UPDATE 2: Claims of mistrial in murder case incorrect

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.

By Bonnie Culverhouse

The possibility of a misunderstanding among prospective jurors is likely what caused the postponement of the second-degree murder trial of Logan Harmon Smith Tuesday.

Some local media reported Wednesday that Bossier-Webster District Attorney Schuyler Marvin said a dispute over whether a person claiming self-defense has the burden of proof in his defense led to a mistrial.     

In fact, the reports claiming the mistrial, as well as the issue of self-defense were both incorrect, according to Assistant District Attorney Jimbo Yocom, who added media reports likely misinterpreted what Marvin said.

“You cannot declare a mistrial because the trial doesn’t start until opening statements begin,” he added. “It was not a mistrial but a continuance.”

In an effort to protect a defendant’s constitutional rights, the continuance was declared “so there is nothing that occurs during the trial that will make us have to come back and retry it in the future,” said Yocom, who represented the state in the case. “They (judges) make sure the accused has a fair day in court and nothing happens where we have mistakes made and have to try it again in the future.”

During voir dire (or jury selection) Tuesday, the issue of “heat of passion” manslaughter or “sudden provocation” was introduced during the questioning of the jurors.

“Before a trial, the state has no idea what the defense is going to be,” Yocom said. “And the defense doesn’t have to tell us. The state was explaining to the jurors what the defense might be, the mitigating factor, which is where the evidence shows the accused did the crime, but there’s a reason he did it – like in the heat of the moment where the accused is deprived of reasoning.”

Yocom said if Smith’s attorney decides to pursue that defense, then he or she is required to prove those facts exist.

“The law says I don’t have to disprove it occurred, they have to prove it did,” Yocom said. “But it isn’t like the state’s burden of proof – they just have to present evidence that (heat of passion or sudden provocation) occurred.”

During jury selection, the state reportedly presented this possible line of defense to the potential jurors and, due to the wording of the presentation, the judge reportedly felt the jurors could be confused about who bears the burden of proof.

“Of course, the state has the high burden of proof,” Yocom explained. “And he (judge) felt that in the interest of justice, it was best we reschedule until October to get a whole new pack of potential jurors and ensure there was understanding of the burden issue.”

ORIGINAL STORY

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Jury selection is scheduled to begin today (Tuesday, August 9), in the shooting death of 37-year-old Anthony John Bruns of Springhill.

Monday’s courtroom was the scene of evidentiary arguments. If a jury is selected Tuesday or Wednesday morning, the trial could start Wednesday afternoon.

Bruns reportedly was found on the side of Percy Burns Road, just south of Reynolds Street on Louisiana Hwy. 157 in June of 2020.

Webster Parish Sheriff’s investigators Phillip Krouse and Tommy Kemp Jr. worked the case and arrested Logan Harmon Smith, who was 21 at the time. Smith is from Taylor, Ark. 

Bruns was allegedly killed in another location, and his body dumped at the site where Springhill Police were called. It was reportedly out of their jurisdiction, so Sheriff’s investigators were called to the scene.

In a 2020 story, KTAL news reported Smith confessed to shooting Bruns but did not disclose a motive, claiming he did not know the victim prior to the shooting. He was charged with second-degree murder.

Smith’s trial will be held at the Webster Parish Courthouse under presiding Judge Charles Smith. Assistant District Attorney Jimbo Yocom is the prosecutor and Attorney Mary Ellen Halterman of Shreveport, is defending Smith

g election but aren’t registered yet?

Angela Hall and Denise Weeks are ready to help you out at the Webster Parish Registrar of Voters office at the courthouse.

“One thing people need to ask themselves before they register is this, has my address changed since the last election?” Weeks said. “It’s very important that we have the correct address.”

An incorrect address could put a voter in the wrong district or precinct.

The deadline to register to vote in person, by mail or at the OMV Office is Oct. 11.

“If someone mails in their voter registration on the 10th, and we get it on the 13th, we go by the postmarked date,” Weeks said.

The deadline to register to vote through the GeauxVote Online Registration System is Oct. 18.

Weeks said their office has not seen an influx of persons registering to vote for the Nov. 8 election.

“It’s no more than usual,” she said. “As we get closer to closing the books, it will pick up more.”

More often, Weeks said, most of those registering are going through geauxvote.com.

“Where we might have 5 to 7 a day, now we might have 10,” she said.

As the sign-up deadline draws nearer, Weeks said she expects it to pick up even more.

“Some of the candidates have ordered their walk list, and that will stir up people to register,” she continued. 

Early voting is Oct. 25 through Nov. 1 (excluding Sunday, Oct. 30) from 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. at the registrar’s office in the courthouse.

The deadline to request an absentee ballot is Nov. 4 by 4:30 p.m (other than military and overseas voters). You can request an absentee ballot online through the Voter Portal or in writing through your Registrar of Voters Office.

The deadline for a registrar of voters to receive a voted absentee ballot is Nov. 7 by 4:30 p.m. (other than military and overseas voters).

On election day, the polls are open from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. If you are unsure of your voting precinct, please call 377-9272.


‘Tie One On’ with museum fundraiser

By Bonnie Culverhouse

If you’re looking to “Tie One On,” the Dorcheat Museum is the place to be Monday, Sept. 12.

Executive Director Schelley Brown Francis said this year’s event is even more important for the museum than those in the past.

“We haven’t been able to have a fundraiser the last two years because of Covid,” Francis said. “But the annual gala is our biggest fundraiser and so necessary to our ability to function. The museum can finally be able to have a gathering of supporters again.”

At “Tie One On” Dorcheat Museum Fundraiser Gala 2022, the Dorcheat Museum will be celebrating 15 years of preserving history of Webster Parish. 

“This year’s gala will be a little different than the ones we have had in the past,” Francis said. “We just wanted to have a simple fun evening together again. We will have a live auction conducted by our own ‘Dr. Feelgood,’ Richard Campbell. Donated cakes will be on the auction block all night long, and the bidding starts at $100. Bring your sweet tooth, pocket book and a cake to donate.”

The event will be centered around the “Tie One On” apron exhibit that runs from April to October 1. 

“Aprons tie us to the past in more ways than one,” Francis said. “The memories of meals shared and recipes handed down through time is what cooking and family are all about. Many times a simple recipe takes us down memory lane or the smell of a pound cake cooking in the oven.”

The museum’s newest cookbook will also be available by then. It is filled with color photos and handwritten recipes that go along with the apron exhibit.

