Jury, DOTD working out plans for Frontage Rd.

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Turning a driveway into a service road may sound difficult, but the Webster Parish Police Jury and Department of Transportation and Development are working together to make it happen.

Called “Frontage Road” now, the property is assessed to the State of Louisiana Department of Highways. 

With a handful of businesses on it, the property is “a residual from the original construction of I-20,” said DOTD’s David North. “It’s wrapped up in the history of road construction in Louisiana that goes back to the 1960s.”

“It’s in bad, bad shape,” District 1 police juror Bruce Blanton said. “It probably hasn’t been touched since the Interstate was built.”

In November, North told jurors about a road transfer program that would allow the state to fix the chosen road and then hand it over to the police jury with funds for upkeep.

“It’s anticipated that this road will be out of the road transfer program,” North said. “We’re moving along with it and still working with the jury to finalize the cooperative agreement.”

Until that happens, North said nothing is definitive concerning the specifications, cost or time frame.

“We don’t know yet what would be the extent as far as the road itself,” North said. “It may be simple, and there may be complications come up with it.”

Blanton said he and other jurors feel Frontage Road is a prime place.

“This is a good deal,” Blanton said. “We want to do anything we can to help out those businesses and bring more in – especially when that new interchange to Barksdale is finished. It will make it more feasible for people to live and work in this area, and we expect them to move toward Minden.”


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Community begins preparation for life after HGTV

By Bonnie Culverhouse

It’s no secret that HGTV is in town and on a crusade to “kick start” Minden.

With that in mind, planning sessions are taking place to ensure the community can handle the load when tourists begin showing up.

“We don’t want to see local businesses run out of merchandise and have to close,” Mayor Terry Gardner said. “We want community leaders like at the Chamber of Commerce, Tourism, the museum, places like that to have spin off meetings with downtown merchants.”

One of those meetings is already in the works and will be held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, February 24 in Council Chambers at Minden City Hall. The group hopes for retail business owners and people in the hospitality industry will be present.

Gardner said he spoke with the mayor of Wetumpka, Ala., where HGTV had a similar project last year. 

“He said they were not ready for what would happen after the series aired,” Gardner said. “Tourism increased 600 percent and sales taxes were up 300 percent.

Several items discussed at Wednesday’s meeting included volunteers to give tours and how to direct telephone calls from visitors and tourists.

Two possible guidebooks are in the planning stages. One by Tourism and the Chamber, which will include places to eat and stay, as well as other places of interest.

Schelley Brown Francis, director of Dorcheat Historical Museum is also working on a book that will be more directed toward the historical aspect of the community.

“The museum is working on a guidebook that will be for sale,” Francis said. “The museum will be open on Saturday by appointment and scheduling, if we are included in the agenda of tours. We have walking tour/guided tour/cell phone scripts and more for all of Webster Parish. We have many books that are useful guides.”

“We just need to make sure we are not overlapping on any of this,” Chamber President Jana Morgan said. “I envision a tourism map coming out of our office, where it has stops of interest that won’t be the same as the museum.”

Part of the “be prepared” motto that will ensure Minden experiences the positive side from an influx of tourists includes public restrooms and charging stations for cell phones and other devices.

Although HGTV has not given the city an “air date,” for the series, the group agreed May 1 as a deadline to be ready.

“They told us Spring,” said Sara McDaniel, one of the residents who influenced HGTV to consider Minden as a kick start project. “Don’t expect tourists right away when it airs. Give them a couple of weeks – May 1 is a good date.”


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NSU, NLTCC renew credit transfer agreement 

Earl W. Meador, J.D., chancellor of Northwest Louisiana Technical Community College (left) and NSU President Dr. Marcus Jones. 

Northwestern State University and Northwest Louisiana Technical Community College renewed a memorandum of understanding that provides seamless credit transfers for students who complete courses at NLTCC and wish to pursue a bachelor’s degree at NSU. 

The understanding saves students time and money by recognizing course credits in English, math, physical science, speech and psychology. 

From left are Earl W. Meador, J.D., chancellor of Northwest Louisiana Technical Community College, and NSU President Dr. Marcus Jones. Not shown are Dr. Jayda Spillers, vice chancellor of Academic Affairs at NLTCC, and Dr. Greg Handel, NSU’s provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. 

The goal of the agreement is to reduce duplication of instruction and minimize student financial obligations. Information on NLTCC is available at https://www.nltcc.edu/. 


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Golden Girls headed to new homes

Justin Thomas with Rose and Dorothy, two of the Springhill Golden Girls.

The Springhill Golden Girls – Blanche, Rose, Sophia and Dorothy – are leaving Friday for new homes in the Washington DC area. All four were placed in Stray Hold in Springhill on Betty White’s 100th birthday, January 17. The legendary actress was also famous for being an animal advocate. Her death has spurred a great deal of donating in her name to animal rescues nationwide. 

