Man impersonating officer in BDCC

By Bonnie Culverhouse

A former Bossier City police officer is behind bars for impersonation, along with other charges.

Minden Police arrested Donovan Jamall Youngblood, 26, of the 2700 block of Darien St., Shreveport, for false impersonation of a police officer, improper display, unsafe vehicle, blue lights equipped, obscured view and modified exhaust.

Chief Jared McIver said Lt. Chris Hammontree was on patrol on Shreveport Road around 9 p.m. Monday when he observed a white Crown Victoria with blue marker lights equipped and activated on the front of the vehicle.

“When Lt. Hammontree got behind the vehicle, there was a blurry plate cover obscuring the numbers,” McIver said. “He initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle, which turned left on Randall Street and stopped.”

When Hammontree approached the vehicle, the driver (identified as Youngblood) reportedly told the lieutenant not to look inside his vehicle, referring to the officer’s flashlight.

“Youngblood told the officer that he was the police in Bossier and had ‘heard how Minden Police were,’” said the chief. “Lt. Hammontree asked to see Youngblood’s commission card and Youngblood said he did not have it on him. He told the lieutenant that he has been an officer with Bossier for approximately one year and provided a badge number.”

According to the report, Youngblood had stickers on his windshield blocking his view, the ties on the vehicle had exposed wires, the exhaust had been modified and had custom duel tips.

“Lt. Hammontree contacted Bossier Police dispatch, and after some research, they informed him that Youngblood had been ‘let go’ and was no longer employed by the Bossier City Police Office,” McIver said. “When our officer confronted Youngblood, he claimed he never told Hammontree he is currently a police officer.”

Youngblood was taken into custody, booked at Minden Police Department 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.

Jeffery Smith wins Week 4 of contest

Congratulations, Jeffery Smith, our Week 4 winner of Webster Parish Journal’s Football Pick’em Contest.

Smith will be awarded $100 in cash from title sponsors Under Dawgs. See Thursday’s Webster Parish Journal for his photo.

Celebrity stats:

Sibley Mayor Jimmy Williams  8 of 11

Minden Police Chief Jared McIver  6 of 11

Webster Parish Sheriff Jason Parker  5 of 11

WPJ Celebs:

Josh Beavers  7 of 11

Pat Culverhouse 4 of 11

Curtis Mays  5 of 11

Signing up for the contest only takes a couple of minutes. Log on to and follow the instructions.

Entries will remain open until 4 p.m. each Friday before the listed games.

Man convicted for sex crimes in Webster facing sentencing in Claiborne

A man convicted of forcible rape of a minor in Webster Parish faces even more years added to his sentence following a trial in Claiborne.

It took a Claiborne Parish jury approximately 20 minutes to find Christopher L. Coliston guilty of 1 count of third degree rape, 2 counts of sexual battery, 1 count of attempted sexual battery, and 3 counts of indecent behavior with a juvenile. The Honorable Walter E. May, Jr. presided over the three-day trial.

“I am extremely proud of each of the girls in this case and the courage they demonstrated by coming forward and reporting the abuse they suffered at the hands of the defendant,” District Attorney Daniel W. Newell said. “Crimes against children in our community will not be tolerated and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent.”

Coliston was ordered to be held without bond pending his sentencing on December 5. He faces a maximum sentence of 480 years in prison on all of the charges as a second felony offender having previously been convicted of forcible rape of a minor in Webster Parish. 

The Claiborne Parish case was investigated by the Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s Office and prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Cary T. Brown.

Pumpkin Patch is open for business

Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater would be stuffed if he ate all these pumpkins. But they are for sale for a good cause and are guaranteed to make the pumpkin lover in your family smile.

The Pumpkin Patch at First Methodist Church, 903 Broadway, Minden, will be open from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. Monday – Friday and 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Saturdays — unless it’s raining! 

All proceeds are going to First Methodist Church’s Missions Fund.

Fair rides will be delayed one day; parade remains Tuesday

 It’s almost time for the Webster Parish Fair. Slots are still open for the fair kick-off parade in downtown Minden at 5 p.m. Tuesday, October 3. Call Sherrie McMurray at 318-294-6346 or mail your entry to Sherrie McMurray, 107 Methodist Camp Rd., Minden, La. 71055 by September 29.

Due to an issue with the carnival company, rides will be setting up Tuesday, Oct. 3 but will not be functional until Wednesday, Oct. 4. However, all other events will continue as listed.

As the parade is rolling, fair gates are opening. See events for each day listed below.



5 p.m. Fair Parade downtown Minden

5 p.m. Livestock weigh-in                                      

6 p.m. Poultry and Rabbit Show

6 p.m. Live Entertainment                                       

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 4                                                                                                                 

5 p.m. Fair gates open “Armband Nite” GATE FEE $2/Rest of the week

6 p.m. 4-H Swine Show then Swine Weight Classes (Livestock arena)


9 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Senior Citizens Day at Minden Civic Center

5 p.m. Fair gates open “Armband Nite”

6 p.m. 4-H Goat, Lamb, Beef Showmanship

7 p.m. 4-H Dairy and Doug Sale Showmanship


11:30 a.m. Buyers’ Luncheon

1 p.m. Livestock auction(4-H Show Barn)

5 p.m. Fair gates open


12 p.m. (noon) Fair gates open

Live Entertainment

1 until 5 p.m. Kids Day

2 p.m. Pizza Eating Contest sponsored by Johnny’s Pizza

How ‘sweet’ it is

So it all comes back to Skittles.

