The following civil suits were filed with the Webster Parish Clerk of Court between April 6 and April 19:
Webster Parish Sales and Use Tax Commission vs. Southern Knight Boutique LLC, Mina Nicole Thebeau, petition.
Webster Parish Sales and Use Tax Commission vs. Lacy Ezernack Wooten, Ragamuffins LLC, petition.
Brandi Starde Watson vs. Javinceyun Javonte Watson, divorce.
Ashley Nanette Jones vs. Samuel Cody Miller, protective order.
Barksdale Federal Credit Union vs. Lawanda K. Cole, monies due.
LVNV Funding LLC vs. Stacy Budwah, monies due.
PMB Rentals LLC vs. Michael Simmons, petition.
State of Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development vs. Nikeeny L. Reed aka XYZ Insurance Company, damages.
Brewers Quality Homes Inc. vs. Theresa Smith Ouzts, James H. Ouzts, executory process.
Wells Fargo Bank NA vs. Tracy Leigh Singleton Impson, executory process.
Tavasha Morris vs. Adrian Parks, divorce.
First Tower Loan LLC vs. Tangala M. Lard, Sheldrick Andretti Lard, monies due.
Capital One Bank vs. Ronald M. Miller, monies due.
Tanner J. Raney, Marjorie K. Morrow, vs. J. Schuyler Marvin, district attorney, name change.
Haley Rhodes vs. Ladarius Rhodes, protective order.
Citibank vs. Chandra Warke, monies due.
Lillie Mae Bratton vs. Nexium Health at Minden Inc., medical review panel.
Christopher Lee Holder vs. Jenna Joyce Nelson, custody.
Janet Crawford Louis vs. Albert E. Louis Sr., divorce.
Goldman Sachs Bank USA vs. Lyndee Roberson, monies due.
Misty Lazarus, individually and on behalf of minor children and Jason Lazarus, individually and on behalf of minor children vs. Louis C. New Jr., damages.
Robbie Dale Bailey vs. Steve Cropper in his official capacity as Chief of Police, Minden Police Dept.; Joel Kendrick, Matthew Hicks and Kirk Morgan in their official capacity as an officer of the Minden Police Dept.; Terry Gardner in his official capacity as mayor of the City of Minden; Reece Tewell, Jeremy Sitter and Catie Cortez in their official capacities as Minden Police officers, damages.
Harley Ervin vs. Coleman Chandler, protective order.
Kristi Lauren Hill Smith vs. Lloyd William Smith, divorce.
Conn Appliances Inc., vs. Robyn Ransbottom, monies due.
Rachal Rachell Coleman vs. Jared Seth Coleman, protective order.
Louisiana Community Technical College System through Bossier Parish Community College vs. Regina Nobrea Bennett, monies due.
Priscilla Delores McWilliams vs. Jimmy Mark McWilliams, divorce.
Stephen Whitfield vs. Melinda Woods, protective order.
Christy Carter Knippers vs. Shane Knippers, divorce.
Sandra Clingan vs. Kevin Clingan, protective order.
Memorial service: planned for a later date, under the direction of Bailey Funeral Home, Springhill, La.
March 10, 1939 – March 31, 2022
Memorial service: 2 p.m. Saturday, April 30, 2022 at Greenwood Cemetery, 701 E. Tennessee Ave., Ruston, La.
** Webster Parish Journal posts paid obituaries – unlimited words and a photo, as well as unlimited access – $80. Contact your funeral provider or firstname.lastname@example.org . Must be paid in advance of publication. (Above death notices are free of charge.)
Anyone who knows Jon Simmons would say that his life revolves around three things: faith, family and his desire to help others. That is why he became a nurse in March 2012. He worked as an ER nurse at Minden Medical Center for 8 years. He never imagined that is where he would receive his very own cancer diagnosis in January 2015. Since then, Jon has been battling Renal cell carcinoma, a type of kidney cancer that begins in the lining of the small tubes of the kidneys.
How do you care for the sick in the community while you are facing a battle of your own? Jon continued to support and aid patients while he was taking chemo pills and radiation. He even worked in the ER during the first phase of Covid-19.
“Jon came to work every day that he was supposed to,” said Courtney Browder, fellow ER nurse, “He never missed a beat. We all knew he was hurting or maybe even miserable, but it never stopped him. He never threw a flag.”
Jon remained dedicated to his job and his patients. “He is literally the strongest man I know,” said Simmons’ wife, Jacquelyn, “The illness I have seen him fight against, taking medications that make you sicker than the cancer itself, all while going to work with all he had going on and trying to support others who were sick while he was fighting for his life.”
Jon eventually underwent surgery to have his left kidney removed. The days following his surgery were very critical, but he pulled through. He remained cancer-free until May of 2017, when he received the news that he was now battling metastatic cancer. It had spread to other parts of his body.
In January 2021 he was hospitalized for five days. While he was there, he suffered the loss of his mother-in-law. He somehow managed to become stable enough to get released to attend her funeral but ended up back in the hospital a few days later. He finally started to make improvements right before his own mother passed and again made sure he was well enough to be released to attend her funeral. These are only a few of the hard times he and his family have endured over the course of his cancer journey, but it has been full of good times, as well.
“He is a fighter,” said Jacquelyn. “He came across this big illness and has taken it head on, not letting it dictate his life. He has lived it to the fullest and is still making plans on enjoying future dreams. He is not giving up.” She describes every day they have together as a gift.
Over the course of this journey, Jon and his wife have married off four of their children and are getting ready to welcome more grandchildren to the family in the next few months.They have both realized how precious their time is and are doing all they can to cherish every moment.
His faith has remained strong, and he rests in the fact that he does not have to fight his battles alone. With God, prayers and the support of his family and friends he is fully covered.
“His faith is unwavering,” said Simmons’ daughter, Erin, “No matter if he gets bad news, he just takes the punches and rolls with them. If anyone is dealing with someone in their family having cancer, or has cancer themselves, he is a good person to talk to and loves being able to help people since he can no longer do bedside nursing.”
He will tell you that he is thankful that God has used him as a stepping stone to minister and encourage others throughout their own cancer journeys.
“I did actually have a patient or two with cancer,” said Simmons. “It helped us bond and support each other.”
His life began to take a different shape. When asked what one piece of advice he would give to someone who just received their diagnosis, he said, “It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Healing will come slowly.”
Jon just completed 18 total days of radiation and will be taking medication for the remaining cancer in his ribs, lymph nodes and right kidney.
To him he is just a normal guy who loves God, his family and his friends, but to everyone else he is an inspiration, a true fighter every single day.
Maybe springtime made me think of it. Could have been the smell of fresh cotton on Easter.
