Routine traffic stop gets stolen gun off streets

By Bonnie Culverhouse

A routine traffic stop led to the arrest of a local man on drug and firearms charges.

Kentravian V. Washington, 24, of the 600 block of Marion St., Minden, was arrested by Minden Police for failure to register vehicle, possession of marijuana and illegal possession of stolen firearms.

Chief Jared McIver said Sgt. Reece Tewell spotted Washington’s vehicle with an expired registration tag traveling on Pine Street Monday around 4 p.m.

“Officers were able to pull over the vehicle on Sibley Road and Chestnut Street,” McIver said. “Washington was identified and officers noted the odor of burnt marijuana emitting from the vehicle.”

When asked if there was anything illegal inside the vehicle, Washington reportedly said no. He then gave consent for officers to search it.

“During the search, officers located a black pistol between the driver’s seat and center console,” said the chief. “It was a Glock 43, 9mm in caliber. A check of the firearm showed it was stolen from Bossier Parish.”

In a further check, Tewell and Lt. Chris Hammontree reportedly located a clear plastic bag containing a green leafy substance suspected to be marijuana. It weighed approximately 2 grams.

Washington was booked at Minden Police Department.

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.

All aboard the gain train? 

From left: Kendall McCoy, Trinity Easom, Isiah Love, CJ Davis, Krystal Cornelious, Conner Wood and Madison Miller Not pictured Ashlyn Ricketson and Modrick Franklin

By Paige Nash

Powerlifting in the state of Louisiana has become the fastest growing Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) sport. In 2014 the LHSAA had a total of 80 powerlifting schools, that number has now more than doubled.  

The sport has picked up steam since 2013, when the LHSAA decided to begin the four-year long process that includes two years as a pilot program, to add powerlifting as an official LHSAA sport with its own LHSAA championship.  

Lakeside High School’s powerlifting team is fairly new to the game, but they are on the fast-track to breaking records and possibly earning the school’s first powerlifting championship title.  

Their first team was established in August 2021 and at that time the whole team consisted of a single participant, Trinity Easom, and one coach, Fabrica Roberson.  

What began as a way to improve her strength in an effort to help with her softball playing, Trinity began lifting weights with her dad, Adam. During her time in the gym, she was continually approached by bystanders who encouraged her to look into taking up powerlifting. Coach Roberson, who was also a member of the gym that Trinity trained at, watched from the rail until the pair decided to investigate a way that they could add powerlifting as an official sport at LHS.  

They reached out to anyone and everyone that knew anything about powerlifting across North Louisiana. They met with the school principal, faculty members and students to try to generate support, explaining the benefits that the sport would bring to the school.   

“My goal as principal is to find extracurriculars for every student at Lakeside,” said LHS Principal Denny Finley. “Powerlifting is appealing to a wide range of the student body and is showing potential in becoming a major sport at Lakeside. Powerlifting can actually be a lifetime sport versus some of the more traditional sports on campus.” 

In their efforts, they established the LHS Powerlifting team and picked up 3 other members along the way. Kris Redden, Bruce Bunton and Krystal Cornelius excitedly hopped on as passengers of this fast-moving locomotive.  

Then, the competitions began.  

Each lifter is put into a weight class that aligns with the school’s division. LHS is currently a 2A school. The weight classes range from 97 pounds to 220+ pounds, also known as the super heavyweight division. In regular season meets, the lifter only places in overall weight classes, but when they travel to the state meet, lifters are placed by division within their weight classes.  

Each lifter must complete a squat, a deadlift and a bench-press. The total combined weight lifted is tallied together to equal their total weight lifted.  

Last season, the LHS powerlifting team was only able to compete in two regular season meets before the regional meet. At the time they were not on the radar as far as fierce competition goes, being so new to the sport. It was during the first meet that took place at Southwood High school that competing teams and coaches began to take notice. Trinity, a junior at the time, took home a first-place medal. She concluded that first season with an overall third-place finish at the state meet held at the University of Monroe, with a total of 855 pounds of weight lifted.  

Lakeside’s Powerlifting team quickly became the “little engine that could.” 

A new season brought on heightened interest and the team grew from four to nine- five girls and four boys.  

The girls’ regional meet was held this past Saturday, February 18, at Ruston High School. Out of the four girls representing and competing, all four qualified for the state championship in their respective weight classes. The now Senior, Trinity placed first place with a total combined weight of 1,010 pounds for her three lifts. Senior, Krystal Cornelius placed second with a total of 655 pounds. Freshman Madison Miller placed first in her weight class with a total of 725 pounds lifted and freshman Ashlyn Ricketson finished second with a total of 580 pounds lifted.  

The boys regional meet will be held this coming Saturday, February 25, at Calvary Baptist Academy where the four boys, Conner Woods, C.J. Davis, Moderick Franklin and Isiah Love will compete to earn a spot at the state championship.  

 The Louisiana State Powerlifting Association State competition will be held March 22 – 25 at the Cajundome in Lafayette where students will travel from all parts of the state to compete.  

Ashy and Honest: a review of my first Ash Wednesday

Yesterday was my very first Ash Wednesday service. Being exceedingly new to the Episcopalian religion, there is no question I have a lot to learn when it comes to the church seasons and traditions. Keep this in mind.

First, let us touch on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, also known as Fat Tuesday, also known as Shrove Tuesday, also known as Pancake Day.  

No matter what you call the day, it serves as the last day before the first day of Lent where you can use up those eggs and fats before beginning the Lenten Fast. What better way to use up those ingredients than making a ton of buttery, flaky pancakes? 

At this feast the ones in attendance will perform the “burning of the palms.” When I first heard of this ritual, I was wholly confused to say the least. I was utterly flabbergasted to be honest, thinking to myself that there was no way I was going to burn my palms and what in the world I had gotten myself involved in.  

Thankfully my priest was able to clarify that there would be no burning of my hands, but that they would be burning the palms (a plant) that are usually distributed during the previous year’s Palm Sunday liturgies to make the ashes that will be used during the services held on the very next day, which brings me to Ash Wednesday.  