Who knew?

Let us explain …

Between 2011 and 2014, Trey Hadnot was a seven-time All-America sprinter at Louisiana Tech, won 16 conference championships and was All-Western Athletic Conference 24 times.

It’s a ridiculous number of trophies and medals that his mom religiously dusts to this day in her Ruston home.

Now she has another trophy to shine since her boy and six other Tech standouts were inducted into the University’s Athletics Hall of Fame September 15.

Just five days later, the University honored its six Pro Football and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductees, a once-in-a-lifetime sort of event with all six live and in person for a short Q&A ceremony before the unveiling of their individual statues in the new Sarah and A.L. Williams Champions Plaza in the northeast corner of Joe Aillet Stadium.

You can read about both events here and here. It was quite a lot to digest in the span of 120 hours. Wall-to-wall athletic gold. Star-spangled doubleheader for a school of any size, especially a mid-major.

And consider one Naismith inductee, former Bulldog player Leon Barmore (his jersey is retired) and Lady Techster coach, was in attendance for the statue unveiling but didn’t participate in the ceremony because he already has a statue (yawn…) over by the Thomas Assembly Center.

Hard not to be impressed.

All these stars included hometown hero Hadnot, who holds all 10 of the Tech program’s Top 10 indoor 200m records, including the No.1 time of 20.48, which is moving about as briskly as a human can. (The world record is 19.92, so …20.48 defines “moving.”)

Naturally, one would want to know the secret of Hadnot’s swift success. Pregame meal of bananas and baked chicken? An hour of stretching? Prayer?

“Skittles,” he said, with an honest little-boy smile that kids wear when they’re getting away with something.

Skittles? Is that a track-and-field word for a special kind of loosening-up scissor-kick? Another word for special spikes?

Negative. It’s the candy.

“Always ate Skittles before a race,” he said. “And water. Drank lots and lots of water.”

And there you have it. Skittles. Although something tells me that diet only works if you’re Trey Hadnot.

Funny, but he started out running cross country. His coach took him and some other long-distance wannabes several miles from the school, dropped them off, told them to run back, and drove away. It wasn’t but a few minutes before the others had run off and left Hadnot, who had no real idea where he was.

Bewildered and with no Skittles to save him, Hadnot decided sprints might be his future. At least he’d never get lost.

Another quick story. A linebacker out of tiny Clinton, Glenell Sanders became a three-time All-American at Tech. With tears on his face, he introduced his family — Gwen, his wife of 30 years; Genaye, a senior at the University of Houston where she’s a bio-medical engineering major on a full soccer scholarship; and soon-to-be Captain Geraud Sanders, a 2020 Air Force graduate and fighter instructor pilot who was at the controls of one of four T-38 jets that performed the flyover Saturday at Memorial Stadium before the Tech-Nebraska football game.

“All this started,” Sanders said quietly, “because of faith in God, and because some men believed in me, and gave me a chance.”

Theirs were just two of many stories from ordinary people who managed to exceed beyond their imaginations through developing their talent and believing what a coach or parent or friend believed about them and fed into them, a couple of sweet reminders that we can make it — if we all stick together, and coach each other up.

Contact Teddy at

DAR hosts September Tea

The September meeting of Dorcheat-Bistineau Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution was held at the home of chapter regent Cindy Madden and her husband Jerry Madden, President of Galvez Chapter SAR.  Jerry gave a presentation in colonial costume to represent his ancestor, John Madden Jr.  John’s father, John Madden Sr., hired George Washington to do a land survey for him when George was 19 years old, and John Jr. was 16 years old.  This land survey is housed in the Library of Congress along with some of the 190 land surveys George Washington did in his youth.  After John Madden Sr. passed away, John Madden Jr. sold all the family’s holdings and lived with his family in George Washingtons’ land survey office which still stands in Winchester, Virginia.  Jerry and Cindy Madden visited this site several years ago.  

Cindy Madden, in colonial costume, did a first-person presentation about Martha Custis Washington.  At the age of 26, she was a wealthy widow with two children.  She owned 17,000 acres and 5 farms.  She met and married George Washington when she was 28.  Many of the improvements to Mount Vernon were done using her wealth.  George and Martha never had children of their own, but enjoyed her children and grandchildren. She defined the role of First Lady with her graciousness and hospitality. 

Donna Sutton, who serves as State Chair of DAR Schools, gave a PowerPoint presentation about the history Kate Duncan Smith DAR School. In the 1920s, DAR raised money to build schools in remote areas of the Appalachian Mountains. One of these schools was Kate Duncan Smith School. KDS provides a caring and quality education for underprivileged children. Donations help provide Blessings Bags for students who do not have access to adequate food over the weekends. To celebrate their 100th anniversary, KDS is cleaning up a neglected area of campus around the historic bell tower, where walkways, seating, and landscaping will be installed. Donna is collecting $2.00 from each of the more than 2,500 DAR members in Louisiana to donate to this project. LSDAR’s name will be included on a permanent plaque at the project site.

We are excited to welcome four new members to our chapter! Judy Reese and her daughter Jamie Fortenberry are descendants of Revolutionary War patriot John Richardson who was born circa 1753. During the Revolution, he lived in North Carolina and served as Ensign in Gregory’s Company, 10th Regiment. Linnye Daily is descended from John Wimberley who was born October 1, 1755 in Bertie Co., NC. He was a Private and was given a land grant in Georgia as payment for his service. Diane Temple is descended from Samuel Bacot, born March 3, 1745 in Charleston. He served as a Lieutenant under General Francis Marion in 1782. Captured by the British, he devised an escape plan which resulted in his group gaining their freedom from their captors. The Florence, SC chapter of the DAR is named in his honor.

