July 4 is date for flag raising ceremony

Mt. Lebanon Historical Society will host its annual Flag Raising Ceremony on Monday, July 4, at Stagecoach Trail Museum. Guest speaker will be Kevin Smith, pastor at Grace United Methodist Church in Ruston. This is a patriotic and educational event for all ages. The program will begin at 8 a.m. and conclude with breakfast at the Country Store. Please bring a covered dish breakfast.


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.

June 23

Coleman Chandler, 23, of Bradley, Ark. was arrested by Springhill Police for domestic abuse batter with child endangerment on April 11, 2022. Judge has changed bond amount for Chandler to $1,000.

Juan J. Bush, 63, of the 7900 block of Hwy. 371, Sibley, was arrested by WPSO for domestic abuse battery.

June 24

Jacob Heckendorn, 26, of the 400 block of Smith Loop, Sarepta, was arrested by WPSO for contempt of court.

June 25

Kaleb M. Mills, 24, of the 2300 block of Butler St., Arcadia, was arrested by MPD on a warrant for theft.

June 26

Amanda Michelle Dillard, 39, of the 200 block of 1st St., Pinehill, Springhill, was arrested by Cotton Valley Police for simple battery.

Lacey Leann Holleman, 29, of the 100 block of Crownover Rd., Minden, was arrested by MPD for theft by shoplifting.

Marrico Desean Murphy, 32, of the 500 block of Humble St., Cotton Valley, was arrested by Cotton Valley Police for simple battery.

June 27

Michael Parks, 66, of Ringgold, was arrested by WPSO  for simple burglary and possession of a controlled dangerous substance.

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.


Sales Opportunity

Do you enjoy meeting new people and greeting old friends?

You may be perfect for an account executive’s position with the Webster Parish Journal. You don’t have to fit a particular profile, you just need to be as passionate about spreading the news as those with whom you will be working.

WPJ subscriptions are – and always will be – free. We depend on businesses and advertising to help us meet our goals and keep the public informed.

Contact us at wpjnewsla@gmail.com, if this describes you.


Upcoming Events 

June 27 – July 1

9 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. daily, VBS – Zoomerang, ages 4 years through 6th grade Beech Springs Baptist Church, 15910 HWY 80, Minden. Register at https://beechspringsbc.myanswers.com/zoomerang or through their Facebook page.

June 29

10 a.m. Magic Show with Magician David LeBoeuf at Minden Main Branch of the Webster Parish Library. Registration required.

11:30 a.m. Magic Workshop. Registration required; Minden Main Branch.

2:30 p.m. Magic Show at Springhill Branch of the library. Registration required.

4 p.m. Magic Workshop at Springhill  Registration required.

June 30

8 a.m. Minden City Council Workshop. Agenda: 2022/2023 budget. Pelican Conference Room, Minden City Hall. Public is invited to attend.

2 p.m. Magic Show with Magician David LeBoeuf at Doyline Branch of the Webster Parish Library.  Registration required.

July 7

10 a.m. Minden Planning Commission Meeting, Pelican Room, Minden City Hall. On the agenda is a request from Carlton Myles Jr. (owner of Bayou Brothers, LLC) for a zoning change from R-4 (Multifamily Residential) to B-4 (Hwy. Commercial) on property owned by them located at the corner of Lee and Columbia Streets (6 lots).

July 16

9 a.m. registration, 10 a.m. Louisiana Christian University Football Camps. All camps at Wildcat Stadium in Pineville. Cost $40/$50 walk-up.

August 9

6:30 p.m. New Student Orientation at Glenbrook Multipurpose Building.

August 10

6:30 p.m. Grades 7-12,”Hot Dog We’re Back at School,” schedules to be distributed at this meeting. Glenbrook Multipurpose Building.

If you have a non-profit event: church, school or community, please email it to wpjnewsla@gmail.com. * Webster Parish Journal reserves the right to determine if a calendar item is a paid advertisement.


Notice of Death: June 27, 2022 

Louis “Lou” LoConte

Sept. 13, 1926 – June 22, 2022

Graveside service: 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 28, 2022, Minden Cemetery, Minden, La., under direction of Rose-Neath Funeral Home, Minden.

 

Linda Sue Krouse

Oct. 1, 1944 – June 26, 2022

Graveside service: 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 28, 2022 at Germantown Cemetery, under the direction of Rose-Neath Funeral Home, Minden, La.

 

Vera Joy Shepard

Dec. 25, 1932 – June 27, 2022

Visitation: 5 until 7 p.m. Friday, July 1, 2022 at Rose-Neath Funeral Home, 2201 Airline Dr., Bossier City.

Funeral service: 1 p.m. Saturday, July 2, 2022 at West Lake Baptist Church, Doyline, La.

Burial to follow at West Lake Baptist Cemetery.

 

Kenneth “Ken” Roy Grosz

Sept. 2, 1942 – June 11, 2022

Visitation: 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 5, 2022. in church parlor of First Baptist Church, 543 Oakley Dr., Shreveport, La.

Memorial Service: 11 a.m. Tuesday, July 5, 2022, in Frost Chapel, First Baptist Church.

