Apaches earn 2022 District 1-1A Champions title

Photos by Emily Glasscock

On Thursday, October 27, the undefeated Glenbrook Apaches took on the defending Class 1A State Champions, Homer High School Pelicans, in the most important and exciting match up of the season. Though it was tough, the Apaches fought hard every second of the game, leading to Glenbrook winning the matchup against Homer with a final score of 21-14. The Apaches were not predicted to win, but they once again shocked their peers and came out on top, which resulted in the Apaches earning the title of the 2022 District 1-1A Champions.

To begin the game, senior football captains DJ Carter, Cason Clemons, Dayton Sims and Hayden Harmon represented the Apaches for the coin toss, which the Apaches won. The Apaches chose to receive, and after the Pelicans recovered the ball from their own onside kick, Maddox Mandino, Rhett Johnson, Tre Kent and Preston Pope made essential defensive tackles. Daivari Jackson brought up the rear as he made a huge stop on third down. On fourth down, Glenbrook’s defense stopped the Pelicans’ attempted pass, which Sims and Kent successfully deflected and the Apaches took over on downs. 

After the turnover, Carter made a huge run until stepping out of bounds, leading to an Apache first down. After a penalty against the Pelicans, the ball was moved to the Pelicans’ 30 yard line. The Apaches used the yardage advancement to move the ball farther down the field, but they turned over on downs on the Pelicans’ 17 yard line. To conclude the first quarter, Garrett Brown and Pope made strong tackles to hold the Pelicans and keep the score 0-0.

At the top of the second quarter, Brown, Kent and Toby Haulmark each made crucial tackles as Johnson also made a huge stop. To follow these successful plays, Landry Powell made a massive stop against Homer’s offense. As the Pelicans continued in their attempts toward the Apaches’ end zone, Kent saw an opening and intercepted the Pelicans’ ball. The Apaches used the interception to gain significant yardage as they pushed the ball 43 yards down the field. 

The Apaches felt the pressure, but quarterback Ty Feaster ran the ball to the end zone scoring the first touchdown and extra point of the night with 4:01 remaining in the first half, making the score 7-0. The Pelicans took over at midfield and moved the ball to the 13 yard line. Homer scored their first touchdown and extra point with 2:06 remaining in the half. 

In a post game interview, Coach Feaster expressed his happiness with playing Homer because “there were few penalties because everyone played with such great attitudes, which is something both teams strive to do.” 

The Apaches gained possession of the ball on their own 33 yard line, leading to Feaster completing multiple passes, but the Apaches were forced to punt, leading to Homer taking over on their own 24 yard line with 0:43 left until the half. Powell stepped up and made a huge quarterback sack, soon followed by a joint tackle to Homer’s quarterback with Brown, resulting in an incomplete Pelican pass. At the end of the first half, the score was 7-7. 

Starting the third quarter, the Apaches took over on defense and attempted an onside kick, which was recovered midfield by Homer. Powell took charge once again and sacked the quarterback, which later forced the Pelicans to punt. 

After Glenbrook regained possession of the ball, Feaster completed passes to Carter, Turner McLelland, Chase Sentell and Mandino. Setting up at the 2 yard line, Feaster handed the ball off to Mandino, who found his way to the end zone with 8:00 left in the quarter making the score 14-7. 

The Apache defense took to the field, where Johnson and Sims deflected passes and ultimately forced Homer to punt.  Glenbrook’s offense then took over as Feaster completed long passes to Clemons and Carter. The Apaches attempted a field goal from the 25 yard line, however, the ball faded just outside the goal post, allowing the Pelicans to take the ball back. Homer moved to offense and completed a deep pass that moved the ball to Glenbrook’s 5 yard line. The Pelicans scored a touchdown and successful extra point, once again adjusting the score to 14-14 with only 0:45 left in the third quarter. 

With the score tied, the Apaches fought to increase their points on the board. After being pushed back to their 20 yard line, Glenbrook was forced to punt, leading to the Pelicans taking over on their 34 yard line, but was quickly followed by Johnson and Kent making big defensive tackles. In one of the most exciting plays of the night, Clemons intercepted the ball, giving the Apaches a burst of momentum. Feaster then passed the ball to Mandino, who made a huge run for the Apaches moving the ball deep into Pelican territory. 

Homer’s defense forced Feaster to run the ball, which slipped out of his hands as several Pelican defenders tackled him, but McLelland recovered it at Homer’s 15 yard line. Feaster then completed another pass to Mandino, who secured the ball in the end zone, resulting in a touchdown and extra point for Glenbrook. 

With 8:24 left in the fourth quarter, the Apaches took the lead 21-14. After the Apaches attempted an unsuccessful onside kick, the Pelicans took over at their 42 yard line, but were quickly stopped by Luke Vining and Johnson. Vining played an integral role in the game as he not only led the Apache offensive line, but also stepped in and played most of the game on the defensive line as well. As a result of Glenbrook’s unbreakable defense, Homer was forced to punt the football. 

The Apaches took over on their 41 yard line as Feaster passed the ball to Sentell, but the Apaches were also forced to punt. The Pelicans took over the ball on their 48 yard line, but that Apache defensive line would not allow them to break through, which Coach Feaster claimed was the main reason the Apaches won the game. The Pelicans attempted to complete two passes, which were both deflected by Sentell. 

Meanwhile, Carter and Powell held off the Pelican offense and made huge tackles and stops. The Pelicans tried to break through the Apache defensive line but were no match for Powell as he stormed through the offensive line, and yet again sacked the Pelican’s quarterback, forcing Homer to punt. With 1:56 left in the game, the Apaches took over midfield but fumbled the ball. The Pelicans took over in one last attempt to score. Carter and Powell made crucial stops as Clemons and Sentell successfully deflected Homer’s long pass attempts. For the last play of the game, Johnson saw an opening and sacked the quarterback sealing another Apache win. 