After the program, a High Tea was served to give our chapter members time to meet our new members and prospective members. They enjoyed petit fours made by Candy Monzingo, cucumber sandwiches, egg sandwiches and lemon ginger tea. Hostesses for the September meeting were Nancy Grantham, Cindy Madden, and Judy Reese.

An engagement to remember

This past weekend was a memorable one for our family. Our 26-year-old daughter got engaged to her longtime boyfriend. His name is Robert (good name), he’s a great guy, and he’ll be a nice addition to our small nucleus of four. Someone counseled me with the ol’ standby, “You’re not losing a daughter. You’re gaining a son.” That may be, but it sure feels like I’m losing my little girl.

He proposed to her on the roof of our apartment building in New Orleans. She lived in a one-bedroom apartment in the same building around the time they started dating. There wasn’t a lot of fanfare or props in place for the proposal, just his brother hiding in the wings to record the moment.

Once they were finished with all the engagement business on the roof they came down to our apartment where both families and their closest friends were all waiting to surprise them. It was a memorable moment. Tears were shed. Everyone spent the next 30 minutes toasting and nibbling on hors d’oeuvres and then we all went to dinner.

I am well versed in New Orleans cuisine. I have been dining around that city for six decades. I know a lot of the chefs and I’m familiar with so many of their restaurants. What I wasn’t familiar with was booking large groups. I turned to my friend Chef Eric Cook, who makes my favorite appetizer in town at his restaurant Gris Gris (the Fried Oyster BLT). He also makes one of the best gumbos— not just in New Orleans, but of all the gumbos— anywhere. He had a private space available at his French Quarter restaurant Saint John (another good name) and that’s where we took our party of 18 after the post proposal gathering in our apartment.

The second floor of Saint John was perfect for our group. It was in the French Quarter and a 10 minute walk from our apartment, it had the perfect amount of local flavor, and it had a private bar manned by two excellent servers. Chef Cook was there to greet us, and he and I visited for 20 minutes or so. The evening was a perfect mix of family, friends, and food.

The next day we had brunch at Rosedale, Susan Spicer’s casual joint tucked away on a small street somewhere between the Navarre neighborhood and Mid City. Susan was in there working brunch (usually her one day off) and I started wondering if I had ever been in there when Susan wasn’t there. I don’t think I have. It’s the same with Chef Frank Brigtsen. I have been eating at Brigtsen’s for over 36 years and have never dined there when he wasn’t in the kitchen.

I have often told friends that if someone were setting out to open a restaurant and said, “Let’s design a restaurant specifically for Robert St. John,” it would probably be Rosedale. It’s everything I love in a restaurant— casual, not stuffy, but dedicated to great food, no tweezers, just great ingredients, and great recipes prepared by skilled chefs.

I was sitting there at brunch basking in the afterglow of a wonderful evening the night before, counting my blessings of family and friends and began to think about my chef friends in New Orleans and others I admire who are in the trenches of this business day in and day out facing adversity at every corner and still maintaining their love and devotion for our craft.

I have always been grateful to live 90 minutes away from such greatness. As a part-time New Orleanian I eat around 120 meals a year in the city’s restaurants and admire and appreciate all of the people who work in our industry down there.

Today I began thinking about a relatively small— as American major cities go— city that is blessed with such culinary talent, and I thought about the chefs who are out there on the front lines of these challenging times continuing to persevere and thrive no matter what adversity comes their way.

My next thought was to make a list of my favorite chefs in the city. Here is that list (not ranked and in no particular order, just as it came to me while writing this column).

Frank Brigtsen— I think if you polled most chefs in New Orleans and asked them, “Who is the best chef in New Orleans?” Nine out of 10 would answer, “Frank Brigtsen.” He was a disciple of Paul Prudhomme at Commander’s Palace in the 1970s and was his hand-picked sous chef to join him at K-Paul’s. He’s been serving excellence on a plate since 1986 in his Riverbend shotgun.

Susan Spicer— on that poll of New Orleans chefs, Susan Spicer would also appear very high on the list. She’s a hard working woman with excellent taste, true skills, and an amazing work ethic. I’ve followed her career since her early days at The Bistro at Mason de Ville.

Emeril Lagasse— there seemed to be a lot of misplaced jealousy in the culinary world when Emeril hit it big in the early days of the Food Network. I never wavered. I’ve always admired this guy who was one of the youngest chefs ever to lead the kitchen at Commander’s. He’s got the knowledge, skill, and business smarts and has what would amount to a PhD in cooking.

Donald Link— has the Midas touch when it comes to New Orleans restaurants. I’ve never had a bad meal at any of his places and he’s obviously a skilled operator in addition to being a talented chef. His gumbo is one of my top three in town.

John Besh— I have been friends with John since the mid 1990s and friends stick by friends through adversity. Say what you want, but this guy can cook.

Eric Cook— he’s as humble as he is talented. Gris Gris is always a solid choice for lunch or dinner, and there’s always the aforementioned gumbo and Fried Oyster BLT.

Nina Compton— I got to know Nina during the pandemic as we were on daily Zoom calls with other restaurateurs from across the country. She is one of the most admired chefs in the country and New Orleans is a better place because she lives and works there.

