Arrest Reports

The following were arrested by local law enforcement agencies.


Kyle McDaniel of Simsboro, La was arrested for 4 counts of possession or distribution of drug paraphernalia.

Roderick Richardson of Grambling, La was arrested for possession of a firearm/carry concealed weapon by a convicted felon, simple burglary of inhabited dwelling, no driver’s license and careless operation.


John White of Homer, La was arrested for residential contractor fraud.

Shawna Lance of Heflin, La was arrested for violation of probation/parole.

Brianna Jones of Bossier, La was arrested for careless operation, first offense D.W.I., speeding over 25-30 mph, and possession or distribution of drug paraphernalia.

Samuel Tucker of Ringgold, La was arrested for first offense D.W.I.


Tabitha Fourd of Jonesboro, La was arrested as a fugitive for violation of probation/parole and aggravated cruelty to animals.

Hope Robinson of Gibsland, La was arrested for no driver’s license.

Denis Yoris from Hailton, Tx was arrested for no driver’s license.


Clifton Swan of Monroe, La was arrested for operating a vehicle with a suspended license/no license issued.


Jason Edwards of Ada Taylor, La was arrested for failure to appear.

Notice of Death- February 21

Notice of Death – Feb. 21, 2023

Lois Suzanne Maryman

Nov. 19, 1953 – Feb. 19, 2023

Springhill, La.

Funeral service: 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, Walnut Cemetery, Bradley, Ark., under the direction of Rose-Neath Funeral Home.

Aubrey Jade “B.B.” Perkins

Feb. 3, 2006 – Feb. 20, 2023

Haynesville, La.

Arrangements pending at Bailey Funeral Home.

Ruby Bernice Cannon Bamburg

Oct. 16, 1920 – Feb. 19, 2023

Coushatta, La.

Visitation: 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, Liberty Baptist Church, Coushatta, La.

Funeral service: 11 a.m., immediately following visitation.

Burial: Liberty Cemetery.

Betty Weeks Elliott

Sept. 14, 1943 – Feb. 17, 2023

Black Lake, La.

Memorial service: 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26, 2023

Burial: later date at Bethlehem Cemetery in Winn Parish.

Evelyn McKinnon

Dec. 26, 1933 – Feb. 18, 2023

French Settlement, La.

Visitation: 5 until 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023, Rose-Neath Funeral Home, Minden, La. Visitation will continue at 8 a.m. Friday, Feb. 24, 2023.

Funeral service: 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 24, 2023.

Burial: Gardens of Memory, Minden.

Walter L. Asseff, M.D.

Sept. 15, 1935 – Feb. 21, 2023

Mansfield, La.

Visitation: 9:30 a.m. until time of service Friday, Feb. 24, 2023

Funeral service: 11 a.m. at Kilpatrick’s Rose-Neath Chapel, Mansfield, La.

Burial: Highland Cemetery, Mansfield.

Bienville 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.)

BBQ Festival Throwdown coming in April

By Paige Nash

Three Bienville Parish locals are joining forces to host the first BBQ Festival Throwdown. This is a non-sanctioned event that will be held on Saturday, April 15 beginning at 11 a.m. BBQ masters will set up at Jefferson Henderson Park located in Historical Downtown Arcadia.  

Mario Jefferson co-owns Dazzling Parties Events with his wife, Chautauqua. Tyrone Roberson and his wife, Jacqueline own T & J Catering food truck and Jeffery Sampson co-owns his food truck, Q to Go. So, they are experienced when it comes to food and events.  

A portion of the proceeds raised from the BBQ Festival will be donated to Arcadia Parks and Recreation. 

Roberson said, “We want to do something for our young kids and give back to our community. The proceeds can help them with uniforms and pay some fees for them. We are just trying to do what we can for kids.” 

There will be first and second place prizes awarded to the winners in three categories- ribs, chicken and brisket.  

They are still looking for sponsors. Other food trucks and vendors are welcome to set up at the park to sale their items. 

If you are interested in participating in the throwdown, becoming a sponsor or vendor at the event, the deadline to sign up is March 18. You can reach out to Mario Jefferson at 318-436-6662, Tyrone Roberson at 318-243-4173 or Jeffery Sampson at 318-294-5808. The entry fee is $75. 

Bienville Pre-K 3 names Student of the Month

Jayce Moore

Teachers of the Pre-K3 at Bienville High School have named Jayce Moore as the Student of the Month for February. Jayce is a three-year-old little boy who loves the color blue. He loves a good peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Jayce’s favorite animal is a dog and loves the book, “The Three Little Pigs.” His teachers describe him as gentle, loving, smart and very much spoiled with love. His favorite thing to do is give a thumbs up along with a handsome smile. 

Congratulations Jayce!

Louisiana Department of Health offering blood pressure checks

Region 7 American Heart Month Events

For heart health awareness, are offering blood pressure checks throughout the region at the below events:

  • Bienville Parish
    1. Drive-by Blood Pressure Check Clinic 
      • Wednesday, February 22
      • 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
      • Bienville Parish Health Unit, 1285 Pine Street Suite 102, Arcadia 
      • Blood Pressure Checks and Heart Health Information
  • Bossier Parish
    1. Core Team networking meeting for Bossier Schools professionals and community partners
      • Friday, February 24
      • 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
      • BPSTIL Bossier School For Technology and Innovative Learning, 1020 Innovation Drive, Bossier City
  • Caddo Parish
    1. Blood Pressure Checks and Heart Health Information
      • Thursday, February 16 
      • 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
      • Caddo Parish Health Unit, 1035 Creswell Ave., Shreveport (in the front lobby) 
  • DeSoto Parish 
    1. Heart Health Outreach Event in collaboration with DeSoto Parish Council on Aging
      • Blood Pressure Checks and Heart Health Information
      • Thursday, February 23
      • 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. 
      • DeSoto Parish Council on Aging, 404 Polk Street Suite A, Mansfield
  • Natchitoches Parish
    1. Drive-by Blood Pressure Check Clinic 
      • Monday, February 20 
      • 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
      • Natchitoches Parish Health Unit, 625 Bienville Circle, Natchitoches
      • Blood Pressure Checks and Heart Health Information
  • Red River Parish
    1. Blood Pressure Checks and Heart Health Information
      • Monday, February 20
      • 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
      • Rivertown Market,  5115 Cut-Off Road, Coushatta
  • Sabine Parish 
    1. Blood Pressure Screenings with the Florien Council on Aging 
      • Monday, February 20 
      • 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. 
      • Florien Council on Aging, 514 W. Port Arthur Avenue, Florien
      • Blood Pressure Checks and Heart Health Information
    2. Blood Pressure Screenings and Heart Health Information
      • Wednesday, February 22 
      • 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. 
      • Many City Hall, 965 San Antonio Avenue, Many
      • Blood Pressure Checks and Heart Health Information
  • Webster Parish
    1. Blood Pressure Screenings with the Webster Parish Council on Aging 
      • Wednesday, February 15
      • 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
      • Webster Parish Council on Aging, 1482 Sheppard Street, Minden
      • Blood Pressure Checks and Heart Health Information


LDWF announces 2024 Louisiana Duck Stamp Contest

The winning 2023 Louisiana Duck Stamp by Buck Spencer.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has announced the rules and timeframe for the 2024 Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp, or Louisiana Duck Stamp, competition. 

“The ruddy duck will be the featured species in this year’s competition,” said Jason Olszak, LDWF’s Waterfowl Program Manager. 

