COVID-19 Vaccinations Thursday at Rivertown

Shane Hubbard, Director of the Red River Parish Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness said there will be a COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic held at Rivertown Market on Thursday.  The clinic will be 9:00 am until 1:00 pm on March 4th.

People 65 and older or 55 with an underlying medical condition (below is a list), and qualified healthcare professional(listed below) will be allowed a vaccine.  Hubbard said appointments must be made in advance.

Lsuhs.edu  is where you will find the public registration link.  Please share this link with the public and encourage people to register before the day of the event.  Registering ahead of time is how we gage how much vaccine to bring.  We will bring enough for folks to register on site.

Below is a list of folks eligible to get the vaccine:

 Limited amounts of COVID vaccines are available only for:

  • Persons 65 and older
  • Dialysis providers and patients
  • Ambulatory and outpatient providers and staff

o  Behavioral health providers and staff

o  Urgent care clinic providers and staff

o  Community care providers and staff

o  Dental providers and staff

o  Non-emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) providers and staff

  • Professional home care providers (including hospice workers) and home care recipients (including older and younger people with disabilities over the age of 16 who receive community or home-based care, as well as clients of home health agencies)
  • American Sign Language (ASL) and foreign language interpreters and Support Service Providers (SSPs) working in community and clinic-based settings, and clients who are both deaf and blind
  • Health-related support personnel (lab staff, mortuary staff who have contact with corpses, pharmacy staff)
  • Schools of allied health students, residents and staff
  • Law enforcement and other first responders
  • Louisiana Unified Command Group
  • State and local essential COVID emergency response personnel
  • Some elections staff ahead of March and April elections
  • Teachers and any other support staff working on site in K-12 or daycare
  • All pregnant persons
  • Individuals ages 55-64 with at least one of the conditions listed by the CDCas placing them at an “increased risk of severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19.” Persons with the following qualifying underlying medical conditions are advised to complete the Louisiana COVID-19 Vaccine Attestation Form, before their appointment, to receive the vaccine:

o  Cancer

o  Chronic kidney disease

o  COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)

o  Down syndrome

o  Heart conditions including but not limited to heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies

o  Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant

o  Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30kg/m2 or higher but less than 40kg/m2)

o  Severe obesity (BMI greater than 40kg/m2)

o  Sickle cell disease

o  Smoking

o  Type 2 diabetes mellitus


Making Up Lost Time

Alison N. Hughes, Superintendent, Red River Parish School Board sent out information to students, teachers and parents on making up classroom time lost due to the recent winter storm.  Note the dates in this statement on your family calendar.

Red River Bulldog Family:
The last two weeks have been a trying time for us all. We know that you have been struggling with snow, ice, lack of electricity, and lack of water.  Our school system family has experienced the same issues. With these and other interruptions in our educational environment, we have lost important instructional time. Red River Parish School District has formulated a plan to address the lost instructional opportunities for all students. 

We need to make up four full days of instruction before the end of our school year.  We also will need to make up lost intersession days to address individual needs for students.  To make up the four full days of instruction we will use the days of April 26, 27, 28, and 29, 2021.  These days are listed on the present school calendar as Intersession days and will now become required instructional days for ALL students.  Our Spring break will only be the week of May 3-7, 2021.  The District calendar will reflect this change in the coming days. 

Our option for intersession (remediation) days has now changed to address this loss of individualized help. We have designated some of our virtual Fridays as intersession (remediation) days.  These Fridays will be open to ALL students who want to attend and will be required for students who are in danger of failing classes or subjects.  The Fridays that will become intersession days are:
March 12
March 26
April 16
April 30
May 14
June 11

Administrators at RRES, RRJH, and RRHS will identify students who are required to attend and will inform parents in a timely manner.  All students will be invited to attend any of the days listed. All Red River School Buses will run regular bus routes on the Fridays listed.

Students at Red River Academic Academy are required to attend school all of the Fridays listed in addition to the four make up days in April. All Red River School Buses will run regular bus routes on the Fridays listed.

Students at Ware Youth Center are required to attend school all of the Fridays listed in addition to the four make up days in April.

Our hope is that we will not have any more interruptions to our school year. We are realistic enough to know that it could happen.  This plan covers us for the days we have been out to this date. Your understanding and continued support is appreciated.  If you have questions or need more information, you may call your child’s school. 


Boil Advisory Update

Town of Coushatta:

Service has been restored to all customers.  Town workers are still repairing leaks that appeared after the snow and ice melted.  The boil advisory was lifted last Friday.

Hickory Grove Water System:

The system is no longer under boil advisory.  All samples sent to be tested came back clear.  The Boil Advisory was lifted on Tuesday. 

Fairview-Union Water System:

Kylie Shaw said they have sent samples for testing.  On Tuesday, Shaw said she expected to get results back and lift the boil advisory late Tuesday or Wednesday.

