ASA Tour event this weekend

It’s almost time for competitive archers, family, staff and sponsors to arrive at Camp Minden for the second McKenzie Archery Shooters Association (ASA) Easton/Hoyt Pro/Am Tour event.

To assist the anticipated large crowds, Bossier Parish is supplying signage directing participants and guests to the shooting ranges for the big event which kicks off Thursday, April 27 and continues through Sunday.

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.

Mays joining WPJ staff

Webster Parish Journal is very pleased to announce a new face on our staff that will be familiar to many local business owners.

Curtis Mays joins us beginning May 9.

“Curtis’ area of expertise is media advertising, and we are so happy to have him onboard,” said WPJ publisher Bonnie Culverhouse. “As our sales manager and account executive, Curtis brings fresh ideas and a wealth of advertising knowledge to the table.”

Mays has been in advertising for almost 20 years.

“I would like to thank Bonnie and Pat Culverhouse for the opportunity to join the team at WPJ,” Mays said. “I look forward to working with everyone, some whom I have known and worked with for years in the past.”

Mays said he is also excited to continue working with new and previous business leaders in Webster Parish “with whom I have developed a great working relationship over the past 18 years. I believe the WPJ is a true asset to our community by providing up-to-the-minute news, sports and information to its readers,” he continued. “With solid leadership and a great staff, I look forward to helping the WPJ with my experience to continue to thrive and move forward.”

Mays will oversee account executives Randy Ward and Paige Nash. Nash also covers news and publishes Claiborne Parish and Bienville Parish journals.

Along with Nash, WPJ writers are Pat and Bonnie Culverhouse, Marilyn Miller and Josh Beavers.

“We have a very strong staff now,” Bonnie Culverhouse said. “May 18 Webster Parish Journal will celebrate its second anniversary, and the publication’s growth in readership and advertising is phenomenal.”

Series: Vietnam veterans killed in action

Corporal Paul Douglas Dukes

Corporal Paul Douglas Dukes was 19 years old when he was Killed in Action in Tam Ky, Quang Nam, Vietnam.  Corporal Dukes was born on 13 Aug 1950 to Daniel Webster Dukes and Annie Louise Dukes.  

He was a member of the United States Marine Corps and held the rank of an E4.  He was listed as a rifleman. He served for two years.  His unit was recorded as SCOUT/SNIPER PLT, HQ CO, 1ST MARINES, 1ST MARDIV, III MAF.  

He started his tour on September 6, 1968, and lost his life almost a year later.  His casualty type was listed as Hostile, ground casualty.  He is buried at the Gardens of Memory Cemetery in Minden, Webster Parish, Louisiana, USA.

He will be honored at our Armed Forced Day Celebration.  Please remember his sacrifice and the freedom he gave us.

He was a member of the United States Marine Corps and held the rank of an E4.  He was listed as a rifleman. He served for two years.  His unit was recorded as SCOUT/SNIPER PLT, HQ CO, 1ST MARINES, 1ST MARDIV, III MAF.  

He started his tour on September 6, 1968, and lost his life almost a year later.  His casualty type was listed as Hostile, ground casualty.  

He will be honored at our Armed Forced Day Celebration.  Please remember his sacrifice and the freedom he gave us.

Cindy Madden

Regent-Dorcheat-Bistineau Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution

There’s more to the story this Library Week

We called it the “lie-ba-rare-ry” or “lie-berry” but of course it’s properly The Library, and on this National Library Week we honor the place where each of us, in our hometowns and school houses, spent a large part of our formative years in this glorious building that held more fact and fiction than you could digest in a dozen lifetimes.

The Writer’s Almanac reminds me that the Library of Congress, or “Gramps” as all the other libraries call it, was founded this week in 1800. Had 964 books and nine maps. 

Today, it’s a bit of a different ballgame, and if you work there, you best buckle your chinstrap. The Library of Congress has more than 17 million books now, plus recordings and art and lots of maps (like, way more than the original nine) and gets 15,000 new items each workday. They’ve got books like Hamlet had the crazies.

Speaking of, maybe the Library of Congress’s birth is why we celebrate this final week of April as National Library Week, but maybe it’s because the Bard of Avon and pretty good hand, William Shakespeare, is thought to have been born April 23, 1564, and for certain died on the same date, 52 years later, I forswear. He’s considered our greatest English dramatist and was also clever in the sonnet game:

Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
For thy sweet love remember’d such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

Except for that one time you were mean to me

And I thought, “What the heck; I’ll go ahead and scorn.”

He was a handful, ol’ William was.

So when you go by your local library branch this week, maybe tip your cap to this magical place, a joint that has plenty for kids of all ages, a place that connects the community and shares internet for job seekers and self-educators, a rest stop for movie night and craft night and poetry readings, if such is your thing.

And books. If you haven’t read or listened to one lately, here are a few I’ve finished so far this year, and brief reviews, just to rattle your cage and get you to thinking.

Amor Towles was an investments pro in Manhattan for 20 years, writing on the side, and is now a fulltime novelist and thank goodness. He is a wizard of time and place, a handy vocabulary but not high-falutin’, and tremendous with characters. My favorite of his three books is A Gentleman in Moscow, about an aristocrat sentenced to life in a luxury hotel across from the Kremlin in 1920, soon to be a Showtime/Paramount series starring Ewan McGregor as Count Alexander Rostov, now one of my favorite fictional people.

The Lincoln Highway is about four boys in 1954 who mean to go to San Francisco and end up in New York, and Rules of Civility stars a wonderful female character, Katey Kontent, a normal girl thrown into high society in post-depression New York City. Doesn’t sound like much, but I wish I could read each of them again for the first time.

Did not enjoy Ghost Storyby Peter Straub, although it was a hit when released in 1979 and the movie (Fred Astaire and some other biggies were in it) was good, which is why I wanted to read it. Mistake.

Did not like The Haunting of Hill House, 1959, from Shirley Jackson (she wrote the short story The Lotterythat we all read in high school). I wish Hill House had been only a short story.

And didn’t enjoy Fahrenheit 451, the 1953 classic by Ray Bradbury. It’s about banning books and so in the current climate, I thought I’d catch up. Instead, I wish I’d have banned myself from reading it. No doubt it was timely, though, 70 years ago.

More fiction I did like was Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, speaking of catching up, as this is the Stephen King short story, more of a novella, that the movie is based on. The movie is better but the story, of justice and hope and friendship and humanity, is just so good.

Stoner by John Williams didn’t get a lot of raves in 1965 when released but it is beautifully written “academic” or “campus” novel about a farm boy who becomes an English professor and comes to terms with a life that didn’t go as he’d planned. And why I’ve felt recently like reading novels 60 years old is a mystery even to my own personal self.

Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt (2022) starring a talking octopus named Marcellus (or at least he shares his thoughts) is about how we are better together, whether we have two arms or whether we have eight.

Out of room, so, suggested non-fiction I’ve read this year, and would recommend each, depending on your interests.