As I entered the church that day with a friend, I saw her dip her fingers in a bowl. Having flashbacks of the weeklong inner ponderings regarding my palms being burnt, nonetheless I followed suit, dipping my fingers, as well. She proceeded to inform me that it was holy water. Ok, I need all the holy water I can get.  

I looked around, not knowing anyone, since I was just visiting this church with my friend. I noticed an elderly lady dressed completely in black with a veil covering her head, which made sense considering this first day of Lent is supposed to mark a 40-day period of remembering the events leading up to and including the death of Jesus Christ.  

The service was very solemn, silent and beautiful. During the priest’s homily, he reminded the congregation that if this day and the rest of the 40 days of this season were all we had to remember, what a somber day it would be indeed, but we have better days ahead to look forward to after this season of repentance and reflection.  

We have Maudy Thursday, a day to commemorate the day before Jesus died, which leads us to Good Friday, the day we remember Jesus’ death and sacrifice for our sins. Next comes the joyful celebration of His resurrection from the tomb, rising from the dead, allowing us an opportunity of eternal life – Easter Sunday. All of these days are meant to prepare our hearts and minds for this glorious day.  

I’m not going to lie, it is a lot to try to learn and keep up with, but understanding the days and acts of the Lenten season deepens my experience and it is supposed to be a very personal experience. A time which begins with a public declaration that you are indeed a sinner and a work in progress, but the inner work should be just that … inner and honest. A time where we can remove the façade and attempt to justify our sins and through that tough work, we can dispose of the mask we have been living behind and see things through a new clarity.  

Although, this is a personal experience you can rely on your community of believers for support if you need it and to answer any questions you may have during this season because if you are like me, you will have plenty.

Oh, and I almost forgot that I am supposed to be giving something up for 40 days. Was that supposed to begin the morning of Ash Wednesday or after I have been ashed? I may already be failing in that department.

(Paige Nash is a wife, mom, digital journalist for Webster Parish Journal and publisher of Bienville Parish Journal.)

Minden man arrested for domestic abuse in front of child

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Minden Police arrested a local man on a warrant for no insurance, but the bigger charge was more serious.

DeQuincy Jones, 34, of the 700 block of Hillside Lane, Minden, was also arrested for domestic abuse battery with child endangerment.

Chief Jared McIver said Jones was taken into custody Monday around 6 p.m. as Sgt. Chris Cayer and Off. Anthony Crittenden made the arrest.

“Jones grabbed his girlfriend by the throat and neck and pulled her out of his car,” McIver said. “Once the victim was out, Jones pushed her against the car and continued choking her in front of their 1-year-old daughter.”

The victim reportedly escaped and called 911 for help.

“She had bruising on the right side of her neck,” said the chief. “She was treated and released by EMS. After she signed a complaint, Jones admitted to grabbing the victim. He also said she did not hit him or fight back in any way.”

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.

Crimson Tide girls go down on final play against Haughton

Kylie Ryan gets her first home run of the season against Haughton Tuesday.

A walk-off left Minden Lady Tiders on the wrong end of a 6-5 defeat to Haughton Tuesday. According to Minden softball coach Shelby Leach and GameChanger, only one of the final two Haughton runs counted.

The game was tied at five with Haughton batting in the bottom of the seventh when Annalyn Harris tripled on the first pitch of the at-bat, scoring two runs.

The Tide lost despite out-hitting Haughton 8 to 6.

“It was a great game and very fun to play,” said Coach Leach. “They’re a very good team that will be super comparable to teams we’ll face deep into playoffs. I was very happy with how we played.”

The Tiders put up three runs in the sixth inning. The big bats were led by Kylie Ryan, Tatum Oliver and Jacey Adams, all driving in runs in the game.

Ryan led things off in the circle for Minden. The hurler lasted six and two-thirds innings, allowing six hits and seven runs while striking out five. The sixth run ended the game, discounting the last run for Haughton.

Minden’s ladies smacked one home run on the day. Ryan had a four bagger in the sixth inning. The team tallied 8 hits in the game. Leigha K-Gilbert, Ryan and Adams managed multiple hits for Minden. K-Gilbert went 3-for-3 at the plate.

(“Powered by Narrative Science and GameChanger Media. Copyright 2023. All rights reserved.” Any reuse or republication of this story must include the preceding attribution.)

Big second inning propels Lakeside to victory over Union Parish/Farmerville

Lakeside Warriors scored 11 runs in the second inning on its way to a 21-1 victory over Union Parish Wednesday. The Warriors’ big bats were Jon Jon Dick, Cooper Chase, Jordan Isbell, Eli Campbell, Bradley Dick and Cade Boley who all drove in runs.

The Warriors opened up scoring in the first inning when Cade Boley doubled on the first pitch of the at-bat, scoring two runs.

Lakeside tallied 11 runs in the second inning. Their big inning was driven by walks by Bradley Dick and Cade Boley, singles by Jon Jon Dick and Eli Campbell, an error on a ball put in play by Jordan Isbell and Hunter Sutton and doubles by Cooper Chase and Eli Musgraves.

Cooper Chase was credited with the victory for Lakeside. The pitcher allowed zero hits and one run over two innings, striking out five and walking one. Hunter Sutton and Bradley Dick entered the game out of the bullpen and helped to close out the game in relief.

The Warriors saw the ball well, racking up 15 hits in the game. Eli Musgraves, Jon Jon Dick, Cooper Chase, Eli Campbell and Jordan Isabel each collected multiple hits for Lakeside.

Jordan Isbell, Eli Campbell, Cooper Chase, Jon Jon Dick and Eli Musgraves collected two hits to lead the team. They stole 11 bases during the game as three players stole more than one. Peyton Gray led the way with two.

(“Powered by Narrative Science and GameChanger Media. Copyright 2023. All rights reserved.” Any reuse or republication of this story must include the preceding attribution.)

