Police Jury Regular Meeting

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Monday night (August 6th) the Red River Parish Police Jury met in regular session. Agenda items included taxes, appointments and employee recognition.

Two appointments were made. On a motion by John Moore, John Perkins was nominated to the parish Port Commission. The motion passed. And the contract for the parish jail nurse was renewed. Dana Moseley’s contract was extended to August 31, 2019.

The jury approved the upcoming Board of Review date of September 6th. It will be held on the third floor of the courthouse in the police jury room at 6:30.

This year the IV district meeting will be held in Desoto parish August 21st. Red River will host the 2019 meeting. Jurors discussed possible dates and locations. The jury decided to hold that meeting on August 23rd so that the date could be announced at the district meeting this year.

Each year the police jury holds an appreciation dinner for employees. Juror William Brown suggested it be held October 18th at Grand Bayou at 6:00 pm. The availability of the facilities on that date will be checked and will be finalized at the September meeting.

A couple of months ago, school Superintendent Alison Hughes offered the Springville Education Center campus to the police jury in two years when it will no longer be used by the school system. Monday night the jury heard from Vice President Ben Taylor that the project is not affordable. Taylor said, “Too much to get into it. I am afraid it will be too costly. Plans we had looked at seem to indicate it would be a greater headache than the amount of money we could get from renting it or using it.”

And the jury changed the date of the September meeting. The regular meeting date falls on Labor Day this year, therefore the jury voted to meet in September on the first Thursday or September 6th.

Duck Commander is Coming

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The Duck Commander will be in Coushatta next Tuesday. Phil Robertson will be the guest speaker at First Baptist Church. The event is sponsored by the church’s men’s’ group.

According to Wikipedia:

“Duck Commander is both the brand of a duck call and the name of the company in West Monroe, Louisiana, United States. The company manufactures these calls and other duck-hunting merchandise, as well as deer-hunting merchandise under the Buck Commander brand.

“Phil Robertson, a football quarterback at Louisiana Tech University, founded the company. He began his business in a dilapidated boat, where he spent 25 years making duck calls from Louisiana cedar trees.

“Robertson’s third son, Willie Robertson, currently serves as the company’s chief executive officer and has expanded it into a multimillion-dollar enterprise.

“The Robertson family and business are the subjects of Duck Dynasty, a reality television series on A&E. Before that, they were featured in the Duck Commander television show on the Outdoor Channel.”

For people in this area, the Tuesday evening appearance by Robertson will be truly a once in a lifetime opportunity to hear from a Louisiana Legend.
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Info for Moms and Mothers to Be

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August is World Breastfeeding and National Breastfeeding Month. The Red River Parish Health Unit is holding a reception next week for mothers of infants and mothers to be.

You can get valuable information on breastfeeding and on preparing yourself to feed your baby. The health unit will provide information on nutrition, recipes, stats and other information. Everyone will enjoy snacks and a chance to win prizes.

Come to the Breastfeeding Reception at the Red River Parish Health Unit at 2015 Red Oak Road in the parish Administration building on August 17th from 1:00 to 3:00 pm.

Countdown Termed a Success

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Officials of the Operation Christmas Child in this area are pictured above. From left to right are Patsy Kitchings, Drop Off Coordinator at Martin Baptist for Red River Parish, Beth Martin area coordinator, Tonia Cates, Drop Off Coordinator in Sabine parish at Mitchell Baptist and Susan Longino church relation team member in Red River parish.

Brenda Ingram reports, “West Central La Operation Christmas Child Countdown was a tremendous success. All five drop off centers were represented.” The drop off center for Red River Parish is Martin Baptist Church. Other centers are Natchitoches parish at Westside Baptist Church, Sabine Parish are at Calvary Baptist and our new Drop Off Mitchell Baptist in Converse, and Winn Parish is at First Baptist.

Shoeboxes will be collected the third week in November at each of these drop off centers. More information about Operation Christmas Child can be found at www.samaritanspurse.org or by calling Susan Longino at 318-663-3990.

Health Fair Scheduled August 11th

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The MLK Health Center and Pharmacy has partnered with Open Door Fellowship to offer the Red River Community important health screenings. The event will be held at Open Door on Esperanza Road August 11th from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm.

Included in the health fair will be on site mammograms, prostate screening, blood pressure screening, body mass index, diabetes screening, cholesterol screening and nutritional information. The event announcement said there is absolutely no out of pocket expense for anyone attending the health fair.