Or my neck just hurt.
But in an instant, it was boyhood again, and with it the hazy memory of a red streak on your sweaty little neck, a sign of a rite of passage, long gone now thanks to all the modern conveniences.
In sports, getting “clotheslined” means getting knocked down by a guy’s outstretched arm at neck level. Your neck is just running along minding its own business when suddenly an angry arm hits it and stops it; the bottom part of your non-neck body keeps going, but obviously not for long.
This happens often in TV wrestling. Standard move. It is the cousin of the “lariat,” which is the classic clothesline, only with the offending arm moving forward like a hatchet.
But in unrehearsed arenas, most often on the football field and daily ‘way back when’ on the school playground, the clothesline was Standard Operating Procedure. Everyone’s neck knew this going in and, if you were a victim, you held no hard feelings … at least not at once you’d caught your breath and felt your neck pipe would live to breathe again.
But the saying itself — clotheslined — would be lost on the youth of today. We knew exactly what it meant and why it fit perfectly. We knew because our moms had clotheslines.
They are rare as an honest soul these days, the clotheslines of our youth. We all have inside clothes dryers now. Even in the 1960s, some people had electric clothes dryers inside their actual homes. Awesome.
But the rest of us had dryers, too. They were just non-electric and hung in the backyard.
The most basic of rural clotheslines were a pair of cross pipes about 20 feet apart, maybe 30, and three or four rows of heavy twine or light wire connected the two. On those were clothes pins holding up various blouses and socks and jeans and underwear.
Very few secrets in rural life concerning haberdashery.
The ends of the cross pipes were hollow, so we’d stick 6-ounce Dr Pepper bottles in the ends to keep the wasps from homesteading. There was a step stool, in case little sis had to help “hurry and get in the wash” before a brewing rain.
You didn’t want the clothesline right in the middle of the backyard because that would mess up playing, but you couldn’t hem it in; the wind needed a fair shot to dry the clothes. Our backyard was big enough so that our clothesline was pushed to the back third. Sweet. It just made the run to the back door a little longer if you were hurrying in under a sprinkle with a quickly gathered load.
The only problem with clotheslines came if you were playing around one you weren’t familiar with. You were the visiting team in another kid’s yard. The lines were high enough so we wouldn’t run into them unless … unless you were on your bike. If you hit a clothesline, it was like being whipped off your bike by an invisible and unforgiving, very healthy and surprisingly strong string.
The days you saw a buddy get clotheslined while on his bike — the bike would keep going and your friend would half somersault in the air before landing on his back — those days were the jewels of childhood.
It was always funny — when it happened to somebody else.
I don’t know about you, but I feasted with my family as we celebrated our Risen Lord and Savior on Resurrection Sunday. The bread, the main course, and the desserts. Yes, I said desserts. I had to sample all of them. You know you probably would too. I left full and satisfied.
Feast is defined as celebrating with food; an elaborate and usually abundant meal; a mark of hospitality. This sounds a lot like what we experience when we feast on God’s Word. It is food for our souls. It is an abundant meal the satisfies completely. It is a gracious offering from the Living God who is hospitable to all its guests.
When was the last time you feasted with the Living God on the Word of God? The feast that He offers is like no other. It is not meant for snacking, but that is often what we tend to do. We choose to grab what we can as we go about our busy lives rather than savor all the flavors offered by this meal. We often choose only the parts we like rather than ingest the full meal.
There are also occasions when we feast together. God made us for community. It is in this space where we come together to feast, to grow, and to learn from each other. Both of these feasts help us to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves. We need both feasts, one on one and with others, and we need them on a regular basis.
Just like our bodies need to be fed , the same is true of our souls. When we miss our feast on God’s Word, we will know it. If we are feeding on the world more than the Word, our lives will show it through our emotions, actions, and speech. We need to be mindful of what we are feeding our souls.
Scripture tells us this:
Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts. Jeremiah 15:16 (ESV)
Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
Psalm 34:8 (NIV)
Are you famished or malnourished in your soul? Have you been trying satisfy this deep hunger with just snacking? Are you being fed by the world or by the Word?
Come and sit at the table. The feast is waiting for you. It was prepared long ago. This meal is just for You. It will nourish your soul and satisfy your hunger. It will never you leave empty, unsatisfied, or starving as the world does.
Come and receive the words of life, the words of truth, the words of love. Consume it all, one bite at a time. It will become your joy and your heart’s delight. Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good.
Don’t skip a meal, but if you do, your seat at the table is always waiting for you.
Invite your friends to join you often. Feast together, there is more than enough. All are welcome to come.
He is whispering your name, do you hear Him? Will you take your seat at the table? Come to the table that has been prepared for you. Come and feast as often as you like.
It is a standing invitation for all who are hungry. The table is always ready. The feast never ends and your seat is always available.
Trish Krouse Hayes and Johnnye Kennon will be the guest speakers for this week’s Minden Lions Club meeting.
Hayes will speak about the Germantown Colony and Saturday’s Germantown Bluegrass Festival. She is a descendant of the original Germantown Colony settlers – the Krouse family. Hayes serves on the Friends of the Germantown Colony Museum Board and loves history and reminders of the sacrifices past generations have made.
Webster Parish Tourism Administrative Assistant Johnnye Kennon will highlight other upcoming events happening in Webster Parish over the next few months. Kennon has worked for the Webster Parish Convention and Visitors Commission for 13 years and is a strong supporter of the events, restaurants and retail shops that increase awareness and visitors to our wonderful parish.
The Minden Lions Club meets Thursdays at noon at the American Legion Memorial Home, located at 119 Pine St. in Minden.
Glenbrook Apaches won big over Cedar Creek 9-3 Tuesday.
Glenbrook got things moving in the second inning when an error scored one run for the Apaches.
They tallied three runs in the fourth inning. Hayden Harmon and Seth Magnum contributed in the big inning with RBIs.
Cale Hollis got the win for Glenbrook. Hollis lasted five and two-thirds innings, allowing thee hits and one run while striking out 11 and walking one. Turner McLelland and Easton Sanders entered the game out of the bullpen and helped close out the game in relief.
Max Brister took the loss for Cedar Creek. The pitcher went one and on-third innings, allowing five runs on five hits and walking none.
The Apaches collected seven hits on the day. Cason Clemons and Sanders had multiple hits for Glenbrook. Sanders and Clemons each collected two hits to lead Glenbrook.
Doyle Tigers 11, Lakeside 6
Lakeside Warriors’ softball team fell behind early and couldn’t come back in an 11-6 loss to Doyle Tigers Tuesday. Doyle Tigers scored on a double by Addison Contorno in the first inning, a double by Kaitlyn Servant in the first inning, a triple by Contorno in the second inning and a single by Savant in the second inning.
