Fire board approves pay and incentive increase

Local firefighters will be getting an increase in pay effective with the next pay period. The Red River Fire Department Board on Monday approved the changes to the pay scales that will result in more money for full time firefighters.  And the pay for part-timers is also increasing.

Fire Chief John Woodfin asked the board for the changes to put our fire department in a more competitive position in attracting both full time and part time firefighters.  The board consulted with their accountant and decided the increases would be affordable within the present budget.

Woodfin said the present pay for part timers is below that offered by surrounding parishes.  Woodfin said, “Red River pays $12 per hour across the board for part time work.”  He suggested a staggered scale, based upon the firefighter’s level of professional advancement.  “That will make what we offer more attractive to them, and our working environment is also very attractive compared to surrounding parishes,” added the chief.

At present the department has several full time vacancies.  In order to have 5 people on each shift, either more full time staff or more part timers are needed.  Discussion centered on the cost of a full time worker, who is also paid retirement and benefits, versus part time workers.  Currently the department must pay 34% of a salaried position into the firefighter retirement system, in addition to the pay given the firefighter.  They concluded that part time workers can be hired and still save the department money.

Full time firefighters are not being left out.  The board approved an incentive system to reward them for increasing their professionalism.  Chief Woodfin said, “When we start making EMS runs, we will need more qualified people on each shift.  We need to upgrade the training for our people.”  At present there is no incentive for earning additional certifications.

Here are the changes the board approved.

Full time firefighters will be given $25 per month for each extra qualification certificate they earned.  They can be compensated for up to four per month or $100 extra.

Part time firefighter pay will range from $13 per hour for basic firefighters, $14 for those who are EMS certified, and $15 per hour for those with paramedic certification.  In addition, part timers would get $100 holiday pay for working the 5 major holidays.


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Students get their recognition

At the end of the school year, three middle school students failed to be recognized for their academic achievements.  School Superintendent Alison Strong told the board on Monday that a “glitch” in the system was at fault.

Strong said they would make things right.  So the students along with their parents were invited to the August board meeting.  All were recognized before the board and presented certificates of achievement.

Making the Junior High Principal’s List were A’riel Jefferson and Madelyn McKenzie Willis.  And making the honor roll was Lathyn Lewis.

Superintendent Strong commended the students for their hard work.  “We are proud of your accomplishment and the focus on academics,” said Strong adding, “You have to do that from day one to stay on the Principal’s Honor Roll.”


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BRIDGE CLOSURE: LA 783 over Bayou Chicot, Red River Parish

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development advises motorists that beginning on Monday, August 15, 2022 at 8:00 a.m., the LA 783 bridge over Bayou Chicot in Red River Parish will be closed.

This bridge closure is scheduled to take place for two weeks, and is necessary for DOTD crews to perform bridge maintenance.

This bridge is located approximately 5.2 miles north of the intersection of LA 783 and US 71.

Alternate Route: Detour signage will be in place.

Permits/Restrictions: Total bridge closure. All vehicles will need to detour.

This work will be performed WEATHER PERMITTING.


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Don’t ask for whom the school bell tolls… 

By Teddy Allen

We couldn’t afford a bicycle then, so I learned early how to stick my thumb out in the wind and hitch a ride in a pickup or on a tractor the two miles into our rural Carolina town for my first-grade classes. 

My parents believed in tough love. 

They were Old School, even though I was the very definition of New School. 

Since they had to walk to school uphill 16 miles and back home, again uphill, for 17, they figured I was getting off easy by having to flag down a ride for just two measly miles. “And FLAT miles at that!” I can hear them say, maybe tough lovingly. 

Of course, modern kids have gotten soft now and don’t hitchhike to school as they once did. Don’t get me started. . . 

Here’s something else that’s changed, and not for the better. 

No matter how “bored” or out of sorts you might have gotten with school back then — and even those of us who actually secretly sort of liked school and realized it was “good for us” wanted to run away now and then – we knew the Start Game and the End Game. And that helped. 

The Great State of South Carolina and all us little children there cut a deal with each other: the state owned us from right after Labor Day until Memorial Day. No questions asked. You’d get a day at Thanksgiving and Easter and a few days at Christmastime, the Super Bowl Week of being a kid, but the rest of the time, your denim-covered butt was in a desk at Lake View Elementary. 

