Travel the World with Webster Parish Libraries

By Paige Nash

The Webster Parish Libraries announced this year’s Summer Reading Program theme, “All Together Now, Let’s Travel the World!” 

“We are looking forward to another successful program this summer. The kickoff events mark the beginning of the annual summer reading program, and participants receive information regarding the program onsite,” said Executive Director of Webster Parish Libraries System Savannah Brown. “Reading throughout the summer is important for students to retain knowledge and skills learned in the previous school year while school is out. In addition to academic benefits, social-emotional development is fostered which is also important in life-long learning and success.” 

Last year the Summer Reading Program was a huge success. They had a total of 3,760 who attended the program with 158 programs offered. 

Both the Minden and Springhill library branch locations will be hosting their annual Summer Reading Kickoff Events. The Springhill branch will be holding their event on Tuesday, June 6, from 3 – 6 p.m. Kickoff activities will be held at the Minden Main Branch the following Thursday, June 8, from 4 to 7 p.m. 

Every year this event marks the beginning of the annual Summer Reading Program and will feature tons of activities that will surely have all the globetrotters excited and ready to visit their local library branches throughout the summer months.  Featured activities will include Mine Golf (Scotland), Darts (England), Chopsticks (China) and much more. And do not forget one of the more popular highlights of the event- the inflatable obstacle course that will be set up on the lawn.  

While residents are enjoying the fun, make sure and take a break to stop by the registration table. Packets will be available for pick-up and will include all the information and travel necessities needed to get young readers ready for their upcoming quest.  

If you have others plans for that day, you can still register in person at a local library branch or online through “Beanstack” by visiting: .   

Beanstack is a mobile app that can be used to track independent reading time and assists in building a culture of reading in school and at home. This platform will allow travelers to track their reading and keep them motivated.  

Mark your calendars and get ready to travel around the world on a learning adventure as they visit new and exciting destinations. Stay tuned for a schedule of events that will be taking place at all Webster Parish Libraries in conjunction with the 2023 Summer Reading Program.  

Letter to the Editor: Utilities are ongoing issue

Dear Editor:

Minden utility policies, procedures, and the repulsive attitude of the employees is an ongoing issue that persecutes the citizens of Minden. The already oppressed population in Minden and individuals affected by certain disparities, some possibly racial, are mostly impacted by the policies, procedures, and attitudes that could be labeled as unfair, insensitive, greedy, despicable, and perhaps fraudulent. Minden Utilities offers no extensions, payment plans, or any kind of assistance. The employees are cold, rude, and definitely lack compassion. I spoke with an individual in the Mayor’s office and I was told that Minden offers no plans for assistance because there are numerous avenues in Minden already that provide assistance with utilities. That way of thinking is causing life-altering complications for the already oppressed, poor, or disabled, just to name a few. The governing entities know that there are poor and disabled people, however, their needs and life circumstances are never taken into consideration. I am sure it is all about money. I believe these policies are walking a fine line between unfair and fraudulent when referring to the disabled. There are places that offer assistance, UCAP 150 dollars once a year a few churches might help you, but they have never helped me. The worst excuse for assistance is the Community Action Center, namely the LIHEAP program. Personally, I have called  5 times and they always say they are out of funds. One lady the works there was very kind but the supervisor needs a job that doesn’t include working with the public. She is obviously there for a paycheck. If their reasoning for no payment plans or extension plans, is because there are already so many places in Minden already, then I say that is a classic example of a farce. Swepco and Entergy serve Caddo and Bossier parish and they also offer payment plans or extensions in spite of having several other places in the city that offer assistance. I call that a clear contradiction to the policies and procedures of Minden Utilities. This “utility” company and the governing parties thereof do not want these choices for  Minden citizens because they might lose something along the way or maybe it is just too much trouble. I have made complaints to other minden city hall personnel and they really don’t care either, and I suppose the problem was so insignificant to the Mayor because he didn’t even take out the time to write me back. I don’t know if you will publish this, but I think it will intrigue and inform the readers, and it is something they need to be aware of. Thank you.

Best Regards,

Karen Powell

Mayor responds to letter to the editor

Dear Editor and citizens of Minden

The City of Minden’s policies regarding utility payment/billing have not recently changed. The policies currently in place were adopted and have been in effect since 2014. 

Payment for utility bills is due on the 10th of each month. A 5 percent penalty is added to any bill not paid by the 10th  each month. The City of Minden does give a grace period to help customers. This grace period is the time between the 10th of the month and the 4th Tuesday of the month. Customers who have not paid their utility bills before the 4th Tuesday of the month are placed on the cutoff list for failure to pay pursuant to Section 90-143 of the City of Minden’s Code of Ordinances. 

At this time, a failure-of-payment fee in the amount of $25 is assessed. This $25 fee is set by a resolution passed by the Minden City Council on February 3, 2014.  When an individual is placed on the list to have services disconnected, disconnection may occur on the cutoff day or a few days after. This largely depends on how many services are scheduled to be disconnected for failure of payment.

For more information or clarification, please call the City of Minden Utility Department at 318-377-1244.

Nick Cox, Mayor

LaMa Rescue and Animal Support Services visits northern rescue partners 

Michelle Lewis, president of LaMa Animal Rescue and Support Services, came full circle when she visited some of the northern rescue partners in Massachusetts and Maine last week. 

