Early voting in Coushatta started Friday, October 16th, giving the residents in Red River Parish a chance to have their vote counted. Many people showed up to the polls at the old fire station. During their wait, the journal got to ask a few voters why they decided on early voting instead of waiting to vote in person or mailing in their ballots.
Mrs. Brenda Auburn said, “I thought many people would come out and vote today. I came out to do early voting because there is no guarantee that we’ll be here November 3rd, and I don’t trust the mail in ballots.”
Mr. Olsen Lewis commented, “I work later in the year and I wanted to go ahead and get ahead of everything. I don’t trust the mail in ballots.”
Another voter said that she chose early voting so she wouldn’t have to be in a crowd during the pandemic.
Early voting will continue to run through October 27. After that date, voters will have to mail in their ballots or wait until November 3rd to cast their votes in person. No matter which method is chosen, just be sure to VOTE.
An employee of the Ware Youth Center has been arrested and charged with payroll fraud. Details of the incident are included in the audit of the center for the fiscal year that ended June 30th, 2020.
Shift Supervisor Roosevelt Rodney was arrested by Bossier Parish authorities and is awaiting a court hearing, according to the audit. The Bossier Sheriff’s office is still investigating the matter. The audit reported, “A former employee of the Ware Youth Center was paid for work not performed. The individual received payroll checks of approximately $12,210 of work claimed over an eight period. The individual was arrested by the Bossier Police Department; however, the court hearing has not occurred as of the date of the auditor’s report.”
The audit said “A shift supervisor was paid for hours that were fraudulently reported. The amount was $12,210. The investigation is ongoing.” The audit reported Ware Youth Center internal controls did not allow the detection of the fraud or misappropriation in a timely manner. Steps to remedy the situation were suggested.
Ware management responded, “The situation occurred due to a long-term vacancy in one shift manager’s position which resulted in one employee being allowed to cover multiple, consecutive shifts. Since the practice of the individual employee was discovered, Ware Youth Center has instructed all Program Managers to check time clock entries for situations where employees clocked in for consecutive shifts. They are to determine the necessity of the employee and to verify actual presence on a shift via cameras.”
The portion of the audit detailing the fraud, auditor recommendations, and management’s response is reproduced below. So is a link to the complete audit for anyone wishing to see it. The audit and audits of all Red River Parish public offices are on file at the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s at lla.la.gov.
Each year the Louisiana Treasury Unclaimed Property Division returns thousands of dollars to Louisiana residents. In many cases the recipient did not know they had any money coming.
Kathleen Lobell, Director of the Unclaimed Property Division supplied the list of Red River residents for which they are holding property. Lobell said, “As we discussed, this list includes new items that were received since we last published (Fall of 2019). For a thorough search, citizens should visit our website www.latreasury.com.”
The list is being published in the Official Journal of the parish at considerable taxpayer expense. The Red River Parish Journal is publishing the list as a public service. Lobell said, “Thank you for your interest in our program and helping us get the word out about unclaimed property.”
There may be additional funds due to Red River residents. Go to the state treasury website to do a complete search of all unclaimed property the state is holding.
The staff of Stevens Tractor invites children to enjoy Trick or Treat in a safe, friendly environment. Come Trick or Treat on Friday, October 30th from 11:00 am until 5:00 pm.
Toy Story – That’s our theme this year… Kids can also get their picture taken with characters if they’d like.
Owner Tanya Cormier said, “Since COVID-19 has hindered the children of Red River Parish to go out trick or treating, we thought it’d be fun to have a safe, fun event here at Stevens Tractor for kids to come for candy. I would like to encourage other business to participate.”
Stephanie Heiken, their Graphic Designer said, “We will be practicing safety by wearing our masks and disinfecting after every child. However, If kids would like to take photos, we can take off our masks (depending on the circumstance and the child).
Stevens Tractor is located about five miles north of Coushatta on US 71.
Two men arrested October 8th on drug possession charges have been arrested again on damage to property and weapons charges. Their arrests were noted in the past two weekly arrest reports from the Sheriff’s Office.