The Storyteller’s Nashville by Tom T. Hall, if you like Tom T. Hall.

Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story, by Rick Bragg, if you like Jerry Lee Lewis or are just interested in a fellow Louisianan.

Killer Triggers and I Will Find You, by Joe Kenda, the Colorado detective who became famous through TV’s Homicide Hunters. If you’re a fan, you might prefer the audio versions; he narrates them.

Something Wonderful: Rogers and Hammerstein by Todd Purdum; this bureau has a fascination with musical theatre.

On Writing by Stephen King. His wife pulled the draft of Carrie out of the trash and suggested he keep trying so …

And finally, enjoyed To Wake the Giant, Pearl Harbor historical fiction by Jeff Shaara, a longtime pro in the war arena, and Unsinkable, which is not fiction but is the real thing about five men aboard the World War II destroyer USS Plunkett, and especially their “problem” that day at Anzio. Studs.

Happy reading or listening, and happy National Library Week. Got anything to share?

Contact Teddy at or Twitter@MamaLuvsManning 

Springhill woman arrested for stealing money from employer

By Bonnie Culverhouse

A north Webster Parish resident is behind bars after stealing money from her employer in different ways.

Jeanette Underwood, 25, of the 600 block of 4th St., Springhill, surrendered to Springhill Police. She is charged with monetary instrument abuse, forgery and identity theft. Her bonds total $85,000.

According to police reports, Underwood voluntarily arrived at the Springhill Police Department where, during interview, she admitted to forging documents at her place of employment – a small loan company – on several occasions, using other individuals’ identities for forgery and on several occasions removed cash from the business.

After being questioned for several minutes, Underwood reportedly stated she didn’t want to talk about it any longer, and the interview immediately stopped. She was placed under arrest and transported to Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center.

This information has been provided by a law enforcement agency as public information. Persons named as suspects in a criminal investigation, or arrested and charged with a crime, have not been convicted of any criminal offense and are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Webster Parish 4-H Shooting Sports competes at State

The 2023 4-H Shooting Sports State Competition was held April 14 – April 23 at Long Range Alley Gun Club and David Means Memorial 4-H Center in Grand Cane and Shreveport Gun Club. Members of Webster Parish 4-H Shooting Sports competed against competitors from across the state in a variety of shooting sports competitions bringing home a total of 43 medals over the course of the week. 

In Junior Air Rifle, Emmersyn Demmon placed 3rd in 3-Position.

In BB Gun, Mahailey Nail placed 2nd on the BB test. Madison McGraw placed 10th in Prone, 10th in Sitting, tied for 7th place on the BB test, and placed 8th Overall. Camryn Nail placed 10th in Kneeling and 6th in Prone. Madison Miller tied for 7th place on the BB test. Drake Puckett placed 3rd in Kneeling, 3rd on the BB test, and 7th Overall. Webster Parish also had the 2nd place BB team composed of Mahailey Nail, Camryn Nail, Madison Miller, Madison McGraw, and Drake Puckett. In July, they will compete at the Daisy National BB Gun Championship in Rogers, Arkansas.

In Smallbore Rifle, Mahailey Nail placed 1st in Junior CMP No Scope and 8th in Junior Silhouette. Danielle Collins placed 3rd, Cailey Nail placed 4th, and Madison McGraw placed 5th in Senior CMP No Scope. Brandon Bell placed 3rd in Smallbore Rifle NRA.

In Shotgun, Franklin Bridwell placed 2nd in Junior Modified Trap. Nolan Still placed 3rd and Brice Baker placed 6th in Senior Modified Trap.

 In Advanced Shotgun, Alex Bailey placed 5th in Sporting Clays and 10th Overall.

In Archery, Modified FITA, Jackson Baker placed 1st in Junior Recurve Bare Bow. Brailyn Baker placed 3rd and Nia Lee placed 5th in Junior Genesis. Mary Jane Migues placed 10th in Junior (9-11) Compound Limited. Preston Winston placed 4th and Levi Bogdan placed 6th in Junior (12-13) Compound Limited. Danielle Collins placed 5th and Mallory Coleman placed 7th in Senior Genesis. Madelyn Smith placed 9th and Luke Butcher placed 10th in Senior Compound Open. Noah Kaffka placed 10th in Senior Limited.

In 3D Archery, Preston Winston tied for 1st and Levi Bogdan placed 6th in Junior (12-13) Compound Limited. Luke Butcher placed 2nd in Senior Compound Open. 

In Field Archery, Luke Butcher placed 3rd in Senior Compound Open.

Two alternatives that will also go to Nationals with the BB Team – Landyn Goynes and Sadie Smith.

The Webster Parish 4-H Shooting Sports Program is under the leadership of coordinators Benjamin Gorman and Phyllis McGraw and coaches Danny Puckett, Benji Bell, Phyllis McGraw, Sutton Orenbaun, Brian Still, Jeri McCuen, Wade Butcher, Regina Butcher, and Benjamin Gorman. For information about participating in or supporting the Webster Parish 4-H Shooting Sports program, please contact the LSU AgCenter Extension Office at (318) 371-1371.

Checking boxes and covering bases

BARBERINO-TAVARNELLE, TUSCANY— For the past several years— and for the foreseeable future— I have spent approximately 90 days each year hosting Americans in Europe. I am currently seven weeks into my Spring 2023 trips with the fourth group I’ve hosted since mid-March. We are in Tuscany. Next week I will head to Holland and Belgium to host a group of 25 Americans, most of whom have traveled with me before. For some it will be their fifth or sixth trip with me over the past six years. We are fast friends by now.

On these tours I tell my guests that my plan is to, “Cover all the bases, and check all of the boxes.” What I mean by that is the week they spend in Tuscany, or the 10 days in Spain, or 10 days in the Netherlands and Belgium, I want each of them to experience as much of the country’s culture, art, architecture, craftsmanship, personalities, landscapes, wine, spirits— and especially cuisine— as they can. It is my goal that when they are on their flight home, they will look back on the time they spent and realize how much ground we covered, and how much they experienced.

To accomplish this, we eat a lot of food. In Tuscany, our typical meals consist of way more than the typical Italian would eat daily. For those who are first time travelers it takes two or three days to get into the flow of my trips and to realize the amount of food that is going to be served. For the seasoned guests who have been with me a few times, they understand from day one.

In Tuscany, we probably cover two weeks worth of Tuscany in one week. That holds true for the food choices as well. We eat a lot of food. But, again, I want to cover all the bases and check all the boxes. I want my guests to get an accurate representation of the cuisine in this part of the world in the short time they are here. To do that we have to order a lot of food.

Sometimes guests, in the early days of a trip, will complain, “It’s too much food.”

I always reply, “No one is going to make you eat it all. Just eat what you like, or eat small portions of each.”

The beauty of this system is that there are no misses. I have cherrypicked all the restaurants and meals. I have eaten at these restaurants dozens— if not hundreds in some instances— of times. Everything is a hit. That’s one thing that happens when traveling. You can take all the recommendations and reviews you think you need, but there are still misses. I have eliminated the misses, and all the meals are perfect.

