Celebrate America’s Independence Next Week

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Most Americans, especially school children can tell you that America’s birthday is July 4th. And since 1776 we have celebrated the fourth. But is that really the right day?

The Continental Congress was meeting in Philadelphia in the summer of 1776. The thirteen colonies had sent delegates because of the unhappiness with British rule and heavy taxes placed on them by the king. But not everyone was unanimous. Many supported remaining a British colony.

War had broken out in April 1775 and there had been skirmishes with British troops known as Red Coats, for the color of their uniform. So why do we not celebrate our independence every April?

By June of 1776 the colonies met in the Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia. It was Richard Henry Lee who made the motion for independence on June 7th, 1776. So why not celebrate June 7th?

After much debate the Continental Congress adopted a declaration claiming that the colonies should be free. That was on July 2nd, 1776. Delegate John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail that July 2 “will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival” and that the celebration should include “Pomp and Parade…Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other. “ Adams was so passionate about July 2nd that the rest of his life he refused to take part in July 4th events. So why not celebrate July 2nd?

It was Thomas Jefferson who is credited with drafting the Declaration of Independence. His document was adopted and signed by the delegates to the Continental Congress on July 4th, 1776. The New York delegation did not sign on that day, but later did sign. John Hancock signed first in great big bold letters. He is quoted as saying “There, I guess King George will be able to read that without his spectacles!” So why not celebrate July 4th?

It took the country until 1870 to make July 4th an official federal holiday. And it was not until 1941 that Congress granted a paid holiday on July 4th for all federal employees.

On July 4th, 2017 we will celebrate the 241st anniversary of the actual signing of the Declaration of Independence. Around here, John Adams’ idea of a celebration will be expanded to include grilling, boating, and other forms of relaxation. The Journal hopes you will celebrate, have fun, see some old friends, and most of all have a safe Fourth of July!

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Are You A Grill Master?

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Can you celebrate the Fourth of July without a cook-out? Most people would probably say “no!” So if there are going to be cook-outs, the LSU Ag Center offers some advice to help you become a “Grill Master.”

A true “Grill Master” always knows to clean, separate, cook and chill to ensure a pleasant cookout for all.

Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food.

Always marinate foods in the refrigerator, not on the counter or outdoors. Don’t use sauce that was used to marinate raw meat or poultry on cooked food. Boil used marinade before applying to cooked food or reserve a portion of the unused marinade to use as a sauce.

When grilling foods, preheat the coals on your grill for 20 or 30 minutes, or until the coals are lightly coated with ash.

If you partially cook food in the microwave, oven or stove to reduce grilling time, do so immediately before the food goes on the hot grill.

When it’s time to grill the food, cook it to a safe internal temperature. Use a food thermometer to be sure. The food thermometer should be placed in the thickest part of the meat and should not be touching bone, fat, or gristle. Check the temperature in several places to make sure the food is evenly heated.

Beef, veal and lamb steaks and roasts: 145 °F for medium rare and 160 °F for medium.
Ground pork and ground beef: 160 °F.
Poultry: to at least 165 °F.
Fin fish: 145 °F or until the flesh is opaque and separates easily with a fork.
Shrimp, lobster and crabs: The meat should be pearly and opaque.
Clams, oysters and mussels: Until the shells are open.

Never place cooked food on a plate that previously held raw meat, poultry, seafood or eggs. Be sure to have plenty of clean utensils and platters on hand.
Grilled food can be kept hot until serving by moving it to the side of the grill rack, just away from the coals to avoid overcooking.

Never let raw meat, poultry, eggs, cooked food or cut fresh fruits or vegetables sit at room temperature for more than two hours before putting them in the refrigerator or freezer (one hour when the temperature is above 90 °F).

If you have more questions or concerns about food safety, contact:
LSU AgCenter Area Nutrition Agent, Diane Uzzle, 318-263-7400 or email duzzle@agcenter.lsu.edu

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The 38th annual Natchitoches-Northwestern Folk Festival will be held July 14-15 in Prather Coliseum on the Northwestern State University campus


The 38th annual Natchitoches-Northwestern Folk Festival will be held July 14-15 in Prather Coliseum on the Northwestern State University campus. Festival hours are 4:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Friday and 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Saturday. Here is everything you want to know about the festival and its many events courtesy of NSU.