The two are identified as Brock Henry Mathews and Kevin Dayton Wood of Coushatta. On October 8th they were arrested on charges of possession of schedule II CDS and possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
Then on October 12th Mathews and Wood were charged with theft of less than $1,000, simple burglary, simple criminal damage to property, and illegal carrying of weapons. Wood was also charged with criminal damage to a critical infrastructure.
Stanley Bert Eisen was born on January 20, 1952 in New York City. On that day, doctors and nurses immediately realized Stanley had been born with a congenital deformity known as Microtia. The deformity prevented his ear from forming properly and left him deaf in his right ear. Rather than being deaf in his right ear, it would be better stated that he was deaf on his right side because there was no right ear. Stanley was born with a stump where his right ear should have been.
Stanley recalled that he had a “less than optimal childhood.” His parents refused to acknowledge that Stanley had a deformity. Rather than explaining his deformity and that he was half-deaf, his parents simply ignored the issue altogether. Stanley recognized his deformity at an early age when people would stare at the right side of his face. Stanley looked into mirrors and compared his left ear and the stump on the opposite side. He knew he was different. Stanley had trouble hearing on his right side but his family never spoke of his half-deafness. Stanly recalled, “I was an angry, dysfunctional kid with a real image problem and a hearing problem that put me under constant scrutiny. My family’s way was, ‘Everything’s OK. Forward, march.’ But the idea that you make someone stronger by ignoring their pain shouldn’t be called ‘tough love.’ It should just be called ‘no love.’”
Stanley also struggled to fit in at school. Being deaf on his right side, Stanley found it hard to tell from which direction sounds originated. When everyone else responded to a sound by looking in a certain direction, Stanley usually looked the other way. In a crowded room, he had a hard time differentiating people’s voices. All of the voices sounded like jumbled up gibberish. Because of his deformity the other students at his school treated him cruelly. They teased and bullied him endlessly. Stanley struggled with depression and social isolation. He became a loner as his distrust of people grew.
Stanley found solace in music. His parents listened to classical music, which Stanley loved. Stanley aimed his good toward the speakers and eagerly absorbed everything from Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach, to Rodgers and Hammerstein, Lerner and Loewe, and Stephen Sondheim. On February 9, 1964, the Beatles played the Ed Sullivan Show in what were the early years of the British Invasion. Twelve-year-old Stanley watched in awe. The Beatles wore their hair long, which quickly became fashionable. Stanley realized that wearing his hair long would hide his deformed ear and it was in style. Once his hair grew long enough, strangers stopped staring at his deformity. “What I found over the years,” Stanley said, “was that what you deny and cover up doesn’t cease to exist, and even if you can hide something from the public, you can’t hide it from yourself.”
Stanley became an artist. Through the years, he has earned millions of dollars off of his artwork which includes portraits, abstracts, and logos. Art collectors around the world proudly display his work among their collections. The prestigious Wentworth Gallery still sells his original artwork in their galleries. Stanley’s work in the arts afforded him the required surgeries to rebuild his disfigured ear. In 1982, 30-year-old Stanley had fiver surgeries in which doctors removed cartilage from one of his ribs and constructed a new right ear. Still self-conscious, Stanley kept his hair long, which was in style in the 1980s.
In 1988, Stanley saw the London company perform Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera. He claimed that that show changed his life. Stanley said “I had this momentary revelation, an epiphany where I went, ‘Wow, I can do that.” For ten long years, Stanley dreamed of playing the part of the Phantom, a disfigured musical genius who was in love with a young protegee whom he had trained. Finally, in 1998, Stanley got an audition to play the Phantom in the Toronto, Canada, production of The Phantom of the Opera. In its ten-year run at the Pantages Theatre, the play had sold more than seven million tickets at $135 each for decent seats. Stanley felt a personal connection to the Phantom. He explained, “Here’s somebody who has a disfigurement that they’re covering and they’re trying to reach out to a woman, and, as much as they want to do it, they don’t know how. Well, that pretty much summed up my life…”
To play the part of the Phantom required multiple auditions for singing, movement, and acting. Stanley realized that this audition process was probably his only shot to play the Phantom. Stanley prepared as best he could. He had seen the play numerous times and knew the songs by heart. There was no need for Stanley to worry. Stanley passed the audition and got his coveted role. For the first time since the 1960s, Stanley cut his long hair. He had a month of rehearsals and voice lessons six days a week to prepare for the production. Stanley told a reporter that playing the part was “the hardest work [he had] ever done.” The critics, doubtful at first, thought he brought something special and new to the character. Once his stint with the Toronto company ended, Stanley returned to his artwork.