Last week a guest suggested I print T-shirts that state, “There’s more food coming.” I had never thought about it, but it’s obviously something I say often on these trips. My aim is true. I don’t want my guests to fill up on the antipasti course before getting the primi, or the secondi. And certainly not before the dessert. I never thought about how much I use that phrase because I’m typically in host mode and focused on the business at hand.

If one is going to check all the boxes and cover all the bases one must have diverse offerings at every turn. In Spain that is easy to do as we move from city to city every couple of days. The food in Madrid is much different than the food in Barcelona. The same goes with Valencia, Seville, and Malaga which is on the Mediterranean and has a plentiful seafood bounty.

I have hosted tours that included Venice, Bologna, and Milan in one week. Those are all Italian cities. But the cuisine is substantially different in each. Venice leans heavily towards the bounty from the sea, Bologna, a city that many call, “The food capital of Italy,” is very meat-centric, and Milan is a city with a lot of Austrian and French influences in their food— dairy products are used more often than in any other part of the country.

When leading groups through Rome, the Amalfi Coast, and Naples the choices are easy. Rome being a major European capital the food choices are diverse and the offerings are “big city Italian.” The Amalfi Coast is full of excellent seafood that was swimming that morning. Naples is ground zero for pizza, so during those trips the job is easier. All I need to do is find the right restaurants.

In Tuscany, the area of the country that I know best, I focus on what the locals eat. We eat pizza, in the small Tuscan town of Tavarnelle-Barberino which has one of my top two pizza restaurants in the entire country in Vecchia Piazza (the other is Piccolo Buco in Rome). But there are so many other Tuscan classic dishes such as pappa pomodoro, ribollita, dishes with multiple uses of white beans, classic soups, Florentine steak, several pastas, and several dishes using truffles. The food in the countryside outside of Florence is very rustic and workmanlike. I love it. It’s right up my alley.

One thing I overlooked in the early days of my travels here was seafood. I will admit that I am a little bit of a Gulf Coast seafood snob. I believe— and still believe— that the bounty of seafood that comes from the Gulf of Mexico is the best in the world. You can tout the seafoods from the Pacific Coast, Atlantic Coast, Mediterranean and other exotic locales. But the seafood I have eaten all my life that comes from the warm waters Gulf of Mexico is, according to my taste, far superior to all others. Though Tuscany does a great job with seafood. So much of this region consists of the Mediterranean coastline. One of the favorite meals I host for my guests is at an excellent seafood restaurant, Trattoria del Pesce, where we eat mussels, clams, salt-crusted sea bass, and even fish for dessert. It’s excellent.

Yesterday when I told my guests that someone in the previous group suggested I pass out T-shirts that say, “There is more food coming.” One of the new guests suggested that the back of the shirt say, “And wine too!” It’s true. They eat a lot, they drink a lot, and it’s my goal that they “want” for nothing. But we’re in Italy. We need to experience as much of this part of the world as we can in a short period of time. The fact that so many return to travel with me for a fifth or sixth time lets me know I must be doing something right.

It’s work, and sometimes it’s hard work, but if you’ve got to work somewhere, this isn’t a bad place to do it. In the meantime, I’ll continue to cover all the bases and check all the boxes.


Pasta Carbonara

No peas, no cream. That’s real Pasta Carbonara.

1 lb. Dry spaghetti pasta
1 gallon Water
¼ cup + ½ tsp Kosher salt
3 TB Extra virgin olive oil
½ lb. Guanciale or Pancetta, medium diced
2 cups  Parmigianino Reggiano, shredded
1 tsp  Fresh ground black pepper
4 each  Whole large eggs, beaten slightly, at room temperature
½ cup  Warm pasta water

Cook the spaghetti using the instructions on the package.

Heat the oil in a small skillet on medium heat. Add pancetta and stir frequently until cooked, about 6-8 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, grated cheese, remaining ½ tsp salt, black pepper, and pasta water (if the water is too hot you might want to add it in small amounts so the eggs won’t scramble). Mix well. Add hot spaghetti. Add the cooked pancetta and its oil over the pasta and combine thoroughly.

Divide among 6-8 serving bowls.

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

Tell the North Webster stories

If you answered yes to the above questions, then we would love to talk with you. 

Webster Parish Journal is looking for a writer to help cover our North Webster Parish area – Springhill, Sarepta, Shongaloo, Cullen and Cotton Valley. We want someone who loves to write features about the people who make this community great.

We also need someone who can take on some assignments and cover local government in those towns.

If this sounds like you, please email We look forward to hearing from you.

Upcoming Events

Send non-profit calendar events to .

April 30

1 p.m. Intro to Kayaking, 194 Caney Lake Rd., Minden, Visit Webster Parish still has 20 spots open.

6 p.m. The Cox Family, First Baptist Church, Springhill.

May 4

6:30 p.m. National Day of Prayer Program, North Acres Baptist Church, 1852 Lewisville Rd., Minden.

May 8

6 p.m. Night At The Museum, featuring Jessica Gorman. (Doors open at 5:30 p.m.) Seating is limited. Please bring potluck snacks and desserts. Admission is free; donations welcome.

May 19

10 a.m. Vietnam Veterans Memorial Sign Dedication, Interstate 20 at Mile Marker 40, hosted by Dorcheat-Bistineau Chapter Daughters o the American Revolution, American Legion Wiley-Pevy Post #74 and Hunter Dickerson VFW Post 2885 and Auxiliary. For more information, contact Cindy Madden at or 318-401-5420.

May 20

10 a.m. until noon Mental Health Awareness at Minden REC Center, 1001 Recreational Drive, Minden. Sponsored by the General Grand Masonic Congress, The Supreme Council and National Alliance on Mental Illness.

11 a.m. Lunch with program at noon, Armed Forces Day Celebration honoring all veterans, Minden Civic Center. Special guests: Vietnam Veterans. Hosted by Dorcheat-Bistineau Chapter Daughters o the American Revolution, American Legion Wiley-Pevy Post #74 and Hunter Dickerson VFW Post 2885 and Auxiliary. For more information or to volunteer, contact Cindy Madden at or 318-401-5420.

Horsing around

Robert LeRoy Parker was a “medium short, stocky build, with blue eyes and an infectious smile.  His sense of humor was highly developed; he made friends easily, was highly dependable when he chose, and was loyal to his friends.”  He could “outrope, outride, and outshoot any man on the range.  He drank sparingly and never allowed women to interfere with his business.”  His business, at this time, was working cattle. 

