Pedestrian Accident on Red Oak Road

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Shortly before midday on Thursday a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle on the Red Oak Road. Units from the parish Fire Department, Sheriff’s Office and EMS responded.

At the scene, The Journal learned that a man had been struck on the Red Oak Road in front of his residence. Those at the scene said only that the individual was still alive. The Journal observed the ambulance leaving the scene headed toward Shreveport.

State Police spokesperson Glenn Younger said, “I can confirm a single vehicle struck a pedestrian in the area of LA 2091 and Highway 480 in Red River Parish. The pedestrian was talking to EMS on the scene and has been transferred to UH (University Health) in Shreveport with moderate injuries.” Younger said the investigation is ongoing.

At publication deadline, the identity of the victim had not been confirmed by either the Sheriff’s Office or state police. Also it had not been confirmed that relatives have been notified.

Lee Smith a Hall of Fame Member

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Lee Smith is known as one of the greatest baseball relief pitchers of all times. Now Smith is getting the recognition he deserves.

From’s website:
“Lee Smith was perhaps the most feared reliever of his generation and helped define the closer’s role in the modern game during 18 seasons in the Majors. Smith learned on Sunday that he will be a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame induction class of 2019.

“Smith was selected by the Today’s Game Era Committee, a 16-member panel appointed by the Hall of Fame to review players retired for at least 15 seasons who were passed over by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America as well as managers, umpires and executives.

Smith was a unanimous selection.

“I never, never, never gave up hope,” Smith said, “and then when they started the second-chance ballot, I thought my chances got a little better. Today was probably the most nervous I’ve been with this Hall of Fame voting thing.”

Smith pitched in an era when closers routinely pitched more than an inning. He got at least four outs for 169 of his 478 saves and had 12 straight seasons of at least 60 appearances, a Major League record. He’s also the only reliever with 13 straight seasons of 25-plus saves and 10 straight of at least 30. He finished top five in Cy Young voting three times.

Smith initially resisted efforts by the Cubs to move him to the bullpen, but it cleared his path to the Majors and eventually the Hall of Fame.

“You gotta have really thick skin,” Smith said of the role. “But you know the one thing I learned really myself, was like when you’re going good, don’t get too high, and when you’re struggling a little bit, don’t beat yourself up. “If I could go home and put my head on the pillow and say, ‘I did the best I can that day.’ If you go out there and you make quality pitches day in and day out, good things are going to happen.”

Portions of this report come from and the photo of Lee Smith is by Ron Vesely and is from MLB Photos.

CORRECTION: Smith was born in Janestown, LA and grew up in Castor, LA.

Kennedy Said “No” To Farm Bill

Louisiana Senator John Kennedy voted against the Farm Bill before the US Senate. He issued this statement on his “No” vote:

“Our farmers are an integral part of our country’s history and economy, but unfortunately this bill has become about more than supporting our farmers,” said Sen. Kennedy. “Too much of this bill is devoted to irresponsible food stamp distribution that fails to help people realize the dignity of work. I could not support this bill because it does not contain stronger work requirements for food stamps. I am disappointed at this missed opportunity to reform the SNAP program, and I am more disappointed in the failure to negotiate a more fair and effective Farm Bill for our farmers.”

Red River Students of the Month

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The students selected as Students of the Month at Red River schools were presented to the school board on Monday night. Superintendent Alison Hughes and representatives of the local VFW Post and Auxiliary presented certificates and gift cards to Dairy Queen.

Superintendent Hughes introduced Red River Elementary student Gabriel “Gabi” Bounds. Hughes said, “Gabi is a hard worker and loves to help others. She is caring and offers assistance to other students when she completes her work. Gabi is motivated to learn and is a model student. She is well deserving of this special honor.”

The high school student of the month is Mya Bradley. Hughes said, “Mya is a senior at Red River High School. She is well-deserving because she demonstrates a level of maturity that is admirable for her age. She is kind and thoughtful. She demonstrates that maturity in choosing complex courses, in carefully planning out her future, in predicting obstacles that may come between her and success, and in taking the proper steps to reach her goals. When other seniors are getting “senioritis,’ she meticulously treads on.