Justin Thomas, long-time Webster Parish animal advocate, rescuer and foster, is shown holding Rose and Dorothy, who have been with him since they finished their Stray Hold time at McMahen’s Veterinary Clinic. Justin currently fosters for LaMa Animal Rescue and is available to assist any rescue in need. Recently he transported pets for Carly’s Angels, a non-profit in Shreveport, which had identified two elderly small dogs that were being left outside due to the death of their owner. A foster has been found for them. 

We wish the Golden Girls safe travel and good lives! For more information on LaMa Animal Rescue, please check out their facebook page. 


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Ready to say ‘I do?’ Let us help you

The Webster Parish Journal “WPJ” publishes paid engagement and wedding announcements, as well as anniversaries, for couples who reside in the parish, who have relatives in the parish or who are getting married in the parish. (Fees apply.)

This move by the Journal allows couples to showcase their announcement. 

Information for engagement announcements include: 

Digital photograph of the couple 

The couple’s names 

The couple’s hometowns 

High school and/or college of the couple 

Parents’ names and/or grandparents’ names 

Ties to the parish 

Wedding time, date, and place 

An interesting fact about the couple 

Information for the wedding announcements include: 

Digital photograph of the couple 

The couple’s names 

The couple’s hometowns 

High school and/or college of the couple 

Parents’ names and/or grandparents’ names 

Officiant  

Attendants 

Ties to the parish 

Wedding time, date, and place 

For engagement and wedding announcement fees and/or to submit information for publication, please email wpjnewsla@gmail.com. 


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Sanders is ‘Conservation Farmer of the Year’

Local rancher Guy Sanders is presented the “Conservation Farmer of the Year” award from the Dorcheat Soil and Water Conservation District. From left, SWCD board of supervisors Mickey Chandler, Gary Greene, David Lowe, Mrs. Harol Thompson, Sanders and Joe Robinson.

Guy Sanders has always been interested in agriculture.

As a young man, he spent time with his grandfather working cattle and learning about ranching. He was active in 4-H.

With his love of ranching, he went on to have a career in education teaching agriculture, volunteering his time and knowledge with 4-H and coaching for 30 years. He retired as principal at Central Elementary.

Since retirement, he has spent his time helping his children and grandchildren with 4-H projects showing hogs, cattle and sheep.

Currently, Sanders has several properties where he raises cattle and produces hay.

In his early years, he received assistance from the Soil Conservation Service and Agriculture Stabilization and Conservation Service for building a farm pond for his cattle.

In 2016, he applied for assistance with Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to install a livestock pipeline, Heavy Use Area, watering facilities, fence and overseeded clover.

Sanders said NRCS has shown him a more innovative way to increase and sustain livestock production and promote quality forages. 

He remains active in the community where he attends pasture walks and workshops.

Sanders has been certified as a Master Cattleman, Beef Quality Assurance and a member of the Webster Cattleman’s Association and Louisiana Cattleman’s Association.

He recently received the Dorcheat Soil and Water Conservation District’s “Conservation Farmer of the Year” award.


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Upcoming Events 

Current until February 19

Minden Recreation Center. Baseball/softball registration. $45 per child.

January 27

Noon: Shakera Williams, Assistant Nutrition Agent for LSU AgCenter will present a free virtual program on how to make better choices when stocking your pantry, fridge and freezer.

January 28

Senior cap and gown pictures at Lakeside. Contact Mr. Beavers or Ms. Culpepper with questions.

January 31

2 until 3 p.m. Retirement reception for Sheila Phenix at the Webster Parish Library’s main branch on East & West. The public is invited to attend.

February 1, 8, 15, 22

1 p.m. Break Up With Salt by the LSUAg Center, offered at the Webster Parish Library’s main branch. For more information, call 318-371-1371.

February 5

1 p.m. Springhill Parade and Tailgate Party. Springhill Main Street.

5 p.m. Webster Parish Fasching Carnival and Parade. Downtown Minden.

February 10-13

Annual Minden St. Jude Auction at the Minden Civic Center.

* If you have a non-profit event: church, school or community, please email it to wpjnewsla@gmail.com.* Webster Parish Journal reserves the right to determine if a calendar item is a paid advertisement.


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Arrest Reports 

January 25

Brittney M. Pearson, 29, of Elm Grove, was arrested by Dixie Inn police as a fugitive from Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Latarice Smith, 53, of the 300 block of Center Park, Springhill, was arrested by Springhill police on 2 counts of distribution of synthetic Marijuana.

Kandis Fuller, 33, of the 4700 block of Boothville Rd., Doyline, was arrested by WPSO for cruelty to juveniles.

January 26

Mitchell Franciscus Gipson, 49, of the 1100 block of 7th St. SW, Springhill, was arrested by Springhill police for distribution of Marijuana.


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Join our team

If you answered yes to the above questions, then we would love to talk with you. 

Webster Parish Journal is looking for a writer to help cover our parish. We want someone who loves to write features about the people who make this community great.

We also need someone who can take on some assignments and perhaps help cover local government.

If this sounds like you, please email wpjnewsla@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing from you.