The Apaches held off the Pelicans each quarter and never let them get ahead, which is something Coach Feaster was proud of. Feaster explained that his message to his team is, “Keep doing what you are doing, you have been great and coachable all year long, and you’ve done everything we have asked.” 

With the final score of 21-14, the Apaches have taken the title of the District 1-1A Champions with an undefeated season thus far and extending their winning streak to an incredible 15 games. Next week, the Glenbrook Apaches will take on the River Oaks Mustangs at Apache Stadium for Week 10 of the regular season. 

Prior to the game, Glenbrook will honor their Senior football players, cheerleaders and Sundancers this Friday, November 4. 11 Glenbrook football players will be honored, which holds special significance, as mentioned by Coach Feaster, because most of them have been a part of the Apache Football team for many years, most of which since the seventh or eighth grade and have seen the program evolve in many ways. We hope you will come out and help us celebrate this special group of athletes, and as we say in the Glenbrook family, “It’s a great day to be an Apache!”

MHS teacher makes history

By Josh Beavers

Minden High’s John Dillon has received an honor never awarded to a teacher.

Dillon was named the Jimmy D. Long, Sr., Louisiana Scholars’ College Distinguished Alumnus of 2022 during halftime of last weekend’s homecoming game at Northwestern State University.

“This is a service award, and because of that, I have a lot of different emotions about it,” Dillon said.  “To begin, I’m entirely humbled to be the first teacher to receive this award.  But I must admit, I think a good teacher ought to be considered for service just as honorably as a humanitarian, a peace officer, a politician, or a soldier.”

Dillon is a 1997 graduate of the Scholars’ College and has been an English teacher at Minden High School since 2006.

“Dillon’s breadth of interest and depth of knowledge across his distinguished career exemplify what it means to be a Scholar,” the university said in a statement.

“Teaching as a career is a personal choice and devotion to service,” Dillon said.  “So, while I have the sincerest thanks to the Louisiana Scholars’ College, my alma mater, for giving me the award, I also have to say that good teachers deserve such recognition, and I hope that other colleges and universities will follow suit.”

Dillon’s teaching career is not the only reason he was nominated and selected. 

He is president of the Louisiana Ornithological Society, a long-time member of the Louisiana Bird Records Committee, a records reviewer for Cornell University’s eBird.org, which is the largest online database of bird observations, a board member of the Briarwood Caroline Dormon Nature Preserve, the founder and co-sponsor of the Minden High School Nature Club, the co-founder of the MHS Teen Mental Health First Aid club, a very active public speaker about birds and native plants, and a co-author of mental health grants across nearly a dozen parishes. 

“But at everything I do, service and devotion to education is at the core,” he said.

Dillon’s philosophy on education has two aspects.  As an educator, he believes that every educator’s teaching philosophy should be to teach every student with the energy and expectations you would have for your own child’s education. 

“If I’m not teaching every kid like I’d want my own kid to be taught, I need to walk out the door and never come back,” he said. “I ask every new teacher I meet, ‘Would you work hard for someone you don’t respect or for someone you don’t like?’  When they give an emphatic, ‘No!,’ I say, ‘Then neither will your students.’” 

Dillon said teachers who are unliked by their students are not effective teachers. 

“They will only work for you if they like you,” he said.  “And the best way to do that is to be sincere with them just like you would with your own kids.”

His philosophy on education itself is a bit more nuanced. 

“Education is a lot like how I was just explaining poetry to my honors freshmen: Can you understand it?  And can you relate to it?  If a community can’t understand the need for education, they will never relate to it,” he said.  “But it is the schools’ responsibility to make sure the community they serve understands the education they provide.  If a school does a solid job of explaining the education it offers, any community should see the relevance of how important an educated populace is.”

As for what he enjoys most about his job, he said that was easy to answer.

“The kids,” he said.  “Non-teachers have told me the same thing for years: oh, man, I could never do your job because I couldn’t stand to be around those kids every day.  But the kids are the best part of my day.  If I’m going to get disappointed at my job, it’s almost certainly because of an adult and seldom because of a kid.  I expect them to be kids.  And I expect adults to be adults.  Only one of these expectations leads to disappointment.”

One game remains this regular season

By Josh Beavers and Hunter Bower

The high school football regular season is winding down, and that means attention is turning to the second part of the season – the playoffs.

I spoke with Hunter Bower, owner of GeauxPreps.com, about the playoff picture for our local high school football teams.

What happened Thursday and what’s next?

District 1-1A champions Glenbrook are coming off a thrilling victory over defending state champions the Homer Pelicans. The Apaches are undefeated (9-0) this year and will play longtime rival River Oaks in the season finale this Friday over in Monroe. The Mustangs are 2-7.

Minden High School picked up a third win on Thursday following a 48-21 win over Booker T. Washington. The Tide (3-6) will play Woodlawn on Friday. The Knights are also 3-6.

Lakeside went to Shreveport Thursday and took a tough 63-0 loss at the hands of Calvary. The Warriors are 4-5 on the season. They play Green Oaks on Friday in the regular season finale. It’ll be Senior Night for the Warriors. The Giants are 2-6 this year.

The North Webster Knights had a bright spot Thursday in what has been a rough season. They picked up their first win by beating Bastrop 41-22. Next up for the Knights is a season-finale against Lafayette Renaissance Charter Academy which is winless on the year.

How do the playoffs work?

The high school football playoffs are divided into Select and Non-Select.

Non-Select Schools (made up of 4 divisions) will have 28 teams per bracket. The top 4 teams in each division will get a BYE.

Select Schools (made up of 4 divisions) will have 24 teams per bracket. The top 8 teams will receive a BYE in each division.

Who’s in?

Glenbrook – The Apaches are currently ranked No. 7 in Select Division IV. This would give the Apaches a 1st round bye.

Who’s Out?

North Webster

Who still has a chance?

Minden ranks 34th in Non-Select Division II

Lakeside is ranked No. 30 in Non-Select Division III
Can Minden and Lakeside still get in?

