ONE DEAD IN COUSHATTA SHOOTING

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The Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office is investigating a shooting Thursday afternoon that left one man dead.

A spokesperson at the Sheriff’s Department could only release basic details in the incident. He said at 4:37 pm Thursday deputies were dispatched to Red River Estates on East Riddle Street in reference to a shooting.

Deputies reported that one victim with multiple gunshot wounds was transported by private vehicle to the local emergency room. The victim succumbed to his injuries.

The spokesperson confirmed that the suspected shooter is in custody. Two other individuals are being detained as part of the investigation.

The spokesperson says other details, possible motive, and identities of those involved will be released later pending completion of their investigation.

THE SEARCH FOR A NEW COACH

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Red River High School is seeking a new Head Football Coach. The school board has posted the job opening locally and statewide.

Parish School Superintendent Alison Hughes said “I can confirm that the board is actively seeking applications for a new football coach.” Hughes said she could not comment further “because it involves a personnel matter and we are still in the midst of the situation that is going on.”

The employment opportunity notice was posted on the school board’s Facebook page. It was posted March 28th on the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s website. And the notice was sent in an email to school employees.

FIRE STATION GROUNDBREAKING

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Fire Chief Shane Felts is excited. Construction of the department’s new fire station is underway with workers on scene daily. On Wednesday, they held their official groundbreaking ceremony.

They actually held two groundbreakings to accommodate the schedules of firefighters, local officials and fire district board members. The morning groundbreaking is pictured above. The evening ceremony is below.

Felts says the new fire station will be large enough to park all of the department’s vehicles inside the large bay on the north side of the building. There are accommodations for firefighters on duty plus offices and kitchen on the south side of the building.

Special guest at the evening groundbreaking was Chief Bobby Hayes of DeSoto Fire District 9. Hayes loaned the plans for his station in DeSoto parish to Red River after Chief Felts saw and liked the design of Hayes’ station.

The new fire station is under construction on US 71 north of Coushatta at the intersection with US 371. Expected Completion date is in December 2017. Felts said the total price tag on the new station is $3,000,000.

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MOVING DAY

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Thursday was moving day for the parish voting machines. All 32 machines were loaded up at the old warehouse on US 71 South and moved to the new warehouse beside Dairy Queen on US 71 North.

The machines were unloaded and rolled into the new, more spacious warehouse by Election Technician John Perkins and Toby Trichel. Perkins is employed by the Secretary of State and Trechel works for Trichel Enterprises, a bonded moving company.

The move is mostly complete. Perkins said he will maintain the office in the old warehouse until telephone and internet service is installed in the new facility.

The warehouse is maintained by the Louisiana Secretary of State, the agency overseeing elections in the state. Perkins said “there are 32 voting machines in the warehouse. Eighteen machines are used on election day, with the rest of them for back up. “

REMODELING PROGRESSING AT COUSHATTA EXPRESS

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The Coushatta Express convenience store is undergoing remodeling. Workers are clearing out the interior of the store, which was damaged by smoke from a fire in a restroom.

Work began this week on clearing away damaged walls and ceilings. Workers are rebuilding the interior of the store. And they are making a few other improvements as well. The workers did not have a definite timetable for completion of the remodeling.

RELAY SKIPS RED RIVER

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There will be no Relay For Life in Red River Parish this year. But you can still get involved with Relay if you wish.

Danielle Cobb is with the American Cancer Society’s Shreveport office. She also is the staff partner for Natchitoches, Winn, DeDoto and Sabine parishes. Cobb said “Unfortunately we are not having an event in Red River parish this year, but we are encouraging teams to still participate in either DeSoto parish’s event on May 27th or the event in Natchitoches on April 28th.”

“Our event in Red River parish over the last few years had a large decline in attendance and support so we made the difficult decision this past year” said Cobb. “Individuals still interested in participating” added Cobb “can email me at Danielle.antoon@cancer.org.”

Cancer patients in Red River parish are encouraged to contact the National Cancer Information Center to receive access to their services.

ETC…March 31st

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OUT LIKE A LION. Tradition says March either comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb or comes in like a lamb and roars out like a lion. We heard the roars for the past week! Two storms blew through the area, and thankfully Red River parish was spared major damage by both. A check with the Sheriff’s Department shows no damage from the storm Wednesday night. The earlier storm blew down a few trees in the parish.

SCHOOL BOARD A WEEK EARLY. The April meeting of the Red River Parish School Board is scheduled for Monday, April 3rd. At the March meeting the board moved the meeting from the usual second Monday to the first Monday in April. The move is due to spring break occurring on the normal meeting day.

POLICE JURY MEETS APRIL 3rd. That is their regular meeting day. Agenda will be on their website by Friday April 7th.

QUOTE WORTH REPEATING. Overheard during the past week “What you’ve been doing couldn’t be as important as what I’ve been doing.” Enough said.

RED RIVER PARISH ESCAPES STORM DAMAGE

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There was some minor damage caused by the storms that moved through our area last week. The Journal checked with local officials and found no report of injury or major damage. There were some power outages that were quickly repaired.

The photo above is the large tree directly across from Red River High School that was blown over.

Chief Deputy Greg Moore at the Sheriff’s Office reports damage to a sign near the 4-way stop at the foot of the Red River Bridge. He also reported some trees down on the northern end of the parish.

Cleco spokesperson Jennifer Cahill said there were some power outages. At one point, Cahill said about 250 Cleco customers were without power. Those customers had their power restored before the weekend was over.

The Mansfield area suffered a greater impact. Cahill says “At the height of the storm, roughly 7,500 customers were without power.  Cleco has mobilized six crews to the Mansfield area to repair damage to its electric system, which includes broken poles and downed lines.”

ASHLAND PREPARES FOR ITS ANNUAL SPRING FESTIVAL

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Ashland Mayor Gahagan Lee said the town is getting everything ready for their 27th annual Spring Festival. With more events planned than in years past.

The dates are April 7th and 8th. Vendor reservations are now being accepted. Call Ashland village hall at 318-544-0044 to reserve a booth.

There will be arts and crafts booths, also plenty of food vendors. And Mayor Lee adds there will be a parade starting at 10:00 am on Saturday. Activities include a cake walk, fishing rod casting and archery contests.

The Spring Festival will have live entertainment all day Saturday in Ashland. And Saturday night there will be a dance with Kevin Crawford and Highway 9. The dance begins at 7:00 pm.

Remember the dates, April 7th and 8th in the Village of Ashland.

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NEW VIDEO PROMOTES THE PARISH

RRPJ-Chamber-17Mar29The Coushatta-Red River Chamber of Commerce has produced a new video to promote the parish. The video was unveiled to chamber members at the recent chamber banquet.

The video begins with an aerial tour of the parish. Included are many sights that are familiar to all residents. The presentation highlights the natural beauty many of us take for granted.

As the tour continues, the video highlights government and business facilities. There is video from last year’s Christmas parade and spectacular aerial views of the fireworks show.

Grand Bayou Resort is highlighted with scenes of the lake, beach, fishing piers and other facilities. The 2016 Car Show is featured along with participants and vendors.

There is a link below to the Chamber’s new promotional video. Or you may go to redriverparish.org to view all chamber information.

WATCH THE VIDEO -> CLICK HERE