Louisiana Author Johnette Downing Returns to Webster Parish Libraries on June 23

Webster Parish Libraries is excited to welcome back Louisiana author Johnette Downing.

Downing is the recipient of the 2017 Louisiana Writer Award, and revered internationally for her “singable” books and trickster tales. She offers a unique musical author visit experience for audiences by combining her books and her music. With their rhythmic cadences and sung refrains, books come alive for audiences through participation in the singing-reading connection, encouraging reluctant readers to get jazzed about literacy.

She will be at two WPL locations on June 23:

  • Minden Main Branch @ 10 am
  • Mack Memorial Branch in Springhill @ 2 pm

Dixie Youth All-Star Tourneys Begin Today – Check the Journal all Summer Long for Game Scores and Highlights

By Josh Beavers

Summer brings three things – high temperatures, popcorn and movies, and All-Star baseball. That’s right, our local boys and girls are gearing up for the highlight of the summer for 12 and under athletes. It’s Dixie Youth All-Star time and we have a host of local teams getting ready to begin tournament play this weekend.

The Webster Parish Journal is your source for stories every Tuesday and Thursday. Want to know who won and what young men and women made an impact? Just log on to the Journal Facebook page or our website at www.websterparishjournal.com for game summaries twice a week.

We will also be publishing team photos throughout the rest of the summer along with rosters so parents can like, share, and commemorate this special time in their child’s life.

Here’s a rundown of the local teams in action and where and when they are playing beginning today (Thursday, June 24). More local team games will be played depending on the outcomes.


  • Thursday – Minden vs. Bossier City at 6:30 p.m. on Field B-3.
  • Friday – Minden vs. Shreveport AM at 6:30 p.m.


  • Thursday – Minden vs. Ruston NAT at 6:30 p.m. on field B2
  • Friday – Ruston NAT vs. Minden at 6:30 p.m. on field B2
  • Saturday – Minden vs. Shreveport AM at 6:30 p.m. on field B2
  • Saturday – Shreveport NAT vs. Minden at 8 p.m. on field B1


  • Thursday – Minden vs. Blanchard at 6 p.m.
  • Note: Ruston and Shreveport are the other teams in this tourney.


  • Thursday – Minden vs. Union Parish at 6 p.m. on Burn Field
  • Note: Other teams include Shreveport NAT, Shreveport AM, Haughton, Bossier City, Benton, and Blanchard.


  • Saturday – Minden vs. Haughton 9 a.m.


  • Saturday – Minden vs. Ruston 1 p.m.


  • Saturday – Minden vs. Ruston 11 a.m.


  1. The 12U O-Zone District IV tourney will be played in Minden July 8-11.
  2. The 10U AAA District IV tourney will be played in Minden July 1-4.
  3. The AA Coach Pitch tourney will be held in Shreveport July 1-4.

We will have more on these tournaments next week.

Arrest Reports

Sherianne Schindler, 28, of Minden, was arrested by Minden Police for resisting an officer.

Jeffery V. Walker, 28, of the 2000 block of Morgan St., Springhill, was arrested by Springhill Police Chief Will Lynd on a warrant for illegal use of weapons.

Keaundre Williams, 18, of Camelot Apartments, Springhill, was arrested by Springhill Police for aggravated assault with a firearm.

Rodney D. Thompson, 35, of the 600 block of 5th St. NE, Springhill, was arrested by Springhill Police for possession of Methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and a warrant for criminal damage to property.

Tyrus Keyon Caldwell, 18, of Camelot Apartments, Springhill, was arrested by Springhill P.D. for three counts of simple burglary. Caldwell reportedly admitted to breaking in three different vehicles and stealing items from two of them.

Nathaniel L. Rogers, 26, of Ruston, was arrested by Louisiana State Police Troop G, with the help of K9 Spike, for improper lane useage and possession of 6 pounds of Sch. I Marijuana with intent to distribute.

Sherry L. Bond, 48, of Arcadia, was arrested by Webster Parish Sheriff’s deputies for possession of Methamphetamine. Deputies Josh McCormick and James Rowland located Bond and her son passed out in a work truck parked at a local casino. A search of the vehicle revealed a small container with a white crystal substance and a straw.

Minden’s Lou Dunbar Set for LSHOF Class of 2020 Induction

Minden native Louis “Sweet Lou” Dunbar is accustomed to the spotlight. Beginning today and culminating Saturday night, he takes a permanent place in a big one.

Dunbar, the state’s Mr. Basketball in 1971 at Webster High School, became an iconic member of the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters. His basketball life has earned him induction this weekend in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.