Mackenzie McCoy drove in five runners in the loss. McCoy drove in runs on a single in the third, a single in the fifth and a single in the sixth.
Doyle Tigers opened up scoring in the first inning. Contorno doubled on a 0-2 count, scoring two runs.
The Tigers scored four runs in the sixth inning.
Roussel was in the pitcher’s circle for Doyle, surrendering three runs on one hit over three and a third innings, striking out three.
McKenna Chreene was on the rubber for the Warriors. Chreene surrendered 11 runs on. 15 hits over five and two-thirds innings, striking out eight. Keri Petri threw one-third of an inning in relief.
McCoy went 3 for 3 at the plate to lead Lakeside in hits. The Warriors tore up the base paths, as two players stole at least two bases. McKenzie Hamiter led the way with two.
Doyle racked up 15 hits.
Doyline 6, Saline 0
Noah Spears didn’t allow a single run as Doyline Panthers defeated Saline 6-0 Tuesday. Spears allowed just two hits.
In the first inning, Doyline got their offense started when Shain Skaggs threw a wild pitch, allowing two runs across the plate for the Panthers.
Doyline scored three runs in the third inning when Carsten Mingo, Jonas Florence and Benton Bates all moved runners across the plate with RBIs in the inning.
One bright spot for Saline was a single by Skaggs in the first inning.
Spears took the win for the Panthers. The pitcher went seven innings, allowing zero runs on two hits, striking out 11 and walking one.
Skaggs took the loss for Saline. The bulldog surrendered six runs on six hits over six innings, striking out six.
The Panthers totaled six hits. Cayden Mingo and Austin Arbaugh each collected multiple hits for Doyline. Arbaugh and Mingo each managed two hits to lead the team. Doyline did not commit a single error in the field. Dakota Stewart had the most chances in the field with 11.
Lakeside 17, Bossier 1
Lakeside Warriors defeated Bossier High 17-1 Tuesday, thanks to a timely 11 runs in a big first inning. CJ Watts, Jon Jon Dick, Jake Wilkins, Eli Musgraves, Seth Levesque and Watts contributed in the big inning with RBIs.
The Warriors got things started in the first inning, scoring one run when Watts doubled.
Dick earned the victory on the hill for Lakeside. The right-hander surrendered zero runs on one hit over two innings, striking out five and walking zero. Jacob Powell threw two innings in relief out of the bullpen.
J. Goosby took the loss for Bossier High.
Lakeside collected nine hits. Dick and Watts managed multiple hits. Watts and Dick each collected two hits to lead the team. Lakeside Warriors stole eight bases during the game as two players stole more than one. Cooper Chase led the way with two.
Jorge Alfaro went 1 for 1 at the plate to lead Bossier High in hits.
North Webster 17, Logansport 7
North Webster Knights snatched the lead late in the game in a 17-7 victory over Logansport Monday. The game was tied at seven with North Webster Knights Varsity batting in the bottom of the fourth when Peyton Ingle singled on a 1-2 count, scoring two runs.
There was plenty of action on the base paths as North Webster collected 13 hits and Logansport had six.
The Knights fired up the offense in the first inning, when Mason Haynes drew a walk, scoring one run. They pulled away for good with 10 runs in the fourth inning. In the fourth, Cooper Sanders drew a walk, scoring one run, Sawyer Wages singled on a 2-1 count, scoring one run, Ethyn Rader drew a walk, scoring one run and Sanders singled on a 1-2 count, scoring one run.
Haynes took the win for North Webster. The fireballer went one and one-third innings, allowing zero runs on zero hits and walking zero. Kyle Dinkins threw one inning in relief out of the bullpen.
Levi Forrest took the loss for Logansport. Forrest allowed nine hits and 13 runs over three and a third innings, striking out one.
Dakota Davison started the game for North Webster Knights. The bulldog allowed five hits and seven runs over three and two-thirds innings, striking out one and walking one.
North Webster socked one home run on the day. Collin McKenzie had a dinger in the second inning. The Knights collected 13 hits on the day. Dinkins, Sanders, Rader and McKenzie all collected multiple hits for the team. Dinkins led North Webster with three hits in four at bats. The Knights tore up the base paths, as three players stole at least two bases. Sanders led the way with two.
*Powered by Narrative Science and GameChanger Media.
By Shakera Williams, M.P.H., Assistant FCS Nutrition Extension Agent – General & SNAP- ED Webster/Claiborne Parish
Here is a list of freezer staple items you should always keep stocked.
Frozen vegetables: Frozen vegetables top the list for healthy freezer foods. Keep a couple bags on hand. When making a meal, don’t forget a side of vegetables! Take a bag of frozen vegetables out of the freezer and roast, steam, bake, pan-fry, or grill.
Frozen fruits: Frozen fruits obviously last longer than fresh, and they are great for making smoothies!
Frozen chopped onion and bell pepper: At a low-cost per bag, these staples are a major time saver compared to manually cutting the vegetables. If you find a special on onions and bell peppers, you might consider buying them fresh and chopping and freezing for future uses.
Breads: Once you’ve used all of the loaf you can in a week, pop the leftovers in the freezer. This saves money and time shopping for bread every week!
Chicken breasts: Keep some chicken breasts in the freezer for busy weeknights. For added convenience, keep both uncooked and cooked in the freezer.
Ground turkey: Keep handy for a quick turkey taco night, turkey meatballs, or turkey burgers.
Fish: There are many healthy options to choose from, including red snapper, cod, and salmon, to name a few. Fish is a quick and easy protein to cook. It’s heart healthy, too!
Nuts: Nuts keep longer in the freezer and are a protein-rich snack with heart-healthy fats.
Cooked grains: Cooked rice and pasta keep well in the freezer. Cook batches ahead of time and store in the freezer. When your night is busy, simply thaw the cooked grains and save an extra step in your food prep!
Paul was born in Quincy, Illinois in 1915. Five years later, Paul and his family moved to Davenport, Iowa, where Paul’s father became a candy wholesaler. In 1924, Paul and his family moved to Hialeah, Florida, a principal city of the Miami metropolitan area. By this time, Paul’s father was a partner in the Tibbets & Smith wholesale candy company. Paul’s father’s work as a candy wholesaler put Paul in a situation which changed the trajectory of his and countless others’ lives.
Doug Davis was an aviation enthusiast. In 1917, when Doug was eighteen-years-old, the United States entered World War I. Doug quit school and enlisted in the United States Air Service, forerunner of the Air Force. Doug excelled as a pilot and graduated at the top of his class. His talents were such that, rather than sending him into combat, the Air Service determined that Doug’s talents would be better utilized as a flight instructor, a job he excelled at for two years. In 1919, Doug was discharged from the Air Service, but was determined to keep flying. He purchased a surplus Curtiss JN “Jenny” trainer biplane from the government and formed the Doug Davis Flying Circus.
