Funeral arrangements released for mayor

Terry L. Gardner was born on May 18, 1954, to Aubrey and Joyce Gardner in Shreveport, Louisiana where he spent his childhood. He graduated from Fair Park High School, Shreveport, LA in 1973.  He went to be with his Lord and Savior on June 28, 2022 at the age of 68.

He relocated to Minden, Louisiana in 1978 and met Debbie Walker soon thereafter.  After 13 years of dating, he convinced her to marry him on May 1, 1973.

In 1983, he founded TG Companies, LLC and served as President/CEO and under his leadership, developed it into a multi-faceted corporation, including Orleans on Main and The Gardner Group, LLC.  He has given young men and women countless opportunities to mature and grow with the company regardless of any criminal history, drugs, alcohol, etc.

Terry was a mentor to many young people and lived by the motto: “Everyone deserves a second chance in life, or sometimes two or three.”  He believed that everyone has a place in life and he did anything he could to guide them in the right direction.    He never hesitated to help his fellow man, no matter what the circumstances. 

Terry loved restoring and remodeling old historic buildings which is evident by some of the buildings in the historic downtown area of Minden.

Terry was always passionate about giving back to the community and supporting many worthwhile organizations.  He held many civic and volunteer positions and sat on many Boards during his life to include Webster Parish and International Special Olympics.  He was involved in the Greater Minden Chamber of Commerce holding many positions including serving as Chairman of the Board.  He was also the instructor for the Youth Leadership Webster Program for over 20 years. 

He was a founding member of the Krewe des Ambassadeurs where he served as Captain I, II, X and King 5.

One of the organizations he was most passionate about was March of Dimes serving in many capacities including serving as a Statewide Board Member.

He was a long time Lions Club member.

He was most honored to be named Minden’s Man of the Year for 2013; it was one of his proudest moments.

Terry was an active member of the First Baptist Church of Minden and has served as a Sunday School teacher to 6th graders for over a decade.   

Terry was elected as Mayor of the City of Minden in 2018 taking office on January 1, 2019, which was one of the proudest moments of his life fulfilling a long-time dream of his.  He expertly managed significant challenges, including the presentation of a balanced budget.  He was instrumental in moving the city forward, strongly supporting the city’s economic development department.  He is was also passionate about maintaining the beauty of our city. 

Terry was a very outstanding and kindhearted Individual and serves as a well-respected role model to many in our community.  He will be greatly missed by many.

Terry is preceded in death by his parents, son Harold L. Gardner and his brother Ronnie L. Gardner.

Terry is survived by his wife, Deborah Walker Gardner (Debbie).  Also survived by his sister Twyla Gardner Hawthorne (Bryan) and children Stephanie Boatman (Aaron) and SeanMichael and his daughter Alyssa: sister-in law Ann Ingram Gardner Skinner (Ray); nieces Jennifer LaPierre (Chris) and children Kennedy and Brady; Tracy Steiner (Trey) and children Lauren, Catherine, Ethan; Mother-in-law Annie Belle Walker; sister-in-law Sonja Smith (Butch) and children Orin Smith and Megan Smith Dixon (Duane) and son Dean.  He is survived by 2 special “sons” Jeremy Holley and Donnie Irby.  He is survived by his most faithful companion Chairman.  He is also survived by an aunt, numerous cousins and a host of friends. 

Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.  John 13:7 KJV

Services will be held Saturday, July 2, 2022, at 10:00 am at First Baptist Church Minden, LA with Reverend Leland Crawford officiating.  Interment will follow at 12:30 at Forest Park West, Shreveport, LA at 12:30 pm under the direction of Rose Neath Funeral Home, Minden.  Family will receive guests on Friday, July 1, 2022 at First Baptist Church Family Life Center Gymnasium form 4:00 – 7:00 pm.

The family would like to thank all the friends and family for their support, love and prayers during this recent journey.   A special thank you to the staff of Minden Medical Center, especially the ICU staff, for the excellent care Terry received.  Also, a special thank you to Terry’s City of Minden family and Debbie’s Minden Medical Center family during this time.

Who’s on First?

From left, District A Councilman Wayne Edwards, District B Councilwoman and Mayor Pro Tem Terika Williams-Walker and City Attorney Jimbo Yocom.

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Since the death of Minden Mayor Terry Gardner Tuesday, the City of Minden has technically been without someone in that office.

City attorney Jimbo Yocom communicated with council members about the issue Tuesday afternoon.

“Under the law, what is commonly called the Mayor Pro Tem, – our charter actually calls it the president of the council – it says they are to serve in the disability or absence of the mayor,” Yocom said. “That generally means whenever the mayor is out of town or hospitalized. But the Mayor Pro Tem is not the vice president of the city, meaning they do not automatically take over if the mayor passes away.”

Death creates a vacancy in the mayor’s office, he said.

“Mayor Pro Tem, in effect, is only when the office is still filled, so where we are now is, the Secretary of State must declare the office vacant,” Yocom said. “The council then has a time period to appoint an interim mayor … I believe it’s 20 days.”

Yocom said it is too close to the Fall election to call a special election for the office.

“When there is a year or less left in a term, they just appoint an interim to serve throughout the rest of the term,” he said. “That person can either be from the council, or anyone, really. Whomever they desire.”

If the council chooses to appoint one of their own as interim, it adds yet another step to the process.

“The councilperson will have to resign their seat, therefore, the council will have to appoint someone to fill the vacancy to serve that district,” Yocum said.

District B Councilwoman Terika Williams-Walker served as Mayor Pro Tem during the calendar Year 2021.

“There is a resolution that says the mayor pro tem can only serve a specified period of time, one year,” Yocom said. “In January 2022, they did not elect a new one – and did not nominate and re-elect Mrs. Walker. So that means the city has been operating without a mayor pro tem since that time.”

The Minden City Council will meet again Tuesday, July 5 at 5:30 p.m. in council chambers, Minden City Hall.

“Providing the Secretary of State has declared the mayor’s seat vacant by that time – and they can do that quickly or not – then appointing someone should be at the top of the agenda,” Yocom said. “The Secretary of State knows it needs to be a quick turn around. I would be surprised if it is not done by next week’s council meeting.”

Since the death of Minden Mayor Terry Gardner Tuesday, the City of Minden has technically been without someone running the show.

City attorney Jimbo Yocum communicated with council members about the issue Tuesday afternoon.

“Under the law, what is commonly called the Mayor Pro Tem – our charter actually calls it the president of the council – says they are to serve in the disability or absence of the mayor,” Yocum said. “That generally means whenever the mayor is out of town or hospitalized. But the Mayor Pro Tem is not the vice president of the city, meaning they do not automatically take over if the mayor passes away.”

