UPDATE: 2 arrested in Ewell Park shooting

By Bonnie Culverhouse

By Wednesday evening, two persons had been arrested in conjunction with the shooting at Minden’s Ewell Park that injured four persons in Sunday.

Minden Police Chief Jared McIver said there are several more suspects and warrants to be issued.

“We can give two names right now,” McIver said. “But more arrests are coming in the next few days.”

Reginald Moore Jr., 19, of Heflin, is charged with 4 counts of attempted second degree murder and 1 count of illegal use of weapons.

Jamontae Holyfield, 21, of Homer is charged with 4 counts of attempted second degree murder and 4 counts of carjacking. McIver said Holyfield allegedly entered a car with persons who were not involved in the shooting and then demanded to be taken to another location.

“There are still a lot of people coming forward with information, tips are still coming in,” McIver said. “People are calling, and things are rapidly changing.”

The chief said multiple agencies are involved including Louisiana State Police and U.S. Marshals, allowing investigations and arrests out of parish and state.

“There were so many shooters; we have people that have fled the state, fled the city, we have many other entities working with us,” he said. “We want to make sure we do everything the way we know will get full prosecution.”

Two victims are still in critical condition, he said. One is still in ICU, three have been released, but one of those is critical due to the location of one of the bullets.

“She was shot in the back of the leg, the hip and the back,” said the chief. “The one in the back hasn’t been removed. If the bullet moves, it could paralyze her; if they try to remove it, that could paralyze her, too.”

Sunday’s shooting occurred during a permitted event at Ewell Park. The chief and mayor have released evidence showing the shooting is gang-related. One of those gangs is TTS “Trained to Step” that has been on Minden Police’s radar for more than a year.

During a press conference Tuesday, McIver said the two gangs shot at each other across a ball field and playground where there were children. Mayor Nick Cox also issued a moratorium on this type of permitted event within the city limits for the foreseeable future.

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.

531 Overpass no longer passed over for rebuild

By Paige Nash

After more than a decade of concerns, discussions and planning, the Louisiana Highway 531 overpass is finally undergoing construction, well really a rebuild. 

According to David North, Region 04 director for the Louisiana Department of Transportation (LaDOTD), the current structure will not be included at all in the construction. 

“It will be a completely new bridge. I asked the designer if he was going to use any of the structure that is there, and he said no, it will be completely new,” North said. 

The existing bridge will remain open while the new overpass is being built. After the project is completed and functional, the old structure will then be removed.  

J.B. James Construction, LLC was awarded this contract with an overall cost of $19.3 million. The project includes the installation of two roundabouts to improve traffic flow and safety at the two on and off ramps located at the I-20 Minden/Dubberly exits. It is estimated that this project will take roughly two years to complete, wrapping things up by the Summer of 2025.  

The contractor has previously finished the preparation process and has moved on to the utility relocation phase. 

“This will be when the utility companies that own any infrastructure within the project limits will need to go in and relocate their lines/pipes, etc. that are located in the median of I-20,” said LaDOTD Public Information Officer Erin Buchanan. “This phase can be somewhat lengthy depending on the number of utility companies involved and how long it takes them to remove their infrastructure. We anticipate completing this phase in approximately mid-May.” 

After completion of this phase, the contractor will begin the construction of the new overpass.  

LaDOTD will issue a press release alerting motorists of any lane closures via their MyDOTD system. Sign up to stay updated on this project’s progress. 

Despite odds, gala goes off without a hitch

By Paige Nash

Despite the storm that came through Minden last Friday where lightning struck the Greater Minden Chamber office taking out their computer system causing them to lose their seating charts, speeches and other important documents, the 81st Greater Minden Chamber Gala appeared to carry on effortlessly.  

The gala took place Tuesday evening, March 28, at the Minden Civic Center. The Presenting Sponsor and 2022 Chamber Champion for this year’s gala was Home Federal Bank.  

HFB President Jim Barlow said, “This is a culmination of many hours of hard work, and it really shows. Being the Chamber Champion has meant a lot to us this last year. The gala is very important. This is a time where Minden can showcase its businesses, so it is very important to me and very important to Home Federal Bank and that is one reason why we wanted to be the presenting sponsor for this event tonight.” 

Past Chairman for the Greater Minden Chamber, Logan McConathy, said a few words before the evening’s award ceremony kicked off. “The one thing I have learned is that you are really only as good as the people that you surround yourself with,” he said. “I was very fortunate, especially during some turbulent times in 2022 that I was surrounded by not only a good executive board, but a good team. We overcame that turbulence. Obviously, we are very fortunate that we got Stephanie back, so we are very thankful to have her. As many of you know she was a great value to us in the past and most definitely has been since she came back.” 

Dynamic duo, Tracy Campbell and Jake Chapman, served as emcees for the night. 

The first award to be presented was for Small Business of the Year, which went to Meriwether Wealth and Planning.   

Next up was Business of the Year, which went to Ace Hardware. Even though Ace Hardware of Minden is a part of the world’s largest hardware retail chain stores, they are known for their continuous support, contributions and donations to the local community.  

Business Person of the Year was awarded to Dr. Naomi Coyle for her many years of dedicated involvement and service in the education field. Emcee Chapman said, “Dr. Coyle would say that investing in education is one of the most important things we can do not only for our children but for our community.”  

The Community Partner of the Year honor is awarded to a local, civic or non-profit organization that dedicates their time and efforts to benefiting the community. SEEDS Women’s Center and Geaux Fresh were nominated for this award, but it went to the Minden Junior Service League. JSL hosted the biggest event of the year last year- “Girl’s Night Out.” This event was a momentous success, bringing in thousands of dollars that will be awarded to graduating seniors in the area.  

Jared Mourad honored his father, Kip Mourad, for his 50 years of service to the Minden Fire Department. Mourad was met with a standing ovation as he collected his Hometown Hero Award.  

The Spirit of Hospitality Award was a new one this year and who else better to present the award other than the Executive Director of the Webster Parish Convention and Tourism Commission Serena Gray. Gray spoke on the many recent achievements of her colleague, Sara McDaniel, who received this award.  

Former City of Minden council member, Pam Bloxom, presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Philip McInnis. “Thank you to everyone who has done so much for me in Minden over the years,” said McInnis. “One thing I would just like to say is that I have tried to do my part here in Minden, not be the biggest star or biggest leader, I have just tried to do my part. I think this room is filled with people who are also just trying to do their part to help. I am proud to have done my part and I am proud of all of the other people in this room who are doing their part.” 

The Young Women’s Service Club Woman of the Year award was presented by Daughters of the American Revolution member, Cheryl Gotto, to Cindy Madden for her extensive contributions to Minden over the years.  

Wrapping up the award ceremony, the Minden Lions Club Man of the Year award was presented by Ty Pendergrass, who spoke of the multitude of leadership roles this year’s 2023 recipient has served in over his lifetime. This award went to former Minden Mayor Tommy Davis.

Both Man and Woman of the Year awards are chosen by committees led by community members.

Greater Minden Chamber President Stephanie Barnette was pleased with the outcome of the event and the turnout of so many community leaders and supporters.