Tickets are $13 for an advance all-events pass through July 11. Advance tickets are free for children 12 and under. Tickets are available at the door for $6 for Friday night, $10 for all day Saturday or $6 for Saturday after 5 p.m.

“The 2017 Festival theme ‘Keeping Tradition Alive!’ celebrates the ways in which so many outstanding artists young and old are tapping into the power and artistry of the old ways, revitalizing and reimagining tradition as they make it their own,” said Dr. Shane Rasmussen, director of the Folk Festival and the Louisiana Folklife Festival at NSU. “As the artists taking part in the 2017 Festival demonstrate, Louisiana folk culture is vibrant and diverse.”

The Southeast Tourism Society has named the 38th annual Natchitoches-Northwestern State University Folk Festival one of the STS Top 20 Events in the Southeast for July 2017.

The folk music of many culture groups will be featured, with Cajun music by Ray Abshire and Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, French Creole la la music by Goldman Thibodeaux and the Lawtell Playboys, Zydeco by Gerard Delafose and the Zydeco Gators and Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience, traditional Delta tunes by the Back Porch Band, bluegrass by the Clancey Ferguson Band, Texas swing by the Caddo Creek Band, and blues by Hezekiah and the Houserockers, the Wayne “Blue” Burns Band and Ed Huey.

Saturday’s activities include three stages of live music, Cajun dance lessons, dancing, narrative sessions, KidFest, a Cajun accordion workshop, and traditional crafts. Outside demonstrations include blacksmithing, working cattle dogs and horseshoeing. Traditional crafts such as woodcarving, Czech Pysanky eggs, Spanish moss dolls, pine needle baskets and handmade furniture will be exhibited on Saturday only, from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. in Prather Coliseum.

Narrative sessions will be held throughout the day in the N-Club Room in Prather Coliseum covering topics including St. Joseph altars, country music in the Delta, the cajun accordion, Choctaw-Apache foodways, Choctaw wedding traditions in the Delta, blues in the Delta, preserving Delta material culture and zydeco traditions.

The Annual Louisiana State Fiddle Championship will be on Saturday, July 15 starting at 1 p.m. in Magale Recital Hall on the NSU campus. Late registration will be at noon. Fiddlers from around the state will compete for cash prizes in the championship and non-championship divisions.

Support for the Festival is provided by grants from the Cane River National Heritage Area, Inc., the Louisiana Division of the Arts Decentralized Arts Fund Program, the Natchitoches Historic District Development Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Lower Mississippi Delta Initiative of the National Park Service, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and Foundation, the Shreveport Regional Arts Council, the City of Natchitoches, the Natchitoches Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and Cleco.

For more information about the Festival or the Louisiana State Fiddle Championship, contact the Louisiana Folklife Center at folklife@nsula.edu or (318) 357-4332. For more information about Natchitoches, contact the Natchitoches Convention & Visitors Bureau at (800) 259-1714.

TAG Salutes Red River’s Outstanding Students


Red River Parish Schools (RRPS) held a 2-week Talented and Gifted (TAG) program. During the 2-week program, students had the opportunity to participate in enriching academic and art classes taught by Mrs. Tiffany Williams and Mr. Jeff Edwards. The theme was “Wetlands,” a curriculum provided by Ms. Terry Foster’s 4H Program. Students made art artifacts, developed PowerPoints, websites, and created their own T-shirts. The also visited Gators and Friends in Greenwood, LA. They shared their work during the TAG Culminating activity on Thursday, June 29 at Red River Elementary School Gymnasium.

The following students participated in the Summer 2017 TAG program are Tylan Beavers, Adrianna Bradford, Rodney Bradley, Kane Burleson, Hanna Cannon, Ty Cole, Micah Davis, Hayden Dowden, Moriah Eason, Caitlyn Jones, Cameron Jones, Kinya Gray, Laniyah Latson, Aiden Mangham, Jomello McDonald, Makilah Murphy, Kendric Patterson, Rafe Suggs, Madilynn Vangundy, Jayden Wells, Hannah Worsham, and Anyla Young.

Students were screened and invited to participate from a pool of teacher referrals, meeting specific academic, behavior, and artistic criteria. To qualify as gifted, Louisiana students must score very well on tests of math, reading and general intellectual abilities. Talented students must excel on an array of tests, auditions and interviews based on their artistic specialty according to the Louisiana Department of Education website: https://www.louisianabelieves.com/academics/gifted-and-talented-students .