 

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


Toxin results in from private company contracted with Webster Parish Police Jury

Webster Parish Community Services building on Gleason Street with First Baptist Church in the background.

By Paige Nash

Toxin results are in from a private company, contracted by the Webster Parish Police Jury. Intertek PSI Solutions performed indoor air sampling at two community services buildings owned by the jury, one of which is separated only by a 25-foot alleyway between it and the historic dry-cleaning facility, Imperial Cleaners. 

The executive Webster Parish Community Services, building located on Gleason Street, is closest in proximity to the alleyway that has had the highest detected concentrations of tetrachloroethene and trichloroethene according to most recent reports by Leaff for Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality – levels that are 1,000 times above safe levels, according to Dr. Brian Salvatore, chemistry professor at LSU-S. The administration building located on Murrell Street is approximately 195-feet northwest of Imperial Cleaners. 

Intertek is based out of Shreveport and provides testing consulting and engineering services, such as construction material testing, environmental testing and specialty testing. Before beginning their sampling, they were made aware of LDEQ’s plans to conduct their own investigation sometime this month, but the parish still opted to have the private testing completed, in order to use the results as a comparison.  

Although two and a half pages of chemicals were detected, it appears the indoor air quality concentrations were not above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Commercial Vapor Intrusion Screening Level. 

“The results from the testing showed no levels of contamination from the cleaning fluids that were historically released at the imperial Cleaner’s property that exceeded limits for commercial property,” said WPPJ President Jim Bonsall. “They believe some of the traces they found inside the building may be from excessive cleaning for Covid protection, as some of the same chemicals they were testing for are used in cleaning and disinfecting products.” 

Intertek collected 3 indoor air samples from the Gleason location and 2 from the Murrel location, from various areas of each building. They placed the canisters used to conduct the testing at a height that would be considered breathing level. They also collected two outdoor/ambient air samples from both locations, with the canisters located outside of the buildings closest to the historic dry cleaners.

The outdoor/ambient samples detected hydrocarbon-related chemicals at a lower level outside of the building, than inside the building. This would suggest that the chemicals detected may be the result of excessive cleaning measures taken as of late due to the global pandemic. According to the report provided by Intertek to the Webster Parish Police Jury and Office of Community Services, such cleaning measurements were performed in the building during the time of the sampling.  

The results were compared with both Residential and Commercial Vapor Intrusion Screening Levels. Although some of the chemicals detected did exceed residential recommended levels, they were not above recommended levels for commercial properties. More sensitive people of the population which include the elderly, children or immunocompromised, would be at elevated risk if they were to spend extended periods of time in the buildings.  

LDEQ did begin their investigation at these properties, as well as the other surrounding businesses and residences, this week. We are still awaiting those official reports. 


HeadStart building on Murrell Street.

Minden City Council asked to help with property development

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Certified business sites are reportedly important to economic development.

Sarah Haynes, a Minden resident who wants local economic development, told members of the Minden City Council in a workshop Tuesday morning there are two sites on or near Industrial Drive (Service Road) that could qualify as development ready.

“We started on this project a year and three months ago,” Haynes said. “Sometime in April Louisiana Economic Development (LED) informed us that they needed to clear one acre on one site and possibly on the other.”

When Haynes, with former Minden Economic Development Director Phillip Smart, began working on the project, they did not realize that acre needed to be cleared.

“We have obtained funding for the projects – both sites,” Haynes said. “MEDC (Minden Economic Development Corporation) has contributed more than $5,000. SWID (South Webster Industrial District) has contributed more than $5,000 and SWEPCO (Southwestern Electric Power Company) has contributed $7,200.”

Now, Haynes has been tasked with locating around $10,000 to give to LED.

“That’s so if any additional things are needed, we could get that pushed across the finish line,” Haynes told the council. “The only thing they are waiting for at this point is the funding to clear the acres on the sites.

“The MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) should state that you will get the money back when the site is sold,” she continued. “It is a loan.”

One site, located on Ryans Way is owned by Kitchco, Paul Kitchens and the heirs of Judge Graydon Kitchens Jr.

The second site, on Industrial Drive, is owned by Webster Land Corporation. That group consists of Amy Mealey, Joyce Carey and Greg Carey.

“At this point and time, there have been $72,000 invested in getting both of those properties to the certification level,” Haynes said.

Advantages of LED certified businesss sites include the following:

  • Development ready
  • Substantial due diligence completed
  • Significant site information gathered and documented
  • Independent third-party engineering review
  • Uncertainty and potential obstacles eliminated through enhanced site knowledge
  • More competitive
  • Greater marketability
  • Granted priority in site proposals

“Similar cities do this all the time,” Haynes explained, “because they want the certified sites so businesses and industries will look at them. We got MEDC, SWID and SWEPCO to invest in it because it would be worth their while when the property sells.”

District A Councilman Wayne Edwards said he thought there were laws on the books that would prevent the city from making a “loan.”

“The reason we want y’all to (loan) the money to LED is so they can use that pool of money to disperse to whatever project needs to get across the finish line,” Haynes told him.

Interim City Clerk Michael Fluhr told Edwards the city has never loaned money to LED, to his knowledge.

District E Councilwoman Pam Bloxom asked Haynes if there were potential buyers for either property.

