Break up with Salt

Do you have Hypertension or have been told you have High Blood Pressure?  Are you not sure exactly what you should eat or what in your diet affects your blood pressure?  Break up With Salt, a program to help adults at risk or with Hypertension/High Blood Pressure learn about managing their condition through goal setting, diet, label reading, portion control and cooking. The four-part educational series will be held on February 1, 8, 15, and 22 from 1 until 2:30 p.m. at the Minden Main Branch Library located at 521 East and West Street in Minden. The program should last 1-1/2 hours each session.

The program will be conducted by Shakera Williams, MPH, Assistant Extension Nutrition Agent, with the LSU AgCenter. Participants will receive all information discussed at each class and the opportunity to sample healthy recipes. This program is not intended to provide individual prescriptions for Hypertension/Cardiovascular disease, and it is not intended to replace Medical Nutrition Therapy by a Registered Dietitian.

This program is open to the public and there is a cost to attend the series. There are only 10 spots available. You should attend all four classes to get all the information presented as each class is a different topic. Please call 318-371-1371 for more information or to sign up please use the link here  to register by Tuesday, January 25.

February 1 – Session 1 – Detect, Correct and Protect  

February 8 – Session 2 – DASH Diet and Label Reading

February 15 – Session 3 – Grocery Store Tour, Location, TBA

February 22  – Session 4 – Mastering Meals with Flavor and Less Sodium

Consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the LSU AgCenter will make reasonable accommodations to enable persons with disabilities to engage in programs offered. Should you need an ADA accommodation, please contact Shakera Williams at 318 – 371- 1371 no later than 1 week before your accommodation is needed.

Traffic stop nets stolen firearm 

By Bonnie Culverhouse

A routine traffic stop netted Minden Police a local man on a firearm’s charge.

Tadrion Smith, 20, of the 900 block of Sibley Road, Minden, was arrested for illegal possession of a stolen firearm and no brake lights.

Police Chief Steve Cropper said OFC. Chris Cayer was patrolling East Street when he saw a red GMC Sierra at a stop sign.

“The vehicle did not have functioning brake lights,” Cropper said. “The officer initiated a traffic stop as the vehicle pulled away from the stop sign. It turned right onto Columbia Street and stopped.”

OFC. Cayer reportedly made contact with the driver, Tadrion Smith. There was a female subject in the passenger seat and an infant child in the back seat.

“The officer said he could smell a strong odor of possible Marijuana coming from the vehicle,” said the chief. “As Lt. Chris Hammontree arrived on scene, OFC. Cayer had Smith step to the front of his patrol unit. Smith stated he understood his rights, and the officer asked if he had any controlled dangerous substances or firearms in the vehicle.”

Smith reportedly said his sister’s gun was under the backseat and gave consent to search the vehicle.

“Lt. Hammontree secured the firearm and ran it through dispatch,” Cropper said. “Dispatch confirmed the firearm was stolen. Smith was arrested. Further search of the vehicle showed no controlled dangerous substances nor any other firearms.”

The vehicle was reportedly turned over to the registered owner, and Smith was transported to a holding cell at Minden Police Department.

“The firearm a Glock 22, was stolen from Minden,” said the chief. “Det. Shane Griffith placed a hold on Smith, and the firearm was logged and placed into evidence.”

Upcoming Events

Current until February 19

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

January 22

9 a.m. Trapper Education Workshop, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Minden field office.

10 a.m. Toddler Paint and Play. Children ages 18 months to 3 years. Webster Parish Library. Minden Main Branch.

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.

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

The forgotten impact of FLW

If there’s one thing that’s becoming apparent, it’s the impact the FLW (Forest L. Wood, founder of Ranger Boats) organization had on the bass fishing landscape. Today we’ll look at what made FLW so special and helped lay the ground swelling that occurred during the 1990’s up till now. FLW made bass fishing more popular than ever before with their approach and commitment to sponsors who were not really associated with the outdoors. Let’s first start with what it was like to fish tournaments in the 1990’s. 

Tournaments back then were events, or usually benefits, for someone or something. Most of these were annual events that drew anywhere from 40 to 60 boats. There were only a couple of high-level fishing circuits like B.A.S.S. and the Red Man Tournament Trail (which was one step below B.A.S.S.). Available too, were Fishers of Men, and a few American Bass Angler (ABA) events. Another pro/am circuit, known as Angler’s Choice, was also a popular tour and even had a team trail you could follow. Then there was the FLW tournament trail that was making headway and growing in popularity at a rapid rate. 

