Looking North for Oct. 4, 2013

I know what you’re thinking.

That photo up there is not of James Minton.

True. The longtime Advocate Baker-Zachary bureau chief recently retired after two decades covering all things north of Baton Rouge, or more specifically, all things in Baker, Zachary, and West and East Feliciana parishes.

My name is Steven Ward and I’m the new Baker-Zachary bureau chief.

That’s my photo up there.

I might not be as handsome as James Minton (frankly, there aren’t many of us who are), but I’m going to try to cover his old territory and I’m going to need your help.

I’m adding the city of Central to my coverage area, so I want to hear from you folks too.

I’m looking for community news and items for the Looking North column.

Please send what you have to sward@theadvocate.com or call me at my Baker office — (225) 326-6611.

What’s a community without community news, right?

Early voting Saturday

Early voting for the Oct. 19 primary election begins Saturday.

Voters in West Feliciana Parish have three elections to cast ballots in including the parish’s first parish president.

Republicans Kevin Couhig and Tom McVea are running against Lea Reid Williams, an Independent, and Democrat John Kean IV for the historic seat.

Voters also will have a chance to decide on a tax renewal for the West Feliciana Parish Communications District.

The two-mill property tax would fund the parish’s 911 phone system.

Voters in both West Feliciana and East Feliciana parishes will choose someone for the 5th District U.S. representative’s job.

The choices: Democrats Marcus Hunter, Robert Johnson, “Jamie” Mayo and Weldon Russel; Green Party candidate Eliot S. Barron; Libertarian candidates Henry Herford Jr. and S.B.A. Zaitoon; Republicans Clyde C. Holloway, Vance M. McAllister, “Jay” Morris, Neil Riser and Phillip “Blake” Weatherly; and no-party candidates “Tom” Gibbs and Peter Williams.

East Feliciana Parish voters also have a justice of the peace election to decide.

In the District 4 race, Democrat Joyce A. Kent is running against Democrat John H. Shropshire.

Voters in Central will decide whether to renew the 10-mill, 10-year property tax for Central Fire Protection District No. 4.

Voters can go to their parish Registrar of Voters offices to cast their ballots between Saturday and Oct. 12 excluding Sunday.

Paint pumpkins in Baker

Baker residents should stop by the Baker Heritage Museum on Main Street from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 12 for the city’s Family Fun and Safety Festival.

Firefighters will be on hand to provide fire prevention tips, and police officers will be around to talk about vehicle and traffic safety.

The festival also will feature a car seat giveaway and a bicycle helmet giveaway.

Children can paint pumpkins, and there will be a free hamburger lunch.

Submit items concerning Baker, Zachary, Central and the Felicianas to Bureau Chief Steven Ward at sward@theadvocate.com or by fax to (225) 774-6485.