“Amy (Mealey) has a potential buyer, but this will make the site more versatile to other industries right now,” Haynes said. “I think the person looking at that property is looking at housing, which I don’t believe will pass the (Minden) planning commission because we want it zoned industrial. The Kitchco property is zoned business/commercial.”

Edwards asked if City Attorney Jimbo Yocum has seen the proposal.

“Not to my knowledge, but this is not final,” Haynes said. “When I talked to them (landowners) I said, our city cannot donate to an individual personal account. It has to be made to LED. We’re going to do this collectively, so is this an option for you (council) to give the money to LED.”

District D Councilman Michael Roy, who was present in a conference call, asked if $8,000 to $10,000 was the amount needed.

“That’s just an estimate to get one to two acres cleared,” Haynes said.

“Who in their right mind is going to clear those acres for $10,000?” Edwards asked.

“We do have one bid in, and they can do it for 10,” she said. “Three acres would’ve been $15,000.” However, bids are subject to LED approval.

“If we don’t do this, what happens?” Edwards asked.

“If we don’t get the funding, Kitchco could quite possibly get across the finish line, but I’m not sure how we are going to get across the finish line with the Industrial property.”

Haynes went on to add that LED says the two locations are prime.

“They are close to the interstate, they’re on an industrial drive, and there are plenty of major highways going north and south,” she said. “From all of the sites, these are the best looking locations.”

With all council members present at the workshop, it will likely take more study before they are ready to vote. Edwards reiterated asking for an attorney’s opinion.

“The city is not in the loan business,” District C Councilman Vincen Bradford said. “We won’t get it back until the property is sold? No interest or anything? If this takes 10 years, we just have this money out there.”

Haynes said she doesn’t feel it could be a bad investment if LED has invested $54,000 in the project.


A tiff over TIF

A person can get quite an education by attending city government meetings, but advanced degrees are available during lightly attended pre-meeting meetings like our council’s workshop session a couple of days ago. 

Often, these workshops give council members the opportunity to give us a peek into what they really think, or fail to consider, about issues that have an effect on residents and businesses here. 

Rocker heard that a local small business owner asked the council to consider granting some Tax Incentive Funds (TIF) to assist with an EPA/DEQ mandated project. FYI: Money is collected in the form of a special sales tax by businesses within a designated TIF district. We’re told those dollars are collected by the sales tax office and placed in a TIF fund.

Those dollars can be accessed, by request, for economic develop and improvements that will lead to said development. We’re told money is collected from the business and is available to those that meet certain standards. Our council decides who qualifies.

During the work session, one counciler questioned whether this particular request met criteria for economic development, hinting that it was just a request for money that would financially benefit the owner. Yes, TIF is designed for economic improvement. But, a thinker might ask, why wouldn’t any improvement to any business be considered economically beneficial?

In this case, the above mentioned agencies have dictated that this business mitigate a huge underground storage tank, either by removal or other approved method. We understand the business owner plans to save a bundle of money by filling the tank with sand. That is, of course, unless the council pours sand over his request.

We read that Minden’s financial director explained that when EPA/DEQ issues a directive concerning hazardous situations on property, any improvements made to remedy the situations are considered economic development. That opinion, we’re told, came from the attorney who drew the local TIF districts and the rules that apply.

But in the eyes of somebody on the council, what does a lawyer know? Question was asked if this improvement would help the city or the owner. Answer could be the city would benefit more by helping this business remedy a potentially hazardous situation. Just ask those businesses located near the old Imperial Cleaners. Just ask the ordinary citizen (who also votes).

It’s only our opinion, but economic development is much more. It’s preserving and protecting those existing businesses that already pay taxes, provide payroll, make donations to local schools, charities and events. Local business and industry is an integral part of the economic growth and development of any city.

A town that doesn’t spend equally as much energy in providing assistance for its existing business and industry as it does seeking new is, in fact, stepping back. There’s a myopic attitude here that needs to be corrected. The vision of our “leaders” needs to be more broadly fine-tuned. A bigger picture can be revealed.

This TIF request is scheduled to appear on the council’s next agenda. One can only wonder if this group will consider what this decision will say to the next person or business that seeks their assistance. Remember what R. Reagan said: “We’re from the government and we’re here to help” are very scary words. Indeed. 


Unrestrained Minden man dies in Claiborne Parish crash 

Athens – Just after 10 p.m. Tuesday, June 21, 2022, just after 10:00 p.m., Troopers assigned to Louisiana State Police Troop G began investigating a one-vehicle fatality crash on LA Hwy. 518 at Old Athens Road.  This crash claimed the life of 33-year-old Patrick Halliburton, who was not wearing a seat belt.

The initial investigation revealed a 2001 Ford pickup, driven by Haliburton was traveling west on LA Hwy 518.  For reasons still under investigation, Halliburton exited the roadway, and struck a tree. 

Halliburton, who was unrestrained, suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased on the scene by the Claiborne Parish Coroner. 

It is unknown if impairment is a factor in this crash; however, routine toxicology samples were taken and submitted for analysis. The crash remains under investigation.