Although you can never say never when it comes to determining seeding for the LHSAA playoffs, it could be a hard climb for Minden who currently sits six spots out of contention. It’s not totally impossible for Lakeside to make it but they a need a ton of help to qualify whether that be their opponents winning out or teams above them losing their remaining contests.

Again, anything can happen, and you will never know until the brackets are released.

GeauxPreps.com is the most trusted source for Louisiana high school sports coverage. Fans get unlimited access to the latest news, live results, updated power ratings and more. Whether you’re at the office and need to look up the latest rankings and schedules or on the road and want to view the latest scores from across the state… GeauxPreps is available anytime, anywhere.


Tide falls behind early but blows by BTW

MHS photos by Douglas Blow

Senior running back Daylen Robinson added more milestones to his impressive career Thursday night while leading the Minden Crimson Tide to a 43-26 District 1-4A win over Booker T. Washington on Senior Night at W.W. Williams Stadium.

Robinson became the first Crimson Tider to rush for more than 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons since Sammy Seamster accomplished the feat during his 1985-87 career. Robinson also moved into the number three position in total career yards behind Seamster and Raymond Tate. 

Through Thursday’s contest, Robinson has gained 1,026 yards this season with one game remaining on the Tide schedule.

Following a familiar script, the Tide fell behind early when BTW took the opening kickoff and marched 60 yards to paydirt. Freshman quarterback Damion O’Neal connected with Andrew Houston for a 36-yard score on fourth down, and a successful two-point conversion put the Lions up 8-0.

Minden struck back quickly as Robinson popped up the middle from 18 yards out less than a minute later to cap a 55-yard drive. A failed PAT left the Tide down 8-6 with 8:15 remaining in the quarter. 

BTW got on the scoreboard on their second possession, going 90 yards in nine plays with Kendrick Platt covering the final three yards to put the Lions ahead 14-6 to end the first quarter. From that point, Minden’s offense went on a scoring spree while the defense clamped down on BTW’s speedy backs.

Cameron Mitchell got Minden even at 14 with a 10-yard scamper to end an eight-play, 58-yard drive at the 10:30 mark of the second quarter. After the Tide defense forced a three-and-out, Robinson gave the locals a permanent lead when he bulled his way over defenders for a four-yard TD run to top off an 81-yard drive.

Up 22-14, Minden climbed back into the scoring seat, thanks to a Jaylin Williams interception and return to the BTW 17. Following an incompletion, Quarterback Jakobe Jackson rumbled up the middle, stretched into the endzone and the Tide led 30-14 after a successful two-point conversion pass from Jackson to Brian Swan.

Three holding penalties, two of which cancelled a pair of Robinson runs totaling 52 yards, put the dampers on a Tide drive opening the second half. But Minden’s defense again forced a punt, and it took only two plays for another Tide score. Jackson hit Williams in stride down the middle with a perfect 40-yard scoring toss, putting Minden ahead 37-14 nearing the end of the third quarter.

Tider Nolan Garms, who also had an interception in the game, blocked a BTW punt early in the fourth quarter, handing the Tide the football at the Lions’ 18. Following a false start penalty, Jackson broke loose on an option and sped 23 yards to score. With 10:47 remaining in the game, the Tide looked good at 43-14.

BTW put up a pair of late scores when O’Neal connected on an 18-yard scoring pass, then capped an eight-play, 96-yard drive with a six-yard dash to the corner of the endzone. Two-point conversion attempts failed after both scores to end it at 43-26.

Robinson eased past his game rushing average, picking up 133 yards on just 10 carries while Jackson had 12 carries and 76 yards. Jaylon McKinney added 18 yards on five attempts as the Tide rushed for 240 yards on the night. Through the air, Jackson was six-of-nine for 100 yards. 

Platt led the Lions’ rushing attack, gaining 119 yards on 21 attempts. O’Neal completed six passes on 14 attempts for 131 yards with two throws intercepted.

Minden now stands at 3-6 on the season; 2-4 in District 1-4A play heading into next Friday’s season finale against the Woodlawn Knights in Shreveport.

WPJ Political Poll – November 8, 2022

  • Election Day
    November 8, 2022

    Webster Parish Journal is giving our readers the opportunity to participate in an online poll for parish and city candidates.

    In order to get accurate results, please vote only for candidates in your district.

    The poll will run in all WPJ publications until 4 p.m. Wednesday, November 2 when the link will no longer be active. Results will be posted in Webster Parish Journal’s Thursday, November 3 publication.

    As always, we recommend you go to the polls November 8 and exercise your right to vote.

  • Should be Empty:

Knights take the win

The North Webster Knights hit the road for a district clash with Bastrop without a win to show for their hard work this season. 

That changed over the course of 48 minutes, as the Knights offense piled up yardage and points, while the defense pitched a second-half shutout to preserve a precious 41-22 victory. 

The Knights started the scoring on their first offensive play as running back Braedon Robertson scored from 65 yards out. After a quick stop by the defense, North Webster got right back to work, scoring their second touchdown on a nice play action pass from 20 yards out to tight end Xander Thomason. 

Next to get in on the scoring was Cooper Sanders who took a sweep going right, made a man Miss and left the rest of the Rams in his dust for a 60 yard score. 

Sanders would add a second long touchdown before halftime and senior Collin McKenzie launched a deep ball to sophomore J’Kobe Lawson for the teams final offensive touchdown early in 3rd quarter action. 

The game was put out of reach when the Knights defense stepped up with a huge forced fumble that senior Jalon Thomas picked up and raced into the end zone for a defensive touchdown. 

The Knights will aim to make it two in a row next week as they host Lafayette Renaissance Charter Academy for senior night. 

Cavs roll over Warriors

By Harriet Prothro Penrod, Journal Sports

Calvary’s James Simon took just five handoffs Thursday night at Jerry Barker Stadium, and one of those was from his mother.