The state’s most spectacular sporting event of the summer takes place in Louisiana’s most historic and charming town, Natchitoches, today through Saturday night with the pandemic-delayed Class of 2020 Induction Celebration.

Reservations for the free Junior Training Camp and four ticketed events, including Saturday evening’s induction ceremony, are still available at LaSportsHall.com or by calling 318-238-4255. There’s also a free Rockin’ River Fest concert Friday night in Natchitoches, featuring fireworks at 9:15 after introduction of Dunbar and the 2020 inductees.

The Class of 2020 also includes world-famous Louisiana sports figures Ronnie Coleman and Phil Robertson, and nationally-acclaimed network sports broadcaster Tim Brando.

Pro Bowl cornerback Charles “Peanut” Tillman, NBA standout Kerry Kittles, Lady Techsters basketball great Angela Turner Johnson and iconic Monroe-Richwood high school football coach Mackie Freeze are also among the star-studded class.

The 2020 Induction Celebration begins Thursday at 3 with a nationally-televised (Cox Sports Television) afternoon press conference. The Saturday evening induction ceremony will be covered on CST from 6-9:30 p.m.

Thursday’s first public event is a free welcome reception from 5-7 at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum, located at 800 Front Street.

Friday’s schedule begins around lunchtime with the Hall’s BOM Bowling Bash pairing 2020 inductees and more sports celebrities, including past inductees, with bowlers at All-Star Lanes in Shreveport.

Friday evening brings a free riverbank concert — the third annual Rockin’ River Fest presented by Rapides Regional Medical Center with bands and fireworks over Cane River Lake in historic downtown Natchitoches.

Kevin Naquin and the Ossun Playboys are the feature act, preceded by Johnny Earthquake and the Moondogs, with surprise special guests, and other musicians beginning at 6.

Tickets are on sale for the Taste of Tailgating party, presented by Hancock-Whitney, in an air-conditioned tent near the stage.

Saturday morning offers the last free event, the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Junior Training Camp, presented by the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office, will be held on the Northwestern State campus. Up to 300 youth ages 8-17 will be participating at no charge.

Hall of Fame inductees will be the featured instructors for drills in football and basketball while healthy living initiatives and other positive lifestyle messaging will be presented to boys and girls, and Raising Canes is providing a coupon for a free lunch to all the kids.

Campers should be be registered before Saturday on the LaSportsHall.com website, or by calling 318-238-4255. They should report to the Webb WRAC in the middle of the NSU campus between 8:30-8:45 a.m. Saturday with the camp running from 9-11.

The 2020 Induction Class will be celebrated in the annual Induction Ceremony presented by State Farm Agents of Louisiana, Saturday night at the Natchitoches Events Center.

Guests will first enjoy an array of appetizers from 5-6:45 at the nearby Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame museum, and can migrate to the Events Center starting at 6 to be in their seats for the 7 p.m. kickoff with the stirring Walk of Legends.

North Webster Looking to Build Team Speed, Answer Questions

By Josh Beavers

The North Webster Knights ended the school year with a lot of questions to answer.

Covid kept last year’s team from bonding. Injuries were a huge factor in why the team notched only three wins to five losses. And real tragedy struck in May when the team, school and community lost Tavious Tate and Donald Owens, both 16, in a devastating double drowning.

“That has been so awful,” Knights head coach John Ware told the Journal on Monday morning. “Those boys were part of the team, the community.”

Peace of mind in an already uncertain time is very important, Ware said. The tragedy ended an unprecedented year for the Springhill-based school which serves as the high school for all communities in the central and northern parts of the parish.

“We were very concerned with safety last year because that was the most important thing we could do,” Ware said. “But that took a lot away from the team being able to gel.”

The 2020 North Webster squad had a lot of newcomers, and Covid kept the team from bonding like it should have.

“We lost a lot of camaraderie,” he told us. “We didn’t get that time together in meetings and in the locker room where that team spirit and bonding is built. No pep rallies. All of that was hard on the boys.”

On top of the inability to properly bond as a team, the Knights were devastated by injuries.

“We were on our third quarterback by week three,” Ware said. “We had five season ending injuries.”

Among those injuries were a broken ankle and two players who went down with knee issues.

Looking forward, Ware said the team will focus on building strength and work on conditioning three days a week this summer before working on an individual focus in July.

“We’ve got some good players coming back, and the team worked their butts off during the off season,” he said. “They are getting bigger and better.”

He is encouraged by the size of the team and its strength but said there are some question marks regarding the overall team speed. “We’re lacking a little there,” he told us.