This commonly overlooked diving duck is North America’s most common stiff-tailed duck, easily identifiable on water by its stocky build and thick neck. The tail is often held upright, stiff and wren-like, and is diagnostic of no other water bird in Louisiana.

Small-winged, appearing an awkward flier, it prefers to dive or swim away from danger, but when in flight, it is recognized by its fast, erratic flight and buzzy wingbeat. Most often found on large bodies of fresh to brackish shallow water, the ruddy duck primarily feeds on aquatic invertebrates, their larvae, and to a lesser extent, vegetation and seeds.

The core breeding range of the ruddy duck is the Prairie Pothole region of Canada where it usually nests in permanent wetlands with nests anchored to emergent vegetation. Its eggs are also the largest in proportion to body size of any North American duck, a complete clutch approaching 100% of the female’s body mass.  During courtship, male ruddy ducks beat their bill against their inflated neck causing swirls of bubbles on the surface of the water, followed by a characteristic belch.

The 2023 contest was restricted to designs featuring the bufflehead. Hailing from Junction City, Oregon, Buck Spencer’s rendition of a swimming pair continued a long tradition of excellent stamp designs. The Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp bearing that design will go on sale June 1. Stamps can be purchased at:

The 2024 contest will be restricted to designs with ruddy duck(s) as the focal species. Artists are reminded of the requirement for associated habitat representative of Louisiana wetlands.  An additional reminder to artists: It is extremely uncommon for ruddy ducks wintering in Louisiana to have their full alternate breeding plumage.

“The primary objective of this program is to provide revenue to create, enhance and maintain habitat for waterfowl and associated wetland wildlife,” Olszak said, “so a habitat component is required in each entry and is one of the five judging criteria.” 

To enter, an artist must submit an original, unpublished work of art, along with a signed and notarized artist’s agreement and a $50 entry fee.  Entries should be addressed to: 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Attn: Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp Program
2000 Quail Drive
Baton Rouge, LA 70808 

Entries will be accepted from Oct. 16-Oct. 24, 2023, with the contest to be held in the Joe L. Herring Louisiana Room at the LDWF Headquarters building, beginning at 10 a.m. on Oct. 25, 2023. The public is invited to attend.

Please visit these links to fill out the 2024 Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp Competition artist agreement and see the full list of rules:

The Louisiana Legislature authorized the Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp program in 1988. The program was created to generate revenue for conservation and enhancement of waterfowl populations and habitats in Louisiana. During the last 25 years, more than $15 million has been generated for wetland conservation with approximately $6 million spent on land acquisition. In addition, revenue has supported wetland development projects on Wildlife Management Areas and the Louisiana Waterfowl Project, a cooperative endeavor between LDWF, Ducks Unlimited, the Natural Resources Conservation Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to provide habitat for waterfowl and other wetland birds on private lands. 

Judging for the art competition will be based on the following criteria:

  1. Accuracy of form, size, proportion, color and posture.
  2. Level and accuracy of detail in all aspects of the waterfowl.
  3. Appropriateness, accuracy and detail in depiction of the habitat.
  4. Attractiveness and creativity in composition, subject, background and lighting.
  5. Suitability for reproduction as stamps and prints. 

A panel of judges with experience in waterfowl biology and/or artistic method will select the winning design. The competition is open to all artists 18 years of age and older. Employees of LDWF and members of their immediate families are ineligible. 

For more information, go to or contact Jason Olszak at 337-735-8687 or

Days we wish we could do over?

What was your worst day on the job? Not something you want to remember? Why? I cherish the worst day I exchanged hours of my life for the GREEN. 

When you get gray in the hair, you sometimes start to think back about your worst day on the job. And I’ve got quite a bit of gray and have also realized I’m on the downward swing professionally. I’ve been at it longer than what I have left. So I thought – what was my worst day?

Easy. It came in August of 2002. Yep, a lot of you weren’t even born then, and if you were, you were toddling around in Huggies. Well in a normally hot summer August, I had a kind gentleman come into the offices at 203 Dixie Street. 

Side note: I was young y’all. Really young. Tasked with a huge job that somebody my age probably shouldn’t have had. I didn’t know what I was doing, but working hard was (and still is) all I have ever known. Fake it till you make it, right?

So this fella comes to see me. He spins me a yarn about lawsuits and a BIG BAD BANK stealing his family land. He hits me with the figure $250 BILLION. Yeah, billion. Not million.  I get on the phone with his lawyer. It sounds like the story of all stories. 60 Minutes type stuff. 

I didn’t think rationally. I thought competitively. All I wanted was to be first. All I wanted was to sell papers. I wanted to beat the Shreveport Times. I wanted to beat CNN. Hell, I wanted to win a Pulitzer Prize at 22. 

So since I tell you it was the worst day professionally of my life, you can imagine what the result was.

There was no lawsuit. It was a scam. It was a sham. And for the life of me I still don’t know what the endgame was. Maybe they just woke up one day and said “let’s see if we can get this young fool to run our bogus story and make him look like a jabroni.” Y’all like that word? Jabroni – thank you to The Rock. 

Well, mission accomplished. I ran it. It was a lie. And before the clock struck five (paper went out at 10 that AM) I was getting calls from lawyers in Atlanta. The bank’s lawyers. The big bank. One of the biggest bank chains in all of the world.

Oh lord, it was a mess. I thought I was gone. Jailed for defamation. Cut down before I even got started. And worse – sued into oblivion. I would get sued multiple times before all was said and done in that chapter of my life. Heck, being sued became commonplace – like changing socks. I was numb to it. That didn’t happen this go around. I did have a huge retraction to print, a come to jesus meeting with the head of said LARGE bank chain in his office – that was fun – and a pride so wounded I still have nightmares about it to this day.

But, in the end, it passed as all things do. Funny thing is, I am glad it happened. Anyone who knows me knows I am extraordinarily competitive and passionate. That’s how Yahweh made me. My good days aren’t as important as my bad days. I don’t learn from what I do right. But, brothers and sisters, let me tell you I do learn from my mistakes. I made a mistake that day. And I’ve made a whole heckofalot of mistakes since then. Still make them with each passing 24 hours. Don’t get sued any more, thankfully. A least not in the last decade. 

Bad days are good. They are cool. They are welcome. 

Mistakes make the person. Learning from them makes the soul.

It was a bad day in 2002. 

But I’d take nothing for it. 

Just…I hope I don’t have anymore quite like that again. NOTHING is as rough as staring down a group of Atlanta lawyers. And that isn’t even counting the time I was sued by the ACLU.

That was a bad day as well.

But that . . . is another story.

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

Kindness is free to give

Do you ever find yourself walking through the grocery store wondering, “Does anybody ever just smile and wave anymore?” If you are like me, then no you do not. I prefer it if nobody looks at or tries to talk to me honestly. If you walk past me in Wal-Mart and think, “Oh, there’s Paige. I should say hello.” I am probably thinking to myself, “Please, just act like you do not know me.” Isn’t that terrible? I think it may just be my antisocial personality combined with my lack of skills in making small talk.  

I really am terrible at it. I almost always embarrass myself by saying something really weird and then I have to beat myself up about it over the next few weeks as I replay the conversation in my head. I will eventually forget about it, just for it to randomly pop back up in my memory over the next few years and I will find myself cringing all over again. Does anybody else do this or is it just my brain’s own unique way of tormenting myself?  

Speaking of things I dread… Have you recently found yourself having to make a phone call to set up an appointment for something just to get off the phone wondering, “Why are people so rude these days?” 