Francis said the last two years, the museum has “scraped by,” and this fundraiser makes the difference in keeping open the doors.

“I haven’t heard from a lot of people yet, about the event,” she said. “I’m hoping more will come through. This event funds everything we do for the coming year, plus we need to start work on the building next door. It is going to allow us to do so much more by doubling our space.”

Dress will be casual and fun, and all attendees are encouraged to wear their favorite apron.

Cost is $25 per person with response cards and checks to be mailed by Sept. 1 or dropped off at museum by Friday Sept. 9. Cost at the door is $30. To donate baked items and cakes call 318-377-3002.

And if you can’t attend, the museum welcomes online donations at http://www.dorcheatmuseum.com.

Call museum for more details 318-377-3002.


School’s open for the Board

For the past weeks we’ve talked about elections in our neck o’ the woods, but most of our attention has been on those in the city limits. Now, we’d like to give a little attention to one of the parish-widers that could make a mark on each of us, from kindergartener to vegetable gardener. 

Looking at the parish school board races, seven incumbents will save a bushel on campaign signs (they’re unopposed). We don’t know exactly how that translates in political language, but it means either someone’s doing a whale of a job or folks simply don’t care enough to pay attention. 

Our mentor, a former 30-plus year Congressional chief of staff up in D.C., always said he’d bet on the latter. In his words, half the people don’t know what’s going on, half don’t care what’s going on and the last half thinks there’s nothing they can do about anything anyway. It’s a Yogi-ism that makes sense.

It’s a sorta typical school board election, with seven unopposed. In Webster Parish School Board election parlance, “unopposed” is a most frequent challenger. Check history.

Not quite so typical is District 9’s seat, where no one seemed to be interested enough to file for the seat from which Frankie Mitchell is voluntarily stepping aside. That little candidational faux pas will wind up costing the school board the price of a special election. While the tab’s not quite that of an artificial turf field, it’s still a significant piece of change. We’re told figuring the cost would be time consuming, complicated and mind numbing. What the heck. Up here, we’re accustomed to dealing with numb minds.

Four incumbents who are asking for a repeat performance are facing challengers. Terrell Mendenhall wants to unseat Debbie Thomas in District 2; Jonathan Guthrie is asking for the District 4 seat held by JJ O’Neal; Phillip Smart is seeking Glenda Broughton’s District 8 slot; and, (surprise) School Board President Fred Evans will defend his District 6 position against Jana Watson.

It’s an experience that few relish, this thing called campaigning. Especially when it’s for something like school board in Webster Parish where few controversies arise and performance is often judged by attendance and attention. But, when one considers what boards in other parts of the country are experiencing, controversy is often just around the corner. 

We’re particularly fascinated by curricula that have been drawing national attention, and by selected reading materials that go largely unnoticed by the great percentage of the great unwashed. Our school board is responsible for legislating, not administrating. That, we trust, is in the hands of professionals who know and do their jobs. Still, it is our board, empowered by our votes, that has oversight. It’s time to see and oversee.

And, there’s the question of discipline and school safety. We understand the safety issue will be addressed at a special meeting where Sheriff  Jason Parker will present proposals for consideration by board members. One thing that’s certain. Our Sheriff will make serious recommendations. Hopefully, ears will hear and comprehension will spread.

A thought for those who want to serve Webster Parish schools. There are about 6,000 students, more or less, in about 15 schools in the system. Right now, we average somewhere in the top 50 percent of public schools in the state. But, friends and neighbors, that’s top 50 in the 48th ranked state for public school performance in the U.S. Despite reported smiling reports on our school system’s performance, it ain’t good. 

School board members be aware. There are issues (including violence among students) that need to be addressed and questions that need to be asked. There are curious eyes and ears everywhere, waiting to see and hear what you have to say and what you do. If you want to serve the students and staff of this parish, ask questions and be prepared to hold yourself accountable. Like our students, your performance is tested and judged.


Minden Mayoral, City Council and Chief of Police candidates:

Webster Parish Journal recently emailed each of you a list of questions in order to allow the voters to see and understand your platform and where you stand on issues that affect our community. 

DEADLINE:

Please email your answers back to us by 5 p.m. Thursday, September 1. It is mandatory you meet that deadline in order to have your answers included in the stories, which will be published shortly thereafter. It is not mandatory that you respond, however, that will be noted in the stories.

We will also be running an interactive poll after the stories are published.

If you did not receive an email of questions, please contact us at wpjnewsla@gmail.com .


WPSO arrests Sibley man for simple assault

By Bonnie Culverhouse

A Sibley man is in trouble with the law after pointing what he said was a metal pipe toward another man.

Wastaskia D. Willis, 39, of the 200 block of Willis Rd., is charged with simple assault.

Webster Parish Sheriff Jason Parker said deputies Jacob Winiarski and Alec Edwards were dispatched to the Willis Road address after a caller accused Willis of pointing a gun at him.

“Upon arrival, they patrolled the area and were able to locate Willis,” Parker said. “He was cooperative and consented to a search of his person and vehicle.”

No firearms were located, the sheriff said.

“When asked what had taken place, Willis said he and the complainant had several altercations,” Parker said. “Then Willis said he did not have a gun but he had a metal pipe approximately three feet long.”

Willis reportedly claimed he pointed the pipe out the window as he drove past the complainant. The complainant told deputies he believed it to be a shotgun.

The Sheriff said the complainant reported Willis had driven past his workplace several times on previous occasions. He also claimed Willis followed him to a local dollar store in Sibley.

“Due to the confession from Willis and the written statement from the complainant, the deputies arrested Willis and booked him into Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center,” Parker said.

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.


Screen time: Recommendations vs Real life

My children are nowhere near old enough for the “birds and the bees” discussion (lucky for me.) The oldest two were old enough during my last pregnancy with my youngest, Kameron, to understand that she grew in my belly. They used to love feeling her kick and seeing her move. 

While eating dinner over the weekend, Ashton informed me that she did not like it when she was inside my belly. Knowing that there is no way she actually remembers being in there, I asked her, “why,” and waited for her response. Per usual, I was not disappointed. 

She said, “I didn’t like it there because there wasn’t any T.V.” 

We love a good show over here and I try to schedule a family movie night at least once a week, but this remark had me wondering if maybe they were getting a little too much time in front of the television. 