Historically Speaking: The first electric light in Minden

By Jessica Gorman

Electric light was first provided to Minden through the efforts of the Minden Electric Light and Power Company, Ltd. This company was chartered in February of 1901. The first Board of Directors was composed of R.H. Miller, president, E.E. Fitzgerald, vice-president, F.H. Drake, T. Crichton, J.A. Crichton, A.M. Leary, A.A. Stewart, and A.G. Chaffe. 

The power plant was located at the newly-constructed Minden Lumber Company.  This mill was located on property between Pine Street and the L&A Raiload purchased from Alfred Goodwill. Some of the mill houses were located in what is now the “new section” of the Minden Cemetery. On April 30, 1901, the first electric lights were turned on in Minden. The Taylor Hotel was the first building to be lit. 

In 1918, the sawmill was destroyed by a fire suspected to be the work of an arsonist. A federal investigation followed. Minden was left without a power plant. It was decided that the mill would not be rebuilt and the power plant would be operated at the Minden Cotton, Oil, and Ice Company as soon as a generator could be obtained. Within the month, the town entered into an agreement to operate the power plant at the Minden Water Works on a trial basis. It was 1920, before the Town of Minden purchased the Minden Water Works and Electric Light Plant.

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

Captain Shreve runs away with early lead over North Webster ladies, winning 10-0

North Webster Lady Knights fell behind early and couldn’t come back in a 10-0 loss to Captain Shreve Tuesday. 

The ladies lost despite out-hitting Captain Shreve three to two.

Captain Shreve got things moving in the first inning. Hendrck drew a walk, scoring one run.

A single by Anna Ray in the first inning was a positive for North Webster Lady Knights .Carlie Campbell took the loss for North Webster Lady Knights. Campbell went three and two-thirds innings, allowing nine runs on two hits and striking out one.

Ray, Landree Andrews, and Paige Timmons all had one hit to lead North Webster Lady Knights.

Captain Shreve tore up the base paths, as four players stole at least two bases. #20 led the way with three.

(“Powered by Narrative Science and GameChanger Media. Copyright 2023. All rights reserved.” Any reuse or republication of this story must include the preceding attribution.)

Tips for cutting back while dining out

In today’s busy world, Americans eat and drink about one-third of their calories from foods prepared away from home. Eating out can be convenient and fun, but it can be challenging when you want to make healthy choices. Enjoy these five simple tips to reduce your sodium intake while dining out. 

1. Request for your meal to be prepared how you like it. Ask for your dish to be prepared without added salt.

2. Always taste food before adding salt from the saltshaker. If extra flavor is needed, try adding black pepper or lemon juice. 

3. Request vegetables with no salt added or fruit as your side item.

4. Watch out for these food words, such as pickled, brined, barbecued, cured, smoked, broth, au jus, soy sauce, miso, or teriyaki sauce. These tend to be very high in sodium. Choose items that are steamed, baked, grilled, poached, or roasted, they may have less sodium.

5. Ask if smaller portions are available; if not, share a meal with a family member or friend, or ask for a to-go box when you order and place half of your meal in the box before eating.

Shakera Williams, M.P.H., Assistant Nutrition Extension Agent- FCS, Webster/Claiborne parishes

How Bayou State basketball is bouncing toward March Madness

ICYMI, around Division I college basketball in the piney woods and bayous, as March Madness approaches, here is my version of Cliff’s Notes. Let’s call this Duggie Nuggets. On second thought, let’s don’t. How about Bayou Basketball Bites?

Just like most of our state’s basketball teams, we can do better.

Now that college baseball and softball is underway, with spring football right behind, it’s fair to say the generally tepid interest level in college hoops is fading fast in all but a few locales. But the Big Dance and its brackets are inevitably captivating, and you may find yourself with a rooting (or at least betting) interest.

At LSU, the extremes are mind-blowing. Nobody saw Kim Mulkey’s (Lady) Tigers with only one loss this season, but it’s likely they’ll sail into the SEC Tournament with just that. Nobody saw Matt McMahon’s men with a 14-game losing streak in conference competition, although anyone who expected close to a .500 SEC record was also holding out hope for a Saints playoff run.

Going anything less than unbeaten against a cupcake non-conference schedule would have been disappointing for Mulkey’s squad. They did not disappoint. They haven’t since, either. They’re not quite Final Four caliber, but that will change when Parkway’s Mikayla Williams and her signing class saddle up in Baton Rouge.

As for the LSU men, they’re a recruiting class away, in the new age of the transfer portal, from merely treading water in the SEC. McMahon is a good human and a solid coach, but can he recruit on a Power 5 level? That was the question when he was brought in to clean up the Will Wade cesspool. He’s done that much. Now, to upgrade the talent level and begin notching some Dale Brown-style upsets to make his program relevant.

From off the 318 radar, Tulane requires attention. It’s not just a football school (insert chortle). Be advised, the following may shock you. The men are 17-7, second behind Houston in the American Athletic Conference, and NCAA Tournament-bound. On the women’s side, Greenies coach Lisa Stockton just surpassed legendary Leon Barmore, the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Lady Techsters’ coach, as the state’s winningest women’s college coach.

In her 29th Tulane campaign, Stockton has averaged 20 wins and at 16-11 this winter, is near that pace. She notched her 577th victory last Saturday, is trending toward her 21st postseason appearance and hoping for a 12th NCAA Tournament trip. None of that or her commendable career winning percentage scratches the surface of Barmore’s resume’, but it’s pretty salty in its own right. I’m not tuned into Tulane, but while the court-naming talk is still buzzing ….

Speaking of under the radar, UL-Lafayette’s men are 21-7, tied for third in the Sun Belt, headed to unscheduled action in March.

Wish it was a Bayou Blast Tournament. That would be fun and moderately interesting. Tulane, ULL, Grambling (18-8) and Northwestern State (19-9) all have postseason legs, but lack statewide appeal. Any of them could win their conference tournaments. All may have consolation opportunities if they don’t.

