Did You Get in on the Great Bargains?

There were many fantastic bargains to be had at the latest school board surplus sale. There were so many items that three buildings were used to hold it all. People scooped up refrigerators, washers, dryers, computers, desks and chairs, and just about anything you could think of.

The Journal’s camera caught Randy Jackson and Ocie Lewis outside the Lawson Center helping people load up their pickups and trailers. We also snapped Russell Furman, Jr. paying school Finance Director David Jones for a trailer load of file cabinets and a laminator machine.

There were many other purchases. Inside the Lawson Center, Director Edna Webb said it was a bittersweet experience. “There are eighteen years of good memories in this place,” said Webb. She is moving to Red River Elementary School next year. Webb said, “I am looking forward to the new program with three year olds. Despite leaving this place, I am going on to a higher level with the children.”

The big blue dumpster sitting beside the old Springville cafeteria building is the fate awaiting much of the surplus stuff. If it didn’t sale last Friday it probably made it to the dumpster. David Jones said the old cafeteria will be used for short-term storage but most likely will be torn down when the campus is no longer needed in a couple of years.

Old Town Coushatta Map Preserves History

RRPJ-Old Coushatta Map TOP-18Jun15

Coushatta has undergone many changes since the town was organized 147 years ago. The Red River, the coming of the railroad, and the great fire of 1918 played major roles in shaping our town.

Historian Joe Taylor has gathered the story of a map constructed from memory by those who were there. Here is the fascinating story:

As most of you know the old town was first located on the riverfront. All of the business section burned during a great fire in 1918. Ever wonder what businesses those where and were they were located? Who would know? I would. Years ago when I was running Sunbeam. I had a draftsman sit down with Albert Stephens and Jim McLemore. They were two gentlemen that remembered old town and watched it burn. We created a map based upon their recollection.

The town of Coushatta was founded in 1871 as Red River Parish was organized by Marshall H. Twitchell. No town existed before. It was selected as the parish seat and construction began.

The original town was subdivided from a farm owned by Mrs. E. A. Carroll. This part of old town was known as Coushatta Point or Coushatta Chute. It consisted primarily of a steamboat landing before the parish was formed.

The majority of the business portion of the 1871 town with the exception of two buildings was destroyed by fire in 1918. The buildings that survived were the two-story brick Bank of Coushatta and the Stanfill House, known also as Planter’s Hotel, immediately adjacent to it. (Note: That original bank building is the only structure remaining. See arrow on map. The Stanfill House finally fell down from neglect a few years ago.)

The river at that time extended further to the west than it does now. The west bank was about where River Road is now. Front Street, the main business street was located where the river is now.

After the fire of 1918, the business district started to move to a location adjacent to the railroad. With the construction of the Bank of Coushatta (Note: Now Advantage Home Health), L. P. Stephens Store and Wilson’s Drug Store in 1923, that section of Front Street looked as you see it today.

Joe Taylor told The Journal there are only a few surviving copies of the reconstructed map of Old Coushatta. Taylor has one and another hangs in the offices of Bethard and Bethard.

Look carefully at the map below. The Red River has crept eastward over the years. Coushatta Bayou and old Front Street have now been gobbled up by the river. Portions of Abney and Church Streets also caved into the river as well.

The Journal thanks Joe Taylor for sharing his historic research into of our town.
Look forward to more installments in the future.

RRPJ-Old Coushatta Map BOTTOM1-18Jun15

Zoo at the Library

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Monday June 18th the zoo is coming to the library. Bring your children to the Red River Parish Library at 2:00 pm and see the animals. Jubilee Discovery Zoo will be the special program for kids of all ages.

The library promises you will be able to meet the animals, pet them and also feed the animals. They are coming form a family-run zoo located in North Shreveport.

Jubilee Zoo is part of the summer series of events held in conjunction with the library Summer Reading Program. Has your child enrolled yet? There are books for children from youngest through age 17. And children who meet or exceed reading goals will be rewarded with an end-of-the-summer celebration.

