National Recognition for Elementary School Beta Club

From Principal Shenell Deville.

Red River Elementary School (RRES) BETA students were invited to compete in the National Songfest Competition due to our 2nd place award in the State Competition in January 2019.  RRES competed against 11 other schools across the United States and placed 2nd for the National Songfest competition in Oklahoma City, OK on Saturday evening, June 15.  BETA participants consisted of nineteen 5th Grade Students.

Because of our 2nd place award during the State Competition, we were able to select five of our students as Premier Performers to perform during  the opening general session on Saturday evening, June 15. They performed with other BETA students from different states. RRES Premier Performers were Makilah Murphy, Fa’Dasia Demery, Malique Smith, Kinya Gray, and Ja’skyla Williams. 

Along with participating in the competition, BETA Ball, and other convention activities during our five-day trip, students, district chaperones, and traveling parents had some fun exploring the Myriad Botanical Gardens, playing arcade games, bowling, and laser tag at Main Event, shopping and movies at the Quail Springs Mall next to the hotel, and  grilling hotdogs and swimming in the pool area of the hotel.

This is RRES second year with a BETA club, and we are strategically planning for the 2019-2020 BETA activities, academic and talented state competitions, and the membership process for students.  In the Spring of 2017, I charged Mrs. Tiffany Williams to establish an Elementary BETA Club. I  am thankful for her efforts along with Mrs. Ranette Crockett-Smith, 5th grade teacher who has assisted Mrs. Williams with preparing our students for their competitions and planning fundraisers to make this National win for the Parish of Red River possible.


The Zoo Draws a Crowd

A large crowd of children came to the Library to see the animals.  The Jubilee Zoo was in town as part of the Red River Parish Library’s summer reading program.  Children’s Librarian Kala Sims said the zoo draws the largest crowd every summer.

The children were excited and filled the side yard at the library.  There was only room inside the enclosure for about a dozen kids at a time, so they waited patiently in line.  That line wrapped all around the enclosure.  The children spent time in line petting some of the animals through the fence.

There was a miniature horse tied outside, and he got the attention of several of the larger children. Inside was a small cow.  And there were goats and sheep needing shearing, a white donkey, rabbits and chickens and even a large turtle.

Sims told the Journal the turnout for the Jubilee Zoo was even larger this summer than last. Parents and children were excited to pet the animals.  And for many kids they will have a lifelong memory of the event.


Local Students Earn Honors List at NSU

Outstanding academic performances were turned in by thirteen Red River Parish students attending NSU this spring. The school reported that six students achieved a 4.0 gpa to make the President’s list and another seven students earned 3.5 gpa or better to make the Dean’s List.

One thousand one hundred and thirty-one students were named to the Spring 2019 Dean’s List at Northwestern State University. Students on the list earned a grade point average of between 3.5 and 3.99. Those named to the Dean’s List from Coushatta are Colton Campbell, Elizabeth Cummins, Aaron Murray, Tianna Rock, Jon Russell, Mikailah Smith, and Caroline Wren.

The school said five hundred and sixty-four students were named to the Spring 2019 President’s List at Northwestern State University. Students on the list earned a grade point average of 4.0. Those named to the President’s List from Red River Parish are Sydney Anderson, Kaylee Antilley, Mary James, Sidney Jones, William Lee, and Carmie Williams.


Red River Football Kicks Off September 6th

The new turf surface at Pat Strother Memorial Field is nearly complete.  It looks great.  School Superintendent Alison Hughes said, “I go and check it every day, sometimes more than once a day.  It looks like they are moving at a snail’s pace, but I know they’re making progress in spite of the wet weather we are having.”

There are only two months until the start of football season.  The Bulldogs begin on the road, however their first home game is less than 90 days away.

On Friday night, September 20ththe Mansfield Wolverines come to town.  The new turf will be ready for the 2019 edition of this early season rivalry.  This will be the first of four home games for the Bulldogs.  On October 4thRed River will host Bunkie, On October 25thLakeview will come calling, and on November 1stAvoyelles High from Moreauville will be here to wrap up the home schedule.

Here is the complete Bulldog Football schedule:

Red River will scrimmage Bossier High at Bossier and the Bulldogs will have a Jamboree with Loyola at Loyola before the season begins.  Dates and times to be announced later.

September 6 – at Haughton

September 13 – at Arcadia

September 20 – Home vs Mansfield

September 27th– at Many

October 4 – Home vs Bunkie

October 11 – at Winnfield

October 18 – at Holy Savior Menard

October 25 – Home vs Lakeview

November 1 – Home vs Avoyelles

November 8 – at Northwood

On Thursday, Coach John Bachman said the Haughton and Northwood game start times and dates may be adjusted later.  Dates listed are tentative at present.