Justin Devillier— La Petit Grocery was on the forefront of the new guard a decade or so ago. It hasn’t slipped one bit. Actually, it’s better today than it was when it opened and he won the Beard. Justine in the Quarter is fun, too.

Blake Aguillard and Trey Smith, Saint Germaine— this is such a great restaurant, and these guys have excellent touch when it comes to fine dining.

Rising Star: E.J. Lagasse— this young guy is going to do great things. He basically graduated high school and was enrolled in Johnson and Wales culinary school the next day. He’s still in his very early 20s and is about to take the reins at the reimagined Emeril’s. He’s as serious about his craft as any twentysomething I have ever known. There are great things ahead for this guy.

It might seem strange to write a column about your daughter’s engagement and include a list of your favorite chefs in New Orleans. But for those who know me, it makes perfect sense. And for those who know my daughter— and her disdain of bringing attention to herself or putting herself out there in the public eye— you’ll know that even the first five paragraphs in this column made her uncomfortable. But it’s my column and I’m a proud daddy.

I love my daughter more than life itself and am happy for her future.

I am also a fan of independent restaurateurs and chefs. It’s a brutal business. But for those who love it, it’s a wonderful life.


Shrimp and Okra Gumbo

1 /2 cup Canola oil

3 /4 cup Flour

2 Tbl File powder

1 cup Onion, diced

1 /2 cup Celery, diced

1 /2 cup Bell pepper, diced

1 1 /2 cups Fresh okra, sliced

2 Tbl Garlic, minced

1 1 /2 lbs Shrimp, small

2 tsp Salt

1 1 /2 tsp Black pepper

2 tsp Creole Seasoning

1 tsp Thyme, dry

1 cup Tomatoes, diced, canned or fresh

2 quarts Shrimp stock

1 Tbl Hot Sauce

1 /4 tsp Cayenne pepper

2 cups cooked white rice

In a large skillet, combine oil, flour and file powder to form a roux. Cook over medium heat, stirring often until roux is very dark (be careful not to burn). Add

vegetables, garlic, spices and shrimp and continue to cook for five to seven minutes, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Meanwhile, bring shrimp stock and tomatoes to a boil. Slowly add roux mixture to boiling stock and mix well. Lower heat to a slow simmer, and cook 10 more minutes. Add hot sauce and cayenne pepper.

To serve, place 2-3 tablespoons of rice in a bowl then pour the hot gumbo over the rice.

Yield: 1 gallon

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

Lions learn to celebrate recovery

By Tracy Campbell

The Minden Lions Club appreciates Lion Raymond and Beverly Abraham presenting Thursday’s program on Celebrate Recovery. Celebrate Recovery is a 12-step program that not only focuses on alcohol or drug recovery, but also any “hurt, hang-up or habit” such as food addiction, sex addiction, depression, grief, and gambling. Celebrate Recovery provides a biblically balanced approach to help bring sustainable recovery and healing. Meetings are held Tuesdays from 5:30 until 8 p.m. at First Baptist Church. A light meal is provided along with all necessary material.

The Abrahams were introduced Thursday by Lion Paul Kitchens.

Pictured (left to right) are Beverly Abraham, Lion Raymond Abraham, Lion President Preston Gray, and Lion Paul Kitchens.


It was a hot July day in Nashville, Tennessee.  Bill Dees and his friend Kelton were at Kelton’s home trying to write a song.  They needed a melody, a clever phrase, a catchy guitar riff, or anything else that could spark an idea.  They played anything that came to mind on their guitars, discussed several phrases, but they were unimpressed with the results.  They kept at it.  At one point, Kelton’s wife walked into the room.  Bill and Kelton’s attention immediately shifted from their task at hand to Kelton’s wife.  She was a knockout.  Bill and Kelton’s gaze shifted to her yellow skirt and red shoes.  Anytime Bill saw a woman he thought was pretty, he exclaimed, “Mercy!”  Like the involuntary actions of our bodies such as blinking our eyelids or breathing, Bill exclaimed “Mercy!” before he could stop himself.  Bill shifted his gaze from Kelton’s wife to Kelton.  Kelton was smiling.  He looked back and Kelton’s wife was smiling as well. 

The three of them chatted briefly and Kelton’s wife said she was going to a nearby store to buy something.  Kelton, ever the gentleman, asked if she needed any money.  Before Kelton’s wife had a chance to respond, Bill spoke up and said, “a pretty woman never needs any money.”  They all smiled.  Kelton’s wife turned and walked away.  As she walked out of the house and onto the sidewalk, Bill heard her red high heels clicking on the pavement.  Click! Click! Click! Click!  Bill tapped his finger on his guitar to the same tempo as the sound of Kelton’s wife’s clicking shoes.  Before the sound of Kelton’s wife’s clicking heels had faded, Kelton came up with a fitting guitar riff.  Lyrics came next as if they had been there all along just waiting to be written down.  By the time Kelton’s wife returned, about 40 minutes later, Bill and Kelton had finished the song. 

A week later, on August 1, Bill and Kelton went into the studio to record the song.  Once again, Bill tapped his finger to the tempo he remembered of Kelton’s wife walking away in her red high-heeled shoes.  Click! Click! Click! Click!  The studio drummer played this tempo on his snare drum, Kelton’s guitar riff was added, and finally, Kelton sang lead and Bill sang harmony.  In one point in the song, Kelton said there was something missing.  He needed to say something short, just a word or two.  He remembered what Bill said upon seeing his wife the previous week.  He sang one more word, “mercy,” and the song was finished.  Bill and Kelton were pleased with the song.

