Mayor pledges to better communicate with council, move city past turmoil

By Bonnie Culverhouse

In efforts to compromise over recent turmoil in city government, Minden Mayor Terry Gardner met with District A Councilman Wayne Edwards to discuss transparency and ways the mayor and the council can take steps to move the city forward.

“I am going to try and do a better job of keeping the public better informed,” the mayor said. “Mr. Edwards wants me to do this at the council meetings. He wants me to keep the information flowing to them, rather than just saying ‘I have an open-door policy – come see me.’”

The mayor said he will now be increasing emails, flyers, announcements and other engagements of city activities. Each councilperson has a desk in a large room located at City Hall.

“I am now putting hard copies of everything on their desks,” Gardner said. “I am going to be more transparent and give them more updates on everything happening at the city. I will be as upfront and transparent as humanly possible, and I hope we can put all of this behind us and move forward for the betterment of all in the city.”

Gardner said the council would also like to be part of running City Hall on a day-to-day basis.

“They’re requesting that in addition to the employee manual, they want to know when I hire people, what kind of salaries – what the position will pay,” he said. “They don’t want this to be seen as interference. They want to help me do my job.

“And I respect that,” he said.

Unfortunately, he said, the third request from Edwards is something that would require the mayor to go back on his word. Human Resources Manager April Aguilar was promised a $5,000 raise when she has been at City Hall one year.

“Mr. Edwards wants me to give April a six percent raise on her anniversary, which is $3,000,” Gardner said. “Then down the road, they would have conversation about giving her an additional $2,000 increase in accordance with current business practices.”

This remains a sticking point, the mayor said, and one from which he won’t back down.

Gardner feels, with the help of his staff, he has moved the city forward during COVID. He pointed out new jobs and 58 new businesses have come to town during his time in office.

The mayor said he is always willing to speak at meetings, whether it be garden or book clubs and class reunions.

“They just need to call me, and if my schedule permits, I’ll be there,” he said.

In other city news, the mayor said the City of Minden has been showcased recently with the annual Webster Parish Fair and class reunions, bringing untold numbers of persons to town.

“The first part of the week, we had the fair parade, and the whole community came out for it,” Minden Mayor Terry Gardner said. “Opening night of the fair was the largest in the history of the Webster Parish event.”

Gardner said what he enjoys about the fair is the people that make it happen.

“It’s just like the people that make your community,” he said. “The Civitans were out there, American Legion was selling hamburgers, the Lions Club … the whole community working together.”

His favorite part, he said, is talking to the senior citizens.

“Bingo was very well attended, and everyone had a good time,” he said. You learn so much history.”

With homecoming for several schools taking place the same week, the mayor said 75 percent of the event centers downtown were booked.

“I spoke to the class of 1981,” he said. “I reflected on what’s happened in Minden over the last 40 years.”

Those reflections included new restaurants and businesses that were once pipe dreams of progressive people.

“Who would’ve thought 40 years ago that your two largest churches downtown would be razed and rebuilt in the same location?” he said. “Who would’ve thought there would be five event centers in Minden?

“You can go into the downtown area of any of the surrounding cities and tell the strength of them by their downtown,” Gardner continued. “And our city is strong.”

The mayor went on to point out the “amazing sales tax base” that has done nothing but grow the last two and a half years. He believes a lot of that is through the transparency he has created at the city.

When Gardner was running for mayor, he said he wanted to bring City Hall to the 21st century by using social media and keeping the public informed.

“I think I’ve done a good job with that with Will Gerding, our IT specialist,” Gardner said. “He keeps our TVs updated, so when people come in City Hall, they can see what’s going on. He does a Facebook post of what’s happening in our city on a regular basis, and he does emergency posting, keeping the public informed when there are problems, road closures or weather emergencies.”

Gardner described Gerding and himself as “boots on the ground” when there is a storm, making constant updates and keeping the city council informed through text messages.

Other departments have public Facebook pages – Minden Main Street and Economic Development, to name a couple. Human Resources constantly updates job openings.

“Communication is key to me,” Gardner said.

 


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Mural captures essence of two women who “loved over everything”

By Bonnie Culverhouse

A little something special has been added to downtown Minden’s newest mural on the wall belonging to the John Collins family and A.J. Price, Inc.

“Love Over Everything” is the mural painted by the community, but the nicknames of two beloved women who passed away almost two years ago, are painted in the bottom lefthand corner – Greta for Margaret Collins and Shug in memory of Claire Fussell.

“This (love over everything) is the way they lived their lives,” Lindsey Collins told Andy Pendergrass when he asked permission to add the names.