Of all these organizations I’ve mentioned, FLW was the one that changed the landscape in the late 90’s and has led us to where we are today. For years, B.A.S.S. (The Bassmaster Elite Series) was, and still is, THE place and the goal of every angler in America.  They set the standard that all tournament organizations wanted to be and FLW opened the door and gave anglers another option to pursue their dreams of fishing professionally. FLW took sponsors to a whole other level with boat and truck wraps of major sponsors like Wal-Mart, Land of Lakes, Castrol Oil, Tide, M&M’s, Kellogg’s Cereal, and Folgers Coffee, to name a few. They brought in sponsors that were not necessarily associated with the outdoors and promoted them the same way NASCAR did it. 

This was probably the best thing that ever happened for professional bass fishing! FLW decided to attack and establish a grass roots following by setting up a progression of tournament trails. That ladder started with the BFL’s (Bass Fishing League), a series of one-day events all across the country, designed as pro/am events for the working man or weekend warrior. If you did well on that level, you could then advance to fish a multi-day tournament trail called the Everstart Series which was similar to the B.A.S.S. Open Series.  Then after this, if you were really good, there was the FLW Series, which was one step below fishing as a full-time pro. Success in that series would lead anglers to the pinnacle of the organization…. the FLW Tour. 

With their approach, FLW had created an avenue for amateur anglers to pursue their dreams of fishing as a professional. The awesome boat and truck wraps drew visual attention and made it cool to be a bass angler.  It invigorated young boys and girls to want to be a pro angler. FLW then started the College Series that caught fire nationwide as colleges and universities created fishing teams and some even offered scholarships. Then they went even further and started high school bass fishing which has gone viral and insured that there will be future generations to pursue a career as a professional bass fisherman.

The sad part of all of this is that FLW no longer exists, as Major League Fishing (MLF) purchased FLW in 2020. This was sad to see, as I personally had fished several levels with FLW and enjoyed all of them. The downfall of FLW was poor financial management. Anglers also started to figure out the payback for their events was not up to par with other organizations. Entry fees went up and the payback for certain tournaments was less than 60 percent. MLF is trying to re-establish these tours once again, but the payback is still an issue, especially for the BFL tour which has the lowest payback of any tournament trail of this level. Hopefully, the powers that be at MLF will recognize this and correct it because we will always need at least two major fishing organizations that give anglers an option. Remember, competition between organizations makes everything better for all anglers. Till next time, good luck, good fishing and don’t forget to set the hook!!!

 Steve Graf      

Guardian Angels

The belief in guardian angels goes back thousands of years.  The Bible mentions several instances in which God sent angels to protect or deliver people from danger.  Guardian angels are believed to be able to take on any form and can embody any person at any time.  Believers contend that guardian angels are all around us although they are usually unaware that they are guardian angels.    

On December 9, 2021, Muskogee, Oklahoma had at least two known cases where a guardian angel stepped in to help.  It happened first at an elementary school.  A seventh-grade boy was standing by a water fountain holding a water bottle.  Wishing to refill his bottle, the boy pushed the button to turn the water on while he held the bottle in his other hand.  Rather than releasing the button to remove the lid, he removed the cap with his teeth.  When he inhaled, the bottle cap slid down and lodged in his throat.  In a panic, he stumbled into the nearest classroom and mouthed the words, “I’m choking.  I’m choking.”  

It could have been his last breath, but his guardian angel was waiting.  The guardian angel sprang into action as if he were placed in the moment for that very purpose.  He got behind the seventh-grader and performed the Heimlich Maneuver in a manner that would have impressed most doctors.  His only experience with the life-saving technique was what he had seen on YouTube.  With a couple of thrusts, the bottle cap shot out of the panic-stricken boy’s mouth.  The boy took several deep breaths and thanked his guardian angel.  Rather than glorifying the fact that he had saved someone’s life, he humbly returned to what he had been doing before the choking boy staggered into his classroom. 


Later that day, a fire broke out in the back of a house in Muskogee.  As if by divine providence, a guardian angel was on his way to church with a family member when he noticed smoke and flames coming from the house.  He ran from the car toward the home.  He knocked on the door and yelled to those inside that the house was on fire.  Several people ran from the home while the guardian angel ran into the house.  A disabled woman who required a walker to get around, slowly made her way toward the front of the house.  Unfortunately, the fire was spreading more quickly than she could move.  She was gasping for breath and struggling to walk.  The guardian ran to her, put his arms around her, and quickly helped her escape from the flames.  The guardian angel remained completely calm through the whole ordeal, which could have claimed his life as well.  Had he been a few seconds later, the woman probably would have been consumed by the flames.  Once he made sure the woman was safe, he returned to his car and continued on to church.  

On a single December day in Muskogee, Oklahoma, the same guardian angel saved the lives of a choking boy and a disabled woman from a house fire.  People referred to him as a hero, but he just replied that “it was the right thing to do.”  For his life-saving deeds, the Muskogee Police Department and Muskogee County Sheriff’s Office named him an honorary member of their forces.  He was also recognized by the Muskogee Public Schools Board of Education during their December board meeting.  ‘I don’t want everyone to pay attention to me,” he said.  “I kind of did what I was supposed to do.”  This guardian angel was Davyon Johnson, an 11-year-old boy. 