On August 15, 1964, Bill and Kelton’s song was released.  Less than two weeks later, their song entered the charts at number 49.  By early September, newspapers all over the world predicted that the song would sell well.  On September 6, the number one song in the country was “House of the Rising Sun” by the Animals.  Bill and Kelton’s song reached number 13.  A week later, September 13, Bill and Kelton’s song was at number 2 just behind “House of the Rising Sun.”  A week after that, on September 20, Bill and Kelton’s song had replaced “House of the Rising Sun” in the number one spot.  “In a 68-week period that began on August 8, 1963,” during the British Invasion, Kelton “was the only American artist to have a number one single in Britain.”  In addition to reaching number one in the United States and the United Kingdom, Bill and Kelton’s song reached the top spot in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Switzerland, and West Germany.  Mercy!   

When Bill and Kelton’s songwriting session was interrupted on that hot July day in 1964, none of them could have realized the impact of Kelton’s wife walking into and out of the room.  Kelton’s wife’s name was Claudette.  The name of the Bill and Kelton’s song came directly from Bill’s comment that “a pretty woman never needs any money.”  For almost fifty years now, you and I have heard Bill and Kelton sing “Oh, Pretty Woman.”  Kelton is the middle name of Roy Orbison.  Mercy!


1.  The Paducah Sun, August 28, 1964, p.10.

2.  Valley Morning Star, September 6, 1964, p.3.

3.  Omaha World-Herald, September 20, 1964, p.100.
4.  Rock, The History of, and Roll. n.d. “Roy Orbison (1936-1988) | the History of Rock and Roll Radio Show.” Accessed September 24, 2023.
5.  NPR. 2008. “Mercy: Behind Roy Orbison’s ‘Pretty Woman.’” NPR. December 6, 2008.
6.  “ShieldSquare Captcha.”

Upcoming Events

Send non-profit calendar events to .

Registration is open for National Night Out parties. opens on Friday, September 22, 2023 and runs through 4:00 p.m. on Friday, October 13, 2023. Those interested in hosting block parties may register in person at Minden City Hall, over the phone by dialing (318) 377-2144, or online at

Sept. 28

5 p.m. Candidate Meet & Greet at Minden Community House.

6 p.m. Candidates give a brief 2-3 minute overview of their platform.

September 28 through 30, Oct. 1

 Minden High School 30th Class Reunion

Sept. 28 – 6 until 9 p.m. Meet and Greet, Under Dawgs Sports Grill, 605 Main St., Minden, La.

Sept. 29 – 11 a.m. until 1 p.m., Meet and Greet, Under Dawgs Sports Grill, 605 Main St., Minden, La.

Sept. 29 – 9 p.m. until 1 a.m., Kickback, Camp Minden, 100 Louisiana Boulevard, Minden, La.

Homecoming Parade TBA

Sept. 30 – 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., Family Fun Day, Hot Wheels Skating Rink, 3000 Old Minden Rd., Bossier City, La.

Sept. 30 – 7 p.m. until 1 a.m., Still Rollin 30 Years Later, Camp Minden, 100 Louisiana Boulevard, Minden, La.

Oct.1 – Church Fellowship TBA

Youth Basketball registration begins and runs through December 1 at Minden Rec Center.

Oct. 5

1 p.m. Ribbon Cutting, Honey’s Hanger, 116 South Main St., Springhill.

Oct. 7

8:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. “Day of Worship for Women, North Acres Baptist Church, 1852 Lewisville Rd., Minden. Cost is $25 and space is limited.

Kathy Nelson with Speak It Ministries will be the speaker and Serena Gray will be leading worship. Register by contacting Janice Nelson at or 318-393-1990

or calling the church 318-377-4315. Childcare provided, lunch included.

10 a.m. until noon, free pet vaccines (no rabies). DHPP (dogs), FVRCP (cats), Springhill Civic Center, 101 Machen Dr., Springhill. Sponsored by LaMa Animal Rescue and Petco.

Oct. 12

6 p.m. Seeds Women’s Center annual Fundraising Banquet. Dinner at program. Minden Civic Center. For tickets, call 318-639-0907.

Oct. 13

4 p.m. Registration deadline for National Night Out parties to be held Oct. 17. Those interested in hosting block parties may register in-person at Minden City Hall, over the phone by dialing (318) 377-2144, or online at

Oct. 14

11 a.m. until 4 p.m. Minden Makers Fair. Accepting vendor applications, demonstrations and volunteers.

Oct. 17

5:30 p.m. Women of Courage, Minden Civic Center.

6 until 8 p.m. National Night Out parties.

Oct. 19

4 until 6 p.m. Witches’ Ride in downtown Minden. Tickets can be purchased online at the following link or in person at Red Blooms, Say Baby or Simply Chic in Bossier.  They are $45 per ticket. All money raised from ticket sales will benefit Miller Quarters Park, which will serve as the ride’s starting and ending point and will be the site for the block party set to follow the ride. A portion of money raised will also be donated to a non-profit organization called We’re Here, We Care. 

5:30 p.m. Men of Courage, Minden Civic Center.

Oct. 21

6 p.m. Monster-Mash BINGO Event. $25 admission for 10 games. Costume Contest, silent auction, raffles. Springhill Civic Center, 101 Machen Dr., Springhill. Proceeds go to LaMa Animal Rescue.