A small group of family and friends joined in front of the mural Monday evening, so family members could finish painting the names on the wall.

The project was an outreach of Minden Foundation, an organization started with the help of John Collins.

“I’m happy with it,” Collins said. “I’m very happy with it.”

“We just thought this was a really great legacy,” Pendergrass said.

One of the mural designers, Patrick Miller, started painting the names, while sons Alex Collins and Jay Fussell picked up a pen to finish them. John Collins, grandson Louie and Jay’s sister Margaret Fussell also had a hand in completing the mural. The other designer was Lily Spillers.

“A lot of people put a lot of work into it,” Miller said. “The message was the most important thing, and we think we captured the essence of these two women.”

Photo by Bonnie Culverhouse: Louie Collins and his grandfather John Collins help finish the mural in downtown Minden.


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Schools being renovated, improved, upgraded all over the parish

By Josh Beavers

You may have noticed a lot of recent renovations and additions to schools across the parish. That’s because the Webster Parish School System was hard at work before the end of last school year, over the summer, and continuing into this year to improve its institutes of learning parish-wide.

The Journal spoke with Jeff Franklin, Supervisor of Transportation, Maintenance, and Security for the district, about all of the improvements made to our school campuses.

As follows is the lengthy list of recent upgrades made across Webster Parish Schools:

Richardson and Jones building remodels – This project consisted of reroofing both schools, replacing all the HVAC equipment at both, new windows and exterior doors at both, new staff restrooms at both, replacement of sewer mains at both, electrical upgrades, and a new intercom system at both.

Doyline gym remodel – This project consisted of a complete gutting of the present gym and rebuilding of the bleachers, concession areas, spectator restrooms, player locker rooms, new LED lighting, new ceiling and paint, and a new gym floor.

Lakeside and Central parking lot upgrades and resurfacing – This project included much needed additional parking at both schools, a turning lane at Lakeside, a car staging area for student pick-up at Central, upgraded drainage at both schools, relocation of driveways at Central, and the complete resurfacing of all asphalt areas at both schools.

Central gym remodel- This project consisted of new “skin” on the exterior of the building, new ceiling, paint, LED lighting, and bleachers, and a complete refinish of the gym floor.

North Webster Junior High football stadium lights – This project consisted of new LED stadium lights which is the first part of a larger stadium upgrade project.

North Webster High School football stadium lights – This project consisted of new state-of-the-art LED lighting for the football field, track, and parking lot area. This project was funded by a grant from the LA Public Service Commission.

Minden High School multi-purpose building – This project began in February and has suffered many setbacks due to an usually wet spring and summer and difficult soil and groundwater conditions. When completed this building will house the Minden High Crimson Tide football team, the Minden High Jr. ROTC, provide an auxiliary gym, and additional classroom space. This project should be complete sometime next fall.

During our interview, The Journal asked Mr. Franklin if there was any one project that stands out.

“The Richardson and Jones School remodel stands out the most,” he told us. “This project has allowed us to provide much needed curb appeal to both buildings while replacing the very old HVAC systems and leaking roofs. I feel we are really getting a lot for our money invested at these two schools.”

He went on to thank the taxpayers of Webster Parish for allowing the system to provide upgrades to the district’s institutes of learning.

“All of these projects are much needed projects for our districts and are provided by funding from the gracious voters in the individual school districts that see a need for adequate educational and sport facilities for the students of Webster Parish,” he said. “Over the years, the residents of Webster Parish have done an outstanding job of approving the necessary funding to ensure our students can have the best possible schools and athletic facilities.”


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City collects signatures to apply for sewer upgrade grant

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Two districts in the City of Minden are in dire need of sewer infrastructure updates, but getting the money may not be as easy as simply applying for it.

“We need 242 signatures from districts A and B in order to receive a $1.3 million sewer grant,” said Minden Mayor Terry Gardner. “It’s going to help so many people in those areas.”

The Coordinating & development Corporation (CDC) is assisting the City in the preparation and submission of the application for funding through the Louisiana Community Development Block Grant Program.

In accordance with the requirements of this U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development funded program, the application for federal assistance must provide information regarding the number of persons who will benefit from the project, their estimated income and other related data.

“We are walking the two districts, trying to get residents to sign applications, so we can get this grant,” Gardner said. “We reached out to the council to help us with this.”

District A councilman Wayne Edwards acquired packets and is working to obtain signatures.

“Quite naturally we are encouraging people to do this,” Edwards said. “The first time the survey came out, I got 126 signatures. We didn’t have enough to complete the survey, but we’re in the process of doing it right now.”