It was just before kickoff and the sophomore running back had left his No. 31 jersey at home, which – fortunately – is just minutes from the Calvary Baptist campus. Almost as soon as he took the handoff from his mother and got the jersey pulled over his pads, Simon was in the end zone for the first of his three touchdowns in the Cavaliers’ 63-0 rout over Lakeside (4-5, 0-4 in District 1-2A).

“My brother was rushing me,” Simon said with a laugh as he tried to explain why he had made it to the stadium without his jersey.

Turns out Simon wouldn’t need his jersey for long. When the first quarter ended, Simon had carried the ball four times, scored three touchdowns (on runs of 25 yards, 37 yards, and 1 yard) and the Cavaliers were up 28-0.

And the brother who caused him to leave his jersey at home? That would be Jay Simon, the junior who was on the receiving end of both of Abram Wardell’s touchdown passes in the second quarter.

Wardell finished 10-of-11 for 168 yards and three touchdowns in just over two quarters of play. James Simon had 72 yards on just four carries with three touchdowns while Jay Simon had two touchdowns on his two receptions (11 and 20 yards).

In the District 1-2A romp over the Warriors, the Cavs: ran just 25 plays the entire game (just two more than Lakeside ran in the first quarter alone), scored nine touchdowns with only eight possessions, and had two pick sixes (by Landon Sylvie and Chaz Whitaker).

“One of the plays was designed for me,” Jay Simon said of his two touchdowns. “On the other one, I just went up the field, Abram found me, and I cut it toward the end zone.”

Wardell connected with Aubrey Hermes for a 31-yard touchdown at the start of the second half to put Calvary up 49-0 and then handed the quarterback duties to freshman Owen Smith, whose 14-yard touchdown run on the Cavs’ next possession put them up 56-0.

Calvary’s final score came in the fourth quarter when Whitaker intercepted a Cooper Chase pass and ran it back for a 44-yard score.

The Cavs’ defense held the Warriors to minus-24 yards rushing and just 58 yards passing as the Lakeside quarterback was able to complete just 9-of-18 passes with three interceptions.

Tyson Driskell had 20 yards rushing for Calvary, followed by Smith with 16 yards. Kolby Thomas had four catches for 68 yards while Hermes finished with 43 yards on two catches. Garrett Little was 6-for-6 on PATs while Ty Knight was 3-for-3.

The Cavs (7-2, 4-0 in District 1-2A) close out the regular season next week against Loyola at Messmer Stadium.

Contact Harriet at sbjharriet@gmail.com

FAST AND FURIOUS: Calvary got on the board early and often in the Cavaliers’ 63-0 victory over Lakeside in District 1-2A action at Jerry Barker Stadium Thursday night. (Photo by JOHN PENROD, Journal Sports)


Undefeated Wolves take down Elm Grove

The undefeated Webster Wolves went into Parkway Stadium to face an undefeated Elm Grove team in what turned out to be an exciting 32-20 win for Webster. The wolves’ defense, led by Javen Calloway and Marquan Miller, once again came out strong and aggressive. After forcing a punt the wolves’ offense came out swinging and scored on a 10 yd run by Jaden Johnson. After the defense forced another punt, the wolves got another score from Lucas Owens Jr on a 50 yd run. Elm Grove was able to capitalize off a late interception and score right before the half to make the score 14-6. 

Webster received the ball after halftime and came out strong working the ball down field. Kaiden Kinsey was able to punch it in from 8 yds to make the score 20-6. Elm Grove was able to score again on a trick play to make the score 20–12.

After holding Webster on 4th down, Elm Grove gained possession. But the wolves’ defense stepped up. Markell Miller picked off a screen pass for his 2nd interception and took it 40 yds for the touchdown to put the wolves up 26-12. After another trick play, Elm Grove was able to score again to make the score 26-18.

With a little over 3 minutes left Webster was forced to punt, but during the punt return Abreon Curry was able to strip the ball and the wolves recovered the fumble. After 3 plays and a penalty on Elm Grove, the wolves got the ball at the 1 yd line before Jaden Johnson punched it in for the TD to make the final score 32-20.

The Wolves are the only undefeated team in their district. Their last game is at 5 p.m. Tuesday Nov 1 at Minden High School. 

Upcoming Events

Oct. 27

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

4:15 Doyline Jamboree at James Roach Gymnasium. 4:15 p.m. Simsboro vs. Castor girls, 5 p.m. Simsboro vs. Castor boys; 5:45 p.m. Doyline vs. Castor girls; 6:30 p.m. Doyline vs. Castor boys; 7:15 p.m. Doyline vs. Simsboro girls; 8 p.m. Doyline vs. Simsboro boys. Entry fee: $7.

Oct. 28

7 p.m. Hotel Transylvania 3, hosted by Springhill Medical Center on the front lawn of the hospital. Bring family, blankets, lawn chairs. Free to the public. Popcorn provided. All children under age 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Oct. 30

4:30 until 6 p.m. Calvary Baptist Church Fall Festival. Games, candy, fun for everyone.

Oct. 31

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

5 until 7 p.m. Trunk-or-Treat Fall Fest, Beech Springs Baptist Church, 15910 Hwy. 80, Minden. Games and food provided.

5:30 until 7:30 p.m. The Town of Cullen presents Fall Fest 2022 Trunk or Treat Location: Froggy Bottom

Current-Nov. 30

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

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 http://www.dorcheatmuseum.com 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.

Dec. 2 & 3

6 p.m. “From Humbug to Hallelujah,” A musical comedy that presents the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge – with a twist. Eastside Missionary Baptist Church, Minden, La. For information, call 318-286-1259 or 318-377-2528.

Dec. 6

6 until 7:30 p.m. Webster Parish Library. Meriwether Wealth and Planning will present a community education seminar “No, It’s a Scam!” Learn about the latest scams and schemes targeting Webster Parish residents. Presenters Jason Parker, Webster Parish Sheriff and Tracy L. Campbell, financial advisor for Meriwether W&P. No cost to attend but pre-registration is required. Seating limited to 35. RSVP 318-377-1803. Refreshments will be provided as well as important take-home information.