Oct. 24

6:30 p.m. 15 Under 40 Awards Gala, Minden Civic Center.

Oct. 26

4:30 p.m. Ghostly Gathering Trunk or Treat, Mack Memorial Library, Springhill, La.

Oct. 28

6 until 9 p.m. Minden Rec Annual Fall Festival.

Oct. 30

5 until 7 p.m. Glenbrook Fall Fest

5:30 p.m. Ghostly Gathering Trunk or Treat, Minden Branch, Webster Parish Libraries.

Nov. 4

10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Mission Baby Bazaar Craft/Bake Sale. First Baptist Church gym, Minden. Blessing families that are adopting/fostering children. Handmade crafts, silent auction, bake/casserole sale, hot dog or jambalaya lunch. All proceeds go to the children.

When nobody is watching

 When it comes to being great, some people are gifted and blessed while others must work at it to be great. It’s one thing to have talent, but it’s sad when people waste that God given talent. During my athletic career, I have seen some very high-level athletes that never took advantage of the talent they were blessed with. Why is this? Is it a lack of self-confidence or is it that no one ever showed faith in them as a player or as a person? Could it be a lack of determination or competitive fire that all great players possess? Even though this article is not related to fishing, today I’ll give you my experience and perspective on not what makes a great athlete, but what makes an athlete great..…..when nobody is watching. 

 Years ago, there was a youngster from East Texas who was a talented athlete especially in baseball. But talent alone only goes so far. It must be groomed and nurtured. As a kid living in the country, this young boy was always looking for ways to improve his baseball skills and be the best. Daily he would retreat to his backyard and spend hours throwing a rubber baseball off a big fallen tree to work on his fielding skills like one-hoppers that baseball players often get when playing the game. He worked on making backhanded plays and fielding every ball with great technique. He did this daily…….when nobody was watching.

 Then one day he was looking for a way to improve on his hitting. So, he took an old blanket his mom offered and hung it on a clothesline out behind his house. (This is how people used to dry their laundry before everyone got automated driers.) Putting his creativity to work, he took an old Folger’s coffee can and cut a three-foot piece of PVC pipe and cemented it into the coffee can. Then he found an old piece of radiator hose (that was very flexible) and slid it over the top of the PVC pipe. BAM!!! There it was….the perfect batting tee. He would hit for hours off this tee so he could become a better hitter. He hit so much that he wore the covers off the balls he was hitting into that blanket…….. all when nobody was watching.

 Today, batting tees are available at pretty much any sporting goods store. But back in the early 1970’s, no one had even heard of a batting tee! But this young man used his creativity and designed his own batting tee in order to become a better hitter. Through this extra work he accomplished so much and developed his baseball skills when nobody was watching that he landed a scholarship which eventually led to him being drafted in the 1983 major league baseball draft.

 Another great example of doing more than what was required would be a former high school teammate and friend of his by the name of Maury Buford. If this name sounds a little familiar it should, as he was an outstanding punter in the NFL for over 8 eight years during the 1980’s and 90’s. He was the punter for the 1985 Super Bowl Champion Chicago Bears, one of the greatest teams in NFL history. Now as a youngster growing up, Maury discovered at a very early age that he had a talent for punting a football. He spent hours on a sandlot working on developing his punting skills. He went on to become an All-American at Texas Tech and had a great NFL career. Maury’s dedication and work ethic was on another level and allowed him to accomplished great things ……when nobody was watching.

 This is how athletes become great, doing the little things and putting in the EXTRA time to develop their skills. A lot of kids today do not understand this concept and they think that the time they spend at their scheduled two-hour practice time is enough to be a great player. But great players are different. They realize that if you want to be great, you must put in the extra time away from regular practice. So remember, if you want to be great at anything like golf, tennis, basketball or tournament fishing, it’s the extra time you put in when nobody is watching that makes you great.   

 Till next time, if you have any comments about this or any other articles I’ve written, go to my Facebook page and give your feedback. I really appreciate all of you that take the time to read my articles. I hope in some small way you gain either knowledge or comfort in what you read.

Steve Graf

Angler’s Perspective

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.

Sept. 23

Alexis Symone Rice, 28, of the 800 block of Fincher Rd. Minden, was arrested by MPD on a warrant for access device fraud.

Sept. 24

Bradley Charles Clayton, 49, of the 60 block of New Country Road, Cabot, Ark., was arrested by MPD (Sibley Road at Industrial Drive) for simple criminal damage to property and disturbing the peace (language).

Sept. 25

Sammy R. Huey, 60, of the 6100 block of Hwy. 531, Heflin, was arrested by WPSO for improper lane usage and driving while intoxicated.

Keambre L. Franklin, 20, of the 900 block of East Rd., Sarepta, was arrested by WPSO on warrants for speeding and improper child restraint.

Sept. 26

Kellion D. Harris, 35, of the 500 block of Babb Circle, Minden, was arrested by WPSO for home invasion, domestic battery, simple criminal damage to property and misdemeanor theft.

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 – Sept. 26, 2023

Charles Edgar Tyson

June 5, 1930 – Sept. 23, 2023

Gibsland/Bossier City

Visitation: 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023, Rose-Neath Funeral Home, Bossier City, La.

Funeral service: 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023, Rose-Neath Funeral Home, Bossier City, La.