“It was an amazing evening getting to celebrate some of our best businesses, organizations and leaders in our community,” said Barnette. “The Greater Minden area is blessed with so many great people who strive each day to make this community a great place to live, work and play. Our gala committee worked hard for months planning an evening that everyone could enjoy, and I think we achieved that. We could not have pulled this off without all of our amazing sponsors, especially our presenting sponsor – Home Federal Bank, and everyone who worked behind the scenes to make it a memorable evening. We are already brainstorming for next year.”

Dinner was catered and provided by Hugh Wood Catering and Louisiana Seafood, desserts were made by Geaux Fresh and beverages provided by Mike’s Hometown Spirits.

ASA plans ramping up

Tourism executives Serena Gray (from left) and Johnnye Kennon attend ASA planning event Wednesday.

Competitive archers will be coming to Camp Minden in just a few weeks for the second McKenzie Archery Shooters Association (ASA) Easton/Hoyt Pro/Am Tour event and local entities are ramping up preparations for the tournament.

Stakeholders from Bossier, Webster and Caddo parishes, plus Camp Minden and Louisiana National Guard officials, met Wednesday to review plans and check facilities for the April 27-30 event that is expected to draw thousands from around the country and outside the U.S.

Last year’s event, the first to be held at Camp Minden, drew a reported 1,655 participants, sponsors and staff from 41 states plus Canada and Australia. ASA signed a 10-year contract to hold the tournament at the site, and area officials predict the event will generate around $25 million in economic impact over that period.

Of boards and books

Fortunately, some voters in our little corner of the world found the time to flip a voting booth switch this Saturday past, and the results will place one person on a board and keep the lights on in certain public buildings.  

Jerri Lee will now be attending Webster Parish School Board meetings in a capacity other than guest or visitor. Following a landslide special election win, Ms. Lee, a veteran of the parish police jury in times past, will be representing District 9 on the board. 

You remember District 9. That’s the area Frankie Mitchell had served since Moby Dick was a calf, but she decided not to tackle another four years. Ms. Mitchell had to sit a while longer, though, when no one filed for the seat in time for last year’s election. Had one person bothered, it would have continued a popular trend on the board of running unopposed. 

Lee’s will be another new face on a school board that in previous years, shall we say, began to look very familiar. But now there’s a somewhat different appearance, with School Board 2023 featuring five first-termers on the 12-person panel. And, just in case y’all haven’t noticed, eight of those 12 are women. 

Before any peecee Wokies get their pouty panties in a pucker, that previous comment isn’t the wail of a Boomer sexist, it’s the observation of a curiositist. It hints that Webster Parish’s 67 percent is a trend-breaker since women make up just slightly over 31 percent of school board members nationwide. 

Also this weekend, parish voters agreed to keep all library branches open after some of the registereds overwhelmingly thumbed up a millage renewal. It would be ok to call the vote overwhelming even though the turnout was underwhelming to say the least.  

According to the numbers, only 7.8 percent of registered voters rolled to the polls. So, the 92-plus who didn’t bother can say thank you to the few who made it possible to keep reading material, and a place to read, available. 

Whenever whatever percentage of no-shows show up at libraries, they might want to check out a couple of history books and learn the value of the right we take so lightly.

– Pat Culverhouse

DAR celebrates Mrs. Thomas Lorraine Campbell

By Kay Pruitt

As we celebrate Women’s History month, the Dorcheat-Bistineau Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution would like to honor our past Regent Mrs. Thomas Lorraine Campbell who was very active in DAR as well as several other heritage societies.  In addition to being a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, she was a member of National Society of the Colonial Dames of America, National Society Colonial Dames XVII Century, United Daughters of the Confederacy, National Society United States  Daughters of  1812, Society of the Descendants of the Colonial Clergy, Huguenot Society of America, Society of Boonesborough, Louisiana Historical Association, North Louisiana Historical Association and The State Historical Society of Missouri. Furthermore, she was instrumental in getting a chapter of the Children of the American Revolution started in Minden. 

Mrs. Campbell was born in Missouri.  Her mother was a member of DAR in Missouri and had verified nine ancestors who were involved in the American Revolution. Of particular note was Colonel Frederick Hambright who was a hero at the Battle of Kings Mountain. With the exception of the Korean War, her family has served in every conflict this country has participated in. Her mother engendered a passion for history in her daughter, and she became the keeper of the history of her family and the history of Minden and Webster Parish. Mrs. Campbell graduated from Steven’s College in Missouri with a degree in public school music and then attended the University of Missouri earning a degree in journalism. As a possible reflection of her study of journalism she was interested in the why and how of history not just the who.  She was a student of the history and significance of the American Revolution recognizing these were living people who were products of the time period. She had a love of her country and was very patriotic flying the United States flag to mark days pertinent to our history.

In 1979 she was named Woman of the Year an award that was well earned.  She initiated the effort to save the old Rose-Neath Funeral Home which she hoped to use as a museum for the Dorcheat Historical Association. She wrote a number of articles for the Minden Press-Herald in 1979 which were quizzes about local history that she hoped would motivate interest in saving the structure. Because of her efforts to create a museum, the Dorcheat Historical Association was begun, and she served on the board. As a member of the North Louisiana Historical Association, she served as president and secretary at one time.  Her writings were published in the North Louisiana Historical Journal and other historical journals and magazines. Mrs. Campbell was awarded a lifetime honorary board membership in the North Louisiana Historical Association; in addition, she was a member of the State Genealogical Society and the Ark- La-Tex Genealogical Society. Her love of history encompassed so many things pertaining to Minden; for example, in 1964 she became the Dorcheat DAR Chapter’s American History Month Chairman and issued the first request for Minden to engage in the national observance.  She encouraged local schools to participate in an annual historical essay contest during American History Month and urged organizations and libraries to observe the month of February with special regard to our historical heritage. Her interests extended to many other organizations. Mrs. Campbell was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, an organizing member of the Minden Study Club, the Department Club and the Minden Garden Club. She was a member of St. John’s Episcopal Church where she was the organist for 25 Years. She shared her love of history by working in Expanding Horizons (a program for the academically gifted) at Minden High School where she guided students in researching and preparing a map of Minden in 1900. 

The Dorcheat-Bistineau Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution are grateful to Mrs. Campbell for the many years of service to our town of Minden and our parish of Webster. Her efforts touched the lives of many and made Minden a better place.

Skin Your Smoke Wagon

There’s no way to know how many rounds I’ve fired between training, practice, qualifications, and teaching – but I estimate the number to be in the high tens of thousands.  Since beginning my law enforcement career some 15 years ago, the vast majority of rounds I’ve fired have been handgun rounds, and most of those rounds have come during drills that required me to work from a holster.  Possibly the best thing about law enforcement handgun training is that it requires the shooter to rack up a high number of pistol-drawing repetitions.  After all, if you’re not skilled at deploying the gun, it doesn’t really matter how proficient you are at shooting it.

I’ve been fortunate to have trained with a wide array of firearm instructors – not only in a law enforcement capacity, but in the private sector as well.  The late James Yeager, founder and “MFCEO” of Tactical Response in Camden, TN, developed a draw-stroke method that I adhere to above any another technique I’ve ever been privy to learn, and if you were to train with me, you’d be taught the same method.  James frequently said, “It’s not the great shot that wins a fight – it’s all the small mistakes you don’t make.”  One mistake I frequently see among students, even cops, is an improper draw-stroke, and in many instances the error goes uncorrected by the instructor cadre running the range.