Social Springs Water System:

The boil advisory for our North (Bienville Parish) well has been lifted. Thank all of y’all for your cooperation and patience.

Martin Water System:

No Update

Hall Summit Water System:

No Update


Riverdale Rebels State Runner-Ups, Lady Rebels Take 4th Place

By Molly Seales

The past week and weekend did not play out the way the Riverdale Rebels and Lady Rebels had hoped for, but both teams had outstanding seasons and made the Riverdale fans proud.  The Lady Rebels finished 4th in Class A, while the Rebels are Class A Runner-Up.  Both teams played semi-final games on Friday, February 26.  The Lady Rebels fell to Desoto School by a score of 55-37.  Junior Kenley Loftin and 7th grader Mary Claire Jones led the Lady Rebels in scoring with 9 points each.  Loftin also pulled down an impressive 18 rebounds and had 2 blocked shots.  Jones pulled down 2 rebounds and had a steal.  Jessie Kate Cobb had 6 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 steals.  Pacey Lindsey also had 6 points and grabbed 4 rebounds.  Ronda Black had 5 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists. Rylee Kate Woodard had 2 points, 5 assists, and 4 rebounds. This loss put them into the consolation bracket for Saturday.

The Rebels played an exciting semi-final game against Delta Academy, coming out on top with a final score of 66-65.  With 16 seconds left and the Rebels down by 1, the ball was inbounded to junior guard Ty Jones.  He drove the length of the floor as the Rebels spread the offense to clear out the lane.  With the clock winding down, Jones drove into the lane and shot a barely contested lay-up that put the Rebels up 66-65 with 2.4 seconds left in the game.  Delta managed to get the ball down the floor, but a wild 3 point shot failed to go in, and the Rebels came out on top. Jones led all scorers with 29 points. He also had 7 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 assists, and 1 blocked shot. Parker Almond added 14 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 steal. Denver Williams added 8 points and had 6 rebounds. Garrett Wilhite had 6 points and 4 rebounds, while Paul Messenger had 6 points, 5 rebounds, and 1 assist. Caden Long had 3 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists. Reagan Huddleston led his team in rebounds, pulling down an impressive 9 boards. Reagan also had 2 steals.

On Saturday in the girls’ consolation bracket, the Lady Rebels fell to the Briarfield Rebels 58-38.  Junior Kenley Loftin again led her team in scoring with 13 points. She also pulled down 5 rebounds. Sophomore Jessie Kate Cobb had 8 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steal. Senior Ronda Black added 7 points and had 2 rebounds, 2 assists, and 3 steals. Rylee Kate Woodard added 4 points, 3 rebounds, and 1 assist. Pacey Lindsey had 2 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, and a steal. Renee Prosperie had 2 points and 5 rebounds, while Mary Claire Jones added 2 points.

Saturday night the Rebels took on the Delta Streets Lions, who have been ranked #1 in the MAIS Coach’s Poll all year.  The Rebels held their own with them during the first half, but in the second half the Lions got hot and never looked back.  The Rebels suffered a heartbreaking 74-47 loss, which made them Class A State Runner Up.  In the finals, Ty Jones put up 25 points.  He also had 6 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals. Reagan Huddleston again led his team in rebounds with 9 boards, and he also deflected 6 passes.  Parker Almond scored 8 points, had 6 rebounds, had 4 assists, and had 4 steals. Paul Messenger added 5 points and 3 rebounds, while Denver Williams had 4 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 steals. Caden Long had 3 points, 1 assist, and 1 steal, while Garrett Wilhite had 2 points, 3 rebounds, and 1 assist.

Junior Kenley Loftin was named to the Class A All Tournament team for the second year in a row.  Last year she made it as a sophomore who came off the bench to spark her team in the state championship tournament. I asked Kenley how she felt about being named to the all- tournament team and she said, “I am super blessed for the opportunity to play basketball this season with my teammates. It’s such an honor to receive an award for my hard work.” Seniors Parker Almond and Paul Messenger, and junior Ty Jones were named to the Class A All Tournament team for the boys. 

The Rebels will host the first overall tournament game against Christian Collegiate at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 3rd.  Come out and support the Rebels or follow them live on Journal Sports!


Acquatic Weed Kill

A blessing from the recent ice and snow storm may be control of acquatic weeds that are found in local bodies of water.  Grand Bayou Reservoir had a recent draw-down to help combat the nuisance of invasive species.

District 22 State Representative Gabe Firment is hopeful that the cold helped.  Firment said, “Louisiana Wildlife & Fisheries is hopeful that the recent Arctic blast killed much of the Giant Salvinia plaguing our lakes. This would be great news for those who live and play on Iatt, Nantachie, Hardwater, Saline, Clear, and Black Lakes.”