Sometime in the 1870s, the exact date has been lost to history, Robert stole a saddle and several horses near Circleville, Utah.  Two deputies tracked Robert for miles through the desert and got a lucky break.  They found Robert asleep at camp.  Before he was fully awake and aware, the deputies handcuffed Robert.  Anyone else in that situation would have admitted defeat, but not Robert.  One newspaper reported that Robert’s “mind worked like chain lightning.”  As the deputies were transporting Robert from his camp in the desert to the nearest jail, they stopped near a spring to prepare lunch.  The deputies built a fire and got enough water from the spring to boil a pot of coffee.  One of the deputies went back to the spring to fetch more water while the other deputy stayed to guard their prisoner.  Robert sat near the fire directly across from the guarding deputy.  The deputy squatted by the fire to check on the coffee.  At that instant, Robert kicked the boiling coffee in the face of the deputy.  The deputy grabbed his face and screamed.  Robert snatched the deputy’s pistol from its holster and trained the pistol on the second deputy.  He disarmed the second deputy, retrieved the handcuff keys, and removed the restraints.  In less than a minute, Robert jumped into his stolen saddle and rode away with the stolen horses and the deputies’ two horses. 

In most other cases, that would have been the end of the story.  By most accounts, Robert was a likable, caring guy.  After riding a couple of miles from where he made his escape, he realized that the deputies’ water canteens were still tied to the saddle of their horses.  He knew the area well enough to know that the next nearest spring to the deputies was about 30 miles away.  He knew the deputies would try to walk to some sort of civilization but without their water canteens they would certainly perish.  Robert rode back to the stranded deputies and, to their surprise, returned their water canteens and gave them directions to the next nearest watering hole.  The shocked deputies thanked Robert as he rode away again. 

Robert’s criminal career continued for more than a decade, and he joined forces with other like-minded criminals.  The pressure of continually being pursued by law enforcement officers convinced Robert to leave the country for South America.  He and his most infamous partner purportedly died in a shootout on November 7, 1908.  Robert used many aliases during his criminal career including Santiago Maxwell, Jim Lowe, George Cassidy, and Mike Cassidy.  You and I know Robert LeRoy Parker as Butch Cassidy.  His partner’s alias was the Sundance Kid.

Source: The Salt Lake Tribune, March 19, 1950, p.63.

Robert LeRoy Parker

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.

April 21

Anthony Scott McDonald. 52, of the 1900 block of Walnut St., Springhill, was arrested by Springhill Police for aggravated battery and domestic abuse battery.

April 24

Amanda M. Dillard, 39, of the 100 block of Austin Rd., Minden, was arrested by MPDon a bench warrant for no insurance.

Kevin Wayne Bass, 27, of the 1200 block of Dorcheat Rd., Minden, was arrested by WPSO on two counts of distribution of methamphetamine.

Deshawn Gipson, 33, of the 300 block of Church St., Gibsland, was arrested by MPD on an active bench warrant.

Danny Lee William Lenard, 38, of the 1800 block of Bayou Bend Dr., Bossier City, was arrested by MPD for possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia, obstruction of justice, operating a vehicle with suspended license, possession of alcoholic beverages in motor vehicle and missing brake light.

Roger Wayne Brown, 51, of the 200 block of Melvin Thomas, Doyline, was arrested by WPSO for domestic abuse battery with child endangerment.

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.

Notice of Death – April 25, 2023

Margie Arnold

Oct. 12, 1938 – April 21, 2023

Shongaloo, La.

Visitation: 3 until 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 27, 2023, Bailey Funeral Home.

Funeral service: 4:30 p.m., immediately following visitation.

Sue Walker Camp

Dec. 16, 1944 – April 21, 2023

Shongaloo/Minden, La.

Visitation: 5 until 7 p.m. Thursday, April 27, 2023, Bailey Funeral Home, Springhill.

Funeral service: 10 a.m. Friday, April 28, 2023, Bailey Funeral Home Chapel, Springhill.

Burial: Western Cemetery, Emerson, Ark.

Henry Luther Boggs

June 10, 1934 – April 24, 2023

Visitation and memorial service: 10 a.m. Saturday, April 29, 2023, Cottage Grove Presbyterian Church, Plain Dealing, La.

Judy Ann Wise

January 24, 1948 – April 20, 2023

Shongaloo, La.

Visitation: 1 until 2 p.m. Saturday, April 29, Old Shongaloo Rock Church.

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

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

Webster Parish Journal publishes paid complete obituaries – unlimited words and a photo, as well as unlimited access – $80. Contact your funeral provider or . Must be paid in advance of publication. (Above death notices are free of charge.)

Moreland to be inducted into Small College Basketball Hall of Fame

RUSTON – Small College Basketball and the National Hall of Fame committee announced that former Louisiana Tech great Jackie Moreland will be inducted into the SCB Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2023.

First landing in the national spotlight while establishing a high school scoring record at Minden High School, the 6-foot-7 Moreland was said to have been one of the most sought after basketball recruits in the nation. The local product ended up staying home, coming to LA Tech where he played three seasons (1957-60) for Cecil Crowley the Bulldogs.

“The Small College Basketball Hall of Fame of 2023 is just outstanding! I hope that people take the time to read and research the accomplishments of each member of this class,” said Found of Small College Basketball, John McCarthy. “Collectively and individually, this Hall of Fame Class is historically significant to the great game of basketball at the collegiate level.”

Moreland was LA Tech’s first All-American following his first season. He ended up being an All-American all three years with the Bulldogs as well as a three-time All-Gulf States Conference selection and the 1960 GSC Player of the Year.

He currently ranks 17th on the all-time career scoring list, having totaled 1,491 points. His career scoring average of 21.3 points per game still ranks second in program history while his career rebounding average of 16.0 boards per game is likely to never be broken.

Moreland helped the Bulldogs to a 21-4 record and a Gulf States Conference championship in 1959 while averaging 21.1 points and a school-record 18.7 rebounds per game.

He went on to be the fourth overall pick in the 1960 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons. He played for the Pistons for seven years and later played three more years for New Orleans of the ABA.

Moreland, who passed away on Dec. 21, 1971 at the age of 33, was enshrined into the LA Tech Athletics Hall of Fame in 1984. He was part of the Class of 1984, the first ever class inducted.


He was also inducted in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 1984.

The Small College Basketball Hall of Fame began in 2016, a creation that unites the college basketball from the NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III, NAIA, USCAA, and NCCAA levels. This year’s Nationally Hall of Fame Class marks the seventh class inducted into the Small College Basketball Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony will take place on Friday, Nov. 3 inside the Polk Theatre in Lakeland, Florida.

2023 National Hall of Fame Class
Frankie Allen (Roanoke College)
Gerald Cunningham (Kentucky State)
Bayard Forrest (Grand Canyon)
Greg Grant (Trenton State)
John Grochowalski (Assumption)
Charles Hardnett (Grambling State)
Henry Lee Logan (Western Carolina)
Jackie Moreland (Louisiana Tech)
R.C. Owens (College of Idaho)
Glenn Roberts (Emory & Henry)
Joe Hutton (Hamline)
Ed Steitz

For all the latest in Bulldog Basketball, follow them on Twitter (@LATechHoops), Instagram (@LATechHoops), and Facebook (LATechMBB).


