Notice of Death – February 16, 2022 

Larry Baker House

September 26, 1946 – February 13, 2022

Memorial service: 4 p.m. Saturday, February 19, 2022, at The Stable at 2195 Swan Lake Rd. in Bossier City with a fellowship meal immediately following.


Dee Martindale Camp

December 14, 1942 – February 16, 2022

Visitation: 5 until 7 p.m. Friday, February 18, 2022 at Calvary Baptist Church, Homer, La.

Funeral service: 10 a.m. Saturday, February 19, 2022 at the church

Burial: Arlington Cemetery, Homer


Daniel P. ‘Danny’ Bell

April 13, 1948 – February 9, 2022

Memorial Service: 2 p.m. Saturday, February 19, 2022 at Cypress Baptist Church, Benton, La.


Loy Beene Moore

July 2, 1937 – February 10, 2022

Visitation: 4 until 6:30 p.m. Thursday, February 17, 2022 at Rose-Neath Numeral Home, Bossier City.

Funeral service: 10 a.m. Friday, February 18, 2022, First United Methodist Church, Bossier City.

Burial: Rose-Neath Cemetery, 5185 Swan Lake Rd., Bossier City

McEachern: 53 years at Neta’s

Timmie McEachern enjoys a sandwich at Neta’s during the early days.

By Shanda Gann

Neta’s Bar-B-Q opened in Minden during the Spring of 1955 by John Powell and his family.  John named the restaurant after his wife, Neta Powell. John’s son, Mike, took over the business in 1976. Today, Steve Davis, who was an employee for many years, owns the restaurant. Neta’s is now one of the oldest and most respected businesses in Minden.

Timmie McEachern began working at Neta’s Bar-B-Q when he was just 11 years old. This year marks 53 years of service for him. It all started when Timmie’s brother, Glen, passed down his Grit Newspaper route to Timmie. Timmie sold each newspaper for 25 cents and was able to keep 7 cents of each sale. During this time, Glen had started working at Neta’s and asked Timmie if he wanted to start working there as a carhop. He made $13 per week when he first started his career. 

When asked why he started working at such an early age, he said, “I came from a family of six kids and learned very early that you worked for what you wanted.”

Since then, he has worked every job available at the restaurant. From carhop to dishwasher, to taking orders, and now full time cook, Timmie is well established in all operations of the business except ownership. 

“There are at least 4 of us, including the owner, that work at Neta’s with more than 20 years of service,” he said. “If anyone wants bar-b-q by experienced workers, then we are the people to see.”  

When Timmie is not working at Neta’s, he enjoys fishing, hunting, writing poetry and writing gospel songs. He published a book of poetry in 2015 titled “Rhymes without Reason, A Collection of Poems, Inspired by God, Nature and the South.” 

He has written gospel music that has been performed at his home church, City on a Hill Pentecostals, and also at Camp Meeting located in Tioga, La. Camp Meeting is a statewide gathering of believers for a week of worship, fellowship and the Word of God. 

Another passion that Timmie continues to cultivate is photography. 

“A friend and I take Sunday drives with my camera,” he said. “I enjoy taking pictures of old barns, cemeteries and other historical interests.” 

He also spends time tracing his genealogy. With full time work and all these hobbies, Timmie is still going strong at 63 years old.

Timmie stated he does see retirement in his future, but will never fully give up his job. He may cut his hours back at some point, but enjoys working and plans to continue doing so as long as he is able. 

Earl Meador, NLTCC Chancellor stepping down  

Earl Meador, chancellor of Northwest Louisiana Technical Community College (NLTCC), announced last week his decision to step down from the position to spend more time with his family. He will remain at the college as chancellor to help ensure a smooth transition of leadership. 

Since June 2017, Meador has led NLTCC, first as director and then chancellor. He is a 12-year veteran of academic and workforce training and development. 

“In our almost five years at NLTCC, my wife Lori and I have
grown to love the communities our college campuses
serve,” said Meador. “Most importantly, Northwest
Louisiana became our home and the NLTCC family became our family. Together, we have accomplished a lot, and I am so proud to have worked alongside a talented and dedicated group of professionals.” 

“On behalf of the Board of Supervisors and our entire organization I thank Earl for his dedication to NLTCC and the Northwest Louisiana community,” said Monty Sullivan, president of Louisiana’s Community and Technical Colleges. “During his time at NLTCC, Earl has been a driving force of stability and professionalism. He led the college through a scheduling redesign which provided greater flexibility and more opportunities for students to enroll in classes. He led the college through the process of becoming a comprehensive technical community college, and he improved the college’s community engagement and reputation throughout the Northwest region of the state.” 

“We cannot thank the students. faculty, staff, and business community enough for your kindness and openness to accepting us into your communities. This has been the best five years of my career,” said Meador. 