The first time, to which he is referring, came at the beginning of the Covid pandemic when door to door interaction was discouraged. Edwards said those signatures can be added to the ones most recently collected.

“I get hundreds of phone calls and spend the majority of my time working for my district,” he added. “I’m concerned about my district, and I’m going to do my part to make sure this thing happens.”

Councilwoman Terika Williams-Walker was also contacted concerning the grant.

“I have no comment for you,” she said, when asked what she is doing to help residents in her district apply to upgrade their sewer system.

After three days of walking the areas and knocking on several hundred doors, Gardner and some participating city employees collected 28 additional signatures.

“This is not something that is going to help me or anybody that’s knocking on doors,” said the mayor. “This for the residents in District A and District B. The only way we can accomplish this is to have a total of 242 signatures. If we don’t get them, the sewers in these areas will not be improved. This is a free grant.”

Gardner said they have mailed applications to citizens in these districts but none have been returned.

“We will continue to walk and try to collect them that way,” he said.

Deadline to collect the signatures and submit the packet is January 6, 2022.


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Food pantry collects donations for holiday meals

Joe LeBlanc Food Pantry is ensuring local families have a meal for which they can be thankful

“This is the ninth year we have run our Feed A Family program,” said JLFP Executive Director Jessica Lewis. “I feel like the success of it really speaks to the generosity of those in our community that really care about the well being of their neighbors.”

Since the beginning, she said, JLFP has set pretty lofty goals and are just blown away every single year.

“This year our goal is to have 600 families sponsored for Thanksgiving and 600 for Christmas,” she said. “We are currently two weeks into the season and are already more than half way to our Thanksgiving goal, which is mind blowing.”

Currently, 310/600 families are covered. Sponsorships are the same as last year: $25 covers everything from the turkey or ham to the dessert and all of the fixings in between.

“We try our best to get everything as cheaply as we can, and because of that, we watch sales at local grocery stores and buy as much as we can afford at one time,” Lewis said.

Shopping and packing for the Thanksgiving distribution will begin November 1. To sponsor a family donors can mail a check made out to JLFP to 814 Constable Street, Minden, LA 71055. Donate through PayPal at joeleblancfoodbank@yahoo.com or through Venmo at @Joe-LeBlanc-22.

All donations are tax deductible and donors will receive a tax receipt in January unless otherwise specified by the donor. The fundraiser will go through December 15.

“If we happen to go over our sponsorship goals, extra funds will be put into an account to fund our Summer Feeding program for local kids,” Lewis said.

Meals will be distributed on November 20 and December 18.

Volunteers are always needed for both packing and distribution. To get a group signed up to pack, Lewis can be reached on her cell at 318-465-6726 or at the office at 299-6375, or they can message JLFP’s Facebook page. To volunteer for distribution, those interested should show up at 814 Constable St by 8:45 a.m. on the above distribution dates.


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MHS student looks back on Fair

By Braydon Gaston, Minden High School

The Webster Parish Fair was in town recently, and a whole new generation of children were able to make memories that will last a lifetime. We all have those childhood memories of playing games and riding rides at the fair, and it makes me smile to know that the youth of the community were able to do the same this year. Minden doesn’t always have a lot of recreation opportunities for young people, so when the fair comes to town the excitement level increases among the young and old alike. It does not matter if you are a parent who wants to take your child or teenagers who want to have some fun of their own, the fair promises everyone will have a good time.

When I was little, I was never interested in going outside to play, but every rule has its exception. I vividly remember that there were only two places that ever made me want to go outside and play. The first was Victory Park. The second, and more relevant, is the Webster Parish Fair. Every time I went to the fair as a kid, I was blown away by all there was to do, and I know that the children of today are just as enthralled as I was. I know they’re amazed by the bright lights, the diversity of rides, and the unique foods. I know that when the children of our community are told that they are going to the fair, they will put on a bright smile.

And more importantly, I know that when the kids get older, they will cherish the memories they made there. I very rarely call things beautiful, but the fact that I know the kids in our community made precious memories at the fair this year is unquestionably a beautiful thing.


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Teddy Allen to speak at Minden Lions

Minden Lions are in for a special treat this Thursday, Oct. 12, as the guest speaker will be Teddy Allen.

Teddy is a Louisiana journalist who covered local sports for Shreveport, Monroe and New Orleans dailies from 1984 until 1990. He has written columns for the News-Star and The Times and Louisiana Gannett newspapers for more than 30 years.

A 1982 graduate of Louisiana Tech University’s journalism program, he earned his Master of English from the University in 1984. (This is after he flunked out of the school in 1979.) Teddy is currently the writer and editor for Tech’s University Communications; you can find his work at LATech.edu and LATechSports.com.