Death is the only thing that creates a “vacancy” in the mayor’s office, he said.

“Mayor Pro Tem, in effect, is in control only when the mayor’s office is still filled. So where we are now is, the Secretary of State must declare the office vacant,” Yocum said. “The council then has a time period to appoint an interim mayor … I believe it’s 20 days.”

Yocum said it is too close to the Fall election to call a special ballot for the office.

“When there is a year or less left in a term, they just appoint an interim to serve throughout the rest of the term,” he said. “That person can either be from the council – or anyone, really. Whomever they desire.”

If the council chooses to appoint one of their own as interim, it adds yet another step to the process.

“The councilperson will have to resign their council seat, therefore, the council will have to appoint someone to fill the vacancy to serve that district,” Yocum said.

Right now, District B Councilwoman Terika Williams-Walker serves as Mayor Pro Tem which, Yocum described as short-term and means “she only steers the ship until the council meets to appoint a new mayor.”

The Minden City Council will meet again Tuesday, July 5 at 5:30 p.m. in council chambers, Minden City Hall.

“Providing the Secretary of State has declared the mayor’s seat vacant by that time – and they can do that quickly, or not – then appointing someone should be at the top of the agenda,” Yocum said. “The Secretary of State knows it needs to be a quick turn around. I would be surprised if it is not done by next week’s council meeting.”

Too soon gone 

Sometimes it’s hard to find the right words when a person passes away far too soon, especially when that person has made such an impact on his community and the people in it. Terry Gardner was more than a mayor. In a sense, he was Minden.

In the 44 years he lived here he made a lasting mark. His business ventures, which began in earnest in 1983 with TG Companies, expanded until he headed a myriad of enterprises that ranged from lawn care and landscaping to real estate. 

Those ventures focused on making things fresh and attractive now, and for the future. He pumped new life into old things. He looked beyond the surface and saw what things could be. He brought that same philosophy to the mayor’s chair a too-short three years ago.

But, as we have learned, TG was a major part of the life of Minden before he became head of the city’s government. His list of civic involvement and achievements is lengthy. When a worthy cause or organization needed a helping hand, TG volunteered his service. Service. That was more than a word to him.

We won’t list everything of which he was an integral part. That would require more than 50 mentions. Suffice it to say that his achievements were rewarded when he was named in 2013 as Minden’s Man of the Year. It’s an honor he cherished, but in typical TG fashion, it was not one he set out to achieve. He was just doing the right things as he saw the needs. He sought the satisfaction of service, not accolades.

Many TG accomplishments did not involve organizations or events that would receive public attention. They were some of his most satisfying moments.  Through his companies, he gave countless young persons opportunities to grow and mature regardless of their past. His vision for young people, and his efforts to help them improve themselves, will be a part of his legacy.   

A personal note in his bio noted, “He never hesitates to help his fellow man, no matter what the circumstances. He believes everyone has a place in life and he does anything he can to guide them in the right direction.” And he did it without fanfare; without publicity; without seeking approval from others.

There’s more we could say, but a good man has left us and in doing so, has left a void that will remain unfilled. Our comfort should be the sure knowledge that Terry Gardner now is embraced by a Peace that defies Earthly understanding.

TG may be gone, but he left us a foundation; a building block for the future. Hopefully, those who follow him will also be builders and not a wrecking crew.

Here’s hoping our officials will step up and continue TG’s vision for Minden. It will require selfless servants, willing to look beyond the confines of ego and a thirst for power. Minden needs people who envision a city where each citizen is critical to progress. 

Hostility and shortsightedness aren’t qualities of leaders, but are traits our city council seems to have developed. Now, with an opening in the mayor’s office, we need  to see some attitude adjustments. Those could come this Fall at election time, or we could continue to travel in a rut of our own doing. And as a wise man once said, a rut is only a grave with both ends open.

Terry Gardner and Chairman of the Board as a pup.

WPSO CID solves burglary of firearms store 

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Webster Parish Sheriff’s Criminal Investigative Division has solved the burglary of a local firearms store.

Sheriff Jason Parker said there were three arrests – two juveniles and one 18-year-old – were made after discovery was made of the break-in at the U.S. Hwy. 80 east location.

“All three of those are from Bienville Parish,” Parker said. “They broke in and stole 12 handguns – the store owner discovered it June 13.”

Parker said video surveillance footage aided in the arrests.

“We worked in conjunction with Bienville Parish Sheriff’s Office and were able to make a positive ID,” said the sheriff.  “One is 14, one is 15 and the 18-year-old is identified as James Havard.”

The two younger boys were arrested in Webster Parish June 24 and released to their parents. They face juvenile court proceedings in Webster Parish.

Havard was arrested on a traffic stop in Bienville Parish June 18, and 2 of the stolen handguns were discovered in his vehicle. The guns have been confirmed as stolen from the Hwy. 80 firearms store.

“Havard was arrested in Bienville Parish,” he added. “He is being held there until he can be arrested on our charges, which are criminal damage to property, simple burglary and theft of firearms.”

Parker said his department is still investigating the location of the other 10 handguns. All 3 subjects have reportedly confessed to the theft.

This information has been provided by a law enforcement agency as public information. Persons named 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.

Take a stroll through Minden

The Bates-Fogle-Irving-Love residence on Fort Ave., Minden, La.

By Paige Nash

A Minden Residential Walking Tour has been added to the “Visit Webster Parish” app. This is a free app made available by the Webster Parish Convention & Visitors Commission since the launch in 2019. It is a great way for visitors and Minden residents to become better acquainted with the beautiful historic architecture located downtown.  

The Minden Historic District was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. Webster Parish as a whole offers 130 listings on the register, with 126 of them located in Minden. The listings include businesses, community spaces and residences.  

The unique homes featured offer a range of styles to be admired, including Greek, Gothic and Spanish Colonial Revival. Some date back as early as circa 1850, when the city was officially incorporated.  

“Our community is thriving with architecture, history and unique stories from families who’ve contributed to Minden in a number of ways,” said Serena Gray, Executive Director of Webster Parish Convention & Visitors Commission. 

The walking tour spotlights 14 stops, including one of the oldest properties in North Louisiana, the Bates-Fogle-Irving- Love Residence. This home has ties to the founder of Minden, Charles Hans Veeder. 

To begin a tour, you can choose any of the stops as a starting location, which will bring up a geographical map that will give you directions. As you approach each stop you can view details and individual history about the homes or churches on the app.  