Ask the Paperboy, Chapter 59: Grammar Edition 

Dear Ask the Paperboy,

My understanding is that collaborative is an adjective meaning “two or more parties working together,” i.e., “a collaborative effort.” This week I heard a similar word: “cobladderative.” During a particularly long sermon, the parishioner by me said they were in a “cobladderative situation.” They looked most uncomfortable? Being just a visitor, I nodded politely and didn’t pursue a line of questioning. Any help?

Asking for a Friend

Dear Asking for a Friend,

Paperboy has been there. No fun. It’s not a religious word at all; it’s actually about as human and secular as you can get. You find yourself in cobladderative peril when your personal bladder and a long movie or long sermon conspire to make you have to decide whether to go to the bathroom or hold it until the credits. Or until the “amens.” It’s one of those potentially violent and dicey deals. If you can avoid cobladderation, the day is worth as much celebration as you can offer.


Dear Ask the Paperboy,

With Louisiana Tech and other programs about to start their baseball seasons, I read about Tech’s 2021 “historic” run last spring and in another article read of the Love Shack’s “historical moments.” Are these two adjectives interchangeable? Which is preferable?

History Fan in Ruston

Dear History,

Paperboy just dusted off his Grammar for Dummies, Junior Edition, turned to the “Things I Don’t Know” section and concluded that while both words describe the past — and everything that happens, like your reading of the question above, is now in the past — “historic” means something that’s really important. Tech hosted an NCAA Regional for the first time last spring, making it important/historic. “Historical” can be just about anything from the past that has to do with an event but isn’t necessarily the most important thing from that event: for instance, the box scores from the Regional are historical. If a batter had clobbered eight home runs in a single game, then the box score would be considered historic. (If a second-year home team batter had done it, the feat would be both historic and sophomoric, and the mood in Ruston that weekend would be as it was anyway: euphoric.) Whether or not these answers hold up, time will tell. Either way, just in case something historic happens this spring, get to a ballpark.


Dear Ask the Paperboy,

Speaking of the past, a now-seldom-used term is one of my favorites. I say term: it might even be an idiom. Oh, how I do love an idiom! Anyway, “hue and cry,” as in, “When taxes were raised, there was a great hue and cry.” My question is, Can you have one without the other?

An Idiot for Idioms

Dear Idiom Idiot,

Hue sure can.


Dear Paperboy,

I stayed up all night to see where the sun went. Then it dawned on me.

Clever in Calhoun

Dear Clever,

We see what you did there. Why must you pun-ish us?

Until next time, feel free to submit your queries. This is a collaborative enterprise, after all, and Paperboy never sleeps.

Contact Teddy at

Encanto magic at WP library

The Madrigals are an extraordinary family who lives hidden in the mountains of Colombia in a magical place called the Encanto. The magic of the Encanto has blessed every child in the family with a unique gift — every child except Mirabel. However, she soon may be the Madrigal’s last hope when she discovers that the magic surrounding the Encanto is now in danger.

Will Mirabel’s determination and love save the magic surrounding Encanto and her family? Will Mirabel discover she had a unique power all of this time? 

Sing, dance, laugh, and jump with Ms. Kaitlyn (I mean Mirabel) as she brings the movie to life and that Encanto teaches us no family is perfect, but it is the strongest foundation every member can rely on in times of crisis! 

Join us for this exceptional, fantastical, and magical event Saturday, February 26, 2021. Showtimes are 10 a.m, and 2 p.m. Seating is limited to 20 children per show to allow for social distancing – oh, and dancing too! 

For tickets, please call Ms. Kaitlyn at (318) 371-3080 x116 (be sure to drop by the library after calling to pick up your ticket) or drop by your Webster Parish Libraries – Minden Main Branch Children’s Department to sign up! 

  • Photos with Mirabel and other Encanto characters before each event 
  • Children are encouraged to dress up as their favorite character (or as your own kind of unique)
  • Limited seating to 10 children per show 
  • Special prize and popcorn 

The magic awaits you at your Webster Parish Libraries Minden Main Branch! 

Foster Financial Local Retirement Planning  

Reinette Foster, local owner of Foster Financial, is a financial planning and retirement professional with several years as a trusted advisor to families, individuals, and businesses. Reinette will help you sidestep unnecessary risk, keep your retirement assets intact, and achieve the retirement you have always dreamed of.

Her desire is to help others grow out of their own discovery of safe money products and solutions by providing the guidance necessary to truly enjoy your golden years.

Reinette is a Federal Retirement Consultant that specializes in several areas of retirement planning;

Federal Employee Benefits

Tax Planning

IRA/401K Rollovers

Asset Protection

Social Security

Income Strategies

Contact Reinette today!


The Great Pot Roast Cookoff of 2022  

Mississippi Pot Roast (left) and RSJ’s Mississippi Pot Roast

By Robert St. John

So, there’s this thing called a “Mississippi Pot Roast.” I’ve seen it pop up on my social media over the last several years and I have seen other people comment on it and offer their thoughts online after preparing and eating it.