This happened to me yesterday, I called to make a dentist appointment and I was having to get my records transferred from a different office to the new one I was wanting to start using. You would have thought that I was requesting that they hitchhike across town to pick them up in person or something. I had no idea that sending an extra email would absolutely ruin their day, but I guess I was wrong.  

I know everyone has had similar experiences and thoughts at times. Some of you may get upset over things like this while others are just used to it and never think about it again and the rest of you may wonder if there is anything you can do to change these types of interactions. Well, today may be your day to shine because it is “Random Acts of Kindness Day.” 

The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation began in Denver, Colorado in 1995, so it is fairly new, but over the last couple of decades they have grown into an internationally recognized nonprofit organization. They are dedicated to spreading the idea that one small and random act of kindness can go a long way, possibly leading to a much greater and more positive outcome in the world we live in today.  

This is something everyone can do, and it does not have to cost money or a ton of energy to just put a little kindness out into the universe.  

After reading up on the foundation and its purpose, I thought it would be cool to get the girls involved and maybe spread a little cheer at their school today. The Random Acts of Kindness website has a ton of ways that children can spread kindness at school such as simply thanking a teacher, sharing, playing with someone at recess that may be sitting alone, picking up trash on the playground or just giving someone a high-five.  

You can spread kindness at work by leaving a “thank you” sticky note on your colleague’s desk, bringing your boss or employees coffee or helping relieve someone of their workload by lending a hand.  

I came across a couple of easy and great ideas that I thought the girls would love for spreading kindness in the community like creating positive bookmarks and hiding them at the library, decorating the lunch bags at the local food pantry, asking an elderly person in our neighborhood if they can help to do anything in their yard or mail postcards to our military.  

Random acts of kindness do not have to be a big and extravagant gesture and much like Christmas – when you give, it makes you feel good, too. Whatever acts of service you may choose to do, even if it feels small and insignificant, just know you are making a difference for both the giver and recipient of your act of kindness.  

Personally, I will work on smiling more and paying a compliment to a random stranger I may come across in the grocery store. I guess I will brush up on my small talk skills, as well even if it means embarrassing myself with my awkwardness that I am sure will haunt me over the years to come.

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

Valentine Cookie Candy

How many ways can one mix crackers or cookies with brown sugar and butter and all the sprinkles to make more snacky sweets?  I don’t know because I’m not there yet.  

These are ULTRA sweet!  But go all out with your pink and red for your Valentine with these.  You (and your Valentine) won’t be able to stop eating them.  

Nilla Wafers are the base here which is a different change from the saltines.  And I LOVE it.


  • Nilla Wafers
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • Melting chocolate (pink, red, or a combo)
  • White chocolate chips
  • Valentine sprinkles


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper.  Place Nilla Wafers in a single layer on the bottom to fill the pan.

Melt butter and brown sugar on the stove in a small sauce pan.  Let it slowly boil for 6 minutes.  Pour over the cookies.  Bake for 6 minutes.

While baking, melt your melting chocolate.  Remove the pan from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes before pouring the melting chocolate over.  Use an offset spatula to spread evenly and gently.  Top with white chocolate chips and sprinkles.

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

Ralph’s Drugstore

For hundreds of years, people have earned money selling cure-alls which they claimed could “cure what ails ya” such as cancer or baldness, or by claiming they could cure people and charging a fee for their “special abilities.”  Most were con artists who sold useless concoctions, sometimes dangerous concoctions, then would disappear as quickly as they could, never to been seen again.  They almost never stayed in one place, except for Ralph Pearson.

In the 1940s and 50s, Ralph Pearson and his wife owned a reputable drugstore in Miami, Florida.  Their store sold items that would normally have been found in drugstores of the era including gum, cigarettes, medicines, some grocery and household items, books, toys, etc.  They had a soda fountain and a television set on display.  During the mornings and afternoons, it was business as usual in Ralph’s store.  People came in, did their shopping, and left as they would from any store.  However, window shoppers who passed by the store during the evenings in 1951 would have been taken aback at what they saw.  It was never the same, and it became a spectacle of sorts.  People in the area began to talk about the strange happenings in the store.  

On one evening, a man acting as a pilot flew an imaginary airplane all around the store.  World War II had ended just six years earlier.  This could be explained away as what we now call post traumatic stress disorder.  On another evening, a young man sat at the soda fountain and repeatedly kissed his girlfriend in a most affectionate manner.  Public displays of affection such as this were frowned upon in public in 1951, but that was not the reason people stared.  There was no girlfriend sitting beside him.  The young man was kissing the air.  On another evening, a girl suddenly stood in a motionless pose as the Statue of Liberty.  She kept the pose for a full fifteen minutes.  Ralph’s ability attracted so much attention that none of the customers paid attention to “I Love Lucy”, “Dragnet”, or “The Amos ‘n Andy Show”, which played on the television set on the store’s showroom.  Like cigarettes, sales of television sets declined in Ralph’s drugstore.  Ralph’s wife exasperatingly declared, “It’s getting to be a three-ring circus around here.”

Ralph had the ability, some claimed, to cure people of certain unwanted habits.  With a single visit to the store, Ralph claimed he cured several pack-a-day smokers of their habit.  This, of course, was counterproductive since his business sold cigarettes.  “I’m losing a lot of my cigarette business,” Ralph said, “but I don’t mind.  Most of the smokers I’ve cured are young people who shouldn’t be smoking anyway.”  A young girl came into the store and complained about hating school.  Within a few minutes of being in Ralph’s presence, the girl’s whole attitude toward school changed.  Before she left the store, she told Ralph that she looked forward to going to school the following morning.  He cured another girl of biting her fingernails, and another from drinking coffee.  One young man habitually overslept to the point that he feared he would soon be fired.  After a visit to Ralph’s drugstore, the young man claimed he awoke at 7:00 a.m. on the dot with no alarm clock of any kind and his job was saved.       

This was no act, you see.  Ralph was not paying actors to perform stunts for publicity.  Since Ralph owned a drugstore, you may be wondering if Ralph used some secret concoction on his customers, and the answer would be no.  Ralph claimed and believed he had a special power.  His wife believed it, as did their customers.  The only two people he knew his power would not work on was himself and his wife.  Fortunately for Ralph’s customers, he never took advantage of his special power to increase sales.  The attention it drew decreased rather than increased sales.  Ralph’s special curing power, according to himself, his wife, and many of their customers, was hypnotism.  Ralph’s wife declared, “we’ll either have to sell the store and go into the hypnotism business or stop this stuff.”

Source:  The Tampa Tribune, May 13, 1951, p.53.  

