r): Jon Elise Sturgeon, Owen Brouillette, Alaina Guillory, Alice Holand, Anna Roberg, Gabe Jewell, Paycen Brouillette, Cassie Tucker, Kaitlyn Oliveaux, Shelby Bush, Lauren Mendenall, Katie Eschete, Ty Morgan and Riley Charlet. Ground Beef Cookery Contest Quick & Easy Dish 1st Place - Shelby Bush One Dish Meal 1st Place - Jon Elise Sturgeon Poultry Cookery Contest Chicken 1st Place - Gabe Jewell Seafood Cookery Contest Shrimp 1st Place - Ty Morgan 2nd Place - Paycen Brouillett Crawfish 1st Place - Kaitlyn Oliveaux 2nd Place - Paycen Brouillette Fish or Other Seafood

1st Place - Katie Eschete 2nd Place - Owen Brouillette Egg Cookery Contest Appetizer/Salad 1st Place - Owen Brouillette Main Dish 1st Place - Jon Elise Sturgeon 2nd Place - Paycen Brouillette Dessert 1st Place - Alice Holand 2nd Place - Riley Charlet Photography Animals 1st Place - Jon Elise Sturgeon 2nd Place - Anna Roberg People 1st Place - Jon Elise Sturgeon

and Riley Charlet Other Subjects 1st Place - Jon Elise Sturgeon 2nd Place - Riley Charlet 3rd Place - Anna Roberg Holiday Sweet Treats Salad/Appetizer 1st Place- Shelby Bush 2nd Place- Gabe Jewell Desserts 1st Place - Anna Roberg 2nd Place - Gabe Jewell 3rd Place - Jon Elise Sturgeon 4th Place - Lauren Mendenall and Cassie Tucker Bread 1st Place - Katie Eschete


Elkins Graduates

Emily Diane Elkins, daughter of Mark and Kathy Elkins of Slaughter, received a masters degree from the Program of Nurse Anesthesia at Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth, Texas. Graduation ceremonies took place at 4 p.m. on December 14, 2012 at the Fort Worth Convention Center. Ms. Elkins is a 2004 graduate of Sillliman Institute in Clinton and received her Bachelor of Science degree from Our Lady of the Lake College, Baton Rouge, in 2010.

The residents, families and staff of Grace Health and Rehab Center in Slaughter enjoyed an afternoon of great food, fun and fellowship at their annual Christmas open house. Pictured are (top left) Elnora Bradford; (top right, l to r) Willie Robert, Ralph Bryant and Doyle Redditt; and (bottom right) Delores & Paul  Fourrier.

Felicianas OLLI Chapter Encourages Curriculum Ideas and Participation nalism have been offered. IndividuOn January 9 the Curriculum

Committee for the Felicianas Chapter of Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), which is through L.S.U., will meet to discuss classes that will be offered in the Felicianas and Pointe Coupee Parish for the summer and fall of 2013. Classes presently include literature, art, history, yoga, foreign languages, science and religion. In the past, cooking classes, quilting techniques, planting tips, astronomy, political science and jour-

als with special talents/expertise are encouraged to propose classes that would interest those who are 50 years of age and above. Anyone interested in teaching a class may send a proposal (350word maximum) and biography (150-word maximum) to Dr. Olivia Pass, P.O. Box 2877, St. Francisville, LA 70775 or email it to her at Proposals must be received prior to January 9.

Holiday Camaraderie The East Feliciana District Attorney’s office was alive with holiday camaraderie on December 21 while hosting its fourth annual community Christmas open house brunch. In attendance were seventy-five guests including representatives from the 20th Judicial District Court, local police departments, town halls, police jury, school board, clerk of court’s office and other citizens in the community. Each year, the D.A. and his staff look forward to a time of fellowship with the community in order to strengthen relationships with other departments and local citizens. It is an opportunity to provide an inviting atmosphere for both encouraging a continuing positive working relationship and for reinforcing an open door policy with each member of the public.

Pictured are (top, l to r) District Attorney Sam D’Aquilla, Sheriff Talmadge Bunch, EFP Superintendent Lewis Henderson, Jr. and Title 1 Director Edna Thomas; (bottom, l to r) Mary Dufour, Marcy Robinson, Crystal Maples, Betsy Jones, Shane Bourgeois and Debbie Bennett.