Mississippi Pot Roast became a viral internet sensation after a woman in North Mississippi, Robin Chapman, tweaked a roast recipe her grandmother used to make by adding dry Ranch dressing mix, dry au jus mix and— of all things— some pepperoncinis. It was published in a church league cookbook and then on a blog, and then on another blog. After that it took on a life of its own on the World Wide Web and has grown into a thing of legend.

Some of the Internet research I did referred to the recipe as “Mississippi Roast” others called it “Mississippi Pot Roast.” They were the same recipe, but I am proudly from Mississippi, and I dearly love my home state. I not only wanted to learn more about this phenomenon (granted a decade too late), but I also wanted to use the correct name. I Googled “Mississippi Roast” and received 91,200 hits in 0.65 seconds. Popular. A quick search for “Mississippi Pot Roast” yielded 167,000 hits in 0.58 seconds. Very popular. So, for the purposes of this column, I will refer to the recipe as Mississippi Pot Roast, even though Chapman, the creator of the recipe appears to have just called it “roast.”

Everyone from the New York Times to the folks at Garden & Gun have opined on the recipe. Mississippi Pot Roast has an enthusiastic and loyal legion of fans.

I was skeptical at first. The recipe included store-bought dry Ranch dressing mix, dry au jus mix and pepperoncinis. Not necessarily legit to some folks. I make a damn good pot roast, myself. I, too, am from Mississippi. I thought it might be time to make this Mississippi Pot Roast and compare it to my pot roast recipe— certainly what would be considered a Mississippi pot roast recipe, also. So, I purchased two roasts and the comparison process was underway.

My recipe calls for a shoulder roast and the Mississippi Pot Roast recipe calls for a chuck roast. This created a dilemma right off the bat. When comparing recipes, one always wants to compare apples to apples to gain the most accurate result. A shoulder roast is leaner and lends itself to slicing. A chuck roast has more fat and is better for shredding. I went with the shoulder roast on both.

The thing about the Mississippi Pot Roast recipe is that it is simple. Seriously simple— five ingredients dumped into a crock pot. It doesn’t get any easier. Put the roast in the crock pot, sprinkle the two dry mixes over the top, add butter and pepperoncini, close the lid and come back in eight hours.

My pot roast— heretofore for the purposes of this column will be referred to brazenly in the third person as RSJ’s Mississippi Pot Roast— is a much more complicated process. It is seasoned and seared on all sides in a skillet before being placed in a roasting pan. Then a peanut butter-colored roux is made in the same skillet to which onions and thyme are added. After a few minutes hot beef broth, Worcestershire, salt, and pepper are added to the roux mixture which is then poured over the roast in the pan, covered, and baked for two hours.

While the original Mississippi Pot Roast is cooking in the crock pot, undisturbed, the RSJ Mississippi Pot Roast gets onions and carrots added at the two-hour mark, and potatoes at the three-hour mark. It is done after four hours (though I went a little longer because the roast was a little larger).

I brought together a panel of expert taste testers to compare the two dishes, side-by-side— my wife, my mother-in-law and my Italian goddaughter from Tuscany who is taking a gap year after high school and staying with us over here for a few months (she also helped make the mashed potatoes).

Here are the results

Ease of Preparation: The Mississippi Pot Roast wins this category hands down. As stated earlier, it was five ingredients thrown into a crock pot and left alone for eight hours. It doesn’t get any easier than that.

The RSJ Mississippi Pot Roast took a little prep work and there is a roux preparation involved (nothing hard, just flour and fat cooked low and slow, but some are intimidated by rouxs). There are also two additions at certain points of the cooking process— the addition of carrots and onions and then the addition of potatoes.

The mashed potatoes we made were not needed as the had the typical accompanying vegetables and was a true one-pot dish. Winner: Mississippi Pot Roast

Degree of Innovation: There is not much innovation involved in the RSJ Mississippi Pot Roast. It’s a fairly straight take on a classic recipe. However, Mrs. Chapman’s Mississippi Pot Roast is something I have never heard of, or even thought of— ranch dressing, butter, and pepperoncinis. Winner: Mississippi Pot Roast

Legitimacy: Most of my chef friends would scoff at any recipe that would use a powdered dressing mix in the preparation of a roast. I understand that Mrs. Chapman’s grandmother made a roast with Italian dressing (which I have heard of) and she wanted to tweak that recipe. Who am I to argue with 10 years of internet viral sharing? Nevertheless… Winner: RSJ Mississippi Pot Roast

Eye Appeal: There was a tie among the judges here. The Mississippi Pot Roast was darker and had a nice crust on it, and my wife and mother-in-law thought it looked best (traitors). I probably left the foil tent on too long on the RSJ Mississippi Pot Roast and it had a lighter finish. Tie

Tenderness: The RSJ Mississippi Pot Roast was easier to slice since I used a shoulder roast. The chuck roast used on the Mississippi Pot Roast yielded a drier product. Though it was easier to shred. Winner: RSJ Mississippi Pot Roast