Before assuming that the physical act of drawing a pistol is merely common sense, look back to the West Freeway Church of Christ shooting on December 29th, 2019, to see just how tragic it can be when good guys don’t know how to draw their firearm.  It’s likely that the incident would’ve turned out differently had the good guys undergone quality training beforehand, but that’s just educated speculation on my part.

When drawing your pistol, safety and efficiency should be the goal – not speed.  Speed will come through practice.  As my friend Brian Sparks often reminds me, “The fastest way to do anything is to do it right the first time.”  Thanks, Brian.  If you execute a safe draw-stroke (making sure you don’t point the gun at anything other than your intended target – especially yourself – being sure to keep your finger OFF the trigger) and develop the physical mechanics to make your safe draw-stroke repeatable, efficiency will be a natural biproduct.  “Slow is smooth and smooth is fast” couldn’t be more applicable than it is here.  

The most common error I observe when people are executing a draw-stroke is that they don’t secure a proper, strong-hand grip on the gun while it’s still in the holster.  On the range one can simply adjust their grip once the gun is out of the holster – but in a fight for your life, you’re only going to have one shot at obtaining a perfect grip on your weapon, and that grip must be established the instant you touch your gun – every time.  Using a crappy holster will only exacerbate this problem.

People also tend to stand still when drawing their gun.  When your hand goes to your gun, the rest of your body should be moving too.  Ideally, you want to move your feet and then keep moving them.  Moving targets are harder to hit with bullets or fists, so why on earth would you stand still in a fight?  If bipedal movement isn’t an option, perhaps you need to get low by dropping to a knee, or into a supine position.  Regardless, movement will always be a vital part of a well-executed draw-stroke.

If you have to draw your gun in self-defense, it’s almost certain that you’re going to say something.  You might scream or you might yell out your favorite expletive.  You know you have one.  Either way, some sound is probably going to come out of your mouth hole.  Because of that, you should issue a loud verbal command when practicing your draw-stroke.  The word “STOP” is the most effective.  It defeats most language barriers, and single-word commands are easy to remember and to replicate under stress.  Something like “stop in the name of the law, you scumbag!” is too long, and if firing becomes necessary before your verbal warning is fully stated, you’ll finish your sentence before pressing the trigger.  It’s just the way our brains are wired, and that could cost you valuable seconds.  Practicing this skill may also prevent you from calling an attacker an ugly name before sending him to the afterlife. Consider two possible statements that could be made by witnesses to the police; “I heard Bill call the guy a MF’er, then he shot the dude in the face.”  “I heard Bill yell ‘STOP’ and then the shots rang out.” Isn’t the latter preferable to the former? 

Will you be drawing your gun from concealment?  If so, have you had any instruction on how to defeat a cover garment?  Different types of clothes require different movements to access the gun.  When covering your gun with a t-shirt VS covering your gun with a sport coat the draw-stroke is the same, but accessing the firearm is wholly different.  Ladies tend to wear a broader variety of clothing, and therefore usually require multiple carry options.  Whether it’s a thigh holster under your dress, a bra holster, or any carry option that allows you to keep up with current fashion trends, you should be practicing with every setup so that you can draw your gun safely and efficiently should the need arise.

Bottom line, if you need your gun, you need to know how to access it.  There’s more to deploying a handgun than just pulling it out of a holster.  You’re more likely to shoot yourself when drawing or holstering your gun than almost any other time.  For that reason alone, you should be proficient at skinning your smoke wagon, because if you shoot yourself in a fight, it still counts – just for the other team.  If at the end of each day when you take off your gun, you perform one, smooth draw-stroke, focusing on your mechanics, you’ll have 365 free reps per year.  That’s more than most gun owners will get in a lifetime.

In closing, I’ll leave you with this quote by Colonel Jeff Cooper, founder of Gunsite Academy – “The only acceptable response to the threat of lethal violence is immediate and savage counterattack.  If you resist, you just may get killed.  If you don’t resist you almost certainly will get killed.  It is a tough choice, but there is only one right answer.”  

To create a savage counterattack, you must know how to get your weapon into the fight – it’s the only fighting chance you have when bad people put you on the victim menu.  Until next week…

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 or a medical provider, 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 or medical advice.)

New Easter tradition for moms – relax!

With the Easter holiday on the horizon, I wanted to again touch on the subject of holiday stress. A couple of years ago a national poll was conducted that concluded that 1 in 4 parents admit they set overly grand expectations during the holiday seasons, which resulted in stress and anxiety. The same poll also found mothers are twice as likely to be stressed over holiday preparations.  

We as mothers begin stressing weeks ahead of time. During Easter, for example, we begin stressing about getting outfits together for photos with the Easter Bunny and for Easter Day. We must find the perfect overly coordinated outfits not only for our kids, but for our entire family. We all must be cohesive, you know? It makes for better family photos and makes it at least appear as if we have our lives together, even if it is over as soon as the camera flashes.  

We stress over food preparations and shopping, who is bringing what? Call and make sure this person has this food covered, and that grandma remembers to bring that special pie that everyone loves. Who is in charge of bringing the macaroni and cheese for the kids because God forbid, they actually eat any of the other food that we have spent days preparing. But most importantly, who is bringing the wine? 

My biggest stressor is making sure we get to every single place we need to go that day in a timely manner, allowing enough time to visit with this side of the family before we head (already stuffed to the gills) to our next stop. Having a blended family can be tough during the holidays. I also have to coordinate with Emerson’s dad to share time with her. 

But then there is the fun part- the Easter Egg Hunt. No matter how stressed I may have been weeks, days or hours before this event, I always seem to forget about it during this very brief period of hiding the eggs all about the yard and then getting to watch my girls search for them, hoping to find that special egg that holds some monetary value.  

Once that is over, it is back to stressing about straightening up and packing the vehicle down with all the goodies the girls acquired over the day, back to the house to unload it all and clean up the mess I most likely left in the kitchen earlier that morning. 

The major problem with all of this is that your stress could possibly be taking away from not only your joy for the holiday, but your children’s joy, as well. They see all of the presents that the Easter bunny dropped off when they wake up on Easter morning, but they notice that you are not equally joyful because you are too busy worrying about finishing preparations for the rest of the day. They see you rushing through all the activities because you are too busy worrying about whether or not you are going to make it to your next visit on time.  

I know we cannot eliminate all the stresses and anxieties that come with an upcoming holiday, but we can control how much we take on, we can say “no” and we can choose to sit down and relish the special moments that the holidays bring.  

I want to encourage all mothers and fathers and grandparents to be present this Easter. Do not take on more than you can handle, instead try to delegate some of your responsibilities for the day to other family members that are willing to help. Enjoy your children and grandchildren. Be in the moment physically, mentally and spiritually. Do not let this day pass by just making it through.  

I am here to tell you now, my girls will most likely not have adorable matching outfits. (One of them would probably get their morning chocolate on it anyway.) You will not catch me in the kitchen basting a turkey. You most definitely will not see me in Wal-Mart the night before Easter either.  