Ware said the team has numerous senior leaders and mentioned a few by name. “Jamarcus Stevens is one of our best athletes and he will play outside linebacker, running back, and some receiver.”

Jaterion Robinson, who is a three-year starter, also plays linebacker and tight end/H-back on offense.

Senior lineman Drew Hutchinson and Ty Modisette anchor the offense and will look to open holes for running backs throughout the season.

“There’s a lot of questions we’ve got to answer,” Ware said. “It’s hard to tell from one year on to the next how the team will gel together. But if we can all stay healthy, I feel we will be competitive.”

Check back next week for a look at the Knights’ opponents this fall. North Webster opens the season at home against Haynesville.

Cultural Products District Meet & Greet Featuring Artwork of Ben Ware June 25th

The newly formed Cultural Arts & History advisory committee is hosting its first social event on Friday June 25th at 5 PM at The Farm of Cultural Crossroads. This committee hopes to better serve the community through Minden’s Cultural Products District designation. This collaborative effort between Webster Parish Convention & Visitors Commission, Greater Minden Chamber, Minden Main Street, & Cultural Crossroads hopes to better utilize this unique program by educating business owners & artists about the designation’s benefits, hosting social events, and
cultivating a shared sense of place in Minden.

We are pleased to host Kelsea McCrary, Louisiana’s Director of Civic Design & Cultural Districts of the Louisiana Division of the Arts at this event. We are also pleased to announce artist Ben Ware will be selling his original artwork at the event.

Everyone is invited to stop by. Whether you’re a citizen, business owner, artist, or generally curious human we would love to see you Friday, June 25th from 5 PM until 8 PM at 419 East Union in Minden, LA.

Second high-speed chase ends in two arrests

Staff Report

For the second time in a week, local law enforcement officers were dragged into a high-speed chase that ended in two arrests.

According to Minden Police Chief Steve Cropper, Off. Chris Cayer attempted a traffic stop on a blue Mitsubishi with Louisiana tags on June 19 on Main Street.

“Off. Cayer noticed the vehicle had obstructed tail lamps,” Cropper said. “Using lights and sirens, he followed as the vehicle pulled through the parking lot of a local Mexican restaurant on Main Street.”

The vehicle, driven by a white male with a white female in the passenger seat, reportedly refused to stop on Pine Street. Cropper said the driver led officers Cayer and Kendale Booker on a chase through the areas of Marshall, Constable and Clerk streets at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour.

“Dispatch confirmed the vehicle had switched plates,” Cropper said.

The pursuit eventually led to Methodist Camp Road where the female passenger reportedly exited the vehicle. She jumped into Caney Lake, swimming away. Off. Booker reportedly jumped into the lake and apprehended her.

“The driver continued and eventually wrecked the vehicle on Methodist Camp Road,” Cropper said. “Then it was determined to have no insurances, inspection sticker or registration.

The male ran through the woods and was apprehended a short time later by Webster Parish deputies.

The driver, Kevin Sykes, 35, of Minden, was arrested for aggravated flight, obstructed taillights, switched tags, suspended drivers license, no registration, no insurance and no inspection sticker. He was transported to Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center.

The passenger, Sherianne Schindler, was charged with resisting by flight.

Notice of Death June 23, 2021

Alice Nell Clingman
July 6, 1939 – June 3, 2021
Service: Friday, June 25, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. at Rose-Neath Funeral Home, 2500 Southside Drive, Shreveport, Louisiana.

Paul W. Crane, Sr.
August 20, 1932 – June 18, 2021
Service:  Saturday, June 26, 2021 at 2:30 PM at Heflin Baptist Church in Heflin, Louisiana.

James Lamar Turnage
October 1, 1955 – June 17, 2021
Visitation:  Friday, June 25, 2021 from 5:00
Service:  Saturday, June 26, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. at Rose-Neath Funeral home at 2500 Southside Drive in Shreveport

Aubrey Kate Roberts
December 21, 2005 – June 18, 2021
Celebration of Life:  1:00 p.m. on Friday, June 25, 2021, at Rose-Neath Funeral Home, 2201 Airline Drive, Bossier City Visitation:  11:00 a.m. until service time
Interment:   Centuries Memorial Park, 8801 Mansfield Road, Shreveport, Louisiana.

Public awaits answers on Goex explosion

By Bonnie Culverhouse

As of Monday afternoon, there were still no answers as to why the Goex black power manufacturing plant exploded on the campus of Camp Minden last week.