These partners provide a refuge and new life for the abandoned and unwanted dogs and cats of Webster Parish and surrounding areas.

The name LaMa represents a Louisiana-Massachusetts partnership founded in 2019 by Michelle Lewis of Springhill, La.and Staci Sleeper Colby of Westborough, Mass.  Since that time, more than 1,500 dogs, puppies, cats, and kittens have been rescued, vetted, fostered, and transported for adoption to Massachusetts, Maine, Virginia, and Washington D.C.  

“In 2022, more than 700 were transported, and to date in 2023, more than 300 have been sent to their forever homes,” Lewis said.  “LaMa Rescue fostered and arranged transport for 101 dogs, cats, kittens, and puppies just within the past two weeks.”

When Lewis was invited to the annual “Paws in the Park” fundraiser and adoption event in Sudbury, Mass. held on May 7, she jumped at the chance to attend, used her own personal funds, and made it happen. Since co-founding the rescue, she has worked tirelessly to coordinate the rescue, vetting, fostering and transports for the homeless dogs and cats of this area, yet she had not met her co-founder nor any of the rescue partners in person.

“This trip was a chance to come full circle and see the results of the efforts of LaMa Rescue and fosters who dedicate their time and open their homes to save the unwanted animals in our area,” Lewis said.

She was able to coordinate site visits with her partner rescues in Maine and Massachusetts, as well as attend the event where she reunited with 35 LaMa dogs that are now in forever homes, loved and treated like family. The face-to-face reunion was phenomenal, with tears of joy and endless expressions of gratitude and appreciation for the work of LaMa Rescue.

“The impact of the stories and love and adoration for the adopted animals from LaMa was nothing less than amazing,” Lewis said.

One of the heart-warming reunions was the story of Spot.  One morning in 2022, Lewis was notified that Spot was an owner surrender for euthanasia. Though she was recovering from surgery, she immediately contacted the local veterinarian office and tagged Spot for LaMa Rescue.  

“Spot was heartworm positive and there was no foster space available for him at the time, so he was boarded at a local facility and began treatment for heartworms,” Lewis said. “Spot was placed with a foster during his treatment, but more than a year passed before he was heartworm negative and able to transport to one of the partner rescues.”

The reunion was glorious when Lewis saw Spot again on Sunday afternoon, healthy, happy and adored by his new family. The smiles and hugs and tears of joy were seemingly endless, making the circle of love and rescue complete. Every reunion that day was equally emotional and heart-warming.

LaMa Rescue is a foster-based rescue, funded by donations and fund-raisers.  LaMa serves the community not only by taking in the homeless pets, but also by providing spay-neuter at no cost and free vaccination clinics throughout the year.

“LaMa is critically low on funds, with more than 100 dogs and cats in foster and boarding, many of whom are receiving ongoing heartworm treatment and medical care,” said Lewis. “The need for additional foster homes and supplies is vital for the work of LaMa Rescue to continue.”

There are many ways to help. Please visit the website and follow on Facebook.

Helping Parents Navigate Life’s Challenges

Child abuse and neglect are preventable, and all communities benefit when children and families are well supported. Extreme stress and uncertainty for families may increase the risk of child abuse and neglect raising the need to support families and prevent abuse before it occurs. 

Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana (PCAL) stresses that all community members have a role in ensuring children have positive experiences and families have the resources they need when they need them, well before they are in crisis. By focusing on the importance of creating systems and programs that put children and families first, we can help prevent child abuse.

Working with PCAL, VIA LINK offers a statewide program, Louisiana Parent Line, which provides parents with free, confidential, 24/7 access to a live specialist. Translation services are available, and the Louisiana Parent Line can be reached through phone and text 24 hours a day.  

“The Parent Line provides parents and other family members with a safe space to express their frustrations, ask parenting questions and get support,” explained LaVondra Dobbs, CEO of    VIA LINK. “Parent Line specialists are well trained and experienced in offering emotional support to parents. They focus on de-escalation and crisis intervention. They listen and understand parents’ concerns. Specialists can provide information on different services and referral. Perhaps most importantly, they can help parents develop plans for coping.”  

Yet, the Parent Line is more than a one-time call. Parents can call in as often as they want or need. The goal is to provide emotional support whenever parents need it. The specialists can also offer follow-up calls and help increase the circle of support for families. Throughout Louisiana, this free service is working to prevent child abuse by getting families the support they need.

**All Specialists on LA Parentline are Mandated Reporters through LA DCFS.**

The phone number is 833-LA-CHILD (833-522-4453). Y ou can also text us at (225) 424-1533.

For more information about PCAL, VIA LINK, or the Louisiana Parent Line, please contact Sherrard Crespo, LCSW, Director of Outreach and Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana at or visit our website 

Chicago – my favorite American big city

From left, Harrison and Robert St. John

CHICAGO— I have been coming to this city almost every May for the past 35 years. This time of year is a perfect time to be in Chicago because the weather is brisk, the throng of summer vacationers have yet to arrive, and the restaurants and bars are jamming. The reason they’re so busy is because the National Restaurant Association’s annual trade show and conference is in town. The show brings around 65,000 restaurateurs to the city each year to peruse through the 700,000 square feet of convention center space dedicated to everything that has anything to do with the restaurant business.