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Notice of Death – January 26, 2022

Donald Alison Bloxom

September 3, 1938 – January 24, 2022

Visitation: 10 a.m. Thursday, January 27, 2022 at Rose-Neath Funeral Home, Minden

Graveside Service with full military honors: 11 a.m. Thursday, January 27, 2022, at Gardens of Memory Cemetery, Minden

 

Shirley Boles Parker

May 2, 1936 – January 23, 2022

Graveside Service: 11 a.m. Thursday, January 27, 2022 at Providence Cemetery, Ringgold, La.

 

Sallie Thomas

September 22, 1942 – January 22, 2022

Graveside Service: 2 p.m. Thursday, January 27, 2022, Gardens of Memory Cemetery, Minden

 

Sammy J. Citrano

December 2, 1954 – January 24, 2022

Visitation: 5 until 7 p.m. Friday, January 28, 2022 at Rose-Neath Funeral Home, Minden, La.

Funeral Service: 11 a.m. Saturday, January 29, 2022 at Rose-Neath Funeral Home Chapel.

Burial: Lane Memorial Cemetery, Sibley, La.

 

Bobby A. Liles

September 29, 1938 – January 24, 2022

Graveside Service: 1 p.m. Friday, January 28, 2022, at New Hope Cemetery in Athens, under the direction of Rose-Neath Funeral Home, Minden, La.


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Traffic accident sends one to jail; one home

By Bonnie Culverhouse

A one-vehicle accident early Sunday morning sent one man to jail and a minor male home to family.

Dennis Duck, 18, of the 100 block of Ruth Payne Rd., Shongaloo, was arrested by Minden Police and charged with possession of Marijuana, possession of a firearm in the presence of a controlled dangerous substance, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and unlawful possession of tobacco.

Police Chief Steve Cropper said Off. Kayla Little was dispatched to the intersection of Lewisville Road and Country Club Circle where Webster Parish Sheriff’s deputies were already securing the scene.

“When Off. Little arrived, she observed a black GMC truck in the ditch against a culvert,” Cropper said. “It was obviously inoperable. Off. Little said she spoke with Duck, the driver, who told her he was not under the influence of any narcotics.”

Duck reportedly told the officer that he was preparing to turn right on Country Club Circle when he was “bright-lighted” by an oncoming truck. He told officers it caused him to misjudge his turn and he entered the ditch.

“When Sgt. Mitch Hackett arrived, he was able to get to the minor passenger in the truck and safely remove him,” Cropper said. “Off. Little questioned the two separately and learned Duck and the minor male were under the influence of alcohol.”

After the truck was removed from the ditch, Little reportedly recovered a loaded 12 gauge shotgun from the backseat, along with additional shells that were loose in the truck.

“Multiple tobacco products were found in the truck and on their persons,” said the chief. “The officer also found a prescription bottle for Clindamycin and Ecstasy inside cellophane.”

The minor was reportedly placed in a patrol unit and transported to Minden Police Department to wait for his mother to arrive and take possession of him.

Duck was booked on the above charges and cited for careless operation of a motor vehicle.


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Police arrest one on multiple charges

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Traffic violations netted Minden Police a man on multiple drug and firearms charges.

Demarcus Trayvon Green, 25, of the 200 block of Abney Street, Minden, was arrested for possession of Ecstasy, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a stolen firearm, possession of a firearm in the presence of a controlled dangerous substance and resisting arrest with force or violence.

Chief Steve Cropper said Lt. Chris Hammontree and K9 Tigo were traveling north on Lee Street early Sunday morning when Hammontree noticed a vehicle weaving out of its lane.

“He initiated a traffic stop on Shreveport Road after observing several other traffic offenses,” Cropper said. “He made contact with the driver, Alonzo Mims and passenger Damarcus Green. The lieutenant developed a reasonable suspicion for an open-air K9 sniff of the vehicle.”

Cropper said Tigo showed odor response on the vehicle.

“Once the subjects were advised the vehicle was going to be searched, Green attempted to leave the scene,” said the chief. “When Sgt. Mitch Hackett attempted to detain Green in handcuffs, Green began to fight, elbowing the sergeant in the mouth.”

The officers took Green to the ground and, once he was secured, they reportedly located a 9MM handgun under the passenger seat, a baggie of green powder (.9 g), which was later tested and found to be Ecstasy.

Cropper said officers also located a baggie with 7.1 g of natural Marijuana.

“Green admitted the items were his,” said the chief. “Mims was cited and released. When Green was booked at MPD, officers learned Green was a multi-time convicted felon for violent offenses and the handgun was stolen from Dubach.”


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Confessions of a ‘Jeopardy’ deadbeat

“And the answer is: What do you call a person who has no chance of correctly answering more than three questions, tops, on any single episode of Jeopardy!?”

“What is a Jeopardy! Deadbeat?”

“Correct! The judges would have also taken ‘What is Most any Normal Person?’”

No one is in jeopardy of me beating them on Jeopardy!, four decades old and the most-watched TV game show of all-time. The questions — or answers, if you prefer — are cast-iron tough. Harder than an acre of ash.

There is every reason to watch Jeopardy! and one big reason not to. What I hear most is, “It makes me feel stupid.” Legit response. Makes me feel more stupid. I passed feeling stupid a long time ago.