In 2022, Troop G has investigated 18 fatal crashes, resulting in 19 deaths


Edwards to host yoga workshop in Minden

Stacy Pitman Edwards

By Paige Nash

Stacy Pitman Edwards just completed a 200-hour Vinyasa Yoga Teacher training course and is excited to share her yoga knowledge with Minden.  

“Yoga has helped me greatly on and off my mat,” said Edwards. “I love a physical challenge and the strategies it provides to slow down in this fast-paced world. I am excited to teach and share my love of yoga.” 

She will be hosting her very first Yoga 101 Workshop at the Minden High Gymnasium next Tuesday, June 28. This workshop will be a 60-minute Vinyasa flow class geared towards beginners who are interested in developing skills needed in order to begin their own yoga practice.  

Edwards will be concentrating on the Sun Salutation series, the names and benefits of each pose. She will address proper alignment and modifications using props to make poses accessible.  

“I want each person to walk away from the class feeling successful and empowered,” said Edwards. 

Edwards has plans to offer various types of yoga classes on a weekly basis. 

“I will be teaching a Yin Yoga workshop soon,” she said. “Yin is a restorative yoga practice that focuses on turning inward and improving flexibility. It is a very relaxing style of yoga.” 

Her future endeavors include eventually opening her own yoga studio in Minden.  

The Yoga Workshop begins at 6 p.m. and is available to the public with a class fee of $10. Participants will only be required to bring a mat and water. Straps and blocks will be provided.  


Kids say the darndest things 

By Paige Nash

As a mom of three children, I stay busy, tired, worried, you know, the usual mom stuff that everyone talks about. I have three girls, an eight, four and one year old. These girls keep me in stitches. I seriously believe they are the funniest people I have ever met, and I just so happened to create.  

I thought this column might be a cool way to share some of the silliness, that helps to lighten the load of motherhood that gets a little heavy sometimes. It is within these moments throughout the day that makes every hard thing worth it for me. I thought it may bring a little sliver of happiness to your day, as well.  

My middle child, she is a character. I am not even sure if she tries to be funny, she just is. Over her four years of life, I have shared countless: “Things Ashton Says” posts with my Facebook friends.  

The latest of these happened a week ago. We bought her a box of band-aids all her own. She saw these Paw Patrol kind she just had to have a couple of weeks ago and that is all she has asked for ever since. (Seriously, she asked for them for her birthday.) So, I obliged. Then, the conversation went a little like this: 

Ashton: I think I’m going to need a band-aid tomorrow. 

Me: Oh, why do you think that? 

Ashton: I think I will probably fall down in the morning and hurt my knee. 

I giggled and just thought to myself that this box of band-aids will not make it two days. 

It made me think though. I had been feeling anxious all week about the girls upcoming dance recital. In addition to the usual everyday stresses, I was making a mental checklist of all the things I needed to get done or gathered and organized for the dress rehearsal and recital. I kept thinking, “If I can just make it through this weekend.”  

Just like Ashton was anticipating her falling and hurting herself, so that she could use one of her new band-aids. I was anticipating Sunday, when everything would be done for the week, and I could just relax.  

Why though? Why not just open the box of band-aids and slap one on now. (We all know that is exactly what is going to happen anyway.) Why not try and enjoy the day we are currently in, instead of wishing this time away or worrying about what could go wrong.  

Yes, it is going to be stressful. Yes, there are going to be late nights and yes, it is going to jack the one-year old’s sleep schedule up for the next two weeks and yes, you are going to spend most of the night chasing her up and down the aisles because there is no way she is going to sit still for a three-hour recital.  

But it could be magical if I just let it. This is something I have struggled with after becoming a mom. There are things I stress about that I never even knew I needed to stress about before I had children. It took me a while to realize I can control this (most of the time.)  

So, I told Ashton to go ahead and open that box of band-aids and I took a deep breath and relaxed and it was magical. Watching my two older girls on that stage show-off all the hard work they have put in over the year was the best I have felt in a long time.  


Former Bulldog Jaylon Ferguson dead at 26

RUSTON, La. – The news broke early Wednesday morning.

Former Louisiana Tech Bulldog and the NCAA’s all-time career sacks leader Jaylon Ferguson was gone at age 26.

The news came from the Baltimore Ravens camp, where Ferguson was set to begin his fourth year with the organization. No additional details on Ferguson’s death have been released.

“We are profoundly saddened by the tragic passing of Jaylon Ferguson,” the team said in a statement. “He was a kind, respectful young man with a big smile and infectious personality. We express our heartfelt condolences to Jaylon’s family and friends as we mourn a life lost much too soon.”

The St. Francisville, La., native and former prep star at West Feliciana High School spent five years in a Louisiana Tech uniform where he became one of the all-time greats in Bulldog history.

“It’s a somber day around our athletic department and community,” said current Tech VP and Director of Athletics Eric Wood. “Those who were privileged enough to truly know Jaylon have nothing but wonderful things to say about the young man. His records and honors prove he was one of the best to ever wear a Bulldog uniform. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family as well as the Baltimore Ravens organization.”