He is a broadcaster for the LA Tech Sports Network because he has the perfect face for radio and despite the fact that he has the perfect voice for newspaper.

The Lake View, S.C., native might be best known for giving the nickname “The Mailman” to Karl Malone when the NBA Hall of Famer was a sophomore at Louisiana Tech and Teddy was a graduate assistant in the Tech Sports Information Department in the 1980s.

Teddy is married to Linnea Fayard Allen. He has a son, Casey, and a daughter, Emily, who is married to Braden Hilton.

He and John James Marshall are co-founders of DesignatedWriters.com, a free site that covers everything from Why You Should Make a Grocery List to Why Baseball Matters.

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


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Main To Main: 50 miles of food, fun and shopping

Mark November 5 and 6 on your calendar and join the folks in Webster Parish for the 22nd Annual Main to Main Trade Days. Whether you are an art lover, a bargain hunter, an antique shopper, a flea market and garage sale enthusiast or you just love the art of shopping; you won’t want to miss the Main to Main Trade Days experience!

The 50 mile route runs from Main Street in Springhil, then down Highway 371 south through the Main Streets of the small Webster Parish towns of Cullen, Sarepta, Cotton Valley, Couchwood to Dixie Inn onto Highway 80 on Shreveport Road, through downtown Minden then back south on 371 to the Sibley Road Flea Market and south through Sibley. The food, fun and shopping begins at dawn each day and runs through dusk.

The sidewalks of both Minden and Springhill Main Streets will be filled with vendors. The downtown shops also bring it “outside” and offer store specials and bargains galore. Vendors are many and varied.

One street corner may have homemade gumbo for sale by a local church group, while another has original handmade jewelry. You’ll find homemade pickles at one end of the street and original oil paintings on display on the other.

“Downtown Minden will feature food, art, and crafts,” said Mahala Hutto, Main Street Director for Minden. “A giant flea market will be located on the Sibley Road as you head south from Main Street with plenty of parking.”

“Plan at least one full day with us and two if you want to see everything along the route,” Linda McDaniel, Springhill Main Street Director, said. “The clock tower triangle in Springhill is a hot spot for a variety of treasures. Shoppers and vendors are welcome!”

We must thank the sponsors and the folks who help make this event possible:
Louisiana Main Street, Webster Parish Convention & Visitors Bureau, Springhill Chamber of Commerce and the Minden South Webster Chamber of Commerce. For more information, call Mahala at 318-371-4258 (Minden) or Linda at 318-539-5699 (Springhill).

We encourage all participants setting up a booth and all shoppers to follow the State and Local social distancing guidelines. Honor the 6-foot distance and if participants are sick please stay home. Please be safe and respectful and honor the local authorities if you are asked to move or not set up in an area.

 


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Police arrest one on indecent behavior with juvenile charge

By Bonnie Culverhouse

A 911 hang-up call led Minden Police to the arrest of a man on charges affecting a juvenile.

Davaris Moore, 30, of the 16,000 block of Hwy. 80 east, was arrested Wednesday by Capt. Tim Morris and Deputy Ward Marshal Joe Cornelius for indecent behavior with juveniles.

Chief Steve Cropper said a female complainant at a Carolina Street address, where the hang-up call originated, told Capt. Morris that Moore had spoken to her 8-year-old niece on Evans St. in an inappropriate sexual manner.

“Deputy Ward Marshal Joe Cornelius handcuffed and detained Moore as Capt. Morris Mirandized him,” Cropper said. “Then Capt. Morris went to the Evans St. address and made contact with the child’s mother and the complainant.”

According to reports, the child’s aunt heard the suspects words to the child that were sexually explicit and then encouraged the child to “go with him.” The mother and complainant agreed to write out statements and file charges against Moore.

“When they arrived at the police station, Capt. Morris activated his body camera and interviewed Moore,” said the chief. “Moore indicated he had spoken to the child and described her to the officer. His recollection to the captain was that he was singing a Hip Hop song and couldn’t remember the exact words.”

Capt. Morris reportedly told Moore there were statements that described his words as indecent behavior with a juvenile. At that point, Moore indicated his desire for an attorney, concluding the interview.

Moore is currently incarcerated at Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center.


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Arrest report

Chase Lee Sargent, 25, of the 1300 block of Springhill Airport Rd., Springhill, was arrested by Webster Parish Sheriff’s deputies at Bossier Max on a Webster Parish warrant for possession of Marijuana. He was transported to Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center.