There’s the NIT, fit for regular-season champs that don’t cash in at conference tourneys (Grambling and NSU still might fit that description). Then trickle down to the pay-to-play alternatives, the College Basketball Invitational and (maybe) The Basketball Classic (it’s hard to tell online if it survived to 2023).

On the women’s side, there’s a slim chance of extra play for anyone other than LSU and Tulane. Best longshot: Louisiana Tech (16-10), which has battled injuries and inconsistencies, but Brooke Stoehr has an excellent conference tournament track record. Give her the squad that started the season and the Lady Techsters could threaten in the Conference USA Tournament.

That’s Bayou Bracketology, hopefully more useful than beads on Ash Wednesday.

Contact Doug at

Upcoming Events

Send non-profit calendar events to .

Feb. 25

8:30 a.m. Registration; 9 a.m. until noon lectures for Buds & Blooms 2023, sponsored by Piney Hills Louisiana Master Gardners. First United Methodist Church, 903 Broadway, Minden. Topic: Landscaping for birds. Tickets: $15. All proceeds go to 4-H Youth Gardening Contest and 4-H Scholarships.

1 until 5 p.m. ACT Practice Testing Event, Springhill Library Branch. Teens grades 9-12.

Feb. 26

2:30 p.m. Greater St. Paul Baptist Church, 510 High St., Minden, 52nd Church Anniversary. Special Speaker: Don L. Pope, Il, Pastor of the Examples of Christ Christian Church, Bossier City, La.

Feb. 28

6:30 p.m. Civitan Clergy Banquet, First United Methodist Church. Clergy should call Steve Bryan at 318-426-1612 to register.

March 1

Boys/Belles registration begins at Minden Recreation Center.

March 4

Special celebration of Minden High, Louisiana Tech graduate and Super Bowl winner L’Jarius Sneed. Parade more details coming.

2023 Jonquil Jubilee Homes and Garden Tour, Gibsland, La.

6 p.m. LaMa Bingo, Springhill Civic Center, 101 Machen Dr., Springhill.

March 17

6:30 p.m. St. Patrick’s Day Round Robin Tournament at Pine Hills Country Club. Entry fee: $20. Burger plates: $10 with all proceeds going to PHCC.

March 24

Deadline for vendors to register for 2023 Wings and Wheels Fly-in and Car Show at Minden Airport. Please make all checks payable to Parker Still and mail them to 100 Aviation Drive, Minden, LA 71055. Checks or cash may also be delivered in person to the Minden Airport seven days a week from 8-5. AirRunners Aviation will not be providing chairs so please bring your own. No more than 2 people per booth. Completed Registration forms must be mailed to 100 Aviation Drive, Minden, LA 71055, emailed to, faxed to 318.377.6789, or delivered in person to the Minden Airport no later than March 24.

March 28

Greater Minden Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Gala. Call 377-4240 for more information.

April 1

10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Wings and Wheels Fly-In and Car Show. Aircraft, cars on display, food, live music, pilot competitions, pilot meet and greets, car show as well as vendor booths from local businesses. Minden Airport, 100 Aviation, Drive, Minden, La.

April 26

10 a.m. until 6 p.m., Scottish Tartan Festival, Miller Quarters, 198 Gleason St., Minden, La.

• Scottish Highland dancing

• Storytelling, living history exhibitions 

• Food and merchant vendors, including Great Raft beer 

• Traditional music and Celtic Rock 

• Scottish Highland cattle petting area 

• Broadsword demonstrations and Highland Games exhibitions 

• Clan tent exhibits and the March of the Clans 

Weekly Filings

The following civil suits were filed with the Webster Parish Clerk of Court the week of February 16. All civil suits are a matter of public record.

Feb. 16

Lee Berry vs. Lacey Carr Berry, divorce

Feb. 17

Republic Finance LLC vs. Joseph R. Gillentine, monies due

Synchrony Bankvs. Donna Davis, monies due

US Bank National Association vs. Sandra Reynolds, monies due

Feb. 22

First Tower Loan LLC vs. LaChandri B. Smith, monies due

First Tower Loan LLC vs. Shontrana Shaw, monies due

Gulfco of Louisiana LLC, tower Loan of Minden vs. Martha Spillers and Thomas Spillers, monies due

First Tower Loan LLC vs. Amber Garner, monies due

Alicia Casey Sneed vs. Dennis Dwayne Sneed Sr., divorce/no children

Shelia Farrell vs. William Ferrell Jr., divorce

Rhiannon Rae Coles vs. Raymond Coles, divorce w/children

Bossier Federal Credit Union vs. Megan L. Swagger, petition

Notice of Death – Feb. 22, 2023

Francis Edward Kennon Jr.

August 31, 1938 – Feb. 14, 2023

Minden, La.

Visitation: 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, First United Methodist Church, 903 Broadway, Minden.

Funeral service: 2 p.m. immediately following visitation.

Evelyn McKinnon

Dec. 26, 1933 – Feb. 18, 2023

French Settlement, La.

Visitation: 5 until 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023, Rose-Neath Funeral Home, Minden, La. Visitation will continue at 8 a.m. Friday, Feb. 24, 2023.

Funeral service: 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 24, 2023.

Burial: Gardens of Memory, Minden.

Lois Suzanne Maryman

Nov. 19, 1953 – Feb. 19, 2023

Springhill, La.

Funeral service: 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, Walnut Cemetery, Bradley, Ark., under the direction of Rose-Neath Funeral Home.

Webster Parish Journal publishes paid complete 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.)

City of Minden has employee manual but needs more employees

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Minden’s city council voted to adopt an employee manual at their last meeting, but they are still in need of a number of new employees to adhere to that book.

At this time, Mayor Nick Cox says there are at least 15 outstanding jobs with the city to fill, including Fire Chief, Economic Development Director, Minden Main Street Development Director and Director of Parks & Recreation.