1.  Medina, Eduardo. “A 6th Grader Saves the Lives of Two People On the Same Day.” The New York Times. December 26, 2021.

2.  Crane, Emily. “11-year-old Boy Saves Choking Classmate, Woman from Burning Home — All in One Day.” New York Post. December 23, 2021.

Notice of Death – January 18, 2022

Elmore Mitchell ‘Mac’ Magee Jr.

April 12, 1931 – January 13, 2022

Visitation: 5 until 7 p.m. Wednesday, January 19, 2022, at Rose-Neath Funeral Home, 2201 Airline Dr., Bossier City.

Graveside Service: 10 a.m. Thursday, January 20, 2022 at Rose-Neath Cemetery, 5185 Airline Dr., Bossier City

Leland Sparrow Adams Jr.

March 10, 1931 – January 12, 2022

Memorial Gathering: 4 until 6 p.m. Thursday, January 20, 2022, at Rose-Neath Funeral Home, 2201 Airline Drive, Bossier City

Lee Ann Smith Holcomb

July 13, 1956 – January 16, 2022

Funeral Service: 2 p.m. Wednesday, January 19, 2022, at Rose-Neath Funeral Home, 705 S. Sprite St., Vivian

Hervey Carl Shewmake

December 11, 1930 – January 15, 2022

Graveside Service: 10 a.m. Thursday, January 20, 2022 at Northwest Louisiana Veterans Cemetery, 7970 Mike Clark Rd., Keithville

Board renews Advanced contract

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Webster Parish has been operating with only one ambulance service for the past few weeks, however, following a public hearing last week and a board vote, Advanced EMS’ contract with E911 has been renewed.

“We’ve been able to add on to our staff,” said Advanced EMS owner Gary Jones. “We can be up and running by January 17.”

The Webster Parish Police Jury and 911 board have been receiving complaints of noncompliance – primarily from Fire District 11 in the northern part of the parish – concerning Advanced EMS since September 2020.

“We received complaints that Advanced EMS was sending basic life support trained crews to calls,” 911 Director Angie Chapman said. “The ordinance requires that any response to a 911 call has to be an ALS truck.”

According to the ordinance, (ALS) Advanced life support means advanced prehospital emergency medical care rendered by personnel certified at the EMT-intermediate and EMT-paramedic level and working under direct orders from physicians at a resource hospital.

(BLS) Basic life support means noninvasive prehospital emergency medical care rendered by personnel certified at the EMT-basic level.

“The complaints were that Advanced EMS was consistently sending trucks with BLS capabilities only,” Chapman said. “Springhill (Fire district 11) at that time ran first responders or EMR, which are Emergency Medical Responders. Some of those firemen were trained as paramedic or advanced EMT or above.

“What happens on a call is you get there and if the patient requires advanced life support then they cannot release that patient to someone who is not also advanced life support,” she continued. “When you have a basic truck going to a call that is already receiving advanced life support intervention, they can’t release that patient to them.”

Each time that occurred, Springhill firemen were required to ride to the hospital on the ambulance, taking them away from any fire duties. The other option was to await another ambulance carrying ALS crew members.

“It was problematic for the personnel and the patients,” Chapman said.

After several complaints, as well as unfulfilled promises from Jones to correct the situation, the board chose not to renew his contract application in November 2021.

Allen Mosley, FNP, and coroner for Webster Parish, told the 911 board members that he had paramedics working in Minden Medical Center’s emergency room because of lack of medical staff at this time.

“We don’t need to be without two (ambulance) companies in this parish,” he said.

Pafford EMS owner Greg Pafford agreed, saying it had been a hardship for his paramedics over the past two months. They have no BLS units answering calls, he said, only ALS.

“It’s been tough,” Pafford said. “We’ve been here 20 years, and we have good working relations with Advanced.”

Chapman said EMS personnel and paramedics are difficult to find at this time. Many more are needed.

The 911 board voted to renew Advanced’s contract for 60 days however, they will review the situation at the next board meeting.

It was quite a ride

There’s an adage that urges us to not judge an individual until we’ve walked a mile in their shoes. That could be changed slightly to consider withholding opinions until we’ve spent some time with those individuals, even if it’s just five hours. 

Five hours may not seem very long in the overall scheme of things, but those can be very educational hours when one on joins a Minden Police Department officer for a Friday night ride-along. 

From 7 p.m. until midnight, Officer Reece Tewell and Officer First Class Jason Smith patrolled the streets of Minden with a citizen observer, monitoring radio traffic and stopping occasionally to check traffic flow. The officers were making sure drivers obeyed speed limits and stop signs, especially in residential areas.

“We’re not here to create problems for people, but we do want them to know that there’s a police presence,” Officer Tewell said. “We want to be visible. It’s important for them to know we’re doing our job.”