Roderick Standokes, 42, of the 500 block of Bellevue Rd., Cotton Valley, was arrested for illegal carrying of weapons, theft of a motor vehicle, felony carrying of a weapon, resisting arrest, flight using a motor vehicle and Sch. II possession.

Steven. S. Stacy, 32, of Springhill, was arrested by WPSO for simple burglary and criminal trespassing.

Leslie M. Thompson, 44, of Springhill, was arrested by WPSO for simple burglary and simple trespassing.

Josephy S. Shockley, 55, of Springhill was arrested by WPSO for simple burglary and criminal trespassing.

Corey Lee Montgomery, 32, of Sarepta, was arrested by WPSO for computer aided solicitation of a minor.

Alrek Shelton, 20, of Homer, was arrested by Minden Police on warrants for theft of a firearm and speeding.


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UCAP needs for the week of October 18

United Christian Assistance Program lists the following needs for this week:

Food: canned soup and fruit, lunch meat/spam, Vienna sausage, cornbread mix, milk (powdered or canned), rice

Clothing: men’s socks and underwear

Household Goods: towels, king and queen sheets, toiletries

UCAP is open Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. for food, utility and rent assistance. Clothing is dispensed on Wednesdays only. Thanks to the community for your support!


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Notice of Death – October 18, 2021

Peggy Ann Byers
August 1, 2021 – October 11, 2021
Services: Wednesday, October 27, 2021 at 2:00 p.m., at Rose-Neath Funeral Home, 1815 Marshall Street, Shreveport, Louisiana. 

John W. “Britt” Menefee, III
June 21, 1951 – October 14, 2021
Services: Private service as per his wishes.

Nicolas Dan Smith
April 14, 1992 – October 13, 2021
Services: Saturday, October 23, 2021 at Ye Olde Baptist Church, 1370 Linton Road, Benton, Louisiana 71006. 

Reginald “Reggie” Morehead, Jr.
November 11, 1959 – October 7, 2021
Visitation: Tuesday, October 19, 2021 at  5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at Rose-Neath Funeral Home, 2201 Airline Drive, Bossier City
Services: Wednesday, October 20, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. at Cross Point Baptist Church, 3140 Swan Lake Spur, Bossier City
Burial: Rose-Neath Cemetery, 5185 Swan Lake Spur, Bossier City

Marsolina “Butch” Montanez
December 28, 1945 – October 12, 2021
Service: Wednesday, October 20, 2021 at 6:00 p.m., at Rose-Neath Chapel, 2201 Airline Drive, Bossier City, LA. 

Robbie Faye Curry Huffman
July 29, 1935 – October 15, 2021
Services: Tuesday, October 19, 2021, at 10:00 a.m., at Rose-Neath Funeral Home in Mansfield, Louisiana.
Visitation: Monday, October 18, 2021 at  5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.at Rose-Neath Funeral Home in Mansfield, Louisiana. 
Interment: will be held at Bethel Cemetery, Logansport, Louisiana.

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Doyline man killed in head-on crash

Journal Staff Report

A head-on collision took the life of a south Webster Parish man just after 7 a.m. Friday, October 15.

The two-vehicle fatality crash on La. Hwy. 164, near La. Hwy. 163 claimed the life of 55-year-old Norman Snow of Doyline.

The initial investigation by Louisiana State Troopers assigned to Troop G revealed that a 2013 Ford pickup, driven by 36-year-old Travis Mooney, of Bossier Ciy, was traveling eastbound on La. Hwy. 164. For reasons still under investigation, Mooney crossed the centerline into the westbound lane and struck a 2016 Chevrolet van, driven by Snow, resulting in the head-on collision.

Mooney was restrained and was treated for minor injuries. Although Snow was wearing his seat belt, he suffered fatal injuries as a result of this crash. An unrestrained passenger in the Chevrolet van was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Although impairment is not a suspected factor, toxicology samples were taken and will be submitted for analysis. This crash remains under investigation.


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Tide shows spirit but can’t pull off upset against #5 ranked Neville

Minden:  0
Neville:  30

By Whitman McGee

The Neville Tigers rolled into Minden for a rematch of last year’s quarter-final playoff on Friday night. And unfortunately for our Tiders, the result was mostly the same as The Tigers shut out MHS, 30-0.

Before the game started, Tide starting quarterback Andrew Cooper was ruled out due to what would later be revealed as a nagging shoulder injury.

Sophomore Jakobe Jackson was next up, chalking up his first career start at QB against some steep competition.

Jackson showed real promise with his composure and resolve. Many would shy away from competing against a team full of players bound to make it to the next level, but he stepped up and gave the town of Minden something to get excited for down the line.

