Huge turnout for Coffee with the Candidates event

By Paige Nash

There was a great turnout yesterday (Wednesday) morning for the “Coffee with the Candidates” event put together by the Greater Minden Chamber and hosted by the Webster Parish Council on Aging.

  Candidates running for Minden Mayor, School Board, City Council, Chief of Police, and U.S. Senate were in attendance. The room was abuzz with conversations taking place between the political hopefuls, community leaders and concerned residents.  

“We would like to thank the Webster Parish Council on Aging for partnering with us to host this event. We enjoy being able to spotlight their facility and bring awareness to all the great things they do. We would also like to thank the candidates who attended our meet and greet,” said Greater Minden Chamber President, Stephanie Barnette. “We used this as an opportunity for the public to get to know each candidate in a casual, informal setting. This morning was great, we even had a US Senate candidate drive four hours to attend and meet our community members.” 

While this was more of an informal, “come and go” as you please event, it was a wonderful way for the candidates to mingle and plead their case over coffee and refreshments. Although a more formal gathering is on the horizon.  

In the month of October, the Chamber will be hosting a political forum at the Northwest Technical Community College located at 9500 Industrial Drive in Minden. The forum is being sponsored by the college along with the Webster Parish Journal, Minden Press-Herald, KASO/KBEF Radio and the City of Minden.  

On the 10th the candidates for Minden Mayor and those running to fill seats on the School Board for Districts 4, 6, and 8 will gather at 6 p.m. at Northwest Louisiana Technical Community College. 

The two Chief of Police candidates and all Minden City Council contenders will be debating on the 17th at 6 p.m.  

“We have received a good number of questions from the public in regard to our upcoming forums. If you have a question, you have been wanting an answer to, please ask it. We are accepting questions for each race – mayor, police chief, city council and school board. All questions come to us anonymously, we cannot see who submits them,” said Barnette. 

The doors will be open to the public and live streamed on the Greater Minden Chamber Facebook live for those who cannot attend in person. If you have a question that you would like to ask one or more of the candidates, you can submit it at the following link. 

Readin’ and writin,’ or rippin’ and rumblin’?

Looks like the more we try to do something about a real problem in our town, the more we see that problem grow. It’s a little like trying to dip the ocean dry by using a spoon. Just when we think we’re making progress, along comes another wave. 

 Reports of yet another public school fight have found their way into public arena. We tried to count the number of  times this school year we’ve heard of school agers who thought they could fisticuff their differences away. We ran out of fingers. And, unfortunately, these fingers-full might not be all that have occurred in our schools and on school properties.

These reported (plus, we’re told, some unreported) rumbles have involved anywhere from a couple of combatants to larger groups. Reasons, we hear, range from being “disrespected” to “gettin’ in my face” and the dreaded “running with the wrong dawgs.” But the latest, we’re told, was caused by a wrong answer.

A young man reportedly asked a young girl for some of her potato chips. She reportedly said no. He reportedly knuckle chopped (hit) her. After the School Resource Officer intervened and took the young man into custody, the young girl allegedly conked (hit) the young man on the noggin’ (head) with a heavy object. Cool to the umpteenth degree.

Want to prove you’re a man? Go find yourself a girl who won’t share her potato chips and hit her squarely in the chip taster. Want to prove you’re so bad you’re good?  A head shot with a hard object ought to give a person the reputation that apparently means so much.  

About all this stuff will get you is a visit to the hoosegow, juvenile version. But wait. That’s no deterrent. Far too many young’uns use that visit as a learning experience. That is, if they’re in the facility long enough. Most times, the youthful offender is merely remanded to the custody of parents/guardian and is free to get back at it before the ink dries on the incident report.

Adding to the problems are actions beginning in neighborhoods and ending at the schools. There was the incident at a Minden High football scrimmage when someone shouted something about a gun in the stadium, causing evacuation. That, reportedly, came in the aftermath of a (you guessed it) school fight.

Most recently, a young teen was found with a gun at the MHS homecoming parade. His reason: fear of gang retaliation for the potato chip incident. And, reportedly, an alert employee saw an armed person walking across a local school campus shortly after most students had left. A lockdown was ordered for remaining kids and for school staff. No one was hurt. That genius is still being sought, we hear.

School and law enforcement officials are trying to get a handle on what seems to be an escalating trend of violence, and potentially dangerous situations. SROs are on each parish campus, and that’s a very positive step. But, as one of our favorite chiefs of police said many times, a cop on every corner won’t stop all crime. And, an SRO in every hallway won’t stop all fights.

Kids are inclined to follow the leader, but first we must determine who fills that bill. And, as we’ve seen in other areas, we need leaders who prove themselves and not the self-anointed types.  

