Impaired Driver Claims the Life of a Teenager in Red River Parish


Funeral services are pending for 17-year-old Rachel Barnett of Coushatta at Rocket-Nettles Funeral Home. She was killed by an impaired driver on Wednesday afternoon. The photo is of Barnett and Lacy Ross (on the left) who was injured from the Hickory Grove Baptist Church Facebook page.

The church posted on Thursday “Please pray for everyone concerned with the tragic death of the teenager yesterday, including the driver and his family. So many lives ‘messed up’ in an instant.”

Here is the release from State Police in Shreveport”

On July 26, 2017, at 5:42 p.m., Louisiana State Police Troop G responded to crash involving a vehicle and two pedestrians on Louisiana Highway 784 just east of US Highway 71 that claimed the life of a Coushatta teenager.

The preliminary investigation revealed that 19-year-old Lacy Ross and 17-year-old Rachel Barnette of Coushatta were walking on the side of LA 784, when they were struck by a westbound 2002 Buick Century operated by 47-year-old Kenneth Morse of Coushatta.

Ross sustained minor injuries from the collision and was transported to University Health Shreveport for treatment. Barnette sustained fatal injuries from the collision and was pronounced dead at the scene by the Red River Parish Coroner.

Morse was not injured in the crash and but was impaired at the time of the crash. At the completion of the on-scene investigation, Morse was transported to the Red River Parish Jail and booked for vehicular negligent injuring, vehicular homicide, open container, and operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
Impairment is a factor in this crash. Toxicology samples were obtained and will be submitted for analysis. This crash remains under investigation.

Each year, on Louisiana’s highways, numerous people are killed or seriously injured in automobile crashes that involve impaired drivers. In 2016, 52% of the fatal crashes in the Troop G area involved impaired drivers. Motorists are asked to designate a sober driver any time alcohol is consumed.
To report impaired drivers, motorists are encouraged to dial *LSP (*577) from their cellular phone or to contact their local law enforcement agency.

No Human Remains Found, Search Ended


Bossier Sheriff’s Office detectives called off their search late Thursday morning for possible human remains in Red River Parish that involved one of Bossier’s missing person’s cases. However, Bossier detectives are continuing their investigation and encouraging anyone with information to speak up.

A tip received by the Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office earlier this week led Bossier and Red River detectives and deputies on a nearly three-day search in a wooded area just behind an abandoned trailer home off of Highway 507, about 11 miles south of Coushatta on Highway 71.

The search began just before noon July 25 and was called off around 11 a.m. July 27.
“We conducted as thorough a search as any law enforcement agency could,” said Bossier Sheriff Whittington. “Our deputies were joined by Red River deputies, and they worked tirelessly to search for human remains or clues that would help us in our investigation. Unfortunately, none were found.”

When deputies began their search on Tuesday, they had to clear the wooded area just behind the house. They then diligently and methodically sifted through the soil and ground area.

“When we receive tips and leads about any of our cases under investigation, we take them seriously,” said Sheriff Whittington. “When those tips involve a missing person, we are very aware that there are family members wanting answers, and we will leave no stone unturned.”

Sheriff Whittington dispatched the Crime Scene Investigation team, Mobile Command bus and patrol deputies to the scene off of Highway 507 to conduct the search and have a place where deputies could have a cool place to break and eat during the hot, humid days. They worked from daybreak and used portable lighting to keep searching until around midnight Tuesday and Wednesday. They were hopeful something would turn up to help provide a break in the investigation.

“I want to emphasize that anyone who has any information, please forward it on to us,” said Sheriff Whittington. “Even though in this case it didn’t work out, that doesn’t matter. We’re persistent, and we’re going to keep following leads as long as it takes. I encourage you to call your Crime Stoppers or your local police or your sheriff’s agency and let them know what’s going on because it may be the break that we’ve been waiting for. Don’t hold back; don’t hesitate. Please, if you have information, pass it on.”