BUT … they could not touch us from Memorial Day until Labor Day. No one even SAID “school” during June, July and August. We were a hands-off, school-free zone. 

Summer, with all its bee stings and scraped knees and bologna sandwiches, was ours. 

We could play AND we could make all the money, picking cucumbers or driving a tractor or, depending on how low you were to the ground, picking up tobacco sticks at the barn if your leg wasn’t long enough to reach the clutch on a Farmall yet. 

Just thinking about it makes me want to kick off my shoes and go run in the grass and step on a nail and have to go get a tetanus shot. (Even summer had its risks. But the risks were worth it.) 

Somewhere along the way, it was decided by Grownups that school would start Early, and so children are back at school this week even though it’s just now double-digits in August. (We’re talking dates, not temperature.) There will be “breaks” and the number of days spent in class will be the same now as they were back when I went to school, back when only four vowels and 22 consonants had been invented. 

And maybe it’s better that way, but you ask people from our generation, and we’ll tell you being out for three months solid was the way to go, that even the thought of hitching a ride to school in August was a two-thumbs-down deal.  

Contact Teddy atteddy@latech.edu 

 


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Little Rebels have ambitious schedule

The 2022 schedule of Little Rebel football has been published.  They have a challenging line-up including playing school rival Claiborne twice.

They begin on August 22nd at home at 5:00 p.m. vs Claiborne.  August 30th they travel to Tallulah for a 5:00 p.m. game. They are on the road September 6th, at Central for a 6:30 game.  Back home on September 12th, Central comes calling for a 6:30 p.m. second match. 

The Little Rebels play at home the following week as Claiborne comes for a return contest at 6:30 p.m.  And their season winds up on the road at PVA on September 27th.  The game is at 5:30 p.m.


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OPPORTUNITY: Substitute Teachers

Red River Parish School District is looking for qualified substitute teachers for the 2022-2023 school year.

In order to qualify, you must:

Have a valid driver’s license and social security card

Pass a drug screen and background check

Have a high school diploma or GED

Must be 21 years or older

There is a $25.00 application fee that must be paid when you apply.

Please see Ginny Hines at the Red River Parish School Board office at 1922 Alonzo St here in Coushatta.


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Riverdale Academy Kicks off 2022-23 School Year with Ice Cream Social

By Molly Seales

On Thursday, August 4, Riverdale Academy kicked off the 2022-2023 school year with the annual ice cream social. Teachers, staff, and principal Danny Rester were on campus from 5:00-7:00 p.m. to welcome back students and give a warm welcome to the many new faces we have at school this year. Riverdale cheerleaders were on hand to direct people to classrooms and other stations, and ice cream was served to everyone in the cafeteria.

In addition to many new students, we have five new faces on campus as faculty and staff members. This year, pre-k 3 and pre-k 4 will be separate classes. Mrs. Jaylee Riggs Wyatt, a graduate of Riverdale, will be teaching pre-k 3. Her assistant will be Mrs. Ashley Guillory. Pre-k 4 will have a new assistant as well, Mrs. Maressa Halbmaier. Our new 3rdgrade teacher is Mrs. Debbie Caskey, and our new P.E. teacher is another Riverdale graduate, Gracie Almond Messick. We are excited to have them all on staff!

Teachers worked really hard this summer painting, laying new floors, waxing floors, and making general improvements to their classrooms. Probably the biggest transformation is 5th and 6th grade teacher Katie Williamson’s classroom. Students came Thursday night to a classroom that had been transformed into a coffee shop, and it’s safe to say almost everyone wants to be in Mrs. Katie’s class this year! She even had Starbucks coffees and donuts for her students to welcome them back.

As the ice cream social came to an end and everybody headed home, the senior class of 2023 headed to Coushatta to get together one last time before our senior year officially started. We gathered in the Nichols parking lot at 7:30 to paint our cars and soak up the last few moments of summer. As usual we didn’t stop there. After the fun of the night before, we woke up on Friday, August 5, and arrived at Riverdale for our last first day of school even earlier than the principal. We arrived at school at 6:50 a.m. for a senior breakfast that our parents prepared, and to nobody’s surprise, before eating we had to take a million pictures. As a senior myself, it is safe to say that we have made a lot of memories throughout the years together, and we are ready to dive into this school year and make more.

