Lee wins WPSB seat; Library tax renewed by large margin

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Former Webster Parish Police Jury representative Jerri Lee, can now add a new title: Webster Parish School Board member for District 9. It is the post that was vacated by long-time member Frankie Mitchell. Lee won handily Saturday night with 193 votes to 14 over Jo Ann McWoodson, a former administrator to WPSB superintendents.

“I’m really excited and looking forward to this opportunity,” said the 36-year educator. “I plan to get started right away, studying and learning the role I’ll be playing.”

With all 49 precincts reporting, the parish wide proposition for a 12.39 mills tax continuation for Webster Parish Libraries was renewed by a large margin. With an unofficial turnout of 7.8 percent, 1,433 voted in favor of the renewal.

“Knowing that our communities support their libraries is touching beyond words,” said Kim Sentell, Director of Marketing for Webster Parish Libraries. “With the passing of the funding renewal, we can begin writing the next chapter for your libraries.”

For more from Jerri Lee and library director Savannah Jones, please see Tuesday’s Webster Parish Journal.

Fire causes moderate damage to historic residence

By Bonnie Culverhouse

It took Minden Firefighters less than 30 minutes to extinguish a fire in one of Minden’s oldest residences Friday.

Fire Chief Brian Williams said a call concerning the fire in Minden’s Historic District came in around 4:33 p.m.

“There was a small fire in the crawl space between the second floor and the attic,” Williams said, of the house located at the corner of Homer Road and Elm Street. “We were a little bit delayed finding the fire and accessing it. We set up the ladder truck, entered into the attic space and knocked it down quickly.”

Williams said the fire was possibly caused by a lightning strike to a tree on the east side of the house.

“There was damage to a tree close to the house. We just can’t say for sure where it came into the house,” he said. “The cause is still under investigation. It appears it could’ve been weather-related.”

The fire was out in less than 30 minutes, he said, causing “moderate” damage.

Known as the Stewart House, the residence is located at 101 Homer Road. According to the Minden Historic Residential District website, the house was built in 1903 by attorney Daniel Webster Stewart and his artist wife Alice. Their daughter, Mary Stewart, was the last Stewart to live in the house. The family sold it in 1995. Craig and Mona Farley lived there for a number of years.

Williams said he does not know who currently owns the house.  He said there were 2 persons at home at the time. They were checked by Emergency Medical Services and released.

(Special thanks to the person who sent the drone shot to Minden Fire Department and Brian Williams for sharing it with Webster Parish Journal.)

UPDATE: High-speed chase ends in crash

By Bonnie Culverhouse

A Mooringsport man was arrested last night after a high-speed chase that ended in a crash.

Lucian Buck Hughes, 43, is charged with driving while intoxicated, first offense. refusing a chemical test, aggravated flight from officers, following too close and passing in a no-passing zone.

Sheriff Jason Parker said Deputy Buster Flowers tried to initiate a traffic stop on Hughes’  2022 Chevrolet TRX for following too close and passing in a no-passing zone.

“The vehicle failed to yield and proceeded to travel on I-20 west from Hwy. 371,” Parker said. “The vehicle took exit 44, then turned right on Hwy. 80 heading back toward Minden.”

According to the report, deputies pursuing the vehicle had lights and sirens activated.

“The vehicle led law enforcement on a high-speed pursuit for about 20 minutes, exceeding 100 miles per hour,” said the sheriff. “Hughes also made multiple U-turns attempting to evade law enforcement. He went into oncoming lanes of traffic multiple times, putting other drivers at risk.”

Hughes was arrested after his vehicle left the roadway, colliding with a fence.


Local law enforcement was led on a high-speed pursuit following an attempted traffic stop around 8 p.m. Wednesday.

Webster Parish Sheriff Jason Parker said his deputies, along with Minden Police and Louisiana State Police chased the driver from Interstate 20 to Hwy. 531 into Dubberly where a crash took place near Dubberly Town Hall.

“Speeds reached in excess of 100 miles per hour,” Parker said. “We believe the suspect is from the Shreveport area, but we will know more after talking with him. I believe state police will probably take over the investigation.”

Parker also said he believes the driver was impaired.

“The main thing is that no one was hurt,” said the sheriff. “We want to make sure the citizens are safe, but law enforcement, too.”

Watch your Webster Parish Journal for more on this story. Special thanks to Erin Burrell for the video.

Jackie Lockett: God, family, basketball and community

By Marilyn Miller

Coach Jackie Lockett gathers her team together on the sidelines of the basketball court at Doyline High School. The band of Junior High girls hasn’t played together in a while, so when someone slips a Christmas card into Jackie’s hands it isn’t such a surprise. Inside she finds a gift certificate. But it’s the note on the outside of the envelope that touches her the most — “Thank you for everything you’ve done for me. I love you.” 

That sentiment pretty much describes what most people think of Coach Lockett. She loves them…and they love her back. But on her part, it wasn’t always that way. Being a part of a community was something foreign to her.

“My parents always supported me,” she said. And God is a large part of her life. So, what was missing? How about basketball and community??

“My daughter was in the second grade, and we were living in Kinder, La. at the time. They needed a basketball coach, and they asked me if I would do it.” Since Jackie had played basketball in high school, she knew the sport. “I said ‘I can do that,’” Jackie recalled. “I’d always had a heart for it.”

By 2009, the Lockett family had moved to Doyline to reside in her grandparents’ house after both of their deaths. The opportunity to coach basketball came up again, this time with her daughter in the sixth grade. “I knew I’d be here (in the gym), on the sidelines, anyway, since I knew the kids,” she said, agreeing to wear another job hat.

“I wasn’t too involved in the community, but I started to meet people. And I got to know the kids. She quickly realized that a hug from her was “sometimes the only hug they would get.”

“It was at that point that I said there’s more to it than basketball, it’s about the kids. I could not wait until the next year. Then I got my first third grader, and I saw her graduate from high school. Yeah, that broke me. I knew it was about more than basketball.”

Coach Lockett began playing basketball at Rancho Verde High School in southern California, where she said she learned to be a team player. Playing a sport also taught her confidence, organization, and most importantly, kept her out of trouble.

“I focused on basketball, instead of the wrong things,” she said. “Now, when I’m coaching, I try to instill life lessons. And I treat every girl the same.”

Or boy, since she is a member of the Doyline High School coaching staff. She is head coach of the Junior High girls’ basketball team, assistant coach of the Junior High boys’ team, and assistant coach of the Varsity girls’ and boys’ teams.

One of those life lessons Jackie talks about is “looking up” to the wrong people as heroes.

“Relating that to myself, I can remember looking up to famous people when I was young. Then when I got older, I realized that my heroes were those people around me who made an impact on me in good ways.”