His most recognizable piece of art is well known around the world. He was the artist who created the logo for the band KISS with its lightning bolt s’s. He created the artwork for several of their album covers as well. He was also one of the four artists who created KISS. Stanley adopted the first name of one of the Beatles, the band he watched on the Ed Sullivan Show so long ago. For the last half century, the world has known Stanley Bert Eisen as Paul Stanley.
The National Post (Toronto, Canada) March 12, 1999, p.4.
The Windsor Star, March 12, 1999, p.16.
The Star-Phoenix, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada), May 26, 1999, p.29.
Calgary Herald, May 27, 1999, p.48.
Lansing State Journal, June 27, 1999, p.40.
The Leader-Post (Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada) January 3, 2001, p.20.
New York Daily News, April 7, 2014, p.34.
The Daily Item (Sunbury, Pennsylvania), April 13, 2014, p.B2.
The Vancouver Sun, April 25, 2014, p.42.
WentworthGallery.com. “Paul Stanley.” Accessed June 14, 2020. wentworthgallery.com/stanley.html.
First off, I’d like to express how excited I am to be coaching both the varsity boys’ and girls’ basketball teams this year. I’ve never been in charge of a girls’ team but I’ve been an assistant on multiple teams. After practicing with them for a couple of weeks, I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. It’s going to take a little time for the girls to become familiar with all of our terminology, feel comfortable with a new system, and consistently do some different things that we ask them to do, but I’m happy with how we’re progressing. The boys’ team returns all but one player from last year’s roster, and we have some new guys coming in that I think will contribute right away. I won’t be able to start with them officially until football season ends, so we’ll have to learn on the fly, to an extent. But I think that’s something we’re equipped to do.
My long-term goal for both teams is pretty simple. I want us to win as many games as we can while having as much fun as possible. We have around 30 games on the schedule right now, and we’re going to play to win every night. So, if we drop one, the new goal will be 29-1, so on and so forth. We’re obviously not going to talk about those numbers, we’re just going to try and go 1-0 every time we take the floor. My short-term goals for each team are more important, in my opinion. I want us to come to work and get better every day, I want each member of each team to care more about the person next to them than they do about themselves, and I want to improve the relationship I have with my players on a daily basis. I think that executing those short-term goals will allow us an opportunity to achieve our long-term goal, so that‘s what we’re going to work on.
Helping me with the varsity boys’ team and coaching the JV boys again this year will be Steven Bryant, a 2017 RA alumni. I’ve known Steven for a while, dating back to my time as a student at RA. He is a great coach, a great communicator, he always comes to work with great energy, and the players love him. He was a huge asset to our team while also leading the JV boys to a record of 16-3.
Helping me with the varsity girls’ team and coaching the JV girls this year will be Rebecca Prosperie, a 2016 RA alumni. I’ve also known Rebecca for a while and I’m excited to work with her this season. Like Steven, she is a great communicator, easy to work with and fun to be around. Rebecca had a successful career as a player while she was at RA but after a couple weeks of practice, I think she will be an even better coach.
To close, I’m unbelievably thankful for the opportunity to work with the student-athletes we have at RA again this season. We look forward to seeing our fans and receiving your support in a few weeks’ time. Go Rebels!
Friday, October 16th the Red River Bulldogs faced the Bunkie Panthers for a 52-14 victory, playing with a strong defense and offense throughout the game, the Bulldogs managed to keep the Panthers from scoring throughout the first half. Eventually the Panthers scored two touchdowns and two extra points.
Touchdowns of the game were scored by Brian Palmer #8, Stanley Maxie #4, Cameron Keith #3, Jonnie Maxie #7, Zintavyious Smith #9, and Devin McDonald #1. All field goals and extra points were kicked by Ryder Hogan #36. The Red River vs Bunkie game allowed the Bulldogs to earn some much needed redemption after last week’s game against the Many Tigers.