Flying Circuses were a popular form of entertainment following World War I. In flying circuses, daredevil pilots called barnstormers performed dangerous airplane stunts which seemed to defy the laws of physics. Some of these death-defying stunts included spins, dives, loop-the-loops, barrel rolls, wing walking, stunt parachuting, target shooting, dancing on the plane’s wings during flight, midair plane transfers, and even playing tennis.
In 1924, Otto Schnering, owner of the Curtiss Candy Company, was looking for an innovative way to advertise his company’s new candy bar called Baby Ruth. After witnessing the large crowds that gathered for the stunt shows, Otto decided to sponsor a flying circus. He convinced Doug to merge the Doug Davis Flying Circus with another flying circus and formed the Baby Ruth Flying Circus.
As part of their flying circus show, Doug would select a spectator seemingly at random from the crowd to join him in a flight to perform a special task. In reality, the spectators were preselected and were somehow connected with the Curtiss Candy Company. In 1927, the Baby Ruth Flying Circus was scheduled to perform at the Hialeah Park Race Track, a dog racing and horse racing track near Paul’s home. As the son of Curtiss Candy Company’s main wholesaler for the area, Paul was chosen to fly with Doug. Before the show, Doug explained the task that Paul would perform. Paul was excited but nervous because it was his first flight in an airplane. Doug and Paul took off from the racetrack and flew a large sweeping turn over the racetrack. As they flew over the crowd, Paul began throwing Baby Ruth candy bars from the biplane as he had been instructed. Each candy bar was attached to a small parachute which enabled them to coast safely down to the cheering crowds. Paul said later, “From that day on, I knew I had to fly.”
Paul wanted to become a pilot but Paul’s father wanted him to become a doctor. In 1933, Paul graduated from Western Military Academy. Paul went to the University of Florida to work on his undergraduate degree. While there, with the encouragement of his mother, Paul took flying lessons. To satisfy his father’s wishes, he began his pre-med studies at the University of Cincinnati, but, after a year-and-a-half, Paul decided against becoming a medical doctor. Instead, he enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps to become a pilot.
Paul had a distinguished military career. In 1938, Paul was commissioned as a second lieutenant and received his pilot rating. In 1940 and 1941, Paul served as Brigadier General George S. Patton’s personal pilot. When the United States entered World War II, Paul was the commanding officer of a bombardment squadron of B-17s. He captained numerous bomber aircraft during his military career, rose through the ranks, and retired in 1966 as a Brigadier General. Paul is remembered for a single bombing mission he flew in the final year of World War II. On August 5, 1945, eighteen years after Paul dropped Baby Ruth candy bars from an airplane, Paul Tibbets flew the Enola Gay, a bomber named after his mother, that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.
PETROGNANO, TUSCANY— A little over five weeks ago I boarded a plane to Spain. I was arriving two days before 25 guests who hail from all over the American South. Most of them had traveled with me before. We were all heading over so I could lead them through that part of the world while filming eight episodes of my upcoming television series, “Yonderlust.” The Spain trip started in Madrid and then went to Barcelona, Seville, Mallorca, Valencia and Malaga. In 10 days, we covered what would typically be three-weeks-worth of Spain. It’s the way I travel when I host groups in Europe. I always want to cover all the bases and check all of the boxes.
The interesting thing about my Spain guests is that the majority of them have toured with me several times. There were a few who were on their fifth trip with me. Some were on their fourth trip and for a lot of them it was their third time to travel with me. The take-away from that is that all the guests were very comfortable from day one. They knew me, how I host groups when traveling, and most of them already knew each other. It was like a band of friends traveling the Spanish countryside together. The mood was always upbeat and sometimes raucous. Many nights I had to purchase bottles of wine for the tables seated next to us because we were having too much fun. None of our table neighbors seemed to be bothered too much. They were grateful for the gesture, and many joined in the fun.
After 12 days in Spain, my wife and I flew into Florence where we started prepping for three groups of guests to tour the Tuscan countryside, Florence and Sienna with us. This group, like the Spain group was filled with mainly people who had booked this trip in the fall of 2019. All trips were cancelled in March of 2020 for obvious reasons. At the time we thought this would be a flash-in-the-pan type epidemic and rescheduled people for fall of 2020. My thinking was, “Surely this thing will be over in a few months.” We all know how that turned out.
Groups were rescheduled and rescheduled again. We finally landed on several groups rescheduling for fall of 2021. All last summer my excitement grew as it looked like we were finally going to honor our commitment to tour Tuscany with several groups and hit Rome, Amalfi and Naples with another group with whom I had also been rescheduling over and over. Then the latest variant hit. I never really got “down and blue” during any of the covid business. I was too busy trying to save our restaurants, do what I could to save other restaurants and keep my family’s heads above water. I always knew that I would honor the trips we had booked pre-covid.
But when that variant struck last fall it hit me hard. Guests started dropping out. I completely understood their reasoning and certainly wasn’t resentful of it. They needed to make decisions based on their health. I respect that. But it looked like the waiting was finally going to be over and we were going to be able to start touring again. Enough people dropped out that I had to cancel those fall trips as well.
The pandemic hit the world hard. It hit Italy especially hard. Most of this country relies on visitors. The restaurants over here and the people who own villas that rent to vacationers were empty for 18 months. We wanted to support them, too. My wife and I came over in October just to rally the locals and let them know we would be returning with more enthusiastic Americans as soon as we could.
I’ve just finished leading three groups through Tuscany. The first two groups had several people who had been rescheduled three— and sometimes four— times. The third group was almost entirely filled with people who have been waiting to travel with me for two and one-half years. They were eager. But they weren’t as eager as yours truly. From the start, I told them we would make it worth the wait. According to them during their last few days, we made that dream a reality.
I have been focused on living up to my commitments for the past two and one-half years. Once we complete the trips we have scheduled in the fall to Rome, Amalfi and Naples. And several more trips in Tuscany, then our guest travel will return to normal. We will continue to book tours to Tuscany and other parts of Italy, but we are now adding a 2023 return trip to Spain and a trip to Holland and Belgium that will be filled with— food, wine, and culture, but also— World War I and World War II history.