Her heroes include her parents, Greg and Kathy Brace of Haughton. Her daughter, Daijohni Lockett, 24, lives in the Doyline area with her two children, one-year-old Ke’eric Washington and two-month-old, Kareem Washington. Coach Lockett’s 22-year-old son, David Lockett, lives in Arizona. And she has another grandmother, Climmie Bradford.

Coach Lockett has an Associate Degree in Business Management from the University of Phoenix, and is certified in Coaching and Communications.

But her second job (really her first time-wise) really requires a degree in counseling. She has been working in the City of Minden’s Light & Water Dept. for 13 years.

What’s the best part of that job?

“I like to educate people,” she said, “Why is your bill so high? Let’s talk,” and she shows them their bill on a screen, pointing out the separate charges for electricity, water, etc. Perhaps their water is so high that a leak is likely. She likes being a problem-solver.”

And sometimes educating an entire community can be a good thing, Coach Lockett believes. She suggests that a Town Hall-type meeting be held every few months to address the electric bill problems.

One of Coach Lockett’s fondest jobs is directing the Praise & Worship Service at the Tillman Church of God in Christ in Heflin. She is also president of the Church District Choir, and holds other offices. Her faith is very important to her.

“Even when you are at your lowest, you can maintain a positive attitude and have faith,” she said, explaining that she had to have plenty of both when she was diagnosed with a Desmoid-type tumor in her shoulder in 2021. She had already had four surgeries between 2018-2021, when she asked her doctor, “What’s going on. I can’t even lift my arm!” He told her she had a mass in her shoulder. In February of 2022, she underwent chemotherapy for six months.

“When I was in chemo, it was bad,” Coach Lockett admitted. “My hands and feet were torn up, I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t do it.”

She was glad that her sessions were during the summer. Now she goes to M.D. Anderson Medical Center in Houston periodically and has “cryoblation” (freezing) therapy to shrink the mass.

“Hopefully it will shrink, and I will get my range of motion back,” she said, quoting David in Psalms 17:18, “I shall live and not die, and declare the works of the Lord.”

Afterall, she wants to get back to doing another love – refereeing basketball for high schools and recreation centers. “I had been doing it for seven years (before the shoulder mass) and I love it.”

Does being a Christian help with coaching and handling angry clients at the Light & Water Dept.?

“You treat people like you want to be treated,” she said, lamenting the regulation that prohibits praying with her kids, who “keep her going.”

In spite of all the jobs she has – she also works from 5:30-10:30 every Sunday night at the local dollar store – she doesn’t mind juggling all of her activities. Because it’s all about the kids. “I can have a bad day, and one hug from one of my kids is all I need. The public has been very supportive of me, and I love what I do.”

“I love my Doyline community,” she said, “I’m from California, and never thought of doing anything in my community.”

Coach Lockett “just wants to see everyone succeed.” She looks forward to coaching every year, and tries to watch as many of her kids play at other venues as possible.

She is a member of the Order of Eastern Star, serves on the board of the Jenkins Water System, and is one of the organizers of the Woman to Woman Fellowship, an organization that “builds others up because we know what it’s like to be torn down.”

“Something as simple as ‘God loves you’ can help you no matter what state you are in,” she said.

Yes, Coach Lockett stays busy. But she admits that she “could not do any of it without God.”

From singing in church to coaching basketball, she lays it all at the feet of Christ. “I honor Him in that,” she said.

God and family. Basketball and community. It’s a formula that works for Coach Jackie Lockett!

We got your 6

This is probably going to come as a great disappointment to some, but we share something in common. At one time or another, we’ve all wished,  “Golly gee, Mr. Destiny, I’d love to be young again.”

Had that thought myownself just the other day while sittin’ in the ol’ chair and rockin’ to the rhythm of the falling rain. After some deliberplation, however, what’s left of the brain sent the “Oh, no you don’t” message loudly and clearly.

Why not? Because generational mores of this era have undergone greater morphosis than the larva/furry critter that fattens itself on leaves before cocooning into dormancy and eventually digesting itself into a butterfly. No, Virginia, that does not mean becoming a vegan makes you beautiful.

Consider all we’d be facing if our old Neanderthalic selves were suddenly transformed to youthhood. For grins, let’s become somewhere around 6 years old. We won’t wish to become teenagers. That would mean our brain is somewhere between nonfunctional and nonexistent. 

By today’s standards, our 6-year-old self couldn’t play what was once a staple of kid-dom, Cowboys and Indians. Inappropriate and possibly a misdemeanor in some cities. We and friends might participate in Oppressive Animal Herder versus Marginalized Indigenous Peoples, but only if we follow new rules.

 First, no toy guns and no pointing fingers with shouts of bang, bang. In lieu of weapons, negotiators are chosen from among the more mature sixes. No imaginary animals (horses) unless accompanied by imaginary methane control devices. Even at age 6, we must learn that animal flatulence is an environmental H-bomb.

We’d also have to be careful when going to the library. If we listen to some of our adult mentors, there’s evil in them there shelves and meeting rooms. Some adults tell us 6-year-olds that we’re wise enough to make decisions on our own, like what’s good reading and what isn’t. It depends mostly on who’s telling what to whom and what the who agenda is for whom. 

While we have no problem with individuals expressing opinions on what they see as unacceptable literature, we do have a serious problem with those who demand we see it their way. The “I’m offended and I demand this book be banned” folks ought not force feed their offendedness.

No insinuation intended, but the Henry Jones Sr. quote from “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” might be heeded. According to HJ, “…goose-stepping morons like yourself should try reading books instead of burning them.” Ditto banning same.

Finally, if we’re 6 years old, we’ve already been subjected to three years of de-genderizing and language annulment to the point that we don’t know whether we should scratch our watch or wind our behind.  Linguistically, we can only utter the word “male” if it’s spelled “mail” and anything pertaining to the opposite sex has to be properly pronouned. Oops. We said opposite sex. Make that the other of many.

Beginning in pre-pre-kindergarten (around age 3), we’re being taught there’s as many as six recognized sexes and (on the extreme end) from 72 to 112 genders. And we thought it would be a chore once we reached middle school to name all the parishes in our state. Unless it’s multiple choice, this kid will fail Genderizing 101.

No, fellow old-timers, we do not want to be young again. There are just too many new facts of present that do not translate to the “good ol’ days.” Rather than wish to be young, we will spend a few moments remembering. That’s something we can do at our own pace.

Things are always better in memory. We’re faster, stronger, more brilliant, more beautiful. George Bernard Shaw said youth is wasted on the young. Agree. And, we would add that youth is unappreciated and taken for granted by the young. 