I have never claimed to be one of those moms who limit the girl’s screen time to an hour or two every day, which is what the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends. I get it. Going overboard on the screen time leads to obesity, irregular sleep patterns, behavioral issues, not enough fresh air and active playtime.  

I would be lying if I said that I did not hand my child an I-paid while I cook supper or get some work done. I totally do not judge the parent who sits their child in front of the television to try and get them to quit screaming or to just have a few minutes to themselves for the day. 

In my opinion, not allowing children to experiment with electronics may harm them in the future. It is just the way of the world now. Everything is digital. For example, my oldest is in the third grade and must complete almost all her schoolwork and homework on a Chromebook. This was a major learning curve for the both of us when she was participating in the virtual program the last two years after Covid. 

My children have definitely benefited from different high-quality types of programs over the years. When they were younger, we watched shows with lots of music and storytelling. Now that they are a little older they enjoy more interactive shows or apps.  

I have spoken with them about internet safety and have all the parental controls enabled. I know that does not filter everything, but I feel I do a pretty good job of vetting what apps and shows they get to use. It is good practice to do your research beforehand by checking out ratings and reviews. There is also a way to set a daily time limit per day or curfew on their devices that locks them out or shuts them down automatically and I take full advantage of those features.

It’s not a one size fits all type of thing, but I think the quality of the media they are watching is way more important than the amount of the screen time they are getting. Emerson and Ashton are involved in extracurricular activities, and they love a good book. It is all about finding that balance and what works for your family. 

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

 


Friday Night Lights: Help needed

Webster Parish Journal is in need of someone to cover Glenbrook School football this fall. No experience needed.

Last year, WPJ published a special Saturday edition of all the parish high school football teams’ Friday night games.

Our goal is to bring the same great coverage this year. Lakeside High School, Minden High and North Webster High School are covered, but there is still a need for Glenbrook. They deserve good, accurate coverage, too.

Please join our team for football season! WPJ pays per story. Email wpjnewsla@gmail.com if you would like to be a part of the fastest growing online publication in the parish.


Freezer-friendly Blueberry Oat Muffins

With kids going back to school, these freezer-friendly muffins are the perfect grab ‘n go breakfast! Watch the step-by-step recipe video here: https://bit.ly/BlueberryOat 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups oats
  • 2 ½ half cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup apple sauce

Directions 

  1. Start by loosening the flour with a spoon then you’ll spoon enough flour into the measuring cup until the flour overflows. 
  2. Using the back of a knife, level off the top of the flower until it’s nice and smooth on top. 
  3. Mix together the milk and the oats and let it sit for 20 minutes.
  4. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together in a large bowl until combined and then set aside. 
  5. Now mix the applesauce, sugar, egg, and vanilla extract until combined.
  6. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir it a few times.
  7. Add in the oat and milk mixture.
  8. Add in the blueberries, you want to toss them with the tablespoon of flour. This will help the blueberries not sink to the bottom of the muffin pan whenever you’re cooking it.
  9. Gently fold in the blueberries with a rubber spatula.
  10. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to fill in your muffin pan.
  11. Bake muffins at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for five minutes and then we’ll bake it at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 16 minutes. For mini muffins, bake for 11 minutes. 
  12. Enjoy!

(This recipe will make 24 large muffins or 48 mini muffins)

The LSU AgCenter and LSU provide equal opportunities in programs and employment.


Sales Opportunity

Do you enjoy meeting new people and greeting old friends?

You may be perfect for an account executive’s position with the Webster Parish Journal. You don’t have to fit a particular profile, you just need to be as passionate about spreading the news as those with whom you will be working.

WPJ subscriptions are – and always will be – free. We depend on businesses and advertising to help us meet our goals and keep the public informed.

Contact us at wpjnewsla@gmail.com, if this describes you.


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.

August 9

Lapisccious Mendenhall, 24, of Shreveport, was arrested by WPSO for speeding.

Lavonda Wright, 37, ofte 300 block of Junior Edwards Rd., Doyline, was arrested by WPSO for possession of narcotics with intent to distribute.

Jason C. Peavy, 45, of Morton, Miss., was arrested by LSP-G in Webster Parish for driving while intoxicated, improper lane usage and speeding.

August 10

Ceciley M. Bailey, 29, of the 100 block of Grider Rd., Minden, was arrested by WPSO for domestic abuse battery.

Kendrick Louis-Henry Dixon, 35, of Atlanta, Ga., was arrested by LSP-G for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of a stolen gun, possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of a firearm near a controlled dangerous substance, 3 counts of CDS in the presence of a minor and 3 counts of contributing to delinquency of minors.

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.


It’s too hot to fish!

August 5, 2022

So, with temperatures exceeding the 100-degree mark this summer, that means it’s too hot to fish! From an angler’s perspective, anytime temperatures are above the 95-degree mark, I need to be doing something else besides wetting a hook. Today we’ll look at a few ways to pass the time and get some things done around the house…projects or “honey do’s” that maybe you’ve been putting off from this past spring when the big ones were biting. 

The first place I start is by cleaning up and cleaning out my boat. I always like to remove all the rods and empty all storage boxes in the boat. Then I vacuum the entire boat, front to back. I like to clean my live wells while I’m in the cleaning mode. I use a live well cleaner by Fish Care Products that does a great job of getting those water ring stains out and will make your live wells look like new. I’ll also clean my cooler with another great product called Cooler-D-Funk. It totally cleans and deodorizes the entire cooler.  

Now is also a great time to do a job that many anglers hate; check the water levels on your batteries. The biggest problem in most boats is getting to the batteries. One thing boat manufacturer have not figured out yet is how to build a boat where things are more accessible, especially in the back well of the boat. As much as I hate this job, it is a great time to do this chore before I head into the fall fishing season, and it will prolong the life of your batteries.  

After this, I’ll check for wrapped fishing line on the props on both the outboard engine and the trolling motor. This is something I do often during the fishing season due to the fact there are so many anglers on the water now which means more fishing lines in the water. Nothing can do more damage to your trolling or your outboard engine than old, discarded fishing line.  It will totally eat the seals up and cause major damage, not only to your motors, but your pocketbook as well. 

Now other than boat maintenance, I’ll do a few other things like reorganize my fishing cave, or what I call “Graf Mart,” which is a total disaster after the spring is over. I’ll also check the dates on every rod to make sure I have fresh line on each before I head to the fall tournaments. Several anglers have noticed my dating on each rod and wondered why I do it. Two reasons…first, I always know what size line is on each reel and I label the month that line was put on. This way I always know if I have old or fresh line on every reel. Always remember, the most important connection between you and the fish is your fishing line. 