Positives of Each: It’s hard to beat five ingredients thrown in a crock pot before work, allowing one to come home to a finished dish. But I think the favorite part of my RSJ Mississippi Pot Roast is the gravy it makes. Seriously, once the roast is finished, all one must do is remove the roast and vegetables and then strain the pan juices through a colander and the resulting gravy needs nothing. It’s perfect in its taste, color, and viscosity. I love gravy. That’s a big positive in my book. Also, the carrots and potatoes are perfectly cooked and seasoned well. The RSJ Mississippi Pot Roast is a full meal. Winner: RSJ Mississippi Pot Roast

Negatives of Each: The RSJ Mississippi Pot Roast is slightly time consuming. And, whereas, the procedures aren’t complicated, it is certainly more involved than the other Mississippi Pot Roast, and you will get a couple of more pans dirty.

I thought the pepperoncini addition added a slight off-flavor to the pan juices, and it didn’t hold up in comparison to the gravy. The juices also came off a little salty tasting. Tie

Taste: When it comes down to it, this is the main criteria for any dish for me. And with all due respect to Robin Chapman and the hundreds of thousands who have prepared her viral phenomenon, I favor my RSJ Mississippi Pot Roast. Though the other three judges were very non-committal. I couldn’t tell if they were trying to spare my feelings or if they seriously couldn’t decide which one tasted better. Tie

For the record, a Google search for “RSJ Pot Roast” yielded only five results in 0.42 seconds. I’ve got some work to do if I am going to spread the word about my version.


RSJ’s Mississippi Pot Roast


2 ½ -3 lb         Beef shoulder roast

1 Tbl.              Kosher salt

2 tsp.               Black pepper

1 Tbl               Steak Seasoning

1 /4 cup           Bacon grease (or canola oil)

1 /4 cup           Olive oil

1 /2 cup           Flour

2 cups              Onion, diced + 1 large onion cut into wedges

3 cups              Beef broth, hot

2 large              Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters

3                      Carrots, peeled and cut into quarters

1 /4 tsp.           Thyme

2 tsp.               Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp.               Salt

1 tsp.               Black pepper

Preheat oven to 275 degrees.

Season the beef with Kosher salt, pepper and steak seasoning. In a large heavy-duty skillet, heat the bacon grease over high heat. Brown roast on all sides and place in a roasting pan.

Lower heat on the skillet and add olive oil and flour to make a peanut butter-colored roux. Add diced onions and thyme and continue to cook for four to five minutes. Add hot beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and stir until smooth. Pour liquid into roasting pan with the pot roast.

Cover with foil and place in oven. Cook 90 minutes. Remove foil and add carrots and onions. Return to oven and cook uncovered for 45 minutes. Remove, add potatoes and cook for one more hour.

Yield: 8 servings

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

A letter of criticism 

By Brad Dison

One day, 11-year-old Grace Bedell’s father showed her a photograph of a man.  Grace was instantly appalled by what she saw.  She described his appearance as having a “high forehead over those sadly pathetic eyes, [an] angular lower face, with deep-cut lines about the mouth.”  She had never met the man but was determined to help him improve his looks.  Her suggestion was to cover his face with whiskers because, as she said in the letter, “you would look a great deal better for your face is so thin.”  As to soften the blow of her criticism, Grace made a single compliment to the picture in her letter.  She wrote, “I think that rail fence around your picture makes it look very pretty.”  She asked that if the man had no time to reply to her letter, to have his daughter reply in his stead.   She ended the letter with a firm request that he “answer this letter right off.  Good bye. Grace Bedell.”   

Four days later, the thin-faced man read Grace’s letter containing criticisms which would have been a blow to any man’s ego regardless of the age of the criticizer.  He quickly penned the following response to young Grace:   

“My dear little Miss.

Your very agreeable letter of the 15th. is received.  I regret the necessity of saying I have no daughters. I have three sons — one seventeen, one nine, and one seven, years of age. They, with their mother, constitute my whole family.  As to the whiskers, having never worn any, do you not think people would call it a piece of silly affection if I were to begin it now?”

He finished the letter with warm affection, “Your very sincere well-wisher,” and signed his name. 

Most people would have quickly discounted the letter and would not have given it a second thought.  However, over the next few days, the man pondered over Grace’s letter.  The debate of whether or not to grow a beard plagued his mind.  Finally, after much consideration, he decided to take Grace’s advice and grew a full beard. 