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries called it, “Ready for some good news? Louisiana’s recent extreme weather will result in a reduction of harmful aquatic weeds across the state.”

LDWF is currently evaluating impacts of the freeze on aquatic vegetation coverage; it will take several weeks for all the dead plants to decompose and drop from the water surface. 

Aquatic weeds can become incredibly dense, inhibiting access to waterways and shading out native vegetation. To help control the impacts of these kinds of “invasive species,” we encourage boaters to be diligent with cleaning boat trailers after a day on the water.

When springtime weather returns, you can request LDWF assistance for areas with actively growing aquatic vegetation here: www.wlf.louisiana.gov/page/controlling-aquatic-plants-and-enhancing-freshwater-habitat (Click on “Request Assistance with Invasive Aquatic Vegetation”).


Faith of a Cowgirl

By Hayley Loe

Saturday’s murky morning filled with fog and rain showers were not enough to stop the Red River Cowboy Church from performing its 7th annual Faith of a Cowgirl, Women’s Conference. Even before the service started the church was filled with laughter and music by Becky Kniffin greeting all who entered.  Though the churches numbers had fallen for this event due to COVID-19, it was still buzzing with excitement to give the news of the gospel to those in attendance. 

The church focused on giving the message that God is making everything new, which Kristie Moore said is a message that everyone could use in these trying times. Everyone has been struggling and we wanted to focus on making things new, because the sun has come out, and it’s a new day. 

LeAnn Hart, the speaker of the service hopes that the message reaches the women to the core and hopes that women come and don’t leave without receiving the lord. Her message mainly focused on what grace has erased and hopes to further help women receive the Lord in their lives. 

The Red River Cowboy Church plans to continue this service in hopes of reaching more women in the many years to come.


Marion Morrison’s Moniker

By Brad Dison

In 1907, Marion Robert Morrison was born to Clyde and Molly Morrison in Winterset, Iowa. Before his tenth birthday, the Morrisons moved to Glendale, California, where his father worked as a pharmacist.  Marion excelled at Glendale High School.  He was an overachiever who did well in academics as well as in sports.  He played on the football team, was on the debate team, contributed articles to the school’s newspaper, and, in 1925, was the president of his senior class.

Marion’s impressive high school transcript earned him a football scholarship to the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.  The scholarship covered tuition, $280/year, and, because he was on the football team, his scholarship included one meal a day during weekdays.  Eugene Clarke, a longtime friend and teammate of Marion, said “we sort of had to scratch around for our other meals and for all of our meals on weekends.”  Eugene added with a grin, “We were always pretty hungry by Monday morning.”

Marion’s school work ethic was just as strong at USC as it was at Glendale High School.  Marion and several of his high school friends joined Sigma Chi fraternity.  During one college party, a fight broke out.  Marion cleverly filled his mouth with ketchup.  When several guys turned their sites on Marion, he put his fists up and allowed the ketchup to flow slowly from his mouth.  Rather than hit Marion, the guys felt bad for him and let him go.  Marion’s quick thinking all but ended the fight.  Then, Marion started to laugh.  Realizing they had been had, the guys started the fight anew with Marion as their main target.  

During the summer between Marion’s sophomore and junior year, Marion went bodysurfing with friends in the Pacific Ocean.  Surfers generally use a surfboard or some other type of floatation device to surf high waves.  Bodysurfers, on the other hand, use no floatation device, but use only their bodies to ride the waves.  Bodysurfers swim out into deep water and watch for a powerful advancing wave.  The bodysurfers turn and swim back toward the beach.  Once the wave reaches them, they hold their bodies in a rigid position with their backs slightly arched, which allows them to ride the wave.  Marion bodysurfed a large wave only too well.  He rode the wave into shallow water and struck the ocean floor with such force that it broke his collarbone.  His afternoon of bodysurfing ended his football career and, more importantly, his scholarship.  Marion was in financial trouble.  He owed more money than he made at his various odd jobs.  He owed his former fraternity money for membership dues in addition to room and board.  Unable to afford tuition and fraternity fees without the scholarship, Marion was forced to drop out of college.    

Marion had no prospects, no money, and no place to live.  A friend of Marion’s convinced his parents to allow Marion to live in a small room above their garage until he got back on his feet.  USC football coach Howard Jones helped Marion secure a part-time job as a prop man and day laborer at Fox Studios.  Marion had no aspirations at acting.  He just needed a job.    

