Combat Flag Presented to High School

Jonathan Marston grew up in Red River Parish. He is a graduate of Hall Summit High School and a former commander of the National Guard unit at the Coushatta armory. Marston returned home last Friday night with a flag flown in combat to present to the high school.

Marston was a guest at the Military Ball last Friday night. Currently he is the First Sargent of Charlie Company of the 155th Armored Brigade at Natchez, Mississippi. He brought with him a beautifully cased American Flag and Certificate stating that it had been flown in combat over the classified base where Marston’s unit was stationed on August 4th, 2018.

Marston said his unit had been deployed to Kuwait, Syria and Iraq on a classified mission in the fight against ISIS. “We were being transported from Kuwait to an undisclosed location in Syria aboard an Air Force C-130 when the plane came under fire,” said Marston. His described what happened, “The pilot performed a fast descent combat landing and we hit hard. Our unit engaged the enemy and drove them back about 150 miles to a much smaller area.” He said this is the last stronghold village held by ISIS.

Red River High Principal JC Dickey accepted the flag. “We’ll find a special place in the gym trophy case to display it,” said Dickey, “This is a high traffic area and most of the people in the parish will see it when they come to ball games.”

Train Blocks Hwy 509

Workers headed to International Paper’s Mansfield Mill Thursday had to take a detour. Highway 509 was blocked at LA 1 by a Union Pacific freight train. Here is the notice from the state highway department:

ROAD CLOSURE: LA 509 at intersection of LA 1, Red River Parish

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development advises motorists that, effective immediately, LA 509 at its intersection with LA 1 in Red River Parish is closed due to a train derailment. The railroad company is on site assessing the situation, working to return the rail cars to the track. Motorists are advised to expect possible traffic congestion on LA 1 as equipment is being moved into the area.

The Journal spoke with Burt Malenado, Union Pacific Safety Manager on the scene Thursday morning. Malenado said that no cars of the train left the tracks but there was a problem with several. He said it is difficult to get to the derailment site. A number of big trucks lined both sides of Highway 1 just north of LA 509. They had been used to transport heavy equipment to the scene.

New Autism Support Group

A new support group for parents and families of children with Autism has formed in this area. A local pastor will speak at their April meeting. And the organizer is trying to get the word out in Red River.

Lela Harvey told the Journal the group is “Voices 4 Autism.” Harvey said, “That’s the name of the autism parent support group. Because we as parents of children that have been diagnosed with autism are their the voices. That is why I named it Voices 4 Autism.”

Bro. Clyde Miley from Red River Cowboy Church is scheduled to be a special guest at the April 6th meeting. Harvey said he will speak on the Therapeutic Riding Program at the church. It is available to anyone with Autism.

Also scheduled to be at the April meeting will be Jay Bamburg, Clinical Director of Behavioral Specialists of Louisiana.

Voices 4 Autism will meet April 6th from 2:00 to 3:30 pm at the Natchitoches Parish Library, 3rd Floor meeting room. For additional information call Lela Harvey at 318-529-0638.

Sign Up for Head Start Begins March 28th

Red River Early Childhood Network will hold registration for 3 and 4 year old preschool programs Thursday March 28 & Friday March 29 form 9-12. You may register for both RRES and Pine Belt Head Start programs at Red River Elementary School on those dates. This is a joint enrollment/registration.

Parents will complete 1 application for 4 year old or 3 year old preschool. Child must be 4 before October 1 for 4 year old pk and 3 before October 1 for 3 year old preschool classes. Children will be matched based on Program Eligibility and Preference when available.

Parents must bring all documentation to register. Must have: Parent Picture ID (Record of person Registering child), Child’s Birth Certificate, Child’s Immunization Record (must be current), Child’s Social Security Card, Proof of Residence in the parish (current utility bill, signed lease, rent receipt, etc. All bills must have parent/legal guardian’s name and address listed); Proof of Income for every adult in household (2 Consecutive check stubs, snap/food stamps letter (must include child’s name and valid effective dates). SSI benefits statement along with 2 current check stubs, foster care placement agreement)

You must have all documents to complete the registration process. No exceptions will be made, and no slots will be held.

Application/Registration does not guarantee a placement into a class. For More Information Contact Christy Suggs at 932-9290. From Christy Suggs, Red River Elementary School, Early Childhood.

Fourth Grader Wins State Americanism Award

The Americanism Program presented by the Louisiana Veterans of Foreign Wars has selected a student in Joey Miller’s fourth grade at Red River Elementary as one of the best entrants in the 2018 Americanism Competition. He is Zachary Hassen.

The local VFW Post and Auxiliary 7287 conducted the local competition among Red River and Bienville Parish schools. Of the hundreds of elementary students participating, Hassen’s entry was selected as the best entry at the post level. Hassen’s entry was sent to VFW District 12 where it was also selected as the best entry. Then on to the state level. Hassen’s drawing came in third best in Louisiana.