Louisiana Troop G Public Information Officer Jonathan Odom, said the state’s Hazmat Unit was awaiting a cooling off period before they attempted to access the site.

““At this point, we don’t know what caused it. They (hazmat) were told there were no injuries and all the employees involved were evacuated safely,” Odom said. “There were no additional evacuations necessary.”

The blast took place around mid-morning Friday.

“We received some calls from some residents in the Camp Minden area this morning,” Webster Parish Sheriff Jason Parker said.  “I guess it vibrated their houses.”

When he arrived on the scene, Parker said fire and emergency personnel were already on the scene.

“The fire was completely out around 11:30,” he added. “It’s at least a 24 to 48 hour waiting period before anyone can go in there to determine a cause.”

This is not the first time a Goex building has exploded. According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s website, this is at least the seventh explosion since the company located at Camp Minden in mid-1997.

Authorities release name of deceased accident victim

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Louisiana State Police have revised the ages and confirmed the identity of a boy killed in a utility terrain vehicle accident Sunday afternoon.

The crash claimed the life of 11-year-old Morris Naron on Plain Dealing. His 14-year-old sister was driving, according to authorities.

Webster Parish Sheriff Jason Parker said the one-vehicle accident took place on Bistineau Terrace Road near Grant Circle, south of Doyline.

“There were two people on the side-by-side,” Parker said. “The sister was driving and her brother, the passenger, was ejected off the side-by-side and is deceased.”

Troop G Public Information Officer Jonathan Odom said the boy was not wearing a seatbelt.

He said the initial investigation showed a 2011 Polaris UTV, driven by the female, traveling northbound on Grant Circle.
“As she made a left turn onto Bistineau Terrace Road, she lost control of the vehicle, causing it to overturn,” Odom said. “She was treated for minor injuries at a local hospital.”

Teachers, students working through summer to make up for lost time due to Covid

By Josh Beavers

A quick Google search about learning during the Covid pandemic will return bundles of articles negatively portraying student achievement and setbacks caused by closed campuses and frequent interruptions in learning. And while it would be easy for school officials and parents to hold out their hands in exasperation and ask departments of education to “just pass the kids,” in Webster Parish, administrators, teachers, and central office personnel care deeply about their young people and are taking extra steps to get our kids up to speed following the time lost to Covid.

“Summer Connection is an intervention program designed to provide targeted instruction based on student data,” said Dusty Rangel, who serves as curriculum and instruction supervisor for Webster Parish Schools. “Traditionally, summer school has focused on LEAP 2025 remediation. This program is geared toward addressing specific skill gaps to prepare students for the next academic year.”

Students from all over the parish are working this summer with our teachers at base schools that include Browning Elementary, North Webster High School, Lakeside High School, J. A. Phillips Elementary and Webster Jr. High. Students targeted range in grades from PreK through the eighth grade.

Rangel said Summer Connection is vital to helping Webster Parish students.

“The Covid19 pandemic created a large group of students who are unprepared for their academic future,” she told The Journal. “Our goal is to work toward narrowing some of these gaps. Much effort was put into the selection of staff and curriculum for this program. Our focus is to start where they are and bring them to where they need to be.”

Curt Allen, a 13-year-educator, teaches fifth grade English Language Arts (ELA) at The Doyline High School. He is one of the teachers working tirelessly through his summer break to help students bridge any gaps caused by Covid absences.

“This program is absolutely great for kids who missed a few skills,” Allen told us. “We are helping to close a gap very well. I have been so impressed with the work our content coaches and others have done to find just the right things that these kids needed. They chose just the right groups of kids to receive this instruction. This is important for the kids on the bubble to ‘jump’ to the next level.”

Rangel said what she has seen so far during the Summer Connection program is encouraging and a testament to the quality of young people as well as educators in the Webster Parish School System.

“We are excited about the energy and enthusiasm of the staff and students,” she told us. “Engagement is high on all of our campuses which we hope transfers into high achievement.”

Photo: Webster Parish teacher Shameka Cooper is one of the local educators working through the summer to help students make up lost time due to Covid

MMC/local schools partnering to train doctors of tomorrow

By Josh Beavers

Ten Webster Parish high school students are making it AHEC of a summer as they begin to learn the ropes of becoming a medical professional during training at Minden Medical Center.

“This is going to be a great summer,” Wendy Fields told us on the first day of the program last week.

Fields, who is a science teacher at Minden High School, serves as program coordinator with the school system. AHEC, which stands for Area Health Education Centers program, is a federally funded program established in the United States in 1972 “to improve the supply, distribution, retention and quality of primary care and other health practitioners in medically underserved areas.” That quote comes from the official AHEC homepage and sounds kinda stale. The reality is much more dynamic, Fields said.