These are just a few of the things I do during the dog days of summer when I have no desire to be on the water with sweat dripping off my nose and running down the back of my shorts. While I’m thinking about it, it’s also a great time to see your dermatologist and have those suspect areas checked. Even though I’ve been very conscious about protecting my skin with sunscreen, clothing, and proper headwear, I still had a spot turn into Melanoma. You don’t want this to happen, so don’t put this off and think it will just go away. Bad skin spots will turn into something deadly very quickly. I’m one of the lucky ones in that I only had one spot on my upper left ear where Melanoma had set up camp. Which, by the time you read this article, I will have had part of my upper left ear cut out. The good news…after a full body PET scan, everything was negative internally. What a blessing that we caught it early! Don’t take skin protection lightly! Till next time, good luck, good fishing, wear proper clothing and don’t forget your sunscreen!!!!

Steve Graf – Owner Co-Host                                                                                        Hook’N Up & Track’N Down Show &                                                                            Tackle Talk Live


Weekly Filings

The following civil suits were filed with the Webster Parish Clerk of Court the week of Aug. 4 -9:

August 4

Republic Finance LLC vs. Liner K. Rabb, monies due.

Jaheim Phillips vs. Tevin Lewis/Allstate Insurance Co., damages.

U.S. Bank National Assoc. vs. Robert C. Lives, suit on note.

Benjamin Wood vs. Stanley Barnett/Allstate Insurance Co., damages.

August 5

Elizabeth Mathews vs. DG Louisiana/Dollar General, damages.

Carlee Adams Womack vs. Tommy Ray Womack Jr., divorce.

August 8

Thelma Taylor vs. Geico Casualty Insurance Co./Progressive Security, damages.

Republic Finance LLC vs. Jamet N. Moore, judgment executor and garnishment.

Discover Bank vs. Jeffrey Robinson Sr., monies due.

Octavia Taylor vs. Nexion Health at Minden dba Meadowview Health and Rehab Center, medical review panel.

Marjorie Jones vs. Nexion Health at Minden dba Meadowview Health and Rehab Center, medical review panel.

August 9

Reverse Mortgage Funding LLC vs. Donna Hill Smith individually and as serving spouse in community with Roger Whitney Smith, executory process.


Upcoming Events

August 11

9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Webster Parish Schools’ Boys’ Day. Parents must transport students to school. Parent meeting at 1:30 p.m.

9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Webster Parish Schools Preschool/PreK Orientation Days. Parents must transport students to school.

August 12

9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Boys’ Day Webster Parish Schools Preschool/PreK program.

9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Webster Parish Schools’ Girls’ Day. Parents must transport students to school. Parent meeting at 1:30 p.m.

4 p.m. Nominations are due for 5 Under 40 for the Springhill North Webster Chamber.

August 15

9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Girls’ Day Webster Parish Schools Preschool/PreK program.

First full day for all Kindergarten students in Webster Parish Schools.

August 15-17

3-4:30 p.m. Mini cheer camp sponsored by Glenbrook Booster Fan Club. Registration form must be returned by August 12. Performance will be August 18 during Back to School Night.

August 16

First full day for all Preschool/PreK students in Webster Parish Schools’ program.

August 18

7 until 9 a.m. Candidate Meet & Greet at CAC Building in Springhill. Sponsored by Springhill North Webster Chamber of Commerce.

10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Children’s Book Club for ages 4-7. Springhill Branch of Webster Parish Libraries.

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

August 19

4:30 p.m. Applications due for 4-H conference for members  14-18 from across the south Sept. 22-25. Meeting will be held in Crossville, Tenn.

August 20

8 a.m. until noon Minden Farmers Market. Local food vendors will be set up under the pavilion at The Farm of Cultural Crossroads. This is our last scheduled Farmers Market date for now, but interested vendors still have time to submit an application using the following link: https://www.culturalcrossroadsofminden.org/farmersmarketvendor

August 22

6 p.m. Cultural Crossroads of Minden, Inc. Meeting of the Board of Directors. Open to the public at The Farm of Cultural Crossroads.

August 26

7 until 9 p.m. Fourth Fridays at The Farm. Twang Darkly will play a 2 hour set of their rural space music. Their ethereal sound is made possible with the use of hand-built instruments. Herm’s Meals on Wheels will be selling BBQ plates, and artist Trent Dion Soto will have his artwork for sale. We are currently looking to add more artists on this date so that we can support our local art community. There is no vendor fee and artists keep 100% of their sales. Admission to this event is FREE, and it is family-friendly. Guests are invited to bring their lawn chairs and money to tip the band, buy food, or purchase artwork. Guests are also welcome to bring a cooler with their own food and nonalcoholic beverages for just $5 at the gate. Link to facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/325187109781570/325187113114903/

Sept. 3 

Vintage Car Club Show and Shine, Car and Bike show, 2nd Kiddie Car show. Downtown Minden.

Sept. 10

Annual W.H.O. Golf Scramble at Springhill Country Club. Three-man team, $300 per team. Lunch to be served. Mulligans, closest to the hole, split the pot, raffles and more. Cash payouts for winners. Register your team at Springhill Country Club clubhouse. Sponsorship opportunities available.

Sept. 12

6 p.m. Tie One On Museum Gala Fundraiser 2022 for Dorcheat Historical Museum.

Sept. 13

15 under 40 Awards banquet. Greater Minden Chamber of Commerce, 318-377-4240.

October 15

11 a.m. until 4 p.m. Minden Makers Fair

Our 4th annual Minden Makers Fair will take place at The Farm of Cultural Crossroads. A fun-filled day packed with local artists and makers, hands-on demonstrations, activities for children, food vendors, and more! Guests will also be able to view submissions made to our halloween-themed art competition, Moonlight Madness. More information about this event can be found at: https://www.mindenmakersfair.com/

5:30 until 11 p.m. After the gates close on Minden Makers Fair, The Farm will reopen at 5:30 for our 3rd annual Moonlight Madness halloween art competition and haunted house. The gallery reception will begin at 5:30 with awards being announced and refreshments served. Once the sun goes down, we will open our kid-friendly haunted house located under the pavilion and pass out candy. Guests are encouraged to wear a costume. For more information, or to receive an application to submit artwork into the competition, please call (318) 268-8153 or email CulturalCrossroadsOfMinden@gmail.com.