But a reminder to the young who believe they are the solution to the problems created by their elders comes from David Mamet, a Pulitzer Prize winning author, playwright and filmmaker. “Old age and treachery will always beat youth and exuberance,” he wrote. 

Question for today’s young, so-called “influencers” and “identifiers.” What examples are you setting for 6-year-olds? Time will tell. Hope you don’t devour yourselves, and others, while trying to become more than a caterpillar in a butterfly world.

— Pat Culverhouse

State senator to speak to Lions today

Guest speaker for Thursday’s noon meeting of the Minden Lions Club will be Sharon Hewitt, Louisiana State Senator for District 1.
A proven champion for job creation, limited government, lower taxes, and lawsuit reform, Sharon Hewitt has quickly become one of Louisiana’s most trusted and effective conservative leaders.
In 2018, just two short years after she was first elected to the Louisiana Senate, Sharon was named National Legislator of the Year by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). In 2021, Sharon led the national Republican Legislative Campaign Committee and raised record-breaking funds to support state legislators across the country in their 2021 and 2022 campaigns.
Sharon serves as Senate Chair of Republican Legislative Delegation and is the current Chairwoman of the Senate and Government Affairs Committee. As Chairwoman of the Senate and Government Affairs Committee, Sharon oversaw Louisiana’s redistricting efforts in 2022, taking a stand for fairly-drawn districts. Sharon Hewitt also serves on the influential Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget, playing an integral role in approving and managing our state’s budget.
In the State Capitol, Sharon has demonstrated her unwavering support for conservative causes, leading efforts to stabilize the state budget, improve education, create high-quality jobs in STEM fields, invest in infrastructure, advocate for families, and restore Louisiana’s coastline.
She earned a mechanical engineering degree from Louisiana State University and went on to become one of the first female executives in a major oil and gas company. She eventually took charge of Shell’s central deepwater assets situated in the Gulf of Mexico, a division of more than 160 employees with a budget in excess of a quarter of a billion dollars a year. In that position, she oversaw roughly 10% of the oil production in the United States and was trusted with managing billions of dollars in assets.
When her children were young, she was active in efforts to improve their schools. Her work was instrumental in spearheading initiatives to expand STEM programs locally. Sharon later received the National PTA Life Achievement Award in recognition for her hard work and leadership.
Senator Hewitt and her husband, Stan, have been married for over 30 years and have two sons, Chris and Brad, who have now started their own families. They are longtime members of Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Slidell.
Minden Lions Club meets at noon every Thursday in the American Legion Hall on Pine Street, Minden.

Vet Your Instructors

Students or perspective students have approached me many times with tales of instructors and curriculums to which they’ve subjected themselves.  Inevitably, the stories are always the same and they’re never good.  I’m hesitant to use the words never and always in my speech, but in this instance, I can use them both without fear of entering the pool of hyperbole often associated with the use of these particular adverbs.  Initially, I was appalled at the accounts given by people who had “trained” with certain instructors.  However, these accounts have become so commonplace that I tend to simply nod, and say “that’s unfortunate,” in an attempt to quell the conversation.

We find ourselves living in a time where governmental permission slips must be purchased in order for law abiding members of society to remain law abiding when exercising their rights associated with firearms.  “The government giveth and the government taketh away” is not how rights work.  I don’t believe governmental permitting processes should exist.  At the very least, permission to carry your firearm, concealed or otherwise, shouldn’t require a monetary transaction with the state.  Additionally, when government requires citizens to graduate from a class before being allowed to carry and / or conceal their handgun in public, the people flock to the cheapest instructors they can find – instructors that live by the moniker “good enough for government work.”  Not only is that lazy, it’s also dangerous and reckless.

I’m not here to tell you that all instructors are bad, or that any instructor or curriculum is perfect because none of those things are true – nor am I attempting to proselytize the student base of any other trainer.  Ask anyone who has ever trained with me, and they’ll tell you that I vehemently encourage my students to train with other instructors.  Moreover, I encourage people who haven’t trained with me to train somewhere with someone as long as they vet the instructor first.  Producing more good people with guns who know how to use those guns safely and effectively should be the only goal of any firearms instructor, whether or not they are a financial benefactor.

Firearm instructors usually fall into one of three categories – military, law enforcement, or competitive shooters.  Each of these backgrounds can be a great foundation for an instructor to build upon.  Just be aware of what isn’t on their resume.  If you’re looking for a concealed carry class and the only thing on an instructor’s resume is “’NRA’ or ’POST’ certified instructor,” you should absolutely, unequivocally steer clear of that person.  

Ask yourself, “what will I be doing with my gun?”  You’ll be carrying your gun into restaurants, malls, theaters, churches, and kids’ birthday parties.  You won’t be conducting felony traffic stops, executing high-risk search warrants, or kicking doors in Afghanistan hunting terrorists.  Furthermore, if you need to save a life with your gun, it’ll be serious business – not a game.  Sorry, competition shooters but your objective is a high score, and you opponent is a clock.  That’s a game.  I love competitive shooting sports!  I just hate it when competition shooting is counted as synonymous with fighting.  There’s very little martial value in competitive shooting – which brings me to my next point.

If you read on an instructor’s website, or hear them say the word “administrative,” in any way pertaining to the handling of a firearm, i.e., “administrative reload” – train elsewhere, or, if you’re already in their class, ask for a refund.  There’s nothing administrative about a fight for your life.  Administrative gun-handling practices cause training scars that could have deadly consequences for you and / or your loved ones.

Don’t assume that because someone is a cop, a soldier, or a champion shooter that they’re automatically qualified to teach you how to fight with a pistol.  It’s true that many police / military / competition shooting skills transfer to non-professional gun carriers.  However, as previously stated, what they do most often with their guns is not what you’re taking that class to learn.  Has your instructor done any training whatsoever in the private sector, or has every class under his belt been provided by his police agency?  If you think cops have it all figured out, go back and read installment #21 of this article, titled “Cop Talk.”  If your instructor has a military background, does he have any handgun training beyond what he received in the military?  There is handgun training in the military – but a handgun, for obvious reasons, isn’t the primary weapon of our servicemen.  Training time with a sidearm is often an afterthought for military personnel.  

There are a lot of excellent and highly qualified instructors out there.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of charlatans too.  It’s up to you to vet your instructors before giving them your hard-earned money – or before putting your life in their hands.  If your concealed carry instructor didn’t teach you how to draw your gun from a holster, he failed you.  If you left class not fully understanding the laws pertaining to self-defense, your instructor failed you.  If your class was abbreviated or if you were only allowed to fire the mandatory minimum number of rounds, your instructor failed you.  If your instructor didn’t explain the realities of legal battles and post-traumatic stress following a lethal force encounter, he failed you.  If your instructor didn’t explain the importance of avoiding danger, when at all possible, he failed you.  If your instructor didn’t teach you anything about how to fight with your gun when trouble is unavoidable, he failed you.  If your instructor didn’t challenge you in any way, he failed you.  If you’re okay with any of those things applying to you, then you failed yourself.