Contact the Bossier Sheriff’s Office at (318) 965-2203, the Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office at 318-932-4221, or your local law enforcement agency with your tips. You can also leave your anonymous tip at Bossier Crime Stoppers at (318) 424-4100.

Marijuana Bust on Suzanne Street

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On July 20, 2017 Red River Parish Sheriff’s deputies responded to a complaint at a residence on Suzanne Street off of LA 155 in Coushatta. The subsequent investigation led to the discovery and seizure of approximately 81 grams of Marijuana, along with numerous baggies consistent with those commonly used for the distribution of illegal narcotics. Two juveniles were inside the home at the time of the seizure.

Devontis S. Brewer, B/M, age 34 of the 1300 block of Suzanne St., Coushatta, LA was taken into custody and transported to the Red River Parish Jail for booking. He was charged with one count each of the following: Possession of Schedule I Marijuana with Intent to Distribute, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Illegal Use of Controlled Dangerous Substance in Presence of Persons under Seventeen Years of Age.

On July 24, 2017 Brewer posted a $5,000 bond and was released pending a trial date.

New Challenges for the Bulldogs

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It is still the heat of summer surrounding Coushatta’s Pat Strother Memorial Stadium. But the Red River High School Bulldog Football Team is hard at work. And they face a couple of tough challenges this year.

The Bulldogs new head coach, John Bachman has been in the job about a week. He had been with the team during most of the summer as assistant coach.

Another challenge is a new football district configuration to play in. This year Red River faces Winnfield, Bunkie, Many, and Holy Savior Menard in district play in addition to old competitor Lakeview.

And there is just over a month until the first game!

Red River Football kicks off with a road game at Grambling September 1st against Lincoln Preparatory School. The first of five district games begins October 6th at home facing Winnfield. The complete schedule is posted below.

The Bulldogs have a way to go. But the coaches the Journal talked to say they are up to the challenge. Make plans to follow the team to Lincoln Prep September 1st, then be in Strother Stadium to welcome Arcadia September 8th.

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Martin High Graduate Gets National Recognition

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Myra Evans-Manyweather is a 1981 Graduate of Martin High School. She is an author and Air Force veteran retiree born and raised in Coushatta, LA. Evans-Manyweather told the Journal, “I graduated from Martin High School. I currently work for the Department of Defense at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, TX where I reside with my husband Arthur and son AC. I just earned the Air Force Blacks in Government Meritorious Service Award, and would like to share it with friends and family back home in Coushatta.”

Here is the Air Force’s announcement of the award:

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — Air Force officials recently named the winners for the 2017 Blacks in Government Meritorious Service Award. The award honors military members and Department of Defense civilian employees who have supported military missions or overseas contingency operations, or whose attributes best epitomize the qualities and core values of their service branch or other DOD component.

The 2017 distinguished recipients include:
Myra L. Evans-Manyweather, Support Agreement Manager Program Analyst, 502nd Air Base Wing, Joint Base San Antonio-Ft. Sam Houston, Air Education and Training Command.

Evans-Manyweather’s superb leadership and dedication to service were crucial to the management of the 502nd’s $38 million reimbursable intra-/inter-service support agreement program, terminating 47 of 69 expired and superseded agreements, consolidating 15 into five and improving currency rate by 40 percent. On- and off-duty, Evans-Manyweather lives out her personal mantra, “start where you are.” She became a published author in July 2016. In her book, Start Where You Are: My Journey from Childhood Poverty to Passionate Entrepreneur, she shares personal trials and triumphs in overcoming discrimination and eliminating barriers that hinder equal opportunities in what she refers to as “underserved communities.” Additionally, she volunteered more than 20 hours facilitating focus groups to gain actionable data from participants to help find the root cause of the tendency of former offenders to reoffend within a one-to three-year period after release.

Street Narcotics Sale Evidence Seized


On July 17, 2017 Red River Parish Sheriff’s deputies responded to a complaint at a residence on Mary Street off of Ringgold Avenue in Coushatta. As deputies entered the residence, a suspect attempted to flee through the back door of the residence. He was immediately taken into custody and identified as Donald Miller. As Miller attempted to flee, he threw what was later identified as a substantial amount of synthetic cannabis on the bedroom floor.