Almost 2,000 attend new venue for Scottish Tartan Festival

Drone photo courtesy of Steve Ford Photograph, Magnolia, Ark.

By Paige Nash

The 21st annual Scottish Tartan Festival was held this past Saturday, April 22, for the first time at the newly-renovated Miller Quarters Park. Approximately 1,700 people gathered in downtown Minden to celebrate Scottish and Irish heritage.  

“We feel that the festival went very well. We had a lot of positive feedback, and a lot of new people that had never been to the festival before,” said Scottish Society of the Louisiana Highlands President Shelia Hoh. “Everyone was very complimentary.” 

Hoh said there were many upsides to having the festival in the new location including the abundance of grassy and shady areas of the park. “Everyone enjoyed sitting under the trees, listening to the music, and seeing the Highland Games that were going on there,” she said. 

The downside was the stage set up in the parking lot of the Civic Center did not get much traffic. 

“I think the weather being as warm as it was made the asphalt hot, and people were not inclined to go there,” said Hoh. 

The entrance was set up at the end of Main Street, where attendees were welcomed by members of the Scottish Society of the Louisiana Highlands. Festival goers were able to stop at a booth specifically set up to research their own heritage and which clans they may belong to.  

Tents were lined up down both sides of the street where various clans displayed their tartans, music, books, food and more. Other local vendors were present selling their own goodies, as well.  

A grand stage was placed right at the entrance of Miller Quarters Park. Many musicians, dancers and speakers captivated and entertained the audience as they came and went throughout the day. Food trucks were set up inside the park, and the Highland Games were held at the bottom of the hill.  

The Civic Center parking lot was also filled with booths and a separate stage for entertainment. This is where Johnnye Kennon, Administrative Assistant of the Webster Parish Convention and Visitors Commission, felt the knees of three kilted men before she named one – “The Bonniest Knees in the Cypress Swamp.”  

There were a lot of first-time visitors this year, Hoh credited this to the buzz leading up to the festival as well as radio and television publicity it received.  

“As far as first-time visitors, I had many people tell me it was their first time. I believe this was due to the fact that we are in the downtown area and people were aware that the festival was happening,” said Hoh. “I think people were unaware there was a festival in the past.” 

The Scottish Society of the Louisiana Highlands board will be holding a committee meeting soon and discuss the feedback that was received, as well as pros and cons of the new location before deciding if they will continue to host the Scottish Tartan Festival at Miller Quarters Park in the future.

(Photos below by Paige Nash.)

McInnis: Family shares ‘Lifetime Achievement’

Philip McInnis, winner of the 2023 Greater Minden Chamber “Lifetime Achievement” Award, rifles through old letters which were discovered during a remodeling project at his home. (Photo by Marilyn Miller)

By Marilyn Miller

The offices of McInnis Insurance Agency, Inc. and McInnis Bros. Construction, Inc. on Pearl Street in Minden, Louisiana are what one would describe as “meandering.” In Roget’s Thesaurus, “meandering” is described as snaking, winding, wandering, and roving.

Ask for a brief history of the McInnis enterprises, and Philip McInnis will soon have you “meandering” through office space, a board room, cubicles, the plan room, individual offices, computer rooms, accounting offices, bid space…up a few steps, down a few steps…through hallways and down sidewalks…looking at photos…peeking at artifacts…and meeting the staff.

However, the “real” history lesson takes place in the boardroom.

At one time, there was an abundance of offices lining Pearl Street that shared contiguous wall space with McInnis Insurance Agency, McInnis Bros. Construction, and a number of other small interior businesses. One-by-one, they were “absorbed,” leaving the two McInnis businesses occupying nearly a block of meandering office space. All of this space continued to grow south along Pearl Street as the McInnis companies grew.

Today, Harry, George and Philip McInnis are officers and members of the Board of Directors of McInnis Bros. Construction. However, under an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan), the company is owned by the employees. An ESOP is an employee benefit plan that enables employees to own part or all of the company they work for at fair market value. McInnis Bros. Construction, Inc. marked its 75th anniversary in 2022.

Harry, George and Philip own McInnis Insurance Agency, Inc., which Philip serves as President. The company will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2024.


When Philip McInnis graduated from Minden High School in 1967, he already had a plan. He enrolled at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, and was awarded his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting in 1971.

But the Vietnam War was still out there, so he enlisted in the National Guard, which took him to Fort Polk in Leesville, Louisiana for Basic Training, plus AIT (Advanced Individual Training). To Tigerland, a manmade hell hole designed to acclimate potential soldiers to the climate and topography of Vietnam… He was there for six months. Not Vietnam, but Ft. Polk.

God blessed Philip McInnis. Vietnam was not in his future. He remained with the 1087th Transportation Company based in Minden until his Honorable Discharge in 1977.

Philip enrolled in the master’s program at LSU in 1972 and graduated with an MBA (Master of Business Administration) in May of 1973.

“Then I came straight on back here,” he said.

“Here” being Minden, where his father, Harry E. McInnis, Sr. and uncle, John D. McInnis, Jr., had been owners and operators of the insurance company started by John D. McInnis, Sr. in 1924. The construction business was organized in 1947.

Okay, why back to Minden, a town of 15,000, in the 1970’s??  Why small-town America?

“Because I was close to my family…because we had two successful businesses here…and because I was just very close to my dad, who had been such a major influence in my life,” McInnis explained.

Philip has only good things to say about his “Pop” and his Uncle John, two brothers who hit it big on Pearl Street in Minden. Throughout the build-out of both companies, all the McInnis family lived in Minden, but they never forgot that their roots were in Castor, a village of 244 citizens in nearby Bienville Parish. A lot of Minden’s Campbell family started there, too.

“Every time Foster Campbell (Louisiana Public Service Commissioner) and I see each other, we have to proudly remind each other that our families are from Castor,” Philip said.

“Pop and Uncle John made their reputations on quality. But I think the McInnis brothers made their reputation in the Construction business in two ways in particular. They were extremely prompt paying their bills. Pop was obsessive about getting bills paid and they would often pay subcontractors before they had been paid by the owner. Also, they did not ‘shop’ subcontractors’ bids. If you were the low bidder at bid time, they honored that, even if some other subcontractor called up and said he’d cut his bid to get the job. This fairness earned them much respect.”

“At LSU, I knew other guys who had family businesses that they could have gone back to…but they chose not to,” McInnis recalled. “But I felt very fortunate to come back and go into business with them (Pop and Uncle John).”

Prior to Philip’s joining McInnis Insurance Agency, his older brother, Harry McInnis, Jr., joined McInnis Construction, as did his older cousin, George McInnis (John’s son). John headed up the Construction company and “Pop” managed the Insurance Agency and the Financial/Accounting end of both companies.

“I loved both Minden and my family. I was very blessed to grow up in the Bay Creek Road neighborhood. We stayed outside all the time…we played games…sandlot baseball…basketball…touch football.”