“I have some ideas of people I would like to recommend for those specific jobs, but that’s all it will be … a recommendation,” Cox said. “It will be up to the council to pick them.”

Cox said he hopes council members will be able to interview most of them, in order to make the best decisions.

It will also be up to the council to amend the employee manual, if they so choose.

“This manual has been four years in the rewriting,” Cox said. “In the end, it was almost completely rewritten. We needed to pass it, so I told the council, ‘let’s get it passed, and then we will amend where and when we need to.’”

(Editor’s Note: Read the Webster Parish Journal for a story focusing on the City of Minden Employment Policies and Procedures Handbook.)

Dixie Inn: A is for a good water rating

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Dixie Inn’s water has received an A grade from Louisiana Department of Health.

Mayor Donna Hoffoss said the state uses several things as criteria to get their ratings.

“The water system has to be able to sustain itself,” she said. “And ours does.”

Number of complaints (or lack) also comes into play as do the number of boil advisories.

Hoffoss said Mike Chreene, Water and Waste Manager since 2020, must be current with education, too.

“Mike said he doesn’t remember us ever receiving an A grade before,” she added.

Remembering Thelma Jean Stuart

Thelma Jean Stuart—lovingly known as “Cookie” to her family and friends completed her work on Earth on February 14, 2023.

 Cookie was born December 15, 1947, in Bradly, Ark. to Robert & Josephine Garza. She Spent her childhood and early adult life in Haughton, La.

 For the past 40 years Cookie spent her time with the love of her life Sammy Stuart. They were married on April, 8th, 1983, where they built their life together in Dubberly, La.

 During these 40 years Cookie was glad to be a caretaker to her family that she cherished.  On any  given Saturday night you could find Cookie toting a large bag of goodies to share with all her racetrack friends. She loved these special times at all local dirt tracks cheering on family and friends. 

Cookie was an avid Gardner and loved to share what she raised with family and friends. Her plum trees produced the best plums. 

 Left to cherish their mom, mother in law and grandmother; Daughter Deborah Ann “D” McCoy (Brian), Son’s William “Bill Coleman (Cathy), James “Jerry” Coleman (DeeAnn) and Paul Steven Stuart (Linda).

Grandchildren;  Jay Bulloch, TJ Coleman, Bailey Lonidier, Chase Coleman, Paige Salas, Cade Coleman, Blaine McCoy, Madi Coleman, Lani Lynn, Samantha Stuart and Rebecca Stuart, Ethan and Jerry.

13 Great Grands

 Cookie came from a large family –13 siblings. Left to remember found memories of their sister are brothers Bernist Garza and Jimmy Garza, sisters- Wallace Jemenez, Bernice Meshell and Delores Gibson.

 Preceded in death are her Parents, Loving Mother in Law Dessie Stuart, Siblings Earnest “Sonny”  Garza,  Paul Garza, Leon Garza,  Leona “Lee” Brown, BJ Butler, Angel Heflin and Lilly Mae Patterson. Grandson Jeremy Copeland.

 The Family wishes to Thank Professional Home Health for treating our Cookie like you would you very own loved one. Special thanks to Erika and Kim we will never forget your care and Kindness for our loved one.

 As Papaw said Valentines Day—“You are still the one” and will remain until we meet again.

 Memorial Service will be held at

·        Beck curve Farm

·        Address: 112 Beck Curve Rd Minden 

·        Time 12:00 Noon

We will be accepting food that many have graciously offered to our family at Beck Curve Rd at 10 a.m. Saturday.

We welcome this time to fellowship with Family and Friends!

Webster Parish teams split Monday games

Winston’s walk-off seals the dealin Minden Crimson Tide victory over North Webster 14-13

A walk-off error propelled Minden Crimson Tide to a decisive, dramatic victory over North Webster, 14-13 Monday during the 6 p.m. game. The game was tied at 13 with Minden Crimson Tide batting in the bottom of the eighth when an error scored one run.

Despite falling down by seven runs in the third inning, North Webster tried to fight back. North Webster put up 10 runs in the failed comeback. McKenzie, Sanders, Bernard, Sanders, Wages, and Judd Wesson came through with RBIs to lead the rally.

The Tide captured the lead in the first inning. Elliott Sheppard singled on the first pitch of the at bat, scoring one run.

They knotted the game up at 13 in the bottom of the seventh inning, when Jakobe Jackson doubled on a 3-1 count, scoring one run.

The Crimson Tide tallied four runs in the second inning, led by doubles by Sheppard and Zander Rowell.

North Webster scored five runs in the sixth inning. The big inning for North Webster came thanks to walks by Wages and Davison, a single by Wesson, a sacrifice fly by Dinkins, and a double by Sanders.

Jaxon Smith earned the victory on the mound for Minden Crimson Tide. The pitcher surrendered zero runs on one hit over one inning, striking out two and walking zero. Landyn Huddleston and Brandon Winston entered the game out of the bullpen and helped to close out the game in relief.

Dinkins took the loss for North Webster. The pitcher surrendered one run on zero hits, walking one.

McKenzie started the game for North Webster. The bulldog allowed ten hits and ten runs over four innings, striking out eight Brody Bower started the game for the Tide. The righthander allowed five hits and five runs over four and two-thirds innings, striking out eight

Minden Crimson Tide had 12 hits in the game. Landon Brewer, Jackson, and Sheppard all managed multiple hits. Sheppard, Jackson, and Brewer all had three hits to lead the team.

North Webster racked up 11 hits on the day. Sanders and McKenzie all had multiple hits for North Webster. Sanders went 4-for-5 at the plate to lead North Webster in hits.

Northwood High School captures lead early to defeat Doyline Panthers 12-2

Doyline Panthers watched the 4 p.m. game Monday slip away early and couldn’t recover in a 12-2 loss to Northwood High School on Monday. Northwood High School scored on a single by Jaxon Bratzler and a double by Hayden Fupps in the first inning.

The Doyline Panthers struggled to put runs on the board and had a tough time defensively containing Northwood High School, giving up 12 runs.