Notice of Death – August 10, 2022

Nelva Evelyn O’Dell

Dec. 5, 1926 – July 28, 2022

Graveside service: 9 a.m. Saturday, August 13, 2022 at Gardens of memory Cemetery in Minden, La.

Service of Celebration: 11 a.m. Saturday, August 13, 2022 at First United Methodist Church, Minden, La.

Cloyce L. Balance

Nov. 18, 1932 – August 9, 2022

Visitation: 5 until 7 p.m. Thursday, August 11, 2022 at Bailey Funeral Home, Springhill, La.

Funeral service: 10 a.m. Friday, August 12, 2022 at Bailey Funeral Home.

Burial: Gardens of Memory Cemetery, Minden, under the direction of Bailey Funeral Home.

Jack Boyett

Jan. 25, 1937 – August 3, 2022

Memorial graveside service: 10 a.m. Thursday, Augsut 11, 2022 at Springhill Cemetery, under the direction of Bailey Funeral Home, Springhill, La.

Bobby Ray Allen

May 10, 1930 – August 7, 2022

Private service: Due to COvid concerns, the family will have a private service.

Frances Elizabeth Adams Arnold

May 28, 1950 – July 19, 2022

Memorial service: 1 p.m. Sept. 3, 2022, Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, Springhill, La.

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


UPDATE: Judge postpones murder trial

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Jurors were to be selected Tuesday in the second-degree murder trial of Logan Harmon Smith but by lunchtime the pool of perspective jurors was already headed home to family.

It is unclear what happened during jury questioning that caused Judge Charles Smith to dismiss the potential jurors and reschedule the proceedings to October 3.

Webster Parish Clerk of Court Holli Vining said the court will draw from a new jury pool at that time.

ORIGINAL STORY

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Jury selection is scheduled to begin today (Tuesday, August 9), in the shooting death of 37-year-old Anthony John Bruns of Springhill.

Monday’s courtroom was the scene of evidentiary arguments. If a jury is selected Tuesday or Wednesday morning, the trial could start Wednesday afternoon.

Bruns reportedly was found on the side of Percy Burns Road, just south of Reynolds Street on Louisiana Hwy. 157 in June of 2020.

Webster Parish Sheriff’s investigators Phillip Krouse and Tommy Kemp Jr. worked the case and arrested Logan Harmon Smith, who was 21 at the time. Smith is from Taylor, Ark. 

Bruns was allegedly killed in another location, and his body dumped at the site where Springhill Police were called. It was reportedly out of their jurisdiction, so Sheriff’s investigators were called to the scene.

In a 2020 story, KTAL news reported Smith confessed to shooting Bruns but did not disclose a motive, claiming he did not know the victim prior to the shooting. He was charged with second-degree murder.

Smith’s trial will be held at the Webster Parish Courthouse under presiding Judge Charles Smith. Assistant District Attorney Jimbo Yocom is the prosecutor and Attorney Mary Ellen Halterman of Shreveport, is defending Smith.


School threats behind active shooter training, education taking place Monday

By Paige Nash

Webster Parish Sheriff Jason Parker announced at June’s Police Jury meeting that due to recent events in Uvalde, Texas the department will be offering active shooter training and education. They coordinated with the Webster Parish School Board and they will meet at 6 p.m. Monday, August 15 at Minden High School. This opportunity will also be extended to school administration in the parish.  

“My goal is to bring awareness and educate our first responders, teachers and students on how to prepare for these dangerous situations,” said Parker. “Also, to strengthen the response capabilities of our school resource officers and law enforcement officers to effectively combat active shooter incidents.” 

It is hard for parents to believe a drill like this is necessary, but during the last few weeks of the previous school session there were a handful of threats made by students in the Webster Parish School system. Each of these were separate occurrences where a student made a threat to harm another student, themselves, or the school. One of these incidents took place on June 9 at Webster Jr. High School.  

Minden Police Department received a report concerning a threat of a school shooting from an official at the junior high. The school was placed on lockdown, while MPD investigated. After exhausting all their resources, they were not able to find any substantial evidence regarding the threat.  

What exactly is the procedure for dealing with these types of threats? 

Kevin Washington, Assistant Superintendent at the Webster Parish School Board, said the parish follows a Virginia Tech threat assessment model. Since a mass shooting at the Virginia Tech College campus in 2007, the college has since formed a threat assessment team and model that is used by education institutions across the country.  

The threat assessment is a process of identifying the person of concern, gathering information, assessing, then managing the situation based on the level of the threat. This allows school officials to determine if or when they need to intervene to maintain the safety of the school, staff, and students. 

When these types of more serious threats occur, if the source of the threat is known, the student is sent home and must undergo a psychological evaluation by a medical professional before they are deemed safe to return. The problem with this is that there may be a waitlist to see the proper professional, with a waiting period of at least six months. 

What then? Does the student stay home for six months or more until they are able to be evaluated? Is this in the best interest of the child or the school? 

“One of the schools wanted me to approve homeschooling for one of the students until further evaluation,” said pediatrician Michael Ulich. “This seems like a big liability to send students home without at least a screening, and I cannot clear a child most times with a short visit.” 

In a separate case the mother told Ulich that her child did not speak to a counselor, and they did not perform any other assessment, including asking whether the child had access to guns at home.  

“As a primary care physician (PCP), I don’t have 45 minutes to an hour to sit with the child and their parents and do an intensive screening, which needs to be done before they start back to school,” said Ulich. 

So, the question remains: why the uptick in threats within our parish? Are they due to recent events, such as the school shooting at Uvalde? Is it a tasteless practical joke or is it something more serious, like a sick student dealing with mental illness? 

Mental illness is at an all-time high, even for adolescents, which means the demand for psychological services are also high, which has resulted in children having to wait up to 6 months or more for an initial visit. Dealing with uncertainty, anxiety and unpredictable schedules are already rough on most children and that is all they have known for two and a half years during the global pandemic.  

“With all of the mental health issues going on with children, there needs to be a closer cooperation between the school counselors, the primary care providers, and the therapists,” said Ulich. “My solution for now would be to have a counselor at the school assess the child and they could call the PCP and coordinate care for mental health services. If the counselor and PCP do not feel that the student is an immediate danger, have a teacher or counselor greet the child every day and ask a few mental health screening questions until the student can get therapy.” 