Next Friday, October 23, the RRHS Bulldogs will play the Winnfield Tigers in the annual homecoming game. At this game, all homecoming court and sweethearts will be presented and the Homecoming queen will be crowned. Tickets for the game will go on sale at the RRHS campus for limited seating. Remember fans are reminded that tickets cannot be purchased at the gate.
Friday night, October 16, the senior football players were honored at their last regular season home game, and they left the field with a performance that will not soon be forgotten. The RA Rebels took charge early in the first quarter and never let up, defeating Claiborne by a score of 52-6, which guaranteed them first place in district.
As it has been all season, the Rebel offense was strong. Senior quarterback Witt Almond was 4 for 10 in passing for 83 yards and one touchdown. Witt also had 2 carries for 26 yards. Senior Paul Messenger carried the ball 18 times for a total of 159 yards and 2 touchdowns. Junior Jake Messenger carried the ball 6 times for 77 yards and 2 touchdowns. Jake also had 1 reception for 30 yards. Ty Jones had 1 reception for 7 yards and scored a touchdown. Parker Almond had 3 receptions for 46 yards. Parker also had a 65-yard punt return for a touchdown. The Rebels had a total of 385 offensive yards on the night.
The defense put up a stellar performance as well. Paul Messenger had 5 solo tackles, 2 assists, and a ½ sack (1 TFL.) Jake Messenger had 2 solo tackles, 8 assists (1 TFL,) an interception, and 2 PBU. Parker Almond had 1 solo tackle, 1 assist, 2 PBU, and an interception for a 29-yard touchdown. Brennan Edie had 2 solo tackles and 4 assists (1 TFL.) Denver Williams had 2 solo tackles and 2 assists (1 TFL.) Ty Jones had 7 assists and two ½ sacks (2 TFL.) Ben Almond had 1 PBU and Kyle Guillory had 1 solo tackle. Tyler Parker had 1 solo tackle and 1 assist. Ryder Huddleston had 3 solo tackles and 3 assists (1 TFL.) Hayden Hillman rounded out the defense with a ½ sack (TFL.) The Rebels held Claiborne to only 36 rushing yards, 38 passing yards, and 1 touchdown. They had 2 interceptions and 2 sacks for a loss of 9 yards.
At halftime the senior cheerleaders put on a great performance with their senior dance. The seniors were then joined by the rest of the cheer team so they could all dance together one last time at home for senior night.
The Rebels will travel to Jackson, Mississippi on Friday for a 3:00 p.m. game against Mississippi School for Deaf. After this game, the Rebels will begin to practice hard for the playoffs.
On Friday night, October 16, Riverdale Academy’s senior football players and cheerleaders were honored before the football game. As they arrived to school, they were greeted with a “We Love Our Seniors” sign. Senior presentations began at 6:00 p.m. Each senior presented his or her mother with a rose during the presentation.
Senior football players honored were #1 Witt Almond, son of Winn and Dawn Almond; #2 Parker Almond, son of Will and Heather Almond; #4 Paul Messenger, son of Clay and Ashlie Messenger; and #10 Brennan Edie, son of Nathan Edie and Kelly Azlin.
Senior cheerleaders honored were Tylee Adams, daughter of Tye and Amanda Adams; Ronda Black, daughter of Bobette Black; Abby Jones, daughter of David and Brandi Jones; Pacey Lindsey, daughter of John and Christie Lindsey; and Tinley Ogden, daughter of Stephen and Jamie McCoy.
As the seniors were called to the field, their favorite Riverdale memories and future plans were shared with the Riverdale fans. Coach Jared Smelser presented the football boys with autographed footballs from the team, and Cheer Coach Kristi Spradley presented the cheerleaders with “senior cheerleader” t-shirts.
The senior boys dominated on the field for their senior night performance, and the cheerleaders had a blast doing their senior dance at halftime of the game. The following night, the entire senior class was honored at a senior dinner hosted by Will and Heather Almond and John and Christie Lindsey. This is a great group of seniors that will greatly be missed both on and off the field next year.