“[So far students have] learned important HIPPA information and organ donation,” Fields told The Journal on the second day of training. “The first half of the day was CPR training and after lunch we started our bacteria projects.”

Minden Medical Center personnel including CEO Jim Williams have spoken with the young people about the importance of the program and encouraged them to continue in their medical career pursuits.

“AHEC provides high school students with an unforgettable experience in the medical field,” he told the Journal. “Students job shadow throughout the hospital, physician clinics, a local veterinary clinic, and a chiropractic clinic.”

Williams said students spend three weeks of their summer learning about medical careers that will prepare them for their future.

“The program also provides the students with 100 community service hours as well as a half unit of elective credit on their transcript,” he said. “MMC will provide the 2021 students with opportunities in areas such as orthopedics, respiratory therapy, women’s health, phlebotomy, surgery and cardiology. They will also earn CPR certification.”

Students have also been working through rotations, learning the proper way to take vital signs with machines as well as manually. Students have also practiced suturing on specially designed models.

The program will continue through July 2.

There are more than 300 AHEC programs nationwide.

Students from Minden High, Lakeside, and Glenbrook are participating this year.

Photo: Brianna Davis and Emalyn Anders are two of the ten Webster Parish students enrolled in this year’s AHEC of a Summer program at Minden Medical Center

How Lou Dunbar became “Sweet,” on the road to the Hall of Fame


 Written for the Louisiana Sports Writers Association

Lou Dunbar wasn’t known as “Sweet” while he was raised in Minden, became the state’s best basketball player while at Webster High School, or when he starred from 1973-75 for the University of Houston Cougars.

But after a pair of pathways to the NBA fizzled, a door opened that carried Dunbar to the “Sweet” life as the clown prince of the internationally-beloved Harlem Globetrotters.

His No. 41 jersey is one of only eight ever retired by the ‘Trotters. Since he hung it up, he’s been working in management and coaching one of their four traveling teams, living in Houston in between tours. The team is currently training to resume entertaining kids 8 to 80 all over the world in the near future.

But first, owing primarily to the fame he’s accumulated as a basketball showman, but with his significant competitive hoops credentials as a complement, he’s about to enter the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.

Induction activities begin Thursday in Natchitoches, move to Shreveport Friday for the BOM Bowling Bash at All-Star Lanes at midday, then settle in Louisiana’s most historic town Friday night for a free riverbank concert and a Saturday slate brimming with events.

For participation opportunities and more info, visit LaSportsHall.com or call 318-238-4255.

While playing point guard – standing 6-foot-9 — at UH, Dunbar made all the area all-star teams in 1973-75 and was a third-team All-American selection in ’75. The Philadelphia 76ers then made him a fourth-round NBA Draft pick (59th overall).

But Lou never reported to camp; he felt the team never made him a solid contract offer. So he headed to Switzerland to play pro ball for two years (helping his team to one national title).

He returned to Houston and was working at a jewelry store when he got another NBA shot — a Los Angeles summer-league tryout with the Rockets.

Again, it did not take. But a Globetrotters’ scout saw what he liked, made an offer … and it was showtime.

“I just don’t think the NBA was ready for that [the big point guard],” Dunbar said, looking back in a 1992 Shreveport Times story by John James Marshall before a ‘Trotters appearance in Shreveport. “People my size were supposed to play inside. I was a fluke. Now if I had come along a little later …”

In that story, Marshall wrote: The one thing that Dunbar has always had is the personality. That smile. That chatter. “It was probably meant for me,” he says [of his ‘Trotters’ role]. “Performing has always come natural.”

Not too long into his Globetrotters career, his charisma made him an understudy to legendary Meadowlark Lemon, whose playing days were nearing an end. Dunbar had already been tabbed “Sweet Lou” in ‘Trotters’ parlance, something that didn’t surprise his college coach.

“He’s absolutely the greatest kid,” UH’s Guy Lewis said in 1973. “He keeps our team loose. I’m sure he’s the most popular guy on our team. He’s one of the great guys to coach I’ve had and not just because of his ability.”

Sweet Lou, before the Globetrotters’ No. 41 jersey-retirement  ceremony in 2019 in Houston, said he was proud that “my family gets a chance to see it here, and I hope I don’t cry.”

But he did. Just as he remembers crying after Webster High’s only loss in his senior season.

Consider this — he hasn’t had to cry after a Globetrotters’ game. In case you have not heard or noticed, the ‘Trotters never lose.