Mental health screening questions are a way to do a quick check-in. A counselor would ask how their evening at home went, how they are feeling about an upcoming test, or what their plans are for after school that day. These questions not only help to gauge their mood, but also establishes a trusting relationship and lets them know there are people out there who care. 


Clerk seeking poll workers for upcoming elections

Webster Parish Clerk of Court Holli Vining is currently recruiting election poll workers.

Vining said in order to be eligible, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Must be a registered voter
  • Must be able to work from approximately 5 a.m. until 9 p.m. on election day
  • Must be able to vote without assistance
  • Must be willing to serve in any precinct in the parish
  • Must not be a law enforcement officer

Compensation for each election worked is $200, with the opportunity to work toward higher paying positions. Workers are selected by random drawing.

To become a certified election worker, visit www.websterclerk.org and go to the Elections page. From there, scroll to Online Certification for Election Commissioners for instructions to obtain an online certification.


Don’t ask for whom the school bell tolls … 

We couldn’t afford a bicycle then, so I learned early how to stick my thumb out in the wind and hitch a ride in a pickup or on a tractor the two miles into our rural Carolina town for my first-grade classes. 

My parents believed in tough love. 

They were Old School, even though I was the very definition of New School. 

Since they had to walk to school uphill 16 miles and back home, again uphill, for 17, they figured I was getting off easy by having to flag down a ride for just two measly miles. “And FLAT miles at that!” I can hear them say, maybe tough lovingly. 

Of course, modern kids have gotten soft now and don’t hitchhike to school as they once did. Don’t get me started. . . 

Here’s something else that’s changed, and not for the better. 

No matter how “bored” or out of sorts you might have gotten with school back then — and even those of us who actually secretly sort of liked school and realized it was “good for us” wanted to run away now and then – we knew the Start Game and the End Game. And that helped. 

The Great State of South Carolina and all us little children there cut a deal with each other: the state owned us from right after Labor Day until Memorial Day. No questions asked. You’d get a day at Thanksgiving and Easter and a few days at Christmastime, the Super Bowl Week of being a kid, but the rest of the time, your denim-covered butt was in a desk at Lake View Elementary. 

BUT … they could not touch us from Memorial Day until Labor Day. No one even SAID “school” during June, July and August. We were a hands-off, school-free zone. 

Summer, with all its bee stings and scraped knees and bologna sandwiches, was ours. 

We could play AND we could make all the money, picking cucumbers or driving a tractor or, depending on how low you were to the ground, picking up tobacco sticks at the barn if your leg wasn’t long enough to reach the clutch on a Farmall yet. 

Just thinking about it makes me want to kick off my shoes and go run in the grass and step on a nail and have to go get a tetanus shot. (Even summer had its risks. But the risks were worth it.) 

Somewhere along the way, it was decided by Grownups that school would start Early, and so children are back at school this week even though it’s just now double-digits in August. (We’re talking dates, not temperature.) There will be “breaks” and the number of days spent in class will be the same now as they were back when I went to school, back when only four vowels and 22 consonants had been invented. 

And maybe it’s better that way, but you ask people from our generation, and we’ll tell you being out for three months solid was the way to go, that even the thought of hitching a ride to school in August was a two-thumbs-down deal.  

Contact Teddy at teddy@latech.edu 


Minden Redbirds win third straight Red River Adult Baseball League title

Front row from left: Corey Burr, Philip Johnson, Brandon Counts, Ty Wood, Ryan Smith, Steve Mathews, Charlie Cavell. (back row L-to-R) Tim Morris, Brandon Underwood, Zach Christ, Tate Perque, Aaron Lowe, Thomas McManis, Ian Doiron, George Stricker, Chris Fort, Ben Michiels, Anthony Young. (not pictured) Keith Hardin, Chris Millen, Justin Sprawls, Grant Rogers, Jendri DeLeon

SHREVEPORT, La. – The Minden Redbirds defeated the Shreveport Storm, 14-3, on Aug. 7 at Calvary Baptist Academy’s Baseball Field to win the 2022 Red River Adult Baseball League 30+ Division Championship. It was the third straight RRABL title for the Redbirds, who won the 2019 and 2021 crowns. The league did not play in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

“When you have players that possess talent, toughness, drive and perseverance, they’re not difficult to manage,” said Minden player-manager Charlie Cavell. “I’ve just got to put them in the right spots and let them perform. These guys possess all those traits and so much more, but most importantly they’re good men.” 

Minden starter Ian Doiron, who played collegiately at LSU Shreveport, allowed just three runs on 11 hits and struck out 10 to earn the complete-game victory. Doiron, who was the 2021 Most Valuable Player, missed a majority of the regular season due to a knee injury.

“I didn’t know if I was going to make it back this season,” said Doiron, “I wanted to do my best for my teammates, my wife and kids and for my parents, who drove up all the way up from Houma (La.). The Storm has some good hitters who really battle each at bat, and you can’t give them free bases because they run well. I was able to minimize the free passes and our defense was outstanding behind me.”

In the championship game, Minden scored three runs in three of the first four innings to take a commanding 9-2 lead. The Redbirds added single runs in the fifth and seventh innings before tacking on three more runs in the eighth to put the game out of reach. Minden had nine players with multiple hits in the game, including first baseman Aaron Lowe, who went 4-for-5 with a double and two RBIs.

Minden, which was the No. 3-seed heading into the playoffs, defeated the No. 2-seed Bossier City Rats 15-1 in six innings on Aug. 6, behind Corey Burr’s strong pitching performance and some outstanding defense. Burr earned the win by scattering five hits over six innings, allowing just one unearned run while walking two and fanning two. Minden turned four double plays in the game.

After the championship game, Burr was selected as the Most Valuable Player by a team vote for his spartan efforts throughout the season. 

“It’s an honor to be named the MVP,” said Burr, who is a Bossier City, La. police officer. “Especially, coming from teammates. I’m not a vocal guy. I just show up, compete and try to give us a chance to win.”

In the two playoff games combined, Minden scored 29 runs and pounded out 42 hits. Shortstop George Stricker, who was injured in the semi-finals, and Lowe paced the Redbirds offensive onslaught as the pair combined to go 11-for-15 in the two games.

“We’ve played our best baseball when it matters the most,” said Cavell. “This season was tougher because we had to overcome a lot of adversity. We had a lot of guys miss games due to injury and had to fight just to make the playoffs. But big-time players perform their best on the biggest stage, and that’s what these guys have done now for three straight seasons.”