Principal, Shenell Deville stated that RRPS has a vision to identify more students as either being “academically gifted” or “talented” (in music, art, and/or theatre). During the 2016-2017 school year, 11 students have been identified as academically gifted in the elementary grades. The screening process (for talented and gifted) will continue this upcoming year and will include all grade levels.

For more information regarding the referral process, please contact Michelle Deville, Director of Special Education for grades 6-12 and Shenell Deville, Principal at Red River Elementary School for grades K-5.

“I Don’t Know”

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All Harvey Rabbit had to say was “I don’t know” when asked questions by Mr. Tim. Harvey and friends starred at the Red River Parish Library’s Monday session of their summer reading program. Soon the uncooperative rabbit had the children who lined the floor joining in his chant. The program theme is “Build a Better World.” And before the day was over, Harvey had the crowd of children cheering, “Build a Better World” in unison.

Mr. Tim and Miss Laura entertained about 65 children and a standing-room-only crowd of parents for over an hour Monday afternoon. The program featured several magic tricks performed by Mr. Tim and conversations with Harvey Rabbit, T-Boy the Alligator and Cecil the Orangutan (who are all hand puppets) operated by Miss Laura the ventriloquist. There was singing, and dancing, and a lot of good humored foolishness all to the delight of the kids who participated.

Children’s Librarian Kayla Sims awarded T-Shirts, books and other prizes to several of the children in attendance. Sims says the crowds taking part this summer are larger than in past years. However, there is room for your children also. The program is free to children of all ages. Come to the library Mondays at 2:00 pm. Or call the library at 932-5614 for more information.

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Next Half-Price Hook-Up is July 5th

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The Red River Parish Journal joined the Half-Price HookUp to save our readers 50% or more on meals at local restaurants. Who wouldn’t want to save half?

On Wednesday, July 5th we will open the Half Price HookUp store to offer more bargains. We will have $10 cards from the York Chop, Dairy Queen, and the Lakewood Inn. We have a new offering, a $5 card from Country Market’s Deli. They make a great burger! The cards are all priced at HALF PRICE or less.

If you would like to receive half price meal offers from area restaurants, send a text message “hphc” to 779-48. Then you will get notifications of which restaurants are offering the Half-Price Hook-Up. The notice goes out next Wednesday morning.

You may make your purchases from the online store. Just go to this link: https://goo.gl/9qolU4

Don’t miss out. There are a limited number of cards offered by each merchant.

Red River Schools to Benefit From Teacher Preparation Program


The state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education is funding a program to help students in Red River and other rural parishes in Northwest Louisiana. Northwestern State University’s Gallaspy College of Education and Human Development was one of 13 Louisiana teacher preparation programs to receive a Believe and Prepare grant from BESE. This round of grants focuses specifically on classrooms that serve students with disabilities and those in rural areas of Louisiana.

The $415,000 grant will enable faculty in NSU’s College of Education to recruit educators to work in rural schools in DeSoto, Grant, Natchitoches, Red River, Sabine and West Carroll parishes. In addition to tapping community members who are interested in teaching but are not yet certified, the program plans to partner with several districts to engage high school juniors and seniors. The initiatives are called Providing Opportunities for Rural Teachers (PORT) and Providing Opportunities for Rural Students (PORS).

“Over 60 percent of teachers teach within 20 miles of where they went to high school,” said Ramona Wynder, principal investigator of the two NSU initiatives, citing Dan Brown, co-director of national network Educators Rising. “Therefore, PORT will be marketed to paraprofessionals, long-term substitutes and other aspiring teachers with deep roots in the community. And PORS will help encourage high school students to pursue careers in education in hopes they will return to their home communities to live and work.”

“This innovative work allows communities to assist in the recruitment and development of teachers to meet their current and future workforce needs,” said Dr. Kimberly McAlister, head of the Department of Teaching, Leadership and Counseling.

ETC…for June 30th


The United States won its freedom in conflict. Citizen soldiers grabbed their muzzleloaders and fought the British in the 1700s. And since then citizens have answered the call to duty over and over and over. Millions have served. Many did not return.

As the Marines Hymn goes “From the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli” and all around the world American soldiers have fought for this country. In the end, always victorious.