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Events in the Felicianas Strong Women Sessions January 10, various times It’s that time of year again, when many people make resolutions to be healthier, more fit or to exercise more regularly. It can be hard to stick with those resolutions on your own, and a group activity may be just what you need to keep going. WFP Parks and Recreation is offering a new session of Strong Women, a research-based, strength training program, for safe, effective and enjoyable group classes. Classes start January 10, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:30 pm and Wednesdays and Fridays at 8:30 a.m. at the WF Community Center on Hwy. 965. For more information, call 225-784-8447 or Pam Myers at 225-635-4878. Silliman Baseball Auction January 12, 6 p.m. Enjoy a night of fun and support the baseball players of Silliman Institute for their 4th annual Baseball Auction. The event will be held at the American Legion Hall in Clinton with the meal served at 6 p.m. followed by the auction. Tickets can be purchased by contacting any baseball player or Coach John Beauchamp at 225-7190012. Outstanding Community Leaders Awards Luncheon January 12, 11 a.m. In an effort to better serve the African community of East and West Feliciana Parishes, a ceremony honoring the Outstanding Community Leaders for the year of 2012 has been announced.

Those honored include Mr. Edward Brooks, Ms. Deaber Thomas and Mr. Louis Kent from EF Parish and Mr. Charles London, Mrs. Sara WilsonRogers and Mr. Otis Wilson from WF Parish. Martha’s Bistro, the African Small Business of The Year, is the site for the awards luncheon and will host guest speaker Will Campbell of the Southern University Business Development Center who will be giving a presentation on small business development. Tickets are $25 per person and can be obtained by calling Rev. George A. Turner at 225-244-0171 or Pastor Lula London at 225-445-2103. Friends of The Library Meeting January 14, 10 a.m. Join the Friends of the Library for this one-hour informational meeting. The cost of attendance is free. The library is located at 11865 Ferdinand St. in St. Francisville. For more information, call 225-635-3364. Jackson Town Hall Monthly Meeting | January 14, 6:30 p.m. This town hall meeting is open to the public and provides insight into the governing bodies’ agenda as well as discussions or areas of concern. Attendance by the public is encouraged. Meeting takes place at the Jackson Town Hall located at 1610 Charter St. For more information, call 225-634-7777 Adoption Matters Informational Session | January 14, 6-7 p.m.

This free one-hour information session about adoption and is presented by Catholic Charities Diocese of Baton Rouge which covers a 12 parish area including East and West Feliciana. The presentation will cover all aspects of finding families for children and attendees will hear how experienced social workers de-mystify the journey toward a successful adoption and building happy families. Space is limited and registration is requested. The event is free and will take place at 1900 S. Acadian Thruway in Baton Rouge. For more information, call 225-334-7494. Slaughter Town Hall Monthly Meeting | January 15, 6:30 p.m. This town hall meeting is open to the public and provides insight into the governing bodies’ agenda as well as discussions or areas of concern. Attendance by the public is encouraged. Meeting takes place at the Slaughter Civic Center located at 3337 Church St. For more information, contact Norma Ory at 225-654-4278. LRTA Advocacy Workshop January 25, 9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Louisiana Retired Teachers Association will be holding an advocacy training workshop for its members in District IV at the Louisiana Technology Park. Topics on the agenda include how to prepare letters to the editors of local newspapers, how to write press releases, composing emails, and using information supplied by the LRTA office in Baton Rouge.

Training will be provided on accessing important information on the website of the Louisiana legislature, and a review of the LRTA web site will also be incorporated into the presentation. Invited guests include the LRTA district and unit presidents, the district legislative coordinators, and legislative contacts. Other LRTA members are also welcome to attend. For more information, call Erica Rodriguez at 225.927.8837 or visit OLLI January Coffee January 30, 10 a.m. OLLI members and guests are invited to the January Coffee featuring “West Feliciana Gateways Project” presented by Mrs. Lauren Field, executive director of the St. Francisville Area Foundation. With the help of a consultant team and area stakeholders and community members, an authentic vision favors rural and naturalistic images along with elegant and historical images to represent the parish. This vision builds on the rich cultural and natural amenities of the region and provides a unique opportunity to strengthen community identity and pride. Lauren will give an overview of the phases of the “gateways project” and its current status. The coffee will take place in the First Baptist Church multipurpose room in St. Francisville.

There’s something to do every day in the Felicianas. From choir performances and rodeos to Main Street markets and special library programming for children, this area is rich in cultural and social activities. If you have an event you would like the public to know about, send and email to Space allowing, your event will be included for free in the Event Calendar section.

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Feliciana Explorer Jan 8  

January 8, 2013 • Volume 3, No. 2

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