Don’t be the lowest common denominator gun carrier.  To accomplish that, you have to avoid subpar instructors by vetting them beforehand.  Find out what training they’ve had beyond what’s been required of them through their respective agency, military branch, or shooting club.  If they haven’t taken the initiative to learn their craft without it being mandated by their supervisor, are they who you want teaching you?  

Find an instructor who knows what it means to be a good student.  You’ll recognize them by how willing they are to share their resume upon request.  If they provide a curriculum vitae, read it carefully and research their training.  Talk to former students and get their perspective on the training offered by a particular instructor.  Sure, resumes can be faked or embellished, but doing your own research when selecting an instructor is the only way to make an informed decision.  If something seems wrong, it probably is.

When you find a quality instructor, understand that you need more training than a concealed carry class alone.  Don’t engage in the government’s dog & pony show just to get your gun-toting hall-pass.  Fighting skills are perishable.  If you don’t train, and practice the things you learn in training, you’ll lose your edge.         

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. 

Don’t wish away a minute of it

My family and I go out to eat quite a bit. Sometimes it is just so much easier to sit down at a restaurant, eat a meal, pay and go home. No cleaning up in the kitchen, no leftovers to put away. We can go home, take baths, and get started on our bedtime routine with the girls. Although eating dinner at home is much more relaxing for me.  

Trying to sit down at a restaurant with three kids, one of them being a restless 1-year-old, is not exactly as enjoyable or relaxing as it used to be. She has about 10 good minutes in her before she starts wanting to wander around, throw utensils on the floor or start screaming at the top of her lungs. As a mother this can be extremely stressful. You feel like you are disturbing everyone else in the restaurant who, like you, are also trying to wind down and enjoy a hot meal that they did not have to prepare themselves. I constantly feel like everyone is staring at me, wondering why my kid is acting like a buffoon or praying that I can get her under control.  

She will be two this coming May and I can honestly say that I have not necessarily enjoyed going out to eat in approximately two years. That was until last Sunday. We went to eat at a local restaurant and Emerson and Ashton, who are both old enough to know how to act in a restaurant, were their usual pleasant self. Kameron was surprisingly cool and collected throughout the meal. She sat in her chair the whole time. She ate her food without accumulating a pile of it under the table. We did not have to ask for extra forks or spoons to replace the ones she usually tosses across the table at us. No drinks were spilled, which is uncommon not only for Kameron but for all of us.  

I did not want to say anything aloud about her behavior in fear of jinxing it before we could get out of there. Right as we were about to pay and leave, an elderly gentleman who was seated at the table next to us with his wife, turned and said, “I just wanted to say that your girls are very well-behaved.” 

Cue the tears- tears of gratitude, tears of joy, tears of sorrow and tears of regret. I felt all of this in a matter of seconds. 

I was so thankful and ecstatic that this man acknowledged them and left me with those kind words. As a parent, you sometimes feel like you work so hard to make sure that you are raising your children up the best you can, and a lot of the time all this work goes unnoticed. It is so nice to know that someone just sees you every now and then and that all your efforts are actually making a difference. This man did not know that this was the first meal in almost two years that we have made it through without a meltdown.  

But on the other hand I also felt so terrible. This man was sitting there alone with his wife, enjoying their quiet dinner and a couple of drinks together, probably looking at my husband and I with our three children, longing for those days when their own children were younger. Talk about a gut punch, right?  

On hard days, I find myself thinking about the future. One day the girls will all be grown-up. They will be taking their own little families out to eat for dinner and struggling with their own tornado of a toddler in the middle of a restaurant. They will stress and be embarrassed every now and then. Hopefully, they will call me as I am sitting alone with my husband in a too quiet house to complain or ask for advice and I will tell them without missing a beat, “Enjoy it.” 

They will most likely roll their eyes in the same fashion that I did when anyone and everyone would offer up their unsolicited advice and tell me to simply, “Enjoy it.” Now I can see that they were right.

Somehow these years with your kids can be the slowest yet fastest years yet. Sometimes in an effort to get us through the rough patches of parenthood we find ourselves thinking, “I cannot wait until this or that” or “If I can just make it through this day, this week, this month, this year.” But what happens during that time leading up to that moment that you are longing for? They become unimportant to us. You have already written off all these wonderful moments because you are too busy anticipating what is coming on the horizon. It may be extremely difficult to find instances in those really tough days that you think are worth savoring, but they are still your moments with your family and precious time to be appreciated. So, do not wish the days away- even those ones.

One day you too will be sitting at a table in the middle of a restaurant with your significant other. You will take in all the young families sitting around you with toddlers giving their parents absolute hell and you will chuckle and look over at your partner with a blissful, longing glance internally replaying those chaotic moments you spent together parenting your own children and you will wish for them back.

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

4-H University sign ups beginning April 1 

4-H U will be June 19-23, 2023 in Baton Rouge. 

WHAT IS 4-H UNIVERSITY? Each year 4-H members who are in the 8th-12th grade, are eligible to participate in 4-H University at LSU to demonstrate their skills in more than 40 competitive events. It is a culmination of a 4-H member’s year of hard work and dedication. Events range from Demonstrations and Public Speaking, Automotive Care, Fishing Sports, Photography, Outdoor Skills, Cooking, Fashion Revue, Tractor Driving, Robotics, Visual Arts, and many more! Through competing, youth demonstrate life skills in teamwork, decision making, problem solving, resiliency, and many more. Each competitive event allows youth an opportunity for personal growth, skill mastery, and other life skills vital to functioning members of society. 

For 4-H’ers not interested in competing, members may opt to participate in Clover College. Clover College participants spend the week learning about a topic of their choosing including Drafting, Turfgrass Management, Forensics, Graphic Design, Health Sciences, Robotics, and Veterinary Skills. 

Registration Deadline for 4-H University is May 15, 2023. Please contact the Webster Parish 4-H Agent, Laynie Arceneaux Smith at larceneaux@agcenter.lsu.edu for more details on how to get involved.  

Mid-week baseball scores


No scores were available at publication time for the game between North Webster High School and Stanley (Logansport).

Lakeside falls to Byrd on walk-off

A walk-off left Lakeside Warriors on the wrong end of a 7-6 defeat to Byrd Jacks Wednesday. The game was tied at six with Byrd  batting in the bottom of the eighth when an error scored one run.