The tour also includes a few homes near the downtown community in addition to the listings on the National Register. “There are homes near the designated Historic Residential District that are considered non-contributing properties, however due to their beauty, history, and charm we’ve featured them on our tour.” 

This is a great alternative to the private or group tours that used to take place during the holiday season and certain events throughout the year but has since become a rarer occurrence due to Covid-19.  

This tour is completely free and a great way for visitors and even long-time locals to learn more about the history of these beautiful properties. You can begin your tour anytime by downloading the “Visit Webster Parish” app and clicking on the tours feature.  

The WPCVC is eager to expand and is accepting submissions from homeowners who would like to be featured on the tour. If interested, you can send details attaching an image, address and history of the home to

Homer man arrested on drug charges in Minden

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Failing to secure a load of trash in the back of a vehicle landed a Homer man in a Webster Parish jail.

Steven R. Evans, 42, of the 500 block of Bella Vista Rd., Homer, was arrested by Minden Police Monday for possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and failure to secure load.

Chief Steve Cropper said Off. Jared McIver initiated the stop on Evans’ pick-up truck when he noticed the unsecured load of trash and debris.

“The officer made contact with the driver who was later identified as Evans,” Cropper said. “Evans did not have a driver’s license and gave the officer the last name of Tims. A license could not be found for Steven Tims, either.”

Cropper said the subject finally provided the last name Evans and a NCIC check showed no license.

McIver, with the aid of Ofc. Reece Tewell, approached the vehicle to check for registration and insurance information.

“The officer detected the odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle,” said the chief. “When asked, Evans admitted there may be a ‘little marijuana’ inside.”

After advising Evans of his rights, officers searched his vehicle and reportedly discovered a partially-smoked marijuana cigarette inside a cigarette package.

“When they looked further, they located a clear Zip Loc bag lying on the front seat underneath a box. The bag contained 3.5 grams of suspected methamphetamine,” Cropper said. “”A glass pipe used to smoke meth was wrapped in an orange bandana and found in the ash tray.

Evans was placed under arrest and booked on the above charges.

This information has been provided by a law enforcement agency as public information. Persons named 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.

Out of the mouths (and noses) of babes

I am back with another rendition of, “Things Ashton Says.”  

Ashton is my charismatic four-year-old daughter, and she keeps me in stitches over some of the things that come out of her mouth daily.  

Yesterday, she was playing with her little sister, my one-year-old, Kameron. While they were playing Kameron sneezed on her. Ashton of course was totally disgusted and told her sister, “Gross! Do not put your blessings on me.”  

I laughed so hard that I shed a few tears.  

Like most people, when someone sneezes in our vicinity, we say, “Bless you.” I do not know why we say this? 

There are quite a few theories, the most popular originating from Rome during the bubonic plague. One of the plague’s main symptoms was sneezing, so Pope Gregory I suggested saying a special prayer every time you or someone near you sneezed. If you would say, “God bless you,” it would protect the infected sneezer from dying.  

There are other theories about sneezing expelling evil spirits from the body, or your heart stopping when you sneeze, but I like the bubonic plague one the best, so we will go with that one.  

This hilarious little interaction between my two babies got me thinking on some types of ways we can be a blessing to others. How can we bless those around us, a person or family in our parish? 

So, I produced a little list, if any of you readers felt inspired to “put your blessings” on someone else. 

Recently, the Joe Leblanc Food Pantry has installed two “Little Free Pantries” around town. The first is located at The Farm of Cultural Crossroads and the newest addition just went up outside Mercy’s Closet. These pantries rely on the help of the community to keep them stocked with food or you could go by the food pantry and volunteer your time to help distribute food to families in need.  

Since we mentioned Mercy’s Closet, they are another great non-profit that blesses many. They make it their mission to supply underprivileged men, women and children with basic needs, such as clothing, uniforms, linens, shoes, and books. If you have anything like this that you are no longer using, load it up and bring it over to their location on Sibley Road.  

You could also donate baby supplies to SEEDS Women’s Center, who offer many services for pregnant women in our community. They have a Facebook page you can follow to stay updated on their current needs and they are always looking for people to help to organize, clean or fundraise. The Webster Case Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) may be willing to use a little bit of your time, as well.  

These are only a few great ways within our community to bless someone. I encourage you to take a few minutes of your time to see what important things these nonprofits, along with others, are doing in our parish.

(Paige Nash is a wife, mom and writer for The Webster Parish Journal.)

OPPORTUNITY: Accounting Assistant 

The City of Minden has an IMMEDIATE NEED


This is a clerical position that requires the use of various accounting software programs to track and reconcile a wide range of financial transactions.

Responsible for maintaining financial records, ensuring payments and receivables are current. Involved in a wide range of activities/functions in the City Clerk’s office including heavy in-house payroll responsibilities.

Education and/or Experience:

·         High School diploma or GED required.

·         Post-secondary education with focused course work in accounting and bookkeeping preferred.

·         One to two years administrative, clerical and accounting experience required, preferably with city government.  Experience involving governmental funds or related accounts desirable.

Work hours:  7:30am-4pm Monday-Friday

Location: City Hall, Minden, Louisiana


Starting pay:  $15.76/hr. D.O.E.

To apply or view a brief job description go online or pick up an application at City Hall, 520 Broadway, Minden, Louisiana.

Background and drug screen will be conducted.

The City of Minden is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


KTBS, BPPJ team up to host Fourth celebration

South Bossier Parish will be in the spotlight Monday, July 4 when the KTBS Freedom Festival giant fireworks display ignites at South Bossier Park, illuminating one of the parish police jury’s top recreational and sports facilities.

Monday’s fireworks display is scheduled to begin at 9:30 p.m., and visitors attending the event will be allowed to enter beginning at 5 p.m. Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies will be supervising parking and traffic control, and will be joined by the police jury’s Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit to provide safety and security.

Plans have been made to further ensure the safety of persons attending the display. South Bossier Fire District #2 will have units on hand for the evening, and the Bossier Parish EMS will also be present in case of medical emergency. 

“Our goal is to be host to an event that will be entertaining and safe for everyone,” said Bossier Parks and Recreation Director Warren Saucier. “There’s been a lot of hard work and planning to make this an event for all our people. It’s also been a great example of how all our agencies can come together and make things work.”

In addition to ample designated parking areas for personal vehicles, a space has also been set aside for recreational vehicles. 

“We received some phone calls asking if RVs would be permitted and we agreed,” Saucier said. “We’ve designated a very attractive area near the bayou (Red Chute), but there will not be power available. The RVs need to be able to provide their own power.”