I’m happy that our guests finally got to see a part of the world that they had been hoping to see for over two years. I’m also happy for the locals who were happier than ever to see us. The restaurants we frequent over here— whether with guests or just family— are all locals-only restaurants. They’re run by families and members of extended families, and they all love what they do. One of the unexpected surprises of this recent trip were the smiles on the faces of the restaurateurs as we walked through the door for the first time in 30 months. We were thanked over and over for coming to Spain and Italy to dine with these wonderful people.
I sit here this morning having said goodbye to the final group. A group of friends is flying over to spend time in this lovely countryside with my wife and me. It won’t be work. I won’t be leading the charge, keeping the schedule and hosting paid guests. I will be hanging out with friends. But we will also be visiting our friends in local restaurants.
I am feeling grateful this morning for all the people who help make these trips happen. The couple who owns the villas, Annagloria and Enzo, have always been gracious hosts. They know how to host Americans and they are good at it. Their two daughters, Gemma and Bianca, also know how to cater to guests needs. They help serve dinners we host in the villas and even help with the housekeeping.
Marina Mengelberg, a Dutch born lady who has lived in Tuscany for the past two decades, started out as a tour guide on our very first trip years ago. Now she serves as a co-host and stays in the other villa taking care of the guests who reside with her. She joined me in what are 90-hour workweeks and knocked it out of the park.
Jesse Marin, also Dutch born, helped me co-host the Spain trip and was my boots-on-the-ground person the entire time we were there. He knocked it out of the park.
So many other people helped make these trips possible. Transportation is one of the key elements in travel. As a budget item it can be more costly than lodging. But it takes a lot of logistical planning to shuttle 28 people, housed in two different villas, all over the Tuscan countryside. Our drivers have worked with us for years. They are always on time, and they always think ahead and tackle any problem that arises. Fabio is my minister of transportation. He takes my daily schedule and plugs in the guest-hauling timetable. Andre is a fellow driver who keeps all the guests happy, singing and dancing. Gabriel also provides support.
Toby and Susie at the bakery feed me every morning (and the guests on a couple of mornings). Palo feeds our group, employs my son and keeps us fed even when we don’t have groups, as it is my preferred dining establishment in town in the small town of Tavarnelle. Dario Cecchini welcomes us with music, dancing and lots of meat. And so many other people in so many other places in the area are a huge part of our team. It couldn’t be done without them. Thanks to all.
It’s been a great spring. Looking forward to a fantastic fall.
In the trattorias and osterias on the western coast of Sicily the day’s fresh, raw seafood catch is often displayed on ice in the dining room. One picks their specific fish and the server takes to back to the kitchen where it is prepared. There is usually an antipasta display and several vegetable courses served buffet style. Caponata is often among the offerings. Everyone prepares caponata differently. This preparation was inspired by my friend Annagloria, who is a native of Florence, but a lover of all things Sicilian.
1 each Red bell pepper, large diced 1 each Yellow bell pepper, large diced 1 each Large red onion, large diced 1 rib Celery, sliced ¼ cup Green olives, rough chopped 2 TB Capers ¼ cup Pine nuts ¼ cup Raisins ½ cup Extra virgin olive oil ½ cup Red wine vinegar 1 TB Sugar 1 each 28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand, with juice 1 tsp Kosher salt ½ tsp Fresh ground black pepper Preheat oven to 375.
Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Transfer to a large roasting pan and cook for 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
(Robert St. John is a chef, restaurateur and cookbook author. He lives in Hattiesburg, Miss.)
The Minden Evening Lions Club will be hosting a garage sale fundraiser at the Minden Fairgrounds field at 7 a.m. Friday April 30 and Saturday May 1. They are taking donations now. If you have anything you’d like to contribute to help them raise funds you can contact Sherrie McMurray at 294-6346, Dru Brown at 272-2467 or Tommy McMurray.
The Minden Evening Lions club is a civic organization that supports many other non-profits in Webster parish such as Joe LeBlanc Food Pantry and UCAP (United Christian Assistance Program). Among many other things, they collect food for those in need during the holidays, do eye screenings on children at almost all of our local schools and support a camp for children with disabilities each year. Their biggest fundraiser each year is the Minden Fair which was cancelled last year due to Covid-19 so our support means more now, than ever!
Dorcheat Soil and Water Conservation District in partnership with the National Association of Conservation Districts will celebrate the 67th annual “Soil and Water Stewardship Week” on April 24 – May 1.This year’s theme is “Healthy Soil, Healthy Life.”
This week-long celebration is to remind us of our individual responsibilities to care for our natural resources.
For more information, please contact the Dorcheat SWCD Office at318-377-3950 Extension 3.
Tartans, targets and tactical were the themes of Thursday’s Lions Club meeting as we had a program double-header.
Shelia Hoh, president of the Scottish Society of the Louisiana Highlands and chair of the annual Tartan Festival, kicked things off by talking about the upcoming Tartan Festival at Scotland Farms of Minden. She highlighted all the unique and exciting activities that are on Saturday’s festival agenda, including a haggis eating contest, belly dancing, bagpipers, marching of the clans and Scottish storytelling. T
Next, Joey Miguez, head instructor at DavTac Custom Arms and Ammo, spoke about their indoor and outdoor shooting range, concealed carry courses, constitutional carry, and what happens when you take a concealed weapon across state lines. He was followed by Rory Chie from U.S. Law Shield, who spoke about legal defense for self-defense and the specialized insurance his company provides.
Special thanks to Lion Dr. Alan Cameron and Lion Nelson Smith for inviting our speakers.
Ethan Jeffus and the Louisiana Tech Career Center are partnering with Mercy’s Closet on Sibley Road in Minden.
“Since my time serving there, the Career Center has started a Career Closet, which opened in late 2021 with the mission of providing free professional clothes to students in need so they would be prepared to interview for jobs and attend events where professional attire is required,” Jeffus said. “Mercy’s Closet has been able to partner with the Career Center in our effort by helping collect professional clothes that are then given for free to students at Louisiana Tech. “
10 a.m. until 1 p.m., Senior Fun Day for ages 50 and older. Vendor booths, games, door prizes. Springhill CAC Building. Sponsored by Springhill Medical Center. Free admission; free lunch sponsored by Regional Hospice.
8 a.m. until 1 p.m. Hearts & Hands/MA-6 Sunday school class at First Baptist Church Minden will host a large rummage sale in the parking lot next to Family Life Center, facing Broadway.
7 a.m. until 11 a.m. Salt and Light Rummage Sale, 319 Pennsylvania Avenue, Minden next to First Baptist Church. A lot of everything! Furniture, Holiday, Home decor, dishes, etc. You don’t want to miss this one, great prices!
Piney Hills Master Gardeners Annual Green Thumb Jamboree. Plant sale, vendors, food truck and activities for the kids. Vendors of all kinds contact Marilyn Bunton at 318-299-0137.
