Thrown Together Makes Great Showing

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Story and Photo by Debbie Narvaez

Our own local southern rock band “Thrown Together” from Coushatta competed in the “Dixie Maze Shout Out” located in Shreveport on Saturday 10/20/2018 and won 3rd Place. This gives them an opportunity to perform for Centenary College.

The band rocked the stage with three songs “American Band,” “Zombie” and “Country Girl.” The band is made up of five members; Allie Greer who is 13 years old (vocals, piano and guitar), James Phillips who is 13 years old (rhythm guitar), Randall Dalme who is 16 years old (bass), Austin Cooper who is 13 years old (drums) and Nick Narvaez who is 16 years old (lead guitar).

Thrown Together has been playing together for about six months. They have appeared at several festivals in Shreveport. They also have performed in local restaurants such as the York Chop in Coushatta and El Nopal in Shreveport with an invite to play again soon.

4Given in Concert

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The gospel group 4Given gave a powerful concert on Saturday night at Open Door Fellowship. Members of many churches in the parish turned out to fill the auditorium and enjoy the music.

4Given is made up of Mark Smith, Jarrett Bailey, David Adams and Ken Adams. Su’Anice Bailey accompanies them on keyboard. If you have ever heard angels sing, you were probably there Saturday night.

The concert opened with a powerful acapella rendition of “There is a Sweet Sweet Spirit.” That set the tone of the evening. Mark Smith told the audience that they would follow with “perhaps the most familiar song to most people.” Everyone agreed when the group began “Jesus Loves Me.”

Another familiar and powerful song 4Given performed was “Why Me Lord” by Kris Kristofferson. Smith detailed Kristofferson’s own account of going to church with country singer Connie Smith one Sunday after the two had performed on Saturday night. As the story goes, at the end of the service there was an altar call, and Kristofferson had no intention of answering. But he said there he was raising his hand and then going forward. And that inspired him to write and record what would become his most popular song. Jarrett Bailey started it off asking the question “Why Me Lord?”

The group performed many very familiar songs and looking around the room you could tell when one or another was tugging at a heart. Prior to the final song, Mark Smith issued his own altar call. He said, “Life is certainly scary at times but we can know without any doubt where we are going if we accept Jesus Christ as our savior.” And that lead into their most powerful song of the night, “Because He Lives.”

The audience absorbed every word. They clapped and sang along. And 4Given invited all to stand and sing along with the final chorus, and then added another final chorus. There were many friends who greeted each other along with members of the group as they slowly left the church.

The Saturday night concert was part of the weekend celebration of the 10th anniversary of Open Door Fellowship. Joshua Loftin has a report on the Sunday celebration. It will appear in Friday’s edition of The Journal.

One in Custody Following Armed Robbery and Shooting

RRPJ-Arrest-Shooting-18Oct24Shortly after 8:00 p.m. on October 15, 2018, Red River Parish Sheriff’s Communications received multiple calls for service involving weapons and shots fired. Multiple Coushatta Police Department and Red River Parish Sheriff’s units were dispatched to three different locations within the city limits of Coushatta.

At 8:08 p.m. Red River Parish Sheriff’s Communications received a call regarding an altercation at the Natchitoches Meat Pie facility located in the Industrial Park in Coushatta. At 8:11 p.m., the second call was received which reported a gunshot victim at a residence on Jones Street in Coushatta. The third call came in at 8:21 p.m. from a residence on Brittain Street, which is in the same residential neighborhood as Jones Street. This call reported a residential break-in with shots fired.

Responding officers/deputies located a victim at the Jones Street location who was suffering from a gunshot wound to the face. Red River EMS subsequently transported this individual to University Health in Shreveport for treatment of what was classified as non-life-threatening injuries.

While investigating at the Brittain Street location, officers/deputies learned of a second gunshot victim that was transported from that residence by private vehicle to Christus Coushatta Emergency Room. This victim was suffering from two gunshot wounds, also classified as non-life threatening, and was later transferred to University Health in Shreveport for treatment.

Multiple Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office detectives responded to the various scenes/locations to assist the Coushatta Police Department officers with crime scene processing, interviews, etc. During the course of the investigation it was confirmed that both shootings and the incident at the local business were related.

The suspected shooter, later identified as Marcus Davis, reportedly held a worker at gunpoint at the Natchitoches Meat Pie facility in what appears to be an armed robbery. After taking money from the victim, Davis then forced the worker to produce his keys and drive them to the worker’s residence located on Brittain Street. Once at the residence, the victim tried to flee into the residence which resulted in the assailant firing multiple rounds, striking the victim twice.