As the day came to an end, I caught up with some of our students to get their thoughts on the beginning of the year and what they are excited about this school year. 5th grader Sam Murray said he was most excited about getting a locker and the upcoming football season, while his older sister Hannah, a 7th grader who is returning to Riverdale this year, said she is excited about being back in the classroom with her friends. She is also looking forward to learning new things and participating in different sports. Incoming freshman Ben Moseley, who has been at Riverdale his entire school career, said he liked his first day of high school. Ben said it was different from junior high, and he is looking forward to having classes with other people who are in different grades. Junior Hayden Hillman can’t wait for this year’s football season to start, and he is really looking forward to being a part of the KREB news staff. As preschool and kindergarten students prepare to begin next week, incoming pre-k 3 student Tripp Lefler was very excited about school-until he realized his mom wasn’t going with him. However, after he thought about it, he said he was excited to get to school and see his friend Ally Kate.

We are off to a great start this year, and we are expecting to have the best year ever. Let’s go Rebels, and let’s make 2022-23 fabulous!


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Bess’s Parts

By Brad Dison

Bess was the queen of Hollywood.  She was born in Sherman, Texas in 1898.  After high school, she attended the Oklahoma College for Women in Chickasha where she often performed on stage.  In 1916, she played dual parts or characters in Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” and another in the “Merchant of Venice.”  As this production was staged by a women’s college, all of the parts, male and female, were performed by females.  All of the characters Bess portrayed were men, which is a testament to her talent.

Within a few years, Bess made her way to Hollywood where she appeared in her first film, a 1923 silent comedy film entitled “Hollywood.”  Her talents were such that she made two more feature films in her first year in the business.  Within three years, Bess became the go-to-girl in Hollywood.  In addition to her other acting abilities, Bess began to get acting jobs because of her beautiful hands.  She had what the First National Productions studios claimed were the most photographed hands in the world.  One reporter boasted, “Her hands are her fortune, sir!”  When a movie studio needed a closeup of a beautiful feminine hand, Bess was the actress they would call first.  Many leading actresses of the time, according to one reporter, “ofttimes subject themselves to exposure and their hands in many cases suffer from the elements.  Consequently, when a close-up of the hands is to be made, they are in many cases unable to offer their own hands due to the fact that they have not been properly cared for and ‘groomed,’ as it were, for the particular occasion.”

Bess, on the other hand, (pun intended) kept her hands properly groomed.  She kept to a strict set of rules for the care of her hands.  When out in public, Bess always wore thin silk gloves to protect her hands.  Every night, she rubbed her hands thoroughly with the skin of a lemon followed by a special cream concocted by a film studio master make-up artist just for her.  She allowed her fingernails to grow abnormally long so they could be easily manicured to fit within the film’s script.

As many actor’s and actress’s careers floundered with the transition of the movie industry from silent pictures to “talkie” pictures, Bess remained busy.  In 1935, parts of Bess appeared in “Star of Midnight,” which starred William Powell and Ginger Rogers.  Bess’s character is pivotal in the film because the plot hinges on her character’s disappearance.  In the film, the audience glimpses her ankles as she enters a taxicab, she waves from the taxi’s window, and speaks a few lines, but no more is seen of her.  Her presence in other films varied between a quick view of her waving hand to her speaking a few lines.  If you watch a film from the 1920s through the 1960s, you will most likely see all or part of Bess, though you may not realize it.

Although Bess had a lucrative Hollywood career for more than four decades, she thought she was no good at acting.  However, Bess became the most prolific actress in the history of motion pictures.  She appeared in over 700 films, more than any other actor or actress.  She appeared in five films which won Academy Awards for Best Picture, more than any other actor or actress.  Those films include “It Happened One Night” (1934), “You Can’t Take It with You” (1938), “All About Eve” (1950), “The Greatest Show on Earth” (1952), and “Around the World in 80 Days” (1956).  She also appeared in twenty other films which were nominated for Best Picture, more than any other actor or actress.  It is doubtful that you will have ever heard the name Bess Flowers, but due to Bess’s parts, she became and remains the “Queen of the Hollywood Extras.”