10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Bluegrass Festival, Minden Fairgrounds.
9 a.m. until sold out. Minden Lions will be selling our famous charbroiled chicken dinners for $10 each in the back of the Walmart parking lot close to Homer Road.
April 30 & May 1
7 a.m. both days, Minden Evening Lions Club will be hosting a garage sale fundraiser at the Minden Fairgrounds field. They are taking donations now if you have anything you’d like to contribute to help them raise funds you can contact Sherrie McMurray at 294-6346, Dru Brown at 272-2467 or Tommy McMurray.
10 a.m., Minden Planning Commission, Pelican Room, Minden City Hall. On the agenda is the request from Minden City Council for reconsideration and clarification of the MPC’s decision for a zoning request by MGM Development Group.
9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Tradition with a Twist Quilt Show presented by Piney Needles Quilt Guild. South Main Mall, Springhill. Free admission.
Parkway Baptist Church is hosting “Jamming for Jesus”
11 a.m. until 4 p.m. Jamming for Jesus, Parkway Baptist Church, 16016 U.S. Hwy. 79 in Minden, La. If you play an instrument, bring it and jam with us. Spectators please bring lawn chairs. The event will be outdoors. If you have any questions please call Janice Lewis at 318-245-2990
10 a.m. until noon: Free Pet Vaccines. 202 W. Church St., Springhill. Canine and feline vaccinations available. Sponsored by LaMa.
If you have a non-profit event: church, school or community, please email it to email@example.com. * Webster Parish Journal reserves the right to determine if a calendar item is a paid advertisement.
Visitation: noon until 1 p.m. Thursday, April 21, 2022 at Rose-Neath Funeral Home, Shreveport, La.
Graveside service: 2 p.m. Thursday, April 21, 2022 at NAorthwest Louisiana Veterans Cemetery, Keithville, La.
Marie M. Wallette Elmore
Nov. 4, 1934 – April 17, 2022
Graveside service: 2 p.m. Thursday, April 21, 2022 at Old Town Cemetery, Haynesville, La.
March 10, 1939 – March 31, 2022
Memorial service: 2 p.m. Saturday, April 30, 2022 at Greenwood Cemetery, 701 E. Tennessee Ave., Ruston, La.
** Webster Parish Journal posts paid obituaries – unlimited words and a photo, as well as unlimited access – $80. Contact your funeral provider or firstname.lastname@example.org . Must be paid in advance of publication. (Above death notices are free of charge.)
Following a visit by HGTV – and some key improvements – Webster Parish Convention and Visitors Commission has decided to acquire the property once known as Miller Quarters.
Nick Cox, Tourism Commissioner for Webster Parish Convention and Visitors Commission and Vice President of the Webster Parish Police Jury, along with the six tourism commissioners are announcing the lease and soon to be acquisition/purchase of the historic 11-acre Miller-Inabnett property located in central Minden.
The Miller-Inabnett property, also known as Miller Quarters, sits just off the edge of Minden’s historic downtown and has recently undergone major improvements intended to help kickstart the city.
“Miller Quarters has great significance to the history of Minden, said Ty Pendergrass, Webster Parish CVC chairman. “This community investment will open new opportunities for our citizens and visitors for years to come. We are excited to honor and preserve the legacy of the citizens who resided on this historic property.”
In the 1930s just as The Great Depression took hold on the nation, Joe Miller constructed 60 low-income houses in Miller Quarters and rented them for $5 a week. Over the years the houses fell into disrepair and some were used for burn training. One surviving structure remains, and the tourism commission plans to preserve the home and pursue inclusion of Miller Quarters on the National Register of Historic Places and also the Louisiana Civil Rights Trail.
Buddy Myles, local Minden resident and owner of Seafood Empire, said he is excited that the history of Miller Quarters and the people that lived there will be both communicated and celebrated.
“Being able to use this space as a centralized gathering place for all of Minden is huge,” Myles said. “This is the best way to commemorate the families who were and are part of the fabric of our town.”
To date, improvements to the property include a picnic area, food truck parking, a small gathering place with swings, a seating area for entertainment made from natural elements, a balance beam, slide and climbing wall and a stunning entrance gate that pays homage to Miller Quarters. More improvements will be forthcoming.
“Excitement is abuzz as we begin to formally open the newly established park at Miller Quarters,” said Johnnye Kennon, administrative assistant for Webster Parish CVDC. “We now have an additional outdoor gathering space to host a variety of events to be enjoyed by both Minden residents and visitors for years to come.”
A grand opening celebration is currently being planned and a date will be announced soon. Webster Parish CVC kindly asks for the patience of the community as all the opening details are worked through. The tourism commission invites you to follow their social pages across all platforms @visitwebsterparish, their website, visitwebster.net and/or download the Visit Webster app from the App Store to stay current on announcements and updates regarding historic Miller Quarters.
“Downtown Minden festivals have grown significantly over the past few years and Miller Quarters will be a wonderful addition to our city by providing visitors with more space to gather, celebrate and enjoy the beauty and hospitality of our community,” said Serena Gray, Webster Parish CVC CEO.
After months of planning, an event that takes aim at the prize – and the local economy – will soon be underway.
April 21-24, 2022 is the target date for Camp Minden to host the McKenzie Archery Shooters Association Pro/Am Tour, and more than 2,000 archers and their families are expected to descend on Webster Parish, Bossier Parish and Minden. Registration is from 1 until 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 20. Practicing facilities open then. Competition begins Thursday. The event takes place at Camp Minden.
The four-day tour will be an annual event for the next 10 years and will bring an estimated economic impact of $25 million dollars to the area over the course of that decade.
“I think the archery association event will have a significant impact on our hotels and restaurants at a time when out-of-town traffic is a little slow,” said Jim Bonsall, President of the Webster Parish Police Jury. “I hope so. And the fact they plan to come back every year for 10 years gives us something to be excited about.”
The Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission and the Webster Parish Convention and Visitors Commission will serve as tournament hosts, in partnership with the Louisiana Office of Tourism and City of Bossier City.
Competition Archery Media (“CAM”) provides “live” coverage on the national cable The Sportsman Channel to showcase the Pro Pressure Point Shoot Down which will be held at the Bossier Civic Center Saturday, April 23 at 4 p.m., in partnership with the City of Bossier City.CAM also will provide full media coverage of the ASA Pro/Am Tour weekend on Facebook or YouTube under “Competition Archery Media.”
In addition to the National Tour, the ASA supports more than 350 clubs in 35 states that provide an excellent opportunity for everyone to experience 3-D archery. With a focus on the growth of the sport of 3-D archery by supporting local clubs and making a commitment to youth education and training, the ASA has established itself as a leading force in the movement to bring the sport to mainstream America.