In the first inning, Northwood High School got their offense started when Bratzler singled on a 2-2 count, scoring one run.

Northwood High School scored six runs in the third inning. Northwood High School’s big inning was driven by a single by Bratzler and an error on a ball put in play by Tyre Cody .

Landon Watson got the win for Northwood High School. Watson lasted one inning, allowing three hits and two runs while walking zero.

Noah Spears took the loss for Doyline. The righty allowed three hits and eight runs over two and a third innings, striking out two.

Fupps started the game for Northwood High School. The hurler allowed one hit and zero runs over four innings, striking out seven

Spears, Kenneth Lee, Dakota Stewart, and Austin Arbaugh all had one hit to lead Doyline Panthers.

Northwood High School tallied ten hits. Bratzler, Cayne Little , and Tucker Millage each racked up multiple hits for Northwood High School. Bratzler led Northwood High School with three hits in four at bats. Northwood High School didn’t commit a single error in the field. Brendan Burns had seven chances in the field, the most on the team. Northwood High School stole seven bases during the game as two players stole more than one. Parker O’ Gilimo led the way with three.

“Powered by Narrative Science and GameChanger Media. Copyright 2023. All rights reserved.” Any reuse or republication of this story must include the preceding attribution.

Subject arrested with pills in underwear

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Minden Police Chief Jared McIver says another drug arrest is helping to prove that it pays off having officers in a specific district.

Jakoren Daentez Jones, 28, of the 600 block of Goodwill St., Minden, was arrested just after midnight Sunday and charged with possession of marijuana, Ecstasy and drug paraphernalia, as well as running a stop sign, driving left of center and improper lane usage.

“Off. Ben Sparks was patrolling in the area of Carolina and East streets, when he observed a silver Ford Fusion run the stop sign at Pershing and East,” McIver said. “While the officer was following, the vehicle struggled to maintain its lane and violated the left of center.”

According to the report, Off. Sparks conducted a traffic stop at East Street and Martin Luther King Drive. As Off. Sparks approached the car, he reportedly smelled the presence of natural marijuana. The chief said Jones did not have a driver’s license nor required documents, and he stated there were no weapons or illegal substances in the vehicle.

“Sgt. Jason Smith arrived and Sparks asked Jones to exit the vehicle and for consent to search the car,” said the chief. “When he did, Jones admitted he had 2 ounces of natural marijuana under the driver’s side seat. The officer also located 1 digital scale with marijuana residue on its surface, 16 sandwich bags but no other contraband.

While the officers escorted Jones to the police department, he allegedly admitted there were pills contained in his underwear. The chief said there were 5 suspected Ecstasy tablets.

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.

Late score costs Lady Knights against Loyola College Prep

North Webster Lady Knights lost the lead late in a 24-14 defeat to Loyola College Prep on Monday. The game was tied at 14 with Loyola College Prep batting in the bottom of the fifth when an error scored one run for Loyola College Prep.

Savannah Cooper drove in four runners in the loss. Cooper drove in runs on a single in the first, a double in the fourth and a triple in the fifth.

North Webster Lady Knights got things started in the first inning when Aniyah Davis homered on a 1-2 count, scoring two runs.

Kreig pitched Loyola College Prep to victory. The ace lasted six innings, allowing 13 hits and 14 runs while striking out three and walking one.

Emma Newsom took the loss for North Webster Lady Knights. The righthander allowed five hits and 16 runs over three and a third innings, striking out four.

North Webster socked one home run on the day. Davis went for the long ball in the first inning.

The Lady Knights tallied 13 hits on the day. Cooper, Anna Ray, Catherine Modisette, Anekah Coleman and Kerianne Allen each managed multiple hits. Cooper went 3-for-4 at the plate to lead North Webster Lady Knights in hits. The team tore up the base paths, as two players stole at least two bases. Coleman led the way with two.

Maynex led Loyola College Prep with three hits in five at-bats.

(“Powered by Narrative Science and GameChanger Media. Copyright 2023. All rights reserved.” Any reuse or republication of this story must include the preceding attribution.)

Armadilloed and dangerous

I don’t want the ham and cheese. I just want out of the sandwich.

I just want the armadillo to leave me alone.

He could have money from my wallet if he had any use for it, the armored little strong-snouted nitwit of a troublemaker.

All I want is for him to leave my quiet little family and law-abiding neighbors alone.

But he won’t. He’s playing hardball. Now, so am I.

And losing. Losing to a dirt-digging four-legged type so ugly the doctor slapped his mother when he was born.

Anyone who’s lived in northwest Louisiana for any length of time has encountered a possum or raccoon or rabbit in their within-the-city-limits yard.

We are not in the “poor mountaineer barely kept his family fed” part of the world, but we’re not 100 percent urban either.

Most of us own trapping cages, mainly for the relocation of possums and raccoons. These animals are around because there are woods everywhere but they stay in town mainly because … why do I have to write this? … people feed them. People think they are cute.

And they are cute — in the woods. But not in your garage or in your chimney or on the fence where the dogs can bark at them in the middle of the night.

My familiarity with the Broadmoor area of Shreveport spans more than 30 years, and I’ve lost track of my catches. Actually adopted our trespassing rabbit for a while; I remember he watched the Final Four with me, sitting in a little starter-kit recliner, I think in 2006.

But only one time in Broadmoor or even in the greater Shreveport-Bossier area have I seen an armadillo. Once. Of course, it was in my yard. And of course, he now lives under my house.

I know … I know. “It could be worse.” Yes.

But it could be better, too. He could be living in a cave or by a pond or under your house.

Maybe my experience will help you should you one day get the ’Dilla Curse. Four events have occurred.

First, I saw him in the side yard two months ago. Middle of the day. “Well isn’t that interesting?” I thought. “That’s a first for these parts.” I sort of sheep-dogged him toward the street.

Time passed before event No. 2.