But … to those using that excuse, we offer this:

Consider an attitude adjustment. I know going in I’m not the most mature apple on the tree, so when I watch, it’s with low expectations. Extremely low. Barrel-bottom low. Again, me and millions of other stupid people have made it the most popular game show ever.

That anyone can ever actually win a match, even one, is what makes the current goings-on all that more confounding. The show’s reigning champ isn’t just beating people, she’s destroying them. Sherman through Georgia. She’s the game show equivalent of football’s 1970’s Pittsburgh Steelers.

A historic champ is Amy Schneider, a 41-year-old engineering manager from Oakland, Calif., who after Monday’s just-another-day-at-the-office rout had won 39 consecutive matches and moved into second place all-time and all by her lonesome.

She’d also pocketed $1,319,800. Hello.

She’s still way behind all-time champ Ken Jennings and his 74 straight wins. If she were chasing Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hit streak, she’d be around 30. Lot of pitchers left to face.

That said, Schneider’s got game. Monday alone, she answered questions from the categories of, among others, Government Agencies, Bodies of Water, The Crusades, Rhythm & Blues, Roman Life & Culture — quite the varied array.

As usual, she won by $10,000 — and that was after losing $25,000 in Final Jeopardy. LOST 25 large and still won by 10.

Some of Monday’s answers/questions, with the correct response in parentheses. Good luck:

“Moses’ mom put him in an ark made of this plant?” Me: “Reeds!” (Bulrush.) Dang! I KNEW I had that one …

“The mission of BLM, short for this, is ‘to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the public lands.’” Me: “What is the Big Land Machine?” (Bureau of Land Management)

“Croatia’s border rivers, the Sava & Drava, are both tributaries of this one.” Me: “Uh ….” (The Gulf of Sidra)

“Pope Eugenius III launched the Second Crusade in 1145 with ‘Quantum Praedecessores,’ one of these documents named for its seal.” Me: “No WAY there was a whole other Crusade after the first one. No livin’ WAY!” (The Papal Bull.)

My guess would have been The Mama Bull. So close…

The show airs 4:30 weekdays on ABC. Sometimes I’ll record it and, if I’ve had a good day, I’ll watch maybe 10 minutes, just to be humbled, just to remind myself that while a contestant is winning on Jeopardy! each weekday, I barely know the difference between the Gulf of Sidra and the Gulf gas station down on the corner.

Always felt I had a fightin’-man’s chance back in the day with Match Game. The Price is Right. Even Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. But Jeopardy! is a different animal. It’s always the windshield; I’m always the bug.

Contact Teddy at teddy@latech.edu


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Minden Lions to host motivational speaker

Gerald Joshua will be the guest speaker at Thursday’s noon meeting of the Minden Lions Club.

Gerald began his employment with Northwest Louisiana Technical Community College, Shreveport in September 2004. He has held the positions of Financial Aid Director, Admissions Counselor, Recruiter, Assistant Campus Dean and Campus Dean. He is currently the Associate Vice Chancellor of Workforce. Prior to joining the NLTCC family, he was employed by GMAC as a Financial Sales Consultant for 15 years. He has a passion for serving students and is adamant in helping them reach success. He often tells students the sky is the limit to what they can achieve. 

He is a motivational speaker and a graduate of the Southern University A & M College, where he received his B.S. Degree in Marketing. He is also a graduate of the Louisiana Development Institute, the Louisiana Leadership Academy, and received certification as a Louisiana Certified Workforce Developer. He also received his certification through the Association of Finance and Insurance Professionals. He serves as President of the North Shreveport Business Association. He is also an Associate Minister. 

Gerald is married to Natalie Joshua and has two sons, Jeremy, who is employed with NASA; and Jordan, who is a graduating senior at LSU Baton Rouge. 

The Minden Lions Club meets Thursdays at noon at the American Legion Memorial Home, located at 119 W. Pine St. in Minden.


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Bread crumbs

Let’s talk about bread. Any fellow bread lovers out there? I have a hard time passing up on some good bread with lots of butter. After enjoying that bread, there are usually some crumbs left behind that are tossed away with little thought. 

In the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand found in John 6, we see Jesus take bread, give thanks, and distribute it to those present, as much as they wanted. When everyone had all that they wanted, the pieces left over, the crumbs, were gathered up so that nothing is wasted. 

This is not unlike our own lives in the hands of the One who provides, blesses, and gives so generously. Jesus takes our lives, gives thanks to the Father, and as we journey through life, the pieces fall … our own “bread crumbs.” These crumbs represent our life experiences, highs and lows, joys and sorrows. God sees them all and holds them all in His hands. 

The trials we encounter in life are some of the bread crumbs of our lives, pieces that in the hands of Jesus, are never wasted. Without these crumbs, our lives would be incomplete. Everything is a part of the journey that leads back to wholeness found only in the hands of Jesus. We may want to toss some of those bread crumbs away, but Jesus wants to gather them up. Nothing is wasted. What a beautiful picture of a broken life made whole. 