ASA 3-D archery features competitive rounds of 20 lifelike, three-dimensional animal targets made by Delta McKenzie Targets. The scoring rings are molded into the target and sometimes are not visible from the shooting stake, so binoculars are allowed. ASA was the first national archery organization to implement a speed limit (280 feet per second) for equipment safety and also to establish a more level playing field for 3-D competitors. Prior to 2007, 3-D was shot as unknown distance requiring archers to visually determine the distance to the target and execute the shot. Beginning in 2007, the ASA established another first in national 3-D archery by offering known distance competition classes to provide competitors with another option for competing in 3-D archery.
The ASA uses a scoring system of 12, 10, 8, 5 or 0 points per arrow. Scoring is based on zero points for a miss, five points are earned for a hit anywhere in the body, eight points for the largest scoring ring in the center of the animal, ten points for the five-inch center circle inside the 8-ring, and twelve points for the smaller ring offset to the bottom or top of the 10-ring. Another circle housed in the upper rear of the 8-ring is the 14-ring which is reserved for use in special bonus competitions.
“We are excited to host the Mckenzie ASA Easton/Hoyt Pro/Am tour in conjunction with all of these great partners,” said Sara Nelms, Director of Sales and Events for the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission. “We have no doubt the archers will fall in love with Louisiana once they experience the world class cuisine and hospitality we are known for.”
Members of police juries from Bossier and Webster parishes, mayors of Bossier City and Minden, the National Guard Commander of Camp Minden training site, representatives of tourismand convention agencies and a representative of Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser spoke of the archery tournament’s impact at a press conference in the fall.
“People will see what north Louisiana has to offer,” said Mike Walsworth from the North Louisiana Outreach Office of the Louisiana Lt. Governor.
Speakers pointed to a 10-year commitment by the tournament organizers, along with an economic impact on the Webster, Bossier, Caddo area of up to three million dollars a year.
“And you know what? I really believe this event will create an economic impact that exceeds those numbers,” said Bossier police juror Bob Brotherton. “When people see the attraction that is Camp Minden, I believe other opportunities will follow.”
Brotherton, along with Webster Parish Police Jury member Nick Cox, visited an ASA tournament in Texas and returned with the idea that event would be ideal for north Louisiana, if a suitable location could be found. That’s when attention turned to Camp Minden.
Brotherton and Cox said the cooperation of many agencies, along with the efforts of Camp Minden Commander Lt. Col. Harry Wilson of the Louisiana National Guard and his staff, resulted in “…what we see here today, and hopefully what we will see more than 10 years.”
Cox said this event brings a lot of great energy with it.
“Vendors and food trucks come and set up their products,” Cox said. “We are pulling this off together. People with the right expertise did an outstanding job. Good leadership makes things look easy, and it makes easy for the rest of us.”
“Frankly, I’ve been doing this for 25 years and this is very humbling,” said American Shooters Association President Mike Tyrell. “It was amazing to see the commitment of everybody to make this happen.”
The Webster Parish Library System has exciting news to share with the parish, particularly the Doyline community. The Town of Doyline has allowed the library to be housed at its current location for many years. The current building seems to have served its purpose and it is time for the branch to relocate to a more permanent home, one that better accommodates the needs of the community.
“The need for a new facility in Doyline has been on our radar for quite some time,” said Webster Parish Libraries Director, Savannah Jones. “Not only is it needed – but it is also necessary. If you have been to the current location, you know why. The problem was finding a suitable, new location to house a branch in the heart of the town.”
The branch is currently located at 333 Main Street in Doyline. The building is old, and they have been battling leaks for the last few years. There is also no restroom.
On April 11, title work was completed, and a piece of property was transferred from First Baptist Church of Doyline to the library system with the community’s best interest in mind. The property is a lot located right next to the church’s administrative building, which is on Fuller Street.
“We are beyond grateful for the support shown from the FBC of Doyline,” said Jones. “It is evident we are two entities that both care deeply about the Doyline community.”
Branch manager, Kelly Burge is particularly ecstatic over the acquisition.
“I was born and raised in the Town of Doyline and used the library as a child,” said Burge. “I am very excited for the possibility for branch growth in the near future. When I accepted this position four years ago, I never dreamed I would love a job as much as I do this one.”
The Webster Parish Library System is the fourth oldest library system in the state of Louisiana and was created in hopes to be a “model” library for other branches to follow. The system operates off a millage rate that is voted on by parish residents every 10 years. Webster Parish Libraries is hoping to get back on the ballot for renewal in the upcoming election, which will be taking place in spring of next year.
“We have hopes of eventually building a new branch at the location, but ultimately that decision is made by the people within the parish,” said Jones. “We are in the process of trying to position ourselves to build without having to go out to the public for additional funds. We always strive to be good stewards of public funds and make decisions with the parish residents’ needs in mind.”
In the meantime, they are looking into possibly setting up a temporary trailer to house the branch until a more permanent structure can be built.
A five-run fourth inning led Lakeside Warriors to an 8-2 victory over Minden Crimson Tide Monday.
Lakeside batters contributing to the big inning included Eli Musgraves, CJ Watts, Bradley Dick and Jon Jon Dick, all sending runners across the plate with RBIs in the inning.
Lakeside tallied five runs in the fourth inning. The rally was led by groundouts by Dick and Dick, a walk by Musgraves and a double by Watts.
Jake Wilkins was credited with the victory for the Warriors. The right-hander surrendered two runs on four hits over three and two-thirds innings, striking out two and walking one. Watts threw three and a third innings in relief out of the bullpen. Watts recorded the last 10 outs to earn the save for Lakeside.
Brandon Winston took the loss for Minden. The right-hander allowed four hits and five runs over three and a third innings, striking out three.
Lakeside racked up 11 hits in the game. Cooper Chase, Wilkins and Watts each racked up multiple hits for the Warriors. Chase went 3 for 3 at the plate to lead the team in hits.
Lakeside 16, Union Parish 1
Lakeside asserted their will over Union Parish Farmers on their way to an easy 16-1 victory Saturday.
Lakeside Warriors notched seven runs in the sixth inning. Seth Levesque, CJ Watts, Bradley Dick, Jon Jon Dick, Jake Wilkins and Jordan Isbell each drove in runs during the inning.
Dick took the win for the Warriors, going six innings, allowing one run on five hits and striking out six.
Matt Thomas took the loss for the Farmers. The pitcher surrendered six runs on five hits over two innings, striking out one and walking one.
The Warriors had 18 hits in the game. Dick, Cade Boley, Wilkins, Isbell, Eli Musgraves, Dick and Watts all managed multiple hits for Lakeside. Boley and Dick each collected three hits to lead the team.