Cavell thanked the team sponsors Casey Surmick at Claiborne Pharmacy & Gifts and Brandon Underwood of KB Electric for their support of the team.

 


Left photo from left, Tim Morris, David Pratt and Charlie Cavell. Right photo from left, RRABL President David Pratt, MVP Corey Burr, Manager Charlie Cavell.
 

RSJ’s New Orleans restaurant recommendations 2022

By Robert St. John 

NEW ORLEANS— This city is, unquestionably, one of the top five restaurant cities in America. I would imagine that if one were to poll national food critics New Orleans would be listed among the top three. To my taste— and I’ve eaten extensively in most of America’s top restaurant cities— New Orleans is number one. Period. No question. End of discussion.

 As a citizen, I consider myself fortunate to have grown up 90 minutes away from this culinary mecca. As a restaurateur, I consider myself blessed to have spent over six decades eating my way through New Orleans. Granted, the Crescent City is a second home for me, but I still log in over 120 New Orleans restaurant meals each year.

 For the past couple of decades, I have kept a running journal of my restaurant visits in New Orleans. I also keep a to-do list of new restaurants that I have yet to visit, and a separate list of restaurants that I plan to re-visit. I also field a lot of requests for restaurant recommendations in New Orleans. There are a few dozen restaurants that aren’t on any to-do or re-visit list because they are places that I frequent on a regular basis. The following is that list.

 Author’s Note: Everyone has an opinion on restaurants, and all restaurant opinions are 100 percent subjective. You have yours. These are mine:

MY FAVORITE BREAKFAST SPOT: LA BOULANGERIE, 4600 Magazine St— Most mornings I drive from the Marigny to Uptown Magazine just west of Napoleon, because the croissants are worth the drive. I have been doing a deep dive into bakeries for the past year as we prepare to open one in Hattiesburg. I have yet to find one that tops La Boulangerie.

 Other Breakfast Joints I Frequent: Toast, 5433 Laurel Street— I bounce between the Uptown location and the one near the fairgrounds. Toast is 100% local New Orleans in the morning.

 MY FAVORITE BRUNCH SPOT: PALADAR 511, 511 Marigny Street— This is the place I eat brunch most often, and not just because it’s in our building. The huevos rancheros and the lemon-ricotta blueberry pancakes are stellar. I can never choose between the two, so I always order both. The new dinner menu is excellent, too.

 Other Brunches I Frequent: Justine, 2440 Chartres St.— Justin Devillier’s French Quarter spot, and its sister restaurant to La Petit Grocery, are fun, lively, and all the offerings are excellent.

 Brennan’s, 417 Royal Street— Of the four old-line French Quarter institutions, Galitoire’s, Arnaud’s Antoine’s, and Brennan’s, I eat at the latter most often. Ralph Brennan did the city a huge favor when he took over the reins several years back.

Gris Gris, 1800 Magazine Street— Eric Cook is a hard-working, dedicated chef who has excellent touch when it comes to food and a keen eye to know what his guests want. The brunch is great, but so are lunch and dinner. Great Sunday/Monday spots. The newly opened Saint John in the French Quarter is hitting on all cylinders as well.

 MY FAVORITE DINNER SPOT: BRIGTSEN’S, 723 Dante St— This restaurant and this chef have been at the top of my list for over three decades. Frank Brigtsen is the heir apparent to his longtime mentor, Paul Prudhomme. The Butternut Shrimp Bisque is one of the best soups I have ever tasted (second only to Paul Bocuse’s mushroom soup in Lyon). The seafood platter is off the menu these days, but components of it— such as Warren LeRuth’s baked oyster recipe— still remain. I could seriously make a meal of just the crawfish cornbread, alone. Long live Frank Brigtsen.

 Other dinner spots I frequent:

La Petit Grocery, 4238 Magazine St— The birthplace of the Blue Crab Beignet

Coquette, 2800 Magazine St— Solid offerings from a team with excellent “touch” who always seem to be working together as a team.

Lilette, 3637 Magazine St— Also a perfect spot for lunch.

Bywater American Bistro, 2900 Chartres St— Nina Compton runs my wife’s favorite New Orleans restaurant.

August, 301 Tchoupitoulas Street— Probably still my favorite fine-dining spot in the city after all of these years.

 MY FAVORITE STEAKHOUSE: DORIS METROPOLITAN, 620 Chartres St— Their aged prime beef is excellent. My son loves this place.

 Other steakhouses I frequent: Mr. John’s Steakhouse 2111 St. Charles Avenue— It always feels very “Uptown New Orleans” in that room, and the steaks are great, too.

 MY FAVORITE PO-BOY SHOP: DOMILISE’S, 5240 Annunciation Street— My go-to for po-boys for over 30 years.

 Other po-boy shops I frequent:

Parkway Bakery and Tavern 538 Hagan Avenue— There’s always a line so schedule accordingly.

R&O Restaurant and Catering, 216 Metairie-Hammond Highway— A great roast beef po-boy, and excellent fried seafood.

If there’s not a line out of the door at the Acme in the Quarter, dash in, be seated, order the best roast beef po-boy intown, and a dozen on the half shell with the hottest horseradish known to man. Excellent.

MY FAVORITE SANDWICH— THE SAM AT STEIN’S DELI, 2207 Magazine St— In years past I have driven from Hattiesburg, ordered this sandwich, eaten it, and driven home.

Other awesome and original sandwiches:
Turkey & the Wolf, 739 Jackson Avenue— A few years ago Mason Herford turned the sandwich world upside down, in the most beautiful and hilarious way. The Collard Green Melt and Fried Bologna Sandwiches are, on one hand, everyman’s food, and on the other hand, brilliantly inspired.

 MY FAVORITE APPETIZER: OYSTER BLT, GRIS GRIS, 1800 Magazine Street— Perfection on a plate. Smoked pork belly, tomato jam, crispy fried oysters, and sugarcane vinegar with a touch of heat.

 Other Favorite Appetizers:
Shrimp and Tasso Henican, Commander’s Palace, 1403 Washington Avenue

 MY FAVORITE BLOCK FOR FOOD (*the three-fer)

The Italian Barrel, 1240 Decatur St— Solid Italian (my favorite in the city).

Dian Xin, 1218 Decatur St— Solid Chinese (my favorite in the city).