May we not be so quick to toss our bread crumbs away, but instead, gather them up and give thanks to God. God will use them for His good and glory if we allow them to become part of the whole of our lives. Nothing is wasted. 

Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated, as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish. When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.”
~ John 6:11-12 ~ 

Your fellow sojourner, 

Jennifer Thomas 


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Recipe Inspiration

Robert St. John

By Robert St. John

Recipe inspiration comes from many places. In the early days of our first restaurant, I ended up in the kitchen after our opening chef was fired on the first night. The extent of my cooking ability at that time was that I had asked for, and received, an Easy Bake Oven for Christmas.

After firing the chef, the choice was clear. My business partner and I better start learning how to cook professionally, or our first venture in the restaurant business would be our last. I dove into every cookbook I owned and travelled to New Orleans on my day off to eat around the city. It’s something I had done all my life, but then I was doing it with “restaurant eyes.”

The early recipes I developed were pretty good coming from someone whose main kitchen chops came from cooking with a 100-watt lightbulb two decades earlier. The first recipe I created was a shrimp bisque. It’s still the same recipe we use in one of our restaurants 34 years later. Though, technically, it’s not a bisque but a chowder. I didn’t know the difference back then, and if our customers did, they never mentioned anything.

I was starting from scratch at making food from scratch. When I look at those early recipes there are typically a lot of ingredients (too many, mostly) and the cooking order is often out of place. But the flavor profiles are typically spot on.

I spent the next four years working 90 hours a week in the kitchen teaching myself how to operate and cook in a professional kitchen. When my schedule started to free up, I began to travel to places farther away from New Orleans to seek inspiration. I was a sponge. I have always been a sponge when it comes to restaurants. I admire a thoughtfully designed and expertly operated restaurant the way many men would admire a rare, classic, priceless automobile.

It was also around that time that I started collecting cookbooks. I don’t know how many I have at this point. The last time we took any kind of inventory was over a decade ago and there were over 2,000. Most are in my office, and yes, I have read them all. I began to read cookbooks like my wife reads novels.

About a dozen years into my recipe journey, I released my first cookbook. It was a coffee table cookbook and the first of four cookbook collaborations with my buddy, the uber talented watercolorist, Wyatt Waters. Most of the recipes in that book were early recipes from the beginning of my career. The shrimp bisque is in there.

My second cookbook was based on recipes I grew up eating in childhood. I updated them with modern ingredients and a few professional cooking methods and techniques, but most of those recipes came from my two grandmothers, my mom and several ladies from my childhood neighborhood. I have written and released several other cookbooks. One was a party-foods cookbook, one dealt with grilling, a couple were southern-themed and another was developed after spending a lot of time eating my way through Italy.

Over the years, recipe development became easier. It didn’t hurt that I surrounded myself with talented chefs who played a major role in helping me develop and test recipes.

When it comes to opening restaurants and developing recipes these days, the process is much the same as my cookbook recipe development. I lay out the plan and the menu items I want to see, and the team does a lot of the work. I have reached a stage in my career where I am the final-word guy. It is a nice place to be, and my job is made easy because of all the talent surrounding me.

Sometimes recipes in the restaurants come from my childhood influences. One of the most popular recipes I’ve developed was for the house salad dressing at our Italian restaurant, Tabella. It came from a childhood inspiration. Our guests love this dressing. It’s tart, it’s light and it tastes like no other dressing out there.

My lifelong friend, Amy— with whom I spent two years of kindergarten, 12 years of school and a few years of college— had an aunt named Tina. I didn’t know Aunt Tina very well, but I do remember her being a chaperone on our senior trip, and for that job she deserves sainthood. I mainly knew Aunt Tina because she was the creator of the aptly named, Aunt Tina’s Dressing.

I began eating salads because of Aunt Tina’s dressing. It was sold at the annual Episcopal church bazaar, and the recipe passed from household to household. Everyone I knew back in the early 1970s in my hometown of Hattiesburg, Mississippi knew about— and served— Aunt Tina’s dressing.

These were the days after green goddess and before junior-league salads with the nuts and ramen noodles. Aunt Tina’s salad truly ruled the day.

Aunt Tina’s salad dressing was such a part of my childhood I published the recipe in an early cookbook. In the back of my mind though, I always wanted to use it in a restaurant application.

When I was deep into the recipe-testing process in the weeks before we opened Tabella, I brought the recipe for Aunt Tina’s dressing into the kitchen hoping it might serve as the house salad dressing. I made the salad I had grown up with, and then thought about how it might appeal to customers in an Italian restaurant. It didn’t fit.

I liked the tarragon vinegar and apple cider vinegar aspect of the recipe, but blue cheese and paprika didn’t fit in the flavor profiles of our concept. On my second pass at it, I switched the blue cheese to Parmesan cheese, omitted the paprika, and substituted olive oil for canola oil. That was it. Done deal. A salad was born.

Sometimes it’s as easy as that.

I owe a debt of gratitude to the late, great Aunt Tina, and hopefully she knows that her dressing kicked off my life-long love affair with salads and was the inspiration for one of my most popular recipes, ever.