Doing the job doesn’t always result in what some might consider “punishment” for a violation. During the five hours with both officers, seven traffic stops were conducted. No tickets were issued in six. One ticket was written when a driver failed to stop for a traffic violation, continuing to drive despite blue lights and siren.

“We don’t have to hand out tickets to get the message across,” Officer Tewell said. “A lot depends on the circumstance and the attitude of the individuals we stop. A brief reminder of what it means to drive safely and avoid dangerous consequences can be enough.”

OFC Smith agreed that attitude plays a big part in what happens when a police officer must interact with the public, whether it’s a traffic stop or something more serious.

“We are always aware that circumstances, something we may not be aware of, can play a big part in the attitude of someone we have to deal with,” Smith said. “We try very hard to be courteous and respectful to everyone.  We don’t want to make it worse if we can help it. All we ask is for their cooperation. A bad or aggressive attitude doesn’t help anyone.” 

Officers also responded to a pair of domestic disturbance calls during the evening, one at a local motel and the other at a residence. Both were resolved without incident, but one report was filed that could lead to a future arrest. 

“These are the kind of calls we have to approach with caution because there’s already a certain amount of tension,” OFC Smith said. “We have to be both police officer and social worker. We have to be sure a potentially bad situation doesn’t escalate, especially when children are present.”

A major concern expressed by both officers centered on the recent spate of drive-by shootings and the frequent reports of shots fired in city neighborhoods. Chief among the concerns is the lack of information coming from residents.

“We know we could do something about stopping these shootings if we could get information from the public,” Tewell said. “We’ve already lost a child to a drive-by and that’s a tragedy, and a bullet barely missed another youngster in another incident. We know there’s someone in our community who can identify the people who are doing this and it’s hard to understand why they won’t come forward.”

Tewell said officers and the department’s administration are trying hard to establish a bond between residents and their men and women in uniform.

“Every chance I get, I’ll stop and just talk with people on the street while I’m on patrol,” he said. “We want them to know us as people, not as the cop that’s looking for a reason to jam them up. If we can establish a trust, I believe we can solve a lot of the crimes we’re seeing.”

OFC Smith said the involvement of the people of Minden is as critical to public safety as a professional police department.

“Community involvement and commitment is important when you’re talking about community policing,” he said. “We’re on the street all day, every day, but we can’t be everywhere. We want to establish relationships with all the people we’re sworn to serve. That’s important to us. We all love our jobs. All we ask is for the public to be a part of the solution.”


Local pageant crowns new royalty 

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Four young women will be representing Minden in upcoming events, parades and pageants.

At Minden High School Saturday, Anna Claire Lemoine was crowned Miss Minden 2022. Courtney Patterson took the crown as 2022 Miss Spirit of Fasching.

Also representing Minden will be Miss Minden’s Outstanding Teen Olivia Blackwelder and Miss Spirit of Fishing’s Outstanding Teen Isabella Gray.

Relinquishing their titles and crowns were Joy Davis (Miss Minden 2021), Grace Powell (Miss Spirit of Fasching 2021) and Adeline Phillips (Miss Minden Outstanding Teen 2021).

Toddler Miss Minden Kristlyn Carter, Junior Miss Minden Isabel Sifuentez and Little Miss Minden Kenzie Pamintuan took top honors at the Junior Miss Minden and Little Miss Minden pageants, along with Baby Miss Minden Madilyn Crawford, Petite Miss Minden Tessa Adams and Pre-Teen Miss Minden Landry Edwards.

Minden Mayor Terry Gardner gives the ceremonial key to the city to Miss Louisiana Julia Claire Williams, emcee for the Miss Minden Pageant Saturday.

Police add new officer to roster 

Human Resources Director April Aguilar (left) observes while new police officer Ben Sparks signs on the dotted line.

By Bonnie Culverhouse

The City of Minden lost a police officer to another job earlier this week, but thanks to a unanimous 4-0 vote of the Minden City Council, a new officer has been hired.

In a special-called council meeting Thursday morning, Benjamin Sparks of Minden became the city’s newest hire.

“Are you aware of the police salary,” District B councilwoman Terika Williams-Walker asked Sparks. “Is that an issue for you?”

Sparks, a Master electrician and gunsmith, indicated he can supplement his salary by contracting jobs on his days off.

“The benefits seem to be good,” Sparks said. “I think that will change one day. But it’s not about the money.”

Currently, the starting salary for a Minden Police Officer is $13.75 an hour.

Sparks said he wants to make his son proud.

“Ben had an excellent Civil Service test score of 95 percent,” said Chief Steve Cropper. “I think with us adding him to the police department, he would be a big asset.”

Earlier this month, the council voted 3-2 to rehire officer Lita Hopkins.