Ferguson earned multiple All-American honors during his career in Ruston, including Football Writers Association of American (FWAA) Freshman All-American honors in 2016 and AP, FWAA, Walter Camp and Sporting News All-American honors in 2018. He was a finalist for the 2018 Ted Hendricks Award and a semifinalist for the 2018 Chuck Bednarik Award.

“The Louisiana Tech Football Family is saddened to hear the news of Jaylon Ferguson’s passing,” said new Bulldog coach Sonny Cumbie. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family during this time.”

The four-time all-Conference USA selection was named the 2018 Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year after totaling a program record 17.5 sacks during the season. He ended his Bulldog career as the NCAA’s all-time leader in sacks with 45.0 earning the nickname “Sack Daddy.”

He totaled 187 career tackles, including 65 career tackles for loss. 

Ferguson was selected in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Ravens.


Man’s temper leads to arrest

By Bonnie Culverhouse

A two-day rant has landed a local man in jail on serious charges.

Brian L. Sims, 53, of the 300 block of Ellis Dr., Minden, was arrested by Minden Police for domestic abuse battery and simple criminal damage to property.

Police Chief Steve Cropper said Lt. Chris Hammontree, Off. Kayla Little, Off. Logan Clingan and Sgt. Mitch Hackett were dispatched in reference to a disturbance.

“We received a call from a woman’s daughter, who was contacted by a concerned neighbor,” Cropper said. “The neighbor reported hearing screams and things being thrown.”

When officers arrived, they reportedly found the inside of the house in disarray with broken tables and severe damage from the weekend until Monday.

“Sims was located outside in the backyard,” Cropper said. “He was still angry about everything that transpired. The female victim said this was an ongoing issue with Sims, and it becomes worse when he’s on drugs.”

Sims was allegedly taking some form of narcotic prior to the most recent rant. Cropper said another shift of officers had responded to the same residence with the same two individuals over the weekend.

“The female said Sims stole her purse, but no arrest was made,” said the chief. “Lt. Hammontree and K9 officer Tigo searched the house and backyard. Nothing was recovered, but some of the other officers located several items that validated Sims’ drug use Monday morning.”

Sims was 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 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.


MHS grad wins JSL scholarship

From left: Samantha Kramer, JSL Scholarship Chair
Cheyenne Guillory, recipient
Brittany Greer, JSL President 

By Tina Montgomery

2022 Minden High School graduate Cheyenne Guillory is the latest recipient of the Junior Service League annual scholarship award. The amount of the JSL scholarship is $5,000 this year.

 “I was very excited and very grateful to be given this opportunity. I’m very driven to make the most of this,” Cheyenne said.

She plans to use the scholarship to go to LSU where she wants to major in Kinesiology, specifically pediatric occupational therapy. “I just want to be able to give back to my community. My desire is to help people” she explained.

According to JSL President Brittany Greer, this year’s scholarship award is significant in that there were more applicants this year as well as the amount of the award. Greer says there were 19 applicants this year thanks to word of mouth and social media. 

“Social media made this super successful this year. We were blessed that the kids were able to know about this on social media,” Greer said. 

School counselors from Minden High, Glenbrook and Lakeside primarily informed their seniors about the award.

“They really pushed it through emails,” Cheyenne said.

 The annual scholarship is one of the largest projects the Junior Service League fundraise every year. Among the events held for the scholarship were Egg Your Yard and the first Daddy and Daughter Dance held last August. This year, Girls Night Out, a Nashville themed event with shopping, food and a live band will be held August 27. Greer says this is expected to be the first big fundraiser this year for the scholarship. 

The Minden JSL is a women’s service club that places focus on children and growth for the community. Greer says their aim for the annual scholarship is to offer more seniors in Webster parish the opportunity to apply and help more than one student.

Greer says more than half of the tickets have been sold for Girls Night Out. Kayla Rodriguez is the chairwoman for the event. More information about the fundraiser can be found on the Minden JSL Facebook page.


NLTCC will not raise tuition or fees for upcoming school year

For the seventh consecutive year, Northwest Louisiana Technical Community College, along with the other two-year colleges in Louisiana, will not raise tuition on students.

The Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS) Board of Supervisors reaffirmed its commitment to tuition affordability, access to academic and workforce training, and workforce development by freezing tuition by a unanimous vote, which will maintain the current 2021-2022 tuition for the 2022-2023 academic school year. 

“I am very pleased that the LCTCS Board of Supervisors chose to maintain the current tuition rates, this decision helps to promote college affordability and access,” said Chancellor Dr. Earl Meador. “The 12 LCTCS colleges remain the most affordable route for Louisiana citizens to a successful future by providing training toward high wage and high demand professions. NLTCC remains focused on changing the world one high wage career at a time.”

The announcement comes at a time when many families are struggling to keep pace with the rising costs of everyday items and other necessities.

“We are sensitive of the financial hardships that are impacting the people of Louisiana,” said LCTCS Board Chair Paul Price, Jr. “Families are having to make tough financial decisions, and this action is our way of helping to reduce some of the financial burdens impacting families.”

In addition to freezing tuition, the Board has also encouraged colleges to continue to grow and promote opportunities for financial aid, like the MJ Foster Promise Program and the Reboot Your Career program which offer access to academic and workforce training in high-value program areas like construction, healthcare, information technology, manufacturing and transportation and logistics.

