AREA AGENCIES FUNDED BY SPECIAL SESSION

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Funding for education, K-12 schools, state medical facilities and health units, and others providing state services were protected during the special legislative session that adjourned Wednesday. The special session dealt with an estimated 304-point-6 million-dollar shortfall in the state budget.

Area Representative Terry Brown said “my goal was to fund schools, hospitals, and infrastructure in the parishes in his district. We took care of the health unit and rural hospital in Red River parish.”

Senator Gerald Long says, “About 205 million dollars of the shortfall was absorbed through cuts in the Department of Health and Human Services. Long adds “most other state departments will have a 2 to 3 percent reduction.”

Both Long and Brown had praise for Governor John Bel Edwards’ handling of the state’s finances. Long put it this way, “Governor Edwards was absolutely remarkable in dealing the state budget situation.”

As for the future, the regular legislative session this spring will have to tackle what Senator Long terms a weak economy, a decrease in oil and gas revenues, and the need for more economic growth. Brown says, “The Easter Bunny is not going to show up and pay the indebtedness of the state.” Brown says some of the spending priorities need to be changed in order to continue state services to Louisianians who need them.

HEALTH FAIR COMING

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A community “Health Fair” is being planned by the Red River Council on Aging. The date has been set for Tuesday, April 18, 2017 from 8:30 am until Noon. The Health Fair will be held at the Council on Aging facility at 1825 Front Street.

Health Fair coordinator Peggy Young tells the Journal they are in the process of signing up more vendors for the event. Young adds “We will have a complete list of participants and the screening tests that will be offered to publish about a month before the Health Fair.

Young says “This is a community wide event, offered to everyone whether they are over 60 years old or not. Everyone will be welcome.”

She is seeking vendors who are asked to contact the Council on Aging by phone at 318-932-5721 or email to rrcoa@bellsouth.net.

CELEBRATE RECOVERY

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Do you have a hurt? hang-up? habit? Are you addicted?

Virgie Hoof and DedeHaire conduce Celebrate Recovery every Monday night at Cowboy Church. Hoof says they recently moved their meetings from a small classroom to a much larger one due to an increase in participants.

“We would like for you to join us on Mondays” says Hoof. She describes Celebrate Recovery as “a Christ-centered 12-step program. It offers a safe place for anyone to confidentially deal with their hurts, habits and hang-ups.”

Haire adds that they always begin with a meal at 5:30. She says “Our meeting starts at 6:00 pm at Red River Cowboy Church, located on Highway 1 South at Lake End.

Hoof and Haire credit the late Billy Turner with beginning Celebrate Recovery at First United Methodist Church in Coushatta several years ago. Hoof says “when Turner developed health problems, the program faltered. I am glad I was able to pick it up a Cowboy Church and continue helping people.”

For more information, contact Virgie Hoof at 318.218.5853, DedeHaireat 318.754.8533 or William Hoof at 318.680.9345.

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RED RIVER STUDENT SELECTED TO HONOR BAND

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Why is Jasmine Jason smiling? She has some of the best music students in the state. That includes a “First Chair” student.

Jason took seven members of the Red River High School Band to the honor band competition recently. Out of 86 auditions student James Putek made first band, first chair.

“Honor band is for the best students in each high school band,” says Jason. She adds “competition is very hard, therefore she is very proud of Putek making top chair in the top band. He is the best baritone player in our district.”

MILITARY BALL

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The 11th annual Military Ball was held last Friday night by the Red River High School JROTC program. The men dressed in formal military uniforms and the ladies in formal gowns.

Keynote speaker for the evening was Colonel S.P. Davis (US Army, Retired). He challenged the cadets to get a good education, presenting the benefits in life an education brings. Col Davis asked young people to think about their future and what they planned to do in life. And do this in the context of what they wanted to contribute to Coushatta, Red River Parish and the state of Louisiana.

“You have to become a dreamer. Dream that dream long enough and find out what you need to do and you can live that dream.” said Col Davis. He added, “A career in the military is a great way to acquire skills that are essential to success in life.”

Superintendent Allison Hughes and Principal Carroll Daniels assisted Major Thomas Edwards and Senior Master Sargent Earl Creagh, who oversee the JROTC program, in presenting awards earned by the Cadets. These included awards for physical conditioning and educational attainment.

And the evening concluded with cutting the special Air Force Blue cake and dancing. The formal uniform jackets came off, sleeves were rolled up, shoes kicked aside, and the cadets danced into the late hours. After all it was not a school night.

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THOMAS HOUSE SCENE OF CONTROLLED BURN

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It’s been the talk of the town, what would happen to the old Thomas property after it was acquired by First Baptist Church. The answer came Thursday morning.