There were holes in my yard. Ugly dents, like a drunk guy would make with a bent spade or a very tiny front-end loader. Different depths. Unsightly gashes and mounds.

Moles? Maybe. Could be an armadillo; they dig in the ground for bugs and worms with their offensive noses. But it can’t be that same armadillo …

Oh yes it could. Went to put a pizza box in the trash outside about 9 on a Friday night and there he was, in the driveway, and there he went, toward the crawl space and under the house.

I set a cage by the trap space. And two days later, on a wet Tuesday evening, I was typing and my little dog, napping inside and above that crawl space, started barking.


Event Three happened fast then as my doggie had heard the cage slam shut I bet and I walked outside in the rain and HELLO! his beady eyes locked with mine, me in the rain, him in the cage, Man vs. Beast and winner, winner, chicken dinner.

“Back in a few,” I said.

Case and cage closed.

Only it wasn’t. I returned to the scene of the crime 10 minutes later to an empty cage, a first in all my years of catching citified wildlife. Heart sinkage. In the rain. Defeated. By a varmit with a shoe-size IQ.

Morning light revealed the tough little guy had used his nose and neck and sheer willpower to make a “V” in the upper part of the cage so he could loose the latch and bust out. That, or he had a tiny hammer and pliers.

Angry? Yes. Impressed? Very. Had to beat the metal cage back into working order.

Three days passed with the re-set cage. Not a bite. Maybe he’d been scared off. I breathed easy.

Until last Friday night when he came running down the driveway, probably just to tease me, a battleship-gray varmint who reached 40 knots or so before running under a small opening on the other side of the house. Little dude can move.

The Armadillo Abatement Process has not been as easy as I’d hoped.

A cage is on that side of the house now, too. It has been a week. No movement. For all I know, this guy and some other armadillos are sitting around a small poker table under my house, smoking cigars and wearing reading glasses and playing cards like those dogs in the funny pictures.

Please tell me they haven’t invited girl armadillos over . . .

Contact Teddy at or Twitter @MamaLuvsManning

Glenbrook Apaches grab lead in ninth inning to defeat Captain Shreve 5-2

Glenbrook Apaches stole the lead late in the game in a 5-2 victory over Captain Shreve Monday. The game was tied at two with Glenbrook batting in the top of the ninth when Landry Powell singled on a 1-2 count, scoring one run.

Captain Shreve got things started in the second inning. An error scored one run.

Glenbrook knotted the game up at two in the top of the seventh inning. Easton Sanders doubled on the first pitch of the at-bat, scoring one run.

Sanders was credited with the victory for the Apaches. The pitcher lasted four innings, allowing two hits and no runs while striking out eight. Maddox Mandino threw one inning in relief out of the bullpen.

Toby Haulmark started the game for Glenbrook. The bulldog surrendered two runs on two hits over four innings, striking out four.

Mandino, Cason Clemons, Seth Magnum, Powell and Sanders each managed one hit to lead the team.

(“Powered by Narrative Science and GameChanger Media. Copyright 2023. All rights reserved.” Any reuse or republication of this story must include the preceding attribution.)

Easy Bake memories

The year was 1968. It was my 7th Christmas. Also, the first Christmas after my father died. The only thing I asked for that year was an Easy Bake Oven. When my mom took my brother and me to visit Santa Claus at the Maison Blanche department store in New Orleans (because that’s where the real Santa always was, those others in the stores back home were just helpers) I told the Big Guy that the Easy Bake was the only thing on my list, and all I wanted. When my older brother found out what I asked for he thought it was hilarious and wondered why I wanted a “girl toy.”

Boys didn’t cook back then. Maybe French chefs in fancy restaurants, or short-order cooks in diners and cafes, but that’s about it. There had never been a boy in one of the ads for Easy Bake Ovens. I’m sure I saw the ads while watching cartoons on Saturday morning, and it struck a chord deep inside me that I wouldn’t even truly discover until years later.

For those born after 1980, an Easy Bake Oven was a plastic toy oven that used a 100-watt lightbulb as the cooking element. It came in yellow or blue with a set of miniature pans, a few tiny utensils, and a couple of small samples of cake and cookie mix.

My grandmother was the main cooking influence in my life. It was probably the time I spent hanging out in her kitchen that made me want the toy oven. Cooking has always meant “love” to me.

I cherish the neighborhood I grew up in and have such strong and fond memories of all aspects of my life in those days. It’s almost unnatural to have such an adoration and strong attachment to a group of streets, houses, people, and memories. Growing up as the only kids in the neighborhood without a father could have had a real stigma attached to it. Fortunately, my father purchased lots with his childhood friends and they all built in the same area. They were all around the same age, so their kids were born around the same time. I didn’t have two parents, I had one step better— an entire neighborhood of parents.

It took me a long time to realize the primary reason that neighborhood, and those people, still hold such a special place in my heart. They took in a widow and her two young kids and wrapped their collective arms around them. In what should have been one of the most tumultuous periods in a young boy’s life— dealing with the aftereffects of a father’s death— there were a dozen loving and caring fathers, several mothers from another brother, and an overabundance of what would become lifelong friends with me on a daily basis. I have always believed I had a blessed and amazing childhood. I have my friends, and my parent’s friends, to thank for that. They were there when I needed them most. I hope I have been there for them as well.

It’s probably why I live a few blocks from there still.

I believe that the Easy Bake Oven had the same connection and appeal. I wasn’t planning a career in the restaurant business at that point. But there must have been something deep inside me that was searching for something with which I could connect. I believe people are wired from birth with that thing that they were born to do. Unfortunately, many people never discover that thing. At 19, I knew what I wanted to do, what I was supposed to do, actually, what I was wired to do.

The cooking phase I went through with the Easy Bake Oven faded after we moved to the new neighborhood on Bellewood Drive. Twelve years after that move— when I was 19— I began working in restaurants and instantly fell in love with the industry. Seven years later I opened my first restaurant. When the chef was fired opening night, I ended up in the kitchen where I spent the next four years working 90 hours a week cooking in a professional kitchen. The extent of my cooking experience at that time had been the time I spent with that Easy Bake Oven 20 years earlier.