When Philip was in the fourth grade, Minden High School won the State Championship in basketball. “That was in 1958-59. It inspired me to concentrate on basketball. Pop, Harry and I went to a lot of athletic events, here and in Shreveport. I have great memories of that.”

Philip stayed close to his parents instead of rebelling like so many teenagers did. He still remembers attending those athletic events with his Pop throughout high school and college. He saw the time together as bonding experiences. This continued throughout his career as well.

“On the most important things – ethics, how you treat people – we were the same,” he said of his father, uncle, brother and cousin.

“I came back to Minden from LSU to follow in their footsteps. I felt blessed.”

See Pt. 2 on Thursday.

Minden native named Truman finalist

Dr. William O’Brochta, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Dr. Les Guice, President, Ethan Jeffus, Truman Finalist and Kristi Stake, Coordinator of Competitive Scholarships.

A Minden native was recently named a Truman Finalist. Ethan Jeffus is a Political Science major and student in the Honors Program at Louisiana Tech and one of four state finalists for the scholarship, a highly-competitive national scholarship program that seeks to identify and support outstanding students who plan to pursue careers in public service.

“I have a deep background in volunteerism,” Jeffus said. “I plan on going to law school after undergrad and work with non-profits and use legal knowledge to fight against hunger insecurity.”

While Jeffus did not win the scholarship, being a finalist is an honor as Louisiana Tech has not had a finalist since 1977. There were only four from Louisiana.

“Out of all the applications they got from all the colleges, they narrowed it down to the top four,” Jeffus said. “We were the best of the best.”

During the interview process, applicants were narrowed to one from each state.

The application process is rigorous, and finalists are selected based on their academic achievement, leadership potential, commitment to a career in public service, and potential to make a difference in their communities and the world. Finalists are selected by a regional review panel, and then a national review panel selects the final scholars from among the finalists.

“Being named a Truman Finalist is a significant honor and a testament to a student’s hard work, leadership, and commitment to public service,” said Dr. Joe Koskie, director of the Honors Program. “It also offers valuable networking opportunities and access to a community of scholars and public service leaders.”

Jeffus has been inspired by Louisiana Tech classes such as Contemporary Problems in Government and Social Problems. He has been declared a Louisiana Ambassador by Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser, and has received proclamations from both Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker and late Minden Mayor Terry Gardner for his social initiatives, which include the “Little Free Pantry” that provides access to free food in 14 cities across Louisiana and “Warming Elderly Tootsies” provides new socks to nursing home residents.

“Being named a Truman Scholar Finalist is a great honor. I am beyond humbled to be chosen by the Truman Foundation and for the opportunity to represent the University on the national level,” Jeffus said. “I feel my experiences gained through leadership opportunities at Louisiana Tech have prepared me for this opportunity, and I look forward to continuing to represent my University and state of Louisiana.”

WPJ helps with ‘I do’

The Webster Parish Journal (WPJ) will publish paid engagement and wedding announcements, as well as anniversaries, for couples who reside in the parish, who have relatives in the parish or who are getting married in the parish. (Fees apply.)

This move by the Journal allows couples to showcase their announcement. 

Information for engagement announcements include: 

Digital photograph of the couple 

The couple’s names 

The couple’s hometowns 

High school and/or college of the couple 

Parents’ names and/or grandparents’ names 

Ties to the parish 

Wedding time, date, and place 

An interesting fact about the couple 

Information for the wedding announcements include: 

Digital photograph of the couple 

The couple’s names 

The couple’s hometowns 

High school and/or college of the couple 

Parents’ names and/or grandparents’ names 



Ties to the parish 

Wedding time, date, and place 

For engagement and wedding announcement fees and/or to submit information for publication, please email

Playoffs under way


Lakeside sets stage for victory with early lead over Quitman

Lakeside Warriors jumped out to an early lead over Quitman Wolverines and took home a 6-2 victory Saturday.  Lakeside scored on a single by Jon Jon Dick in the first inning, a single by Bradley Dick in the second inning, a double by CJ Watts in the second inning, and a single by Dick in the second inning.

In the bottom of the first inning, the Warriors tied things up at one when they scored one run on a Dick single.

Lakeside pulled away for good with four runs in the second inning.  In the second Dick singled on the first pitch of the at-bat, scoring one run, Watts doubled on a 0-1 count, scoring two runs, and Dick singled on the first pitch of the at-bat, scoring one run.

Jordan Isbell earned the victory on the hill for Lakeside. The pitcher surrendered one run on two hits over two innings, walking zero.  A number of pitchers entered the game as relief, with Cooper Chase, Watts, Hunter Sutton, and Cade Boley all securing outs and ultimately the victory.

Ian Tilley started the game for Quitman Wolverines. The righthander went four innings, allowing six runs on eight hits and striking out one.  Logan Ponder threw two innings in relief out of the bullpen.

The Warriors racked up nine hits on the day.  Watts, Dick, and Chase all collected multiple hits for Lakeside.  Chase, Dick, and Watts each managed two hits to lead the team.

Cam Deal went 2-for-3 at the plate to lead Quitman  Wolverines in hits.

Early lead for Franklin seals fate for Crimson Tide

Minden Crimson Tide fell behind early and couldn’t come back in an 11-3 loss to Franklin Parish Patriots Saturday.  Franklin Parish scored on a single by Drew Cooper in the first inning and a single by Bryce Curtis in the first inning.

The Minden Crimson Tide struggled to contain the high-powered offense of Franklin Parish Patriots, giving up 11 runs.

The Patriots opened up scoring in the first inning, when Cooper singled on a 1-0 count, scoring one run.

Minden notched three runs in the sixth inning.  The big inning was thanks to walks by Hudson Brown and Brandon Winston and an error on a ball put in play by Price Miller.

Franklin Parish  Patriots scored five runs in the sixth inning.  Hunter Linder, Curtis,  Luke Nichols, and Eli Foster each had RBIs in the frame.

Curtis was the winning pitcher for Franklin Parish Patriots. The hurler lasted five and two-thirds innings, allowing two hits and three runs while striking out five.  Linder threw one and one-third innings in relief out of the bullpen.

Jaxon Smith started the game for Minden. The pitcher surrendered eight runs on seven hits over five and a third innings, striking out four and walking one.  Landon Brewer threw one and two-thirds innings out of the bullpen.

Landyn Huddleston went 2-for-4 at the plate to lead the Tide in hits.

Franklin Parish totaled nine hits in the game.  Kason King, Cooper, and Cason Cloessner each racked up multiple hits.  King led with three hits in four at-bats.

Barbe Buccaneers capture lead early to defeat Glenbrook

Glenbrook Apaches watched the game slip away early and couldn’t recover in a 9-1 loss to Barbe Buccaneers Saturday.  Barbe took the lead on a double in the first inning.

The Apaches struggled to put runs on the board and had a tough time defensively containing Barbe, giving up nine runs.

Barbe Buccaneers opened up scoring in the first inning.  Pressley Courville doubled on a 1-0 count, scoring two runs.