The Warriors fell behind by four runs in the fifth inning, but then tried to fight back. They scored four runs in the failed comeback on a double by Jon Jon Dick, a single by Cade Boley and a sacrifice fly by Matthew Aguilera.

Lakeside took an early lead in the second inning. Hunter Sutton hit into a fielder’s choice, scoring one run.

The Warriors evened things up at six in the top of the sixth inning when Aguilera’s sac fly scored one run.

They then scored four runs in the sixth inning. The offensive onslaught by Lakeside was led by Dick, Boley and Aguilera, all knocking in runs in the inning.

T Wool led things off on the mound for Byrd Jacks. The hurler went four innings, allowing two runs on four hits, striking out one and walking zero.

Bradley Dick started the game for Lakeside. The southpaw went four innings, allowing four runs on three hits and striking out two.  Sutton threw three and two-thirds innings out of the bullpen.

Lakeside totaled ten hits. Peyton Gray, Boley, Dick and Cooper Chase all managed multiple hits.  Chase, Dick, Boley and Gray each collected two hits to lead the Warriors.

K Rob led Byrd Jacks with two hits in four at-bats.


Lakeside Warriors defeated Minden Crimson Tide 5-2

Lakeside fired up the offense in the second inning, when Matthew Aguilera singled on a 1-0 count, scoring one run.

After Minden Crimson Tide scored one run in the top of the fourth, Lakeside  Warriors answered with one of their own.

The Warriors pulled away for good with two runs in the third inning.  In the third Jon Jon Dick’s sac fly scored one run for Lakeside  Warriors and Cade Boley singled on the first pitch of the at-bat, scoring one run.

Jordan Isbell pitched Lakeside Warriors to victory. The pitcher went four innings, allowing two runs on three hits, striking out two and walking one.  Cooper Chase and CJ Watts entered the game out of the bullpen and helped to close out the game in relief.

Brody Bower took the loss for Minden Crimson Tide. The righty surrendered five runs on six hits over six innings, striking out three and walking one.

Bradley Dick, Chase, Dick, Aguilera, Eli Musgraves, and Boley each managed one hit to lead Lakeside  Warriors.

Brandon Winston went 2-for-2 at the plate to lead Minden Crimson Tide  in hits.

Doyline Panthers stymied by Weston, lose 13-0

Doyline Panthers couldn’t keep up with Weston and fell 13-0 Tuesday.

Cooper Delaney was the winning pitcher for Weston. The ace lasted five innings, allowing zero hits and zero runs while striking out ten.

Noah Spears took the loss for Doyline. The righthander went three and two-thirds innings, allowing nine runs on 11 hits and striking out four.

Weston tallied two home runs on the day. Jacob Gill went deep in the fifth inning. Drew Browning had a four bagger in the third inning.

Weston tallied 15 hits. Gill, Colten Blundell, Browning, Bryce Zehr and Cole Tolar each racked up multiple hits for Weston. Gill led Weston with three hits in four at-bats. Weston didn’t commit a single error in the field. Tolar had the most chances in the field with ten.

Glenbrook Apaches smacks three hits, lose to Ruston Bearcats

Scorekeepers were kept busy today during a high-scoring contest between Ruston Bearcats  and Glenbrook Apaches where Glenbrook lost 16-7.

Glenbrook struggled to put runs on the board and had a tough time defensively containing Ruston Bearcats, giving up 16 runs.

In the first inning, Ruston Bearcats got their offense started when RJ Brown doubled on a 3-1 count, scoring two runs.

The Bearcats pulled away for good with five runs in the third inning.  In the third Wade Crawford drew a walk, scoring one run, Gabe Gaudet drew a walk, scoring one run, Bryant Bennett drew a walk, scoring one run, Jackson Lee’s sac fly scored one run for Ruston Bearcats and JR Tollett drew a walk, scoring one run.

The Apaches put up three runs in the fifth inning.  Easton Sanders and Toby Haulmark each had RBIs in the big inning.

Ruston Bearcats scored eight runs in the sixth inning.  Ruston Bearcats  batters contributing to the big inning included Crawford, Gaudet,  Bennett, Tollett, and Cade Patterson, all sending runners across the plate with RBIs in the inning.

David Griep led things off on the hill for Ruston Bearcats . The southpaw surrendered one run on zero hits over two innings, striking out three.

Turner McLelland led things off on the mound for Glenbrook. The righthander surrendered five runs on two hits over two and a third innings, striking out two.  Cason Clemons, Seth Mangrum and Landry Powell each contributed in relief for Glenbrook  Apaches.

Maddox Mandino, Clemons and Sanders each collected one hit to lead Glenbrook  Apaches.

North Webster High School 19, Plain Dealing 1

There was no game recap available.

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Historically Speaking: Minden One Hundred Years Ago

By Jessica Gorman

1923 was a year of growth and development for Minden. Construction of the L&A Railway shops had already brought new residents to the town with more to follow upon completion of the shops. Even before this, the 1920 United States census records many living in tent cities located in the Dirty Six neighborhood near the depot and at the fairgrounds. These tent cities primarily housed oilfield workers.

The influx of families had created a housing shortage that was sure to increase. Meetings were held and committees were formed to address the issue. The Westgate Addition, on Shreveport Road, had been developed several years before and improvements were being made to this area. Lights were being added in this neighborhood and in the Chandler Addition across town. The capacity of the light plant was being increased to accommodate the growing need for electricity.

Besides a housing shortage, those planning to move with the railroad shops from Stamps, Arkansas to Minden were concerned that there would not be adequate school facilities for their children. L.H. Denman, principal of Minden High School, assured the superintendent of schools in Stamps that construction of the new high school building, expected to be complete by the end of the year, would be sufficient to accommodate the hundreds of new students expected to enroll in the school. 

Other improvements were being made to the town. Sewer, water, and gas lines were being laid simultaneously to provide residents with these services. New brick buildings had been built or were under construction downtown, including the Imperial Hotel. Both the Baptist and the Presbyterian churches were putting plans in place to construct new church buildings and parsonages. 

With so many new additions to the town, 1923 would have certainly been an exciting time in Minden.

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

LSU AgCenter Adult Nutrition Programs – Webster Parish Extension

The LSU AgCenter nutrition programs are great for all adults to learn how to prevent or manage health-related illnesses. Nutrition lessons can be taught in a face-to-face format or can be presented completely online. A small cost will apply to cover supplies for face-to-face classes. 