It’s not easy to be a “glass-half-full” type of person after a 30-point loss until you dig a little deeper and realize that a bruised and battered Tide squad held one of the best teams in the state to only four scores and a safety.

It has felt at times throughout the season that Minden has beaten themselves up and lost their composure before a game could even reach its conclusion.

Things were different against Neville, Coach Spencer Heard explains. “I thought they played for each other. There was a lot of really good comradery going on; I heard a lot of positive talk and encouragement amongst players.”

Heard also noted that his group wasn’t paying attention to the scoreboard and that they gave 100 percent effort from beginning to end.

Running back Daylen Robinson continued his tear of efficient play, even against a stingy Tiger defense, tallying up 68 yards on 13 carries.

Minden recovered four fumbles and stayed away from yellow flags all contest while pressuring the Tigers into 12 penalties that cost them 115 yards.

Injuries are never a good thing, but because key players are missing time, freshmen and sophomores have gotten in reps in which they may not usually see at this point. Coach Heard says that will definitely pay off down the road.

Alluding to Andrew Cooper’s shoulder injury, Heard told The Journal, “It’s been nagging him since the Mansfield game.” Heard added, “He really wants to play and the plan is to have him back next week.”

The Tide will surely hope to have their leader back as the season fast approaches an end with the possibility of post-season play still up for grabs.

Special thanks to Mark Chreene and KASO/KBEF radio for providing The Journal with stats from the game.


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Apaches whip Lions on Homecoming

Glenbrook:  42
Plain Dealing:  8

After a game opening onside kick and a Plain Dealing drive that quickly moved within the Apache 20-yard line, the Lions looked to have come to town to play spoiler to the Apache homecoming festivities.

Luke Vining had other plans as he busted through the Lion offensive line and grabbed the running back from behind causing a fumble that was recovered by Trey Yetman.

The Apache offense would set up at their own 25 before going on a 5 play, 75-yard scoring drive that was capped off by a 15-yard Ty Feaster touchdown run. The snap on the extra point sailed high and the Apaches led the Lions 6-0.

After the Apache defense force a Lion punt, the offense took over on their own 40-yard line. On their 4th play of the drive, Turner Mclelland took the hand off and raced around the right end for a 23-yard touchdown. DJ Carter then carried the ball in for the 2-point conversion to give the Apaches a 14-0 lead late in the 1st quarter.

The Apache defense forced another Lion punt early in the 2nd quarter to give the Apaches offense the ball at their own 35-yard line. Ty Feaster found Chase Sentell on a 1st down pass for a gain of 56 yards to place the ball inside the Lion’s 10-yard line.

On 2nd down, Ty Feaster found Cason Clemons for a 26-yard touchdown pass. After a successful extra point, the Apaches led 21-0.

On the next defensive possession, the Apaches forced the Lions to attempt a 4th down conversion. The Apache defense stood tall and gave the ball back to their offense at their own 46-yard line.

Ty Feaster quickly found Cason Clemons on a slant for a gain of 48 yards to set the Apache offense up with a 1st and goal from the 1-yard line. On the next play, DJ Cater took the ball in from the 1-yard line for his first touchdown of the night. The successful extra point gave the Apaches a 28-0 lead.

During their next offensive series, the Plain Dealing punter attempted a fake punt that was sniffed out by the Apache defense and gave the Glenbrook offense the ball in great field position inside the Lion 30-yard line.

The Apache offense took just 5 plays to move the ball into the endzone on a 2-yard Colin Gregg run. With the extra point, the Apache lead was now 35-0 later in the 2nd quarter.

As the 2nd quarter came to an end, the two coaching staffs agreed to a running clock for the remainder of the game. Both teams scored a touchdown each in the 2nd half for a final score of 42-8.

The Apaches will be at home again next week as they host the Ringgold Redskins.


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North Webster beats Lakeside, stops losing streak

The North Webster Knights dominated from start to finish against the Lakeside Warriors to snap a 4-game skid in a 39-6 battle of Webster Parish schools.

Jamarcus Stephens led the North Webster attack with three rushing touchdowns, and quarterback Collin McKenzie found Seth Dehart for a passing touchdown to go along with a rushing score.

Both teams were slow out of the gate as the Knights and Warriors punted in their opening two possessions. Then, North Webster found paydirt when Stephens barreled in from 2 yards out to open the scoring.

McKenzie would sneak in the second score of the game on the following possession before Stephens got loose for his second rushing TD of the evening from 60-yards out.

After the Knights defense forced another three-and-out, it was time for Stephens to meet the end zone yet again, as he made two great cuts through the Lakeside defense and tip-toed down the right sideline for a 35-yard score.