Tournament at Cowboy Church

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They have scheduled their first Cornhole Tournament at Red River Cowboy Church for the end of the month. Teams and individuals are now signing up for this double elimination tournament.

According to the Cornhole Worldwide website, it is an organized game, a modern day version of horseshoes. “Cornhole is an ultra-social outdoor lawn game that involves 2 game boards with a large hole in them and 8 corn-filled throwing bags. The game consists of 4 players divided into two teams, with each team alternating throws to try and get the bags on the boards and into the hole until one of the teams reaches 21 points.”

The website said, “According to common lore, a variation of Cornhole originated several hundred years ago as a game where ancient civilizations would throw rocks into holes for fun. “Some say it came from a farmer in the hills of Kentucky around the 1800s. Jebediah McGillicuddy, a Kentucky famer, is rumored to have invented the game Cornhole. Apparently McGillicuddy invented Cornhole as a fun game to play and pass the time on the farm with his friends, family and animals – just kidding, animals can’t play Cornhole!”

Sign up deadline for Cowboy Church’s first Cornhole Tournament is June 28th. The registration fee for a team is $40. Individuals may sign up for singles competition for a $20 registration fee.

The tournament will be held at Cowboy Church on LA 1 at highway 174 beginning at 9:00 am on the 28th. Tournament organizers say they will have concessions and plate lunches will be available. Get more information from Lyle Kniffin at 318-510-3523 or Chris Waters at 318-471-8287.

ETC… for June 15th


Office of Electronic and Continuing Education at NSU is offering Pick Up Your Brush classes on June 28th from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the second floor of South Hall. The fee is $45. Participants will learn the art of painting using step-by-step instructions to create a masterpiece of their own. No special or prior skill is required. Students will take home a completed painting at the end of every class. Children ages 7 – 12 years old are allowed to enroll, but a parent must accompany the child the entire class. Parents do not have to enroll unless they participate. All supplies are included. Each session will focus on painting a different object. For more information, call (318) 357-6355, (800) 376-2422 or go to nsula.edu/ece/non-credit-programs.


Bro Richard Kaufman asked The Journal to pass along that Martin Baptist Church will hold Vacation Bible School from June 24th through June 29th. Sessions are 5:30 to 8:00 P.M. daily. Martin Baptist Church is at 3191 Highway 507. Phone 932-6141.

Northwestern State University’s Department of English, Foreign Languages and Cultural Studies will host a summer writing camp July 16-20 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. each day for students ages 10-17. The fee is $100 and includes supplies and snacks.
The camp will be led by Assistant Professor Rebecca Macijeski and adjunct instructors Shae Montgomery and Oona Zbitkovskis. An end-of-session read will be held at the Arnold R. Kilpatrick President’s Residence on the NSU campus. A registration form can be found at https://english.nsula.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/17/Camp-Registration-Form.pdf. For more information, contact Macijeski at macijeskir@nsula.edu.

If You Break It You’ll Have to Fix It



The possible future of run down roads was the main topic of discussion at the June meeting of the Red River Parish Police Jury. And the jury enacted an ordinance jurors hope will get those responsible for damage to public roads to foot the bill for repairs.

Several members of the police jury made comments on the current condition of multiple roads. The police jury came up with a list of roads that need to be looked into for possible repairs. Those with concern include Liberty Church Rd. and Mary St. although others that were mentioned.

The jury is still waiting on more information to come in regarding the possible take over of part of the Springville Education Center campus and the needed repairs to the courthouse before making any decisions.

The complete road ordinance, as adopted last Monday night, is included with this article. (Below)

RRPJ-Road Ordinance BOTTOM-18Jun13

Get Help With Summer Utility Bills

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The DeSoto Parish Police Jury Office of Community Services is announcing the availability of funds dedicated to assist eligible low-income households in Red River Parish. The Journal asked Jo Lynn Sims, the DeSoto Parish Police Jury/OCS Program Coordinator/Office Specialist, when is the best time to sign up for these programs? “Anytime is really the best time to sign up.” Sims added, “Of course summer is one of the best times because the electric bills are high for about 4 months. This is very hard on our elderly residents that are on a fixed income. We assist with electric and or gas bills. Therefore, anytime of year would help the customer. We currently have 104 household enrolled in the Liheap program.”