How It All Started

Sixteen years ago, a young man had an idea for an outdoor radio program. At the time, he was doing Natchitoches Central football as a color analyst with Chris Boyd who did the play-by-play. Chris was an outstanding sports broadcaster and a great mentor to this young man as he learned a lot under his tutelage. During this time, NC football was not a great program and on this particular night, they were at West Monroe (Louisiana’s top high school football program at that time). It was 42-0 at the half, and during a commercial break, the young man pitched his outdoor radio show idea to Chris who thought it was a great idea and encouraged him to pursue it.
After getting a full endorsement from Chris, the enthusiastic young man approached a local radio station to carry the show and was told, “It’ll never work; already tried and no one would buy advertising for it.” Hmmmm…. After a lot of explaining and begging, the young man finally got the station owner to let him buy the airtime. The station owner offered a monthly figure it would cost and gave him three weeks to try and sell it. Obviously, the station owner had basically told the young man that this would never happen. Bound and determined to prove him wrong, he immediately started reaching out to businesses that he felt would benefit from such a program. Any business related to the hunting or fishing world was on his radar, and in most cases, there was a personal connection.
One reason the young man believed he could make such a program work was due to the great list of contacts he had related to the bass fishing world, both from a business standpoint and personal relationships he had with professional anglers. He made these connections due to the level of tournament fishing he was competing on with the FLW Tour and B.A.S.S. Opens. Formatting a show would be the easy part. Gaining sponsors would be more difficult since only a handful of people had tried producing this type of radio program. A few had tried, but all had failed.
Two days after walking out of the radio station, the young outdoorsman walked back into the office.  He announced to the station owner that he had secured 14 sponsors and was ready to roll! The look on the owner’s face was of shock and dismay, to say the least. He asked how he did it and wanted details.  Well, the young outdoorsman surely wasn’t going to reveal his selling strategy but did tell the station owner one important part of his success. There was a difference between the station owner’s sales staff trying to sell this type of programming versus the young outdoorsman; he wholeheartedly believed in what he was selling and knew the program would be a success. That’s when the Hook’N Up & Track’N Down Show was born in February of 2007!
Yes, the young outdoorsman with radio dreams was yours truly. Over the course of sixteen years, the show went from local radio to regional, and even a nationally known radio station by way of KWKH.  KWKH is a legendary Shreveport radio station known by listeners all across the country, which at the time switched from country music to all sports talk and became the official home of LSU Sports. This gave the HUTD Show a built-in audience with KWKH, and we quickly gained more traction as word spread about the level of our programming. We interviewed the greatest names in the bass fishing world… Kevin Van Dam, Skeet Reese, Bill Dance, Jimmy Houston, Ray Scott, Mark Zona, and Rick Clunn to name a few. By having the top professional anglers in the country appear, the HUTD Show obtained instant credibility.
Today, the Hook’N Up & Track’N Down Show continues to set the bar for great outdoor radio entertainment as we talk hunting and fishing on a weekly basis with the greatest names in the industry. There are also two guys who have helped make this program the success it has enjoyed…my two co-hosts, KISS Country radio legend Gary McCoy and H&W Team Trail Tournament Director and duck hunting guide Mike Echols. They say successful people surround themselves with people better than themselves. This is definitely true in my case, as these two guys brought not only a wealth of knowledge of the great outdoors, but offered great personalities as well.
We invite you to tune us in every Wednesday from 11:00 AM till 1:00 PM on AM 1130 The Tiger KWKH or catch us on our Facebook page and YouTube Channel. I hope you’ve enjoyed going down the path of the HUTD Show and how our show got started. Till next time, good luck, good fishing, and don’t forget your sunscreen!
Steve Graf
Angler’s Perspective



Today in History – February 17

1801 – The U.S. House of Representatives broke an electoral tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr. Jefferson was elected president and Burr became vice president.

1817 – The first gaslit streetlights appeared on the streets of Baltimore, MD.

1865 – Columbia, SC, burned. The Confederates were evacuating and the Union Forces were moving in.

1876 – Julius Wolff was credited with being the first to can sardines.

1878 – In San Francisco, CA, the first large city telephone exchange opened. It had only 18 phones.

1897 – The National Congress of Mothers was organized in Washington, DC, by Alice McLellan Birney and Phoebe Apperson Hearst. It was the forerunner of the National PTA.

1913 – The Armory Show opened at the 69th Regiment Armory in New York City. The full-scale exhibition was of contemporary paintings and was organized by the Association of Painters and Sculptors.

1924 – Swimmer Johnny Weissmuller set a world record in the 100-yard freestyle. He did it with a time of 57-2/5 seconds in Miami, FL.

1933 – “Newsweek” was first published.

1933 – Blondie Boopadoop married Dagwood Bumstead three years after Chic Young’s popular strip first debuted.

1934 – The first high school automobile driver’s education course was introduced in State College, PA.

1944 – During World War II, the Battle of Eniwetok Atoll began. U.S. forces won the battle on February 22, 1944.

1947 – The Voice of America began broadcasting to the Soviet Union.

1964 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that congressional districts within each state had to be approximately equal in population. (Westberry v. Sanders)

1965 – Comedienne Joan Rivers made her first guest appearances on ” The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson” on NBC-TV.

1968 – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame opened in Springfield, MA.

1985 – U.S. Postage stamp prices were raised from 20 cents to 22 cents for first class mail.

1992 – In Milwaukee, serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer was sentenced to life in prison. In November of 1994, he was beaten to death in prison.

1995 – Colin Ferguson was convicted of six counts of murder in the December 1993 Long Island Rail Road shootings. He was later sentenced to a minimum of 200 years in prison.

1996 – World chess champion Garry Kasparov beat the IBM supercomputer “Deep Blue” in Philadelphia, PA.

1997 – Pepperdine University announced that Kenneth Starr was leaving the Whitewater probe to take a full-time job at the school. Starr reversed the announcement four days later.

2005 – U.S. President George W. Bush named John Negroponte as the first national intelligence director.

Upcoming Events

Please send all non-profit calendar events to

February 17 – 19 

Bonnie & Clyde Trade Days – Highway 9, Arcadia, La.

February 17 & 18 (10 a.m.)

Let Louisiana Shine – Arcadia Clean-up

If you would like to participate in assisting with the clean-up, please contact your councilperson. 

February 18 (10:30 a.m.)

Crawford Elementary Rising Stars Showcase – Crawford Elementary Gym A/B

Admission: $5

February 18 (11 a.m.)

Black History Youth Rally and Parade – Downtown Minden

This event will include local vendors, Battle of the Bands, scholarship announcements, and parade contests. 

February 19 (2:30 p.m.)

Mt. Lebanon Annual Meeting with guest speaker Dr. Cheryl White – Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church

February 20 (9 a.m. – 3 p.m.)

4-H Food Challenge Prep – LSU Ag Center, Bienville Parish Extension Office

Open to 4th – 12th grades. There is a $10 fee, please call 318-263-7400 to register.

February 22 (3 – 10 p.m.)

Project4Hope Dine to Donate and Silent Auction

Texas Roadhouse – West Monroe

February 26 (3 p.m.)

2nd Annual Black History Makers Speaker Series with guest speaker: The Honorable Cedric B. Glover

Holland Grove Baptist Church, 3105 Felts Road, Arcadia, La. 

February 26 (5:30 p.m.)

Arcadia Without Walls Ministry presents “A Black History Moment from our Local Youth.”

Arcadia Event Center, 630 Factory Outlet Drive Arcadia, La.

February 27 (5 p.m.)

Bienville Parish Chamber of Commerce After Hours Networking Event and Grand Opening of MSR Steel Roofing

163 Sharp Davis Road Arcadia, La

February 28 

2023 Master Cattleman Course – LSU AgCenter Lincoln Parish Ext. Office

307 North Homer Street #101 Ruston, La

March 4 (10 a.m.)

Auction with Auctioneer: Wayman Barham – King’s Court United Pentecostal Church 

2401 South Service Road, West Ruston, La

March 4 (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.)

Jonquil Jubilee – Downtown Gibsland

March 11 (12:30 p.m.)

Michael Ryder Memorial Blood Drive – Backwoods Venue in Brewton’s Mills, La.

March 16 (6:30 p.m.)

Alumni Basketball Games – Mt. Olive Christian School

March 18 (1 – 3 p.m.)