Sources:

  1. The Chickasha Daily Express (Chickasha, Oklahoma), April 20, 1916, p.1.
  2. The Minneapolis Star, March 6, 1926, p.23.
  3. Palladium-Item (Richmond, Indiana), July 23, 1927, p.13.
  4. The Record (Hackensack, New Jersey), March 12, 1935, p.23.

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The NSU Music Academy is accepting applications for the fall semester.

The academy is under the direction of Northwestern State music faculty Dr. John Price and Dr. Francis Yang and offers piano, guitar, percussion and voice lessons for students from age six as well as adults. Lessons are taught face to face or online. Teachers at the academy are graduate and undergraduate music students studying at Northwestern State University.

Piano teachers are David Paz, Hannah Potter, Karla Gonzalez and Kamryn Purdue. Naydu Daza Maya is teaching guitar and Jackson Forester is teaching percussion.  Valentina Alvarez and Ella Castro are the voice teachers.

Last semester, students performed in an end-of-semester spring recital in Magale Recital Hall. Many students also performed in the inaugural NSU Music Festival held in February. This semester, students have the opportunity to perform in a Monster Concert during Halloween season and a Christmas Concert. Students in past years also participated in the National Federation of Music Clubs Festival, the Central Music Teachers’ Association Sonatina Festival and the Louisiana Music Teachers Association Upper Elementary Auditions.


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Notice of Death – Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Mary Tom Wilkinson Almond

April 20, 1937 to August 5, 2022

View full obituary here:

https://redriverparishjournal.com/2022/08/08/mary-tom-wilkinson-almond/

Kevin Ray Moseley

December 19, 1962 to August 3, 2022

View full obituary here:

https://redriverparishjournal.com/2022/08/08/kevin-ray-moseley/

Sandra Anderson Dale

August 20, 1945 to August 7, 2022

Graveside service at 10:00 a.m. August 9, 2020 at Fairview Cemetery

Randall Clark Collinsworth

January 27, 1949 to August 6, 2022

Graveside service at 9:30 am on Monday August 8, 2022


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ETC… For Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Tryouts for Red River High Cross Country team will be tomorrow after school.  Coach Brunson reminded athletes that LHSAA must be turned in before students can participate in tryouts.

Mark your calendar!  Clara Springs Camp said the August Fourth Friday Fish Fry is on the 26th.  First Baptist Church of Natchitoches will be the volunteer cooks and host for the month of August.  Service begins at 5:00 p.m. and the cost is $15.


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Notice of Death – SPECIAL UPDATE Monday, August 8, 2022

Mary Tom Wilkinson Almond

April 20, 1937 to August 5, 2022

View full obituary here:

https://redriverparishjournal.com/2022/08/08/mary-tom-wilkinson-almond/

Kevin Ray Moseley

December 19, 1962 to August 3, 2022

View full obituary here:

https://redriverparishjournal.com/2022/08/08/kevin-ray-moseley/

Sandra Anderson Dale

August 20, 1945 to August 7, 2022

Graveside service at 10:00 a.m. August 9, 2020 at Fairview Cemetery

Randall Clark Collinsworth

January 27, 1949 to August 6, 2022

Graveside service at 9:30 am on Monday August 8, 2022


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Mary Tom Wilkinson Almond

A celebration of the life of Mary Tom Wilkinson Almond will be held Wednesday, August 10th. Visitation will begin at 10:00 am at Rose-Neath Funeral Home in Coushatta, LA followed by a service at 11:00 am with Reverend Tim Dye officiating. Interment will be held at Springville Cemetery.

Mary Tom was born April 20, 1937, the only child of Thomas Jay and Sadie (Brown) Wilkinson in Shreveport, LA. She passed away at home in Coushatta on Friday, August 5, 2022.

Mary Tom graduated from Coushatta High School in 1955 where she was a delegate to Pelican Girl’s State and crowned Homecoming Queen. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Centenary College where she was a member of the Centenary College Choir, served as vice president of Chi Omega Sorority, and was elected as the Queen of Centenary’s Golden Anniversary celebrating 50 years in Shreveport, LA.

After her college graduation, she married her high school sweetheart Maxie Laine Almond on June 25th, 1960. They enjoyed 62 wonderful years together. In 1961, they welcomed their only child Lisa Laine, who became their whole world. Years later she was blessed with a loving and devoted son-in-law, Ed Lester, III.  She stepped into her most treasured role with the birth of her grandsons Thomas Laine and Jay Farrington Lester, becoming affectionately known as “PomPom.”