Notice of Death – Oct. 28, 2022

Allen Hammonds

Sept. 8, 1948 – Oct. 26, 2022

Cullen, La.

Funeral service: 3 p.m. Nov. 12, 2022

Stephen R. Risner

June 6, 1954 – Oct. 21, 2022

Visitation: noon until 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022 at First Baptist Church, 406 Main St., Homer, La.

Funeral service: 2 p.m. following visitation.

Curtis ‘Curt’ Nelson

Sept. 1, 1950 – Oct. 24, 2022

Memorial service: At a future date, Rose-Neath Funeral Home, Homer, 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.)

Assistance program in need of help

UCAP’S Mary Seney talks with Latarus Gaston about her utility bills.

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Since 1984, when Gladys Hair wanted to help those in need, United Christian Assistance Program (UCAP) has functioned on prayer. However, today UCAP has very little money in the coffers and staying in business has become “on a wing and a prayer.”

UCAP Director Charlotte Jones said high utilities and the pandemic have made it difficult for people to pay their bills … no job, no money.

“We have been paying $100 toward people’s utility bills,” Jones said. “Starting November 1, we are going down to $50 because we just don’t have the money to do more.”

UCAP workers are all volunteers, however, Jones said the pandemic affected some of them. There are now 13, many of whom work one half day a week.

Fundraisers, the heartbeat of the UCAP funding have suffered, as well.

“We haven’t had Hungerfest in three years,” she said of their fundraiser that included soup and a cake auction. Therefore, they have relied on the spring golf tournament, which brought in more than $22,000 in 2022. Sounds like a lot, but it doesn’t go far because during the month of July alone, UCAP’s total expenses were almost one/fourth that amount.

And that isn’t counting what goes out the door to help citizens.

“We spend five to six thousand dollars per month helping people with their utilities,” Jones said. “They bring their bill to us and we give them a check – made out to the city – for $100 (soon to be $50), and then they are responsible for the rest.”

That $5-6,000 may get the organization through one more month.

“If it weren’t for some carryover funds from 2021, we would be in the red now,” Jones said.

When Latarus Gaston moved to Minden in 2014, she was told about UCAP.

“We didn’t have anything like this in Gibsland,” she said. Gaston admitted having to ask for help is sometimes tough on the ego.

“But it’s been a real blessing because jobs are hard to find, and our utility bills are so high,” she added. “I don’t know where I would go if they weren’t here.”

UCAP receives support from more than 30 area churches and local organizations. But a large amount comes from private donations.

“It’s sad to say, but we’ve lost a lot of individuals this year who sent donations,” she said. “Many would send money faithfully every single month, and they have passed away.”

She would also like to put together more fundraisers.

“We don’t have anyone here who really knows a lot about putting those together,” Jones said. “It would be nice to have a functioning board again to discuss ideas of ways to bring in money. We need people who know how to do that.”

Jones said some people ask her how she knows which persons who come to UCAP are really in need.

“We don’t,” she said. “We aren’t supposed to. We are just supposed to help because we know it’s the right thing to do. Whether they are truly in need is not for us to determine.”

UCAP is normally open from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays. Beginning November 1, they will be open (same times) Mondays and Wednesdays; closed Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

To make donations to UCAP, please mail contributions to P. O. Box 314, Minden, La. 71058-0314 or call 318-377-6804.

‘Praise on the Pond’ makes a splash

By Paige Nash

Lakeview United Methodist Church held their “Praise on the Pond” Fall Festival Sunday, October 23. The festival featured live music, bounce houses, lots of delicious food, trunk-or-treating and a cake auction.  

New Preschool Director, Holli Carrigan said, “The ‘Praise on the Pond’ was such an amazing little event for our little town with families enjoying each other and kids laughing, but the main thing that really made this night so special was the feeling of safety and God’s presence. In the times we are living in now, it’s hard to find family events like this. It was amazing to feel that.” 

The cake auction was a big hit featuring a range of cakes, cookies, cupcakes and brownies. The auction brought in a grand total of $961. These proceeds will be used to purchase an interactive smartboard benefiting their preschool program.  

“I was so blessed to be a part of this event and already can’t wait to do it again next year,” Carrigan said. 

WPJ Political Poll – November 8, 2022

  • Election Day
    November 8, 2022

    Webster Parish Journal is giving our readers the opportunity to participate in an online poll for parish and city candidates.

    In order to get accurate results, please vote only for candidates in your district.

    The poll will run in all WPJ publications until 4 p.m. Wednesday, November 2 when the link will no longer be active. Results will be posted in Webster Parish Journal’s Thursday, November 3 publication.

    As always, we recommend you go to the polls November 8 and exercise your right to vote.

  • Should be Empty:

Know the amendments before you vote

By Tina Montgomery

On November 8, Louisiana voters will be asked to decide on 8 amendments to ratify the state Constitution.

Each proposed amendment had to receive a two-thirds favorable vote in the House and the Senate to be placed on the ballot. Now each of these amendments needs a majority vote at the polls to make the proposed changes to the Constitution. 

Six of the amendments on the ballot deal with changes for state and local financial issues. This article will examine each of the amendments with arguments for and against using the PAR (Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana) Guide to the 2022 constitutional amendments as well as commentary from our local legislators.

This is the first of a two part article covering amendments 1 through 4.

Amendment 1: Do you support an amendment to increase to 65% the cap on the amount of monies in certain state funds that may be invested in stocks?

What it does: Increases the cap for investing trust fund revenues to 65%.

District 10 State Representative Wayne McMahen explains, “Right now, only 35 percent of revenues in the state trust funds are present. The state treasurer can only invest up to that amount in stocks tied to CDs, bonds, and money markets. Risking more in returns would benefit the state in the long run. A change in the rules for how the treasurer can invest those funds creates more options [for investment], making more profit while keeping funds safe [in the market].”