Barbe scored four runs in the seventh inning.  Their offense in the inning was led by Holden Leblanc and Diego Corrales, all sending runners across the plate with RBIs in the inning.

Corrales got the win for the Buccaneers. The lefthander surrendered one run on two hits over five innings, striking out five and walking one.  JD Alexander threw two innings in relief out of the bullpen.

Hayden Harmon was on the mound for Glenbrook Apaches. The hurler surrendered two runs on two hits over three innings, striking out three and walking one.

Glenbrook socked one home run on the day. Jackson Waller had a homer in the second inning.

Waller, Cason Clemons, and Landry Powell each managed one hit to lead Glenbrook.

Barbe Buccaneers collected seven hits.  Corrales and Donovan Lasalle each had multiple hits.

North Webster falls to Caldwell after fifth inning score

North Webster Knights lost the lead late in an 8-3 defeat to Caldwell Parish  Spartans Saturday.  With one out in the top of the fifth AJ Maxwell singled on a 1-0 count, scoring one run.

In the second inning, North Webster got their offense started when an error scored one run .

In the top of the third inning, Caldwell Parish  Spartans tied things up at one when Maxwell reached on a dropped third strike.

After Caldwell Parish Spartans scored one run in the top of the seventh, North Webster Knights answered with one of their own. Caldwell Parish scored when Austin Thomas singled on a 2-2 count, scoring one run.  

North Webster then answered when Kyle Dinkins doubled on the first pitch of the at-bat, scoring one run.

Taryn Varnell got the start for theSpartans. The righty went seven innings, allowing three runs on four hits and striking out three.

Collin McKenzie led things off on the mound for North Webster Knights. The pitcher went four and two-thirds innings, allowing seven runs on five hits and striking out four. Sawyer Wages and Judd Wesson entered the game as relief, throwing one and one-third innings and one inning respectively.

Ethyn Radar went 2-for-3 at the plate to lead North Webster Knights in hits.

The Spartans collected eight hits on the day.  Thomas and Ayden Hillestad all managed multiple hits.  Caldwell Parish Spartans tore up the base paths, as two players stole at least two bases. Tanner Flores led the way with two.


No runs for Simsboro Tigers in perfect game by Spears of Doyline

Noah Spears threw a perfect game Friday to lead Doyline Panthers past Simsboro Tigers 3-0.  Spears induced a groundout from Hunter Stevens to end the game.

The pitching was strong on both sides. Spears struck out 18, while Rabo sat down six.

Spears earned the victory on the hill for the Panthers. Spears allowed zero hits and zero runs over seven innings, striking out 18 and walking zero.

Rabo took the loss for Simsboro Tigers. Rabo surrendered three runs on ten hits over seven innings, striking out six.

Doyline tallied ten hits.  Kenneth Lee, Dakota Stewart, and Caysten Mingo all had multiple hits.  Lee led Doyline with three hits in three at-bats.  The team didn’t commit a single error in the field. Stewart had the most chances in the field with 18.


Minden Crimson Tide falls to Franklin Parish after sixth inning score

Thursday’s game against Franklin Parish Patriots was a heartbreaker for Minden Crimson Tide, as they lost the lead late in a 4-2 defeat.  The game was tied at two with Franklin Parish batting in the bottom of the sixth when Cason Cloessner singled on the first pitch of the at-bat, scoring two runs.

Minden Crimson Tide lost despite out-hitting the Patriots seven to six.

The Tide got things started in the second inning when Hudson Brown grounded out, scoring one run.

Connor Perritt was the winning pitcher for Franklin Parish. The hurler allowed seven hits and two runs over seven innings, striking out three.

Brody Bower took the loss for Minden. The righthander allowed five hits and four runs over five and two-thirds innings, striking out nine.

Minden scattered seven hits in the game. Landyn Huddleston and Elliott Sheppard each collected multiple hits; Sheppard and Huddleston each managed two hits to lead the team.

Franklin Parish totaled six hits. Cloessner and Bryce Curtis all managed multiple hits; Cloessner went 3-for-4 at the plate to lead.

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

U.S. Intelligence officials who claimed Hunter Biden laptop story was ‘Russian Disinformation’ knew that was false

It turns out that the 51 former U.S. intelligence experts who signed the letter that President Biden used in the debate with President Trump to allege that the explosive and damaging information contained in Hunter Biden’s laptop was a Russian fake—were, in fact, pushing the actual “Russian disinformation” campaign! 

Recall, this letter was also the “authority” used by Twitter, Facebook, and many other social media platforms to censor and hide from the American people the New York Post’s article which, in great detail, reported the truth about abundant evidence of widespread global corruption of the Biden Crime Family contained on Hunter’s ‘Laptop from Hell.’

Former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morrell testified this past week that then-Biden campaign senior adviser, now-Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, was the “impetus” of the public statement signed in October 2020 that falsely but persuasively suggested the laptop belonging to Hunter Biden was “Russian disinformation.” 

Let me try to summarize this slimy mess.

Our current Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, was the driving force behind the fabrication of a letter signed by 51 former intelligence officials to discredit the Hunter Biden laptop story as Russian disinformation when they knew full well it was not.

And why did Morrell, Blinken and the rest falsely discredit the New York Post story regarding Hunter Biden’s laptop as supposed Russian disinformation? 

“One intent was to share our (knowingly false) concern with the American people that the Russians were playing on this issue; and two, it was to help Vice President Biden … to win the election.”

How should we interpret this?

Well, we all enjoy freedom of speech and the right to our own opinions, but it was of great significance and gravity that these prominent, credentialed former intelligence officials lent their names to this knowingly false statement.  Millions of Americans assumed the signatories of the letter had access to information that we, as average American citizens, did not have.  They were right.  These officials did have special knowledge and that’s the reason their signing the letter and attesting to this falsehood is all the more deceitful, manipulative, and damaging.

What was the result?

It provided a lazy, compliant, Biden-supporting national media with the justification it needed to ignore the Hunter Biden laptop story and discredit Hunter’s former business partner, Tony Bobulinski, who went on the record before the election to substantiate much of the information on the laptop through the use of huge numbers of text messages.

Why does this matter so much?

Because the revelation of influence-peddling by Hunter Biden just prior to the election was obviously newsworthy given that former VP Biden had repeatedly said he had “never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings.” 

The emails effectively proved that Joe Biden was not only aware of his son’s business dealings but actually participated in meetings in support of this lucrative, international scheme to sell access to the U.S. Government.    Thus, Joe Biden demonstrably lied directly to the American people throughout the 2020 campaign and in the Presidential Debates.

So, how should we view this joint effort by the national media and these current and former intelligence officials and other Administration officials who essentially colluded to suppress the Hunter Biden Laptop story? 

The Wall Street Journal offers a sobering admonition:  

This “partisan foray by current and former U.S. intelligence officials … should be deeply troubling to Americans on the left and right.  They have authority by dint of access to information that isn’t confirmable by the press, which takes their spin as gospel.  This is a form of political corruption that needs to be exposed … ” (WSJ, 12-5-22)

What effect would this damaging information have had on the 2020 election?