For a guy like me, it’s Disneyland. I eat, sleep, and breathe, restaurants. It’s been that way ever since I got my first job in a restaurant at 19. I fell in love with this industry, instantly. I knew sometime within the first week of working that first restaurant job, what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Actually, what I was “supposed” to do with the rest of my life. I couldn’t get enough. I went back to college and majored in Hospitality Management. Between classes I spent hours in the periodical section of the library reading the restaurant trade magazines cover to cover. I wanted to gather as much information about restaurants as I could. I worked two jobs. One managing a delicatessen during the day and the other waiting tables at night at another restaurant. After my shifts I stayed up late designing kitchens and floorplans and coming up with concepts and menus for future restaurants. I still have all those notebooks.

The first time I came to the restaurant show in Chicago it was if I had found my utopian wonderland. Everything I was interested in that had to do with restaurants, food, equipment, supplies, design elements, was in one building. In the days before the Internet, it was the only way to see all the things I dreamed about or saw in magazines. I believe it kept me ahead of the game in my hometown restaurants by staying on the cutting edge of what was going on in the country.

Chicago is my favorite American big city. It’s also a great restaurant city. I have always preferred Chicago over New York. It’s much more accessible. Granted, there aren’t as many restaurants in Chicago as there are in New York, and there aren’t as many Michelin stars, but how many restaurants can I go to at once? In the early days I used to stay in hotels along Michigan Ave. About 15 or 20 years ago I started spending more time the surrounding neighborhoods. These days I mostly stick around the West Loop.

Most of the national figures I have idolized in the restaurant business over the years have come from Chicago. In the 1980s and 1990s Richard Melman was the man. I followed everything he did and every restaurant he opened. If he would have had a fan club, I would have been the president. These days there are several operators I admire. Donnie Madea and Paul Khan of One Off Hospitality do an amazing job. Their concepts are creative and some of the city’s best. Brendan Sodikoff has created several concepts of which I am a fan. But Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz of the Boka Restaurant Group leave me humbled.

This trip is a 100% Boka restaurant trip. My son and I are staying at the Hoxton Hotel in the West Loop which has three Boka properties in it. Momotaro, their Japanese concept, is directly across the street. Stephanie Izard’s Girl and the Goat and Duck Duck Goat are within two blocks, Swift & Sons, one of the city’s great steak houses— in a city full of great steakhouses— is just a few blocks away. During this visit we will also hit Le Select a French Bistro and Alla Vita, Boka’s Italian concept that opened a little more than a year ago.

Five years ago today I was in Chicago with my son. He had just finished his final year of 11th grade. He had been telling me for a few years that he wanted to go into the restaurant business. It’s something that I didn’t pay attention to at first because this business is too brutal to get in on a whim. But he kept persisting so I thought I would take him to the restaurant show in Chicago to see what he thought. He came in lieu of going to the beach with some friends. At the time I think he would have rather been with his friends and the show didn’t speak to him as it does to me. I was a little disappointed— internally— that it didn’t connect with him as deeply as it did (and does) with me. I wondered if the industry decision was a impulse for him. But I told myself that I couldn’t expect him to be as enthusiastic and passionate about this business as I was early in the process.

Fast forward five years. He and I are in Chicago for the restaurant show, again. This time is different, a lot different. He is in culinary school in New York and is “all in” on the restaurant business. He gets it now. As we were having dinner last night the conversation was much different than it was five years ago with me cautiously trying to tell him about aspects of the ins and outs of the trade. This time it was full give and take. He had opinions, he had knowledge, the excitement was there. He’s becoming a restaurateur and a chef.

He’ll spend another 18 months in school and then he’ll come to this city two work for a couple of years before heading back home and hopping into the family business. There is something special about having professional conversations with your grown up children that is unique and singular to all other discussions with all other people. Our conversations used to be over superheroes and if we were granted a superpower what would that be and how would we use it. Then we moved into the fatherly advice stage. These days— at least when it comes to discussions about our industry— we are contemporaries.

We’re not too far from the days where he’ll be teaching me what he knows about this industry to which I’ve dedicated 40+ years of my life. I welcome that day and look forward to it. I look forward to visiting him often during his two-year restaurant stint up here. I look forward to watching him grow in this profession. I have always said, “I have a lot of job titles, but of all of them, ‘dad’ is the most important.” It’s also the most fun.


Pesto Pasta with Roasted Portobello Mushroom Strips and Asparagus

For the Portobellos:

1 cup creamy balsamic dressing

2 tsp minced garlic

1/2 cup vegetable broth

2 tsp creole mustard

1 tsp hot sauce

2 tsp creole seasoning

1 tsp fresh ground black pepper

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

5-6 fresh portobello mushrooms, stems and gills removed*

Combine the first 8 ingredients in a mixing bowl. Dip each portobello mushroom in the mixture to coat them completely. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

After the mushrooms have marinated, place them on a baking sheet with the top side down. Cover the baking sheet completely with aluminum foil and bake for 7 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 5 more minutes. Allow the mushrooms to cool, then cut them into 3/4 inch wide strips.

For the asparagus

1 lbs Asparagus, fresh

2 Tbl Olive oil

1 tsp  Salt

1/2 tsp Pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Toss the asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on baking sheet lined with wax paper. Bake 12 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle the almonds over the asparagus.