She was a long time member of the First Baptist Church of Coushatta and also, the Springville Cemetery Board.

Whether she was cooking meals for her family, working in the concession stand at Riverdale Academy, entertaining friends, supporting Maxie in his business endeavors, answering the phone at River City Chevrolet, or cheering for Thomas and Jay at their Ringgold Dixie baseball games, she always had a smile and time for a friendly conversation.

Mary Tom enjoyed traveling with Maxie and Lisa and later with Ed, Thomas, and Jay. She loved taking them to visit the beaches of Florida, creating traditions that her gransdsons hope to continue with their own children in her memory.

She was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her husband Maxie Almond; daughter Lisa and husband Ed Lester, III; grandsons Thomas Lester and wife Kim, and Jay Lester and wife Sarah. She was also blessed with two great-grandchildren William and Emmy.

The family would like to give special thanks to her caregivers, Minnie Everett, Sha’cora Miller, Charlotte Newton, and Margaret Lewis, who tended to her every need with love. Also to Life Path Hospice for their professional and loving care in her final months.  Lastly, we would also like to thank Dr. Robert C. Hernandez for many, many years of loving care and friendship.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be given to Springville Cemetery Association, P. O. Box 1023, Coushatta, LA 71019.


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Kevin Ray Moseley

Kevin Ray Moseley, 59, of Hall Summit, LA, went to be with his Lord, Jesus Christ on August 3, 2022, with loved ones by his side.  

Kevin was born on December 19, 1962, in Shreveport, LA to Walter and Mary Moseley and passed away August 3, 2022, in Shreveport, LA.  In spite of all the misfortunes in his life, Kevin remained with a positive attitude and the gift of encouragement. The family is so happy that once again he has two legs and is in perfect health.  

Kevin was an auto mechanic and worked on motors. He loved the outdoors, hunting, riding motorcycles, his Jeep, books, hockey, and attending hockey games. He was a dirt track racer which included many wrecks and loved going to Daytona.  

Kevin was greeted by PFC Joshua Burrows; Uncle Wilmor Emory; grandparents; aunts; uncles and cousins.  He is survived by his parents; sister and brother-in-law, Donna and Charlie O’Neal; daughter and son-in-law, Heather and Seth Harshfield; grandchildren, McKenzie and Ian Harshfield; niece, Rhiannon Burrows; numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.  

A funeral service celebrating the life of Kevin will be held at 11:00 AM, Tuesday, August 9, 2022, at Open Door Fellowship Church in Coushatta with Pastor Thumper Miller officiating. Interment will follow in Mt. Zion Cemetery in Hall Summit. The family will receive friends at 10:00 AM prior to service time at the church. The services are under the direction of Kilpatrick’s Rose-Neath Funeral Home.  

Honoring Kevin as pallbearers will be Blake Moseley, Jack Moseley, Jason Moseley, Paul Moseley, Terry Shafer and Alan Snead. 


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Weekly Arrest Report

Report from the Red River Sheriff’s Office for July 27-August 5, 2022.

This information has been provided by a law enforcement agency as public information. Persons named or shown in photographs or video as suspects in a criminal investigation, or arrested and charged with a crime, have not been convicted of any criminal offense and are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.


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One of Journal’s $3,000 NSU scholarships goes to Red River’s Hogan

Red River High School graduate Ryder Hogan didn’t settle on his college choice during the school year, but his impressive record of academics and extracurricular activities earned him a $3,000 scholarship to attend Northwestern State University in 2022-23.

Hogan, 18, has received one of the new Journal Services NSU Scholarships, which will award three new Northwestern students up to $3,000 in the next school year. Lakeview High’s Meagan Corley was the first recipient to be announced, and the final winner will be acknowledged shortly.

Hogan graduated cum laude with a 3.5 grade point average and earned membership in the National Honor Society. He has earned certification in carpentry in levels 1 and 2 while at RRHS.

A native of nearby Pelican, Hogan earned all-district honors in two sports. He was honored as a kicker and punter for Red River’s outstanding football team and earned first-team all-district in baseball as a utility player.

The scholarships were designed to assist Class of 2022 high school students who hadn’t settled on a college choice, or students currently enrolled at other higher-education institutions who are considering transferring to NSU in Natchitoches.