I will show up on Easter Day with mis-matched children who will have their Easter baskets in tow. I will be excited to eat a feast that someone else prepared. I will sit and visit my grandmother whom I do not see often enough. I will not rush through these times. I will be present.  I will remember the reason we celebrate this day. I will be thankful. 

And I will bring the wine.

(Paige Nash is a wife, mother, publisher of Bienville Parish Journal and Claiborne Parish Journal and a digital journalist for Webster Parish Journal. She’s also the unstressed person with a wine glass in her hand at Easter dinner.)

Wings and Wheels rolls into town

The third annual Wings and Wheels Fly-In and Car Show rolls into town from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday, April 8 at Minden Airport. This event will feature various aircraft and cars on display, pilot competitions, door prizes, food, music and vendor booths featuring local businesses.

Hosts AirRunners Aviation (ARA) is composed of young, inspiring aviators that strive to bring together the community and familiarize them with the opportunities and benefits of aviation. 

Molly Fowler, with ARA, said the organization was founded in 2021 by Parker Still, herself, and Landon Wilhite. 

“On one of our cross-country flights we realized that there is not a way for young pilots to communicate with each other about aviation,” Fowler said. “With the average age of a pilot being 40-plus years, ARA wants to help younger pilots come together to help each other, so we can be the pilots of tomorrow.”

With that goal in mind, AirRunners Aviation began hosting the Wings and Wheels Fly-In and Car Show. 

For more information on this event please call (318) 453-5637.

Historically Speaking: Dr. Samuel J. Harrell

By Jessica Gorman

Dr. Samuel J. Harrell, a native of Georgia, came to Webster Parish in 1872 by way of New Orleans. From New Orleans, he traveled up the Red River aboard the John T. Moore. When low water prevented the boat from advancing any farther north, a much smaller vessel was required to complete the last 100 miles of the trip to Minden. His original destination had been Texas, but being surprised by “the extremely cultured people” of Minden, he decided to stay.

He married Emma Carr on 20 January 1875. “Dr. Harrell said she married him because she felt sorry for him.” They made their home on a farm north of Minden. This farm was struck by a tornado in 1883, almost 50 years to the day before the disastrous tornado of 1933. 

Despite his unpopular political views, S.J. Harrell soon found himself as sheriff of Webster Parish, filling the unexpired term of Sheriff W.N. Collier. He was serving as sheriff during the controversial election of 1879 when the Gum Springs ballot box went missing. 

Even though he once considered himself “a big, over-grown boy too ashamed to go to school” who was “doomed to be uneducated,” on the advice of a local dentist, he decided to attend dental school. Because he did not have the required high school diploma, he wasn’t sure he could pass the entrance exam, but he didn’t let that stop him from enrolling at Vanderbilt University in 1884 and graduating valedictorian of his class. Upon his return to Minden, he set up his dental practice.

In 1900, his wife Emma Carr Harrell passed away. He remarried to Mrs. Willie Sandidge Heard and in 1904, The Webster Signal reports the home of Dr. S.J. Harrell “just south of the college” as among those “soon to be erected”. Upon completion of the home in 1905, and over the course of the next few years, many social gatherings were held at the Harrell residence. 

Dr. Harrell made a run for mayor in 1908, but lost to the incumbent, Walter H. Webb. Then, in 1909, Carrie Heard, daughter of Mrs. Willie Harrell fell ill. Mrs. Harrell and her daughter moved to San Angelo, Texas in hopes that the climate would prove beneficial to her health. Dr. Harrell remained in in Minden for a short period of time before retiring and joining them in San Angelo. 

Carrie Heard did not recover from her illness. She died in 1913 and the Harrells returned to Louisiana. Their home in Minden was sold to Thomas W. Fuller and they made their new home in Haughton near Mrs. Harrell’s family. Dr. Harrell resumed his dental practice there and continued until his failing eyesight forced his retirement in 1933.

Dr. Harrell passed away in 1951 at the age of 101. He was said to have been the oldest living member of the Knights of Pythias, not only of Post 4 in Minden but the entire organization, the oldest living member of the First United Methodist Church in Minden, and the oldest living alumnus of Vanderbilt University.

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

Baseball recap Monday, Tuesday


Minden Crimson Tide 16, Bossier Bearkats 1

No game recap available.

North Webster takes high-scoring game from Farmerville

Bats were blistered as North Webster Knights   defeated Union Parish (Farmerville) 16-6 Tuesday.

North Webster Knights secured the victory thanks to 12 runs in the first inning.  Their offense in the inning came from singles by Collin McKenzie, Jace Wesson, and Cooper Sanders, walks by Sawyer Wages and McKenzie, doubles by Judd Wesson and Dakota Davison, by Nathan Bernard and an error on a ball put in play by Wages.

North Webster got things moving in the first inning, when McKenzie singled on a 1-0 count, scoring one run.

Union Parish scored three runs in the fourth inning. Batters contributing to the big inning included Bennet, Nute and Hill, all knocking in runs in the inning.

Wages earned the win for North Webster Knights. Wages allowed five hits and five runs over three and a third innings, striking out four.

Traylor took the loss for Farmerville. Traylor allowed three hits and four runs over three and two-thirds innings, striking out four.

Bennet started the game. The bulldog lasted one-third of an inning, allowing five hits and 12 runs while striking out one

McKenzie, Davison, Bernard, Sanders, Jayden Hill, Wesson, Colby Dinkins and Wesson all had one hit to lead North Webster Knights .

Farmerville scattered eight hits in the game. Bennet and Hill each racked up multiple hits.  Bennet went 3-for-4 at the plate to lead Union Parish in hits.


MHS takes victory over Loyola in pitchers’ duel

Both teams were strong on the pitcher’s mound Monday, but Minden Crimson Tide defeated Loyola College Prep Flyers 2-1. Jaxon Smith allowed just three hits to Loyola.

The Crimson Tide got on the board in the first inning when Jakobe Jackson drove in one on a Jackson double.

Smith earned the win for Minden. The pitcher allowed three hits and one run over seven innings, striking out six and walking one.

Gavin Brint took the loss for Loyola College Prep Flyers. Brint allowed five hits and two runs over three and a third innings, striking out two.

Bryson Ranger, Jackson, Brandon Winston, Brody Bower and Elliott Sheppard each collected one hit to lead Minden.

Loyola was sure-handed in the field and didn’t commit a single error. Cain Feibel had the most chances in the field with five.

Lakeside defeats Evangel in blow out victory

Eight runs in the fourth inning led Lakeside Warriors past Evangel Christian Academy Eagles 10-4 Monday.  Lakeside’s big bats were led by Matthew Aguilera, Jordan Isbell, Eli Musgraves, Bradley Dick, Cade Boley and  Aguilera, all driving in runs in the inning.

Lakeside fired up the offense in the second inning, when Aguilera singled on the first pitch of the at-bat, scoring one run.

In the bottom of the second inning, Evangel Christian Academy Eagles tied things up at two when Brody Turnipseed laid down a sacrifice bunt, scoring one run.