3 cups loosely packed basil leaves, washed and dried very well

1/3 cup pinenuts

1/4 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated

1 Tbl garlic, minced

1 tsp kosher salt1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

In a food processor, combine the basil, pine nuts, cheese, garlic and salt and puree. With the processor still running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Remove the lid and scrape down the sides of the processor to make sure there are no large pieces of basil, puree for another 30-40 seconds. Use immediately or refrigerate covered with plastic for up to 4 days. The plastic wrap should be placed directly on the surface of the pesto to prevent discoloration. Pesto make also be frozen in an airtight container and held for one month.

For the pasta

1 pound Bowtie pasta

2 Tbl unsalted butter

1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth

3/4 cup fresh pesto

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tspfresh ground pepper

3/4 cup Romano cheese, coarsely grated

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package, drain and rinse with hot water.

In a large sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Place the cooked mushrooms in the pan and heat for 3-4 minutes. Add in the broth, pesto, salt and pepper. Add the cooked pasta to the pan and mix well so that the pasta is evenly coated with the pesto.

Divide the pasta onto serving dishes, and sprinkle the pasta with the shredded Romano cheese.

Divide the asparagus among the serving dishes and serve immediately. 

  • The gills are on the under side of the mushroom and become tough and bitter when cooked. They are easily removed by gently scraping the underside of the mushroom with a teaspoon.

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

LDWF, LOGT reward citizens that help catch thieves

Louisiana Operation Game Thief, Inc. (LOGT), a Louisiana wildlife crime-stoppers program, awarded $7,950 to diligent citizens statewide at their meeting on May 13 in Mansura.

The LOGT board reviewed 19 cases that included public tips from informants.  A total of 29 subjects were apprehended and a total of 92 offenses were written in regards to the reviewed cases.

The cases reviewed and awarded money to the public for their assistance consisted of turkey, deer, migratory game bird and fishing cases.

Anyone wishing to report wildlife or fisheries violations should anonymously call LDWF’s 24-hour toll free Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511 or utilize LDWF’s tip411 program.  To use the tip411 program, tipsters can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the “LADWF Tips” iPhone and Android apps.

LOGT was instituted in 1984 and provides cash rewards for information leading to the arrest of violators of fish and wildlife regulations.  Funds are raised through private donations, court directed contributions and through contributions from cooperative endeavor agreements with organizations such as the National Wild Turkey Federation and Quality Deer Management Association.

To make a donation to the LOGT that can be used for cash rewards, please contact Lt. Will Roberts at

Upcoming Events

Send non-profit calendar events to .

May 25

9 a.m. Minden High School 9th through 11th grade awards.

May 26

7 p.m. Minden High School graduation.

Memorial Day Photo Project. Feature a photo of your fallen hero on a Memorial Day Wall, Webster Parish Libraries, Minden branch. Contact Valarie Killgore at 318-371-3080, ext. 123 for more information.

May 27

8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Chris Bailey Memorial Golf Tournament and Auction, Homer Golf Course. Silent and live auctions. All proceeds donated to the family. For more information, contact John Tinsley at 318-927-9323.

June 2

10 a.m. Ribbon Cutting at the Kayak Dock on Dorcheat Bayou.

June 3-4

Baseball and Softball, Minden Dixie Open Tournament, 1000 Recreational Drive, Minden.

June 4

2 until 4 p.m. Open House and Reception. Webster Parish Council on Aging, 1482 Sheppard St., Minden.

June 6

3 until 6 p.m. Webster Parish Libraries’ Springhill branch. Summer Reading Program Kickoff Party events with games, food, activities and fun.

June 8

4 until 7 p.m. Webster Parish Libraries’ Minden branch. Summer Reading Program Kickoff Party events with games, food, activities and fun.

June 9 & 10

Grilling on Main, 2023, BBQ Cookout Festival, downtown Minden. Call 318-371-4258 to reserve a sponsorship. Visit to register a team.

June 24

8 a.m. Registration for North Webster Martial Arts “Battle for the Shield.” Sanctioned event at Minden Rec Center, 1001 Recreation Drive, Minden. Sponsors and donations needed. Search for North Webster Martial Arts on Facebook.

The hippie lawyer

Ronald Hughes was a novice California attorney whose first trial was approaching quickly.  He was defending a woman named Leslie Van Houten in a multiple murder trial.  Three other defendants had their own attorneys.  Ronald needed a good suit for the trial.  In May of 1970, Hollywood movie studio MGM decided to auction off movie props, many from the golden age of Hollywood, which they figured they would not need for future films.  The props had been kept in climate-controlled storage for decades.  Ronald watched as noteworthy items brought high prices and probably questioned whether he would be able to afford anything at all.  Finally, the lone item he had been waiting for was on the auction block.  It was a man’s suit worn by Spencer Tracy in the 1960 film Inherit the Wind.  The auctioneer opened the bids on the suit and the room fell silent.  As the auctioneer peered around the room, only one person in the audience seemed interested.  Ronald bid $5.00 on the suit and won it.  Ronald was uninterested that the suit was worn in a film, he was interested because the suit was cheap and in his size.