Those wishing to pre-register for the event may go to the Open Door Facebook page and look for the event invitation. Completing the simple questionnaire will give the event planners advance notice of what tests to prepare for.

Again the event is open and free for everyone whether you have health insurance or not. It will be conducted by MLK Health Center and Pharmacy and Open Door Fellowship at the church at 285 Esperanza Road in Coushatta. The hours are 10:00 am until 2:00 pm. These important screenings could give valuable information on the status of your health.

ETC… for August 10th

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Hunting season is only a short time away. Would you like a new deer rifle. You could win one. Get raffle tickets at Red River Industries on Highway 71 South of Coushatta. Tickets are a $5.00 donation. The drawing will be October 12th.

The Pentecostals of Martin will be in revival August 10th through 12th at the church on Kellogg Road. The Evangelist is Roger Herrington.

Over at Liberty Baptist Church they hold a summer revival August 12th through 16th. Popular Evangelist Bro. Sam Moore will bring the message of salvation Sunday through Thursday. The Liberty Praise Team will supply the music. Harry Bamburg is the Pastor and he invites you to their revival.

Tuesday is Freebies day at Pine Belt in the Fair Grounds. Coordinator Ellen Clark told The Journal the crowd arrives at 1:00 pm.

The monthly dance at the Council on Aging is scheduled for Saturday August 18th beginning at 7:00 pm. Mark your calendars.

Registrar is Retiring

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Mary Jones is retiring as Registrar of Voters for Red River Parish. She gave notice Monday night to the Police Jury and added, “I’m gonna sit down now before I tear up.”

It was an emotional farewell by the lady who served as Registrar of Voters since 2000. Jones’ 18-year career comes to an official end at the end of the month although she will tell you “I’m retired already. I just have to clear out my stuff.”

Her letter of resignation read, “I have enjoyed serving the people of Red River Parish as their Registrar. I will forever be thankful for the trust and faith in me by this Police Jury when I was appointed to this position.

Jones told The Journal, “I will miss all the people I helped every election when they would come in to vote. It will take some time for the next Registrar to get to know them and their special way of doing things.”

Jones closed her letter, “Again, I have been blessed to have served the people of Red River Parish.

BACK TO SCHOOL BASH SERVES HUNDREDS OF FAMILIES

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The following summary of the recent Back to School BASH was prepared by United Way of Northwest Louisiana:

More than a thousand Red River Parish residents showed up for United Way NWLA’s second annual Red River Parish Back to School Bash. This event is the only in the parish to distribute school supplies. According to the ALICE (Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed) Study of Financial Hardship, 48 percent of Red River Parish residents are struggling to afford basic needs. The annual Back to School Bash is helping to fight and reverse this statistic.

This year, United Way NWLA and Red River Parish Schools secured enough sponsorships and donations to provide each enrolled student with a set of supplies and K-8 students with brand new backpacks. Registration numbers from Mondays event show 740 of the 1,350 students enrolled with the school district attended. An improved layout was used this year in order to better accommodate everyone in attendance. It took the space from both Red River High School and the junior high school campus to pull off the bash.

“Last year we set up to serve about 400 people and more than 1,000 showed up. This year we utilized all the space and resources we had available to best serve the families,” said Jennifer Horton, community engagement coordinator for United Way NWLA. “It’s a great feeling to know we can provide a desperately needed service here.”

The arrangement included registration in the cafeteria, uniform pickup in the library, food and community vendors in the junior high school gym and the supply giveaway plus free haircuts in the high school gym.

“We understand the need for resources in Red River Parish and United Way of Northwest Louisiana is committed to supporting the educational development through the Back to School Bash and Imagination Library,” said Bruce Willson, CEO of United Way NWLA.

This event marks the first year since United Way NWLA and BHP made the Imagination Library program available to all children under five years of age in Red River Parish. Imagination Library sends free, high quality, age appropriate books to children each month they’re enrolled. A report shows 54 percent of enrolled Red River Parish kindergartners are not prepared for school. The program addresses early childhood literacy and help children become kindergarten ready. More than 110 Red River Parish children have signed up during the past year.

United Way NWLA and Red River Parish Schools thanks the following visionary and champion sponsors: Bank of Coushatta, Bierden Co., G & B Works, LLC and Louisiana Healthcare Connections.