  1. Dining with Diabetes – A five-part series that assist adults at risk or living with Type 2 diabetes learn how to manage their condition through meal planning, label reading and portion control.
  2. Smart Portions – This 8-part lifestyle weight control program teaches healthy eating using the MyPlate food groups and proper portion sizes. Regular physical activity and focus on a healthy weight are keys to success.
  3. Let’s Eat for the Health of It Adult Series – An 8-part series developed by the LSU AgCenter teaches the importance of MyPlate food groups, food safety, handwashing, physical activity, and food dollar management. 
  4. Small Changes, Healthy Habits – A 4-part educational series on improving your health and nutrition through small changes. This program helps adults make modest, healthy, long-term changes in both diet and physical activity.
  5. Break Up with Salt – A 4-part lesson series aimed to help adults at risk for or with hypertension (high blood pressure) manage blood pressure levels through goal setting, diet, nutrition label reading, portion control, and cooking.
  6. Flavors of Health – Is there a topic you and your group are interested in learning more about? There are a  variety of one session lessons available, such as
  • Small kitchen appliances
  • Food for brain health – Mediterranean diet 
  • Meal prepping
  • Grocery shopping and buying
  • Beverages and hydration
  • Reading nutrition fact labels
  • Adult cooking classes
  1. Stay Independent– Stay Independent is a 6-module  nutrition education program for older adults, developed by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. The program is available to AgCenter Flavor of Health nutrition agents for community implementation in Louisiana. 

For more information on nutrition classes, please contact Shakera Williams, MPH Assistant FCS Extension Nutrition Agent at sswilliams@agcenter.lsu.edu or 318 371-1371. Consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the LSU AgCenter will make reasonable accommodations to enable persons with disabilities to engage in programs offered.Should you need an ADA accommodation, please contact Shakera Williams at 318-371-1371  no later than 2 weeks before your accommodation is needed. 

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

Mid-week softball scores


Minden High School 16, Woodlawn 0

No other details were available by publication time.


Lady Warriors take lead in fourth inning to defeat Loyola

Lady Warriors took the lead late and defeated Loyola 12-2 Tuesday.  The game was tied at two with Lady Warriors batting in the bottom of the fourth when Emily Jones singled on the first pitch of the at bat, scoring one run.

Lakeside was boosted by Laiklyn Squyres who went 4-for-4 at the plate.  Squyres singled in the second, tripled in the fourth, singled in the sixth and tripled in the sixth.

Lady Warriors pulled away for good with one run in the fourth inning.

They tallied seven runs in the sixth inning.  Rainie Hughes, Paiton Levesque, McKenna Chreene and Squyres powered the big inning with RBIs.

Chreene was on the rubber for Lady Warriors. The pitcher went six innings, allowing two runs on three hits, striking out 12 and walking zero.

L Krieg was in the circle for Loyola. The hurler surrendered 12 runs on 17 hits over five and two-thirds innings, striking out three and walking zero.

Lady Warriors socked one home run on the day when Raleah Harris went long in the fifth inning.

Lady Warriors had 17 hits in the game.  Squyres, Chreene, Levesque, Jones, Harris and Mackenzie McCoy all managed multiple hits. Squyres went 4-for-4 at the plate to lead Lady Warriors in hits.

Two pitchers work together in no-hitter as North Webster beats Carroll

North Webster Lady Knights’ two pitchers didn’t allow a single hit, as they defeated Carroll 18-0 Tuesday. Carlie Campbell induced a groundout from Gray to get the last out of the game.

The Lady Knights got things moving in the first inning when Aniyah Davis singled on a 2-0 count, scoring one run.

North Webster put up six runs in the fifth inning. The offense in the inning came from a single by Kerianne Allen, a home run by Paige Timmons and an error on a ball put in play by Kensy Brown.

Emma Newsom earned the win for North Webster Lady Knights. The pitcher allowed zero hits and zero runs over four innings, striking out seven. Campbell threw one inning in relief out of the bullpen.

Harris took the loss for Carroll. The hurler surrendered 18 runs on 12 hits over five innings, striking out one.

North Webster Lady Knights   tallied one home run on the day when Timmons went deep in the fifth inning.

The Lady Knights tallied 12 hits. Anna Ray, Davis, Timmons and Brown each racked up multiple hits for North Webster Lady Knights. Ray led North Webster with three hits in four at-bats. Anekah Coleman led with four stolen bases, as they ran wild on the base paths with ten stolen bases.

Quitman 5, MHS 1

Minden High School’s girls softball game Tuesday was listed as “unfinished.” No other details were available.

Glenbrook 24, Ringgold 4

Glenbrook girls’ team did not have a game recap.

North Webster Lady Knights jumps out to early lead in victory over North Caddo

North Webster Lady Knights grabbed an early lead on its way to a 17-6 victory over North Caddo Monday when they scored on a walk by Carlie Campbell, an error, and a double by Kensy Brown in the first inning.

The Lady Knights collected nine hits and North Caddo had five in the high-scoring affair.

North Webster tallied five runs in the third inning. Landree Andrews, Anna Ray and Anekah Coleman all drove in runs in the frame.

North Caddo scored three runs in the second inning. Hankings and #19 each had RBIs in the frame.

Emma Newsom pitched North Webster Lady Knights to victory. The righty lasted one-third of an inning, allowing one hit and zero runs while walking zero.

#19 took the loss for North Caddo. undefined lasted four and a third innings, allowing nine hits and 17 runs while striking out six.

Campbell started the game for North Webster. The righthander allowed four hits and six runs over four and two-thirds innings, striking out eight

The Lady Knights racked up nine hits. Andrews and Coleman all managed multiple hits. Andrews went 3-for-3 at the plate to lead the team in hits. They stole 13 bases during the game as three players stole more than one. Campbell led the way with five.

North Caddo scattered five hits in the game. Hankings and #19 all had multiple hits for North Caddo. #17 led North Caddo with two stolen bases, as they ran wild on the base paths with six stolen bases.

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LQHBA SCHOLARSHIPS: $6,000 to be awarded

Join us for the Mardi Gras Futurity and Louisiana Downs Futurity at Louisiana Downs on Saturday, March 25, 2023

Three scholarships will be awarded through a LIVE drawing in the Louisiana Downs winner’s circle on Saturday, March 25th, immediately following the 4th race.

Applicants must register in person beginning at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 25, 2023.

Registration will close promptly after the third race.


  • For more information on the scholarship eligibility or the rules, please see the attached flyer or visit LQHBA.COM

Local author is next museum speaker

Local author Randy Grigsby has written two books on the Holocaust – A Train To Palestine and This Labyrinth of Darkness and Light  and he will share his experiences with the public April 10 at the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum.

Grigsby was born in Minden and graduated Minden High School in 1969. After working several jobs, including the oilfield, he enrolled in Louisiana Tech, graduating in 1978 with degrees in Journalism and History. 