Matthew Conley led the Farmers with three hits in three at-bats.
Doyline 3, Castor 2
Both teams were strong on the pitcher’s mound Friday, but Doyline Panthers defeated Castor 3-2. Noah Spears allowed just three hits to Castor.
Doyline fired up the offense in the first inning, when Spears singled on a 2-0 count, scoring two runs.
Spears was on the hill for the Panthers. Spears went seven innings, allowing two runs on three hits and striking out 11.
D Freeman toed the rubber for Castor. The pitcher allowed five hits and two runs over four and a third innings, striking out five and walking zero. L Youngblood threw two and two-thirds innings in relief out of the bullpen.
Doyline had seven hits in the game. Cayden Mingo and Spears each collected multiple hits. Spears and Mingo each managed two hits to lead Doyline. Mingo led with four stolen bases, as they ran wild on the base paths with 13 stolen bases.
J Rasbury led Castor with two hits in three at bats.
Minden Crimson Tide 18, Woodlawn 1
Minden Crimson Tide had all cylinders firing on offense Friday, winning big over Woodlawn-Shreveport 18-1.
Minden Crimson Tide got things started in the first inning. They scored two runs when Jakobe Jackson singled.
The Tide tallied seven runs in the third inning. The offense in the inning came from singles by Rider Miller, Andrew Cooper, Mason Lewis, and Landyn Huddleston, a walk by Ethan Turner, and a double by Huddleston.
Lewis pitched the Tide to victory. The righthander went four innings, allowing one run on four hits and striking out seven.
Sims took the loss for Woodlawn-Shreveport. Sims lasted one and two-thirds innings, allowing five hits and 12 runs.
Minden Crimson Tide racked up 11 hits on the day. Huddleston and Cooper each collected multiple hits. Cooper and Huddleston each collected two hits to lead the team.
Smith led Woodlawn-Shreveport with two hits in two at bats.
Minden Crimson Tide 5, Evangel 0
Minden Crimson Tide defeated Evangel Christian Academy 5-0 on Thursday as two pitchers combined to throw a shutout. Brandon Winston got Wilson to hit into a fielder’s choice to finish off the game.
The Tide scored three runs in the sixth inning. Price Miller and Bryson Ranger each had RBIs in the big inning.
One bright spot for Evangel Christian Academy was a single by Reedy in the second inning.
Brody Bower was the winning pitcher for the Tide Varsity. The pitcher went six and two-thirds innings, allowing zero runs on three hits, striking out 11 and walking one. Winston threw one-third of an inning in relief out of the bullpen.
Wilson took the loss for Evangel Christian Academy. The pitcher went six innings, allowing five runs on five hits, striking out two and walking one.
Minden Crimson Tide socked one home run on the day. Jakobe Jackson had a long ball in the fourth inning.
Winston led the team with two hits in three at bats.
Evangel Christian Academy didn’t commit a single error in the field. Gill had five chances in the field, the most on the team.
Lakeside 6, Claiborne Christian 1
Lakeside Warrios defeated Claiborne Christian Crusaders 6-1 Thursday
Cooper Chase earned the win for Lakeside. The hurler lasted three innings, allowing three hits and one run while striking out three. Cade Boley threw four innings in relief out of the bullpen. Boley recorded the last 12 outs to earn the save for Lakeside.
AJ Allen took the loss for Claiborne. The pitcher went six innings, allowing six runs on 11 hits and striking out four.
The Warriors totaled 11 hits. Jake Wilkins, Jordan Isbell and Seth Levesque each collected multiple hits for Lakeside. Wilkins led the Warrior with three hits in three at-bats.
Lakeside didn’t commit a single error in the field. CJ Watts had the most chances in the field with nine.
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A south Webster Parish woman was arrested last week by Minden Police on drug charges, following a routine traffic stop.
Madison F. Fornea, 19, of the 600 block of Bistineau Line Rd., Heflin, is charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, hydrocodone, clonazepam and drug paraphernalia.
Police Chief Steve Cropper said Fornea and a male passenger were traveling on Methodist Camp Road when OFC. Reece Tewell stopped the vehicle for an unlit license plate.
“When the officer was asking the driver – Fornea – for her identification and vehicle information, he noticed a rifle beside the passenger’s leg,” Cropper said. “Officer Tewell walked around to the passenger side of the vehicle and opened the door, removing the rifle for officer safety and placing it in his patrol unit.”
According to reports, Tewell also recognized an odor of burnt marijuana coming from the vehicle.
“Once they were both out of the vehicle and advised of their rights, the officer asked if there was any marijuana inside the vehicle,” said the chief. “Fornea kept looking at the vehicle, hesitating and then answering no.”
Cropper said the passenger also answered no, however, Fornea told the officer she had marijuana on her person.
“Since there was not a female officer present, OFC. Tewell placed Fornea in his patrol car and asked her to remove the marijuana, which she said was in her bra,” Cropper said. “He returned to the front of his unit. She placed the baggies on the seat of the patrol car and exited.”
The officer reportedly walked back to the patrol car and observed 2 clear bags containing suspected marijuana. He was given consent to search Fornea’s vehicle where he reportedly discovered, inside Fornea’s purse, a small white container with a black design on it. Inside the container, he located a white pill, later identified as acetaminophen/hydrocodone.
“Also in the purse were a clear jar containing small pieces of suspected marijuana and 5 pink pieces of paper, which Fornea said are used for smoking marijuana,” Cropper said. “In the front passenger floorboard, the officer located a backpack and red zipper bag containing different kinds of rolling papers and a grinder. Also in the zipper bag were a scale, an open bag of cigarillos and several clear Ziploc bags.”
Sgt. Jeremy Sitter weighed the marijuana. It reportedly weighed 24.82 grams.
Cropper said Fornea was arrested and taken to MPD for processing. The male passenger reportedly said the rifle belonged to him and was a gift from his father.
“He also said he did not know Fornea had that much marijuana on her person,” said the chief. “The weapon was released to him, along with the vehicle per Fornea’s request. He was not charged.”
At the police department, Fornea was searched by a female dispatcher who found nothing else on her person.
“While examining the evidence, Sgt. Sitter observed another clear bag inside one of the bags of marijuana,” Cropper said. “Inside were 7 round yellow pills identified as Clonazepam. Fornea told the officers she sometimes trades marijuana for pills and that she forgot the small bag of pills was inside the bag of marijuana.”
This information has been provided by a law enforcement agency as public information. Persons named or shown in photographs or video as suspects in a criminal investigation, or arrested and charged with a crime, have not been convicted of any criminal offense and are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.