Lakeside pulled away for good with eight runs in the fourth inning. Aguilera singled on the first pitch of the at-bat, scoring two runs, Isbell singled on the first pitch of the at-bat, scoring one run, Musgraves tripled on a 2-0 count, scoring two runs, Dick singled on the first pitch of the at-bat, scoring one run, Parker Fulghum induced Boley to hit into a fielder’s choice, but one run scored and Aguilera singled on a 1-0 count, scoring one run.

Isbell was the winning pitcher for the Warriors. The pitcher allowed three hits and three runs over six and a third innings, striking out four.  Boley and CJ Watts entered the game out of the bullpen and helped to close out the game in relief.

Reid Wilson took the loss for the Eagles. The bulldog allowed ten hits and seven runs over three innings, striking out one and walking zero.

Lakeside Warriors scattered 16 hits in the game.  Aguilera, Jon Jon Dick, Boley, Hunter Sutton and Musgraves all had multiple hits.  Dick and Aguilera each collected three hits to lead the team.

Glenbrook’s three pitchers work together in no-hitter to defeat Arcadia

Glenbrook  Apaches’s three pitchers didn’t allow a single hit, as they defeated Arcadia 15-0 on Monday. Ryan Reagan induced a fly out from J Salvaterra to get the last out of the game.

Glenbrook got things started in the first inning when Cason Clemons singled on a 2-2 count, scoring one run.

The Apaches notched seven runs in the second inning. Their big bats were led by Easton Sanders, Garrett Brown, Toby Haulmark, Seth Mangrum and Landry Powell, all driving in runs in the inning.

Clemons was on the pitcher’s mound for Glenbrook. The hurler went two innings, allowing zero runs on zero hits, striking out five and walking zero.

T Davis started the game for Arcadia. Davis allowed two hits and six runs over one and one-third innings.  A Gipson, R Crawley and K Jackson each contributed in relief.

Mangrum led Glenbrook with two hits in two at-bats. The Apaches didn’t commit a single error in the field. Sanders had the most chances in the field with seven.  Hayden Harmon led with two stolen bases, as they ran wild on the base paths with seven stolen bases.

Walk-Off Seals Win For Red River Against Doyline Panthers 

It came down to the last play, but Doyline Panthers ended up on the wrong end of a 3-2 defeat to Red River on Monday. The game was tied at two with Red River batting in the bottom of the ninth when Carpel singled on the first pitch of the at-bat, scoring one run.

The pitching was strong on both sides. Red River pitchers struck out eight, while Doyline sat down 13.

Red River fired up the offense in the first inning. Carpel drove in one when Carpel singled.

In the top of the sixth inning, the Panthers tied things up at two. Cameron Johnson singled on a 3-2 count, scoring two runs.

Ethan Williamson took the win for Red River. The fireballer allowed six hits and two runs over nine innings, striking out eight.

Kenneth Lee took the loss for Doyline. Lee surrendered one run on three hits over two-thirds of an inning.

Noah Spears started the game for the Panthers. The righty allowed seven hits and two runs over seven and two-thirds innings, striking out 13.

Lee went 2-for-4 at the plate to lead Doyline in hits.

Red River racked up ten hits. Carpel and Hughes all collected multiple hits for Red River. Carpel led Red River with three hits in five at-bats. Red River was sure-handed and didn’t commit a single error. Smith made the most plays with eight.

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

LHS students wins Bass Classic championship

Lakeside’s Eddie Hyatt earned his second consecutive High School Bass Classic championship this weekend during the tournament held on Caddo Lake. 

“We won this event last year on Red River, and I’ll be dang if we didn’t win it back to back,” Hyatt told the Journal. “We brought in 19.96 to the scales on day 1 and 19.00 on day 2.” 

Hyatt is a sophomore at Lakeside. 

How to look for calorie, nutrition information

You might have noticed calorie information on some menus or menu boards, or you may have seen nutrition information on restaurant websites or on phone apps. This information below can help you make informed and healthy decisions on meal and snack choices to get the right number of calories for you and your family each day. 

Where will I see calorie information? Calories are listed next to the name or price of the food or beverage on menus and menu boards, including drive-thru windows, and may be at the following types of chains:

• Chain restaurants

• Chain coffee shops

• Bakeries

• Ice cream shops

• Self-service food locations, such as buffets and salad bars

• Movie theaters

• Amusement parks

• Grocery/convenience stores

Where will I NOT see calorie information?

•Foods sold at deli counters and typically intended for further preparation

• Foods purchased in bulk in grocery stores, such as loaves of bread from the bakery section

• Bottles of liquor displayed behind a bar

•Food in transportation vehicles, such as food trucks, airplanes, and trains

• Food on menus in elementary, middle, and high schools that are part of U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National School Lunch Program

• Restaurants and other establishments that are not part of a chain of 20 or more

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

(Shakera Williams, M.P.H. is Assistant Nutrition Extension Agent- FCS for Webster/Claiborne parishes. Contact her at (318) 371-1371.)

Softball mid-week recap


Lady Warriors can’t catch up to Calvary

Lady Warriors fell behind early and couldn’t come back in a 14-4 loss to Calvary Wednesday.  Calvary scored on a single by T Leadon, a single by C Guile, a single by E Franks, a grand slam by M Woodle, and a wild pitch during R Walker’s at bat in the first inning.

The Lady Warriors struggled to contain the high-powered offense of Calvary, giving up 14 runs.

Calvary got on the board in the first inning when Leadon singled on a 0-2 count, scoring two runs.

Lady Warriors scored four runs in the fourth inning.  The offensive onslaught came from a single by Hallie Sutton, a groundout by Emily Jones, and a fielder’s choice by Rainie Hughes.

K Anderson was on the rubber for Calvary. The pitcher surrendered zero runs on zero hits over three innings, striking out seven and walking zero.

McKenna Chreene led things off in the circle for Lady Warriors. The pitcher surrendered 14 runs on 14 hits over four innings, striking out two.

Calvary mashed three home runs on the day. D Lynch went for the long ball in the fourth inning. Woodle had a homer in the first and second innings.

Chreene and Sutton each collected one hit to lead Lady Warriors.

Calvary tallied 14 hits.  Leadon, Woodle, Lynch, and Walker each racked up multiple hits for Calvary.  Leadon went 4-for-4 at the plate to lead Calvary in hits.  Calvary didn’t commit a single error in the field. M Carver had  nine chances in the field, the most on the team.


Glenbrook ladies beat Arcadia 23-0.

No game recap available.

Four RBI day For Leigha K-Gilbert spells out victory For Minden Tiders  over Northwood

Leigha K-Gilbert was clutch at the plate with runners on base Tuesday, driving in four on three hits to lead Minden Tiders past Northwood 6-2 on Tuesday. K-Gilbert drove in runs on a grand slam in the fifth.

Minden Tiders  got on the board in the first inning.

They notched four runs in the fifth inning, scoring its runs on a grand slam by K-Gilbert.

Kylie Ryan got the start for Minden . Ryan surrendered two runs on two hits over seven innings, striking out six.

C Clark was in the circle for Northwood. The hurler surrendered six runs on five hits over seven innings, striking out nine and walking one.

Minden Tiders hit one home run on the day. K-Gilbert had a dinger in the fifth inning. She led Minden Tiders with three hits in four at-bats.