The student honored from Red River Junior High was Cannon Perkins. She was not at the meeting, however Hughes noted, “Cannon is a very motivated student who provides exceptional work in the classroom. She also performed excellently on her end-of-year tests. Cannon shows outstanding effort and leadership skills in the classroom, always helping her peers achieve success. She is active during classroom discussions and is a joy to have in class. Cannon recently had the highest score on the ELA interim in her age group. Students like Cannon are the ones who lead themselves and their peers to success.

The Student of the Month is a project of VFW Post 7287 and Auxiliary 7287 of Coushatta. Post Commander Barry McCoy represented the post at the meeting. State Auxiliary President Angelia McCoy represented the auxiliary.

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Riverdale Debate Team

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There were some nervous moments as students from Riverdale Academy awaited the results of their recent debate. The school posted on its Facebook page:

“The 11th grade did an outstanding job participating in their first public forum debate and I could not be more proud! Special thanks goes to Dr. Robert Petersand Mrs. Bethany Seales, who served as judges! #riverdaleacademy”

ETC… for December 14th

First United Methodist Church is holding a special Christmas Eve Candle Light Communion service. It will start at 5:00 pm on December 24th. Rev. Curtis Carroll explained that the communion celebration is open to all believers, that you do not have to be a member of the Methodist Church to take part.

Young people in our community are invited to share Christmas with the youth group at Abundant Life on Sunday. The church posted the event on their Facebook page. YOUTH CHRISTmas party December 16th at ALWC Ages 12-18. Create a tacky shirt and bring a friend. If you have any questions, ask Marcus or Hannah Long.

Also members of the church are being asked to help fulfill wishes in the Christmas Stockings. A few of the wish lists still up for grabs. Message us if you would like to sponsor a child for Christmas!

The latest update on the Red River from the Waterway Commission is that the public boat ramp at Coushatta is still open. Rain in northwest Louisiana on Thursday may change that situation. Check the commission’s Facebook page for the latest.

Northwestern State University will be closed Dec. 17 – Jan. 1 for the winter break. Administrative offices will reopen Wednesday, Jan. 2. Spring 2018 classes begin Monday, Jan. 14. Watson Library will close Dec. 14 at noon and will reopen Tuesday, Jan. 2.

Red River High School marching band will be having their annual Christmas concert and fundraiser on December 18th at 6pm at the school Auditorium. Admission is $3 for adults and $1 for students and children. There will be a bake sale with fresh goodies and hot chocolate. Door prizes will be given out.

Vaccination Day at Health Unit

RRPJ-Vaccination Day Tomorrow-18Dec12The Red River Parish Health Unit is holding Vaccination Day on Thursday, December 13th. It is in conjunction with the Louisiana Department of Health’s statewide day of emphasis on fighting the flu.

Nursing Supervisor Yashica Turner passed the word to The Journal that Flu shots will be available locally from 2:00 pm until 6:30 pm at the Health Unit. The health unit said, “An annual flu vaccine is the first and best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu.”

There is no cost for the vaccination whether you have health insurance or not, but bring your private insurance and Medicaid or Medicare card if you have one. The event is open to the public.

Parade Saluted at School Board

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The Coushatta Christmas Parade was the big topic of conversation at the Red River Parish School Board meeting Monday night. Floats from public schools won the top three trophies. They were presented at the meeting.

“It was a wonderful Christmas Parade and our schools went above and beyond to create their entries,” said Superintendent Alison Hughes. She added, “Board employees, faculty, staff and students answered the call to create floats that reflected the ‘Christmas Around the World’ theme.”

Trophies were presented by Karen Squires, President of the local Chamber of Commerce. First Place went to Red River High School. Their float had a large globe and they followed Santa around the planet.

Second place was awarded to Red River Elementary’s Pre-K and Kindergarten classes. Their entry had a Hawaiian theme, complete with teachers dressed as hula dancers in the middle of a Hawaiian Christmas.

Hughes remarked, “The first and second grades at the elementary school created a very cool float. It celebrated how different countries celebrate Christmas.” Squires presented them with the third-place trophy.

Board members and those in attendance were treated to a very creative slide presentation with pictures of all the floats entered by the schools.

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