El Gato Negro, 81 French Market Place— Solid Mexican (my favorite in the city).

MY FAVORITE PIZZA: PIZZA DELICIOUS, 617 Piety Street— Excellent pies.

 MY FAVORITE BURGER: COMPANY BURGER, 4600 Freret Street— Everything I want in a burger joint.

 (Note: Those who wait in line at Port Of Call can get the same burger at Snug Harbor a few blocks away, without the wait)

 MY FAVORITE THAI RESTAURANT: SUKHO THAI, 2200 Royal St— My family eats a fair amount of Thai food. This place is always spot on.

 MY FAVORITE OYSTER BAR: PASCAL’S MANALE, 1838 Napoleon Avenue— It’s an old-school stand-up oyster bar. The oysters are always cold and salty. My son and I go there for the raw oysters and typically eat dinner somewhere else. Though he would probably tell you that Casamento’s is his favorite. Lately, the four of us have been eating oysters at Cooter Brown’s at the Riverbend (oysters always taste better in a dive bar).

 MY FAVORITE ATMOSPHERE: SEAWORTHY, 630 Carondelet Street— The designers did such a great job on all aspects of this interior. I love it. Killer oyster selection, too.

 MY OFF-THE-BEATEN-PATH FAVORITE: ROSEDALE, 801 Rosedale Drive— You have to be going there to get there, but this Susan Spicer restaurant almost feels as if it were 100% tailor made for me— very casual, comfortable, with great service and excellent food. The barbeque shrimp served there should be the gold standard for all others. The fried chicken thighs perfect.

 MY FAVORITE TACOS: GALAXIE TACOS, 3060 St. Claude Avenue— the barbacoa tacos here are spot on. The converted gas station vibe is perfect, and there’s almost always a place to park on the neutral ground of St. Claude.

 Other taco joints: Val’s, 4632 Freret— there must be something about tacos served in a converted gas station that appeals to me.

 MY FAVORITE GUMBO: STATION 6, 105 Metairie-Hammond Highway— I have yet to finish a giant bowl of this gumbo that always comes out piping hot and loaded with large shrimp and plenty of oysters and crabmeat.

 Other gumbos I like:

Herbsaint, 701 St. Charles Avenue

Gris Gris 1800 Magazine Street

 MY FAVORITE SOUP: SHRIMP AND SQUASH BISQUE, BRIGTSEN’S, 723 Dante St— So good it’s worth mentioning twice in this list.

 MY OFTEN-RECOMMENDED NOT-IN-ANOTHER-CATEGORY FAVORITES (the Link trifecta)

Herbsaint 701 St Charles Avenue

Cochon 930 Tchoupitoulas Street

Peche 800 Magazine Street

 OTHER RANDOM FAVORITES

Mosca’s— the best red gravy in town. Also, the spot for Monday lunch Red Beans and Rice.

N7— cool outdoor area. Solid French-inspired cuisine.

Horn’s— another great locals-only breakfast spot.

Red’s Chinese— three words: Kung Pao Pastrami.

Gabrielle— glad they’re back.

Saint Germain— one of the best fine dining meals I’ve eaten in New Orleans in years. The chefs have excellent “touch.” It’s a tough reservation to get. Partially because there are only 12 seats inside, but also because it is so good.

Mosca’s— No need to make decisions, get the Spaghetti Bordelaise and the Oysters Mosca and eat them together.

Crabmeat Holleman

 1 /2 cup Mayonnaise

2 Egg Yolks

1 Tbl. Sherry

1 Tbl. Creole Mustard

1 Tbl. Lemon juice, freshly squeezed

1 tsp. Crescent City Grill Creole Seasoning

1 tsp. Worcestershire

1 tsp. Crescent City Grill Cayenne & Garlic Sauce

1 /3 cup Red bell pepper, small dice

1 /3 cup Green bell pepper, small dice

1 lb.  Jumbo lump crabmeat

1 /2 lb. Backfin lump crabmeat

2 8oz. wheels  Brie or Camembert cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

6 Tbl. Seasoned breadcrumbs

8 Oven-proof ramekins or scallop shell

 Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

 Combine the first eight ingredients and mix thoroughly with a wire whisk. Stir in peppers. Gently fold crabmeat into liquid mixture making sure not to break up the crabmeat lumps.

 Place a layer of crabmeat mixture into a 6 oz. ramekin, then 2 cubes of Brie and another layer of crab. Top with seasoned breadcrumbs and bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until bubbly and breadcrumbs are brown. Garnish with chopped parsley.

 Yield: 8

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


Kick off time is coming up

Webster Parish Journal is in need of someone to cover Glenbrook School football this fall. No experience needed.

Last year, WPJ published a special Saturday edition of all the parish high school football teams’ Friday night games.

Our goal is to bring the same great coverage this year. Lakeside High School, Minden High and North Webster High School are covered, but there is still a need for Glenbrook. They deserve good, accurate coverage, too.

Please join our team for football season! WPJ pays per story. Email wpjnewsla@gmail.com if you would like to be a part of the fastest growing online publication in the parish.


Police arrest one for domestic abuse with child endangerment

By Bonnie Culverhouse

A 911 hang-up call alerted Minden Police to a domestic incident at 1401 Lewisville Rd., Saturday.

Bruce Sterling Jr., 45, of the 900 block of Waterman St., Minden, was arrested and charged with domestic abuse battery with child endangerment and strangulation, domestic abuse aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Chief Steve Cropper said Off. Kayla Little was dispatched to the apartment complex where she discovered Sterling in the parking lot.

“He (Sterling) admitted being involved in the incident,” Cropper said.

Sgt. Mitch Hackett and Lt. Spencer Tippen arrived on scene and talked with Sterling while Little reportedly went to the apartment to talk to the female complainant.

“The victim said Sterling woke her up yelling and cussing at her,” Cropper said. “He attacked her while she was holding her 4-week-old baby. He slammed her against the wall, choked her and pulled a gun on her, telling her he was going to blow her head off – while she was holding the infant.”

The female reportedly told Off. Little she tried to hide in the bathroom with her baby, but he broke the door and entered, continuing to strike her.

“Sterling grabbed her by the hair and threw her across the room, tearing her clothes to keep her from leaving the apartment,” said the chief. “She did eventually get out of the apartment and went to a neighbor, yelling for someone to help her.”

Officers reportedly retrieved the firearm, located under the seat of Sterling’s vehicle.

He was charged at Minden PD and transported 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.