A vote for would: Let the state increase to 65% the maximum amount of money in seven different trust funds that can be invested in equities on the stock market.

A vote against would: Keep tighter limits in place on the percentage of the trust funds’ money that can be invested in the stock market, with some unable to be invested in equities at all.

Amendment 2: Do you support an amendment to expand certain property tax exemptions for property on which the homestead exemption is claimed for certain veterans with disabilities?

What it does: Exempts veterans who are totally disabled because of their military service from local property taxes and provides new exemptions for other veterans based on the degree of their disability.

District 36 State Senator Robert Mills says, “This one is a real heart tugger. Your first instinct is to say yes, let’s help the veterans. But when you start thinking about it, you’re taking money away from someone and giving it to someone else. A service related disability does not necessarily prevent someone from working. A good example is the mayor of Shreveport. He’s medically disabled according to the military. This is not a slap to our veterans, it just may not be deserved or fair for everyone.”

A vote for would: Increase the property tax exemption available to veterans with service related disabilities and to their surviving spouses after the veteran’s death.

A vote against would: Maintain the current level of property tax exemption available to veterans with service related disabilities and to their surviving spouses.

Amendment 3: Do you support an amendment to allow classified civil service employees to support the election to public office of members of their own families?

What it does: Allows classified civil service employees at the state level, and in some municipalities, to support the campaign of “an immediate family member” in certain circumstances.

Both McMahen and Mills look at this amendment favorably. 

“Louisiana used to have a history of crooked politicians who would force people to campaign for them in elections,” Mills said. “This would allow family members to support someone for public office.” 

According to PAR, the definition of immediate family members is broad, covering a dozen categories of people. Employees of local registrars of voters and staff with the Secretary of State’s elections division would be excluded from the changes.

A vote for would: Allow most of Louisiana’s civil service employees to support certain campaign activities of a candidate for public office when that candidate is an immediate family member.

A vote against would: Continue the current prohibition on Louisiana’s civil service employees participating in campaign activities or supporting candidates for public office.

Amendment 4: Do you support an amendment to allow local governments to waive water charges that are the result of damage to the water system not caused by the customer?

What it does: Gives local governments that run water systems the flexibility to waive or reduce water charges that are the result of damage to the system that was not caused by the customer.

“This will allow them [local water districts] to reduce water bills in certain circumstances,” McMahen explained. “They cannot charge customers for extra usage because the water lines outside the customer’s property have been damaged. This mostly affects rural areas.”

A vote for would: Let local water districts, municipalities or other political subdivisions reduce customer bills for water use if the charges stem from water lost due to damage outside a customer’s control.

A vote against would: Keep local water districts, municipalities and other political subdivisions from lowering bills or waiving customer charges for water use in almost all circumstances.

Early voting is currently taking place at the Webster Parish Courthouse and the Springhill Civic Center.

Webster Parish Registrar of Voters Angela Hall said she saw a record number of early voters Tuesday.

“We had 280 early voters in Minden,” she said. “We’ve been really busy. Then we will also be in Springhill Thursday through Tuesday of next week.”

Make your home unappealing

Q: “How should I prepare for a home intruder?”

A: “Discourage criminals from entering your home in the first place.”

If you’re looking for ways to make your home more secure, you need to think from the outside in.  What does your home look like from the street?  What does your home look like compared to your neighbor’s?  You’ve likely heard the old adage, “I don’t have to outrun the bear – I just have to outrun you.”  When it comes to home security there’s a lot of truth to that statement.

Curb appeal is great if you’re trying to sell your house, but if there’s nothing at all “prickly” about your home’s appearance, it could look like a soft target to a criminal.  I’m not suggesting you stop cutting your grass and trimming your hedges.  Your home can appear neat and orderly, and at the same time be a deterrent to opportunistic bad guys.  

Your yard doesn’t need to look like a LaGuardia runway at midnight, but having adequate outdoor lighting is important.  Bad guys don’t like to be seen doing bad guy stuff.  Security systems are great, but if you’re on a tight budget, yard signs and window stickers that say, “This home is secured by________” can be highly effective.  “We don’t call 911,” or “2nd Amendment Security” signs should be avoided.  If I’m a thief looking to steal guns, now I know exactly which house to burgle.  Cameras are great for evidence collection after a crime has been committed but are not very effective as deterrents.  That is unless you find some cameras with built-in, motion detecting mini guns.  In which case, please forward me a link.

Anything a bad guy might have to climb over could be a deterrent.  Fences or similar physical barriers are not impenetrable, but they can dissuade potential home invaders.  Especially if they’d have to scale it when vacating your crib.  It’s tough to climb a fence while carrying a flat screen TV.  Also, criminals are often terrified of dogs.  Ron Swanson tells us, “Any dog under fifty pounds is a cat and cats are pointless,” but like a security system, you can get much of the benefit of having a mean dog by simply posting a “Beware of Dog” sign in a conspicuous place. 

Okay, okay.  I know why you’re here.  Let’s talk about the gun stuff.  I’ll offer a few points, and hopefully these suggestions will be a catalyst for you to further your own research.  

Pistol, rifle, or shotgun?  It doesn’t matter as long as the gun is reliable, capable of effectively incapacitating a human threat, and suitable for your specific living arrangement.  For example, if you live in an apartment complex, a high-powered rifle loaded with FMJ ammunition isn’t the wisest choice.

If you have children running around, you need to secure your firearm in such a manner that it’s inaccessible to the kiddos but still lends itself to a speedy retrieval should the need arise.  I’m a major proponent of toting your every-day carry gun on your person when you’re at home.  Take it off at bedtime, and then stow it appropriately.

A rule that I live by is any firearm that might be used for home defense MUST have a white light attached to it.  Failure to properly identify a target has caused many parents to mistake their own children for intruders, which usually ends in tragedy.