With time dwindling away in the first half, Knights’ senior linebacker Jatareon Robinson blocked a Warrior punt to set up the North Webster offense inside the 10-yard line.

From there, McKenzie and Dehart connected on a slant for a score to make the halftime lead 32-0.

Lakeside would not go home without a score as the senior Ashton Stewart broke a long run through the North Webster defense to get on the board late in the third quarter.

North Webster would get their final touchdown on a nice run by freshman running back Braedon Robertson to bring the game to its final score.

The Warriors (3-3) will look to rebound next week against a stout North Caddo team while North Webster (3-4) faces the Loyola Flyers.


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‘Spooky’ local art on display during Midnight Madness

Cultural Crossroads will host its 2nd Halloween art contest & exhibit, Moonlight Madness, on October 20.

Artists were invited to submit spooky works of art, to either be judged for a cash prize or simply for the viewing enjoyment of the general public.

Submissions are categorized by age groups: Little Gremlins (6-12), Teen Wolves (13-18), & Crypt Keepers (19+). Each age group will be judged separately for a First Place cash prize. All mediums were accepted, including UV reactive paints and fiber arts.

A formal reception will take place on October 20. Artists will have a chance to sell their art, awards will be given, and refreshments will be served.

To add to your family’s Halloween fun, volunteers of the organization will transform The Farm into a wickedly cool haunted house for all to enjoy on October 23, where last looks and last chance to purchase will be given.

Costumes are encouraged, and treats (or tricks) will be handed out to all children.

Cultural Crossroads hopes that anyone with a flair for the frightful will participate, regardless of skill level or age, and that Webster Parish will join them in celebrating the wonderful time of year that is Fall.

This event is sponsored by R&V Works and Mike’s Hometown Spirits of Minden.

For more information, call: Katherine Mixon, Event Chairman (318)401-7411 OR Brandi Cade, Executive Director (318)268-8153.


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Notice of Death – October 15, 2021

Karl Wade Foley
April 2, 1957 – October 6, 2021
Services: Saturday, October 16, 2021, at 2:00 PM, at the First United Methodist Church of Logansport in Logansport, Louisiana.
Visitation: 1:30 PM

Elton E. “Gene” Nix, Jr.
December 24, 1947 – October 7, 2021
Services: Saturday, October 16, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. at Shreve City Baptist, 2810 Knight St., Shreveport, Louisiana.
Visitation:11:00 a.m. until time of service
Burial: Blanchard Cemetery

Imogene Burley Wallace King
April 25, 1927 – October 11, 2021
Graveside service: Saturday, October 16, 2021 at 10:30 a.m., at Forest Park Cemetery, 3700 St Vincent Ave., Shreveport, Louisiana.
Visitation: Friday, October 15, 2021 at Rose-Neath Funeral Home, 1815 Marshall St., Shreveport, Louisiana from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.

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Commission makes changes to proposed ordinances

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Safety Initiative Program (SIP), a new commission tasked with studying safety ordinances, continues to meet with positive results.

Following a public meeting involving students, SIP members made some changes to the two ordinances under consideration and are still tweaking them.

“What we are looking at here is a short term solution to a very long term problem,” Minden Association President Jason Smith said.

One proposed ordinance involves a curfew for juveniles (persons under 18 years of age).

According to the proposed ordinance, “curfew” means a regulation to restrict outdoor activities of juveniles in the city between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. each day, except Fridays and Saturdays, on which days the curfew shall be in force from midnight until 5 a.m., except on designated holidays, on which days the curfew shall be in force from midnight until 5 a.m.

SIP members are adding specific holidays into the ordinance.

Designated holiday exemptions are: New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Memorial Day, Juneteenth, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Easter.

Special dispensation is also being added to cover events, such as the fair, church events and other similar events where parental guidance is involved.

“This ordinance is not to harass kids on the street,” said Minden Police Chief Steve Cropper. “It’s to keep everyone safe – the kids and the public.”

The second proposed ordinance requires permits or rental agreements for use of parks and city-owned property if the event includes more than 25 people.

One change adds Facilities Manager and Recreation Manager to the Building Official as persons authorized to issue permits on certain facilities.

Another addition gives the manager or police the ability to close down an event if the organizer, his agents, employees or any of his/her attendees violate terms or conditions set forth by the permit or rental agreement.


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Police Jury agrees to support tax on MMC

By Bonnie Culverhouse

When is a tax not a tax? Well, probably never, but the one presented recently to the Webster Parish Police Jury is as close as it gets.

Minden Medical Center CEO Jim Williams told the jury he supports a vote in favor of an ordinance creating a Local Healthcare Provider Participation Program that will levy an occupational license tax on MMC.