Get ready Bulldog Nation. The 2019 season is fast approaching. Journal Sports will provide live coverage of all games home and away.  Sign up for text message alerts by clicking the link below.

CLICK HERE – > Sports Signup

The Journal wishes to thank Ardis Almond for the great aerial view of the new field at Pat Strother Memorial Stadium.


ETC… for Wednesday June 26th

Here is a summary of their Vacation Bible School from Bro. James Hester:

“Blessed. That’s the best word I can think of to sum up this week’s VBS at Social Springs Baptist Church. We’ve had a wonderful group of kids and have heard some of the sweetest prayers and testimonies. The Lord put together an A-Team of volunteers who have worked together tirelessly and selflessly to keep it all about Jesus.  I love and appreciate y’all so much. Best of all, 4 new names were written down in Heaven. Ain’t God good?”

Have your children signed up for the summer reading program?  The Red River Parish Library is sponsoring “A Universe of Stories” this summer.  Whether you have a toddler, a big kid, or a teenager there is a reading program to challenge everyone.  Contact Kala Sims, Children’s Librarian at 932-5614.

Bring your children to the Library Monday afternoon for SciPort Space Adventure. The program will be “Constellation Stories and Planispheres”.  If you are curious, the Library said to come see what it is all about.

And a final note.  I went with the family to south Louisiana this past weekend. We stayed in a world famous branded hotel in the Crescent City.  The picture says it all, Community Coffee Condiments with some hotel brand coffee. I was expecting more!


Red River Students of the Month

Each month this school year a “Student of the Month” was selected by Red River Elementary, Red River Junior High and Red River High.  The students selected for the last month of school were introduced at the June School Board meeting on Monday night.  They are Neriah Lewis, Colton Massey and Ariuna Johnson.

Superintendent Alison Hughes noted the students’ accomplishments and read their nomination statements at the meeting.  Neriah Joy Lewis was the only student present and she was presented a certificate and gift card to Dairy Queen.  

Hughes read the nomination statement from Lewis’ teacher Edna Webb, “Neriah Joy Lewis is a very bright and intelligent little girl.  She is a great leader.  She gets along with all her classmates.”

The nominee from the Junior High is Colton Massey.  His nomination stated, “Colton’s passion is baseball, and he realized that grades are what allow him to play sports.  He was chosen as student of the month because of his perseverance and attitude toward education.  Even though he had his struggles, Colton was willing to stick it out, buckle down and make the grades that would keep him on the honor roll.”

And the High School Student of the Month for May is Ariuna Johnson.  She will be a junior next year.  Her nomination stated, “She’s been on the honor roll for the last two years, maintaining a 3.8 gpa.  She excels in the classroom and under the Friday night lights, dancing her heart out as a member of our dance team.  She’s a very friendly young lady with a big bright smile.  It is very seldom that you see her without a smile.  Ariuna has a character and motivation about her that is bound to land her on a successful path.”

The Student of the Month is recognized each month during the school year by the School Board and the Coushatta VFW Post and Auxiliary 7287.  Students selected by their schools are presented a certificate and gift card to Dairy Queen.  Recently, the VFW and Auxiliary renewed their commitment to sponsor the Student of the Month awards for next school year.


Springville Gym and Martin School To Be Sold

Two school sites that are in need of repair will be offered for sale by the Red River Parish School Board. The sites are not presently used by the school system and one has been vacant for over 20 years.  The Building and Grounds Committee discussed those two sites.

Board Finance Director, David Jones presented the condition of the sites to the board Monday night. Jones said of the Springville Gym, “It needs a lot of attention.  The roof on the old gym, in the back area, is leaking into back rooms.  We got a quote of a quarter million dollars to shore up the back side and put a new roof on the gym.  I don’t know what our long term needs are for that gym with all the new construction we are doing.”

“I want to get the board’s thoughts,” said Jones.  He said they are working to get a current appraisal.  Quotes received to tear the gym down are in the 25 to 60 thousand dollar range.  And Jones said they would have to get rid of asbestos first.

Board member Cleve Miller said the Springville Gym has sentiment in the community.  Miller said, “I would like to see us put it out there and see if there is anyone willing to purchase it for a community center.  For the community’s sake we should give them an opportunity.”

The committee recommended that an appraisal be obtained, and the property advertised for sale.

As for the Martin School site, Jones said, “The complex is 14.9 acres and the old high school building is dilapidated.  You can see the sky through the second story windows.” Tearing it down would not be cheap. Jones shocked the board when he said, “We had an asbestos guy tell us it would cost $219,000 to get rid of the asbestos. And 10 to 12 years ago we had it appraised at about $85,000.”  Jones described the old gym and cafeteria at Martin as “pretty well gone, but surprisingly the old gym floor is in good shape.”