Saucier said individuals can watch the fireworks from their vehicles since visibility at the park will be unobstructed. If persons prefer, a large area has been designated for anyone who wishes to bring lawn chairs or blankets and view the display outside.

Those planning to attend Monday’s event will have the opportunity to eat on the grounds with three food trucks setting up to provide treats for all ages. Handling those food services will be Larry P’s Boiling Pot (fried catfish, fried shrimp), Tasty Treats (snow cones, wraps, burgers, po-boys), and Southern Paradise Sneaux (snow cones).

“There will be good food available from these trucks, so that means people won’t have to go out to eat before they come here,” Saucier said. “This can be one giant picnic and I know everyone will enjoy themselves.”

Persons attending this first-ever event are asked to refrain from bringing grills or any other cooking devices. No open fires will be permitted. Also, Saucier said there will be a zero tolerance policy on alcohol at the park. Individuals are also cautioned against bringing glass containers to the event.

South Bossier Park is located off Caplis Sligo Rd. and first-time visitors will get a look at what is quickly becoming a popular event destination. Already, soccer and football fields are heavily used, baseball and softball fields are maintained for practice, and public school cross country events are a staple. 

Future plans call for even more expansion of facilities at the 100-acre complex, which is also known as the William A. “Buddy” Lucky III Field of Dreams. 

“We’re hoping this is just the first of many years the Bossier Parish Police Jury will be partnering with KTBS for this special Fourth of July celebration,” said Bossier Parish Administrator Butch Ford. “It’s going to be great to watch this event grow and to watch south Bossier park meet its full potential.” 

Directions to the park:

Visitors from the west, can follow Clyde Fant Memorial Pkwy. from Shreveport across the Jimmy Davis Bridge to the Arthur Ray Teague Pkwy. south/east to LA Hwy. 612–Sligo Rd.– approximately 5 miles to Caplis Sligo Rd. Turn right onto Caplis Sligo Rd. approximately ) 8-tenths of a mile to right onto S. Bossier Park Dr.

Visitors from the east: Take LA Hwy.157 south from Haughton and travel roughly 4 and a half miles south. Turn right onto LA Hwy. 612 (Sligo Rd.) and drive west approximately 5 and a half miles.  Turn left onto Caplis Sligo Rd. for 8-tenths of a mile turn onto S Bossier Park Dr. 

From Bossier City, drivers can take U.S. 71 south approximately 4 miles south of  the city limits to LA 612 (Sligo Rd.) and turn left. 

Opossum at The Farm

By Tina Montgomery

The question on everyone’s mind Friday night at The Farm of Cultural Crossroads was Opossum, Where Art Thou? 

Where indeed! The comedy band Opossum, Where Art Thou? aka The Dirtbag Band from Ratchet-Land entertained the 21+ age crowd with their own style of “filthy outlaw country” in a set that was often raunchy, very comical and definitely not for folks with delicate sensibilities. The act was the second in the Fourth Fridays music series scheduled this summer at The Farm.

Executive Director Brandi Cade said the music series came together when she started reaching out to local musicians and artists to provide entertainment for Minden. 

“The mission [of The Farm] is to unite all people through the arts,” Cade said. The Farm at Cultural Crossroads is now in its 30th year promoting that mission.  After a near 2-year hiatus due to the covid pandemic, the 4 acre setting is again hosting numerous events this year.

 “It’s such a magical place” Cade said. 

She and the Board are working to bring more artists and musicians for area residents to discover art in all its forms. 

Regarding this music series, Cade said “People should come and enjoy it with their families. Even if you think you may not like a particular style of music, come on out to enjoy it. You may be surprised at finding something new you like.”

 Fourth Fridays at The Farm music series runs through August 26. Cade is hoping the series continues through the Fall if enough talent can be booked for performances. 

The dates for future Fourth Fridays are July 22 and August 26. These shows are family friendly and free of charge. Attendees can expect to hear different musical stylings and see the works of local artists. Cade encourages families to come out with their children and bring lawn chairs or blankets for an evening of fun.

 Fourth of July food safety tips

By Shakera Williams, LSU Ag Center, Webster and Claiborne parishes

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2022), approximately 48 million individuals get sick,128,000 are hospitalized and sadly 3,000 people die from a foodborne illness each year in the United States. Foodborne illness, often called food poisoning, is an illness that comes from a food that you eat. It is important that adult consumers know and practice safe food-handling behaviors regularly to help reduce and prevent the spread of foodborne illness. Foodborne pathogens can appear on foods that looks completely normal; however, unsafe foods may carry bacteria, viruses, or parasites which can make an individual extremely sick. The rule of thumb is to never taste a food to determine if it is safe to eat. When in doubt throw it out. To reduce the spread of foodborne illness please follow these four food safety tips below. 

  1. Clean : Wash hands and surfaces often

Bacteria can spread throughout the kitchen and get onto cutting boards, utensils, counter tops, and food.

• Wash hands in warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food and after using the bathroom, changing diapers, or

handling pets.

• Wash cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and counter tops with hot soapy water between the preparation of raw meat, poultry, and seafood products and preparation of any other food that will not be cooked. As an added precaution, sanitize cutting boards and countertops by rinsing them in a solution made of one tablespoon of unscented liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of water, or, as an alternative, you may run the plastic board through the wash cycle in your dishwasher.

• Use paper towels to clean up kitchen surfaces. If using cloth towels, you should wash them often in the hot cycle of the washing machine.

• Wash produce. Rinse fruits and vegetables, and rub firm-skin fruits and

vegetables under running tap water, including those with skins and rinds

that are not eaten.

• With canned goods: remember to clean lids before opening.

  1. Separate: Don’t cross- contaminate 

Cross-contamination occurs when bacteria are spread from one food product to another. This is especially common when handling raw meat, poultry, seafood,

and eggs. The key message is to keep these foods and their juices away from ready-to-eat foods.

To prevent cross-contamination, remember to:

• Separate raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs from other foods in your

grocery shopping cart, grocery bags, and in your refrigerator.

• Never place cooked food on a plate that previously held raw meat,

poultry, seafood, or eggs without first washing the plate with hot soapy water.

• Don’t reuse marinades used on raw foods unless you bring them to a boil first.

• Consider using one cutting board only for raw foods and another only for

ready-to-eat foods, such as bread, fresh fruits and vegetables, and cooked meat.