The vacant B.L. Thomas house on Alonzo Street was razed by the Red River Parish Fire Department. The burn was controlled by firefighters.

Chief Shane Felts used the occasion to test the readiness of the fire department. Fountains of water were continually sprayed on the structure and surrounding trees to keep the fire under control. EMS stood by just in case. Alonzo Street was blocked and traffic was controlled by the sheriff’s department.

That house had been unoccupied for a number of years. Trees and bushes had grown up thick enough to completely hide it from the street. A few days ago the bushes were cut in front of the house. All but a few large trees had been cleared away and burned on Wednesday.

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ETC…

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THE RED RIVER FOOD BANK is scheduled to be open in March. The person in charge of the food bank, Alicia Walsworth says their remodeling is complete and they will be open Saturday March 4th. Hours are 9 am to 11 am.

The food bank is a community service of the Red River Baptist Association. Walsworth says other area churches also help. She is looking for volunteers, saying they can come by when the food bank is open, or call her at 932-5940.

FAIRVIEW BAPTIST CHURCH is holding a revival beginning Sunday February 26th, running through Wednesday March 1st. Pastor Matt Endrisannounced the speaker will be Dr. Preston Nix of New Orleans, Professor of Evangelism at NOBTS.

Special emphasis Sunday at 4:30 will be a ladies fellowship with Mrs. Diane Nix. And Wednesday evening there will be special music by the church’s KidsLife organization. All services will be at Fairview Baptist Church on Highway 71 just north of the Natchitoches Parish line.

BASKETBALL PLAYOFFS CONTINUE with both the boys and girls teams from Riverdale Academy in action in the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class A tournament at Rebul Academy in Learned, MS. The girls game is at 2:15 and the boys play at 7:15 Friday.

Red River boys begin their playoff competition Friday night at home against Mentorship Academy. Mentorship’s record is 17-15 and are ranked #19. The Bulldogs are 14-15 and ranked #14 in 2A, according to the LHSAA website.

TWO FAMILIES HOMELESS FROM FIRE

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Two families are without a place to live following an early Sunday morning fire in the old town section of Coushatta. Fire units were called to the scene at 201 East Carroll Street about 3:40 am Sunday.

Red River Fire Chief Shane Felts said “Red River had 5 units on scene and Natchitoches Fire District 9 had 5 units including an aerial ladder truck and extra manpower.”

According to Felts the structure was a 4 room duplex apartment building. The downstairs units were occupied and the upstairs was not.

There were no injuries to occupants from the fire. Chief Felts says it “looks like the cause of the fire was electrical toward the rear of the building.

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FLOOD RECOVERY MISSION TRIP

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Several members and the pastor from First United Methodist Church of Coushatta pitched in for a day to help victims of last years flooding in Vernon Parish. The First United Methodist Church of Leesville is coordinating repair work for about 60 families in Vernon Parish.

Attending from Coushatta were David and Cindy Coffey, Tom and Debbie Jones and church pastor Doug Cain.

David Coffey says he and Doug Cain worked on new sheetrock for the ceiling in one house. Wife Cindy and Debbie Jones worked with two 80+ ladies hanging sheetrock on the walls.

“The house was built by the resident’s grandfather many years ago. It was still occupied even though in great need of repair” said Coffey.

Tom Jones assisted volunteers from other Louisiana churches in building decking at the flooded home of a single mother. Jones says “building a 10 by 12 foot deck was hard work.”

Two additional work days are scheduled for Saturday, April 22nd and Saturday May 13th. First Methodist of Leesville is seeking 30 volunteers for each day. Each volunteer is asked to contribute $30, which includes insurance, a bandana, and cost of materials.

Online registration is at surveymonkey.com/r/FloodResponseWorkDays

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IT’S BACK…RIVERTOWN’S FAMOUS MEAT SALE

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Rivertown Market is doing it again! They’re holding another of their famous meat sales. And it’s tomorrow.

Everyone in the store has been busy the last few days getting everything in place. Doors open promptly at 7 am Thursday morning. Early birds get the best bargains.

Ricky and O.D. have been preparing the meat market. This sale brings back a customer favorite whole roll rib eye steaks for $6.99 a pound. Boston Butts are $1.29 a pound. And they have your favorite franks, corn dogs, hot links and more at money saving prices.

Store Director Dallas Bryan reminds everyone that grilling season is almost here. Bryan says “its time to stock up on spare ribs and chicken breasts. Thursday Spare Ribs are just $1.79 a pound and Boneless Chicken Breast is $1.59 a pound.”

There are “Meat Sale” low prices on items you need everyday. Expect to find big savings in produce, frozen food, and many other everyday staples.

The complete list for Rivertown Market’s One Day Meat Sale is below this article.

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