The focaccia we serve at Tabella is also a heritage recipe with a century old ingredient. We make focaccia twice a day using a sourdough starter that has been continually fed for over 100 years. It started with a lady named Mrs. Gunn. She gave some starter to my longtime neighbor — and baker of the best sourdough sweet rolls, ever — Mary Virginia McKenzie, who shared some with our neighbor Barbara Jane Foote and me. I used the sourdough starter in the focaccia we serve at Tabella and we’ve been feeding it for 12 years.

I have eaten bread in restaurants all over Italy, from the southern tip of Sicily to the Dolemites. The focaccia we bake at Tabella holds up to anything I’ve eaten over there.

People tend to get uptight and nervous about altering recipes. If baking and pastry are involved, then I understand because the measurements must be precise and there is a lot of chemistry involved in the baking process. But when it comes to soups, sauces and salad dressings, it’s been my experience that the more I experiment and get creative, the better the end rewards.

Onward.

Aunt Tina’s Dressing

1 /3 cup      Tarragon Vinegar

4 Tbl          Apple cider vinegar

2 tsp           Black pepper

1 Tbl          Paprika

2 tsp           Salt

1 /3 cup      Blue cheese crumbles

2 tsp           Garlic, minced

1 cup          Canola oil

Place all ingredients together in a glass jar and refrigerate. Shake well before using.

_____________________________________

Tabella House Salad Dressing

¾ cup         Tarragon vinegar
6 TB           Apple cider vinegar
6 TB           Grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1 TB           Minced garlic
1 TB           Fresh ground black pepper
2 tsp           Kosher salt
1 ½ cups    Pure olive oil

Blend first 6 ingredients in a mixing bowl using a wire whip. Whisk in olive oil.

Stir well before each use.

It can also be divided into Mason jars and shaken before application.

Yield: 3 cups

(Robert St. John is a chef, restaurateur and cookbook author. He lives in Hattiesburg, Miss.)


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Upcoming Events

Current until February 19

Minden Recreation Center. Baseball/softball registration. $45 per child.

January 27

Noon: Shakera Williams, Assistant Nutrition Agent for LSU AgCenter will present a free virtual program on how to make better choices when stocking your pantry, fridge and freezer.

January 28

Senior cap and gown pictures at Lakeside. Contact Mr. Beavers or Ms. Culpepper with questions.

January 31

2 until 3 p.m. Retirement reception for Sheila Phenix at the Webster Parish Library’s main branch on East & West. The public is invited to attend.

February 1, 8, 15, 22

1 p.m. Break Up With Salt by the LSUAg Center, offered at the Webster Parish Library’s main branch. For more information, call 318-371-1371.

February 5

1 p.m. Springhill Parade and Tailgate Party. Springhill Main Street.

5 p.m. Webster Parish Fasching Carnival and Parade. Downtown Minden.

February 10-13

Annual Minden St. Jude Auction at the Minden Civic Center.

* If you have a non-profit event: church, school or community, please email it to wpjnewsla@gmail.com.* Webster Parish Journal reserves the right to determine if a calendar item is a paid advertisement.


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Bill breaks a vow 

By Brad Dison

Bill grew up on a dairy farm on a country road outside of Charlotte, North Carolina.  His father and his uncle Clyde inherited a 300-acre dairy farm from Bill’s grandfather.  It was a true family business.  Bill’s father handled the business affairs.  Bill’s mother did the bookkeeping at the kitchen table.  Uncle Clyde tended to the milk-processing house.  From the time he could walk, Bill helped tend the large garden where they grew corn, wheat, rye, barley, and a wide variety of vegetables.  He followed behind the plow mule and spread fertilizer after the seeds had been sown in their rows.  

As soon as Bill was strong enough – not old enough – he was awakened at 2:30 a.m. to begin working on the farm with the rest of the men in the family.  Bill reminisced that “when that Big Ben alarm clock went off at two-thirty in the morning, I wanted to slam it to the floor and burrow back under the covers.”  He understood that hard work was expected and necessary.  He also realized that there would be no breakfast until after his chores were finished so he rushed from the bed and to his work.   

Bill milked twenty cows, a task which usually took about two hours to complete.  Then, he cleaned the fresh cow manure from the barn with a shovel, helped the other hands bring in fresh hay for the cows, helped refill the feed troughs, helped transport the 5-gallon milk cans to the frigid spring to keep them ice cold, and, once he had completed his chores, finally sat down to a mouth-watering country breakfast which consisted of grits and gravy, fresh eggs, ham or bacon, and homemade biscuits.  All of this Bill did every morning before school.  Bill repeated his chores each day after school.   

Bill said that “After all my heavy labor in the fresh air at daybreak, followed by Mother’s good food, I was ready for almost anything—except school.”  By the time he got to school, he was usually tired.  He stayed awake by sheer willpower alone.  Bill assumed that he would one day inherit an interest in the dairy farm, which suited him just fine.  