And they never fail to leave fans entertained. 

“I just want people to remember that when they came to see Lou Dunbar play the game,” he said in that 1992 homecoming, “they left there with a smile on their face.”

FUMC Minden prepares to welcome new pastor

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Fourteen years ago, when Ashley Cockburn married Robert McGuire in the sanctuary of First United Methodist Church in Minden, she had no idea that someday she would return as pastor of that church.

“To think I am going to be able to preach in the same sanctuary where that wonderful event happened is an exciting thing,” Rev. Ashley McGuire said.

Having served FUMC in Alexandria since 2016, it is hard for the young family to leave a place they’ve loved and where they are loved.

“At the same time, we are excited to get to know the people in the area closer to where I grew up and where Rob spent a good portion of time – in the Shreveport/Bossier area,” she said.

Rev. McGuire knows she is following Brian Mercer, Fred Wideman and Jack O’Dell. She said she applauds their enthusiasm and commitment to the community.

“I know that he (Brian) was big on reaching out to the community, and that’s a love of mine,” she said. “I love to help people discover a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, and I hope we can continue – not just building the church but building the Kingdom of God together.”

Comparing Brian Mercer and Fred Wideman, she believes she is “kind of in the middle” when it comes to personality.

“I am extremely enthusiastic when it comes to the Lord and God’s people,” she said. “I preach with passion … I don’t say that to boast … I feel it because the Holy Spirit takes over in those moments.”

She doesn’t believe being a female pastor brings many challenges.

“Everywhere I’ve been, I’ve been a female pastor, and I’ve been the first,” she said, with a smile in her voice. “It’s always been a blessing for myself and for my family, and the church has said when we leave every time, that we’ve been a blessing to them, too. So, I’m taking their word on it.”

A graduate of Duke University in 2003 with a degree in Biomedical/ Electrical Engineering and a minor in Chemistry, Rev. McGuire now considers herself a pastor, a wife, a mother, a musician, a scholar, a friend and a lover of sunsets.

In 2005, she answered the call to ministry, beginning her first appointment at Bethel UMC where she spent her seminary years in 2006.

In 2009, she graduated Perkins School of Theology at SMU and spent the next five years serving as Associate Pastor at FUMC Bossier, the church she attended as a child. 

The couple has two sons – Danny (6th grade) and Drew (4th grade). 

“I love music, sunsets, spending time with friends and family, reading, playing the drums and at the guitar, watching a good movie and helping someone discover a deeper relationship with Jesus,” she concluded.

Her first day at FUMC will be July 1, while her first Sunday in the pulpit will be July 4.

Minden football schedule loaded in 2021

By Josh Beavers

There will be zero gimme games this season for the Minden High Crimson Tide.

“Everyone is a challenge,” ninth-year head coach Spencer Heard told the Journal on Monday morning. “But that’s the way you want it. We’ve got to be focused every week because of the level of competition we are facing each game.”

Minden’s schedule:

9/3 at Parkway

9/10 Green Oaks

9/17 North Webster

9/24 at Mansfield

10/1 at Leesville

10/8 North DeSoto*

10/15 Neville*

10/22 at Bastrop*

10/29 Huntington*

11/5 at Franklin Parish*

* denotes district game

The Minden High Crimson Tide enters the 2021 season riding the momentum of a run in the LHSAA 4A playoffs. The Tide compiled a 7-3 record including several heart-stopping last-second victories before running up against perennial power Neville in the third round of the playoffs.

Up first for the Tide is Class 5A Parkway on the road.

“Playing a school in a larger classification gets you in the right frame of mind right off the bat,” Heard said. Minden coaches have seen a little bit of Parkway in action during 7-on-7 events this summer. “They will be a challenge to play,” Heard said.

Green Oaks is next for the Tide. Heard said they present a different set of challenges compared to last year’s second-week opponent Haynesville.

“Green Oaks is wide open whereas Haynesville runs the Wing-T. Both are good programs,” he told the Journal.

The third opponent is 3A North Webster, which is a game that renews the Webster Parish rivalry that goes back to the old Springhill Lumberjack days.

“Coach John Ware does a good job defensively taking away what you are trying to do,” Heard said. “This is always a very physical game. Our kids always play hard, but I think they take it up a notch when North Webster is on the field.”

Up next for the Tide is Mansfield. Heard said this would be a special game because he’ll be coaching against his alma mater. He graduated from Mansfield in 1992 and says it’s a surreal feeling to be coaching on the field where he played so many games.