He moved to Shreveport in the spring of 1978 and worked on the wire desk of the Shreveport Times. In November 1978, Randy began a sales career which spanned 35 years – including copiers and computer sales, and the last 25 years in the medical equipment industry. After retiring from General Electric Healthcare in June 2011, he pursued his desire to write.

However, in 2014, Grigsby found his true purpose in writing while in Israel with his wife, Joyce. One night before the tour group was to visit the Yad Vashem (the Holocaust museum), he had a dream about the Tehran Children, which is the theme of his book, A Train to Palestine, which he worked on for more than three years. It is his first non-fiction book. 

The book is published by Vallentine Mitchell, a London publishing company who was the first to publish Anne Frank’s Diary in English in the late 1950s.

His wife is from Shreveport, and she also possesses a love for God and the land of Israel. Grigsby has a stepdaughter, Natalie and son-in-law Neal, and three grandchildren. Randy and Joyce like to travel to the mountains during their downtime.

Grigsby will also sign books that evening.

The museum events are held in the Media/Learning room at the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum, 116 Pearl Street, Minden. Museum doors will open at 5:30 p.m., with first-come, first-serve seating. Program begins at 6 p.m. Admission is free with potluck desserts and snacks welcome.

For more information contact Schelley Brown Francis at 318-377-3002 or visit www.museuminminden.blogspot.com to sign up for the museum email blast. You can also find the museum on Facebook. To learn more about Webster Parish’s rich history visit the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum located at 116 Pearl Street in Minden. Museum hours; Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (closed from 1-2 for lunch). Open by appointment only on other days. The museum admission is free. Also open for special tours and rental by appointment.

Advocating health care

Dear Editor,

There are a number of reasons why people want to get involved in state politics. One of my driving factors is health care policy, specifically delivering the best health care at a better value. 

As a State Representative who serves on the Health and Welfare Committee, I am keenly aware of the federal programs that serve my constituents well and which ones are less effective. One program that has delivered positive health outcomes and affordable coverage to Louisianans is Medicare Advantage. 

This program allows the private sector to work with the government to deliver more choices to seniors and individuals with disabilities. There are no two health circumstances that are the same, so it makes little sense to have a one-size-fits-all approach to senior health care. With Medicare Advantage, seniors can access supplemental benefits like preventative screenings and in-home caregiver support that are critical for both their physical and financial well-being. 

I will continue to advocate for healthcare programs like Medicare Advantage that save taxpayer dollars while simultaneously providing better health outcomes to enrollees. We should be supporting this program, not cutting as the Biden administration is proposing currently. We’re lucky that those who represent us in DC – Congressman Johnson, Senator Cassidy, and Senator Kennedy – are tireless advocates for our seniors. 


Rep. Thomas Pressly 

House District 6

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 23

6 p.m.UCAP Hungerfest & Dessert Auction. First United Methodist Church, 903 Broadway, Minden.

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 airrunnersaviation@yahoo.com, faxed to 318.377.6789, or delivered in person to the Minden Airport no later than March 24.

March 28

6:30 p.m. Doors open at Minden Civic Center for Greater Minden Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Gala. Program begins at 7 p.m. Call 377-4240 for more information.

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.

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 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 16. All civil suits are a matter of public record.

March 16

Barbara Dawson vs. United Services Automobile Association/Carl Edward Hall, damages.

March 17

SKOPOS Financial LLC vs. Judy Taylor, monies due.

James Franklin Ratcliff Jr., vs. Ashley Jean Ratcliff, divorce.

Rebecca McEachern vs. Gerald Leslie McEachern, divorce.

Bettye Burton vs. B. B. Burton, divorce.

March 21

Bobbie Ellis vs. Frandesia White, protective order.

GMFS LLC vs. Dennis Alan Northcutt and Mettie Ellen Davidson Northcut, executory process.

Roy Brandon Green vs. BoDixie Sherman, divorce.

Lisa Kathryn Park vs. Herbert Scott Park, divorce.

March 22

Savannah Maria Herring vs. Johnny Lee Herring, divorce w/children.

Sherry D. Cullins vs. Patrick C. Cullins, divorce.

Republic Finance LLC vs. Toccara Ford, monies due.

Haden Gilland vs. Webster Parish District Attorney, name change.

Shannon Gilliland vs. Webster Parish District Attorney, name change.

Daniel W. Williams vs. Shannon Lea Turner Williams, divorce.

Destiny Bozeman vs. Catalina Structured Funding Inc., structured settlement.

Savannah Wilson vs. Robert W. Beil Jr., protective order.

Notice of Death – March 22, 2023

Judy J. Rayner

April 28,, 1952 – March 21, 2023

Minden, La.

Visitation: 5 until 7 p.m. Friday, March 24, 2023, Rose Neath Funeral Home, Minden.

Funeral service: 10:30 a.m. Saturday, March 25, 2023, Pine Grove Methodist Church, Minden.

Burial: Pine Grove Cemetery: 11:45 a.m. Saturday.

Lance Jacob Jeremiah Souter

Sept. 19, 1986 – Feb. 24, 2023

Springhill, La.

Visitation: 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., Saturday, March 25, 2023, Bailey Funeral Home, Springhill.

Memorial service: 2 p.m. Saturday, immediately following visitation.

Burial: Springhill Cemetery, under the direction of Bailey Funeral Home.

Delores (Dee) Basco

June 28, 1952 – March 20, 2023

Visitation: 5 until 7 p.m. Friday, March 24, 2023, Rose-Neath Funeral Home, Minden.

Funeral service: 10-10:45 a.m. Saturday, March 25, 2023, Evergreen Union Church.

Burial: Evergreen Cemetery

Jackie B. Cook

Oct. 22, 1939 – March 20, 2023

Heflin, La.

Memorial service: pending

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.)

School employees to mark calendar

Every Webster Parish school system employee will have a vote to determine which of two recommended calendars for school year 2023-24 will be adopted, after school board members unanimously voted to approve the recommendation of a three-member school calendar committee.

Board members met in special session Monday following a calendar committee meeting where the two options were discussed.

Superintendent of Schools Johnny Rowland said the question of choice would be forwarded electronically to all employees Tuesday, with a deadline of Thursday (March 23) at 4 p.m. for votes to be received.

Rowland said the calendar chosen would be determined by a “majority wins” solution. Each employee will be able to vote anonymously via the school system’s Internet connection, and voting on the calendars will be voluntary. Using the system site will ensure privacy and security, Rowland said.

During discussion on calendars, board President Charles Strong said making a selection requires “…greater, more active cooperation between all stakeholders including the school board, school staff and parents. The calendar is a missing puzzle piece.”

Strong included parents among what he described as stakeholders due to “…a ground-swell around the country where parents expect to be stakeholders. Our discussions should be based on what’s best for students and families.”