Our enemies have tried to defeat us on our own soil, at Bunker Hill, Fort Ticonderoga, and the Chalmette Battlefield south of New Orleans. They could not conquer the American Soldier on Iwo Jima, at Pearl Harbor, Khe Sanh, Da Nang, or Kandahar and Baghdad.

We fought each other at Fort Sumpter, Bull Run, Gettysburg and Mansfield. Through the dark days of the Civil War and Reconstruction the United States survived.

With Americas’ resolve our enemies will not get the upper hand on land or sea, in space or cyberspace. With men and women willing to put on the uniform our future will be secure.

Take a few moments during your Independence Day celebrations and remember those who helped win our freedoms. The names of Red River Parish residents who answered the call and did not return are on a large plaque in the hall of the Courthouse. Go take a look and say a prayer of thanks. And teach your children of your great heritage so they may celebrate many more Fourths of July.

Some ramblings from your editor. Your comments are welcome at TheRRJournal@gmail.com.

Red River Veterans Recognized for Service to the Community



Several awards were presented to the local veterans service organization for their participation in programs that benefit the community. The presentations were made during the 86th annual convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of Louisiana.

Post Commander Barry McCoy received the award for the local VFW Post’s presentation of the Americanism Program in the local schools. The Americanism Program is conducted at the beginning of the school year. Students in kindergarten through 6th grade are asked to draw or color the American flag, draw a patriotic scene from American history, or write a brief patriotic essay.

Another award was presented to Post Adjutant David Fields. “The Commanders Award” was presented to Fields by VFW State Commander Ray Bass for Fields’ service to the local post and the VFW 12th District (Northwest Louisiana).

Post 7287 is active in the community with the Americanism Program in elementary schools in Red River and Bienville parish public and private schools. The post awards scholarships to middle school and high school students in Red River and Bienville parishes as well. During the 2016-17 school year almost $1,500.00 in scholarships were awarded to students.

Veterans are invited to join in service to fellow veterans, school children, and take part in other community service through the local VFW Post. Call 932-6557 or attend the next meeting at 7:00 pm on Thursday, July 20th. The Post is located just south of Coushatta on US 71 at Esperanza Road.


Wise Ones Working Completes Successful Year

By Celia A. Norman



The Red River Parish School Board is working with the Red River Sheriff’s Office’s Senior Outreach Program and bringing in volunteers. WOW is the Wise Ones Working group.

These volunteers work in all schools in the parish as well as the community. They do a variety of things in helping with events that are an essential part of the schools and our community.

Everyone is encouraged to become part of this group. For more information on Wise Ones Working (WOW) contact Celia Norman at the Sheriff’s Office, 318-932-4221.

Wise Ones Working will kick off their next year’s activities in August. The group will assist with registration at the public schools in the parish.

Photos accompanying this article at top show the WOW group. Below are photos of the group judging Christmas decorations at the Junior High, helping with arts and crafts at the nursing home, and working on a joint project with the Sheriff’s Office.

Looking for Fresh? Come to Anderson’s Produce

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The cantaloupes are fresh from the field, picked today at the peak of freshness. There are big juicy delicious watermelons too! And Farmer Anderson sends word that the butter beans are now ready. It’s all waiting for you at Anderson’s Produce and Plant Farm on Highway 174 in south Red River Parish.

Farmer Jason Anderson said, “The strange weather we had this spring resulted in an abundant crop of veggies. We’re picking every day and adding fresh tomatoes, peas, pinto beans, squash, and all of your favorites to our store.” When Anderson says it is ready now, he emphasizes that the season only lasts a short time. “Now is the time to serve fresh vegetables. It is also the time to stock your freezer for the rest of the year” added Anderson.

The harvest is plentiful and the prices are great. Plus Andersons will shell the peas, pintos and butter beans for you. This service will save you a lot of time.

On Saturday, Anderson’s Produce will be at the farmers markets in Natchitoches and Shreveport. So see them there if that is more convenient for you. Their stand is open Monday through Saturday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Give Anderson’s a call at 318-932-1432. They’re located on Highway 174 half way between I-49 and LA 1.


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NPSO arrests Red River Parish woman on felony drug charges

NPSO-Casey Davis 2017

A Red River Parish woman on probation was arrested on felony drug charges by Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Deputies during a traffic stop near Campti June 23 according to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office.