  1. Cook: Cook foods to safe internal temperatures

To ensure that your foods are cooked safely, always:

• Use a food thermometer to measure the internal temperature of cooked foods. Remember color is not an indicator of the doneness of foods. Check the internal temperature in several places to make sure that the meat, poultry, seafood, or egg product is cooked to safe minimum internal temperatures. 

  1. Chill: Refrigerate promptly

Cold temperatures slow the growth of harmful bacteria. Keeping a constant refrigerator temperature of 40 °F or below is one of the most effective ways to reduce risk of foodborne illness. Use an appliance thermometer to be sure

the refrigerator temperature is always 40 °F or below and the freezer temperature is 0 °F or below.

To chill foods properly:

• Refrigerate or freeze meat, poultry, eggs, seafood, and other perishables within

2 hours of cooking or purchasing. Refrigerate within 1 hour if the temperature

outside is above 90 °F.

• Never thaw food at room temperature, such as on the countertop. It is safe to

thaw food in the refrigerator, in cold water, or in the microwave. If you thaw

food in cold water or in the microwave, you should cook it immediately. When using the cold-water method to thaw foods, the water must be changed every 30 minutes, so the food item continues to thaw and not enter the danger zone. The “Danger Zone,” is between 40 and 140 °degrees Fahrenheit. At those temperatures bacteria multiplies more rapidly.

• Divide large amounts of food into shallow containers for quicker cooling in the refrigerator.

Upcoming Events

June 30

2 p.m. Magic Show with Magician David LeBoeuf at Doyline Branch of the Webster Parish Library.  Registration required.

July 6

10 a.m. Summer Adult Craft at Springhill Library. All supplies provided. Call Cassidy at 318-539-4117 for reserve a spot.

2 p.m. Beginner art classes for kids, Springhill Library. Call Cassidy at 318-539-4117 for reserve a spot.

July 7

10 a.m. Minden Planning Commission Meeting, Pelican Room, Minden City Hall. On the agenda is a request from Carlton Myles Jr. (owner of Bayou Brothers, LLC) for a zoning change from R-4 (Multifamily Residential) to B-4 (Hwy. Commercial) on property owned by them located at the corner of Lee and Columbia Streets (6 lots).

July 16

9 a.m. registration, 10 a.m. Louisiana Christian University Football Camps. All camps at Wildcat Stadium in Pineville. Cost $40/$50 walk-up.

August 9

6:30 p.m. New Student Orientation at Glenbrook Multipurpose Building.

August 10

6:30 p.m. Grades 7-12,”Hot Dog We’re Back at School,” schedules to be distributed at this meeting. Glenbrook Multipurpose Building.

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.

Arrest Reports

The following arrests were made by local law enforcement agencies. Minden Police Department (MPD), Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office (WPSO), Louisiana State Police (LSP) and others which are named.

June 27

Randy Roy Buter, 49, of Benton, was arrested by Cotton Valley Police for theft of a motor vehicle and criminal trespassing.

Kobe Sheppard, 19, of the 300 block of Willis Rd., Sibley, was arrested for theft.

Melissa Wheeler, 46, of the 500 block of N. Main St., Heflin, was arrested by WPSO for battery of a dating partner.

Juan J. Bush, 62, of the 7900 block of Hwy. 371, Sibley, was arrested by Probation and Parole on a P&P violation.

June 29

Deamario Walker, 35, of the 500 block of Sullivan St., Minden, was arrested by WPSO on a warrant for criminal neglect of family.

This information has been provided by a law enforcement agency as public information. Persons named 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.

Weekly Filings

The following civil suits were filed with the Webster Parish Clerk of Court the week of June 24 – June 29.

June 24

Republic Finance LLC vs. Pamela I. Ceccarelli, monies due.

First Tower Loan LLC vs. James Jason Barb, judgment executory & garnishment.

Brooke Elise Smith vs. Rocky Don Young, divorce.

Credit Acceptance Group LLC vs. Derrick Champion, monies due.

One Main Financial Group LLC vs. Benjamin K. Allen, suit on note.

June 27

Ashley N. Faulk vs. Laura M. Faulk, protective order.

Billy Garner vs. Tracy M. Tate, protective order.

Jeanette White vs. Go Auto Insurance, damages.

Bank of America vs. Carolyn C. Lennard, monies due.

PNC Bank National Association vs. Matthew Bryan Kyles and Kristy Cleveland Kyles, executory process.

Notice of Death – June 29, 2022 

Peggy Ann Wise Jones

June 25, 1934 – June 28, 2022

Visitation: 5-7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 30, 2022, Rose-Neath Funeral Home, Minden, La.

Funeral service: 10 a.m. Friday, July 1, 2022, Lakeview United Methodist Church, Lakeshore Dr., Minden, La.

Burial: Gardens of Memory Cemetery, Minden.


Fay Rabb Morgan

Feb. 22, 1930 – June 22, 2022

Visitation: Noon until 1:30 p.m. Thursday, June 30, 2022 at Bailey Funeral Home, Haynesville, La.

Graveside service: 2 p.m. Thursday, June 30, 2022 at Old Shongaloo Cemetery, Shongaloo, La.


Vera Joy Shepard

Dec. 25, 1932 – June 27, 2022

Visitation: 5 until 7 p.m. Friday, July 1, 2022 at Rose-Neath Funeral Home, 2201 Airline Dr., Bossier City.

Funeral service: 1 p.m. Saturday, July 2, 2022 at West Lake Baptist Church, Doyline, La.

Burial to follow at West Lake Baptist Cemetery.


Kenneth “Ken” Roy Grosz

Sept. 2, 1942 – June 11, 2022

Visitation: 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 5, 2022. in church parlor of First Baptist Church, 543 Oakley Dr., Shreveport, La.

Memorial Service: 11 a.m. Tuesday, July 5, 2022, in Frost Chapel, First Baptist Church.


Webster Parish Journal posts paid obituaries – unlimited words and a photo, as well as unlimited access – $80. Contact your funeral provider or . Must be paid in advance of publication. (Above death notices are free of charge.)

Mayor Terry Gardner had deep love of Minden

A Minden City Council meeting with Mayor Terry Gardner (from left), District C Councilman Vincen Bradford, District D Councilman Michael Roy and District E Councilwoman Pam Bloxom.

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Minden Mayor and businessman Terry L. Gardner died Tuesday morning from complications caused by cancer. He was 68 years old.

After 3 unsuccessful runs at the District D Minden City Council seat, Gardner was elected mayor in 2018 and took office January 1, 2019. Friends and family say he expertly managed significant challenges, including the presentation of a balanced budget. He has been instrumental in moving the city forward, strongly supporting the city’s economic development department.