Our law enforcement officers reportedly are working diligently to crack down on gang activities, especially among those very young steppas (some as young as 12) who are trying to impress their elders, the 18 to 25-year olds. The strategy there, we’re told, is to break it up on the streets before it snakes its way into schools. 

Information coming from the schools is sometimes sketchy. We’re told bad publicity is bad for the system as a whole. Not true. Transparency breeds trust. There’s no reason to keep the public in the dark. It is, after all, our school system. You know. Public.

What can we do? Cooperate with law officers and school officials. Give them the support they need, mostly through information. Eyes and ears extend parish wide. To alter the quote from the Captain to Cool Hand, “what we got here is failure to cooperate.” That’s a subject in which we do not need to score an “F.”

Pick’em deadline is 4 p.m. today

Deadline to get your picks in is 4 p.m. today for this week’s Webster Parish Journal High School Pick’em Contest. After that, the link will no longer be live – until next week’s picks.

Please make your choices as soon as possible. Click

Each week’s winner will be posted the following Wednesday and will receive $100 from Webster Parish Journal and our title sponsor Under Dawgs, a $50 gas card from Car Giant and a cap of their choice from Yocom Law Firm and Minden Athletic.

Play for free; sign up for The Webster Parish Journal for free.

‘An obligation to Fire’

Since the first installment of Slicing the Pie, multiple questions have been submitted, and prioritizing them has been no small feat.  However, the following question is one that I’ve received firsthand on multiple occasions and that I’ve heard being discussed over the years.  So, hopefully this article will offer some insight to our readers regarding “obligation to fire.” 

Q: “If I draw my gun in a self-defense scenario, am I obligated to fire?” 

A: “Absolutely not!” 

Although I have heard this question many times, what I’ve heard even more often is some misinformed chap making a comment to the effect of “if someone forces me to pull my gun, by God, I’m using it.” An even worse rhetoric may go something like, “If I pull my gun, I’m not putting it away until it has spilled blood.”  Both statements are wholly wrong and show a complete lack of training, education, and maturity.  Mr. Colion Noir, an attorney and prominent 2nd Amendment advocate, would eloquently refer to someone making these statements as the proverbial “I wish a MF’er would Guy.”  Just because you draw your gun, does not mean it must be fired.  Not only is that belief horribly misguided, but simply making such remarks could come back to haunt you in a court of law should you ever be forced to fire your gun in self-defense. 

Imagine you were preparing to loosen a rusted bolt on your pick-up truck.  There you are, wrench in hand, having already come to the realization that your knuckles are about to be skinless, fully prepared to give yourself a hernia from all the straining you’re about to do, only to find the bolt in question is already loose enough to be removed with just your fingers.  Would you still use the wrench?  Of course not.  Just because you had on hand the tool necessary to complete a difficult job, you were able to remove that bolt with no harm to yourself and without potentially damaging the bolt.

Avoidance, deterrence, and de-escalation – none of which necessarily include physical violence – are all preferred methods of conflict resolution.  Far more often than not, simply drawing a firearm, aiming it toward an attacker, and yelling “STOP!” would be enough to make most folks re-evaluate their life choices. Quite frankly, a loud verbal command to “STOP!”  coupled with the visibility of a gun’s muzzle pointed at the bad guy’s face is universally understood and will likely supersede even the most challenging of language barriers.  On the off chance the attacker persists, then yes, you might be forced to shoot that individual.  I also understand that there are situations where verbal warnings prior to firing a shot are not necessary or prudent, but to hold the belief that drawing a firearm automatically equals a mandatory press of the trigger is simply false. 

John Steinbeck wrote in his book The Acts of King Arthur and his Noble Knights, “the final weapon is the brain, all else is supplemental.”  I would urge our readers to remember that their guns are merely tools and that they, the individuals, are the weapons.  The circumstances always dictate the tactics.  Know that your true power, your most dangerous weapon, is between your ears, not in your holster. 

Avoid what you can.  Defeat what you can’t. 


Please submit your questions to Ryan via email at

 (Ryan Barnette is not a licensed attorney and no information provided in “Slicing the Pie” or any other publication authored by Ryan Barnette should be construed, in any way, as official, legal advice. 

JOB OPPORTUNITY: St. John’s Episcopal Church

St. John’s Episcopal Church, 1107 Broadway, Minden, La. Is seeking a part-time church secretary.

• Position – Church Secretary

• Part-time (16 – 20 hours per week)

• Primary duties include preparing and printing weekly Sunday Service Bulletin, answering phones, assisting pastor, responding to emails, and minor church administration

• Flexible hours – we can be a bit flexible on when the hours are worked

• Do not have to be Episcopalian. However, must be willing to attend a few services to see how the service bulletin flows

• Must have working knowledge of Microsoft Office

  • Pay commensurate with experience

Please email resumes to

Your words are powerful

After sitting in my fourth carline of the week, picking up Ashton from school, she hops in the car, and I greet her with my usual cheery greeting.