“These additional programs provide an unprecedented opportunity for students to find high-wage, high-demand jobs at no additional cost,” said LCTCS System President Dr. Monty Sullivan. “We are conscious of the impact of high tuition on our most vulnerable populations, and this announcement highlights our continued commitment to remove financial barriers and create new viable career pathways for the citizens of Louisiana.” 

Visit https://www.nltcc.edu/financial-aid/m-j-foster-promise-program  for more information on the MJ Foster Promise Program and to apply.

Fall Registration is currently open and will continue until classes begin on August 8th. NLTCC provides students access to high demand careers and employers with highly skilled graduates. We offer associate degrees, technical diplomas, certificates, and technical competency areas in pathways such as healthcare, computer technology, manufacturing, barbering, welding, and business with classes available at all three of our campuses – Minden, Mansfield, and Shreveport.


Upcoming Events 

June 27 – July 1

9 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. daily, VBS – Zoomerang, ages 4 years through 6th grade Beech Springs Baptist Church, 15910 HWY 80, Minden. Register at https://beechspringsbc.myanswers.com/zoomerang or through their Facebook page.

June 30

8 a.m. Minden City Council Workshop. Agenda: 2022/2023 budget. Pelican Conference Room, Minden City Hall. Public is invited to attend.

July 7

10 a.m. Minden Planning Commission Meeting, Pelican Room, Minden City Hall. On the agenda is a request from Carlton Myles Jr. (owner of Bayou Brothers, LLC) for a zoning change from R-4 (Multifamily Residential) to B-4 (Hwy. Commercial) on property owned by them located at the corner of Lee and Columbia Streets (6 lots).

July 16

9 a.m. registration, 10 a.m. Louisiana Christian University Football Camps. All camps at Wildcat Stadium in Pineville. Cost 9s $40/$50 walk-up.

August 9

6:30 p.m. New Student Orientation at Glenbrook Multipurpose Building.

August 10

6:30 p.m. Grades 7-12,”Hot Dog We’re Back at School,” schedules to be distributed at this meeting. Glenbrook Multipurpose Building.

If you have a non-profit event: church, school or community, please email it to wpjnewsla@gmail.com. * Webster Parish Journal reserves the right to determine if a calendar item is a paid advertisement.


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.

June 19

Nicholas Bryant, 30, of the 700 block of Jackson St., Minden, was arrested by LSP Troop G for no seatbelt and as a fugitive from WPSO.

June 20

Shain M. Hayes, 43, of Monroe, was arrested by WPSO on a bench warrant for possession of a controlled dangerous substance.

Bravion Shyne, 28, of the 500 block of Marion St., Minden, was arrested by WPSO for vehicle failure to yield to an emergency vehicle and driving under suspension.

Johnathon Langley, 32, of Magnolia Motel, Minden, was arrested for public intoxication and possession of crystal methamphetamine.

Steven Nipper, 40, of the 100 block of Robertson Dr., Minden, was arrested by MPD on two active bench warrants.

Jeffery Harrison, 50, of the 300 block of North Middle Landing, Minden, was arrested by MPD on an active warrant.

Dolman Jefferson, 59, of the 600 block of NcDow St., Doyline, was arrested by MPD for disturbing the peace by intoxication.

Malindee Martin Clark, 36, of the 100 block of Loop Rd., Minden, was arrested by MPD on an active bench warrant.

June 21

Wade P. Bryan, 36, of Ringgold, was arrested by Probation and Parole for a parole violation.

Justin Daniel Cook, 27, of the 100 block of Ella Lane, Heflin, was arrested by WPSO on 2 counts of simple burglary and 3 counts of simple burglary of a firearm.

Scott Allen Shockley, 42, of the 200 block of Rice Rd., Minden, was arrested by WPSO for second degree domestic abuse battery.

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.


Weekly Filings

The following civil suits were filed with the Webster Parish Clerk of Court the week of June 16-22:

June 16

Advantage Financial Services vs. Leroy Broussard, judgment executory & garnishment.

Therapy Center of Jefferson Davis Parish vs. CLHG Minden LLC, contract.

Republic Finance LLC vs. Mary Anderson, monies due

Barksdale Federal Credit Union vs. Trey Edward Davis, monies due.

June 20

Joel Duesha Smith vs. Katrina Vickers Smith, divorce.

Pamela Lane individually and on behalf of the estate of minor child vs. Nexion Health at Minden Inc. DBA Meadowview Health and Rehab Center, damages.

Sharon Elizabeth Kearney vs. Morris James Kearney, divorce.

Bank of America vs. Sarah Whitney, monies due.

June 21

21st Mortgage Corporation vs. Katrina Marie Gilliam, John Gilliam, executory process.

June 22

Violet Bailey Morgan vs. Joe Doyle Morgan, divorce.

Richard C. Taylor vs. Calvin Gilbert, executory process.

Republic Finance LLC vs. Nicholas Dison, monies due.

Beverly Ruth Balder Wilson vs. Thomas B. Wilson, divorce.

Crystal Renea, Catherine Ann Ferguson vs. Justin Blake Caraway, Caraway pre-owned of Minden, damages.