Town-Wide Clean Up Day

Meet at Ringgold High School Softball Field

Judge passes sentences for January 2023

Daniel W. Newell, District Attorney for the Second Judicial District in and for the Parish of Bienville, makes the following announcement relative to disposition of cases in Bienville Parish on the dates indicated:


Eric Whitley Obrien of Ringgold, LA—Pled guilty to Possession of Schedule II CDS-Methamphetamine. He was sentenced to 18 months hard labor. He also pled guilty to Flight from an Officer. He was sentenced to 6 months hard labor. These charges will run concurrently.   


Gerald Tyree Davison of Minden, LA—Pled guilty to Residential Contract Fraud. He was sentenced to 6-years hard labor.    

Anthony Bellard of Arcadia, LA—Pled guilty to 2 counts of Distribution of Schedule I CDS-Marijuana. He was sentenced to 5 years hard labor for each charge, which was suspended. These charges will run concurrently. He was placed on 3 years supervised probation. 

Xavier DMichael Hardmon of Gibsland, LA—Pled guilty to 2 counts of Distribution of Schedule I CDS-Marijuana. He was sentenced to 2 years hard labor for each, which was suspended. These charges will run concurrently. He was placed on 2 years supervised probation. He was ordered to pay $1096 fine to the Bienville Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Darren Isreal of Minden, LA—Pled guilty to Possession of Schedule I CDS-Marijuana. He was sentenced to 6 months in parish jail, which was suspended. He was placed on 1-year supervised probation. He was ordered to pay $846 fine to the Bienville Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Delvin Devond Isreal of Gibsland, LA—Pled guilty to 2 counts of Distribution of Schedule I CDS-Marijuana. He was sentenced to 3 years hard labor for each charge, which was suspended. These charges will run concurrently. He was placed on 3 years supervised probation. He was ordered to pay $846 fine to the Bienville Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Billy Jack Lafield of Ringgold, LA—Pled guilty to Domestic Abuse Battery. He was sentenced to 6 months in parish jail.

Marquis Olajuwon Lee of Palmdale, CA—Pled guilty to Possession with Intent to Distribute Schedule I CDS-Marijuana More Than 2 ½ pounds. He was sentenced to 18 months hard labor.

Patricia Manuel of Athens, LA—Pled guilty to Aggravated Battery. She was sentenced to 3 years hard labor, which was suspended. She was placed on 2 years supervised probation.

Wilbert Lee Smith, Jr. of Gibsland, LA—Pled guilty to Possession of Schedule II CDS-Methamphetamine. He was sentenced to 1 year in parish jail. He also pled guilty to Resisting an Officer. He was sentenced to 6 months in parish jail. These charges will run concurrently. 

Christopher Dewayne Thomas of Gibsland, LA—Pled guilty to Distribution of Schedule IV CDS-Tramadol. He was sentenced to 7 years hard labor with all but 5 years suspended. He will be placed on 2 years supervised probation upon release. He also pled guilty to Distribution of Counterfeit Schedule II CDS. He was sentenced to 2 years hard labor. He also pled guilty to Distribution of Legend Drug. He was sentenced to 6 months hard labor. These charges will run concurrently.

John Wiley Young of Castor, LA—Pled guilty to Distribution of Schedule IV CDS-Alprazolam. He was sentenced to 2 years hard labor, which was suspended. He was placed on 2 years supervised probation. He was ordered to pay $1349 fine to the Bienville Parish Sheriff’s Office


Marchale Stephon Hamilton of Homer, LA—Pled guilty to Domestic Abuse Aggravated Assualt. He was sentenced to 5 years hard labor, which was suspended. He was placed on 3 years supervised probation. 


Heaven Hunt of Minden, LA—Pled guilty to Possession of Schedule II CDS-Methamphetamine. She was sentenced to 2 years hard labor, which was suspended. She was placed on 2 years supervised probation. 

Stephen R. Griffith of Gibsland, LA—Pled guilty to Criminal Mischief. He was sentenced to 6 months in parish jail. He also pled guilty to Jumping Bail and was sentenced to 6 months in parish jail. These charges will run consecutively. 

Kenquan Deangelo Mayfield of Ringgold, LA—Pled guilty to Possession of Firearm by Convicted Felon. He was sentenced to 5 years hard labor.

Jennie Nicole Cloud of Jamestown, LA—Pled guilty to Possession of Schedule II CDS Less than 28 Grams-Methamphetamine. She was sentenced to 2 years hard labor, which was suspended. She was placed on 2 years supervised probation.

Ashley Mechelle Grillette of Bienville, LA—Pled guilty to Possession of Schedule II CDS-Methamphetamine. She was sentenced to 2 years hard labor, which was suspended. She also pled guilty to 3 counts of Aggravated Cruelty to Animals. She was sentenced to 3 years hard labor on each count, which was suspended. These charges will run concurrently. She was placed on 3 years supervised probation and to pay restitution for the veterinarian bills.

Ashley Eastman Harris of Arcadia, LA—Pled guilty to Theft of a Motor Vehicle. She was sentenced to 2 years hard labor, which was suspended. She was placed on 2 years supervised probation.

Hailey Ann Taylor of Castor, LA—Pled guilty to 2 counts of Unauthorized Entry of an Inhabited Dwelling. She was sentenced to 2 years hard labor for each, which was suspended. The charges will run concurrently. She was placed on 2 years supervised probation. 

Notice of Death – February 16

Notice of Death – Feb. 16, 2023

Mary Lorene Fuller

Sept. 12, 1924 – Feb. 12, 2023

Shongaloo, La.

Visitation: 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17, 2023, Bailey Funeral Home, Springhill, La.

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

Burial: Pilgrims Rest Cemetery.

Judith Charlene Jacks Teague

March 13, 1948 – Feb. 9, 2023

Funeral service: 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 17, 2023, Central Baptist Church, Springhill.

Burial: Old Town Cemetery, Haynesville, La.

Bienville 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.)

Bienville Parish teams preparing for playoffs

By Paige Nash

High school basketball teams in Bienville Parish are wrapping up district games and revving up for playoffs. 

The Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) will be announcing the official end of season results for boys basketball as well as the district representatives on Saturday, February 18, after a few lose ends are tied up this week.  

The Saline High School Bobcats will have a Class 2C district champion tiebreaker game against Atlanta High on Saturday February 18, 2023. Since district championship tiebreakers are played at a neutral site, the game will take place at Dodson High School at 5:30 pm. Both Saline and Atlanta have a district record of 8-2. Saline has a season record of 19-14 and Atlanta at 13-19. 

The Ringgold High School Redskins wrapped up their district schedule with a 69-48 win over Magnolia School of Excellence, finishing off the season with a 12-0 district standing and 22-10 overall.  

On Monday, February 20, the LHSAA will be releasing the boys’ playoff pairings. 

The bracket for the girls’ teams has already been announced. The deadline for the Bi-district games are tomorrow, February 16.  

The Castor Lady Tigers will be traveling to Phoenix High School today, February 15. The game will be on Thursday, February 16 at 5:30 p.m. Admission is $8. There will be no school or boys’ basketball game on Friday.  

The community has plans to send the girls off with well wishes as they head to the playoffs. They will be meeting at Watson Road at 12:15 p.m. with signs showing their support.  

The Saline Lady Bobcats will be traveling to Leesville to play the Hick’s Lady Pirates for the District V bi-district game tomorrow, February 16 at 6 p.m. Admission is $7. 

The Gibsland-Coleman Lady Bulldogs will have a bye week, advancing them to Regionals. They will be playing the winner of the Pleasant Hill vs. Holden game. 