NPSO Patrol Division stopped a 2009 Dodge pickup truck Friday afternoon on US-71 north of Campti for a traffic violation. They observed suspicious movement in the vehicle.

Deputies learned during a criminal background check, that the driver (identified as Casey L. Davis, 35 of the 700 block of US-71 in Coushatta) was on felony probation due to a prior felony narcotics conviction. Davis appeared uneasy, and with the prior suspicious movements in the vehicle deputies believed criminal activity existed.

During a search of the vehicle, deputies seized a small bag containing suspected methamphetamine, thirteen suspected alprazolam narcotic pills, syringes, and drug paraphernalia.

Deputies arrested Davis and transported her to the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center for booking. A female correctional officer conducted a search of Davis’ person, discovering a bag containing suspected methamphetamine concealed in her under garments.

Davis was charged with Possession of CDS Schedule II Methampetamine-2nd Offense, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Introduction of Contraband into a Penal Institution and Probation Violation. She awaits bond to be set, however, she also has a probation hold.

The seized narcotics will be submitted to the crime lab for analysis. Deputies say approximately 3-grams of suspected methamphetamine was seized. The vehicle was towed by a local wrecker service. Deputies say while interviewing Davis, she confessed to ownership of the seized narcotics. Involved in the arrest were: Deputies J. Augustus and S. Axsom assisted by Detective C. LaCour.

NSU 2017 Victory Tour Comes to Coushatta

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Northwestern State football coach Jay Thomas, many of his staff and other Demon coaches and athletic staff will preview upcoming seasons and greet supporters during the upcoming 2017 NSU Victory Tour, which features eight stops from Shreveport to New Orleans, reaching out across the state to Demon fans.
A festive and family-friendly environment will be featured on the Victory Tour July 17-27 as Northwestern coaches, student-athletes, administrators and cheerleaders visit Winnfield, Many, Alexandria-Pineville, Coushatta, Shreveport-Bossier, Lafayette, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans.

There is no admission charge for the events, with complimentary appetizers and soda, tea and water provided for guests. Exclusive Demon gear including, T-shirts, caps and other items will be on sale.

“The Victory Tour is not only exciting for our fans, it’s exciting for our staff,” said assistant athletics director Mike Jacklich, who coordinates the events and directs ticket operations. “We get to take our enthusiasm for NSU out on the road and host a mobile pep rally. What’s not fun about that? But we also take the tour seriously. It is vital for our staff to mix with communities around Louisiana and make connections with fans who might not otherwise make it onto campus.”

The 2017 Victory Tour will start with the Winn Parish Tour Stop at the Louisiana Political Museum in downtown Winnfield. The Red River Parish Tour Stop will be Friday, July 21, in Coushatta at the home of former mayor Tray Murray, 185 Army Road, beginning at 6:30.

Jacklich said, “The Victory Tour gives our fans an opportunity to mingle with the football coaching staff — and often staffs from other sports — while enjoying an inside look into the upcoming football season, some good food, and the opportunity to score the best season ticket spots available. And it’s totally, 100 percent free. Like I said: fun!”

All Victory Tour stops are reception-style events that will last approximately two hours, including a brief program midway featuring Thomas and other NSU coaches in attendance. Door prizes will be awarded at each stop, with schedule cards and other promotional materials available.

For more information on any Victory Tour stop or for details about season tickets, contact Jacklich via e-mail at jacklichm@nsula.edu or by calling him at 318-357-4268. Complete football season ticket information is also available at the NSUDemons.com website.

Suspect Out on Bail Arrested for Domestic Abuse

At approximately 8:15 a.m. on June 19, 2017 a Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office (RRPSO) deputy was dispatched to Rolling Hills Trailer Park south of Coushatta in reference to a domestic dispute. Upon arrival, deputies learned that the victim had reportedly been beaten by her boyfriend before being forced out of the house. The female was transported by personal vehicle to the Christus Coushatta emergency room for treatment. She later informed deputies that she had been choked during the attack.

Deputies contacted the suspect and he confirmed pushing the victim out of his residence after she refused to leave. He was placed under arrest without incident and transported to the Red River Parish Jail for booking.

Victor J. Demery, B/M, age 38 of the 100 block of Rolling Hills Loop, Coushatta, LA was charged with one count of Domestic Abuse Battery (Strangulation). He posted a $10,000 bond on June 23, 2017 and was released pending a trial date.