Burial: Hill Crest Memorial Park Cemetery

Kevin W. Brack

May 25, 1956 – Sept. 23, 2023

Sarepta, La.

Services pending through Bailey Funeral Home, Springhill, La.

Etta Jo New McCullough

July 5, 1937 – Sept. 16, 2023

Homer/Minden, La.

Reception/visitation: Following graveside service.

Graveside service: 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023, Mt. Mariah Church and Cemetery, 2 miles north of Arcadia on Highway 9.

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.)

Community lauds local artist

Beloved local artist Cora Lou Robinson of Minden was the recipient of high awards and accolades Sunday during a reception at First Methodist Church of Minden.

Robinson received a Women in Arts certificate and pin and Daughters of American Revolution Community Service Award, while Minden Mayor Nick Cox proclaimed Sunday as Cora Lou Robinson Day.

MPD charges man with raping child

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Minden Police have arrested a local man for allegedly raping a child.

Michael Dakot Williams, 19, was taken into custody Thursday and charged with first degree rape and alleged sexual misconduct with a child under the age of 13.

According to the police report, the misconduct began 10 years ago when Williams was 9 years old and the female victim was 4. The victim only recently came forward with information.

MPD investigators interviewed Williams at the police station and arrested him there. Investigators say MPD’s part in the case has ended, however, it is ongoing for other agencies.

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.

Chamber sponsors Candidate Meet & Greet

Join Greater Minden Chamber of Commerce at 5 p.m. Thursday, September 28 for a Candidate Meet & Greet Event at the Minden Community House.

At 6 p.m., candidates will have an opportunity to take the stage, introduce themselves and give a brief 2–3-minute overview of their platform. The public is invited to attend in-person to meet and visit with the candidates running for state, district, and local elections.

Candidates who have confirmed participation are listed below:

Louisiana Governor

Frank Scurlock

John Alexander

Xavier Ellis

Secretary of State

Amanda Jennings

BESE District 4

Emma Shepard

Paige Hoffpauir

State Senator 31st District

Mike McConathy (tentative)

State Senator 36th District

Adam Bass

Robert Mills

Webster Parish Assessor

Denise Edwards

Sharon Duncan

Webster Parish Police Jury (Districts 5, 8, 10)

Nancy Hines

LaTanya Grigsby

Mike Griffith

Early Voting: 8:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. Sept. 30 through Oct. 7 (excluding Sunday, Oct. 1).

Polls are open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. Oct. 14 for General Election Day.

Brick Street Coffee owners: ‘Lots of potential in Minden

The Peris family (from left) Debbie, Derek, Lily, Rebecca, Anna and David are “all hands on deck” at Brick Street Coffee. (Photo by Courtney Dexter)

By Marilyn Miller

“What made you choose Minden, Louisiana?”

Derek and Debbie Peris have fielded this question many times since they opened the doors of Brick Street Coffee in the downtown Minden business district a little over a month ago. What makes the question an obvious one is the fact that the Peris’ home state of Washington is 2,500 miles away and the couple had never even visited Louisiana prior to purchasing the historic Temple/Crichton Hardware Store in downtown Minden.

Prior to coming to Minden two years ago, Derek and Debbie ran a Christian camp in Mt. Baker National Forest in Washington (three hours north of Seattle near the Canadian border) for 10 years. Derek managed the facilities used by the non-denominational camp and Debbie made sure the campers received three square meals a day.

Among the visiting preachers at camp were Tim Pruitt and his son, Timothy Pruitt. The Pruitts are pastor and associate pastor of the Evening Light Tabernacle on Hwy. 371, North, near Minden. That’s how Derek and Debbie learned of the small town of 11,000 residents in northwest Louisiana.

“When COVID happened, we had to shut the camp down immediately,” Debbie explained. Luckily for the couple, they already owned a coffee bean roastery, Barnyard Coffee Roasters, LLC in Blaine, Wash.

“Derek laid himself off from the camp and dove headlong into our roasting business,” Debbie said. In addition to on-line sales, Barnyard distributed to area groceries and coffee houses.

But as the COVID pandemic continued, the Peris’s became more dissatisfied with their situation. Their church was located just over the Washington border, in Canada, and the Canadian border was closed. Deciding to relocate, the couple narrowed down a list to Virginia and Minden, La.

“In Easter of 2021, we came here to visit. We just instantly felt like we were home,” Debbie recalled. “There was a welcoming spirit about the city. We loved it!” After one week of vacation, the couple returned home and put their house up for sale. They also sold half of their roastery business.

“It’s the hardest thing we’ve ever done,” Debbie said. On Aug. 21, 2021, the couple drove 2,500 miles to Minden. “It was a leap of faith … Louisiana was a state we’d never been to before.” And all of the Peris’ family followed. “All four kids wanted to come … nobody was forced,” she added.

Of course, the on-line roastery orders had to be fulfilled immediately, and they located a warehouse on Lake Claiborne.

“We wanted to be in Minden, so we bought a house here,” Debbie said. “Then I saw this place (the old hardware store on Main Street) and just loved it. And it was up for sale … until it wasn’t … it was under contract,” she exclaimed. However, in December, Mr. Wimberly (in a nearby business) let Debbie and Derek know that the store was for sale again.

“On Jan. 2, 2022, we submitted an offer, and we closed in February.”

Then the “fun” began.

“If you’ve never owned a business before, you realize there’s more to it than painting the walls,” Debbie said. All types of testing had to be done, the Fire Marshal had to evaluate the building and report to the State, and, of course, the coffee house and roastery had to be designed.