Also receiving a bye week, the Arcadia Lady Hornets will have another week to prepare for Regionals. They will be playing the winner of the South Plaquemines vs. Delcambre game. 

Saline High School honors seniors

Back Row:  Jacob Jones, Shawn Staggs, Will Dison, Kenton Lee Crawford, Treyvon Colvin, and Iriene Venzant. Front Row:  Kerstin Toms, Finley Oliver, Kalei Nelson, Kassie Hood, and Xyzeria Lard.

By Paige Nash

Saline High School celebrated their seniors at Senior Night this past Friday, February 10, as they wrapped up their last home game against Georgetown.

The senior basketball players, videographer and bookkeeper were presented with a basketball signed by the whole team by the Bobcats head coach Klint Robinson and the Lady Bobcats head coach Chris Toms. The cheer coach Haylee Terral also recognized the senior cheerleaders. They were presented with a signed megaphone and a photo of the cheer team.

This was not only the last home game, but also the last regularly scheduled district game for the 2022-2023 season.

The Bobcats pulled a 50-44 victory over Georgetown, earning them a chance to win the district 2C title. They will be playing a tiebreaker against Atlanta, the only team to defeat the Bulldogs in a district game this season. The tiebreaker will be held at Dodson High School this Saturday, February 18, at 5:30 p.m.

The Lady Bobcats were just shy of a win against Georgetown, losing 41-47. They will be traveling to Leesville to play the Hick’s Lady Pirates for the Division V Bi-district playoffs. The game will be tomorrow, February 16, at 6 p.m. Admission is $7.

Keep Arcadia Beautiful clean-ups scheduled

The Town of Arcadia Mayor and council members from each district are teaming up with “Keep Louisiana Beautiful.” This is a non-profit organization that works to bring communities together and provide them with the tools and resources needed in order to prevent litter, reduce waste, increase recycling and protect the natural resources in our state. 

Mayor O’Landis Millican and council members are seeking pledges from residents in each district to come together to participate in this clean-up effort. If you are interested please reach out to the council member of your district to volunteer. 

District 1: Deborah Harris #843-4024

District 2: Melanie Monroe #680-6503

District 3: Joseph Pruitt #607-3745

District 4: Edwin Mason #243-9708

District 5: Timothy Williams #607-2207

You can also reach out by email:

Bienville Parish Fire District 6 improves PIAL rating

By Paige Nash

Following an evaluation, the Property Insurance Association of Louisiana (PIAL) announced that the Bienville Parish Fire Protection District 6 changed their classification from a Class 5 to a Class 4. In the case of a PIAL rating, the lower the class, the better with Class 1 being the best. 

PIAL is a private, non-profit association composed of all insurance companies licensed to write fire and certain coverages within the State of Louisiana. Founded by its member companies in 1888, PIAL has been in continuous operation for more than 130 years.

Chief Adrian Batchelor said, “The reduction in our PIAL rating is a result of a lot of hard work put forth by the volunteers, on-duty staff, and administration to do the best we can for the residents of the District.”

The PIAL grades the districts on a fire suppression rating schedule with various items considered and points of credit awarded. The total amount of points determines the classification for that area. They are graded on emergency communications, training, personnel, water supply, equipment, hydrants and more.

The recognized fire stations included in this recent grading are Station 1 in Bienville, Station 2 in Castor, Station 3 in Jamestown, Station 4 in Castor and Station 5 in Gibsland.

All of the properties located inside the boundaries of this area and within required distance of a recognized station will receive Class 4 rates. An improved rating could mean savings for home and business owners on their insurance premiums. The new rates became effective on February 1. Contact your insurance agent to find out if you are eligible. 

The new rate will stay in place over the next five years, until the fire district receives their next evaluation in the year 2027. 


Parish 4-H holds 2nd Annual Black History Month Essay Contest

Bienville Parish 4-H is holding their 2nd Annual Black History Month Essay Contest. They are already accepting submissions and will do so until next Tuesday, February 21. 

The contest is open to all Bienville Parish students in grades 4-12. 

The divisions are as follows: Division I (4-6 grades), Division II (7-9 grades), and Division III (10-12 grades). Each division will be awarded a first place prize of $100, second place prize of $50 and a third place prize of $25. 

Criteria for the essay include:

A cover sheet with essay title, author’s name, mailing address, phone number, email, grade and school affiliation. 

The essay should be typed with a 12-pt font, double-spaced, standard margins and consist of 500-1,500+ words. 

Students should answer the prompt question, “Who is a person of color you greatly admire? How has this person’s example benefited you?” Students can be acquainted with or related to their subject of choice. The person they choose to discuss can be living or deceased.

The essays should include community services the child has participated in and examples of how those services have made a difference in their lives. Personal reflection and experiences are valid for this essay contest and may be in narrative form if the student chooses. 

Entries should be submitted to the child’s home school. The deadline is February 21. Winners will be announced by Friday, February 24. 

Jonquil Jubilee’s Quilt Show

Quilts by Susan Fields

The Jonquil Jubilee and More Show for 2023 will be held on Saturday, March 4th, at the Jonquil festival. On display there will be antique quilts over 100 years old that were hand quilted. Included in the quilts for viewing you can see treasures that are made by individuals by hand and modern machines that create unique and beautiful stitches.  The beauty of creative designs and quilted tops are breathtaking.   Many other handcrafted items will be included on the tables among the quilts.   

Award-winning, seasoned, professional quilters will be present to offer expert answers to your questions. They will also have quilts and smaller quilted items for sale.  

This year you may stroll down the hall to visit with the Northwest Basket Makers as they share the art of coiled basket making using Longleaf pine straw. Some baskets will be for sale.  

A presentation of vintage sewing will fill one room. You may browse and visit in the room for a close look at creative works by Wanda Anglin.  

Other rooms will wow you with creative and beautiful “Designing Experiences “.  

All of the Quilt and More Show may be found at the First Baptist Church tour stop. 

For a complete list of tour stops see the schedule below.

Lion’s Club Pancake Breakfast $5.00 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Vendors – GBT Annex ob Highway 154, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Downtown Gibsland)

Festival Featured Speaker – Greg Grant at Gibsland First Baptist Church 11:00 a.m.

Tour Sites 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
1. Sally’s Field
2. Sylvan Retreat
3. Tablescape Show
4. Quilts and More
5. Jim & Tina Johnson
6. Oak Grove Farm
7. Carter Farm
8. Evergreen
9. Johnson’s Corner
10. Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church
11. Mt. Lebanon Cemetery
12. Stagecoach Trail Museum
13. Red Barn.
14. Louisiana Piney Hills Master Gardeners
15. LSU Ag Center Demonstrations

GBT Annex @ 4:00 pm (do not need to be present to win)

  • Quilt Raffle Drawings
  • Bulb Raffle Drawing

Neck Deep in King Cake Development

It looks like 2023 will go down as the year of the king cake— at least in my book. I have bought more king cakes, eaten more king cakes, and sold more king cakes this year than all my previous years put together, and probably by a factor of 20.

For the past six years I have been working on opening a bakery in my hometown of Hattiesburg. But I wasn’t going to go forward with it until I had two very specific people on board— Pastry Chef Martha Foose and her husband and Head Baker Donald Bender. As early as 2016 I started working to try and get them to move out of the Mississippi Delta and down to the Pine Belt.