District E Councilwoman Pam Bloxom said Gardner had great insight into the city and what would make it flourish.

“I’ve known Terry for some 25 years,” Bloxom said. “When we both decided to run for election, I was in awe of the visions he had for Minden.”  

Gardner was passionate about maintaining the city’s beauty. This past Spring, he spearheaded a fundraising event to make improvements to Jacqueline Park and raised more money than was needed. He hoped to funnel some if toward lighting the downtown water tower.

Perhaps one of his most passionate projects up to his death, however, was a new animal shelter. In April, the Minden City Council voted in support of using a grant that was required to go toward the shelter by June 30.

Needing another $275,000, Gardner’s goal was to raise enough money to build the shelter – partly because he may always be known as the first mayor to have a “first dog,” Chairman of the Board.

In an interview last year, Gardner said his adoption of Chairman was “meant to be.”

“I now know why I have Chairman,” Gardner said. “My son, Harold is buried in Shreveport. The other day I was close, so I thought we would just go by the cemetery and check on things.”

Chairman, who went a lot of places with the mayor, was along for the ride that day. Apparently, Gardner’s son is buried far from parking in “a maze of headstones.”

“Chairman jumps out and runs right to Harold’s grave and lays down on it,” Gardner said. “And I said to myself, ‘this is why I have him.’ Then when we got back in the car to leave, he gets up against the car window, looking out that way and just whining.”

Chairman and the mayor became a two-man team over the past year, with Chairman accompanying the mayor to city hall almost daily. 

A birthday party for Chairman was held at Academy Park April 24. The main goal was to raise funds for Minden Animal Shelter – $3,000 that day.

Sibley Mayor Jimmy Williams said he was sorry to hear of his fellow mayor’s death.

“He was a good man with a big heart for the city,” Williams said. “I will be in prayer for his wife, Debbie.”

Gardner was known as an outstanding and kindhearted Individual and served as a well-respected role model to many in the community.

Hundreds of Facebook comments memorialized the mayor – many of them saying: “There is no doubt, he loved Minden.”

Gardner is predeceased by his son, Harold Gardner. He is survived by his wife, Debbie, a cat named Cole and, of course, Chairman.

Funeral services are pending.

Terry Gardner’s motto: Everyone deserves a second chance in life, or sometimes 2 or 3.

Gardner shares some goodies with Chairman at a recent function in Minden Police Department.

The mayor before he was mayor 

Debbie and Terry Gardner

By Paige Nash

Mayor Terry L. Gardner first put down roots in Minden, Louisiana more than 40 years ago when he married Mindenite Debbie Walker and relocated from Shreveport. These roots spread throughout the community in a multitude of directions, growing, changing and impacting Minden in ways that would leave a mark beyond his lifetime.  

In 1983 he founded TG Companies and under his leadership, developed it into a multifaceted corporation that would later include, “Orleans on Main” and “The Gardner Group.” Along with changing Minden, he changed many lives he encountered across his career and time here in the city. 

Through these companies he had the ability to provide countless people with opportunities they may not have ever had if it were not for the compassion shown by Gardner. He did not judge them by their past, which in some cases included a history of criminal activity or problems with drugs and alcohol. He gave these people a second chance at life with no hesitation.  

The way he chose to only look at the good would reverberate throughout the lives of these people, enabling them with a job and a way to provide for themselves or their families, which in turn allowed them to change their lives and the lives of those around them. One person’s compassion has that ability, like a domino effect.  

“Terry was so motivated and never, ever lazy. He would get out and work with the crews when we were short handed,” said Linda Miller, former coworker of 22 years. “One of my most precious memories of him was when he had one of the workers, a young man, out in the shop. The young man could not read, and he needed to know how to in order to write the tickets, so Terry sat with him every afternoon and taught him. A lot of those guys turned their lives around because of the chance Terry gave them.” 

He made it his mission to leave a positive impact on Minden. Gardner served as a board member on numerous committees, such as Rural Rental Housing Association of Louisiana, Boys & Girls Club, Statewide Louisiana March of Dimes, Minden Main Street, Board of Directors of Minden Medical Center and Webster Parish Convention of Tourism, to name a few.  

From 1999 to 2004 he served on the Minden South Webster Chamber of Commerce, where he held the title of Chairman of Membership, Ambassadeurs, the Beautification Committee and Banquet Committee. He returned in 2006-2007 and served as Chairman of the board. 

Close friend Sarah Haynes served with him during some of this time on the chamber board.

“Terry loved the Greater Minden Chamber where he served as Youth Leadership Director, instilling a love for Minden,” said Haynes. “Terry and I were named Man and Woman of the Year, which was a shock to both of us in 2013. That was a great year for us. We did a lot of representing.” 

It is no secret Gardner looked forward to Mardi Gras season every year. In 2000 he founded the “Krewe des Ambassadeurs,” a social organization that shares in that love. He served as executive director, Krewe captain and King V with this organization. They meet monthly and focus on community and neighborhood development and improvement by hosting many events throughout the year, including golf, bingo, poker and cornhole tournaments.  

Up until his death, he was a member of Lions Club, committees of the Historic Residential District, Fall Fasching Festival and Webster Parish Sales Tax Commission. He was an active volunteer for Webster Parish Habitat for Humanity and Minden St. Jude Auction, President of Woodhaven Homeowners Association, Delegate for the Louisiana Municipal Association and Sunday School Teacher at First Baptist Church of Minden for the last 10 years. Along with his many hats he already wore, in 2018 he became our mayor. 

Mayor Gardner planted seeds throughout the community making it a goal to leave things better than he found them. He had the ability to see the beauty in every street, neighborhood and building. Then, he did what he could to preserve that beauty or improve upon it. He was a key factor in Minden’s development over the years, sprinkling his vision across the city in the forms of flowers and plants, construction and reconstruction, never stopping until his vision became a reality.  

His accomplishments, passion and kindheartedness have branched out over the years touching everyone he met, many of whom will make it their personal mission to ensure his vision for the city will continue. His life story and ability to make sure Minden “feels like home” will serve as his greatest legacy, not something he has left behind for us, but a feeling he has left within us.  

Autopsy: Infant dies from Fetanyl intoxication. 

By Bonnie Culverhouse

A Minden woman has been arrested and charges are pending on a second person in the death of a baby.

Stephanie N. Lowery, 26, of the 100 block of Pine Street, was taken into custody Monday and charged with negligent homicide. The autopsy report shows her child died from Fentanyl intoxication.

Minden Police Chief Steve Cropper said his officers were dispatched to Minden Medical Center one month ago in reference to the death of a 7-month-old male.