In 1928, Marion moved from behind the camera to in front of it when he landed a small movie roll.  The small role came with a small pay increase.  For two years, Marion played bit parts and an occasional lead part in a few mostly forgettable low budget films.  In 1930, he got his first starring role in a movie which had a budget in excess of $1 million.  Marion fit director Raoul Walsh’s formula for the part.  Raoul wanted an actor who was six foot three or over, had no hips, and had a face which fit in a sombrero, characteristics which Marion had.  Fox executives assigned an acting coach to help Marion develop his manner of speaking, walking, subtle movements, and other minor details.  Marion detested the strict regimen and failed to take his acting coach seriously.  Finally, the acting coach quit with a final harsh remark; “If you live to be 100 years old, you will never become an actor.”  Raoul was unconcerned because he believed in Marion’s acting ability.  The movie was a commercial flop.  

For another decade, Fox executives demoted Marion back to low budget, mostly forgettable films, for which he received little pay.  Whereas most big budget movies took months to make, many of the movies Marion appeared in were shot in just a few days.  His movie career seemed at an end, but, because of the Great Depression, Marion was glad to have a job.  He worked as often as he could, was always on time, always knew his lines, often performed his own stunts, and did whatever was possible to improve the picture.  After working on several musical films which required him to lip sync due to his inability to sing, Marion made a single demand.  He refused to “sing” on film.  Marion was in no position to make any demands, but luck seemed to be on his side.

Legendary director John Ford had an upcoming project for which he thought Marion would be a perfect fit.  Movie producers disagreed with Ford, but Ford argued that rather than getting a big star, which would be expensive, they could get Marion “for peanuts.”  Ford failed to mention that he had watched several of Marion’s films and saw potential.  Finally, the studio relented and Ford cast Marion.  During filming, Ford purposefully treated Marion cruelly.  Ford wanted to break Marion of his bad acting habits, and wanted the other, more established actors to feel sorry for Marion so that they would help improve his acting ability.  Ford’s cruelty paid off as the film was nominated for best picture along with Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and several others.  The best picture Oscar went to Gone with the Wind. 

Despite not winning the Oscar for best picture, Marion’s status as an actor gradually improved, as did the budget for the films he worked on.  Marion eventually became more than a movie star; he became an icon.  Despite the fact that he died in 1979, more than four decades ago, Marion has always ranked in the top ten of “America’s Favorite Movie Stars” according to the Harris Poll.  Marion is the only person who has never dropped off of the top 10 list since 1993, the first year the Harris Poll was published.  Fox executives disliked the name Marion Morrison and decided on a new name.  Marion suggested they use his childhood nickname, which they quickly rejected.  For the rest of his life, Marion’s devoted fans called him “Duke,” the name Fox executives rejected.  Fox executives settled instead on a moniker for Marion which has become symbolic of a tough, honest, all American man.  They created the name… John Wayne.       

Sources:  

1.  The Harris Poll. “Tom hanks is America’s favorite movie star….” Accessed February 15, 2021. theharrispoll.com/his-roles-over-the-years-have-taken-him-into-the-past-and-the-future-out-into-space-and-even-into-a-childs-toy-chest-and-this-year-tom-hanks-currently-in-theaters-as-attorney-jame/.

2.  Jewell, Rick. “John Wayne, an American Icon.” USC News. Accessed February 15, 2021. news.usc.edu/15621/john-wayne-an-american-icon/.


New Sheriff K-9 Handler

Congratulations to Ethan Sarpy and his new partner “Marco” with Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office on completing USK9 Handler Program.  Welcome to the USK9 Family.  We look forward to your continued success.  Stay safe out there.

Sheriff Edwards would like to congratulate Deputy Ethan Sarpy on successfully completing the USK9 Handler Program! His partner “Marco” is a two year old Belgian Malinois patrol K9 trained in narcotics detection and apprehension/controlled aggression. 

Deputy Sarpy and “Marco” will be a great addition to the department’s K-9 team, joining Sergeant Petersen and “Aron” as well as Deputy Thomas and “Cephira”.


Bulldog Season Ends

It was a chilly, dreary, damp night a long way from home Tuesday night when the Red River Bulldogs’ basketball season came to an end.  The Dawgs fell to a fast, skilled team from St. Helena College and Career Academy.  Final score 80 to 65.

Brandon Harris was a killer under the basket.  Someone would pass the ball to him and he would float it in the net.  He did this 15 times during the game, plus Harris put in two free throws to lead with 32 points.  D’Evan McDonald contributed three 3-point shots in a total of 15 he scored.  Other players did not have as good a night as they were used to.

The Hawks had two players score 20+ and two others 10+.  They were too much for the Bulldogs to overcome on Tuesday night.


Governor Imposes Modified Phase Three

Following almost six weeks of improvements in Louisiana’s COVID case counts and a sustained decrease in COVID-related hospitalizations, Louisiana will move forward to Phase 3.  That from Governor John Bel Edwards on Tuesday.

This will bring most COVID restrictions back to where they were last September. Louisiana’s statewide mask mandate, which has been in place since last July, will remain in place. The new order will last for 28 days and will expire March 31, 2021.