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Sheriff’s Self Defense Class

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Recently the Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office conducted a College Campus Safety & Ladies Basic Self Defense class. A small but enthusiastic group of seven ladies learned a variety of personal safety tips as well as a handful of basic self defense techniques.

The participants were challenged to use the information presented in class to develop a personal safety plan for college and home.

While no one ever wants to be in a life threatening or dangerous situation, unexpected things happen. Preparation in advance of an incident is critical.

If your local organization would like to schedule a Ladies Basic Safety and Self Defense class, please contact Sgt. Suzanne Gallier at 318-932-6701 and she will be glad to discuss it with you.
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Obituary – Milton Ray Forrest

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Funeral services for Milton Ray Forrest of Coushatta, LA were held at 2 P.M. Sunday, August 5, 2018 at First United Methodist Church with Rev. Dr. Paul “Curtis” Carroll, Jr. officiating. Interment will follow in Holley Springs Cemetery, Martin, LA. Visitation will be held on Sunday from 1 P.M. until service time Sunday at First United Methodist Church. Services are under the direction of Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home.

Milton Ray Forrest was born to Becky and George Forrest on July 12, 1929 at his family home in Coushatta, Louisiana, the town in which he was proud to call home for most of his life. By choice, he rarely left Red River Parish. Milton passed away on August 3, 2018 at the age of 89.

Milton graduated from Coushatta High School where he was a talented and successful basketball player assisting in winning state team titles for his school. He married his childhood sweetheart, Tommie Sue Jowers Forrest in 1949; they recently celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary last September. Milton proudly served in the U. S. Navy. He worked in the oilfield industry for a brief time, and then he began a local banking career that spanned the next sixty-six years. Milton ultimately worked at all three local banks in Coushatta where he truly enjoyed serving his many loyal customers. In his younger years, he was an active leader and member of the Coushatta Jaycees. Locally, he served on the Red River Parish Levee Board and was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Coushatta, LA. He was a charter member of the Coushatta Country Club where he enjoyed playing golf with his weekly group of buddies for as long as his health allowed. Milton worked diligently as a charter member of the Riverdale Academy Board. He worked hard at keeping up with all of the careers, sports, and activities, of his children, grandchildren, and especially his great grandchildren.

Affectionately known as Milt, he was devoted to his wife, and adored by his daughters, grandchildren and great grandchildren. He hand cleared the land where his home still stands, and ultimately became a fine wood craftsman who enjoyed building and refurbishing furniture for family and making candle sticks from zebrawood to share with friends and family. Milton could repair just about anything. He was always available to graciously assist his daughters and grandchildren with projects or repairs at their homes. Little known to many, he also had an avid hobby of completing jigsaw puzzles.

Milt was a patient, kind, soft-spoken man, always willing to help others. He spent his life putting others wants and needs ahead of his own. Family was everything to him. He had a special bond with each of his daughters, his grandchildren, and his great grandchildren making each feel as if they were his favorite. Life will not be the same without him, but his legacy will proudly be continued through his beloved family.

Preceding him in death were his parents, Becky and George Forrest, sister, LaMae Bogus, brothers, Wilbur Forrest, Arthur Forrest, Edward Alton Forrest, Emmett Forrest, and son-in-law Philip Guidry. He is survived by his wife, Tommie Sue, daughters Debbie Guidry of Coushatta, Louisiana, Rhoda Bethard and son-in-law, Robert Bethard of Coushatta, Louisiana, granddaughters, Kassie Williams and husband Josh of Coushatta, Louisiana, Kara Bethard of New Orleans, Louisiana, Kallie Bethard of Shreveport, Louisiana, and Kambrie Bethard of Lafayette, Louisiana, grandsons, Caleb Guidry and his wife Christy of Frierson, Louisiana and Silas Guidry of Coushatta, Louisiana and his great grandchildren Kiptin Williams, Slayte Guidry, Milton Guidry, P.J. Guidry, and a very special niece, Karen Forrest Holladay of Bossier City, Louisiana along with two sister- in-laws, and a host of nieces and nephews.

Pallbearers will be his grandchildren, Caleb Guidry, Silas Guidry, Kassie and Josh Williams, Kara Bethard, Kallie Bethard, and Kambrie Bethard.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Holley Springs Cemetery, 1019 Hwy 786, Coushatta, Louisiana, 71019, First United Methodist Church of Coushatta, 2018 Front Street, Coushatta, Louisiana, 71019, or the recipient of donor’s choice.