Four months later, the now-bearded man stopped at Westfield, New York, to deliver a speech.  At the end of his speech, the man said, “Last Fall I received a letter from this place—and a very pretty letter it was, too.  It was written by a young girl whose name, if I remember rightly, was Bedell.  Among many other things in that letter was a recommendation that I should let my whiskers grow, and it would improve my appearance.  It was partly from that suggestion that I have done so.  If that young lady is in this crowd I would very much like to see her.”  He noticed that people in the crowd turned their gaze to a specific location.  Grace was present but, due to the size of the crowd, had not seen or heard the man’s speech.  The crowd cleared a path and pushed Grace forward.  The man stepped down from the platform, shook Grace’s hand and gave her a kiss.  He touched his beard and said, “You see, I let these whiskers grow for you, Grace.”  They talked only briefly before the man shook her hand again, stepped into his car, and was whisked away.  Grace never saw the man again.

Grace’s letter was, in part, responsible for the iconic look of a man most of us cannot picture without whiskers, though he wore them for only the last four years of his life.  His bearded portrait graces the $5 bill.  The man whose image so appalled young Grace that she was driven to write a letter of criticism was… Abraham Lincoln.   


1.  Fremont Journal, February 22, 1861.

2.  The Evansville Journal (Evansville, Indiana), November 4, 1878, p.1.

3.  The Advice of a Little Girl Lincoln – Exhibition Confirms a Family Myth, Library of Congress.

4.  The Advice of a Little Girl Lincoln – Exhibition Confirms a Family Myth, Library of Congress.

Pro anglers representing Louisiana 

Over the years, Louisiana has put out some great high school football players who have gone on to professional football. Terry Bradshaw, Bert Jones, Stan Humphries, Joe Delaney, Mark Duper and Bobby Hebert, to name a few. These guys left their mark on the NFL and represented Louisiana in a big way. Well, in the bass fishing world, Louisiana has, and is still, sending guys to the highest level of professional bass fishing with the Bassmaster Elite Series. Today we’ll look at some past anglers, as well as those who are competing now. 

First, let’s look at the history of those who set the standard for all Louisiana anglers. Louisiana’s only two Bassmaster Classic Champions are Jack Hains of Many, Louisiana, who won it on Currituck Sound in North Carolina in 1975, and Villis Bo Dowden of Natchitoches, Louisiana, who won the Classic on the St. Lawrence River in 1980. Both anglers set the bar extremely high for all the anglers that followed. Just like so many great fishermen from this region, they cut their teeth on Toledo Bend. The names of anglers who have come off Toledo Bend and made it to the professional level read like a Who’s Who of bass fishing. 

But presently, probably the most famous Louisiana angler, and one of the most popular on the Bassmaster Elite Series today, is Greg Hackney of Gonzales. This guy has the reputation as one of the toughest anglers on tour and is considered one of the best power fishermen to ever hold a rod. If there’s a shallow bite going on, Greg Hackney will have a jig rod in his hand and will be a definite favorite to win.  Greg continues his winning ways on tour and continues to strive for the one championship that has eluded him…the Bassmaster Classic. He’ll get another shot at a Classic win March 4th -6th on Lake Hartwell, which sits on the Georgia/South Carolina line. Hackney should be one of the favorites, as Lake Hartwell is known for being a shallow water fishery.  Here are some facts about Greg….he’s been in the Classic 15 times, has won 6 B.A.S.S. events, has 59 Top 10 finishes, has been in the money 80% of the time, and has accumulated over $2.5 million in winnings over his career with B.A.S.S. All of Louisiana will be pulling for Greg as he competes in this year’s Classic. 

Another Louisiana angler headed for this year’s Classic is Tyler Rivet of Raceland, Louisiana. If memory serves me right, Tyler is a product of the Nichols State University Fishing Program and is headed into his 5th season on the Elite Series.  Tyler developed his skills fishing for redfish, speckled trout and largemouth bass in the marsh and canals of South Louisiana with his grandfather. Just like Greg Hackney, Tyler is also a shallow water expert who could be a threat to win the Classic.

Next week we’ll cover two more Louisiana anglers looking to make a name for themselves by winning the most prestigious bass tournament in the world…the Bassmaster Classic! Till next time, good luck, good fishing and don’t forget to set the hook!  Stay up to date with bass fishing’s latest news from both Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend with the Tackle Talk Live Show. We air every Tuesday morning live at 11:30 on our Facebook page or on our You Tube channel.

Steve Graf 

Upcoming Events 

February 18

9 a.m. until noon – Louisiana Workforce Commission-sponsored remote work virtual fair. Contact the Louisiana Workforce Commission to sign up or for more information.

February 19

11 a.m. 35th annual MLK/Black History Parade and Youth Rally. Grand marshal of parade, J.J. Sneed.

Current until February 19

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

February 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.

6 p.m. Family Movie Night in the Minden Stewart Center. Movie: Eternals. Anyone under 13 must be accompanied by an adult. Free popcorn and drinks. Call (318) 371-3080 for more information.

February 24

5:30 p.m. Council Chambers at Minden City Hall. Retail businesses and restaurants: Find out how national TV coverage may impact your business. 

April 15-17

Spring Highway 80 sale between Minden and Dixie Inn.

  • 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.