But board and committee members wondered what steps needed to be considered in order to get parents involved in decisions such as preparing and adopting school calendars.

“We need to think about how do we involve parents,” board vice-president Johnnye Kennon said. “We should look for answers.”

ASA Tourney to make second appearance locally

By Paige Nash

Preparations are underway for the 2023 Archery Shooters Association (ASA) Championship Pro/Am Tournament to be held at Camp Minden, April 27-30. 

“Workers are already working,” said Administrative Assistant for the Webster Parish Convention and Visitors Commission (WPCVC) Johnnye Kennon. “They have been working now for about three weeks. What they are doing is cutting the lanes. Some of the lanes have grown-up since last year, so they are cutting them back. They have to have over 400 lanes for the competitors.” 

Last year’s competition marked the beginning of at least a 10-year contract for the ASA to be held at this location. According to last year’s ASA report, participants, spectators, sponsors and staff traveled from 41 states, plus Canada and Australia. 

Solidification of this new contract was made possible by the WPCVC partnering with the Shreveport- Bossier Convention and Tourists Bureau. The two boards received immense amounts of support from Camp Minden, Caddo Commissioners, Bossier Parish Police Jury and Webster Police Jury.  

“It was a joint effort in selling Minden as the location to host this event and it was successful. We are guaranteed ten years of hosting this event at Camp Minden. There is so much space out there. The only reason they would need to leave was if they outgrew the event,” said WPCVC Executive Director Serena Gray. “When their ten-year mark comes, they will be able to determine whether they need to move and if they don’t need to move because of space, they would like to stay as long as our partnerships stay as healthy and strong as they are right now. That is very good news for us.”  

This year’s competition will kick off on Friday, April 28 with a crawfish boil reception followed by the preliminary shooting competition taking place at Camp Minden. On Saturday, they will hold the indoor competition at the Bossier Civic Center. Finals and the award ceremony are scheduled for Sunday at Camp Minden. 

Area officials predict the event will generate around $25 million in economic impact over the period of ten years and bring in about 2,500 visitors per year. The local economy will benefit tremendously with visitors filling up campsites, hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts and Airbnbs, shopping and eating out.  

“We have a commitment with the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission to provide lunches for the workers. This is a way that we can ensure that our local restaurants benefit from the event,” said Kennon. “I will be ordering their food every day and bringing it to them. As we purchase the lunches for these workers, we are reimbursed after the event is over. Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission reimburses us for all the expenses for the lunches.” 

This year’s tournament is sponsored by Easton Hoyt Archery. Information on registration, lodging and a more detailed schedule of events can be found on the ASA website, www.asaarchery.com. Scores will be posted following the event.  

Mary-Evelyn King in Still Life

By Marilyn Miller

Not many a professional can reach the age of 19 having already spent 16 years in her craft. But Mary-Evelyn King has done exactly that. She’s been an artist since the age of three.

The Louisiana Tech University Freshman recently entered a student art competition sponsored by the School of Design. A student “could enter up to five pieces of work, as long as the piece was completed in the classroom over the past year,” Mary-Evelyn explained, adding that she saw it as “an opportunity to become recognized for the pieces I’d done in class.”

“The professor set up a still life in the room,” she said. “I drew it on black paper, so I could use only one white pencil for the whole thing.” No going back. No erasing. “There were 38 different artists competing, each with the opportunity to submit up to five pieces, so there were 190 works submitted,” she said.

At the end of competition, the “outside” judges from the Norton Art Gallery in Shreveport judged Mary-Evelyn’s “Complaisant Carousel,” a 25”x19” white charcoal on black paper entry as “Best in Show” in its division.

She liked the win, she liked the cash, but most of all “it was very exciting for me because it was so unexpected. Usually upper classmen are selected – it’s uncommon for a Freshman to be selected.”

Mary-Evelyn, the daughter of Doug and Angela King of Minden, is majoring in Graphic Design. “There are so many different routes you can take with that,” she admits. So as soon as she has her degree, she’s headed for Nashville, Tennessee looking for a record label.


No, she won’t be singing like the rest of her family, she’s hoping to find a creative team that is one person short.

“I’ll be talking to record labels and their creative teams who help music artists who are in the process of making an album. First you find out what they envision, then the creative team helps them develop (that look). You see the art before you hear the music, and that’s important. Everything is online today, so the first thing about a new album is getting someone to stop and take a look.”

Mary-Evelyn has found that she enjoys learning about what makes people stop and look. “Like different fonts (type-faces) can make people like or dislike something. If you see it (the art on the album) and it’s not too good, then you might not stop,” she said. 

Colors also make a difference. Using the example of a Stop Sign being red and white because it is the most readable color combination, Mary-Evelyn pauses, “What’s really cool is that everything like that has a graphic designer behind it.”

Asked if she thinks a degree in Graphic Design will get her to Nashville, she replies in the positive.  While a lot of graphic design today is computer-based, many ‘wanna be’ designers don’t have that hands-on drawing experience when they reach college.

“I already have the (drawing) experience. And now there are ways to take a picture (of a drawing) and transfer it to the computer, so that will help.”

Why drawing?

“I think that being a perfectionist pushes me toward drawing because it gives me so much more room to be detailed. I am creative, but I really love details,” she answers.

She does admit that her classes at LTU in Ruston are “forcing me out of my comfort zone (into different forms of art).”

“But at the end of the day, drawing is my favorite.”

Mary-Evelyn admits that she has been drawing all her life and loving it. She began when she was about three, but became serious at age 12, when she determined to practice every day, watched videos on drawing, and invested in some good pencils. “They really make a difference,” she said.

In 2019, Mary-Evelyn entered her first big competition, the Louisiana Peach Festival-sponsored art show. She took “Best of Show” with a portrait, and second place with a detailed drawing. She was told afterwards that “they couldn’t award first place to the same person.”

“Does that mean I really won first place with my detailed drawing?” she asked, a smile in her voice.

In 2022, the graphic artist entered the George Rodrigue Art Competition and won fourth place and a $2,000 scholarship. The statewide show had a theme of “Louisiana Foods & Culture.” Her drawing depicted her 10-year-old cousin, Meredith Bell, holding a crawfish. The drawing was all shades of black and white, except for the crawfish, which was bright red. She named it “Meredith Meets Mudbug.”

Mary-Evelyn’s family recently learned that “Meredith Meets Mudbug” is featured in the newly-released, “The Pot and the Palette” Cookbook II, sponsored by the George Rodrique Foundation for the Arts.

Mary-Evelyn is “older sister” to Allie King, and is granddaughter to Raymond and Benita Bell. She is a 2022 graduate of Glenbrook School.