“The parents were both at the ER and were interviewed,” Cropper said. “They said they placed the infant in the bed with them and had given him a pacifier.”

The father reportedly said he awakened approximately an hour after they all had gone to bed and the infant still had the pacifier in his mouth.

“When the mother awakened, she discovered the infant was not responsive, and they took him to the hospital,” said the chief.

Monday, June 27, Lowery came to Minden Police Department for a second interview.

“She indicated she and the baby’s father were crushing a pill laced with Fentanyl and snorting it,” Cropper said. “Lowery remembered the baby’s father crushing a pill for her but could not remember if she snorted it prior to going to sleep.”

The father of the infant is currently in a rehabilitation facility in Florida, the chief said. Possible charges against him are still being investigated.

This information has been provided by a law enforcement agency as public information. Persons named 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.

Winning with room to spare

Inspired this spring by the Byrd High School girls bowling team knocking off the state’s No. 1 seed in the playoffs and finishing as the surprising, out-of-nowhere state runner-up, I accepted the challenge to captain a team last week in the 2022 “Surfs Up” Bowling Bash at the Four Seasons Bowling Center in Alexandria.

The event was one of many that made up the always-good-times Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Week, which began Thursday with a press conference to meet the Class of 2022 and ended with the induction of that class Saturday at the Natchitoches Events Center.

In between was tomfoolery, something I know a little something about.

The Big Weekend rolls around every year at this time, and all are welcome, including at the bowling event. Grab five folks, a few bucks, and you’re in. Go to and see pictures and videos of all the events and start thinking about next year. I talked with a couple of dozen first-timers who say they’ll be back.

And why? Because a good time was had by all. Especially by me. And especially bowling, because we won.

Not only won, but shattered the events record with a score of 925 for our five-man team in 10 frames of team bowling. (They tell me that’s good. What I know about bowling, you could fit inside a bowling ball’s finger hole.)

As a nod to the 50th anniversary of Title IX — and an equal nod (OK, a bigger nod) to them being really good — I recruited members of Louisiana Tech’s girls bowling team. They accepted. Even without under-the-table cash or an NIL deal.

Just solid old-school recruiting. It all comes back to that when you’re trying to build a one-game, winner-take-all team. Surround yourself with quality kegglers.

It is a plus that, besides finishing their most recent season with 33 wins over top-25 teams, 20 wins over Top-10 teams, 12 wins over Top-5 teams, three wins over No. 2 and two wins over the country’s top-ranked team at the time, these young female student-athletes are a joy to be around.

And even more fun since they earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament and finished as an Elite 8 team.

Friday in Alexandria, they finished as an Elite 1.

Our “five-man team” team is a figure of speech. There was me, bowling-lover-gone-bowling-madman/wizard Coach Matt Nantais, and three willing talents from the team, listed here with some of their 2021-22 accomplishments:

Averi Brown, a grad student from Columbus, Ohio who qualified for the singles national championships; Patricia Rosales, who made a pair of All-Tournament teams; and,

Danielle Jedlicki, who bowled two perfect games, was named to a pair of All-Tournament teams and earned a Tournament MVP.

They had rosin bags. Little pieces of tape on their fingers. A hand fan. Braces for their wrists. Everything but eye black. In it to win it, they were.

Teddy wept.

Did you even know Tech had a bowling team? Now you do. And the state does. And next year, hopefully more of the nation will know. The national championships will be in Vegas next year. Maybe I’ll “need” to go cover it.

So think about going to some or all of the Hall of Fame events next year. And think about going bowling. Start now if you want a chance to beat us.

Which you will, because I think we’ve been, for future events, disqualified.

But it sure was fun while it lasted.

Contact Teddy at

Empowering youth with life skills

By Tina Montgomery

Teaching life skills and how to be a community leader are the goals for the Youth Empowerment Group coordinated by Patrick White.

The YEG is part of the work of White’s nonprofit organization We’re Here. The latest group met on June 25 at The Farm of Cultural Crossroads. White said he wants to teach at-risk youths basic life skills for them to be successful in life and become community leaders.

“I want to empower everyone as a whole. I want them to reach inside and pull out strength they find and bring their community together” White said.

 The monthly events teach young people basic skills such as cooking, financial literacy, math skills and reading among other skills needed to be successful, including how to change a tire. Through the partnership with The Farm at Cultural Crossroads and various sponsors, the group has managed to reach upward to 200 youths at a recent event.

 “I want to show that we’re really together [as a community]. Division is the result of wrong ideas and miscommunication,” according to White. His mission through We’re Here and the Youth Empowerment Group is to cut through that division and bring everyone together in our community.

Guest speakers volunteer to share their knowledge and experience to the young people who attend. Participants are treated to free food and drinks as they learn these life skills. All young people are encouraged to attend. Dates for future YEP meetings are to be announced.

Harry’s Homecoming

Robert and Harrison St. John

By Robert St. John

I am a fan of first lines in books. But I also like last lines in movies. In the film adaptation of John Steinbeck’s, “Cannery Row,” John Huston— in one of the greatest film narrations this side of Morgan Freeman states that, “The world was once again spinning in greased grooves.” I don’t know if that line is in Steinbeck’s novel because I probably only read the Cliff’s Notes in high school, and hat was well over 40 years ago, but I know exactly what he was talking about.

My son wants to make the restaurant business a career. It’s nothing that I pushed or encouraged. The restaurant business is brutal enough for people who are passionate about our industry, it is miserable for people who are only halfway dedicated (or those who are in it just for the money). So, I set up an eight-year plan, that he— for the most part— has been following for the past couple of years.

He was to get a degree in business first. That four-year stretch of the plan is still in place, though we have called an audible. His second semester of college coincided with the onset of Covid. His college career for the next three semesters was filled with Zoom classes and challenges. This fall he seemed to be floundering a little and he kept expressing his desire to get out and start working in the industry. “We are going to stick to the plan we agreed upon,” I kept telling him. But around Christmas, he convinced me that taking a break for a bit and working in a kitchen for a while might serve to recharge his batteries.

That’s when Tuscany came into the picture.

In 2011, I took my family over to Europe for six months. We all loved it, our lives changed during that time, and none of us have been the same since. Though I think it affected the boy the most. He was struck with a severe case of wanderlust and has traveled back to Tuscany, often. We all love that area. He probably loves at the most. So, I made a deal with him that we would skip his last year of college, if he promised that he would finish one day. I couldn’t say much because I had done the same thing (though I graduated high school in 1979, and finally walked at my college graduation ceremony as a part of the class of 2000).