“How was your day? I missed you so much.”

I give her a quick kiss before she heads back to get buckled up.  

I look in my rearview mirror before pulling away to make sure she is all set to go, but she has this look of disgust on her face. So, I ask her what the problem is. 

She says, “You smell like a burrito.” 

A burrito, of all things. I just laugh to hide the pain. Pop a tic tac and drive home.  

After finishing homework, cleaning out the lunch box, checking folders for the 900 things I need to sign and return to school (and brushing my teeth.) We walked over to my parents’ house who live next door to sit on the porch and relax a bit.  

Ashton plops down beside my mother, gives her one glance over and says, “You’re getting old.” 

My mother thankfully is not the sensitive type, gets a good laugh out of the comment and agrees she is getting old. While I am sitting here wondering where I went wrong as a mother and why my four-year-old is bullying us.  

On more than one occasion, she has seen an elderly lady and automatically calls her “grandma.” 

It is kind of funny and cute at times, and completely normal for children to not have a filter at this age. Most of the time they just say the first thing that comes to their mind with no regard to how it might make others feel.  

It is important for us as adults to realize just how powerful our words are and to instill that knowledge in our children. I still remember a teacher I had in the fourth grade that made a comment to me once about my outfit or a kid at school saying that I had a big nose or monkey arms. You carry that with you for the rest of your life.  

Proverbs 12:6 says, “The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, but the speech of the upright rescues them.” 

So, I couldn’t just laugh and say, “Now Ashton you can’t say stuff like that,” and carry on my merry way. I had to have the conversation as to why we do not say things like that.  

We may not think this is necessary sometimes with our children. Some might say to just correct them and they will learn not to do it through fear of getting in trouble, but I think that would be squandering an opportunity to actually correct the behavior and have more of a long-term influence on the rest of their life.  

It is hard to imagine me not being there every step of the way for my children and if I am lucky enough to have the privilege to guide them throughout their childhood, they will not always be children. My goal as a parent is to make sure I raise nice, respectful, and responsible children who carry on those same qualities into adulthood.  

I definitely do not want Ashton getting fired from her job one day for telling her boss that she smells like a burrito or looks like a grandma. I have to start somewhere.  

Police arrest man for terrorizing

By Bonnie Culverhouse

A quick-thinking diner at a restaurant on Hwy. 531 may have helped save lives when he dialed 9-1-1.

Wesley Barnes, 37, of the 300 block of E. Roosevelt Dr., Minden, was arrested by Minden Police for terrorizing and a probation and parole hold.

Chief Steve Cropper said around 8:30 p.m. Monday, Off. Kayla Little was dispatched in reference to a subject yelling that someone was trying to kill him as he entered the restaurant.

“Off. Dison was already speaking with Barnes when Off. Little arrived on the scene, so she spoke to the witness who called,” Cropper said. “The caller said while he was eating with his family, Barnes entered and was acting very strange.”

Barnes reportedly was out of breath and “drenched in sweat” when he sat at a table. The witness said Barnes then rose and exited the restaurant for a short time.

“Then he came back in and yelled for everyone to sit down,” said the chief. “Then he said someone was trying to kill him and would be coming inside to find him. It was at that point, the diner called 9-1-1 as he feared for the safety of his family and the rest of the civilians inside.”

Barnes reportedly ran back outside, crossed the highway and ran into the woods, still saying “They’re going to kill me.”

“He came back to the restaurant again as the caller and his family were trying to leave,” Cropper said. “He asked them to stay until the police arrived.”

Sgt. Mitch Hackett reportedly arrested and mirandized Barnes and transported him to MPD for holding before transfer 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.

Historically speaking: A look back at Back Street

By Jessica Gorman

Along Broadway, in the area now occupied by the Civic Center, a row of businesses once stood. Several of these businesses were owned by immigrant families including the Elzens, Kirkikises, Michaels, and Dows. Over the years, some of the businesses that operated in this area were the Elzen Store, Minden Café, Miller’s Grocery, Sugg store, Warren’s Drug Store, Abraham Dow’s store, Aline’s Fashion Shop, a service station, Brown Store, Cason’s Clothing Store, Adkin’s Grocery, Minden Herald, a shoe shop, and for a few months in 1930, a bowling alley. Located among these businesses was the old jail and the Episcopal church. 

In this same area, in 1887, Mrs. Celia Harper purchased property at what would have been the corner of Broadway and Pearl making her the first black woman to purchase land in Minden. She owned and operated a boarding house. 