Northwood didn’t commit a single error in the field. S Nuhnery had the most chances in the field with ten.

North Webster Lady Knights take Plain Dealing by 11 runs

North Webster Lady Knights won big over Plain Dealing 14-3 on Tuesday.

Plain Dealing got on the board in the first inning. An error scored one run for Plain Dealing.

North Webster Lady Knights pulled away for good with three runs in the second inning. In the second an error scored one run, Anekah Coleman singled on a 1-1 count, scoring one run and Paige Timmons doubled on a 2-1 count, scoring one run.

North Webster Lady Knights scored five runs in the fourth inning. Carlie Campbell, Adryana White and Kensy Brown all moved runners across the plate with RBIs in the inning.

Emma Newsom earned the win for North Webster. Newsom surrendered three runs on four hits over five innings, striking out three.

Green took the loss for Plain Dealing. The pitcher allowed 14 hits and 14 runs over four innings, striking out one.

The Lady Knights hit one home run on the day. Coleman put one out in the fifth inning.

They tallied 14 hits in the game. Timmons, Coleman, White, Brown and Campbell each had multiple hits. Coleman and Timmons each collected three hits to lead the girls. Brown led with four stolen bases, as they ran wild on the base paths with 17 stolen bases.

Cooks led Plain Dealing with two hits in two at-bats.


Doyline sweeps Caddo Magnet 

Sisters Keily Sumlin and Sariyah Gill pitched Doyline’s Lady Panthers to a doubleheader sweep over Caddo Magnet High School Monday, as Doyline took 16-9 and 15-5 wins in softball action.

Sumlin, a junior, was winner of game one while seventh-grader Gill picked up the win in the second.

Doyline and Caddo Magnet were tied 8-8 after the visitors scored a single run in the top of the sixth, but the Lady Panthers put eight runs across in the bottom of the inning to win going away.

Doyline had 11 hits in the first game with Kanyion Bartlett, Savannah Stanley and Elizabeth Wright leading the way with a pair of singles each. Sumlin had a double while Gill, Hannah Dryden, Arianna Crump and Faith Ellis had one single apiece.

Game two saw the Lady Panthers put the game away early with five runs in the second inning followed by seven runs in the third.

Winning pitcher Gill helped herself at the plate with a pair of singles while Stanley, Karmadie Bartlett, Crump and Lanie Gates had one hit (single) each.

Next action for the Lady Panthers comes Monday, April 3 at Haynesville.  

Lady Warriors 17, Bossier 0

No GameChanger recap was available at publication time.

Glenbrook pitchers rally to shutout Plain Dealing Lions

Glenbrook Lady Apaches defeated Plain Dealing Lions 17-0 Monday as two pitchers combined to throw a shutout. Gabi Brown struck out Nevaeh Fisk to finish off the game.

Glenbrook got on the board in the first inning when Brown singled on the first pitch of the at-bat, scoring one run.

One bright spot for Plain Dealing Lions was a single by Sanaa Lyles in the fourth inning.

Brown was the winning pitcher for Glenbrook Lady Apaches. The pitcher lasted three innings, allowing one hit and zero runs while striking out four and walking one.

Katie Green took the loss for Plain Dealing. The righthander went four innings, allowing 17 runs on ten hits.

Rebecca Mosley started the game for Glenbrook. The righty went one inning, allowing zero runs on zero hits, striking out one and walking zero.

Brown led the Lady Apaches with three hits in three at-bats. The team didn’t commit a single error in the field. Baylee Bonsall had  four chances in the field, the most on the team.

Lyles went 1-for-2 at the plate to lead Plain Dealing  Lions in hits.

North Webster captures lead early to defeat Minden Tiders 

Minden Tiders fell behind early and couldn’t come back in a 10-3 loss to North Webster Monday. North Webster scored on a fielder’s choice by #12 and a stolen base in the second inning.

Minden struggled to contain the high-powered offense of North Webster, giving up ten runs.

North Webster opened up scoring in the first inning, when an error scored one run.

The Lady Knights scored three runs in the fourth inning. #2 and #12 each had RBIs in the frame.

#22 led things off in the pitcher’s circle for North Webster. The bulldog allowed five hits and three runs over seven innings, striking out two.

Kylie Ryan started the game for Minden. The pitcher surrendered ten runs on six hits over seven innings, striking out six.

Jacey Adams, Charli Flournoy, Kaylin Williams, Taryn Tinsley and Ryan each collected one hit to lead Minden. Ryan led with two stolen bases, as they ran wild on the base paths with five stolen bases.

#2 went 2-for-4 at the plate to lead North Webster in hits. North Webster was sure-handed and didn’t commit a single error. #8 made the most plays with eight.

(Editor’s note: GameChanger does not always insert names for numbers in their recaps. All teams are encouraged to send rosters to wpjnewsla@gmail.com. Thank you!)

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

Arrest Reports

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

March 24

Rondricus L. Smith, 33, of the 1100 block of 4th Street SW, Springhill, was arrested by Springhill Police for domestic abuse, aggravated assault with child endangerment and reckless operation of a motor vehicle.

March 27

Latravion Deuntrex Minix, 31, of the 600 block of Chestnut St., Minden, was arrested by MPD on two active warrants for driving under suspension, driving under suspension, speeding, number of driving lamps and security required (insurance).

March 28

Robert L. Stewart, 56, of the 600 block of Joel St., Minden, was arrested by MPD for driving under suspension, fugitive from WPSO, security required (insurance), number of lamps required and failure to register.

Terry Keith Greem, 66, of the 5400 block of Hwy. 2, Sarepta, was arrested by Cotton Valley Police for driving while intoxicated, improper lane use and careless operation of a motor vehicle.

Damarcus D. Durking, 36, of Memphis, Tenn., was arrested by LSP-G on I-20 eastbound at Goodwill Road. He is charged with aggravated flight from an officer, aggravated criminal damage to property and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Also, driving while intoxicated, second offense, no insurance, careless operation of a motor vehicle and possession of marijuana.

Brandon Chase Miles, 28, of Shreveport, was arrested by Sibley Police for simple criminal damage to property.

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.

Upcoming Events

Send non-profit calendar events to wpjnewsla@gmail.com .


4-H SUMMER CAMP REGISTRATION IS OPEN. All 4th-6th grade 4-H’ers in Webster Parish are eligible to attend. For more information, please contact your 4-H Agent at larceneaux@agcenter.lsu.edu. To register, please bring your completed registration form and camp deposit to our temporary office space on the first floor of the police jury building in downtown Minden. Extra registration forms are available at the office. Mailed registration forms can still be sent to 1202 Homer Rd. Please call or email us to let us know that you are sending a registration by mail so that we can be on the look out. Camp will be held July 24-27.

March 31

8 a.m. Registration for Webster Parish Sheriff Scramble at Pine Hills Country Club.

9 a.m. Tee off

11 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m. Pickle ball Clinic at Pine Hills Country Club

3:30 p.m. Round Robin play after 1-2 clinic, Email phpb688@gmail.com for sign up information.

April 2

10:30 a.m. Palm Sunday service, St. John’s Episcopal Church, 1107 Broadway, Minden.

April 5

10 .m. until l2 p.m. Minden Civic Center. Greater Minden Chamber Job Fair and Resource Expo 2023.