Be aware of the longest shot you might have to make inside your home and OWN that distance.  That could be down a hallway and across a room, across two large rooms if your house sports the ever popular “open floor plan,” or, if you live in a two-story home, the distance from the bottom of the stairs to the landing or balcony. 

Your home defense weapon needs to be readily accessible and loaded with a round in the chamber.  Otherwise, you might spend the rest of your life chambering a round.  Read that again.  

Training is an investment.  It’s an investment in your safety and the safety of those dependent upon you for protection.  When your front door is smashed open at 2 a.m., you won’t have time to learn new skills.  Find a reputable, qualified instructor or company that can teach you how to properly defend yourself with a firearm.  You will be present at your home invasion long before the cops.  So, imagine you were looking to hire someone to defend your home from a violent criminal.  Would you accept your own resume?

Thanks for reading.  And remember…

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


Please submit your questions to Ryan via email at Ryan@9and1tactical.com

 (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.)

Pick’em deadline is 4 p.m. today

Due to the threat of heavy rainfall Friday, all parish football games have moved to Thursday. It will not affect the deadline for the Webster Parish Journal’s Pick’em Contest.

Deadline to get your picks in is 4 p.m. today. After that, the link will no longer be live – until next week’s picks.

Please make your choices as soon as possible. Click https://tinyurl.com/WPJPickem

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.

Water tower refurb under way

Minden’s downtown water tower is in the process of being drained for maintenance and repairs. Please be aware the short section of First Street between First United Methodist Church and First Baptist Church of Minden will be closed while maintenance is being performed. Equipment will be moved to this area beginning the weekend of October 29. Minden Mayor Tommy Davis said he expects this project to take approximately 3 months to complete.

A small act

Earlier this week Ashton came home from school and told me that a child in her class was being mean to her. I asked her what happened to make her think the other student was being mean or if anything else led up to this interaction. Then, I asked Ashton how she responded to the situation, and she said, “I didn’t do anything, but tomorrow I will just be mean back.” 

I told her we were definitely not going to do that.  

I explained that maybe something happened at home before she got to school that morning that upset her, maybe she was feeling left out, maybe she did not sleep well the night before, or perhaps she was just in a bad mood or having a rough day.  

You know the whole “treat people the way you want to be treated” thing. I went there. I explained that even though someone is being mean, we should always respond in kindness. That may be just the thing this child needs, just someone to be nice to her, to play with her, to make her day a little brighter.  

Now, I did make it clear that if the child proceeded to be mean to her or make her upset to just remove herself from the situation, but even go about doing that in a kind or quiet way.  

Before bed that night when we were saying our nighttime prayers, Ashton prayed that this little girl would get a good night’s rest and have a great morning before school. She also prayed that she would be able to be nice, even if the other girl was not nice to her.  

I mentally noted that she did not just pray that this little girl would not be mean to her tomorrow. She specifically prayed that things would fall into place in this child’s life, setting her up to have a good day the next day.  

It reminded me of a quote by Mother Theresa that says, “I used to believe that prayer changes things, but now I know that prayer changes us, and we change things.” 

As a parent, part of your job is to instruct your children and instill lessons that they may carry with them for their entire lives. That is true, but more times than not, I find myself learning a major lesson.  

I certainly said my prayers a little bit differently that night. I did not pray for homes for the homeless, food for the hungry or safety for the fearful. Instead, I asked God to guide me and lead me into a direction where I could change these things happening around me and I asked Him to give me the strength I would need to do that.  

The very next day after I picked Ashton up, I asked her the usual, “How was your day? Did you learn anything new? Did anything interesting happen?” 

After answering my lengthy list of everyday questions, she proceeded to tell me that she had made a new best friend A.K.A, the girl that had been mean to her the day before.  

I know it is not always that simple, especially in the complicated lives of an adult, but now I do know a little kindness always goes a long way, prayers go even further, and I am nowhere near above receiving an important lifelong lesson from a four-year-old.

(Paige Nash is a mom and digital journalist for Webster Parish Journal.)

Historically Speaking: The tragic story of the Loye Family: Part 2

By Jessica Gorman

The family story told about John C. Loye was that, because of the tragedies he had experienced living in Minden, he had returned to England. The absence of a headstone in the family plot marking Mr. Loye’s grave seemed to confirm this story. However, other evidence  proves that was not the case.

After the deaths of the Loye children, John C. and Mary Grace Loye remained active in the community. Mrs. Loye was a founding member and first president of the Ladies’ Parochial Association at St. John’s Episcopal Church. Mr. Loye was involved in several different business interests. His professional life was not immune to the misfortune he experienced in his personal life. In 1871, two blocks of downtown Minden were destroyed by fire. Among the businesses burned were Loye & Co. which suffered a $9,000 loss and Chaffe, Shea, & Loye which suffered a loss of $25,000. The total insurance estimated between the two was $17,500. 

The Loyes also continued to travel, including another trip abroad in 1880 when they are named in the New York Times among arrivals from Liverpool. It would seem that, despite all the Loyes had been through, life simply went on. However, events of a few years later shed more light on how they had been affected by all that they had endured. 

In January 1884, newspapers across the state and across the country reported the death of Mary Grace Loye. Mrs. Loye had taken her own life by means of strychnine poisoning. She was found on the bed in the Loye home in Minden. She left a note, and while the exact wording of this note was disputed, it was clear that Mr. Loye’s drinking was given as the reason for her actions. 

Shockingly, just days after Mrs. Loye’s death, a fire occurred at Murrell’s Landing, on the east side of Dorcheat opposite the site of Dixie Inn. This fire destroyed 1145 bales of cotton. More than half, 625 bales, belonged to Loye, Chaffe, & Co.

In the years following the death of Mary Grace, we only get small glimpses into the life of John Loye. He continued in business as evidenced by newspaper ads. He is mentioned among arrivals at hotels in Shreveport and New Orleans. He was a frequent visitor to the offices of the Shreveport Times who reported a change of his residence to Doyline. 