Webster Parish Journal publishes obituaries 

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

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

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

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

Notice of Death – February 15, 2022 

Barbara E. Thomas

Funeral service: 2 p.m. Wednesday, February 16, 2022 at Blocker Baptists Church, Sarepta

Interment: Springhill Cemetery under the direction of Bailey Funeral Home


Daniel P. ‘Danny’ Bell

April 13, 1948 – February 9, 2022

Memorial Service: 2 p.m. Saturday, February 19, 2022 at Cypress Baptist Church, Benton, La.


Loy Beene Moore

July 2, 1937 – February 10, 2022

Visitation: 4 until 6:30 p.m. Thursday, February 17, 2022 at Rose-Neath Numeral Home, Bossier City.

Funeral service: 10 a.m. Friday, February 18, 2022, First United Methodist Church, Bossier City.

Burial: Rose-Neath Cemetery, 5185 Swan Lake Rd., Bossier City

Mary Procell

September 9, 1940 – February 10, 2022

Graveside service: 10 a.m. Thursday, February 17, 2022 at Apple Hill Cemetery, Austin Arkansas.

Auction numbers huge this year

Auction volunteers pose with the check after a full four days of work (not counting preparation) for Minden St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

By Bonnie Culverhouse

The tent at The Greatest Show on Earth is down for another year, but the numbers brought in by Minden St. Jude Auction will keep its workers flying high for the next 12 months with a grand total of more than $2.4 million in donations.

“Of course, Mr. Al (Davis) was the hero in all of this, with his huge memorial donation,” said co-chairman Laura Hollingsworth. “But even without his check, we would’ve been above last year’s numbers. It’s just amazing. There are really no words.”

Co-chair Melissa Brown said she was shocked at the numbers but not the participation.

“Until we really have time to look it all over, we don’t know what the difference was this year,” Brown said. “We just know that the schools really went above and beyond and gave very large donations. It does our hearts so much good to see the kids working hard to raise money for their friends who are at St. Jude.”

Another big fund-raising event was the Run for St. Jude. More than 1,200 runners and walkers, raised $98,000 for the annual auction.

This year, the auction had participants from every state in the U.S., as well as other countries.

“Obviously, the Internet, Facebook and Instagram have made a huge difference in our donations,” Brown said. “We love knowing people from everywhere love the children at St. Jude and are willing to participate, but we also know we can always count on our community to come through.”

For a list of raffle winners, go to the Minden St. Jude Auction website.

Auction co-chairs Laura Hollingsworth (left) and Melissa Brown.

Council studies redistricting plan

Plan 1 of redistricting: Red circle shows area taken from District E and given to District D. Blue circle shows area taken from District B and given to District C. Green circle shows area taken from District D and given to District B. District A remains untouched. The white areas are unincorporated areas inside the city limits. These changes bring the city into compliance.

By Bonnie Culverhouse

The 2020 census shows population in the Minden City limits has decreased, which means the city council must now approve changes to their district lines in order to be in compliance.

“In 2010, total population was 13,082,” said Doug Mitchell, executive director of North Delta Regional Planning and Development District, Inc. “The plan in 2010 had a 9.2 percent deviation.”

In a redistricting workshop with the council Friday, Mitchell said in 2020, total population was 11,928, a 26.15 deviation, with B and D that are “highest out of deviation.”

Deviation is one of the most important things in redistricting.

“You want to be 10 percent or less,” Mitchell said.

Districts A, B and C lost population, however, lines in District A are untouched under the plan discussed by the council Friday.

“It is at 9.64 deviation, which is very acceptable,” Mitchell said.

District A councilman Wayne Edwards seemed content with his numbers but said he is concerned about the census count.

“I have very strong suspicions this is not representative of our population,” Edwards said.

With only District B councilwoman Terika Williams-Walker absent, the other four approved a minimal amount of shifting in their areas.

Mitchell said the clock is ticking.

“Qualifying (for fall elections) is July 26,” he said. “We have to send the new redistricting packet to the Secretary of State for review. They can take up to 60 days. We also have to send it to the Registrar of Voters and Webster Parish Clerk of Court.”

If the city misses that deadline to submit the packet, or if for some reason it is not approved by the deadline, the November election for city council members cannot take place. It does not, however, affect the mayoral race.

District D councilman Michael Roy looks at a photo of the current map, before redistricting.

Red Blooms shares the love

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Kathy Cropper and the crew from Red Blooms in Minden delivered Valentine’s Day flowers Friday to 100 residents at Town & Country Health and Rehab.

Cropper said she got the idea from the Facebook page of a florist in Quitman, Texas.

“I put it on my Facebook page, asking for $20 donations to cover the cost of the flowers,” she said. “I did not expect the response we got.”

Christy Bailey of Southern Sugar Mama baked Valentine cookies for the residents.

After leaving T&C, the florists were headed to Cypress Point Nursing Rehabilitation Center in Bossier City to deliver 38 more arrangements.