April 6

6:30 p.m. Maundy Thursday service at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 1107 Broadway, Minden.

April 7

Noon service at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 1107 Broadway, Minden.

April 8

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.

10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Central Community Center Annual Easter Egg Hunt, 5500 Hwy. 531, Dubberly. Bring your basket. Eggs will be provided. Please RSVP: 318-268-4418, 318-286-8628 or 318-453-8211.

3 until 5 p.m. Easter Egg Fest, Beech Springs Baptist Church, 15910 Hwy. 80, Minden. Food, games, furry friend and more. Egg hunt begins at 3:30.

April 9

9:30 a.m. Easter Egg Hunt, St. John’s Episcopal Church, 1107 Broadway, Minden.

9:45 a.m. Flowing of the Cross, at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 1107 Broadway, Minden.

10:30 a.m. Easter Service, at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 1107 Broadway, Minden.

April 10

6 p.m. Night At The Museum, Dorcheat Museum, 116 Pearl St. Speaker: Randy Grigsby. Subject: his books “A Train to Palestine” and “This Labyrinth of Darkness and Light.”

April 11

6 p.m. 69th Annual Awards Banquet, Springhill North Webster Chamber of Commerce, presented by Citizens National Bank. Community Activity Center, 301 West Church St., Springhill.

April 20

10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Senior Fun Day, Springhill CAC Building. Ages 50 and older; admission is free. Sponsored by Springhill Medical Center. Free meal sponsored by Bristol Hospice.

April 22

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 March 23. Civil suits are a matter of public record.

March 23

Donna Turner vs. Jessica. Shirlene Combs, Kathy A.  Dillard, State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., damages.

Business First Bank vs. estate of Jerry Dale Houston, monies due.

Nathan Scott Walker vs. Barbara Ann King, divorce.

March 24

Deja Roberson vs. Jeffery Rankin, divorce w/children.

Kenner Lemore Coleman vs. Clara G. Coleman, divorce.

21st Mortgage Corp. vs. Rodriquez Richarde Thomas, executory process.

Discoer Bank vs. Patrick S. McWilliams, judgment executory & garnishment.

Kristi Sequiche vs. Justin Sequiche, divorce.

March 27

HSBC Bank vs. Kamitha Deshay Penton, executory process.

Natalie Paige Potter vs. J. Schuyler Marvin, District Attorney, name change.

TD Auto Finance. Vs. Ryan. C. Moore, judgment executory & garnishment.

March 28

Amanda Deann Depew Sylvia vs. Joshua Rosario Sylvia, divorce w/children.

Orien Ovela Smith vs. April Hunter Smith, divorce.

Frederocl Ford III vs. Chereder Michelle Germany Ford, divorce

March 29

Louisiana Community and Technical College through Bossier Parish Community College vs. Tycanjuan K. Williams, judgment executory & garnishment.

Retail Merchants Association Inc., vs. Charles Cothern, monies due.

Yewneshia Green vs. Rondricus Smith, protective order.

Notice of Death – March 29, 2023

Joe Carl Lowery 

Jan. 13, 1937 – March 25, 2023

Homer/Haynesville, La.

Visitation: 1 until 6 p.m. Friday, March 31, 2023 at Memorial Funeral Home, 4043 US-79 Homer, La.

Family viewing: 6 until 7 p.m.

Funeral service: 11 a.m. Saturday, April 1, 2023, Mt. Sinai CME Church 1001 Mount Sinai Rd Haynesville, La.

Lois Demean Fish

May 20, 1934 – March 28, 2023

Sarepta, La.

Visitation: 5 until 7 p.m. Thursday, March 30, 2023, Bailey Funeral Home, Springhill, La.

Graveside service: 11 a.m. Friday, March 31, 2023, Mt. Zion Cemetery, Doddridge, Ark.

Webster Parish Journal publishes paid complete 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.)

Man, Woman of the Year honored

Former Mayor Tommy Davis (right) is presented the Lions Club Man of the Year award by present Mayor Nick Cox.

Honoring businesses and individuals that have helped south Webster Parish grow were a huge part of the Greater Minden Chamber “Seas” the Opportunities 81st Annual Awards Gala Tuesday.

Minden Lions’ Man of the Year 2023 is former Mayor Tommy Davis, while DAR Regent a musician Cindy Madden was named by Young Women’s Service Club’s Woman of the Year.

See Thursday’s Webster Parish Journal for a complete list of all awards including Business of the Year, Small Business of the Year, Hometown Hero, Lifetime Achievement and others.

Young Women’s Service Club’s Woman of the Year 2023 is Cindy Madden (right) receives her award from 2021-2022 recipient Tokia Whiting-Harrrison (left) and YWSC President Cayla Cox.

Press conference confirms shooting was gang-related

By Bonnie Culverhouse

The name of the first person arrested in Sunday night’s shooting at Ewell Park in Minden is still unknown, but his affiliation with a local gang is out there for all to see.

Minden Mayor Nick Cox, Police Chief Jared McIver and Lt. Tokia Whiting-Harrison held a news conference Tuesday afternoon where they showed evidence gathered with the arrest.

“The person we arrested was wearing this shirt,” McIver said, as he held up a tee shirt sporting TTS TRAINED TO STEP with artwork of a gun.

“The playground was directly behind where the shooting was taking place,” McIver said. “One bunch of guys was shooting one way, and another shooting across the playground toward them. How there weren’t children killed … You had kids at the playground, kids at the ballfields, people holding babies.”

Four persons were injured by gunfire.

McIver said 64 rounds of ammunition were counted from the shooting, and multiple types of guns were reportedly fired.

“Some were semi-automatic weapons, handguns and long rifles,” said the chief.

“That’s the ones we found,” he said of the rounds. “It’s gang-related. There’s no doubt. We want these people to know, we know who they are and we are coming for them. We are not putting up with this.”

Cox said he is placing a moratorium on permitted private events held on city property where the organizers cannot prove “adequate security.”

“There is nothing more important than our citizens’ safety,” he said.

Cox said the council will reevaluate policies and procedures for permitting these events, and all requests must be signed off by the mayor and chief before they will be allowed to take place.

Sunday’s event was sanctioned for 50 persons, however, McIver said there were closer to 200.

One of the four gunshot victims is still listed in critical condition.

 For the past year, Minden has been trying to shut down TTS. At least 24 of 26 warrants ended in arrests.

Amyanna Germany: Scarred and Successful

By Paige Nash

A young woman from Heflin, Amyanna Germany, would unarguably say that her life has not been the easiest from the start, but she would not change a single thing. She has met every hardship and struggle that has come her way and overcome them all with grace and positivity.  

Amyanna was only two years old when she suffered third-degree burns on more than 75 percent of her body due to an electrical house fire. Ten years later at the age of 12, she and her 8 siblings lost their mother due to a heart attack. Shortly after that she was told by a doctor that because of her childhood injuries, she may never be able to bear children. These are all traumatic events that most have not had to fathom attempting to overcome in their adult years, but Amyanna was faced with them before she was even a teenager. 

She found herself in the midst of a battle. She was forever scarred on the inside and outside. She was struggling internally with the loss of her mother and the possibility of never having a family of her own. She was also struggling externally with her appearance.  