Demery currently has multiple pending charges stemming from two separate incidents and had been released from custody on bond pending trial dates. Charges included Simple Assault, Attempted Unauthorized Entry of an Inhabited Dwelling, Aggravated Flight from an Officer, Failure to Honor a Written Promise and seven drug-related charges.

Basketball Camp is Almost Here


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Next week begins basketball camp for elementary students in Red River Parish. The camp will concentrate on ball skills. The high school girls and boys basketball teams are conducting it. The camp is July 5th through 7th and will be held at Red River High School.

Registration ends Friday June 30th. Students may register each day at the elementary school from 8:00 am until 2:00 pm. The flyer for the camp lists the cost at $30.00 for the first student in a family. The cost for two students in the family is $40.00 and for three it is $50.00. Students who do not pre-register may sign up at the camp for an additional $5.00.

The camp flyer states, “The primary purpose of the basketball camp is to develop individual basketball skills, emphasize the importance of teamwork and sportsmanship, and for your players and the younger students to form a better relationship.”

ETC… for June 28th


This is the big week for Vacation Bible School in our parish. There are sessions going on at Fairview Baptist Church, Open Door Fellowship, First Methodist Church, and Social Springs Baptist Church. If your children participate, take some pictures and send them to The Journal at TheRRJournal@gmail.com.

The man wanted for attempted murder has been captured. The Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office reports, “On the afternoon of June 23rd the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force apprehended Jeremy Key without incident. He was taken into custody in Laredo, Texas near the Mexican border.”
The RRPSO issued this update on Tuesday afternoon”
“Key is currently in Laredo Texas in the custody of the Webb County’s Sheriff’s Office. At approximately 10:13 a.m. this morning (June 27th) we received official word that Key waived extradition. Within 10 business days from today, a pair of RRPSO deputies will travel to Laredo and transport Key to Coushatta where he will be booked into the Red River Parish Jail.”
Key was wanted for Attempted Second Degree Murder stemming from an incident in Red River Parish on June 1, 2017.

The Journal was just notified that there will be a Wild Game dinner and singing service in October. It will be at Social Springs Baptist Church. It’s a ways off, but go ahead and Mark your calendar for October 28th.

A second big dragline is crossing I-49 this week. Here is the road closing information from DOTD:
“The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development advises motorists that , the southbound outside lane of I-49 between mile marker 161 and 163, just south of the US 371/LA 177 interchange will be closed. This work is expected to last 4 days.
“In related work, DOTD also advises motorists that , the northbound and southbound lanes of I-49 between mile markers 161 and 163, just south of the US 371/LA 177 interchange, will be closed . “

The photo is courtesy of Billy Shaw.

Tropical Storm Cindy Was Only a Depression

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Cindy came and went rather quietly. The tropical storm dumped buckets of rain on southern parts of the state, however Red River Parish only received rains on and off all day Thursday. The Journal found no reports of damage other than high water in the usual places.

The Red River Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness had issued an alert concerning the approach of Tropical Storm Cindy. The weather service and all the media issued updates. The storm was not as severe here as further south in the state. By the time you read this, Cindy will be a rainstorm and headed out of our area. Give a moment of thanks that we missed this one.

Children Are Not the Only Ones Enjoying Bible School

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For three days this week, residents of Green Meadow Haven are enjoying Vacation Bible School. It is just like when they were children.

This version of VBS has been organized for the past 8 years by Sharon Adkins who lives south of Coushatta and attends Crossroads United Methodist Church. Adkins is quick to say it’s not her, but the dozens of volunteers who help make the annual event possible.

The Journal went on Thursday to observe. I arrived in time for coffee and homemade brownies, chocolate chip cookies and teacakes. From 20 to 40 residents took part in some of the day’s activities and all enjoyed the treats prepared by ladies from Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church.

After eating came singing and rejoicing. Ginny Hines played the piano, Kathryn Adkins played guitar and everyone joined in in their own key on old time hymns like Amazing Grace, How Great Thou Art, Count Your Many Blessings and many others.

Sharon Adkins presented one of her favorite Bible stories from John Chapter 12. It is the story of Jesus going to visit Lazarus, Mary and Martha. Adkins used he story to illustrate that everyone has different talents, and all talents can be used to serve others and to serve Jesus.