Then, in May 1892, a Shreveport Times headline reads, “Stricken with Paralysis. John C. Loye, A Former Properous Merchant of Minden at Death’s Door.” Mr. Loye had suffered a stroke while visiting Mr. S. Rochester in Sibley. Witnesses rendered aid and attempted to revive him, but Mr. Loye remained unconscious. It was believed that he would not recover. However, that was not to be the case. In 1893, John Loye is once again visiting the offices of the Shreveport Times who reported another change of residence. This time, to Sibley. He is again listed among the arrivals at various hotels. In this same year, the building in downtown Minden that had housed John C. Loye & Co. was sold to the firm of Leary & Crichton. 

John C. Loye died in January 1895. His death, reported in the Richland Beacon-News, was as sad and tragic as the events of his life. 

“Yesterday morning the body of Mr. John C. Loye was found along side of the V., S. & P. railway track between Sibley and Dubberly, he having, from all appearances, fallen while walking along the embankment, and being unable to get up on account of the shock, laid there and died from the effects of the cold during the night. 

Mr. Loye was a native of England and removed to Minden early in the fifties. He was a tinner by trade, and by prudence and economy he soon began to make money and finally engaged in mercantile pursuits. He was a married man, but death claimed his family, one by one, until his later life he was left alone.” 

This column is intended to share snippets of Webster Parish history. Please direct any questions or suggestions to dorcheatmuseum@yahoo.com 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.)

Letter to the editor

By Editor:

The Louisiana Law Enforcement Association (LLEA) and the Minden Police Association are proud to endorse Jared McIver for Chief of Police in Minden, La. LLEA represents over two thousand (2,000) municipal police agencies across the state. We are in close contact with all our jurisdictions. Our goal is to strive to recognize the absolute best candidates for leadership.

Jared McIver is the person for the position of Chief of Police in Minden. He has over 25 years of law enforcement experience. Jared has studied all aspects of law enforcement. Tactical training, investigations, and supervisory schools and conferences have molded Jared into the person most qualified.

Jared is loyal to Minden having spent his entire career in and around the city. He raises a family there. He has a vested interest in the safety and wellbeing of the community and the police department. He has a clear vision of the direction Minden should be going.

LLEA looks forward to working with Jared as Chief of Police. We look forward to supporting him and the men and women of the Minden Police Department in all their future endeavors.

We encourage everyone in Minden to support and vote for Jared McIver.


Chris Stewart

Executive Director LLEA

DAR tours Dorcheat Museum

Dorcheat-Bistineau Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution met on Tuesday, October 8 at the Dorcheat Museum in Minden. Hostesses for this month’s meeting were Margaret Evans, Jessica Gorman, and Coyal Gorman. Jessica Gorman, museum assistant director and one of our DAR members, conducted a tour. The museum includes exhibits about local Native Americans, the Civil War and Reconstruction, Minden’s Historic Residential District, artifacts from Minden’s Coca-Cola bottling plant, famous Webster Parish residents, and much more. Video clips are shown throughout the museum. There is a one-room log cabin on permanent display, and a temporary exhibit of WW II motorcycles. The museum is open Tuesdays – Fridays from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., closed from 1-2 for lunch, and open again from 2 – 4 p.m. Admission is free.

NSDAR’s National Day of Service takes place on October 11 of each year. DAR members from coast to coast celebrate the anniversary of the founding of DAR by participating in community service projects. Dorcheat-Bistineau Chapter and their family members cleaned 18 veterans’ markers in the old section of the Minden Cemetery. Jessica Gorman organized and led this project for our chapter. Chapter members also treated our police, firemen, and 911 dispatchers with cookies to say thank you for all they do to serve and protect our community.  

Dorcheat-Bistineau DAR is a vibrant, growing service organization which meets in Minden, but has members in three bordering states as well. Any woman age 18 years or older who can prove lineal, bloodline descent from an ancestor who aided in achieving American independence during the Revolutionary War (1775-1783) is eligible to join DAR. For more information, contact Mrs. Cindy Madden, Regent of Dorcheat-Bistineau Chapter at cindymaddendar@gmail.com. Please like our Facebook page: Daughters of the American Revolution – Dorcheat-Bistineau Chapter.

Cutting back on sweet treats 

With the Halloween holiday quickly approaching it is important to remember to limit the amount of foods and beverages with added sugars your kids eat and drink. If you don’t buy them, your kids won’t get them very often. Sweet treats and sugary drinks have a lot of calories but few nutrients. Most added sugars come from sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, juice drinks, cakes, cookies, ice cream, candy, and other desserts. 

Here are 6 tips below that can help you cut back on your kid’s sweet treats. 

  1. Serve small portions. It’s not necessary to get rid of all sweets and desserts. Show kids that a small amount of treats can go a long way. Use smaller bowls and plates for these foods. Have them share a candy bar or split a large cupcake.
  2. Use the check-out lane that does not display candy. Most grocery stores will have a candy-free check-out lane to help moms out. Waiting in a store line makes it easy for children to ask for the candy that is right in front of their faces to tempt them.
  3. Choose not to offer sweets as rewards. By offering food as a reward for good behavior, children learn to think that some foods are better than other foods. Reward your child with kind words and comforting hugs, or give them non-food items, like stickers, to make them feel special.
  4. Make treats “treats,” not everyday foods. Treats are great once in a while. Just don’t make treat foods an everyday thing. Limit sweet treats to special occasions.
  5. Make fruit the everyday dessert. Serve baked apples, pears, or enjoy a fruit salad. Or serve yummy frozen juice bars (100% juice) instead of high-calorie desserts.
  6. Encourage kids to invent new snacks. Make your own snack mixes from dry whole-grain cereal, dried fruit, and unsalted nuts or seeds. Provide the ingredients and allow kids to choose what they want in their “new” snack.

(Shakera Williams, M.P.H., Assistant FCS Nutrition Extension Agent – Nutrition)