Notice of Death: June 22, 2022

Betty McGuire Hesser

Feb. 25, 1947 – June 18, 2022

Visitation: 5 until 7 p.m. Friday, June 24, 2022, Rose-Neath Funeral Home, Minden, La.

Funeral service: 10 a.m. Saturday, June 25, 2022 at Rose-Neath Funeral Home Chapel, Minden.

 

Glenda Marie Burns O’Neal

Dec. 5, 1942 – June 21, 2022

Funeral service: 11 a.m. Thursday, June 23, 2022, Bailey Funeral Home Chapel, Springhill, La.

Burial: Old Shongaloo Cemetery.

 

David Jerome Butts Sr.

Oct. 1, 1942 – June 20, 2022

Visitation: 5 until 7 p.m. Thursday, June 23, 2022 at Rose-Neath Funeral Home, Homer, La.

Graveside service: 10 a.m. Friday, June 24, 2022 at Lebanon Cemetery near Homer.

Memorial service: 6 p.m. Friday at Evening Light Tabernacle Church.

 

Sandra Louise Burr

June 14, 1946 – June 14, 2022

Memorial service: near future

Rose-Neath Funeral Home, Homer, La.

 

John Francis Stokely

Feb. 15, 1947 – June 15, 2022

Visitation: 10 until 11 a.m. Tuesday, June 21, 2022 at Northwest Louisiana Veterans Cemetery, Keithville, La.

Graveside service: 1 p.m. Tuesday, June 21, 2022 at Northwest Louisiana Veterans Cemetery, Keithville, La.

 

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


McClung asks for TIF money to aid underground tank project

Keith McClung, standing, addresses the Minden City Council during a workshop.

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Since 2017, Keith McClung, owner of McClung’s Service Center, has been contributing to the Tax Increment Fund (TIF). TIF allows local governments and businesses to invest in public infrastructure and other improvements.

Now McClung needs a return on his investment so he can satisfy the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Environmental Quality.

“I’ve had (fuel) tanks in the ground since 1991, and I need to take care of it,” McClung told the Minden City Council during a workshop Tuesday. “It’s not really feasible for me to take a 33-foot tank out of the ground.”

McClung, whose station is on the corner of Sheppard and E. Union streets (US Hwy. 80) said removing a tank that large would cause flooding problems with that intersection … especially if a hole that large should settle.

“We’re going to fill the tanks with sand,” McClung said. “I will have to have some tests run while I’m doing it, but everything should be OK on that.”

DEQ will test soil around the tank before it is filled or removed.

Pump Masters has quoted $18,630 to fill the tank and then the area around it with backfill. McClung said he has applied for a loan from a local bank, and it has been approved. To completely remove the tank would cost at least $40,000, he said. It is near water and sewer lines, which could cause other problems.

“What I’m asking the council to do is go into the TIF fund,” McClung said. “I’ve been giving to that fund since it started, and I’ve put in $12,514. From what Michael (Fluhr, interim city clerk) has told me, I am eligible for 80 percent of that, which is about $10,000.”

McClung said he understands the work will have to be done and paid for before he can receive the TIF money.

In order for that to take place, McClung and the council must enter into a cooperative endeavor agreement. McClung will be required to show a receipt for the work in order to be reimbursed with the TIF money.

“I read through the ordinance from Louisiana Economic Development, and it’s pretty specific about the money going to economic development,” District A Councilman Wayne Edwards said. “How do you speak to that ordinance?”

McClung said it will help his business financially.

“I plan to stay in business many more years,” he told the council. “I have to do this one way or another. If I ever get ready to sell the business, this will have to be done before I can do that. It will increase the value of the property.”

District B Councilwoman Terika Williams-Walker said she was concerned that McClung wants the money so he can sell his business.

“If we enter into this cooperative agreement, it’s not really helping economic development,” she said. “It’s just helping you financially to sell it.”

Fluhr said he spoke to David Wolf, the attorney who drew up the local TIF districts.

“Any request from DEQ and EPA in reference to the property and hazardous possibilities, any improvement could be considered economic development,” Fluhr said. “I believe his (McClung’s) is a valid case, not only to improve the property. He’s asking for all the years he has collected (TIF) to get back some of the money. He wants to keep his business and improve it.”

Fluhr said there is more than $53,000 in the TIF District where McClung’s Service Center is located.

“So it would be possible to give him his 80 percent,” Fluhr said.

“How is this going to help the city?” Williams-Walker asked. “It sounds like it’s just going to help him.”

Fluhr disagreed.

“In my opinion, you avoid a hazardous possibility,” he said. “He wants to avoid a similar situation to the Imperial Cleaners building by filling in the tank, make it safe.

“DEQ has already approached him, and they are going to fine him if he doesn’t do anything,” Fluhr continued. “Future problems are resolved if they fill in the tank.”

McClung said, later, that if he receives nothing from TIF, he will leave the program.

“There’s no point in me continuing to put money in it, if I’m not going to get any help from it,” he said.

McClung said there is only one tank underground. It is 33 feet long and around 20 feet wide.

With District D Councilman Michael Roy participating through a conference call, all councilpersons were present at the meeting. They agreed to place McClung’s request on the July agenda.