The next opponent for the Tide will be Leesville who will be looking to avenge their second-round playoff loss to the Tide last season. Following a last-second touchdown to tie the game in regulation, the Tide went on to beat Leesville in overtime.

“They are going to be very motivated to play us,” Heard said. “They are going to have a chip on their shoulder and we are going down there. They will be hyped.”

North DeSoto comes to the Pit the next week. Just like Leesville, the Griffins will be looking to avenge a close loss to the Tide from last season. “Coach [Dennis] Dunn is an excellent coach and will have his team ready and motivated for us,” Heard said. “Last season was a barn burner.” The Tide beat North DeSoto 34-27 in 2020.

The following week Minden will host perennial powerhouse Neville. Minden played the Tigers twice in 2020. Both of those games were defeats for the Tide including bowing out of the playoffs over in Monroe.

“Neville is loaded to the gills,” Heard said. “They were very junior heavy last year and many are picking them to either win or at least make it to the state championship game.”

Minden will make a trip to Morehouse Parish the next week to play Bastrop. “They are a very physical and athletic team,” Heard said. “Last year’s game was hard-fought.” The 2020 game was another one of the last-second victories for the Tide as they beat the Rams 27-26 in overtime.

Rounding out the schedule are Huntington and Franklin Parish. Both of those games were canceled last year due to Covid. Heard said both schools are going in a positive direction and he will be interested to watch them on film as the season nears.

Arrest Report

John David Outlaw, aka Crazy Bones, 36, of the 100 block of Green Park, Doyline, was arrested by Webster Parish Sheriff’s deputies on two warrants.

Meiycko Williams, 26, of Irving, Texas, was arrested by WPSO deputies on two warrants as a fugitive from Texas.

Jeffrey E. Duck, 45, who refused to give his address, was arrested by Dixie Inn Police for possession of Controlled Dangerous Substance Sch. II Methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. Duck was booked at Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center on bonds totaling $1,500.

Bruce Marshall, 45, of the 200 block of Chrysler St., Minden, was arrested by Minden Police for distribution of CDS Sch I Natural Marijuana. He is incarcerated at BDCC on a bond of $10,000.

Amanda L. Fish, 45, of Shongaloo, was arrested by Springhill Police for possession of Sch. II Methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and criminal trespassing.

Scott Richardson, 36, of Doyline, was arrested by WPSO deputies for cruelty of a juvenile.

Cody Dewayne Rogers, 31, of Springhill, was arrested by Probation and Parole for a parole violation.

Derrick D. Dickens, no age available, of Monroe, was arrested by WPSO deputies for contempt of court and three counts of resisting arrest with force.

Amanda S. Baxter, 41, of Springhill, was arrested by probation and parole on an active warrant by LSP Troop G for insurance fraud.

Willie L. Miller, 33, of the 700 block of Cherry St.,  Minden, was arrested by WPSO deputies at Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center where he was incarcerated. A BDCC officer noticed a burnt paper smell coming from Miller’s cell. Searching the room, deputies found a suspected synthetic Marijuana cigarette. Miller is charged with possession of Marijuana and introducing contraband into a correctional center.

Santana L. Smith, 22 of Shreveport, was arrested and charged as one of several BDCC inmates in the above incident.

Sylvester T. Coleman, 28, of the 400 block of Front St., Minden, was arrested and charged as one of several BDCC inmates in the above Miller incident.

Craig Knoll, 44, of Bossier City, was arrested and charged as one of several BDCC inmates in the above Miller incident.

Justin Daniel Cook, 26, fo the 200 block of Shane Dr., Minden, was arrested at BDCC for simple assault, domestic abuse battery and resisting an officer.

Search warrant yields drugs, arrest

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Minden Police Officers, serving a search warrant, were able to arrest a local man on multiple charges.

Kenny Wayne France Jr., 35, of the 900 block of Devereaux Street, Minden, was arrested on warrants for aggravated assault with a firearm and domestic abuse battery, as well as possession of Controlled Dangerous Substance Sch I Synthetic Marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of drug paraphernalia and as a fugitive from the Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Minden Police Chief Steve Cropper said his officers went to the Devereaux Street address where they knocked on the door with no success.

“Officer made entry into the residence and located France in a bedroom and Brittania Bailey in the bathroom,” Cropper said. “Both were detained.”

During a search of the residence, officers located a small baggie with Synthetic Marijuana and a Winchester box with .22 caliber ammunition and loose tobacco on a table next to a 25 automatic handgun in the bedroom where France was located.