On July 15, 1970, the trial for which Ronald bought the $5 suit began.  The trial was fraught with disruptions from members of Leslie’s family, many of whom were eventually banned from the courtroom.  Due to Ronald’s flamboyant courtroom demeanor, his long hair, long beard, the admission of his squalid living conditions (Ronald lived in a garage with holes in the roof and slept on a mattress on the floor), admission that he wore a $5 suit he purchased at an auction, and his admission to having used hallucinogenic drugs in the past, the press nicknamed him the “Hippie Lawyer.”  The trial dragged on for months.  Finally, on November 16, 1970, after 23 weeks of presenting evidence, the State of California rested its case against Leslie.  It was time for the defense attorneys to present their evidence. 

On November 19, the defense attorneys filed motions for the acquittal of the defendants on the grounds that the state had not presented sufficient evidence to convict them.  The state had presented more than 250 individual pieces of evidence, 73 photographs of the victims, and eyewitness testimony.    The judge rejected the motions for acquittal.  To everyone’s surprise, each of the defendant’s attorneys, including Ronald, stood in turn, and said, “the defense rests.”  The attorneys rested their case without calling a single witness in their defense.  Leslie and other members of her family yelled that they wanted to testify.  The prosecution and defense agreed to recess over the week of Thanksgiving to give both sides a chance to prepare closing arguments.  The trial was set to resume on Monday, November 30th

When the trial resumed on that Monday morning, Ronald failed to show up.  After waiting an hour, the trial continued without Ronald.  He had been late before because he lacked proper transportation and was once arrested for outstanding traffic tickets.  When he failed to appear for court the following day, the judge ordered deputies to use all possible means to find Ronald and bring him to court.  The trial continued without him.  Deputies learned that Ronald had hitchhiked to the Los Padres National Forest for a Thanksgiving week camping trip.  Search parties scoured the area but found no trace of Ronald.  The defendants, including Ronald’s client Leslie, were eventually convicted of murder.  On March 29, the jury returned death penalty verdicts against Leslie and the other defendants.  On the same day, two trout fishermen found Ronald’s body in a knee-deep creek.  His head was wedged between two large rocks.  Conspiracy theorists and even some of Leslie’s family members concluded that the father of the family had Ronald killed although a cause of death was never determined.  Investigators speculated that Ronald drowned during a rainstorm which caused flash flooding.  However, the possibility that members of Leslie’s family had killed Ronald was not beyond the realm of belief.  You see, the family who disrupted the courtroom proceedings was referred to as the Manson family.  The father of the family was Charles Manson.          


1.     The Los Angeles Times, May 4, 1970, p.4.
2.     The Sacramento Bee, November 17, 1970, p.6.
3.     Santa Cruz Sentinel, November 18, 1970, p.7.
4.     The Peninsula Times Tribune, November 19, 1970, p.1.
5.     Concord Transcript, November 30, 1970, p.2.
6.     The Hanford Sentinel, December 2, 1970, p.1.
7.     The Los Angeles Times, March 30, 1971, p.3.
8.     The Sacramento Bee, April 1, 1971, p.77.

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.

May 22

Herbert A. Brooks Jr., 57, of the 1600 block of Fuller Rd., Minden, was arrested by MPD for a probation and parole violation, resisting an officer, driving under suspension and parking lamp colors.

Jodie Byers, 48, of the 600 block of N. Main St., Sibley, was arrested by MPD as a fugitive from Dallas, Texas.

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 – May 23, 2023

Shane Harris

Feb. 22, 1974 – May 21, 2023

Dubberly, La.

Visitation: 5 until 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 24, 2023, Rose-Neath Funeral Home Chapel, Minden.

No information on a funeral service was available.

Luke Partain

June 12, 2001 – May 19, 2023

Castor, La.

Funeral service: 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 24, 2023, New Ebenezer Baptist Church, Castor, La.

Burial: New Ebenezer Baptist Church Cemetery, under the direction of Rose-Neath Funeral Home, Minden, La.

Barry Wayne Teague

Oct. 13, 1953 – May 2, 2023

Minden, La.

Memorial Service: 10:30-11:30 a.m. Friday, June 2, 2023, First Baptist Church, Minden, 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.)

Police working multiple shootings at once

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Minden Police are investigating a shooting that happened at a gathering in the early morning hours Saturday.

Chief Jared McIver said the incident occurred around 12:30 a.m. on Carolina Street.

“There was a gathering, and a person who was at the party, but unwanted at the party, became angry,” McIver said. “He got in his truck and as he began to leave, fired multiple rounds, striking another man in the arm and another vehicle and then hit a vehicle with his as he was leaving the scene.”

Gunfire was returned striking the original shooter – identified as Corey Henix, 35 – in the neck. The chief said handguns were used and spent casings were found at the site and in Henix’s vehicle.

“Henix drove himself to LSU Shreveport, where he was taken into surgery,” McIver said. “The man who was shot first, went to Minden Medical Center with a gunshot in the arm. He was an uncooperative witness, and we are unsure at this time if he was the other shooter.”

When Henix is released from the hospital, Minden Police Detectives will serve him with an arrest warrant. He will be charged with three counts of attempted second degree murder, one count of hit-and-run and one count of aggravated criminal damage to property.

McIver said he is proud of his investigators, who are working multiple cases at this time.

“Given all the crimes we’ve had recently, they have been working around the clock most times,” he said. “They’re doing a great job, and I’m proud of them. It’s a lot – so much processing of evidence and paperwork, while following leads and the legwork that requires.”

McIver said Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office, Minden City Marshals and Louisiana State Police have been invaluable.