After story time came arts and crafts. The volunteers from First Baptist Church, First Methodist Church and the Sewing House brought kits to construct wall hangings or bookmarks that displayed the Lord’s Prayer. There is a picture accompanying this article of Grace Adams holding up her creation.

VBS at Green Meadow Haven started on Wednesday with cookies and treats furnished by Davis Springs Southern Methodist Church. Leigh Adkins presented the Bible story on Wednesday. VBS concludes Friday with another Bible story from Sharon Adkins, a lot more singing with a request for This Little Light of Mine, and snacks from Crossroads United Methodist Church.

At the end of the day the Journal noticed nothing but smiles on the faces of the residents who participated. The warmth spread to staff and volunteers alike as all the supplies and leftover cookies were gathered up and put away for another day.

Cub Scout Pack 70 is Getting Organized


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There is a new Cub Scout Pack in Coushatta. Pack 70 began a couple of months ago and they are using the summer to get organized and get their leaders trained. They conducted a fundraiser on Saturday June 17th to build up the Pack account.

Pack 70 is chartered to Treasured Moments Child Development Center located on Edgar Street. Sharekia Winn is the Charter Organization Representative. Joey Freeman is the new Cubmaster.

The Cubs washed cars and had a bake sale recently in the Rivertown Market parking lot. Freeman says they are raising money to buy uniforms and other needed equipment for the Pack. Freeman said, “The scouting year kicks off in August. We got a start late in the year, so we are trying to get everything together so when it does kick off we’ll be ready to go.”

Winn said, “At present there are about 17 boys in Pack 70. They’re excited about it and getting ready for the fall.” Winn added, “The money we are raising will go to get the boys uniforms and other needed items so they can have a good experience.”

After this fundraiser, Winn says the Pack will take the rest of the summer off. She expects they will be ready to kick off in August.

NSU Has Six of Top Ten in US


Groups who rank higher education offerings have ranked six online academic programs at Northwestern State University in the top 10 in the nation.

The Online Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems ranked first by bestcollegereviews.org. The website affordable colleges.com ranked NSU’s bachelor’s program in accounting third, the bachelor’s in criminal justice fourth and the bachelor’s in business administration 10th. Northwestern State’s psychology program is ranked as the seventh best counseling program by bestcolleges.com. NSU’s master’s in English was ranked sixth by onlineu.org.

“Northwestern State has worked over the past several years to develop outstanding online degree programs that are affordable and meet the needs of students,” said Dr. Darlene Williams, vice president for technology, innovation and economic development. “This recognition by experts in the field of distance learning validates the work done by our faculty and staff to develop innovative, responsive academic programs.”

Northwestern State has Louisiana’s first and largest electronic campus at nsula.edu/ensu. The university offers 39 online degree programs. Internet-only students do not pay out of state fees. Northwestern State is currently developing several competency-based programs specifically for online students, all of which can be applied to a full baccalaureate degree.

NSU has been designated a 2017 Military Friendly School, a designation is awarded to colleges, universities, community colleges and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace military students and dedicate resources to ensure their success both in the classroom and after graduation.

Story Teller Makes Zombie Socks Come Alive

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Children’s author Jasper Price and his assistant Angie Cason discovered and defeated zombies at the library on Monday afternoon. It was all part of the Red River Parish Library’s summer reading program. Forty children and almost that many adults crowded into the meeting room for an afternoon of fun.

Angie Cason presented Price’s book Zombie Asockalypse to those gathered around. Then Price came in to fight the zombie socks that were trying to take over the library. Not to give away the plot, but zombie socks are the kids’ stinky ones that hide under beds and in cluttered closets.

Price explained to the youngsters that his inspiration came a number of years ago. He said, “NPR had a Rotten Sneaker Contest. Thinking of what happens to all those stinky socks inspired me. They become zombie socks.”

The process of developing the story, then illustrating it was explained. Price said, “I took about 6 weeks to write the words. Then I made a lot of little drawings to figure out which illustrations would go into the book.” Price added it took eight months to finalize and color the drawings.

The highlight of the afternoon was the construction of zombie socks. Each child present was given a new, white sock and a bunch of markers. They decorated their socks and many wore them home on their feet or hands. At the top of this story is Sam Weaver modeling his zombie sock. At the request of parents the Journal is including several of the photos from the event.