“This is a program through LHC in Baton Rouge that assists households with electric and gas expenses. These funds are not parish funds. These are state funds.” Sims added, “Our agency assists 4 parishes with Liheap and 10 parishes with Weatherization. Most agencies assist more than one parish.”

An eligible household is one whose total income is at or below the levels listed in the table below and who have not received a previous benefit within the past six months. Applicants MUST provide, at a minimum, the following documentation at the time the application is taken:
(1) Copies of each household member’s social security cards
(2) Proof of 2018 income of all household members. If you are employed this means your last four consecutive check stubs.
(3) A copy of an energy bill (must be within the last 6 months)
(4) A current LA ID or drivers license for every household member 18 and over. You may bring a copy of the ID.
(5) Two forms of Residency-Meaning two items that have cleared the postal service in the head of household’s name with the same physical address as the utility bill.
(6) Anyone that rents must provide their lease agreement showing utility allowances and reimbursements. If it is determined additional documentation is required, the applicant will be notified at the time of application. Households reporting Zero Income must provide additional documentation. All information provided is subject to verification. Intentional misrepresentation of information may result in criminal prosecution of the applicant and anyone assisting in the misrepresentation.

If you would like more information, or to apply, please call 318-872-0880 or 1-800-872-0889.

RRPJ-Energy Assistance Program BOTTOM-18Jun13

Keep Your Cool

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We have already enjoyed some very hot days and it is only June! How will you keep cool? Here are some tips from the Louisiana Department of Health.

You can lessen your risk of a heat illness by the following:

Wear loose, lightweight, light colored clothing.
Stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible.
Do not rely on a fan as the only way to stay cool.
Drink more water than usual. Do not wait until you are thirsty to drink water. (If you doctor limits the amount of fluids you drink or has you on water pills, ask them how much you should drink.)
Do not engage in physical activities during the heat of the day.
Stay tuned to your local news for extreme heat alerts.

Remember to check on your friends and neighbors, especially persons living alone. Keep each other safe.

These 6 Tips are printed on a refrigerator magnet. You can pick up one at the Council on Aging on Front Street.

Open Door Fellowship VBS

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From Lauri Lowring

Open Door Fellowship announced it would host Time Lab Vacation Bible School from June 24th through June 28th. Start time is 6:00 pm and we will go to 8:30 pm every night!

Head into the lab with Time Lab VBS 2018, where kids Discover Jesus from Eternity Past to Eternity Present! Imagine traveling through time and meeting the most important man ever-a man who was not just a man, but also God. One who turned the world upside-down. One who existed outside of time.

We will helps kid learn Jesus was present before and during Creation, they find him in the Old Testament, find forgiveness at the Cross, learn he rose in the Clouds and sits at the Father’s right hand, and will wear the Crown for the new heaven and the new earth.

ETC… for June 13th


The local veterans organization has changed the date of their June meeting. VFW Post 7287 and Auxiliary 7287 will meet on the fourth Thursday of the month. They will meet June 28th at 7:00 pm at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church on Ashland Road. There will be a covered dish meal. All combat veterans, their spouses and immediate family members are invited. The regular meeting schedule of the third Thursday in each month will resume in July.

Yashica Turner at the Red River Parish Health Unit reminds you, “Red River PHU is offering free flu shots through June 30th. Flu is still happening. “

Saturday night is dance night. Come to the Council on Aging on Front Street June 16th and dance to The Playmates. The band plays from 7:00 to 10:00 pm. Admission is $6.00.

Three students from Red River Parish have made the President’s List at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Kambrie Rachel Bethard made the University College President’s List. Robert Y. Legrande made the Business Administration President’s List. And Ty Louis Birdsong made the Sciences President’s List. Thanks to Rhoda Bethard for the update. Congratulations scholars.