Each of them has a substantial amount of knowledge experience in the baking/pastry world. Foose, a classically trained pastry chef moved from Mississippi to Los Angeles where she worked at Denzel Washington’s restaurant Georgia, then with Nancy Silverton at LaBrea Bakery. She was educated as a pastry chef in the French classical style at Ecole L’Nortre in France. After school she moved back to Mississippi, and in 1995 and opened Bottletree Bakery in Oxford. There she met, and married, Bender, her head baker. From Bottletree the two moved to New Orleans. She worked in Susan Spicer’s kitchen at Bayona and he worked for Spicer at Spice Inc. From there the couple moved to Minneapolis where she baked and worked in development at Pillsbury, he did a stint at the award-winning Turtle Bread Bakery. They eventually moved home to the Delta where they opened Mockingbird Bakery in Greenwood.

When Viking sold and got out of the local hospitality business, Mockingbird was closed and Foose turned to cookbooks. She wrote four, ghost wrote another dozen or so, and won a James Beard Award in the process. It was during her cookbook phase that I started trying to lure her out of the Delta, down to the Pine Belt, off the written page, and back into a bakery. Six long years later— after much pleading and scheming— the uber talented couple are here, and we are weeks away from opening the long-planned Loblolly Bakery.

Mardi Gras is big in Hattiesburg. That comes as a surprise to outsiders. Most people think of Mardi Gras being a New Orleans thing, or a Mobile thing from its early origins, or even a Mississippi Gulf Coast event. But Mardi Gras has strong roots in Hattiesburg and there are several krewes that celebrate the season. The krewe I am a member of will turn 100 next year and hosts dinners and events that rival any formal gathering in the Crescent City. King cakes are popular here.

Our New Orleans-themed restaurant has served King Cake Bread Pudding for over three decades. Our burger joint makes a mean King Cake Milkshake, and our breakfast concept rolled out a King Cake French Toast this year. With the bakery on the horizon, we knew we’d be baking a lot of king cakes, and we knew we needed to get them right. So, we started that ball rolling a little early while the carnival season was still with us.

I travelled down to New Orleans a few weeks ago with one mission— to find the holy grail of Mardi Gras, the elusive Dong Phuong Bakery King Cake. I wanted to bring one back to Foose and Bender to have them sample what all the fuss is about. Though, as I am wont to do, I went a little overboard and came home with 33 king cakes from all over the city. The mission then became— try to prove that there is a better king cake than Dong Phuong. That turned out to be a fruitless assignment as Dong Phuong proved to be the finest of the bunch, and it really wasn’t close.

So, with our bellies full of bread and sugar we set out to create the first versions of the Loblolly King Cake. Though there was one major problem— we don’t have a bakery yet. Due to delays beyond our control, we are several months behind schedule. But we didn’t want to miss Mardi Gras season, so Foose and Bender set up shop working overnights in the Midtowner kitchen, six nights a week. Bender, a recipient of accolades in his own right as an awardee of the Southern Foodways Alliance’s Garden of Tradition Award, bakes all night and Foose comes in way before the sun rises and decorates the cakes.

The two have overcome all manner of challenges baking in the Midtowner kitchen. Most commercial and artisanal baking is done in stack ovens that are made to specifically bake breads. They have large capacities, and most can inject steam into the baking process resulting in the perfect loaf. For the past two weeks they’ve been working with one oven down in a kitchen built to pump out southern vegetables and fried chicken. Though they have persevered and have worked long nights and early mornings overcoming dozens of obstacles in their quest to make the perfect king cake.

We all agree that the perfect king cake uses sourdough bread. We grabbed some of the sourdough starter from our Italian restaurant, Tabella. We’ve been feeding it for over 12 years. But the starter is over 100 years old, as my neighbor— and baker of the finest sweet rolls ever— Mary Virginia McKenzie had been feeding it for 45 years, and the lady she got it from, Alice Gunn, had been feeding it for 40 years before that (sidenote: we’ll be serving Mary Virginia McKenzie’s orange sweet rolls in the bakery).

Bender used his tried-and-true recipe for sourdough bread. It is very good and has a lot of depth in the flavor profile. We also agreed that the topping doesn’t need to be too sweet. Foose added her ermine icing, and we all made sure the tops of the king cakes weren’t loaded with too much granulated sugar.

Foose and Bender have been working from 4:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m., six days a week, baking and perfecting our product. We had a rocky start, but we’re just now hitting our stride. We are only able to produce a limited number as they have been only able to bake nine at a time in the Midtowner ovens. Once the baking and decorating is complete, they deliver them to our New Orleans-themed restaurant, Crescent City Grill, where we offer them for sale when we open at 11:00 a.m. They usually only last a few minutes.

We’ll be baking hundreds a day next year. In the meantime, we’ll keep working towards our goal of creating the perfect king cake.


Laissez les bon temps rouler!


2 cups milk

2 cups heavy whipping cream

3/4 cup sugar, divided

4 egg yolks

8 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

1/8 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1 8-10” round cream cheese filled King Cake

Place the milk, cream and half of the sugar in a small sauce pot and place over medium heat. Bring this mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent the sugar from burning. While the milk mixture is heating, place the remaining sugar, egg yolks, whole eggs, vanilla and salt into a stainless steel mixing bowl. Using a wire whisk, beat the egg mixture until it become light yellow in color. Slowly begin adding the hot milk to the beaten eggs, whisking constantly to prevent the eggs from cooking.

Cut the King Cake into two inch thick slices.

Pour half of the custard into a two-quart round Pyrex baking dish (nine-inch diameter).

Submerge the King cake slices into the custard. Pour the remaining custard over the top and cover the baking dish. Cover and refrigerate over night.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Remove the covering from the refrigerated bread pudding and gently press down the King Cake so that the custard completely covers the surface. Cover the bread pudding with a piece of parchment paper, and then cover the paper with a piece of aluminum foil.

In a roasting pan large enough to hold the Pyrex dish, place two inches of hot water. Place the Pyrex dish in the water and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and parchment paper and bake for 10 additional minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow the pudding to rest for one hour before serving.

Serve with Brandy Crème Anglais

Yields 8-10 servings

Brandy Crème Anglaise

1 cup cream

1/2 cup half and half

1/4 cup brandy

3/4 cup sugar, divided

4 egg yolks

1 tsp vanilla extract

In a stainless steel pot bring the cream, half and half, brandy, half of the sugar and to vanilla a simmer. While it is heating, combine the yolks and remaining sugar in a mixing bowl and whip until pale yellow in color.

Slowly begin adding the cream mixture into to yolks, stirring constantly until all the milk has cream mixture has been added. Pour the mixture back into the sauce pot and cook over a low-medium flame stirring constantly. Cook until the mixture becomes thick enough to coat a spoon or spatula.

Remove from the heat and cool down in an ice bath.

This sauce may be made two-three days in advance.

Yields : 8-10 servings

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

The coolest Burt in the 1970s wasn’t Reynolds

When Burt Bacharach, 94, died of natural causes in his Los Angeles home last week, it meant one of America’s most awarded and talented musical geniuses, a man who checked every box on the Cool Meter, had taken his final bow.

Hurt me.

In the 1970s, my teen years, you couldn’t swing a cat around any sort of show business venue and not hit Burt Bacharach, the composer, conductor, pianist, well-groomed movie-star-handsome American showman who didn’t show off.

For more than six decades he was in the biz (“the biz” is what Hollywood types call show business, don’t you know), was part of a prolific two-man songwriting team with lyricist Hal David (who passed away in 2012, age 91), and gave you something you’re likely to hum every other day or so.