Wednesday was the last day with Minden Police for Patrol Supervisor Sergeant Donald Brice. Brice reportedly is not retiring from law enforcement, but he is going to another department that is willing to pay significantly more. 

Cropper said he now has 28 officers.

District A councilman Wayne Edwards was the only council member missing from the special session.

Former Minden Police Sgt. Donald Brice signs off on his last day on the job.

BG Sentell represents Army Reserve at Battle of New Orleans

Brigadier General Sherb Sentell (far right in picture above) had the honor of representing the United States Army Reserve at a wreath laying ceremony commemorating the 207th anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans.  Also in the picture are fellow General Officers from the Louisiana National Guard, namely BG (Ret) Rodney Painting (far left), BG Thomas Friloux (Director of the Joint Staff-Louisiana National Guard), and BG (Ret) John Dunlap (wearing the American uniform of 1812). 

Brigadier General Sherb Sentell from Minden, La. represented the United States Army Reserve at a wreath laying ceremony on Saturday, January 8, 2022 at the Chalmette Battlefield just outside of New Orleans.  Brigadier Sentell is the Deputy Commanding General of the 377th Theater Sustainment Command (TSC), which is commanded by Major General Susan Henderson.  The 377th TSC which is headquartered in New Orleans is the largest two-star military unit in the United States having over 31,000 personnel.  

The battle of New Orleans took place on January 8, 1815 about 5 miles outside of the French Quarter in Chalmette.  Major General Andrew Jackson’s army along with a very diverse group of attachments, which included pirate Jean Lafitte’s experienced gunners soundly defeated a much larger British army.  In the bloody Battle of New Orleans, future President Andrew Jackson and a motley assortment of militia fighters, frontiersmen, black soldiers both enslaved and free, Indians and even pirates weathered a frontal assault by a superior British force, inflicting devastating casualties along the way.  The Battle of New Orleans is considered by many to be the greatest land victory of the War of 1812 and launched Andrew Jackson to the Presidency in 1828.  The Americans suffered only about 70 casualties compared to the British who suffered over 2,000.  

UCAP lists needs, year-end report

United Christian Assistance Program has the following needs for the week January 17:

Food: Vienna sausage, crackers, powdered milk

Clothing: men’s pants (32 and 34 waist)

Household goods: queen and king sheets

Many thanks for supporting UCAP!

UCAP is open Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. for food, utility and rent assistance. Clothing is dispersed Wednesdays only.

UCAP 2021 End of Year Report

Financial Assistance:

Utilities $41,935

Emergency Lodging: $5,402 (includes $2,292 from 2020)

Rent $3,300

Food Purchased $43

Total Financial Assistance $8,890

Clothing Assistance – 896 men, women and children

Food Assistance – 743 individuals (346 families)

Animal rescue vaccinates dogs, cats

The Springhill Civic Center saw a flurry of activity on the morning of Saturday January 15. Despite gusting winds and steadily dropping temperatures, LaMa Animal Rescue offered a free vaccines clinic for both dogs and cats. 

Ten volunteers braved the cold to assist in making the vaccine process quick and simple.

LaMa Animal Rescue is a 501(c)(3) non-profit entity. They currently receive no government funding. Last year, contributions from citizens in Webster Parish and others enabled the rescue to send 500 abandoned pets to rescues in the North for placement with families. They currently have 90 animals in their care, placed with foster families all over the parish. Some are receiving treatment for heartworms, some are regaining strength after a long period of abandonment and some are on the waiting list with northern rescues, awaiting transportation or other services.

For more information, to donate, to volunteer, or to foster, please check our facebook page LaMa Animal Rescue. 

Upcoming Events 

Current until February 19

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

January 18

 6 p.m. Women of Courage – Webster Parish. Free event. Speaker: Bethany Jones. Minden Civic Center. Worship service, dinner provided, door prizes, childcare available. 

January 22

9 a.m. Trapper Education Workshop, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Minden field office.

10 a.m. Toddler Paint and Play. Children ages 18 months to 3 years. Webster Parish Library. Minden Main Branch.

February 5

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

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

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

Springhill police arrest pair for drugs 

By Bonnie Culverhouse

An attempt to escape police failed a north Webster Parish man and woman last week.

Kevin Hart, 30, and Candice Hall, 55, both of Walnut Rd., Springhill, tried to climb through a bedroom window after police were reportedly called to the residence two days in a row to break up a fight.

On the second day, a warrant was served to search the residence for a firearm, and Hart and Hill reportedly attempted to flee the home.

Law enforcement noticed in plain view an unused hypodermic needle and a clear plastic capsule containing suspected Methamphetamine. Neither suspect would claim ownership.

They were arrested for possession of Methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.

Arrest Reports

January 10

Derrick Lewis, 48, of Claiborne St., Sibley, was arrested by WPSO on a warrant for criminal neglect of family.