They are being provided by Journal Services, LLC, based in Natchitoches, which supports 12 locally-owned journals covering north central and northwest Louisiana.

“We congratulate Ryder and the other two scholarship winners,” said Bill Vance, general manager of Journal Services LLC. “We were gratified by the response to this opportunity and are committed to expanding the opportunities and providing more support for new Northwestern State University students for the 2023-24 school year.”

Applicants provided their high school GPA (and college GPA if applicable), and also, reported their ACT score along with listing honors, extracurricular activities and other relevant information on the form. That information provided a basis for selecting the three winners.

Scholarship winners must live in Natchitoches Parish during the upcoming school year. They are also required to have in-person, face-to-face instruction for 75 percent of their classes in 2022-23.


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Police Jury heard plans for new electric transmission line

A new high voltage electric transmission system is planned to go from Texas to Mississippi.  The route will take it through northern Red River Parish.  The Red River Parish Police Jury was given an update and a glimpse at a map of the route at the August meeting on Wednesday.

Emory Belton and Trey Wilkerson of Southern Spirit Transmission appeared before the jury to report that planning and acquisition of right of way is now going on.  Belton explained that the project had been on hold a number of years to answer objections to it by the state of Texas.  Those objections have been answered and the project is again underway.

Belton emphasized that this is a private project to transmit electricity and none of it will be going to utilities in this state.  Belton said, “It will have no impact on rates. We will build a converter station in the area of Mansfield, ship the electricity across the state, to another converter station to be built in Mississippi.”

Where will the parish benefit?  Belton said landowners will be compensated if the line crosses their land, there will be local workers hired to construct the towers and other facilities, and the project should increase the tax base for the parish.

As for the cost, Belton did not have a figure for the Red River portion. He said, “The expenditure will be 500 to 600 million dollars.  A parish-by-parish economic impact has not been determined.

Trey Wilkerson is the land man, doing surveys for acquisition of the right of way.  He said, “There has been no pushback from landowners.  We will continue to answer questions from the police jury and the public.”

A map of the proposed route was presented to the jury by Belton who said, “This is a draft, and I will need to get it back.”  He also supplied a copy for local media to view.  The route through the parish is just south of the Caddo, Bossier and Bienville parish lines.  It runs north of Hall Summit.

The Journal requested to photograph the map for inclusion with this report.  Our request was denied.  The Journal reminded Belton that anything presented in an open, public meeting becomes public.  He still denied the Journal’s request and collected the copy of the map we viewed as well as the copies handed out to the individual police jurors.


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Fire Department upgrading response to local emergencies

The Red River Parish Fire District is hosting its very first in-house Emergency Medical Responder course. Over the past nine months Chief John Woodfin, Firefighter Randall Bradley , and Volunteer Firefighter Mary James have been working on getting Red River Parish Fire District approved as an EMS Education program. With the help of Medical Director, Dr. Wyche Coleman, the Red River Parish Fire District has been approved.

Over the next few weeks, firefighters will receive over 50 hours of EMS training. This training will include many topics, from bleeding control to cardiac arrest management, patient assessments, and many other topics.

After this course, our firefighters will receive their Emergency Medical Responder certification through the Louisiana Bureau of EMS, and Basic life support certification through American Heart Association. In addition to EMS training, each firefighter has received over 150 hours of firefighter training since January of this year.

Chief John Woodfin said, “We are committed to our community working every day to make sure we are ready for any emergency call.  After the completion of this 60 hour course, fire department units will go along with EMS on emergency calls in the parish.”


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Guest speaker at Celebrate Recovery

By Virgie Rose

On Thursday, August 11, 2022, there will be a guest speaker at Celebrate Recovery (CR) in Coushatta. George W. will share his story.  He is pictured with CR Ministry leader Sandy Scott.  George lives in Hall Summit and is a member of Social Springs Church.  He spent ten years in the Marine Corps and is a Vietnam veteran.  He also worked for the United States Postal Service.

In 2017, he almost died.  At the time, he was an alcoholic with so much hatred in his heart that he had a “hit list” in his back pocket of the people he was going to kill.  But God —  God had other plans.  He convicted George and George gave his life to Christ.  Since that time, he loves to share his story of redemption and recovery in both words and song.  His story is one you do not want to miss.