St. Jude auction rep tames Lions

It was a great day to be a Lion! Last week, Laura Hollingsworth with the Minden St. Jude Auction did an outstanding job speaking on the local auction’s 46/47 year history, evolution of technology and the activities that are planned through this past Sunday. She even brought out a “caged animal” that would be on display at the Minden Civic Center. Our Lion District 8L Governor Jerry Madden initiated one of our newest members, his cousin James Madden. And we sang happy birthday to Lion Carleton Prothro, who turned the big 9-0 Friday. Wish him a happy birthday if you see him!

UCAP needs for the week of Feb. 14

United Christian Assistance Program has released this list of needs for this week:

Food: Vienna sausage, lunch meat, canned chicken, chicken & dumplings, powdered milk, crackers

Clothing: men’s pants (32 and 34 waist), men’s shoes (9-10 ½ especially)

Household goods: queen sheets, towels, pots, pans, skillets

Many thanks for supporting UCAP!

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

Minden man killed in crash; speed suspected to be factor

A Minden man was killed just before 11 a.m. Sunday, February 13 in a single-vehicle crash on Dorcheat Road.

Troopers assigned to Louisiana State Police Troop G investigated the accident that claimed the life of 28-year-old Colby Foster.

The initial investigation revealed Foster was driving a 2007 Dodge Nitro southbound on Dorcheat Road  just south of Benson Road.  For reasons still under investigation, the Dodge ran off the road and over-corrected.  As a result, it traveled across Dorcheat Road and entered a ditch, where it overturned and struck a tree.  

Foster, who was restrained, suffered fatal injuries as a result of this crash.  He was pronounced deceased at the scene by the Webster Parish Coroner. 

Speed is suspected to be a contributing factor in this crash while impairment is not; however, routine toxicology samples were taken and submitted for analysis.  The crash remains under investigation.

Drive-by shooting injures one 

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Minden Police are investigating a drive-by shooting that occurred around 9:15 p.m. Saturday.

According to Minden Police Chief Steve Cropper, officers discovered 20-year-old male gunshot victim in the 100 block of Chandler Street.

“The victim, Nycholas Williams was taken to Minden Medical Center where he was treated and released,” Cropper said. “He told officers he was standing outside near the street when a white vehicle drove by and a single 9MM round was discharged from the vehicle striking him in the side.”

Cropper said detectives are following up on potential leads, attempting to identify the suspect.

Former Minden tax preparer sentenced to Federal prison 

United States Attorney Brandon B. Brown announced that Deborah Cooksey, 56, of Minden, was sentenced Friday by United States District Judge Donald E. Walter to 24 months in prison, followed by 1 year of supervised release, for filing false tax returns. Cooksey was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $547,043.

Cooksey was indicted in March 2021 and on September 22, 2021, pleaded guilty to one count of filing false tax returns. Cooksey was the owner and operator of Cooksey’s Tax and Notary Services, LLC, in Minden, whose primary business was the preparation and electronic filing of individual income tax returns.

She received all fees from the preparation and filing of client’s individual tax returns into a business account under the name of Cooksey’s Tax and Notary Services. Cooksey did not report all fees earned from the preparation and filing of client’s individual tax returns during the tax years 2013 and 2014.

On April 15, 2015, Cooksey personally prepared and electronically filed her 2013 U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, Form 1040, which was verified by a written declaration that it was made under penalties of perjury with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). She reported Schedule C income of $522,662 on her 2013 Form 1040 tax return. These gross receipts and income reported on her Schedule C were false and in truth and in fact, Cooksey knew her true Schedule C gross income for 2013 was $1,356,682. Because Cooksey understated her gross receipts and income on her Schedule C, there are taxes due and owing for 2013.

As part of her plea agreement, Cooksey agreed to be permanently enjoined from preparing, assisting, advising, or counseling in the preparation of, or filing federal tax returns for anyone other than herself. She is also prohibited from maintaining any association with a tax preparation business, instructing, teaching or otherwise training any person in the preparation of federal tax returns.

The case was investigated by the IRS-Criminal Investigation and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mary J. Mudrick and Mike Shannon.

Springhill man jailed for distribution

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Webster Parish Sheriff’s investigators have put a north Webster Parish man behind bars for drug distribution.

Mark A. Neely, 42, of the 1200 block of Percy Burns Rd., Springhill was arrested last week on charges of possession of Sch. I, Sch. II, Sch. IV, drug paraphernalia and possession of a firearm in the presence of a controlled dangerous substance.

“In 2021, I received several complaints regarding the drug distribution activity of Mark Neely,” said Sheriff Jason Parker.  “WPSO Narcotics agents initiated an investigation and were able to make several controlled purchases of methamphetamine from Neely at his address on Percy Burns Road in Springhill.  

Parker said on Wednesday, February 10, WPSO conducted a search warrant of Neely’s residence.