The Fire Marshal approved the building in the Fall of ’22. In the meantime, the couple worked on the design. “We just sat in here day after day and stared. We were looking for a vision … what was it supposed to look like … and because we were forced to take it slowly, it came out like it did,” Debbie recalled. “We wanted nothing from the Northwest. We wanted what was here to be preserved.”

In November of 2022, Gnarly Bros. Construction began construction.

“Clint Powell and the Gnarly Bros. did a great job for us,” Debbie said. “Now it (Brick Street Coffee) looks like it has always been here … has always been a part of this town.”

The Peris family has already jumped into supporting the area, getting into the St. Jude auction, participating in some events with Sara McDaniel, and talking up their new town.

“We do what we can to promote the city and to get people to come here.”

In fact, two other young families, from Dallas and Arizona, have moved to Minden in the wake of the Peris family.

“We’re living in a different time. You can work from home,” Debbie said, espousing the perfection of “overlooked places” to live. “We want to know our neighbors again. Towns like Minden offer that opportunity.”

“There’s lots of potential here. Taxes are taxes and everybody pays them, but I do hope they get the electrical situation straightened out. We couldn’t have afforded a building like this in Washington.”

What about competing with the Broken Bean?

“We can both thrive here,” Debbie said. “There were 6,000 people where we lived (in Washington), and there were four coffee shops and a coffee bar inside a business.” And they all thrived. “We also want to be respectful of what the other business offers … we don’t want to duplicate menus.”

Debbie and Derek are enjoying the slower pace of life here. But you’d never know it by the pace of the couple and their 10 staff members when the doors of Brick Street Coffee open each day.

The countertop of the coffee bar in Brick Street is all repurposed wood from the original building. The Peris’s are the first owners of the building at 509 Main Street outside the Crichton family. (Photo by Courtney Dexter)

Link is hot for Week 5

The link is now hot for this week’s Football Pick’em Contest, sponsored by Under Dawg’s Sports Grill and Yocom Law Firm. Last year’s contest was so successful, we are adding to it.

Every week, local high school football games, four college teams and four pro teams will be on the ballot, which will include tie-breakers based on total points of two selected teams will be posted on the Webster Parish Journal. And just like the Journal, there’s no cost to enter. 

Each weekly winner over the life of the contest will be on the receiving end of $100 and will have their photo taken at our title sponsor Under Dawgs Sports Grill, the gathering place featuring a home-field atmosphere.

Anyone 18 and older is eligible to participate. All it takes is an email address and a combination of skill and a little luck.

Signing up for the contest only takes a couple of minutes. Log on to and follow the instructions.

The contest opens on Tuesdays and remains open until 4 p.m. each Friday before the listed games (unless there are Thursday games). Weekly winners will be notified and announced in the following week in Webster Parish Journal.

Minden businessman arrested for theft, mingling substances

A local businessman was taken into custody at Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office around 11:15 a.m. Thursday.

Ronald D. Veitch, 66, of the 100 block of Coleman Loop, Homer, La., was arrested by WPSO on warrants for theft and mingling substances.

According to the initial complaint affidavits, Veitch allegedly stole 12 hydrocodone pills from the complainant’s residence in Minden and replaced the stolen pills with 13 white oblong pills in the bottle labeled hydrocodone.

The replacement pills were reportedly unidentifiable.

Veitch was transported to Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center without incident.

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.

Police, Marshal join forces to bring in felon

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Proving teamwork pays off, Ward I City Marshal Dan Weaver and Minden Police have put another felon behind bars.

Tremindeus Jashun Miller, 29, of the 900 block of Carolina St., Minden, was charged with possession of marijuana, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, theft of a firearm, simple burglary and active warrants for 4 counts of misdemeanor theft.

According to reports, police received a direct call from Weaver saying Miller was spotted on W.R. Reeder Street, and it was known the subject had active warrants.

“Off. Anthony Crittendon responded to the call where he and Marshal Weaver took Miller into custody,” said Minden Police Chief Jared McIver. “In his possession was a small amount of suspected marijuana in a clear plastic bag.”

MPD Det. Shane Griffith reportedly wanted Miller for theft of a firearm and felon in possession of a firearm.

“After Det. Griffith questioned Miller, officers went to the 500 block of Plateau Street where a Henry Golden Boy .22 was recovered,” said the chief. “Post Miranda, Miller admitted to taking the firearm and some tools from a complainant’s residence and then pawning the tools at a local pawn shot.”

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.

Italian Sausage Sandwiches

The easiest to throw together and even served on hot dog buns. These are GOOD and even heat up well in the air fryer for leftovers.  Mozzarella pearls and sliced pepperoncini peppers set the bar high with this yummy sandwich!  


  • 1 package Italian sausage
  • 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce
  • 1 tablespoon pesto
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • S&P to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded Italian cheese
  • Mozzarella pearls
  • Sliced pepperoncini peppers
  • Hot dog buns


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cook sausage in a large skillet, crumbling as you cook.  Drain.  Add back to skillet and add marinara, pesto, garlic, S&P, sugar, onion powder, and red pepper flakes.  Let simmer while you prepare the buns.

Brush melted butter on inside of buns.  Toast in oven for a few minutes.  Remove from oven and add shredded cheese to buns.  Fill with sausage mixture.  Add mozzarella pearls and peppers on top.  Sprinkle with more shredded cheese.  Bake 10-15 minutes.

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