After the election, a full 17% of Biden voters polled stated that they would not have voted for Joe Biden had they known prior to the election of the information contained on the laptop.

Remember, Pres. Trump only lost the Electoral College count by a mere 44,000 votes in three swing states out of approximately 154.6 million votes cast nationwide!  

As a result of this malevolent suppression of the truth, the voice of the people was silenced, and the trajectory of American history and world history was forever changed.

This was a dirty, cynical, and corrupt political trick of the first order that we have a moral and civic obligation to unfailingly call out and expose.

(Royal Alexander was a staff member to the late U.S. Representative Clyde C. Holloway of Louisiana’s 8th congressional district, since disbanded, who also served as chairman of the Louisiana Public Service Commission. He was also a member of the Republican State Central Committee of Louisiana from 2008-2012. He is an attorney.)

Townsend is guest speaker at Lions Club meeting

Starla Townsend, director of Camp Minden’s Youth Challenge Program, will be the guest speaker Thursday at Minden Lions Club.

Mrs. Townsend is a graduate of Northeast Louisiana University, earning her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. 

She began her career in education as a 5th grade teacher in Catahoula Parish, teaching math and history for 5 years in the public education system. She and her husband, a member of the LA National Guard, learned of the Youth Challenge Program in 1999.  They both joined the Program in 1999; she as an instructor while he served as cadre.  However, in 2002, CPL Townsend was asked to assist in the opening of a YCP at Camp Minden. Mrs. Townsend and her family made the move the Minden and she continued her calling teaching at risk youth.  

Through the years, she has progressed through the ranks to Lead Instructor and then acting Deputy Director and now Director of the Program. She has the honor of being the first civilian and first female to hold that position in Louisiana.

Townsend is an active member of the Pentecostals of Haughton, teaching adult classes and working with the worship team.  She and her husband, Joe, are residents of Minden, and enjoy traveling, eating out, and loving on the grandkids.

Townsend will be introduced by (Ret.) Col. Carl Thompson.

Minden Lions meet at noon every Thursday at the American Legion Hall on Pine Street.

The Congressman and the trouble with things that are popular

A Congressman came to town on Monday. The Honorable Mike Johnson, of the fourth congressional district (that’s our neck-a the woods), was in South Webster over at Lakeside for a history lesson, a Q&A session, and a bit of life coaching. 

I’ve heard the congressman speak before including when he was practicing law and fighting in courtrooms to let Americans live by the writings of our Founding Fathers. You know – the freedom of’s and the freedom to’s.  

I’ve come away impressed every time I’ve heard the man speak. I hold very low opinions of many politicians, but not so for Congressman Johnson. The reason is a simple one – I believe what he’s telling me because I know he believes it. I know he’s honest. 

Two things from Monday that resonate. 

He told the kids if you think somethings wrong you can’t go along with it and just because something’s popular doesn’t make it right. 

Boy. You can say that again. 


I said you can say that again. 


He told the kids if you think somethings wrong you can’t go along with it and just because something’s popular doesn’t make it right. 

I’ve written about being a reed in the storm. The analogy is when the storms blow in it’s not the reed that breaks. It’s the mighty oak. The one that stands against the wind is the one that takes the hits and sometimes loses everything. The weeds, the reeds, the mire and the muck, well, they stay alive because they can bend to the will of the roar. 

I’m a reed a lot of times. So are you. So too are we all. We go along with things we know are wrong because standing against them, being an oak, will likely just get us knocked flat. And sometimes you’re not going to get back up to answer that bell. 

I’ve nodded my head and gone along with what was popular because it was easy. Because I was a coward. Because I valued the world of men more than the world beyond. So instead of fire from my belly and a cry of NO, I just shrug and go about my way with all the other reeds. Apathy becomes a way of life and before long you’re believing it when you’re told 2+2=5. 

I know all this to be true and I think you do, too.

So what’s to be done? What can one person do against such recklessness? 

Break the chains of apathy. Read. Educate yourself. Go to political events and ask questions. Don’t have a cynical and distrustful view of education. Education is, as it has always been, the answer to everything. You want real weapons? Don’t go to the gun shop. Go to the library. 

Learn. Question. Berate if you have to. And then, then after all that is done, do the single most important thing you can do as an American citizen.


Vote for candidates who share your beliefs. Vote for city council. Vote for police jury. Vote for school board. Vote for sheriff. Vote locally. That’s where change begins. Not in Washington. Vote for good men and women and tell them what you want for this nation, for your family, for those who will come after you. And most importantly, vote out the others. 

We only have one responsibility in this life. And that’s to leave the world a little bit better than you found it. Picking up arms isn’t the answer. Picking up a book is. 

(Josh Beavers is a teacher and a writer. He has been recognized five times for excellence in opinion writing by the Louisiana Press Association.)

UCAP needs week of April 23

United Christian Assistance Program is in need of the following items:

Food: Cereal, crackers, powdered milk, biscuit mix, cornbread mix, Ramen noodles

Clothing: Men’s shoes (sizes 9 1/2 and up), men’s pants/jeans (waist 32 and 34, any length)

Household goods: towels, twin sheets

Toiletries: toothpaste, deodorant

Thank you for supporting UCAP!

UCAP is open from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays at 204 Miller Street, Minden, for food, utility and rent assistance. Clothing is dispersed on Wednesdays only.

Shrimp & White Bean Stew

Clearly this was a recipe I would not pass up.  I adapted this from a Louisiana Cookin’ recipe.  It was light and rich all at the same time.  I highly recommend buying fresh shrimp for this.  You will be glad you did!  

If you can soak beans overnight or all day before time to make supper, you can make this!  I also made Half Baked Harvest’s 5 Ingredient Beer Bread to go with it (and topped with our favorite homemade strawberry jam).  SO SO GOOD.  Meals like this make me feel like life is together even when it most definitely is not!  



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 4 slices bacon, diced 
  • 1 pound fresh peeled large shrimp
  • 1 heaping tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 bunch green onions, diced
  • 1 pound dry white beans, soaked overnight and drained
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


Soak beans overnight.  Drain.

In a large Dutch oven heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat.  Add bacon and cook, stirring until crispy.  Remove from pot.

In a large bowl toss together the shrimp, garlic, lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and remaining 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter.  Increase heat to medium-high and add shrimp to pot.  Cook 3 minutes until pink.  Remove from pot.

In the same pot add 1/4 cup butter.  Add green onion, cooking until soft.  Stir in beans, broth, and remaining salt.  Increase heat to boiling.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer until beans are tender but not falling apart, about 30-45 minutes.

Stir in parsley and lemon juice.  Return bacon and shrimp to the pot.  Heat on low for 5 minutes.  

*Recipe adapted from Louisiana Cookin’.

(Ashley Madden Rowton is a wife, mom and published cookbook author who lives in Minden, La.)