“Also found in the bedroom were two larger bags of Synthetic Marijuana and a baggie of Methamphetamines,” said the chief. “On the floor, they found a copper scrub pad – commonly used for smoking illegal narcotics – and one spent 9MM brass.”

A digital scale was reportedly located on the bed. In the bedroom closet, officers said they found a box of gallon size plastic storage bags, a box of sandwich bags, a loaded magazine with 9MM rounds. A 30-30 lever action Winchester rifle was reportedly located in the kitchen.

“In the front room, officers found three used syringes,” Cropper said. “Multiple holes  from gunshots were located in the bedroom walls.”

Cropper said Bailey was released from the scene, but France was booked at MPD and placed in a holding cell awaiting transport to Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center.

Chase ends in two arrests

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Two South Carolina residents, traveling across north Louisiana at a high rate of speed, are now cooling their jets in Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center.

Webster Parish Sheriff Jason Parker says his office was notified by Bienville Parish about a blue Volvo with a Georgia plate heading east on U.S. Highway 80.

“As it neared Minden, the Volvo turned into a private drive and crashed,” Parker said. “The two occupants – later identified as John B. Long and Keri R. Etheridge, then exited the vehicle and fled on foot.”

Following a search of the area that took several hours, the two suspects were taken into custody, however, neither reportedly admitted to any knowledge of the pursuit.

Once the vehicle was towed, Parker said a search warrant was obtained and approximately 29.5 pills, identified as a Sch. IV narcotic, along with a handwritten check to Long were confiscated.

“Narcotics officers separated Long and Etheridge to interview them,” Parker said. “Long denied any knowledge of any of the event and stated he did not understand what was going on.

“Etheridge stated they rented the vehicle in Alabama from an unknown person and picked it up at a dealership there,” the sheriff continued. “She went on to say she had no knowledge of the prescription medication that was found in a plastic baggie that was closed in a box on the passenger side of the vehicle.”

John B. Long, 35, and Keri R. Etheridge, 34, both of South Carolina, were arrested by WPSO Narcotics officers Lt. Joel Thomas, Dep. Chase Wimberly and Dep. Shawn Jenkins.

They are charged with possession of Sch. IV narcotics with intent to distribute.

Notice of Death June 21, 2021

Alice Nell Clingman
July 6, 1939 – June 3, 2021
Service: Friday, June 25, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. at Rose-Neath Funeral Home, 2500 Southside Drive, Shreveport, Louisiana.

Betty Jean Durham Canham
September 27, 1932 – May 21, 2021
Celebration of Life: Wednesday, June 23, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. at Forest Park Cemetery Mausoleum, St. Vincent in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Paul W. Crane, Sr.
August 20, 1932 – June 18, 2021
Service:  Saturday, June 26, 2021 at 2:30 PM at Heflin Baptist Church in Heflin, Louisiana.


One dead in ATV accident Sunday

By Bonnie Culverhouse

A 12-year-old boy is dead and his 15-year-old sister is critically injured following an all-terrain vehicle accident Sunday afternoon.

Webster Parish Sheriff Jason Parker said the one-vehicle accident took place on Bistineau Terrace Road near Grant Circle, south of Doyline.

“There were two people on the side-by-side,” Parker said. “The sister was driving and her brother, the passenger, was ejected off the side-by-side and is deceased.”

An ambulance was on the scene, giving aid to the female.

By 4 p.m. Sunday, Parker said the investigation is ongoing.  “We do not know why the ATV left the roadway and went into the ditch area,” he said.  Next of kin have been notified, but names are not being released at this time.

Goex explosion rocks Camp Minden

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Residents of Doyline felt a literal blast from the past around mid-morning Friday when a black powder manufacturing company’s production line exploded.

“We received calls from some residents in the Camp Minden area this morning,” Webster Parish Sheriff Jason Parker said. “I guess it vibrated their houses.”

When he arrived on the scene, Parker said fire and emergency personnel were already there.
“The fire was completely out around 11:30,” he added. “It’s at least a 24 to 48 hour waiting period before anyone can go in there to determine a cause.”

Louisiana State Police Hazmat was also on the scene, according to Troop G Public Information Officer Jonathan Odom.
“They (Hazmat) were told there were no injuries and all the employees – around 15 ­– were evacuated safely,” Odom said. “There were no additional evacuations necessary.”

Odom reiterated that Hazmat is awaiting the end of a cooling-off period before they can access the scene.
“At this point, we don’t know what caused it,” he said.

This is not the first time Goex’s production line has taken a hit.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, this is at least the seventh explosion since the company moved to the Camp Minden site in 1997.