Bill’s mother always encouraged him to read, which Bill preferred to his other school work.  He read just about everything he could get his hands on including his favorite, the Tarzan book series.  On a memorable visit to his aunt’s home, she, knowing that he enjoyed reading, told him to spend some time reading the Bible.  Within about ten minutes Bill returned and proudly boasted that he had read a whole book in the Bible.  She praised him for his quick reading.  Unbeknownst to her, Bill had located the Epistle of Jude, which was the shortest book in the New Testament.  It consisted of a single page.   

The family’s dairy farm had several hired hands and Bill enjoyed swapping stories with them while they worked.  One of the hired hands who Bill particularly liked to work alongside was a rough but good-natured character named Pedro.  Pedro would often share stories with Bill about his erotic experiences with women.  Even though Bill listened intently to every syllable, he was sure the stories were embellished.  In high school, Bill had multiple opportunities to have his own exotic experiences with women, but he vowed to remain pure until marriage.

In addition to his tall tales of sexual escapades, Pedro took it upon himself to teach Bill to chew tobacco.  One day Bill’s father caught him with a chaw of tobacco in his cheek.  Pedro was fired immediately and Bill received a thrashing he would never forget.  Bill vowed to never chew tobacco again.  Bill’s father wondered what else Pedro had been teaching Bill.  

One day, just after Prohibition had been repealed, Bill’s father brought home some beer.  Bill’s father was a teetotaler, so him bringing home beer was totally out of character.  He called Bill, then about 15-years old, and his sister, Catherine, two years younger, into the kitchen and ordered each of them to drink a full bottle of beer.  They gagged, spat, and winced, but finally finished both bottles.  “When any of your friends try to get you to drink alcohol, just tell them you’ve already tasted it and you don’t like it,” his father told him.  “That’s all the reason you need to give.”  Bill vowed not to drink alcohol again.    

Bill came home from school one day and his mother sensed something was wrong.  Bill explained that he was to portray Uncle Sam in a pageant at his school.  He and his mother rehearsed the speech until he was unable to get it wrong.  On the day of the pageant, his mother was a nervous wreck.  Bill’s costume included the long beard, hat, and tailcoat commonly associated with Uncle Sam.  His knees shook and his hands perspired as he flawlessly recited his speech.  He hated the uncomfortable feeling and vowed to himself that he would never become a public speaker.  Of all of the vows he had made to himself through the years, this was the vow he was destined to break.  You see, Bill became a prominent public speaker.  From the 1940s until his death in 2018, Bill was known as one of the best public speakers in the world.  Bill spoke in front of live audiences totaling approximately 210 million people in more than 185 countries.    He became a spiritual advisor to every president from Harry Truman to Barack Obama.  He was a friend of Queen Elizabeth II and the Royal Family who frequently invited him to speak at special events.  In breaking a vow to himself, Bill made another vow.  Bill, the man who vowed not to become a public speaker, vowed to spread the Gospel and became an evangelist.  You know him as Billy Graham.

Source: Billy Graham, Just as I Am: The Autobiography of Billy Graham (San Francisco: HarperCollins Worldwide, 1997), 3-20.


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Advertising and today’s angler 

There are old sayings, “If you look good, you’ll play good” or “You only play as good as you look.” These sayings have been heard in the sports and business world for decades. To be a great salesman or a great player, it’s mentally important to look good. Today’s professional bass fishermen have definitely cornered the market on self-promotion and looking great.  From their truck and boat wraps to their fancy fishing jerseys, today’s pro anglers know how to look good.

Let’s start with the jersey. Anglers today are literally advertising icons as they walk around with all their sponsor logos on their fishing outerwear. It has been this way since it all began in the late 1960’s as anglers back then wore the old jump suits with sewn on patches. Then someone thought of the idea to sew these patches on a sleeveless vest, which not only looked good, but was more comfortable to wear. Today’s anglers are wearing state of the art performance dye-sublimated shirts with every inch of their jersey covered in sponsor logos. These multi-colored shirts are made with built in UV protective sunscreen that’s designed to keep a fisherman both cool and dry. 

If there’s one thing the FLW organization revealed to the professional angler, it was how to look good while tournament fishing. FLW introduced us to the fancy boat and truck wraps you see today navigating across our lakes and up and down the highways of America. These rolling billboards are easy to spot and there’s no mistaking who they are. Don’t forget, anglers eat up all the attention they get when they pull into a gas station or pull up at a boat ramp. This attention gives them that rock star feeling that we all crave. Also understand, these rolling billboards have a purpose…to bring as much attention as possible to the angler’s sponsors. Every logo on each boat and truck is strategically placed based on how much the sponsor is willing to pay. If sponsors want to be on the hood….they’ll pay a premium price. But if they are okay with being on the lower left fender, they’ll pay a lot less. 

You see, FLW took notes from NASCAR back in the 1990’s and decided to follow the same format for advertising. But FLW took it a step further by placing coordinated wraps on both the boat and the truck pulling it, giving the sponsor more bang for their buck. This is also a way for the professional angler to supplement his income. Every year anglers are on the phone or knocking on doors during the offseason, trying to convince companies to be a part of their sponsorship package. This is not just income for the angler, but it also helps pay for their entry fees for whatever circuit they are fishing. Some of this money is used for hotel accommodations, as well as food, while they are on the road. 