He could work for a friend of mine in Tuscany for a few months before heading off to culinary school which would put him back on the eight-year plan.

He got a one-bedroom, third-floor, walk-up apartment in the Santo Spirito neighborhood of Florence and took a 45-minute bus ride every day to the small town of Tavernelle to work for my friend Paolo and with his mother Giuliana, in the kitchen. That was five months ago.

My wife and I spent six weeks over there in the spring while I was working hosting tours, and we got to see him often. He seemed to be thriving in that environment. He knew the area better than I, and I have spent a couple of months of every year there for the past several years. It was so refreshing to have him take us to his favorite places in Florence and introduced us to the new friends that he had made over there.

He seems to have matured five years in five months. It was definitely the right decision, and he is now ready to go off to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York in September. There, he will resume the plan that we agreed-upon several years ago, and spend two years becoming a chef. After that, he will get out and work for friends of mine in the business for two years— first, in Chicago, then in New Orleans. Then, and only then, I told him he could come back to one of our restaurants. But he will start at the bottom just like everyone else. It won’t matter what his title is, where he has worked, or what his abilities are. He will start at the bottom and work his way up.

The beautiful part about the plan is that, if— anywhere along the way— he becomes disenchanted with the industry, or frustrated with the restaurant business, he will have weeded himself out early and saved everyone a lot of misery. So far, that doesn’t seem to be the case. He seems to be very enthusiastic and excited about his potential future working in restaurants, and even more so than five months ago.

I picked him up at the airport two days ago. His flight was delayed in Washington DC, and he arrived late on Sunday night. He wanted American food. The plan was to go to my friend Susan Spicer‘s restaurant, Rosedale, where one can find the absolute best barbecue shrimp on the planet. But I had to cancel the reservation when the flight got delayed. So, we just spent the night at our apartment. I had Popeyes spicy fried chicken waiting for him when he came through the door. It’s a tradition I have always done. As soon as I land back in America after a long lengthy Italian tour, I hit the Popeyes in the Atlanta airport before coming home.

The next morning he was up early since his internal clock was still getting adjusted to a new time zone. That was great for me because it afforded us the opportunity to go to breakfast. Our favorite breakfast place in New Orleans is La Boulangerie bakery. We got in the car and drove from the Marigny to Magazine Street. We caught up with news from home and abroad and talked about what he had learned and what he had experienced. We talked about the recipes he gathered while he was there, and the things he cooked in Giuliana‘s kitchen. We will be putting many of those to use in the coming days.

He was excited to come home and spend the night in his own bed and to see his mother. This morning we got up and ate breakfast at The Midtowner. He and I have eaten breakfast together all over the world. When we took the long trip, the girls always slept late, but he and I always got up and ate breakfast together. We have so many good memories of breakfast in 72 European cities over that wonderful six-month period.

Though none of those breakfasts can compare to what he and I enjoyed this morning at our breakfast joint. He wanted eggs and bacon cooked the American way. He hadn’t eaten hashbrowns in almost a half a year and was looking forward to those. He also wanted a biscuit. He typically doesn’t eat bread, or at least much of it, but he tore that cathead biscuit up in one sitting.

A couple of friends showed up and we told stories. My son spoke about his journeys in Italy and throughout Europe. I pushed away from the counter and took in the scene as he spoke.  He seems as if he has matured five years in the past five months. The audible was the correct call.

Today’s breakfast was one that I will never forget. And, once again, the world is spinning in greased grooves.



I love pesto. It is one of my favorite flavor profiles— not only in Italian cooking, but— of all cuisines. It’s fresh tasting and clean. But it’s also light and extremely versatile.

I keep pesto portioned into small batches in the freezer. It thaws quickly and is perfect for a quick supper. Just place the pesto in a bowl and add a little extra virgin olive oil. Remove your favorite noodle from the boiling water and toss in the pesto. Finish with some grated pecorino and call it dinner.

1/3 cup                Toasted pine nuts or almonds
2 cups                  Fresh basil leaves (2 oz. by weight)
1 TB           Minced garlic
pinch                   Kosher salt
¼ cup                  Grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
3 TB           Grated Pecorino Romano cheese
½ cup                  Extra virgin olive oil

Combine nuts, basil, garlic and salt in a food processor. Slowly add olive oil.

Remove and fold in cheese.

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

Traffic stop uncovers drugs

By Bonnie Culverhouse

A routine traffic stop last Friday night led to the arrest of a local man on drug charges.

Mark Willis, 56 of the 200 block of Bryant Rd., Minden, was taken into custody around 11 p.m. after he was stopped by Minden Police Off. Jared McIver and Ofc. Jason Lee.

He is charged with possession of methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia and no tail lights.

Police Chief Steve Cropper said McIver initiated the stop on Pine Street in Minden.

“Willis told the officer his light switch was not working,” Cropper said. “A check of Willis’ driver’s license through NCIC showed a history of drug arrests.”

Willis reportedly gave officers permission to search his vehicle when McIver noticed fresh needle track marks on his left arm.

“Once in the vehicle, the officer saw a syringe under a CD case, attached to the center console of the truck,” said the chief. “Next to the syringe were two clear Zip Loc bags containing suspected crystal methamphetamine.”

Officers recovered the suspected meth and the capped, empty syringe.

“When asked, Willis said all the illegal items belonged to him,” Cropper said. “His vehicle was released to his wife, who was a passenger in the truck with him.”

Willis was transported to MPD and later to Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center.

This information has been provided by a law enforcement agency as public information. Persons named 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.

Outpatient Medical Center 


Outpatient Medical Center (Natchitoches Headquarters) is looking for a fulltime CFO to join our leadership team and report to our CEO and Board of Directors.  The CFO is responsible for fulfilling all financial and collections priorities/requirements of the organization and to effectively manage and direct assigned staff.  Must be willing to join a new leadership team and continue improvements initiated over the past two years – necessary to rebuild an organization once seriously threatened financially.

A successful candidate will not only be knowledgeable but also an excellent communicator with the ability to clearly explain fiscal and budgetary matters to executives and policy-makers.  Must be exceptionally organized, assure accuracy of reports and tasks, and meet deadlines in a proactive manner.  A successful candidate will have a record of highly responsible CFO experience in a healthcare setting, managing and accounting for multiple grants and revenue sources.  OMC will also consider progressively responsible candidates who have extensive FQHC experience with audits, budgeting, management reports, accounting, billing, and supervision.

Resumes are being accepted by email to  Confidential inquires may be made to the CEO, Dr. Mark Guidry, at 318-357-2055.