That search reportedly resulted in the seizure of 14 grams of methamphetamine, 3.85 grams of marijuana, 41 glass pipes used for smoking methamphetamine, 7 Xanax tablets, assorted drug paraphernalia, and numerous firearms. 

Arrest Reports 

February 9

Mark Aaron Neely, 42, of the 1200 block of Percy Burns Rd., Springhill, was arrested by Webster Parish Sheriff’s deputies on warrants of distribution of Sch. II, one count of possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a firearm, possession of Marijuana and possession of Methamphetamine and Xanax.

Charles E. Shehee, 47, of the 300 block of SE 2nd St., Sibley, was arrested by Sibley Police for indecent behavior with a juvenile.

Jalen Wilson, 22, of 4th SE St., Springhill, was arrested by Cullen Police for aggravated assault by drive-by shooting, possession of Marijuana with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm in the presence of a controlled dangerous substance.

De’Brodrick Florence, 22, of 4th SE St., Springhill, was arrested by Springhill Police for racketeering and as a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

De’Brodrick Florence, 22, of 4th SE St., Springhill, was arrested by Cullen Police for aggravated assault by drive-by shooting.

Latarice Grigsby, 22, of 4th SE St., Springhill, was arrested by Springhill Police for racketeering and as a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

Latarice Grigsby, 22, of 4th SE St., Springhill, was arrested by Cullen Police for aggravated assault by drive-by shooting.

Hallie R. Watson, 18, of the 200 block of Big. Baxter Rd., Springhill, was arrested by WPSO for domestic abuse battery.

Cortoria Willis, 20, of the 400 block of 5th St. SE, Springhill, was arrested by Minden Police on 2 active bench warrants.

Aderrius Deshun Mitchell, 20, of the 400 block of E. Union St., Minden, was arrested by Minden Police on an outstanding warrant for armed robbery.

Charles Deon Miller, 41, of the 400 block of East St., Minden, was arrested by Minden Police for possession of Methamphetamine.

February 10

Gregory A. Williams, 39, of the 300 block of Ashland Dr., Houma, was arrested by WPSO on a warrant for simple escape.

February 11

Ramone J. Phipps, 30, of the 1800 block of Grove St., Shreveport, was arrested by WPSO for possession of a stolen firearm.

Jakorien LeBusch Greenard, 19, of the 100 block of Bailey St., Minden, was arrested by Minden Police on a warrant for principal to armed robbery.

Andre Lavelle Poole, 54, of the 300 block of Lewis Loop, Cotton Valley, was arrested by Cotton Valley PD on a warrant for illegal possession of stolen things.

Danny Latroy Harris, 53, of the 600 block of Marshall St., Magnolia, Ark., was arrested by WPSO for felony theft.

February 12

Anita S. Silk, 53, of the 100 block of Simmons Trail, Cotton Valley, was arrested by WPSO for disturbing the peace/failure to pay and no driver’s license/failure to pay.

Jonathan Claude Duck, 29, of the 13,000 block of Hwy. 371, Taylor, Ark., was arrested by Springhill Police for possession of Methamphetamine and failure to register a vehicle.

February 13

Keiran Keith Janeczko, 20, of the 1300 block of Alfred Lane, Bossier City, was arrested by WPSO on 2 counts of simple burglary of a vehicle.

Roger Wayne Brown, 60, of the 200 block of Melvin Thomas Rd., Doyline, was arrested by WPSO for driving while intoxicated (first offense).

Notice of Death – February 14, 2022 

Shirlie Marie Baxter

April 4, 1939 – February 11, 2022

Visitation: 4 until 7 p.m. Tuesday, February 15, 2022 at Bailey Funeral Home, Springhill, La.
Funeral service: 11 a.m. Wednesday, February 16, 2022 at Bailey Funeral Home, Springhill, La.


Barbara Elaine Rhymes Thomas

March 9, 1951 – February 8, 2022

Visitation: 6 until 8 p.m. Tuesday, February 15, 2022, at Bailey Funeral Home, Springhill

Funeral service: 2 p.m. Wednesday, February 16, 2022 at Blocker Baptist Church, Sarepta

Intermet: Springhill Cemetery


Daniel P. ‘Danny’ Bell

April 13, 1948 – February 9, 2022

Memorial Service: 2 p.m. Saturday, February 19, 2022 at Cypress Baptist Church, Benton, La.


Loy Beene Moore

July 2, 1937 – February 10, 2022

Visitation: 4 until 6:30 p.m. Thursday, February 17, 2022 at Rose-Neath Numeral Home, Bossier City.

Funeral service: 10 a.m. Friday, February 18, 2022, First United Methodist Church, Bossier City.

Burial: Rose-Neath Cemetery, 5185 Swan Lake Rd., Bossier City


Mary Procell

September 9, 1940 – February 10, 2022

Graveside service: 10 a.m. Thursday, February 17, 2022 at Apple Hill Cemetery, Austin Arkansas.