It appears that Davis then fled the scene where he encountered the second (unrelated) victim at a nearby residence. The second victim was unaware of what had just taken place and confronted the suspect as he passed on his property. He was subsequently shot in the face. The victim sought help at the home on Jones Street where he was located by responding officers/deputies.

On October 16, 2018, the Coushatta Police Department secured two warrants for the arrest on the suspect. Davis also had an outstanding arrest warrant through the Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office for three weapons related charges stemming from an incident occurring on July 28, 2018 at the Silver Dollar Liquor Store south of Coushatta. It was also learned that the suspect had outstanding warrants from the Winfield Police Department also stemming from gun violence.

Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office detectives assisting in the investigation, developed leads as to the location of the suspect. On October 17, 2018, deputies and detectives responded to a residential location on LA 480 (Red Oak Road) near the Springville community to execute the arrest warrants. Davis was taken into custody following a brief standoff without incident.

Marcus D. Davis, B/M, age 28, of the 100 block of East Riddle St., Coushatta, LA was transported to the Red River Parish Jail (RRPJ) and booked on the following charges: Illegal Use of Weapons or Dangerous Instrumentalities (3 counts), Illegal Carrying of Weapons (3 counts), Possession of a Firearm or Carrying Concealed Weapon by a Person Convicted of Certain Felonies (3 counts), Attempted First Degree Murder, Armed Robbery, Aggravated Kidnapping, Carjacking, Home Invasion, Attempted Second Degree Murder, and 4 Out of Parish Fugitive Warrants. Three of the fugitive warrants were from Winnfield Police Department and included charges of Attempted Second Degree Murder, Illegal Use of Weapons or Dangerous Instrumentalities, and Possession of a Firearm by a Person Convicted of Certain Felonies. The fourth fugitive warrant originated from Winn Parish Sheriff’s Office for Failure to Appear.

Total bond for Davis was set at $1,000,000 and he remains incarcerated in the RRPJ. A hold has been placed on his release by the Winn Parish Sheriff’s Office and Winnfield Police Department.

Coordination between the Coushatta Police Department and the Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office resulted in the speedy apprehension of this extremely dangerous individual.

One Arrested in High Speed Chase

RRPJ-Arrest Weems-18Oct24A Melrose, LA woman ended up in the Red River Parish Jail last Wednesday after leading law enforcement on a chase through Coushatta and up US 71. No one was injured although the suspect is reported to have driven in excess of 80 miles per hour.

Coushatta Police Chief Kevin Stafford said the incident began in the MaxWay parking lot in Coushatta. It is believed the suspect and others came to Coushatta from Natchitoches Parish where the disagreement started.

Chief Stafford said his officers reported a stolen vehicle from Natchitoches parish was on their watch list. Someone called the sheriff’s office about a commotion in the MaxWay parking lot. Coushatta PD Officer Babers took the initial call and called for back-up from the Chief.

Stafford said, “The suspect almost hit my car when the chase began. The vehicle ran onto Ringgold Avenue then up US 71 at speeds of up to 75 and 80 miles an hour.” Stafford said units from the Sheriff’s Office joined in the chase and they radioed ahead to Bossier and Bienville Parishes that the suspect may be headed their way.

“It all ended up at Loggy Bayou,” said Stafford. He added, “The driver tried to turn onto LA 4 headed towards Ringgold but the car went into the grassy area where it was stopped.”

The weekly arrest report from the Sheriff’s Office identified the suspect as Kelsey Danay Weems of Melrose, LA. She is charged with 2 counts of aggravated second degree battery, reckless operation, illegal possession of stolen things, 2 counts of aggravated flight from an officer, aggravated assault with a motor vehicle upon a peace officer, possession of drug paraphernalia and a fugitive warrant from Grant Parish.

The Biggest Game of the Season

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It appears the District Football title is on the line Friday night for the Red River Bulldogs. They host the powerhouse Many Tigers in Strother Stadium. Both are undefeated in district play, and both teams have suffered only one defeat this season.