A fire occurred here in April 1930. An estimated $22,500 in damages was reported by Cason’s Clothing Store, Adkin’s Grocery, and the Minden Herald. It is believed that the fire was intentionally set after a burglary at Cason’s Clothing Store. Once the fire was extinguished, it was found that the safe had been blown open and money and papers were missing. 

This column is intended to share snippets of Webster Parish history. Please direct any questions or suggestions to or visit us at the museum. 

(Jessica Gorman is the Assistant Director and Archivist for the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum in Minden and is an avid genealogist.)

Fair kicks off next week

The Webster Parish Fair comes to town once a year, so why not make the most of the occasion?

Here is a list of events for next week.

Tuesday, Oct. 4

5 p.m. Fair parade, downtown Minden

5 p.m. Fair gates open; gate fee $1, all rides $1

5 p.m. Livestock weigh-in

6 p.m. Poultry and rabbit show

6 p.m. Live entertainment: Echota Records

Wednesday, Oct. 5

5 p.m. Fair gates open; “Armband Nite,” gate entrance fee $2/rest week

6 p.m. 4-H Swine Showmanship then Swine Weight Classes (livestock arena)

Thursday, Oct. 6

9 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Senior Citizens Day at Minden Civic Center

5 p.m. “Armband Nite”

6 p.m. Goat, Lamb, Beef Showmanship

7 p.m. 4-H Dairy and Doug Sale Showmanship

Friday, Oct. 7

11:30 a.m. Buyers’ Luncheon

1 p.m. Livestock Auction (4-H Show Barn)

5 p.m. Fair gates open

Saturday, Oct. 8

Noon Fair gates open

Live entertainment: Echota Records

1 until 5 p.m. Kids Day. 5 rides for $5.

2 p.m. Pizza Eating Contest, sponsored by Johnny’s Pizza


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, if this describes you.

COA, state to host Medicare seminar

Do you find Medicare policies confounding? Relax, with so many facets and plans, the government agency is confusing to most people.

Webster Parish Council on Aging is sponsoring a Medicare Seminar from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Monday, October 10 at the COA location, 1482 Sheppard St., Minden.

Instructed by Louisiana Department of Insurance, this seminar is open to the public.

Medicare open enrollment is October 15 through December 7, so it’s a good time to find out everything you need to know for the best plan to suit your needs.

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.

Sept. 27

Danny Ray Babin, 69, of the 100 block of Allen Dr., Minden, was arrested while at Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center. He is charged with aggravated assault.

Timothy O’Neal Kimmons, 31, of the 1300 block of Sheppard St., Minden, was arrested by LSP for possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute.

Parish Kimmons, 25, Of the 100 b lock of Robertson Dr., Minden, was arrested by LSPfor possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute.

Sept. 28

Camron Ryan Thompson, 28, of Stamps, Ark., was arrested by Cullen Police for possession of methamphetamine in a syringe, driving under suspension, simple possession, no brake lights anon insurance.

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 September 15

Sept. 16

Safeway Insurance Co. of Louisiana vs. Nishan Singh, ABJ Transport and United Specialty Insurance, damages.

Republic Finance LLC vs. Jerrie S. Kelley, monies due.

Capital One Banks USA vs. Julia E. Umpires, monies due.

Lakeview Loan Servicing LLC vs. Anthony Cole Crittenden, executory process.

Sept. 21

First Tower Loan LLC vs. Michael D. Cornelius, monies due.

Sept. 22

Barksdale Federal Credit Union vs. Roxie Ann Waller, monies due.

First Tower Loan LLC vs. Christopher Michael Jefferson, monies due

Teresa Johnson Powell vs. Danny Bryce Powell, divorce.

First Towerl Loan LLC vs. Brian Trumaine Fizer, monies due.

First Tower Loan LLC vs. David Darrell Joiner, monies due.

Erin Lee vs. Danny Ray Babin, protective order.

Sept. 23

Equity Home Lenders Icn. Vs. Otis Johnson and Brunette Johnson, executory process.

Esquire 2019 LLC vs. Gerald Edwards, petition to quiet tax title

Esquire 2019 LLC vs. Dennis Lee Coleman and Dalton P. Morgan, petition to quiet tax title.

Esquire 2019 LLC vs. Builders Lumber & Supply, Ralph D. Lee and Carolyn Colby Lee, petition to quiet tax title.

Michael Bryant vs. Clarence F. Powell Jr., inc Oilfield Services LLC and National Union Fire Insurance Co., of Pittsburgh, Penn., damages.

Sept. 26

TG Finance LLC dba Century Loan vs. Lauren Holloway and Joshua Shell, monies due.