Another Burt — Reynolds — was the biggest box office movie guy around that time for a few years. Sadly, he passed away at 82 in 2018. Love Burt. Love the other Burt more, though. Bacharach was in the spotlight plenty but mainly he was in the background, on your radio, in the elevator, wherever the hits were played.

Easy listening.

Through the 1970s he was married to Angie Dickinson, for goodness sakes, who had her legs insured for a million dollars, which was $500,000 per leg, and a hat tip to the person who sold her that policy. Can’t be too careful when you star in Police Woman on television and you’re married to Burt Bacharach. He played the piano, she had the two legs, or about eight less than the number of Emmys, Grammys, and Academy Awards her husband won.

Point of clarification: My favorite Bert of the 1970s was Jones, the quarterback of Baltimore’s Colts. NFL MVP in 1976. Ruston and all. I mean, come on. Everybody’s favorite Bert with a “e.”

But Burt Bacharach was my favorite Burt with a “u,” and to honor his passing, we offer The Top 10 Burt Bacharach Songs, According to Me. He and Hal David teamed up for literally hundreds, so Close to You and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and What the World Needs Now is Love Sweet Love and What’s New Pussycat? and The Look of Love and That’s What Friends Are For won’t even make the list. It’s a shame.

10. This Guy’s in Love with You: Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass were a thing back then and had a monster hit with this. It was a simpler time. Lots of other artists scored hits with this too; more than 1,000 artists have recorded Bacharach songs so …

9. You’ll Never Get to Heaven if You Break My Heart: Dionne Warwick (more on her in a sec) had a hit with this but I prefer The Stylistics’ version. Warwick and The Stylistics were very good but, in all honesty, it’s a bit egotistical of them to think they get to make this call. “If you break up with me, you’re going tothe bad place.” Neg. Good song though, especially for a tune about really, really high stakes dating. Maybe it wasn’t a simpler time …

8. Walk on By: “If you see me walking down the street / And I start to cry each time we meet / Walk on by, walk on by …” Bacharach wrote some happy songs; this is not one of them.

7. Say a Little Prayer for You: Warwick had hits with this and with the two songs above this one and with the two below. Warwick and Bacharach and Hal David were practically printing money for a while there in the ’70s.

6. I’ll Never Fall in Love Again: “So for at least, until tomorrow / I’ll never all in love again…”

5. Always Something There to Remind Me: Lot of co-dependency back then, apparently.

4. Arthur’s Theme (The Best That You Can Do): Christopher Cross had a hit with this song that batted leadoff in a terrific movie; quote it so much I get on my own nerves.

3. Alfie: This is on the list because Jerry Byrd sang it often in theShreveport Journal newsroom. Sounded nothing like Dionne Warwick. Precious memories though. Bacharach said these were his favorite lyrics created by his writing partner.

2. Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head: Where else would they fall? Somehow this fits into my favorite movie,Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

1. Any Day Now: The original hit was by Chuck Jackson, then Elvis, but I prefer the cut by Ronnie Milsap. One of my favorite songs ever. By one of the best composers ever.

Contact Teddy at or on Twitter @MamaLuvsManning

Today in History

1758 – Mustard was advertised for the first time in America.

1764 – The city of St. Louis was established.

1799 – Printed ballots were authorized for use in elections in the state of Pennsylvania.

1842 – Adhesive postage stamps were used for the first time by the City Dispatch Post (Office) in New York City.

1879 – U.S. President Hayes signed a bill that allowed female attorneys to argue cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

1898 – The USS Maine sank when it exploded in Havana Harbor for unknown reasons. More than 260 crew members were killed.

1900 – The British threaten to use natives in their war with the Boers.

1903 – Morris and Rose Michtom, Russian immigrants, introduced the first teddy bear in America.

1932 – George Burns and Gracie Allen debuted as regulars on “The Guy Lombardo Show” on CBS radio.

1933 – U.S. President-elect Franklin Roosevelt escaped an assassination attempt in Miami. Chicago Mayor Anton J. Cermak was killed in the attack.

1942 – During World War II, Singapore surrendered to the Japanese.

1943 – “My True Story” was heard for the first time on ABC radio.

1946 – Edith Houghton, at age 33, was signed as a baseball scout by the Philadelphia Phillies becoming the first female scout in the major leagues.

1953 – The first American to win the women’s world figure skating championship was 17-year-old Tenley Albright.

1961 – A Boeing 707 crashed in Belgium killing 73 people.

1962 – CBS-TV bought the exclusive rights to college football games from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for a figure of $10,200,000.

1965 – Canada displayed its new red and white maple leaf flag. The flag was to replace the old Red Ensign standard.

1982 – During a storm, the Ocean Ranger, a drilling rig, sank off the coast of Newfoundland. 84 men were killed.

1985 – The Center for Disease Control reported that more than half of all nine-year-olds in the U.S. showed no sign of tooth decay.

1989 – After nine years of intervention, the Soviet Union announced that the remainder of its troops had left Afghanistan.

1991 – The leaders of Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland signed the Visegard agreement, in which they pledged to cooperate in transforming their countries to free-market economies.

1995 – The FBI arrested Kevin Mitnick and charged him with cracking security in some of the nation’s most protected computers. He served five years in jail.

2002 – U.S. President George W. Bush approved Nevada’s Yucca Mountain as a site for long-term disposal of radioactive nuclear waste.

2017 – The Indian space rocket PSLV-C37 successfully launched 104 satellites in a single flight.

Upcoming Events

Please send all non-profit calendar events to

February 16 (5:30 p.m.)

Slabtown Meeting – Ringgold School Complex Cafeteria

February 17 – 19 

Bonnie & Clyde Trade Days – Highway 9, Arcadia, La.

February 17 & 18 (10 a.m.)

Let Louisiana Shine – Arcadia Clean-up

If you would like to participate in assisting with the clean-up, please contact your councilperson. 

February 18 (10:30 a.m.)

Crawford Elementary Rising Stars Showcase – Crawford Elementary Gym A/B

Admission: $5

February 18 (11 a.m.)

Black History Youth Rally and Parade – Downtown Minden

This event will include local vendors, Battle of the Bands, scholarship announcements, and parade contests. 

February 19 (2:30 p.m.)

Mt. Lebanon Annual Meeting with guest speaker Dr. Cheryl White – Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church

February 20 (9 a.m. – 3 p.m.)

4-H Food Challenge Prep – LSU Ag Center, Bienville Parish Extension Office

Open to 4th – 12th grades. There is a $10 fee, please call 318-263-7400 to register.

February 22 (3 – 10 p.m.)

Project4Hope Dine to Donate and Silent Auction

Texas Roadhouse – West Monroe

February 26 (3 p.m.)

2nd Annual Black History Makers Speaker Series with guest speaker: The Honorable Cedric B. Glover

Holland Grove Baptist Church, 3105 Felts Road, Arcadia, La. 

February 28 

2023 Master Cattleman Course – LSU AgCenter Lincoln Parish Ext. Office

307 North Homer Street #101 Ruston, La

March 4 (10 a.m.)

Auction with Auctioneer: Wayman Barham – King’s Court United Pentecostal Church 

2401 South Service Road, West Ruston, La

March 4 (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.)

Jonquil Jubilee – Downtown Gibsland

March 11 (12:30 p.m.)

Michael Ryder Memorial Blood Drive – Backwoods Venue in Brewton’s Mills, La.

March 16 (6:30 p.m.)

Alumni Basketball Games – Mt. Olive Christian School