Last week Red River Principal JC Dickey introduced the “Beat Many” spirit shirt. This week he turned up the heat and sweetened the deal. Here is Dickey’s statement:

“This week is a very big week for the high school as we will be playing Many High for the district championship in football on Friday, Oct. 26th. “This game will be a little different. This is our black out game and we are selling Beat Many shirts for $8 to everyone. We want to show our unity as we take down Many. These shirts are on sale at the High School with a limited supply. Come get yours starting Monday. Every student parish wide who purchases this shirt will have a free Jean day on Friday, Oct. 26th. They can wear their shirt to school and they will get in the game for $5. “These 2 teams are both ranked in the Top 6 in the state in 2A. So we are expecting a huge crowd. To help with seating, we are offering a one time only presale ticket for $15 and will allow you to bring your own chair and come sit on the track in the north or south end zones during the game. These presale tickets will go on sale Monday the 22nd. We will have a limited supply so come to the High School Monday and purchase your Beat Many Shirt and your Presale Track Ticket. “To sit on the track you must purchase the ticket before the game and arrive before kickoff. These tickets and shirts will go fast, so let’s show our support for our Bulldogs as they compete for District title. Go Dogs, Beat Many.”

The Journal found that Many fans have taken notice of Red River’s new shirts and issued something of their own. (We inverted it so the “hex” doesn’t carry over).

The game will be streamed live on The Journal’s website and social media pages. The stream will be up about 6:40 pm. Broadcast starts at 6:45 and kickoff is 7:00 pm Friday night.

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The Journal Goes Live on The River

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A bunch of folks here in Red River Parish joined The Journal in a live Facebook broadcast this week. It seems that 94.9 The River, the area’s favorite country station, was giving away passes to Dark Woods just in time for Halloween.

I was invited to join Trini Triggs on his morning radio show. When I got there I found out that in addition to being on the radio station, I was also going to be a guest on his morning Facebook show. It was an amazing experience.

Hundreds of listeners tuned in to the broadcast. They responded with their names, phone numbers, and comments. And yes, they all wanted to win the tickets to Dark Woods. Trini and I were able to give away some of the tickets to our Red River citizens. That was the whole goal of me joining the show. So mission accomplished!

If you missed it, you can go to Facebook/949TheRiver and look in the archives. It’s still there. Let me know what you think.

ETC… for October 24th

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Early voting started on Tuesday. You have a week if you wish to cast your ballot ahead of election day, November 6th. Early voting takes place at the Registrar of Voters Office in the courthouse 8:30 am to 6:00 pm through October 30th. The office is closed on Sunday.

Lawyers at the Library is today at the Red River Parish Library. It starts at 2:00 pm. You can get free legal advice on civil matters. No criminal cases, please.

Friday night Riverdale Academy winds up their 2018 football season. The Rebels will be on the road traveling to Lake Providence. They play Briarfield Academy’s Rebels. The Journal will stream that game live beginning at 6:45. Play by play is by Steven Bryant and Ty Hester. Kickoff is 7:00 pm.

Two Violent Incidents in Coushatta This Week

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Our town has been rocked by violent outbreaks in the form of a high-speed police chase and a shooting. Both incidents remain under investigation.

There was a double shooting on Monday and a high-speed chase on Wednesday. The rumor mill is buzzing with many half-truths or untruths, however here is what The Journal has confirmed.

Monday’s shooting was worked on the scene by Coushatta Police and the Sheriff’s Office investigated the incident. On Wednesday the Sheriff’s Office made an arrest. The suspect’s name and photo have not been released. The medical condition of the two shooting victims has not been made public.

Wednesday’s incident grew out of a vehicle reported stolen in Natchitoches Parish. It escalated in the MaxWay parking lot in Coushatta. Coushatta Police pursued a vehicle leaving the parking lot and driving north on US 71 at speeds over 75 miles an hour. Sheriff’s Office units joined in. The chase came to an end at Loggy Bayou when the suspect failed to maneuver onto LA 4 and went into a wet, grassy area. A female reported to be driving that vehicle was arrested by Coushatta Police.

The Journal will update both of these stories in our Wednesday edition. Watch your email at 5:55 am Wednesday October 24th. If you don’t have a free email subscription, go to RedRiverParishJournal.com and click on the “Subscribe” button. The stories will also be posted on The Journal’s social media sites.

Trunk on Front

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Last year’s Trunk on Front Street event was huge. Therefore the Chamber of Commerce is planning an even larger celebration this year. The date is Wednesday, October 31st. That’s Halloween! So mark you calendars.

The Chamber’s flyer said, “Trunk on Front Street allows families the opportunity to safely trick-or-treat.” It will be held in the town’s historic district from 5:30 to 6:30 pm. Front Street will be blocked to traffic for the event.

Downtown merchants will be joined by churches, civic groups, and individuals. Bring the kids to get treats and goodies from car trunks decorated for the event.

The second annual Trunk on Front Street is a trick-or-treating event for the whole family.