First Tower Loan LLC vs. Whitney Harris, monies due.

Jennifer M. Cooper vs. Christopher J. Pumillia, protective order

Sept. 27

Arthur David Flournoy vs. Mary Louise Moody Flournoy, divorce w/children.

Meosha Jefferson vs. Annie L. Russ, protective order.

Sept. 28

GMFS LLC vs. Brian Richardson and Erica S. Richardson, executory process.

Barksdale Federal Credit Union vs. Melvin Ruffin Jr., monies due.

Morgan Lynn Rowell vs. Thomas Dale Langley, protective order.

Upcoming Events

Sept. 30

Entries due for the Webster Parish Fair Parade.

Oct. 1

9:30 a.m. Webster Parish Fair Princess Pageant, Minden High School Auditorium.

2 p.m. Fair Queen Pageant, Minden High School Auditorium.

Oct. 1-Nov. 30

Motorcycle exhibit at Dorcheat Historical Association Museum, 116 Pearl St., Minden. Motorcycles courtesy of 3 State Harley Davidson.

Oct. 3-8 

National 4-H Week

Oct. 4

5 p.m. Webster Parish Fair Parade, downtown Minden.

Oct. 4-7

Parish Fair and Livestock Show.

Oct. 6

10 a.m. Minden Planning Commission meeting. Pelican Room, Minden City Hall. Agenda includes a zoning varian request from Joyful Days LLC, owners of property located at 721 East Street to use existing building as office space for a personal care service company.

Oct. 8 

8 a.m. until 1 p.m. Bayou Dorcheat Fall Paddle & Dutch Oven Cooking at Dixie Inn Boat Launch.

9 a.m. Springhill Lumberjack Festival – Arts & Crafts Vendors, Live Music, Vintage Tractor Show, Auto & Cycle Show, Kids Corner, Baggo Tournament, and more! Springhill RV Park & CAC Building. Parade at 10am on Main Street.

10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Holidaze on Main. Food, homemade goods, arts and crafts, vendors.

Oct. 10

9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Medicare seminar sponsored Webster Parish Council on Aging, 1482 Sheppard St., Minden. Open to the public. Call 318-371-3056 for more information.

6 p.m. 2022 Political Forum – Minden Mayor and Webster Parish School Board candidates for districts 4, 6 and 8. Northwest Louisiana Technical Community College.

6 until 8 p.m. Special Motorcycle event at Dorcheat Historical Association Museum, 116 Pearl St., Minden. Exhibit of WWII Vintage Motorcycles from Ronnie Dees’ private collection.

Oct. 11

9 a.m. until 3 p.m. 4-H Fashion and Interior Design Workshop #1 at Cultural Crossroads Farm. Pre-registration required.

10 a.m. Storytime Space Series – Jupiter, Springhill branch of Webster Parish Libraries.

6 p.m. Political Forum for Springhill mayor, council and school board members at CAC Building. Hosted by Springhill North Webster Chamber of Commerce.

Oct. 12 

6 p.m. 4-H Jr. Leader Meeting, Minden Extension Office.

Oct. 13

9 a.m. until 3 p.m. 4-H Global Cooking Workshop #1, Minden Extension Office. Pre-Registration Required.

4-H Pumpkin Decorating Contest & LA Commodity Cookery

6 p.m. Seeds Women Center, annual fundraising banquet. Dinner and program. Minden Civic Center.

Oct. 13-15

10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Louisiana’s Jet Rally Airshow, Minden Airport.

Oct. 15

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

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:

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

Oct. 17 

5 p.m. LYFE Series Meeting #1, Springhill Library.

6 p.m. 2022 Political Forum – Minden Chief of Police and City Council candidates. Northwest Louisiana Technical Community College.

Oct. 17-21

5 p.m. 2022 Mini Cheer Camp, hosted by Doyline High School Cheerleaders. Grades Pre-K-5th. Contact Kelsey Morris at 318-5647324 or Whitney Vollmer at 318-525-2173.

Oct. 20

10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Greater Minden Chamber Job Fair & Career Expo, Northwest Louisiana Technical Community College.

Oct. 21

9 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Health Fair at First Baptist Church gym, 301 Pennsylvania Ave., Minden. Sponsored by Webster Parish Council on Aging, Regional Hospice and Walgreens. Flu shots (bring Medicare card), Blood pressure checks, Bingo, door prizes, games and lunch. Call 371-3056 for more information.

Oct. 25

10 a.m. Storytime Space Series – Saturn. Springhill branch Webster Parish Libraries.

Oct. 27

4 until 6 p.m. Webster Parish Library Trunk or Treat, Springhill Branch.