January 12

Stephanie Keeton, 30, of Heflin, was arrested by Webster Parish Sheriff’s deputies for contempt of court.

Kevin C. Ferrell, 36, of Minden, was arrested by Louisiana State Police for driving while intoxicated (first offense), improper lane usage, traffic control signals, possession of Marijuana and Flight from an officer.

January 13

Kiara Simis, 22, of the 100 block of West St., Minden, was arrested by Minden police on 2 counts of simple battery.

Anthony W. Williams, 36, of the 600 block of Sibley Rd., Minden, was arrested by WPSO as a fugitive from Shreveport.

Derek Rice, 29, of the 400 block of Talton St., was arrested by MPD for disturbing the peace (language), resisting an officer and 3 counts as a fugitive from WPSO.

Notice of Death – January 17, 2022

Grace C. Tanner

October 12, 1942 – January 14, 2022

Visitation: 10 a.m. to service time Tuesday, January 18, 2022 at Rose-Neath Funeral Home Chapel, Minden, La.

Service: 11 a.m. Tuesday, January 18, 2022 at Rose-Neath Funeral Home Chapel, Minden, La.

Burial: Driskill Mountain Cemetery, Bienville

Mary Katherine Nielsen

May 18, 1944 – January 12, 2022

Memorial service: 11 a.m. Tuesday, January 18, 2022 at Frierson Baptist Church, Frierson, La.

Road rage leads to shooting 

By Bonnie Culverhouse

A road rage situation on Interstate 20 in the early hours Sunday ended in a shooting, a pursuit and a manhunt.

Webster Parish Sheriff Jason Parker said around 2 a.m., a Shreveport man and two men from Tennessee were traveling westbound on I-20, just west of the Bienville Parish line in Webster Parish.

“It was a rolling gun battle,” Parker said. “Apparently it stemmed from a road rage incident. Gunfire was exchanged between two vehicles.”

Parker said the Shreveport man was shot in the neck. He reportedly managed to pull over and call 911. He was transported to a medical facility. He has not been charged at this time.

“His injuries are serious, but he’s expected to make a full recovery,” said the sheriff. “Law enforcement pursued the second vehicle – the one carrying the men from Tennessee. We went over into Bossier Parish and Bossier City. State police deployed the spikes and were able to get the vehicle stopped.”

One of the men was taken into custody at the scene, while the other fled on foot.

“For a couple of hours, we were on a manhunt in Bossier City, but we caught the other one at the Shreveport bus station trying to leave town,” Parker said. “Both are in custody, but the investigation is ongoing at this point. We are going to need some help from the district attorney’s office on the charges.

“People need to understand, this isn’t the wild west,” the sheriff continued. “I understand the right to bear arms and defend yourself, but it’s best not to take things into your own hands. Pull over and call 911 or your local law enforcement to handle it.”

As of 11 a.m. Sunday, investigators were conducting interviews and the investigation was still ongoing.

“Both parties are saying the same thing – that the other guy shot first,” Parker said. “But we will get to the bottom of it.”

COVID tests available; WP Health Unit providing drive-through tests, vaccinations Sunday 

By Bonnie Culverhouse

With the ever-rising numbers of COVID cases, Webster Parish is doing everything possible to keep residents safe.

Thanks to Webster Parish Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness and Webster Parish Police Jury, the main library branch in Minden (today, Thursday, January 13) and Mack Memorial branch in Springhill (Friday, January 14) will give away COVID-19 Antigen Home Tests.

WPOHSEP Director Brian Williams said the tests are available free of charge, but supplies are limited. “There are less than 200,” he said.

Williams said the parish is also sponsoring another drive-through at the Webster Parish Health Unit from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Sunday, January 16.

“This will be a flu vaccine, COVID vaccine and COVID testing site,” Williams said. “It will be in the parking lot outside the health unit at 1200 Homer Road.”

The drive-through event Sunday will be a group effort among the local health unit office, Louisiana National Guard and Ochsner-LSU Health Center in Shreveport.

Flu shots as well as all three COVID-19 vaccines will be available and free to the public.

Minden man is ‘stuck’ in a dream

By Theresa Gardner

The musical dreams of one Webster Parish man may soon become a reality.

Minden native David Mitchell, says his first single “Stuck in This Place,” will drop later this month on the 21st.

“I have been playing and singing since I was 14,” the now 31-year-old said. “I’ve been playing guitar and writing music for a long-time now. It has always been my passion.”

Mitchell said his guitar and notepaper have always been close by, which helped him to cope with any situation that might arise.

“It didn’t take me long to understand that music was therapy for me,” he explained. “Writing out my worries, my frustrations and even my excitement has always made more sense when I put chords to them.”

Mitchell said he didn’t really start pursuing his music until a couple of years ago after posting a small clip on Facebook.