As strange as my brother thought it was that I ask for an Easy Bake Oven for Christmas, he never minded eating the little cakes, cookies, and pizzas that came from it. There was a certain smell that came from cooking with a 100-watt lightbulb. It’s nothing that I have encountered since. But I know if I ever smelled it again, it would take me back to my childhood room on 22nd Avenue during days when some type of comfort, or distraction was sorely needed for a seven-year-old boy.

Today my Easy Bake Oven is a part of the permanent collection at the Mississippi Arts + Entertainment Experience museum in Meridian, Mississippi (The Max). They asked for it and I was happy to donate it as a part of the exhibit that features me. I’m not sure what purpose it will serve there. Though, maybe there’s a young kid out there who has suffered a major loss in his or her early childhood who will connect with it as I did, and unknowingly discover a heretofore hidden passion for something he or she was born to do.


RSJ’s Italian Cream Cake
1 cup Butter, softened
2 cups Sugar
5 large Eggs, separated
2  1 /2 cups All-purpose flour
1 tsp Baking soda
1 cup Buttermilk
2 /3 cup pecans, finely chopped
1 tsp  Vanilla extract
1 can Flaked coconut (3 1 /2 oz.)
1 /2 tsp Cream of Tartar
3 Tbl Grand Marnier
1 recipe Cream Cheese Frosting

Grease and flour three nine-inch round cake pans.  Line pans with wax paper;
grease paper, and set aside. 

Beat butter at medium speed of an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating well.  Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition.  Combine flour and baking soda.  Add buttermilk and flour alternately, beginning and ending with flour mixture.  Stir in pecans, vanilla, and coconut. 

Beat egg whites at high speed in a large bowl until foamy.  Add cream of tartar; beat until
stiff peaks form. Gently fold beaten egg whites into batter. Pour batter into prepared pans. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 or 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Let cool in pans 10 minutes, remove from pans; peel off wax paper; and let cool completely on wire racks.  Brush each cake layer with 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier.  Let stand 10 minutes.  Spread cream cheese frosting between layers and on sides and top of cake.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 (8 oz.) pkg Cream cheese, softened
1 (3 oz.) pkg Cream cheese, softened
3 /4 cup Butter, softened
1  1 /2 Powdered sugar, sifted
1 1 /2 cups Pecans, chopped
1 Tbl  Vanilla extract

Beat first three ingredients at medium speed of electric mixer until smooth.
Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until light and fluffy; stir in pecans
and vanilla.

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

A wax will

Brad Dison

In 1877, Thomas Edison’s engineers worked on a machine that would transcribe messages sent over telegraph lines.  Alexander Graham Bell patented the telephone just one year prior, but it would be years before it became commonplace.  As Edison and his engineers pondered over the different uses for this invention, Edison speculated that an audio message could be recorded in a similar fashion.  This is one of the earliest known mentions of an answering machine or, in the cell phone era, a voicemail recorder.  Edison proposed a sketch of this invention to mechanic John Kruesi, who built a working model within 30 hours.  Edison tested the machine by reciting “Mary had a little lamb.”  The machine recorded the recitation on a hollow cylinder made of tin foil.  He was astonished to hear his own words played back to him.  On Christmas Eve, 1877, Edison filed the patent for the phonograph.  On January 24, 1878, Edison created the Edison Speaking Phonograph Company.  Due to the sound being recorded on fragile tin foil, the phonograph was viewed only as a novelty because the tin foil only allowed the recording to be played back a few times.  Edison’s work on the incandescent light bulb drew his and his engineer’s time away from further developments on the phonograph.     

Alexander Graham Bell and his team of engineers made improvements on Edison’s phonograph, most notably of which was the replacement of the tin foil with a wax cylinder.  Bell and his team patented what they called the graphophone, and approached Edison to discuss a collaborative effort to make further improvements.  Edison refused and made improvements on his phonograph which included Bell’s wax cylinder.  Edison called it his New Phonograph.   In October 1887, Edison formed a new company to market the machine.  One advertisement pictured Edison standing alongside his newest model with the quote, “I want a phonograph in every home.”

In 1906, Hodson Burton, a wealthy, elderly resident of Buchanan, Michigan, revised his last will and testament.  Burton’s will specified the distribution of some but not all of his property.  Among other information, his will included the statement that he had buried a large sum of gold in a secret location.  He recorded the location of the gold on a phonograph cylinder which was to be kept in his attorney’s safe until he had been dead five years. 

In the spring of 1906, shortly after completing his will and phonograph recording, Hodson Burton died.  For five long years, Burton’s heirs puzzled over the location of the hidden gold.  Despite their requests, the attorney was resolute in honoring Burton’s will.  Finally, on Saturday, April 1, 1911, all of the heirs gathered in the front parlor of the home of Burton’s son, Luke Burton, to finally play the phonograph cylinder and learn the location of the hidden gold.  While they anxiously awaited the arrival of the attorney, they imagined what they could purchase with the gold such as “automobiles, mansions, and aeroplanes.” 

The attorney had taken every precaution to ensure the fragile wax cylinder and phonograph machine remained safe.  The attorney arrived through the rear of the house and went to the kitchen.  On the kitchen table, he carefully unwrapped the phonograph and the wax cylinder.  After five long years, the attorney was ready to rid himself of the responsibility of keeping it safe.  He placed the cylinder on the phonograph and carefully lifted it off the table.  With a deep breath, he slowly carried the phonograph from the kitchen, over the threshold to the parlor where a table had been cleared for the device.  The attorney glanced back and forth between the phonograph and the table as he walked.  As the attorney entered the parlor, he tripped over a footstool and the wax cylinder shattered into countless tiny pieces as it struck the floor, forever concealing the location of Burton’s hidden gold.



2.     The South Bend Tribune, April 3, 1911, p.10.