Oct. 31

4 until 6 p.m. Webster Parish Library Trunk or Treat, Minden Branch.

Nov. 4-5

Main to Main Trade Days

Nov. 12 

10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Mission Adoption Makers Craft Fair, Silent Auction, Bake Sale and Lunch at First Baptist Church Family Life Center, Minden. ALL  proceeds go to CASA and a family that is beginning the adoption process. Homemade craft items, jellies & canned goods, Christmas items, candles, and much more, baked goods and frozen casseroles, silent auction items and hot dog lunch or jambalaya lunch, drinks and popcorn.

Nov. 19

9 a.m. Poker Run Registration. See for info or call 318-377-3002.

Nov. 26

9 a.m. – 3 p.m.  Mistletoe Market in Springhill’s CAC Building hosted by Springhill Chamber of Commerce.  Kick off the Christmas Shopping season with craft vendors and boutiques.  Admission free. Visit with the Shreveport Santa (10-2) sponsored by Carter Credit Union.

5 p.m. Springhill Christmas Parade hosted by the Chamber of Commerce.  Springhill Main Street.

Notice of Death – Sept. 28, 2022

Lucky J. Brent

Feb. 22, 1939 –  Sept. 26, 2022

Visitation: 9 until 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022 at Rose-Neath Funeral Home, Minden, La.

Graveside service: 11 a.m. Woodard Cemetery, Taylor, La., under the direction of Rose-Neath Funeral Home, Minden.


Mary Ethel Newsom Miller

Aug. 25, 1930 – Sept. 27, 2022

Visitation: 5 until 7 p.m. at Rose-Neath Funeral Home, Minden, La.

Funeral service: 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022 at City On A Hill Pentecostal Church, Minden.

Burial: Mt. Zion Cemetery in Minden, under the direction of Rose-Neath Funeral Home, Minden.


Mildred Hildebrand Edwards

April 4, 1923 – Sept. 21, 2022

Visitation: Noon until time of service Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022 at Rose-Neath Chapel, Mansfield, La.

Funeral service: 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022 at Rose-Neath Funeral Home Chapel, Mansfield, La.

Burial: Noble Cemetery, Noble, La.


Michael Patrick Redel

Jan. 3, 1955 – Sept. 10, 2022

Visitation: 2 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022, Rose-Neath Funeral Home, 2201 Airline Dr., Bossier City.

Memorial service: 3 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022, Rose-Neath Funeral Home, 2201 Airline Dr., Bossier City.


Webster Parish Journal publishes 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.)

School put on lockdown Tuesday after man with gun spotted nearby

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Some teachers, students and support personnel at J.A. Phillips School were on lockdown for a short period of time Tuesday after a man carrying a firearm was spotted in the neighborhood of Phillips and J.L. Jones Elementary School.

Minden Police Chief Steve Cropper said his officers and sheriff’s deputies were called to the school between 3:30 and 3:45 p.m. when a black male carrying a rifle was spotted by a bus driver.

“There is open school property near Phillips, and the witness said the man was running across there and got into a purple car,” Cropper said. “They (law enforcement) looked but never found a purple car or the guy with the gun.”

According to a “robo call” to parents and school system employees, “remaining students who had not left the campus as well as any remaining staff members were taken back inside the building.”

“After receiving an all clear from law-enforcement all remaining staff and students were allowed to return home their normal way,” the call continued.

Kindergarteners and first graders attend J.A. Phillips School which is located at 811 Durwood Drive in Minden.

MPD arrests MHS student with handgun at parade

By Bonnie Culverhouse

A 14-year-old Minden High School student is at Ware Youth Center in Coushatta after attending the school’s homecoming parade while carrying a handgun.

Minden Police Chief Steve Cropper said an event transpired at school last Wednesday that led to Friday’s episode.

“This male student got into an altercation with a female concerning a bag of chips,” said the chief. “The female refused to share her bag of chips with him, and he struck her.”

The chief said two police officers were at the school – Lt. Tokia Harrison and Off. Mathew Hicks. They were escorting the male from the room where the argument occurred when the female picked up a Yeti insulated cup and struck the male on the back of his head.

“She was arrested and he was taken to the hospital where he had some staples put in the back of his head,” Cropper said. “He allegedly had a brain bleed in his forehead, so she hit him pretty hard.”

The male student was treated and released.

“He showed up Friday at the parade with a handgun,” Cropper continued. “He was spotted with the gun near First United Methodist Church and was taken into custody at the intersection of Homer Road and Broadway.”

Cropper said the youth told officers CHS (Cold Hearted Steppas), a gang of young teen-agers, were out to get him.

“He said he had the gun for protection,” said the chief. “We called the judge and he was able to get a space for him at Ware.”