“They provide a camaraderie and insight that really makes a huge difference,” he said.

Six of seven suspected Ewell Park shooters have been caught from the incident in April, but McIver said his men are still searching for that seventh person, as well as the man suspected of killing Daniel Madison Merritt.

“I know Cedric Stephens is still out there from the most recent shooting, but they haven’t stopped working on that case either – even when other cases come in, they just don’t stop,” McIver continued. “We are still working on leads, but they are slowing down. We need the public’s help to find Cedric.”

But the chief said he is confident they will find Stephens soon and make that arrest. A reward is being offered for information that will lead to Stephens’ capture. Those with information should call Minden PD 377-1212 or  Webster Sheriff’s Department 377-1515. Ask to speak to a detective in reference to the whereabouts of Cedric Stephens.

Stephens is suspected of shooting Merritt two weeks ago and hiding his body in the woods near Auction Barn Road in Minden.

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.

Angels on the hot seat

ELA Group’s Ed Angel Sr. (back left) and Ed Angle Jr. present their case to the Webster Parish School Board in a special meeting last week.

Water, weather and wildly escalating material prices were cited as reasons nearly one million dollars more might be necessary to complete a multi-purpose building at Minden High School, a project that was originally bid at $9.908 million.

ELA Group, Inc. officials Ed Angel Sr. and Ed Angel Jr. presented their case for needing an additional $974,728 to members of the Webster Parish School Board’s building and grounds committee Thursday, but found the going a little rough.

“Do we have any specific contractual obligation to honor these price increases or is this solely based on a request?” District 4 board member Jonathan Guthrie asked following a lengthy discussion on difficulties with the project.

“I don’t believe there is an escalation clause, this is unforeseen. No, there’s no clause to grant this request,” Angel Jr. responded. “We’re here as a request. We’re not demanding anything.”

Ed Angel Sr. had earlier told the committee his company needed help from the board, calling conditions with the project “…the most unconventional environment any of us have been exposed to.”

“We are experiencing simply unprecedented issues that are not typical to construction and I’ve been in the business nearly 40 years,” he said. “We’re used to dealing with normal price fluctuations, but prices are increasing even after placing orders.”

According to both Angels, problems have stemmed from unanticipated difficulties dealing with ground water at the site. Those difficulties have resulted in delays of nearly 12 months, while prices for supplies and materials spiraled upward.

As a result, Angel Sr. said, subcontractors have been reluctant to continue work unless something is done about the rising costs. 

Already, roughly $690,000 in change orders have been approved on the project.

“Many of those are tied to mitigating the ground water problems,” Angel Jr. said. “We’re not here to place blame, these are issues that are beyond the contractor’s control.”

Angel Jr. pointed out that the $974,728 his company was requesting “…would be to cover price increases only; increases nobody anticipated. We’re all frustrated. We’d rather not come to you at all .”

Additional money requested to cover price increases include just over $366,000 for HVAC sub The Payne Co., which showed an original bid of $1.751 million; $130,922 for brick veneer sub DRP Masonry (original bid of $872,000) and $95,297 for metal framing and acoustical ceiling sub Alliance Construction (original bid, $305,293).

A list of 20 subcontractors was provided to the board’s committee members showing original bids and amounts requested to cover price increases.  

Angel Jr. said his company would be willing to absorb any other costs beyond the price increases since the high risk areas have been overcome. “We expect no major unforeseen circumstances…we’re confident we can mitigate any additional costs.”

When asked what might happen if the committee did not recommend approval of the requested increases to the school board, Angel Jr. indicated the matter could go to court.

“We may have to take legal action as far as part of the specs that were inaccurate in relation to the ground water issue,” he responded. “That won’t help anything. We’re open to any discussions to a fair and reasonable solution. We’re not delivering ultimatums.”

Project Architect Perry Watson with Yeager Watson & Assoc. Inc., agreed with earlier statements that the parish school board is not obligated by contract to grant the request for additional money.

“I do not find contract means by which ELA Group or anyone is due extension or payment for circumstances such as we’re seeing here,” he said. “I sympathize with subs and contractors, but I do not find merit to award additional costs.” 

Standing water at the building site.

UCAP tourney continues to grow with new events

By Bonnie Culverhouse

United Christian Assistance Program’s golf tournament/fundraiser this past weekend was successful, but it may be a while before organizers know the extent.

“We know we raised around $15,000 at the auction Friday night,” said John Earnhardt, one of the coordinators. “I think that was pretty good for the first year. Next year, we will work harder to let sponsors know that even if they aren’t playing in the tournament, they are still invited to the dinner and auction.”

Earnhardt also said there were fewer teams playing this year than in years past. 

“We usually get some teams from Shreveport, but they were playing elsewhere,” he said.

The other factor that will affect the bottom line in a positive way is the new Pickle Ball Tournament. This was the first year for that, and it will be a contributing factor to the amount raised.

Special luncheon recognizes Vietnam Veterans

By Paige Nash

In observance of Armed Forces Day many gathered at the Minden Civic Center on Saturday, May 20.  

The festivities began at 11 a.m. with fellowship between veterans from all branches of the military, including World War II Veteran Bob Robinson, joined by their friends and family to enjoy a hot lunch catered by Hugh Woods. 

The Minden High School JROTC kicked off the ceremony with a Presentation of Colors. 