“While it would seem unlikely that any business would support a new tax, the result of this tax is an enhanced Medicaid reimbursement for medical care in the parish,” Williams said. “The enhanced reimbursement will exceed the cost of the tax.”

Williams said current Medicaid reimbursements do not cover the actual cost of care, creating a financial strain on providers.

“As this is a growing national problem, many jurisdictions have begun programs similar to this and have levied local taxes to fund the state’s share of the program,” he said. “We hope that Webster Parish will follow suit.”

According to a letter presented to the jury, Williams wrote, “The Local Healthcare Provider Participation Program, revenue will be used to fund Louisiana’s share of Medicaid, which is a lesser portion than the federal share. As the state’s funding increases, the federal portion increases at a greater rate and permits enhanced Medicaid reimbursements at the federal government’s cost. The net effect is that healthcare in Webster Parish is bettered by the program.”

Support of the tax was approved unanimously by the police jury, with only one juror – Allen Gilbert – absent.

It will be collected by Webster Parish Sheriff Jason Parker and is calculated upon net patient revenue.

“We understand the parish will retain up to 5 percent of the revenue before turning it over to the Department of Health and Hospitals to fund the state’s share of Medicaid,” Williams said.


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Council votes in favor animal shelter grant money

By Bonnie Culverhouse

The City of Minden now has the authority to enter into a cooperative agreement with the State of Louisiana for grant funds for the relocation and rehabilitation of the Minden Animal Shelter.

Minden City Council members agreed unanimously to accept the $75,000 grant after last month’s motion was amended to require council approval for a relocation site.

District A Councilman Wayne Edwards said in a community meeting of his district, as well as B and C, that he cast a dissenting vote at the September meeting because of where Mayor Terry Gardner wants to put the shelter.

“We did not turn down the (grant),” Edwards said. “We turned down the location (existing building on Talton Street). The information submitted to the state in order to secure that grant required a location be added to the documentation.

“Had the funding been identified as being separate in the narrative, there would have been no problem,” he concluded. “At that time, we may have found a more suitable location, but for that amount of money, you can’t build what we were building.”

The animal shelter is currently on Dianne Street, near Ewell Park (see map above). While it could be updated with the money, Gardner said there is no room for expansion.

“What I would like to see is a shelter and adoption facility for the animals,” he said. “That’s why it would require work on any building, whether it’s Talton Street or somewhere else. That just happens to be a building the city already owns. It’s just sitting there.”

Gardner agrees with Edwards that the Talton Street facility cannot be remodeled for $75,000.

“I feel like I can raise the rest of the money,” he said.


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Sheriff speaks at event for fallen officers

Webster Parish Sheriff Jason Parker, seen here with the widow of WPSO deputy Billy Collins, was guest speaker at Peace Officer Memorial Day, a Day of Honor and Gratitude, Remembering Those Who Served. The event was held Wednesday morning at the Bossier Parish Courthouse in Benton.


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Parish battle in Springhill as Lakeside and North Webster square-off

As the prep football season enters the home stretch and district play begins to heat up, Lakeside and North Webster will battle for bragging rights and playoff hopes at Baucum-Farrar Stadium.

The Warriors and Knights have both endured plenty through six weeks of play. The Warriors are fresh off a loss to Lincoln Prep, while the Knights dropped a tough one in week six to district foe Bossier, making it four-straight L’s for North Webster.

Both teams will look to right the ship against the other.

As for Lakeside, the Warriors are entering Friday’s game with a 3-2 record following last week’s loss to Lincoln Prep.

The big play and speed of the Panthers killed the Warriors as they gave up 44 points to the visitors. The Lakeside defense has had difficulty all season containing the big play. While the Panthers’ quarterback did prove deadly on his feet, it was through the air that cost Lakeside the most.

However, the defeat wasn’t without positives for the Warriors. The team scored three second half touchdowns and refused to quit even when down by a large margin. The Warriors running game also clicked for the second week in a row as senior Ashton Stewart had his second consecutive 100-plus yard rushing performance.

On the other side, the key to avoiding a fifth-consecutive loss will be the North Webster defense led by linebacker Jatareon Robinson and defensive back Jamarcus Stephens.

On the other side of the ball, the Knights will try to exploit the Lakeside defense by sticking to their ground game, led by Stephens, quarterback Collin McKenzie and their large offensive line.

The game is also important for both schools’ playoff chances, as Lakeside and North Webster have both dropped near the cut line for playoff participation.

Kickoff from Baucum-Farrar Stadium is set for 7 p.m.


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