There was talk of someone being interested in a long term lease with option to buy the Martin site. And there was discussion of the board’s liability as far as the asbestos situation is concerned.

The committee recommended that an appraisal be obtained, and the Martin site be offered for sale.  During the regular board meeting the committee’s recommendations were adopted.


Control Your Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is one of the most common chronic diseases in the US. It’s estimated that 1 in every 3 adults have high blood pressure. Blood pressure is the force of the blood on the walls of our blood vessels. When our blood pressure stays high for too long, it can damage the blood vessels and lead to other health problems. A normal, healthy blood pressure is 120/80 or below. If you have high blood pressure, medication can be helpful, but there are plenty of lifestyle changes you can make too!

Lose a Little Weight:If you’re overweight or obese, small amounts of weight loss (10-20 pounds) can help lower blood pressure.

Limit you Salt Intake:Try to limit high salt foods like cured meats, canned foods, and salty seasoning blends.

-Alcohol and Tobacco:Regular smoking and drinking are bad news for heart health and blood pressure. If moderation is challenging for you, consider quitting.  Go to:  https://www.lung.org/stop-smoking/i-want-to-quit/top-tips-for-quitting-smoking.html

-Exercise:Regular exercise and movement help keep blood pressure in check.

Reduce Stress:Stress effects our entire body! Reducing stressors and finding healthy ways to unwind can help lower your blood pressure. 


Journal to Cover High School Athletics

The Red River Parish Journal has reached agreement with the Red River Parish School Board and with Riverdale Academy to again provide coverage of high school athletic events. Live coverage of both schools will be provided during the 2019-20 school year.

Journal Publisher John Brewer said, “I wish to thank the schools for placing their confidence in us to provide live play-by-play of sports for the coming year.  We are exploring new ways of doing it so the game is more enjoyable.”

Brewer explained, “We are implementing a new notification method for athletic events that will be more timely and more convenient for fans.  We will be sending text messages shortly before each event.  All you will have to do to receive the game is click on the text message.”

Click Here – > Red River Parish Journal Sports Sign-Up


Coushatta VFW Continues State Leadership Role

Members of Post and Auxiliary 7287 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars continue to have a leadership role in the Louisiana VFW.  At their recent State Convention in Alexandria members of both the Post and Auxiliary were elected to leadership positions.

Post Adjutant David Fields was elected State Chaplin.  His one year term begins July first.  Fields is currently on active duty with the Louisiana Army Guard and is assigned to the armory in Coushatta.  He has served the post as Commander and Adjutant for several years.

Fields said, “I am truly humbled to be elected as the VFW State Chaplain for 2019-20. I strive to live a faith-filled life each day and it was an honor to be recognized by my peers. The Chaplain exists to minister to veterans and their families.  And according to our Congressional Charter, the Chaplain ‘shall be concerned with the spiritual needs of the members, and by precept and example, point the way toward a high moral plane for the organization.’ The Chaplain serves as a mentor, counselor, and spiritual leader and I pray I can truly fill these big shoes.”

Fields added, “It is my desire for the upcoming year to provide spiritual direction to my fellow comrades, Veterans of the State of Louisiana, and assist the State Commander and other officers to fully execute the VFW’s Core Mission of support Veterans and our Troops.”

State Auxiliary President Angelia McCoy concluded her year at the convention. She addressed the convention and said it was both a happy and sad occasion.  McCoy said, “Military service runs deep in my family.  My father was a Marine wounded during the Vietnam War. He and my mother both served the local Post and Auxiliary.  I have a 30 year old daughter who is a veteran of Afghanistan.  I want to thank them for their service to our country.” McCoy will serve as Past President for a year.

Another member of the local Auxiliary, Ramel Fields, served the state Auxiliary this past year as Chaplin.  At the convention, she was elected Junior Vice President for the coming 2019-20 year.

The local Auxiliary President for the 2019-20 year beginning July 1stis Heather McCoy.  At the state convention this month, McCoy was installed as the state Banner Bearer. This mostly ceremonial position can lead McCoy to a position of increased responsibility in the state Auxiliary, including line officer positions and perhaps State President in a few years.

The Auxiliary won First Place in the Buddy Poppy Display competition.  The Coushatta VFW and Auxiliary sell Buddy Poppies to fund service to veterans.  In addition patriotic displays are created each year and entered into the statewide contest.  This year the Buddy Poppy Display was created by Auxiliary member Susanne Wastlund.  It was judged during the state convention.