Minden Mayor Nick Cox was joined by Springhill Mayor Ray Huddleston to announce an Armed Forces Proclamation honoring all branches of the military including the Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines and Navy.  

Cox read from the proclamation, “The City of Minden and Springhill would like to recognize the special guests of this event, Vietnam Veterans, and thank them for their service to our country.” 

The Presentation of Coins was presented by the American Legion Wiley-Pevy Post #74, Hunter-Rickerson VFW Post 2885 and Auxiliary and Dorcheat-Bistineau Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).   

Guest Speakers who provided a “Salute to Veterans of the Vietnam War” included Mr. George French, Louisiana State Representative Wayne McMahen and Major Billy LeJeune. 

The “Tribute to the Fallen” was given by John Becker, Mr. Ken Warren, Mr. Les Williams, the American Legion, DAR and Pastor Robert Whitaker. A “Voice from Vietnam” was provided by local Vietnam Veteran Dr. Richard Campbell. 

The ceremony was concluded by Mr. Charles Waters with the bugle call of Taps.  

Large group gathers to dedicate veterans signs on I-20

By Bonnie Culverhouse

It took almost two years to complete, but last Friday, new Vietnam Veterans signs were placed east- and west-bound on Interstate 20.

A special ceremony was held in the meeting room at Webster Parish Fire District 7’s station on Highway 80.

Jerry Madden told the much larger than expected crowd how the sign came about, including State Rep. Wayne McMahen’s part in it.

“Originally, we were looking at the interchange at Dixie Inn, but the mother of a young woman who was killed there wanted it, and we said absolutely,” Madden said. “Having lost a child, too, we understand it may help her heal.”

There are three bridges named for veterans along Interstate 20, including the Madden’s son, Josh. So, they settled on a mile marker between Goodwill Road and Dixie Inn.

Replicas of the sign were given to as many veterans as possible Friday, with more promised to those who did not receive one. In the photos, veteran Larry Jernigan shows off his replica.

Trails & Trellises ’23: Rolling hills, Spanish moss, warm gardens

Mike and Nancy Sanders (with Moe) stand at their front door welcoming visitors to tour their garden oasis in the midst of cotton country as part of the Piney Hills Master Gardeners’ 2023 “Trails & Trellises” tour. (Photo by Marilyn Miller)

By Marilyn Miller

Saturday, May 20 couldn’t have been a better day for the 2023 Piney Hills Master Gardeners’ “Trails & Trellises” garden tour, which featured three sites that each carry their own unique appeal.

The home of Mike and Nancy Sanders on Cotton Lane just east of Minden is an oasis of color surrounded by hills and valleys of historical cotton fields. Members of Piney Hills selected the Sanders’ location as their refreshment center, with icy homemade lemonade and sugary varieties of cookies laid out poolside for visitors to enjoy.

Sara McDaniel is a pro at welcoming folks to her renovated cottage on McDonald Street in Minden. While the colorful home has been featured in Better Homes & Gardens Magazine, it was the cozy greenhouse and meandering landscape that were the stars Saturday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.

The breeze gently moving Spanish moss through the cypress trees on Lake Bistineau set the scene for visitors to the home of Glen and Kelly Warren on Moss Point Road in Heflin. Kelly is the green thumb in the family, and her vision and work are viewable throughout the many acres of the lakeside home.

The Louisiana Master Gardener program is a service and educational activity offered by the LSU AgCenter. The program is designed to recruit and train volunteers to help meet the educational needs of home gardeners while providing an enjoyable and worthwhile service experience for volunteers. 

Master Gardeners are part of the volunteer staff of the LSU AgCenter’s Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service. They provide unbiased, research-based educational assistance and programs on consumer horticulture issues to the gardening public.


Don’t miss out on becoming a Louisiana Master Gardener. The Piney Hills Master Gardeners are accepting applications now for the upcoming Louisiana Master Gardeners class. The classes begin June 13, 2023, and will run through September 13, 2023. The class costs $165. The last day to apply is June 1, 2023. Applications can be found online at or at the Webster or Claiborne Parish Extension offices.

Sara McDaniel welcomes visitors to her home’s meandering gardens and outdoor seating areas, complete with a cozy, decorated greenhouse. The tour took place Saturday, May 20 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. (Photo by Marilyn Miller)
Glen and Kelly Warren stand in the foreground of their sprawling home on Lake Bistineau near Heflin. The home and acreage are surrounded by Spanish moss-decked Cypress trees, and both unique and familiar blooms and greenery. (Photo by Marilyn Miller)

Tournament to help family of deceased

Webster Parish golfers are invited to take part in a tournament to honor the memory of a Claiborne Parish man who died recently.

The Chris Bailey Memorial Golf Tournament and Auction will be taking place next Saturday, May 27, at the Homer Golf Course.

Bailey passed in a tragic airplane accident last month.

Due to the overwhelming response and number of registrations, the board decided to expand the allowed number of teams from 54 to 66 (2 man teams). Tee times will be at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Family and friends are asking the public to please come out and support and honor the Bailey family. Even if attendees are not participating in the golf tournament there will be plenty other ways to contribute to the success of this event.

They will have fish and shrimp plate lunches available, along with all of the fixings, catered by Ben Christmas and donated by KLX (Bubba Armstrong, Philip Prince and Baker Hughes). They will also have hamburger plates donated by Cornerstone Church and Gibsland Bank and Trust and chicken plates by Alan Fanning.