Chamber CEO resigns; replacement search begins

Jana Morgan

Jana Morgan, president and CEO of the Greater Minden Chamber of Commerce, has resigned.

Morgan, said in her resignation letter to the chamber board she was grateful for her time as the President/CEO of the organization. Her last day was Friday, June 17.

“My time at the Chamber was a great one, she said. “Thank you for the support and leadership over the last few years during my time as President.”

“We appreciate Jana’s leadership and dedication to continuing our mission of the Chamber,” Logan McConathy, of Logan McConathy State Farm and 2022 Chairman of the Board said. “On behalf of myself and the board of directors, we wish her the very best in her future endeavors.”

Through projects such as the Webster Education Endowment Fund, the Webster Leadership Program, 15 Under 40 and the First Responders Appreciation, the chamber highlights participants and recipients for their commitment to the community.

McConathy said the board will continue its commitment to serve the members and business community while the search process for a new president and CEO begins.

“This process will begin immediately,” McConathy said. “We are confident that there will be many qualified candidates, and we look forward to identifying them and selecting the right person to serve as our next President.”

Since its start in 1942, the Greater Minden Chamber has encouraged the advancement of its members and the establishment of strong business relationships within the community. The chamber currently strives to create the best business climate in Louisiana for their members.


Go and ‘Sea’ the ‘Ocean of Possibilities’ offered by Webster Parish Libraries this summer

By Paige Nash

The Webster Parish Libraries kicked off the Summer Reading Program at both Minden and Springhill locations over the last week. The theme this year is “Ocean of Possibilities.”  

“We had an incredible parish-wide turnout for this year’s Summer Reading Program Kick-Off events,” said Kim Sentell, Director of Marketing/Community Liaison. “In both events combined, we had well over 1,000 in attendance, and over 400 who have registered so far.” 

The participants enjoyed tons of games spread out inside the library, including Deep Sea Fishing, Pick-up Ducks, Goldfish Bowl Toss, a book walk and a tattoo table. If you wanted to brave the heat, there was a 40-foot obstacle course outside, along with hot dogs and sno-cones.  

Upon arrival, every child received a welcome packet that was full of goodies along with a registration form and additional information about the program, including a list of events to take place at the libraries over the summer.

 “I’m excited for this year’s program,” said Savannah Jones, Director of Webster Parish Libraries. “Our Children’s Coordinator, Cassidy Duck, developed a fantastic lineup of special performers that I believe participants will really enjoy. So much hard work has gone into developing this year’s program from staff across the parish in different departments.” 

Beginning June 20- July 29, children who registered for the program will get to enjoy events over the course of the summer at all locations, including Sibley, Heflin, Doyline, Minden, Springhill, Cotton Valley and Sarepta. Events will include a magic show and magic workshop with David Leboeuf, science shows about oceans and dinosaurs, a snake sanctuary, and an array of different ocean-themed craft activities.  

To wrap things up, the summer reading program will host their Year-End Party on July 29, where participants will receive their completion certificates.  

Summer reading programs have been around since the 1890s and are a wonderful, interactive way to encourage children to continue reading during the summer months away from school. It is also a great way to teach them about the resources available at their local libraries.  

“The Webster Parish Library System has a lengthy history of providing essential services and lifelong learning-based programs to parish residents,” said Sentell. “This program is held during the summer months when students are out of school. It encourages continuous literacy advancement to ensure students’ progress going into the new school year.” 

It is not too late to sign up. You can register at any of the seven locations or on the Webster Parish Libraries mobile app. 


Ringgold shoplifter in parish jail

By Bonnie Culverhouse

A Ringgold woman is in a Webster Parish Jail, thanks to Minden Police.

Manee J. Ahner, 36, of the 1400 block of Vickers, is charged with resisting an officer, felony theft, possession of marijuana, possession of narcotics, possession of drug paraphernalia, introduction of narcotics in a penal institution and contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile.

Police Chief Steve Cropper said said Off. Kayla Little and Ofc. Christopher Cayer were dispatched to a Homer Road pharmacy with multiple shoplifters.

“When officers entered the store, they were met by an employee who advised them that 2 females went outside to their vehicle prior to their arrival, and another female was still in the store,” Cropper said. “The females in the car were both juveniles and officers asked them to return to the store.”

The female still in the store was reportedly approached by officers and identified as Manee Ahner.

“After they were read their rights, all three subjects denied stealing anything from the store,” said the chief. “Off. Little searched Ahner’s purse and located makeup products that were still packaged. Ahner owns the vehicle where the juveniles were located. Officers searched it and located more makeup items.”

Lt. Griffith reportedly escorted Ahner to his unit for transport. While Little was conducting a patdown search, she discovered more items on Ahner’s person.

“She located fingernail polish, hair straightener, a small bag of methamphetamine and a glass pipe with white residue,” Cropper said. “After they transported her to the police department, Little searched Ahner a second time and a small clear baggie with a white crystalline substance was discovered.”

Ahner reportedly lied about the identity of a male subject that was with the three, the chief said. He also said the juveniles admitted that Ahner asked them to remove the narcotics from her person while she was handcuffed. Both juveniles reportedly refused.

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.