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.

Serena Gray named new board chairman for Holiday Trail of Lights

By Paige Nash

It is hard to believe that it is almost that time of the year again, but Christmas is right around the corner. That means it is time to plan that family road trip to enjoy the annual Holiday Trail of Lights.  

Serena Gray, Executive Director of Webster Parish Convention and Tourism Commission has been named the new Board Chairman for the Louisiana Holiday Trail of Lights after serving on the board for the last five years. 

“I love all things Christmas, so I am really excited about that,” said Gray.  

The first media event was held this past Thursday, September 22 in downtown Alexandria.  

The City of Minden is a long-time participant, along with Alexandria/Pineville, Natchitoches, Shreveport-Bossier and Monroe/West Monroe. This year the trail has also added two new stops. Logansport and Ruston will now be hosting their own holiday celebrations from November through December along the trail. 

Each location hosts their own events throughout the holiday season, which includes anything from light displays, parades, shopping, firework shows, and tons of food. The Holiday Trail of Lights website includes a map of the destinations, which visitors can click on to view each city’s upcoming events. It also allows visitors to plan their itineraries with accessible links for lodging, shopping and dining.  

In past years Main to Main Trade Days usually symbolizes the official kickoff of the holiday season here in Minden. This is a two-day event where participants set up shop alongside Highway 371 from as far south as Sibley all the way to north of Springhill to the Arkansas state line.  

This year the 23rd Annual Main to Main will be held on November 5 and 6. Shoppers can find anything from clothing, jewelry, home furnishings, food, crafts and more.  

If you are interested in being a vendor for this event, please fill out the registration form at or contact City of Minden Main Street Director Mahala Hutto at (318) 377-4200 or Springhill Main Street Director Linda McDaniel at (318) 539- 5699. 

Savell wins Week 4 of Pick’em contest

Underdawgs and WPJ present Alan Savell with $100 in cash. Shown with Savell are Tegan Batton, Assistant Manager, and Laci Beth Hough, cashier.

Congratulations Alan Savell, Webster Parish Journal’s Week 4 winner of the High School Pick’em contest.

Savell was 9 out of 10 with his picks. He is awarded $100 in cash from title sponsors Under Dawgs and Webster Parish Journal, a $50 gas card from Car Giant and the cap of his choice from Attorney Jimbo Yocom of Yocom Law Firm and Minden Athletic.

Our celebrity winners this week:

Sheriff Jason Parker 9-1

Pat Culverhouse 8-2

Josh Beavers 8-2

Paige Nash 8-2

Sibley Mayor Jimmy Williams 7-3

Police Chief Steve Cropper 5-5

You have until 4 p.m. Thursday to sign up for Week 5. Log on to and follow the instructions.

Car Giant salesperson Colby Smudricks presents Savell with a $50 gas card.
Savell chooses a Minden Crimson Tide cap from Minden Athletic’s Jimmy Williams and attorney Jimbo Yocom.

Letters in the key of life 

Yo Brendan! 

Word is you’re headed to church retreat to begin your high school senior year. I’ve been asked to write a letter of encouragement. You’ll get several from friends for you to read this week. Mine is a humble C+ at best, but I’m honored to be asked …  

You were born the day after I coached my final Little League game. For 10-plus years I had that privilege; most fun I’ve ever had. 

The day before you were born, we lost in the semifinals of the state championship, and if I’d have done just a couple things differently — like called time and talked to my pitcher Scarf one batter earlier — I feel certain we’d have been in the finals. And the team that won it all was better than we were but … they might not have been better than us two-out-of-three, not right then. Not on those days.  

So the next day driving up I-49, thinking about nothing other than what I have just told you, coming home after a week in South Louisiana and wishing I could turn back the clock and wishing I’d gotten my lard butt off the bucket and gone to the mound in the top of the ninth — your dad calls. 

Saw his name on the screen and knew what it was about.  

You had arrived on the scene. 

I felt better right then. 

Even though our little team of 14-year-olds didn’t quite get it done, they did as good as they possibly could have. Still, I was sad over the ending. 

And then your beginning made me happy 

Harmony of the universe and all that. God is like that sometimes.  

I would have loved to have seen you more as you grew up into the wonderful young man you’ve become. 

But I’ve gotten to “watch” you a lot through pictures and mostly through stories from your mom and dad. Every time they mention you, their voices are filled with joy and laughter and gratitude. Every time. It’s been fun to listen. And see. 

Seems all the stories have had happy endings. We’ve been blessed. 

I have a picture posted on my wall of you at age 3-ish sucking down a milkshake at a Shreveport burger joint, your eyes bulging and your cheeks working overtime. I have another picture of you running the bases with a batting helmet on, all business. I remember Brad pushing you into the pool and I remember us playing baseball outside your house.  