“I was really surprised,” he said. “I got great feedback from the post, and that’s when I got serious about my writing and haven’t looked back since.” 

Mitchell said without the support of his wife Katie, four sons and another one on the way, his dreams would be just that … dreams.

 “This is all still a surprise to me,” he said. “Without the love and support of Katie, our boys and the fans this would all be nothing more than just dreaming.”

“I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to chase this opportunity and humbled by all of the fans that support my music,” he said. “The sky is the limit, and we are just getting started!”

“Stuck in This Place” drops on the January 21. It will be available on all streaming platforms. 

Contestants prepare to compete for crowns

The 2022 Miss Minden, Miss Spirit of Fasching and Miss Minden Outstanding Teen will be crowned at 7 p.m. Saturday, January 15, at Minden High School Auditorium during the Miss Minden/Spirit of Fasching Scholarship Pageant. Tickets are $10 and will be sold at the door.

Platinum sponsor is Home Federal Bank. Gold Sponsors are Mike’s Hometown Spirits, Terry Gardner for Mayor, Minden Family Pharmacy and Nick Cox. Silver sponsors include b1 Bank, Meriwether Wealth & Planning, The Tree Guys, Hugh Wood Specialty Meats, Harper Motors, Cindy Ritchie Walker and Minden Family Dental.

Young ladies vying for the title of Miss Minden Outstanding Teen are:

Olivia Blackwelder

Olivia Catherine Blackwelder is the 17-year-old daughter of Kent and Lindsay Blackwelder of Minden. She is a Junior at Glenbrook School where she serves as Junior Class President and is a cheerleader, plays basketball and runs track for the Apaches. Olivia is a member of the National Honor Society and has a 3.8 grade point average. She is excited to promote her social impact initiative, It’s OK to be ME: I have ADHD. If chosen as your next Miss Minden’s Outstanding Teen, Olivia looks forward to sharing her story and encouraging others to confidently embrace what makes them different. 

Izzy Gray

Izzy Gray is a resident of Minden, La. She is the daughter of Paul and Ginger Gray. She is a Freshman at Glenbrook School and is on the Varsity Cheer team. She was named a 2021 All American Cheerleader. Her platform is educating others about hunger awareness and how the National Feeding America Program is represented through Joe LeBlanc Food Pantry in Webster Parish. She believes in the power of volunteerism and the idea that one person with another then another can make a difference. 

Competing for Miss Minden, as well as Miss Spirit of Fasching are as follows:

Jacie Brent

Jacie Brent is a resident of Minden and a 2021 graduate of Louisiana Tech University, where she earned a BA in Communications. At Tech, she was a member of several clubs and honor societies, including the Peer Leadership Council, Alpha Psi Omega National Theater Honor Society and Tri Delta sorority. This past summer, Jacie competed at Miss Louisiana as Miss Cane River 2020-2021 and earned the “Women in Mass Communications” award. Jacie currently works as an Advertising Executive at the Ruston Daily Leader and as a Photo Lead/Manager in Training at The Selfie Stop. Jacie’s Social Impact Initiative is “Nothing But Positive” and she will be performing an interpretive vocal performance at the competition this Saturday.

Anna Claire Lemoine

Anna Claire Lemoine, a resident of Minden,  is a 17-year-old senior at Glenbrook School. Her personal impact issue is Shifting Disability to Ability: Supporting Special Olympics through Volunteering. She is a member of the Senior Elite competition team at Cydni’s School of dance, and throughout her 15 years of dance has received awards including numerous dance convention scholarships, CSD Dancer of the Year and the leading role in 2021 CSD ballet, Moana. She is a co-captain of the Varsity Cheer team at Glenbrook, an honors student and a member of the National Honor Society. She is a current participant in the Youth Leadership Webster Program through the Minden Chamber of Commerce.  In 2021 Anna Claire was selected as Webster Parish Fair Queen and as Apache Spirit Princess for the Glenbrook homecoming court. She is also an accomplished swimmer. She holds 14 records at her local club, MTAC, was the 2020 COSST Summer League girls’ 15-18 Champion and qualified for the 2021 Louisiana All-Star team where she won three medals. Anna Claire attends First Baptist Church of Minden. In her spare time she enjoys baking, traveling and spending time with her friends and family.

Lily Grace Spillers

Lily Grace Spillers lives in Minden, La. and is a student at Louisiana Tech University with a major in Marketing and a minor in Graphic Design. Her personal impact statement is Look Up Louisiana—Off of Technology and Into Community. She was honored with Minden Civitan’s Citizen of the year for 2021. She loves to serve her community at The St. Jude auction and has had the privilege of helping paint the two murals in Minden that were painted this past year. She loves all things design and media and has gotten to help with local business logos as well as wedding invitations.

Young ladies competing for the title of Miss Spirit of Fasching only are as follows:

Kayli Clardy

Kayli lives in Winnsboro, La. And is a senior Business Administration major at ULM. Her platform is Remembering: Alzheimer’s Awareness and Research.