“Because of my scars, I hated to even look at myself. I was not confident,” said Amyanna.  

What she did not know at the time was that amid this destitution, she would not only find her confidence, but she would also pave the way for other women to find theirs through this one simple cosmetic product- lipstick.  

“Lipstick changed my life,” she said. “It gave me confidence that I did not have before. It boosted my self-esteem and made me feel fearless and beautiful.” 

She wanted others, specifically other women with scars, to find that same confidence and fearlessness. In 2017, Amyanna began her company, “Amyanna’s Cosmetics, LLC” Since its start, she has been able to reach thousands of other women and has had the opportunity to play a part in their own healing journeys.  

Her lipstick is now sold in Wal-Mart and is accessible to over 100 million people from 24 different countries. 

“My goal is to teach women from all walks of life what a gift and tool that lipstick really is,” said Amyanna. “Lipstick now gives people a visual representation of how I feel on the inside. I want other women with scars to feel that same confidence and fearlessness that I feel every time I put on my lipstick.” 

She did not just stop there. In 2019, two years after starting her own line, Amyanna felt compelled to further her mission and began a group called, “Women with Scars.” 

Even though Amyanna has found her stride and confidence, she still remembers that young girl with scars not only covering most of her body, but also the ones on her heart.  

Through this group she has been able to share her stories with other women who may or may not have visible scarring, through a conference that she hosts twice a year, and she gives all the credit to God. 

“God has been nothing but great to me, my family and most of all my business. Without God I am nothing,” she said. “I am the same 2-year-old who was burned in an electric house fire, who was told I will never have children, will not live a normal life, but here I am- a living testimony. God can do the unthinkable. He did it for me and will do the same for you.” 

Amyanna now has her own cosmetic line, two storefronts, leads an empowerment group and has two healthy boys- Landon and Kevin.  

She is scarred, but she is leaving her own mark on the world- a mark in the hearts of everyone that is blessed enough to be in her presence and hear her remarkable story of surviving as all the odds continued to be stacked against her. She is scarred and successful.  

Easom sets new state record for LHS Powerlifting team

By Paige Nash

The Lakeside Powerlifting team brought home the medals last week and earned a new state record after competing in the Louisiana High School Athletic Association/Louisiana High School Powerlifting Association State Championship. The meet was held at the Cajundome in Lafayette with the boys competing on Wednesday, March 22, while the girls wrapped things up on Thursday, March 23.   

“I am super proud of all of our lifters and how hard they worked, even the ones that didn’t qualify for state,” said LHS Powerlifting Coach Fabricia Roberson.  

Each lifter was placed into a weight class that aligned with the school’s division. LHS is currently a 2A school. The weight classes ranged from 97 pounds to 220+ pounds, also known as the super heavyweight division. The lifters must complete a squat, a bench-press and a deadlift. The total combined weight lifted is tallied together to equal their total weight lifted.  

LHS had 4 girls place at the state level.  

Senior Krystal Cornelious placed second in her weight class with a squat of 225 pounds, a bench-press of 135 pounds and a deadlift of 330 pounds, giving her a total of 690 pounds lifted.  

Freshman Ashlyn Ricketson placed third in her division with a squat of 260, a bench-press of 105 pounds and a deadlift of 255 with a total of 620 pounds lifted. 

Freshman Madison Miller placed second in her division with a squat of 260 pounds, a bench-press of 140 pounds and a deadlift of 330 pounds giving her a total of 730 pounds lifted.  

Senior Trinity Easom placed second in the 220+ division. She had a squat of 375 pounds, a bench-press of 260 and a deadlift of 355, giving her a total of 990 pounds lifted. Easom also broke a state record with her bench-press. The previous record of 215 pounds was set in 2021 by Kierra Talley from Port Allen High School.  

Lakeside’s team finished in sixth place in the overall standings with 19 points. 

For the boys’ team, Conner Wood placed ninth in his division. He squatted 375 pounds, bench-pressed 250 pounds, and deadlifted 465 giving him a total of 1090 pounds lifted.  

“I couldn’t be happier for the young ladies that placed in the top three at the State Meet, as well as our sole male lifter that placed ninth,” said Roberson. To see the program grow from one state qualifier last year to six qualifiers this year is definitely something to be proud of.” 

With the growing team Roberson added a few others to her coaching staff, including Coach Mike Santelices who has stepped up as the boys powerlifting coach. He is also the official bus driver. Adam Easom or “Coach E” as the team calls him, recently received his certification from the Webster Parish School Board to become a volunteer assistant. He assists with planning the team’s daily workouts. Coach Martin Cole has been referred to as the LHS Powerlifting team’s first and number one fan. Cole travels to every meet he can and if he cannot attend, he is constantly reaching out for updates. Meagan Easom, also known as the team mom, brings the kids breakfast, gives great pep talks, helps them settle their nerves, makes sure they are chalked up, knees wrapped and cheers them on every step of the way.  

Easom said, “Each member of the coaching staff as well as the team members strive to do their best and encourage each other along the way. Although powerlifting is an ‘individual’ sport it takes a team to make it happen and our team is pretty amazing.” 

LaMa receives vaccination grant

By Paige Nash

LaMa Animal Rescue functions as a nonprofit volunteer-based organization that advocates for the homeless, abused and neglected animals in northwest Louisiana and surrounding areas. 

This group mainly focuses on rescuing these animals and finding fosters to take them in on a temporary basis, until it is suitable to provide more permanent placement.  

“We have 20 volunteers and fosters,” said President and Co-founder of this rescue Michelle Benson. “We currently have 72 dogs and 19 cats in our care at this time.” 

Once the animals are cleared through a veterinarian, they become available for adoption. Those who are interested in adopting must pass a background check, provide vet and personal references, and agree to a home visit by the organization. Last year, they saved a total of 689 dogs and 40 cats.  

LaMa also focuses heavily on spaying and neutering for both dogs and cats. In 2022, they spayed 87 dogs and 34 cats. They neutered a total of 64 dogs and 34 cats. These numbers reflect cats and dogs that come through their rescue as well as animals in the community.  

They aid members of the community in filling out the required forms for these procedures, as well as transportation to vet clinics if needed.  

Recently LaMa Animal Rescue wrote and received a vaccination grant from Petco Love. This allowed them to cover the expenses for DHPP shots, also known as a 5-1 vaccine, that prevents distemper, parvovirus, parainfluenza and two types of adenoviruses in dogs. In addition, they offered a FVRCP vaccine that prevents 3 highly contagious feline diseases – feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus and panleukopenia.  

They have previously hosted 1 drive-through clinic in Minden and 3 in Springhill with plans to hold more this year.  

This 5013c relies solely on donations and grants like this one to carry out their mission. 95 percent of the money they raise and receive goes towards vetting expenses while the other 5 percent is used towards supplies.  

If you would like to volunteer or become a foster for LaMa Animal Rescue, please contact Michelle Benson at lamaanimalrescue@gmail.com.  

If you are interested in donating, you can click the link to their PayPal below. 

Benson said, “We can always use puddle pads, dog food, puppy food and money to cover medical expenses. We use ProPlan puppy and Purina One adult.”