This week Principal Shenell Deville called Hassen to the office. There he was surprised when presented with a certificate of accomplishment, a trophy with his name engraved upon it from the state VFW, and checks from the local post and VFW District 12.

Other winners presented certificates and cash awards were Jonathan Curry, Layla McMillan and Makilah Murphy.

Lenten Lunches Wednesday

Lent is a season of preparation, proclaimed Dr. Curtis Carroll, pastor of First United Methodist Church in Coushatta. Carroll is leading the church in presenting a series of Lenten Lunches each Wednesday at noon for the community.

Each week a different clergyman from the area brings the message. Wednesday’s speaker was Doug Cain of First Methodist in Natchitoches. Cain served briefly as interim pastor here in Coushatta. His message Wednesday was about our call to serve and he based it upon Isaiah chapter six.

Cain recalled Isaiah’s call from God, the cleansing of his lips by the cherub with the hot coal, and Isaiah’s response, “Here I am, send me.” Cain said, “If you are called by God to do something you will never be happy until you fulfill that call. And sometimes the call involves change. It was a hard word for Isaiah to hear and it is tough for us to hear also.”

Cain concluded, “If we are to accompany Jesus through the season of Lent, we are called to change. That may be a hard thing, that change.”

The speaker next week is Father Nicholas from St. George’s Catholic Church in Coushatta. You are invited to come for a delicious meal and a great message. The Lenten Lunch series is Wednesday at noon at First Methodist Church on Front Street. There is no charge.

Leadership Event Photo Album

The new leader of 4-H in Red River Parish has hit the ground running. Since she introduced herself at a recent meeting of the Police Jury, Jacque Fontenot has been busy with the students in 4-H.

On April 14th, Fontenot reports there was a leadership meeting at the 4-H office in the parish administration building next to the courthouse. She provided photos of the participants for the album.

Job Opening: CP-TEL Network Engineer

(Will train up the right Candidate)

Job Description:

CP-Tel is a voice, video and internet service provider that serves 6 communities in Northwest Louisiana. CP-Tel is looking to expand our Network Operations Department. CP-Tel is located in a historic vibrant community in Natchitoches, Louisiana. If you’re interested in working with a variety of technologies, protocols and carrier-grade platforms, CP-Tel is the place for you.

Responsibilities Include:

Assisting in the operation, administration, and maintenance (OAM) of the Ethernet/IP networks, DWDM and Metro Ethernet networks, IPTV/multicast network, and voice network.
Providing top tier technical support for voice, video, and data services.
Assisting in project management within the Network Operations Department.
Documenting various aspects of the network, such as network diagrams and circuit layout records.
Participating in an on-call rotation.
Working in our Network Operations Center

Technical Knowledge Preferred:

OSI Model
Layer 2 Ethernet switching
Metro Ethernet
Interior and exterior routing protocols (EIGRP, OSPF, BGP)
Cisco IOS, IOS-XE, and IOS-XR
DC power plant and inverters

Certifications and Qualifications Preferred:

3+ years experience

Pay Range:

Very Competitive with excellent Benefits.

Email resume and salary requirements to or mail to:

CP-Tel, Attn: Human Resources, PO Box 777, Natchitoches, LA 71458

For additional information about our company, check out our website at

For additional information about our community, check out


ETC… for Friday, March 22nd

A tentative date has been selected for the Riverdale Academy Color Run. They are planning to have the run on Saturday, May 11th.

The Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office posted that they are “attempting to update contact information for local livestock owners. If you own or manage one or more head of livestock located in our parish, please contact Red River Communications at 318-932-4221 to confirm or update your contact information. This is helpful when deputies are dispatched on calls relating to loose livestock.

At Riverdale Academy the first day of spring was celebrated with the planting of trees. Here is the post:

“Sarah Elias with Red River SWCD and Erica Baxley with NRCS visited our school today (March 20) to celebrate the first day of spring! They planted apples trees, a pear tree and spoke a little on each tree. The kids enjoyed it so much, they were all so eager to help! The Trees were donated by Red River SWCD.”

State Police are offering free child seat checks at Airline High School in Bossier City on Saturday from 11:00 am until 2:00 pm. It is about an hour away, but it could save a child’s life. State police report a high number of child restraint seats are not used properly.

Abundant Life posts that Steve and Teri Spears will be their special guests on Sunday. They will be at morning worship beginning at 10:30 am at Abundant Life Worship Center on Ashland Road.

Mayor Presents Coushatta Student of the Year

The 2019 Coushatta Student of the Year is Kinya Gray. She is a fifth grader at Red River Elementary. Her list of accomplishments include serving as President of BETA Club at the school.

With the Town Council looking on, Mayor Johnny Cox read the proclamation naming Kinya Gray as recipient of the Mayor’s Award. And she was named Town of Coushatta Student of the Year. Miss Gray’s mother and grandmother accompanied her to the Town Council meeting on March 12th to receive the award.