Since then, you have learned the joy of live theatre. Learned how to do long division. Figured out how to try and not be scared on a first date. Learned a lot—but you’re just beginning. Keep your mind and heart open for all God is teaching you. 

I am proud of you and love you because your mom and dad are proud of you and love you. There is never anything you could do, good or bad, that would make us love you more or less. We accept you right now as you are and are grateful for you being you. 

Maybe you get the point of all this, which is that I have always been a Brendan cheerleader and that will always be the case. It has made me proud when your parents have called me with a “Little Teddy” update. You were almost named that, but it would have been a disservice to you. You are a Brendan, and a really, really good one. 

A wise man once told me: Be kind. Love God and your neighbor. Don’t be too hard on yourself. That’s it. Enjoy this life you’ve been given. 

Your friend always, 

Uncle TA 

Contact Teddy at 


A simple gesture can save a life

Less than two years ago, I was at a low point in life. Sometimes you are given obstacles that make you question everything about yourself – your worth, your ability, your talent, your value. I was there. Caught up in the BS of man’s world and the people in it.

In addition to the best lady in the world, my own beautiful bride, another kind soul was put in my path to help me climb out of the hole I found myself in.

Chris Plants helped me see the beauty in the world that I had overlooked for so long. What started as a simple article about this man and his ministry grew into work on full-length novel and so much more. It brought about a friendship that I am so thankful to have.

Today’s story is one of many Chris has shared with me over time, and it is very powerful. It also shows how standing up for your beliefs can cost you.

So I’ll let Chris take over this now and share with you a remarkable tale I hope I will get to write more of in the future.

John 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that through him the world might be saved.

Several years ago, our Living God put me in the specific path of Luke Hockenjos, founder of the “Giv’em Jesus Ministry”. We met at Christ Fit Gym in Bossier and became friends and Christian Brothers very quickly. Giv’em Jesus Ministry literally gives out thousands of Bibles per year. Luke taught me if you give a very nice Bible and somehow make it personable to the person, it makes a huge difference about that person accepting that Bible, keeping it, and reading it. The absolute best way we have found to give a Bible and have it truly received is to put that person’s name in gold on that Bible for them. That is a game changer. The gift is so much more meaningful.

We partnered and began handing out Bibles to individuals whoI was arresting as a Special Agent in the FBI. It was a huge success, believe it or not, and I have so many awesome miraculous stories from giving these Bibles. These people would be at a very low point in their lives, but that is a great point in time to introduce that person to JESUS. They feel that they have no hope until they hear about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ the Messiah. Jonah said this in the belly of the whale, which of course was a pretty low point in his life: Jonah 2:1-2 From inside the fish, Jonah prayed to the Lord his God. He said: “In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, and you listened to my cry!”

From my truly crazy line of work, I became friends with a who had been addicted to methamphetamine and living a very hard life with an outlaw motorcycle gang. She had lost her family, her old friends, thoughts and plans for life, hope, and totally lost her relationship with our JESUS. God told me to get her a Bible with her name on it and I did. The next day I received this text message from that lady:

“Thank you for that gift. It was the greatest gift that anyone has ever given me. Last night I called my mother and asked her to come get me. I have left this way of life and I will never return to it. I am moving back to my family in another state. I had lost my way and I thank you for showing me the path back to my real life and especially back to JESUS! I will never forget this gift or my way again.”

I so loved how the woman, even at 45 years old, called her mother. No matter the circumstance, the mother came to get her daughter. That’s the way that Jesus wants to return to your lives. The woman has been without addiction for years now and is a working member of society who gives back and, most importantly, draws closer to Jesus every day.

I cannot describe how blessed I felt when I received that message. Who am I that God and Jesus would use me in such a way as this? Who am I that the King of Kings would know my name? I am horrible but I will say “YES” to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ every day for the rest of my life, no matter the cost, pain, or anything at all ever!

Now that I can finally laugh about this a little, this was one of the things that got me fired by the FBI but it was our Living God’s plan, and his plans are always perfect. In Joshua 1:9 God commanded us to be bold and courageous! Please join me and the Webster Parish Men and Women of Courage and stand up for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the public in our community!

(Chris Plants is a founding member of Webster Parish Men of Courage. Their mission is to encourage, equip, and empower the Men of God to become spiritual leaders in their home, local church, community, and workplace. Webster Parish is now home to a Women of Courage chapter as well as Families of Courage.)

(Josh Beavers is an award-winning journalist who has five times been recognized for excellence in opinion writing by the Louisiana Press Association. At one time, he was editor of The Good News, a weekly publication that shared information about local churches and men and women of God.)