CR is a God-centered 12-step program for all hurts, hangups and habits – chemical and otherwise.  It helps individuals not only deal with their hurt, hangup or habit but discover the root of their problem and become a new creature.

CR meets every Thursday evening at Open Door Fellowship Church, 285 Esperanza Rd, Coushatta.  A meal is served at 5:30 p.m.  Large group (either a testimony or lesson) is at 6 pm followed by small groups at 7 pm. 

If you are curious about CR, August 11 would be a good night to “check it out.


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It’s Too Hot to Fish!

By Steve Graf

So, with temperatures exceeding the 100-degree mark this summer, that means it’s too hot to fish! From an angler’s perspective, anytime temperatures are above the 95-degree mark, I need to be doing something else besides wetting a hook. Today we’ll look at a few ways to pass the time and get some things done around the house…projects or “honey do’s” that maybe you’ve been putting off from this past spring when the big ones were biting.

The first place I start is by cleaning up and cleaning out my boat. I always like to remove all the rods and empty all storage boxes in the boat. Then I vacuum the entire boat, front to back. I like to clean my live wells while I’m in the cleaning mode. I use a live well cleaner by Fish Care Products that does a great job of getting those water ring stains out and will make your live wells look like new. I’ll also clean my cooler with another great product called Cooler-D-Funk. It totally cleans and deodorizes the entire cooler. 

Now is also a great time to do a job that many anglers hate; check the water levels on your batteries. The biggest problem in most boats is getting to the batteries. One thing boat manufacturer have not figured out yet is how to build a boat where things are more accessible, especially in the back well of the boat. As much as I hate this job, it is a great time to do this chore before I head into the fall fishing season, and it will prolong the life of your batteries. 

After this, I’ll check for wrapped fishing line on the props on both the outboard engine and the trolling motor. This is something I do often during the fishing season due to the fact there are so many anglers on the water now which means more fishing lines in the water. Nothing can do more damage to your trolling or your outboard engine than old, discarded fishing line.  It will totally eat the seals up and cause major damage, not only to your motors, but your pocketbook as well.

Now other than boat maintenance, I’ll do a few other things like reorganize my fishing cave, or what I call “Graf Mart,” which is a total disaster after the spring is over. I’ll also check the dates on every rod to make sure I have fresh line on each before I head to the fall tournaments. Several anglers have noticed my dating on each rod and wondered why I do it. Two reasons…first, I always know what size line is on each reel and I label the month that line was put on. This way I always know if I have old or fresh line on every reel. Always remember, the most important connection between you and the fish is your fishing line.

These are just a few of the things I do during the dog days of summer when I have no desire to be on the water with sweat dripping off my nose and running down the back of my shorts. While I’m thinking about it, it’s also a great time to see your dermatologist and have those suspect areas checked. Even though I’ve been very conscious about protecting my skin with sunscreen, clothing, and proper headwear, I still had a spot turn into Melanoma. You don’t want this to happen, so don’t put this off and think it will just go away. Bad skin spots will turn into something deadly very quickly. I’m one of the lucky ones in that I only had one spot on my upper left ear where Melanoma had set up camp. Which, by the time you read this article, I will have had part of my upper left ear cut out. The good news…after a full body PET scan, everything was negative internally. What a blessing that we caught it early! Don’t take skin protection lightly! Till next time, good luck, good fishing, wear proper clothing and don’t forget your sunscreen!!!!


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Riverdale football kicks off August Nineteenth

The Riverdale Rebels begin the 2022 football season on the road.  They will play at Prairie View Academy on August 19th.  It is a non-conference game.

Riverdale will play five home games, concluding on October 21st when Franklin Academy comes to town.  That will be a non-conference game.

Conference contests this year are vs Tensas Academy at home, Franklin Academy on the road, and Wilkinson County on the road.

Click on the link below for the complete schedule.


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OPPORTUNITY: Substitute Teachers

Red River Parish School District is looking for qualified substitute teachers for the 2022-2023 school year.

In order to qualify, you must:

Have a valid driver’s license and social security card

Pass a drug screen and background check

Have a high school diploma or GED

Must be 21 years or older

There is a $25.00 application fee that must be paid when you apply.

Please see Ginny Hines at the Red River Parish School Board office at 1922 Alonzo St here in Coushatta.


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