Abby Nelson

Abby Nelson was born in Pineville, Louisiana and is currently attending Northwestern State University. Her personal impact is called Shining with the Shriners. With this social impact, she wants to continue in her grandfather’s footsteps, who has been a member of the Shrine Club for over 10 years, to help raise money to benefit children in need at the Shriner’s hospital. Abby has received multiple awards including being named the Tioga High School Student of the Year, and receiving the honor of being on the Northwestern State President’s list several times.

Courtney Patterson

 Courtney Patterson is an 18-year old-resident of Shreveport, La. She is a freshman at Southern University Shreveport Louisiana; studying Early Childhood Education. Her platform is called “A Sisterhood and a Lifetime of Community Service,” which is about women and girls in the Girl Scouts USA coming together to improve communities via community service. The Girls Scouts USA is so dear to her heart because she has been a member for 13 years. She says it has shaped her into the young woman she is today, and has taught her to make a difference in her community. It has also inspired her to show other girls to take part and be an advocate to better their community. 

Rachel Singleton

Rachel Eliza Singleton is a native of New Orleans and a second-year biology major, with a double minor in Spanish and interactive media on the pre-med track, attending Spelman College. Rachel has a dynamic personality, an impressive list of academic achievements, an outstanding record of service to her community, as well as an inspirational talent for art. Rachel’s platform is “Rachel’s Rules Rewritten” Rachel’s Rules Rewritten focuses on the 3 Rs– regroup, rise, and restart– which strive to take the best of what exists and make it better. The first “R,” Regroup focuses on prioritizing the health and education of our youth by emphasizing the importance of physical fitness, mental health, and learning. The second “R,” Rise, emphasizes the importance of a significant educational foundation. It’s time to focus on our future and make sure every child in Louisiana has the foundation to be great. Rachel plans to work with state leaders to ensure every child has an equal opportunity to have a great foundation in science, technology, art, and math through mentorship and stem kits that will introduce kids to the fantastic possibilities STEAM can bring! It’s time to RISE, Louisiana! The 3rd and final “R” focuses on restarting a sense of community! Rachel plans to promote a proposal to inspire a commitment to our communities and young people. Rachel designed a mentorship program to help children as early as kindergarten to jump-start participation in community service. The program will promote a love of self and a love of community. After graduating, Rachel plans on attending Columbia University School of Medicine, where she hopes to become a neurosurgeon and earn her Ph.D. in neuroscience. Through her service and mentorship work, Rachel is an active leader in the community and has participated in more than 200 hours of community service in 2021. Rachel’s educational foundation, dynamic personality, and inspiring energy, coupled with her enthusiasm for high achievement, passion for her community, will undoubtedly lead her to greatness as she pursues her goals and achieves her dreams.

Obituary: Willard Dempsy Kaylor

March 22, 1930 to January 11, 2022

Tuesday, January 11, 2022, Mr. Willard Kaylor launched his final pirogue into the lake within the heavens. He was an avid fisherman and outdoorsman who spent his entire life within the woods of Webster Parish. He could tie a net better than anyone. He loved the outdoors and was a model example of a steward of this earth. He rarely met a stranger in the woods and had one of the straightest moral compasses a man could possess. He was a kind, loving family man that doted on his children and grandchildren to the best of his abilities during his life. Up until an auto accident in 2019, you couldn’t keep him from the woods, and he was as light-footed as any young man.

Mr. Kaylor served in the United States Army during the Korean Conflict and was awarded medals for his service. Though he rarely talked about the war during life, he had many colorful stories he could tell.

Willard was preceded in death by his parents, Robert Cleveland, Kaylor and Erah Pearl Martin and all six of his siblings. He joined the love of his life in heaven, Marie Kaylor, whom he married in 1955 and doted on for 32 years prior to her passing.

He is survived by his three children, Steve and wife Janice, Linda and husband David Oliver, Bill and wife MaryAnn. He had five grandchildren, Stephanie (Jimes) and Jessica (Bird), Jonathan, Kelly (Martin), and Will Tolar. He was blessed with ten great grandchildren, as well as a slew of other young’uns he’d have happily called his own.

Willard Kaylor was loved by many and will be cherished by those left to remember him. There was hardly a day that went by he didn’t stop by the Feed Store for his morning chat, and quite often his out-of-town grandkids would find him there instead of home over the years. Those that knew him loved him, and will miss him terribly.

A graveside service was held at 2 p.m. January 12, 2022 at Cotton Valley Cemetery. In honor of Mr. Kaylor, the family would like to ask that you do an act of kindness to this world – plant a tree, throw out some acorns on the creekbank, pick up litter in the woods, take your family and have a picnic in nature – whatever Willard would have done himself.

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 We look forward to hearing from you.