While you are chowing down check out the silent and live auctions that will be held throughout the day. They will be auctioning off a fish cooker, crawfish cooker, guns, boat motor, jewelry and more. There will also be t-shirts and hats available to purchase. 

All proceeds that are raised from the tournament and the fundraiser will be donated directly to the family. 

For donations, questions or concerns please reach out to John Tinsley at 318-927-9323.

Red, White & Blue Marble Cake 

I was pretty excited about how well this turned out!  And it really was easy.  Oh, and this FROSTING!!!  I have absolutely decided that I am the biggest fan of a frosting that has shortening in it.  Just trust me.  

Feel free to change up the colors to use this for other holidays and school events.  This was a lot of fun to make; I hope you’ll go for it!


• 1 cup butter, softened
• 2 cups sugar
• 6 egg whites, room temperature
• 2 teaspoons vanilla
• 3/4 teaspoon salt
• 4 teaspoons baking powder
• 3 cups cake flour
• 1 cup whole milk
• Red food coloring
• Blue food coloring


  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  •  2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Sprinkles                                                                                                                                                                            Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two (or three) round cake pans with cooking spray. 

    In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in egg whites, one at a time, followed by vanilla. Mix until well combined. Mix in salt and baking powder. Add half of the flour, mixing until just combined, followed by half of the milk. Repeat with remaining flour and milk. Mix until just combined and no streaks combined. 

    Divide batter equally between three bowls. Using food coloring, make one bowl blue and the other red. The third bowl remains white.

    Add small spoonfuls of each colored batter to your cake pans. Scatter colors randomly. When all batter has been used, gently swirl colors with a butter knife. Do not over mix!

    Bake until cakes are done. Let cool completely.

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

Minden man arrested in Lincoln Parish

Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s deputies arrested a Minden man early Friday morning after he allegedly drove a vehicle into a ditch and refused to leave the victim’s home.

The Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Department responded to Oak Alley Drive shortly after midnight Friday morning after a woman called and stated her ex-husband was intoxicated at her residence, refusing to leave.

Deputies found a vehicle in the ditch next to the driveway. The victim came out of the residence’s garage with Joshua C. Peters, 35, following behind her. Peters had a strong odor of alcoholic beverage coming from his body and showed indications of intoxication. When he was told to step away from the victim, he refused to comply.

After Peters refused to move away and refused verbal commands to place his hands behind his back, he pulled away and force had to be used to restrain him.

Once arrested, Peters admitted wrecking the vehicle in the ditch. The victim showed deputies a civil stay away order signed by a judge of the Third District Court banning Peters from being intoxicated around their children and from harassing the victim at the residence.

Peters was booked at the Lincoln Parish Detention Center for disturbing the peace and resisting an officer. Bail was set at $2,500.

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

Upcoming Events

Send non-profit calendar events to .

May 25

9 a.m. Minden High School 9th through 11th grade awards.

May 26

7 p.m. Minden High School graduation.

Memorial Day Photo Project. Feature a photo of your fallen hero on a Memorial Day Wall, Webster Parish Libraries, Minden branch. Contact Valarie Killgore at 318-371-3080, ext. 123 for more information.

May 27

8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Chris Bailey Memorial Golf Tournament and Auction, Homer Golf Course. Silent and live auctions. All proceeds donated to the family. For more information, contact John Tinsley at 318-927-9323.

June 2

10 a.m. Ribbon Cutting at the Kayak Dock on Dorcheat Bayou.

June 4

2 until 4 p.m. Open House and Reception. Webster Parish Council on Aging, 1482 Sheppard St., Minden.

June 6

3 until 6 p.m. Webster Parish Libraries’ Springhill branch. Summer Reading Program Kickoff Party events with games, food, activities and fun.

June 8

4 until 7 p.m. Webster Parish Libraries’ Minden branch. Summer Reading Program Kickoff Party events with games, food, activities and fun.

June 9 & 10

Grilling on Main, 2023, BBQ Cookout Festival, downtown Minden. Call 318-371-4258 to reserve a sponsorship. Visit to register a team.

June 24

8 a.m. Registration for North Webster Martial Arts “Battle for the Shield.” Sanctioned event at Minden Rec Center, 1001 Recreation Drive, Minden. Sponsors and donations needed. Search for North Webster Martial Arts on Facebook.

UCAP needs week of May 22

United Christian Assistance Program needs the following items:

Food: Vienna sausage, cereal, crackers, powdered milk, biscuit mix

Clothing: Men’s tennis shoes (sizes 9 and up)

Household goods: towels, twin sheets, pots & pans

Toiletries: toothpaste, deodorant

Monetary donations

Thank you for supporting UCAP!

UCAP will be closed Monday, May 29 for Memorial Day!

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.

Speaker alerts Lions to scams

By Tracy Campbell

Minden Lions appreciate Alicia Meeker, Minden branch executive of Citizens National Bank, for speaking to us on Thursday during our noon club meeting. Alicia’s topic was “Protecting Your Business from Financial Fraud.” She spoke about common scams and frauds targeting business owners – such as online banking fraud, business email compromise, check scams, and payment fraud – and offered tips on how Lions can stay alert so they won’t fall prey to the scammers.