As Price was concluding his presentation he gave a preview of his next children’s book. He said, “I am working on a middle grade adventure. I can tell you it involves a lot of pizza and a lot of bugs. But I can’t tell you any more than that.”

Next Monday the library’s “Build A Better World” summer reading program presents Harvey Rabbit and Friends. Featured in the program are Mr. Tim, Ms. Laura with Harvey Rabbit, Cecil the monkey, and T-boy the alligator. Harvey and his friends will let you know what they’ve been up to since last summer. The presentation is Monday June 26th at 2:00 pm.

Summer Time is Car Wash Time

RRPJ-ODF Car Wash-17Jun23

Just about any sunny Saturday in Coushatta some group is holding a car wash. Saturday, June 17th the youth group from Open Door Fellowship washed vehicles in the VFW parking lot.

The Youth Pastor is J.P. Handy, and he told the Journal they were washing cars to earn money for camp. “The youth is going to Tall Timbers Baptist Campground south of Alexandria,” said Handy. They are holding a total of 4 car washes as part of their fundraising effort.

Handy says about 30 people including chaperones are going this summer. The group is made up mostly of youth who attend Open Door however some of the youth do not. Handy said, “All slots for this summer’s camp have been filled and there is a waiting list. There may be two slots that would be open for girls.” And Handy says they always welcome additional youth to join their group.

Handy said, “The camp they are going to attend is a Christian camp put on by the Louisiana Baptist. It’s a time for the youth to get away from the distractions of life and have a time to improve their relationship to the Lord, or get to know the Lord.” Handy describes the camp as one of the best in the state of Louisiana.

Other car washes will be held on July 1st, 15th, and the last Saturday in July the 29th. They will be held at the VFW Post on Highway 71 beginning at 8:00 am each day.

ETC…for June 23rd

First Assembly of God in Coushatta is hosting Louisiana Adult and Teen Challenge. Their poster describes it as a “faith-based program helping men and women overcome life-controlling issues.” The event will be held Monday June 25th beginning at 10:00 am. Lunch will be served.

A reminder that there are Vacation Bible School sessions scheduled at several churches in the parish next week. First United Methodist Church, Open Door Fellowship and Social Springs Baptist Church have VBS beginning Monday.

Lauri at Open Door sends this information about their VBS:
“Join us at Galactic Starveyors for a week of searching the visible to discover the invisible. Kids will encounter amazing and wonderful things designed by a Creator who is even bigger than the vastness of His creation! Kids will explore God’s Word, make crafts, play fun games, enjoy tasty snacks, sing cool songs, and learn about missions.
This year’s VBS is all about discovering how the God of the universe wants a relationship with us. We want your children to join us for the fun and excitement! During VBS, kids will discover the truth that God created each one of them and had a plan from the beginning to restore the relationship He knew we would break through sin.
During Galactic Starveyors, kids will discover that the God who created everything there is-the unknowable, the visible and the invisible-wants a relationship with them!
Ages 4 through 6th grade!
Our new pastor (Steven McAbee) will come visit for a few days to love on the kids and get to know some of our families.”

This week the Half Price HookUp added The Lakewood Inn to their offerings. On Wednesday the cards for Lakewood Inn, York Chop and Dairy Queen quickly sold out. There will be more offerings when the Half Price HookUp store opens on Wednesday July 5th. If you have not signed up for text alert notification of half price values at local restaurants you may do so by texting “HPHC” to 779-48. You’ll get first notification of the local bargains.

The Journal would like to give a word of thanks to the Red River Parish Library. I have recently started using their computer for transmitting the Journal to the publishing company we use. The Journal office has “high speed” from an unnamed provider whose initials are ____. The library has some super-speed service from the 5th dimension or who knows where, but it is fast. Moving to the library has turned a 2 ½ to 3 hour long uploading of the stories and pictures at the Journal office into only a 10-minute adventure. If you are not taking advantages of all the services the Red River Parish Library has to offer to make your life more enjoyable or easier, “watcha waitin fo?”

By the way, the Children’s Librarian was flabbergasted the other day when the Journal informed her that the post office will no longer accept “P.O. Box ___” as valid. The post office has dropped the periods. Also if your home is at “___ Ajax Street” and you abbreviate it “Ajax St.” that is no longer valid. Gotta leave off the periods to make the P.O. happy!