This promotional advertising system has gotten the attention of many young high school and college anglers all across America. Young people today love the flashy, fancy, good looking fishing jerseys. It’s one reason why so many anglers have taken an interest in bass fishing. And again, “If you look good, you’ll play good.” So, the next time you’re at a professional bass tournament, you’ll understand the reason for the boat and truck wraps and the fancy fishing jerseys; it’s sponsor recognition, which allows anglers to fish at the highest level. 

Make sure to tune into the Hook’N Up & Track’N Down Show for the latest news from the great outdoors, every Wednesday from 11:00 till 1:00 on AM 1130 The Tiger and FM 93.3.

Till next time, good luck, good fishing and don’t forget to set the hook.

Steve Graf  


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Webster Parish Journal publishes obituaries

When the unthinkable happens, and we lose a loved one, everyone wants the support that comes from contact with friends and family.

What would you like the world to know about your loved one? We publish obituaries at the Webster Parish Journal. Ask your funeral director for information, but if you wish, contact us at wpjnewsla@gmail.com .

There is a fee of $80 for unlimited words with a photo, and payment is due before the obituary runs. Funeral announcements (date of birth and death, as well as funeral arrangements) are free.

Again, check with your funeral director as you are making arrangements, or contact us. We hope you don’t need us, but we are here for you.


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Notice of Death – January 25, 2022

Winnie Bryce Logan

June 26, 1931 – January 22, 2022

Visitation: 9 a.m. Wednesday, January 26, 2022 at Rose-Neath Funeral Home, Minden

Graveside Service: 11 a.m. Wednesday, January 26, 2022 at Gardens of Memory Cemetery, Minden

 

Donald Alison Bloxom

September 3, 1938 – January 24, 2022

Visitation: 10 a.m. Thursday, January 27, 2022 at Rose-Neath Funeral Home, Minden

Graveside Service with full military honors: 11 a.m. Thursday, January 27, 2022, at Gardens of Memory Cemetery, Minden.

 

Shirley Boles Parker

May 2, 1936 – January 23, 2022

Graveside Service: 11 a.m. Thursday, January 27, 2022 at Providence Cemetery, Ringgold, La.

 

Sallie Thomas

September 22, 1942 – January 22, 2022

Visitation: 5 until 7 p.m. Wednesday, January 26, 2022, Rose-Neath Funeral Home, Minden

Graveside Service: 2 p.m. Thursday, January 27, 2022, Gardens of Memory Cemetery, Minden

 

Sammy J. Citrano

December 2, 1954 – January 24, 2022

Visitation: 5 until 7 p.m. Friday, January 28, 2022 at Rose-Neath Funeral Home, Minden, La.

Funeral Service: 11 a.m. Saturday, January 29, 2022 at Rose-Neath Funeral Home Chapel.

Burial: Lane Memorial Cemetery, Sibley, La.

 

Bobby A. Liles

September 29, 1938 – January 24, 2022

Graveside Service: 1 p.m. Friday, January 28, 2022, at New Hope Cemetery in Athens, under the direction of Rose-Neath Funeral Home, Minden, La.


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Qualifying time is here

By Bonnie Culverhouse

For those planning to run for 26th Judicial District Court Judge (Bossier/Webster parishes) or Justice of the Peace in District 3 (south Webster Parish), qualifying period for candidates is this week – January 26 through 28.

Election date is March 26.

According to the Webster Parish Registrar of Voters Office, Evergreen Fire Protection District is having a millage renewal during this election.

“In lieu of a millage election, Springhill Fire Protection District No. 11 was given permission by the State Bond Commission to authorize the levy of a special tax variance,” said Denise Weeks, assistant Registrar of Voters.

Deadline to register to vote in person, by mail or at the Office of Motor Vehicles is February 23.    

Deadline to register to vote through the GeauxVote Online Registration System is March 5.

Early voting is March 12 through 19 (excluding Sunday, March 13) from 8:30 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Deadline to request an absentee ballot is March 22 by 4:30 p.m (other than military and overseas voters). An absentee ballot may be requested online through Voter Portal or in writing through the Registrar of Voters Office.

Deadline for parish registrar of voters to receive a voted absentee ballot is March 25 by 4:30 p.m. (other than military and overseas voters).

On election day, polls are open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.


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Road closure tonight

I-20 eastbound at Exit 47 (Minden) will be closed tonight (Tuesday, January 25), for crash attenuator repair. Closure will take place beginning at 8 p.m. weather permitting, and reopen at 6 a.m. Wednesday, January 26.

A crash attenuator, also known as an impact attenuator is a device intended to reduce the damage to structures, vehicles and lessen injuries to motorists resulting from a collision. They are designed to absorb the colliding vehicle’s energy.

This is a total ramp closure, and all vehicles must detour. Detour signage will be in place, and traffic will be detoured to Exit 49 (La. Hwy. 531).


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