A subsequent search of the residence for illegal narcotics yielded the following: ten grams of synthetic cannabis, a digital scale and baggies commonly used in the weighing and packaging of illegal narcotics for resale, cigars and $252.00 of U.S. currency in small denominations, which is consistent with street level narcotics sales. All items were seized and placed into evidence.

Donald D. Miller, B/M, age 36 of the 1800 block of Jones St., Coushatta, LA was taken into custody and transported to the Red River Parish Jail for booking. He was charged with Resisting an Officer, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Possession of Schedule I Synthetic Cannabinoids with Intent to Distribute.

On July 20, 2017 Miller posted a $5,000 bond and was released pending a trial date.


New Home for Liberty Baptist Church

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Pastor Harry Bamburg says they are worshiping in their new church building and loving it. He invites you to service Sunday to see their new facility.

Liberty Baptist is located off Highway 507 down Benton Adkins Road to Liberty Church Road. Turn at the large telephone tower on Highway 507. Bamburg has pastored the church since 2008. When the Journal spoke with him he was excited over completion of the new facility.

Sunday, August 13th is the 155th anniversary of the church’s founding. Bamburg said they are having a special anniversary service. The new facility is ready just in time for the anniversary.

August 13th the church is also beginning a week-long revival series lasting through Friday August 18th. Bamburg says Brother Sam Moore will be the Evangelist and Brother Price Harris will lead the music. Moore is known in Red River Parish as a powerful preacher of the Word. He was the Evangelist for the recent Red River Crusade and has appeared at numerous other local churches.

If you want to see a great smile, just talk to Harry Bamburg about Liberty Baptist Church. Or you can see for yourself at Liberty Baptist Church this Sunday. Sunday School starts at 9:45 and the Worship Service begins at 11:00 am.

ETC… for July 28th



The “Back to School” rush is in full speed ahead. Teachers and other school personnel are making their final preparations to get their classrooms “just right.”
There are new teachers who will be introduced to students and parents at open house coming up soon.

The Back to School Bash is happening next week. We will have an update on the tremendous offer of backpacks and school supplies being made available to our students.

Riverdale Academy is getting ready with their Ice Cream Social coming up in the near future.

Both schools are putting together their fall athletic programs, dance lines, the RR Bulldog Marching Band is practicing in the school parking lot, and it goes on and on.

If you need details, please consult earlier editions of the Journal. Or go to your school’s Facebook page.

There is a baby shower in the near future at the parish health unit.

Riverdale is planning a “Rebel Fest” on September 9th.

Our children go back to school on August 9th. The big yellow school busses will be picking up children every morning and taking them home in the afternoon. Please be aware if you travel on a road with a blind curve or other feature that could block your vision. Tragedy struck just this week with teenagers walking on the side of a road. Slow down, you’ll get there safely. Drive carefully!

Rebelettes Garner Top Honors


Riverdale Academy posted on their Facebook page that they are looking forward to watching the Rebelettes perform this fall. They did extremely well at their recent camp.

Their page stated:
“The Rebelettes attended Marching Auxiliaries Dance Camp in Houston this week. Officers Kaylee Merry and Emily Hodge, received grand champion rating on their jazz routine and the team received grand champion rating on their Pom routine. All five members received an All American ribbon. Kaylee Merry, Emily Hodge and Tylee Adams also earned an Honor Roll Award.”

Shown in the group picture are Tylee Adams, Kenley Loftin, Kaylee Merry, Emily Hodge, and Emily Kirkland

Surprise Breakfast for the Guard

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You’re away from home at annual training with the Louisiana Army National Guard. Imagine a home cooked breakfast served hot just for you. That is what happened on Thursday July 20th at the armory in Coushatta.

Several members of Auxiliary 7287 to the Coushatta Veterans of Foreign Wars post prepared a delicious breakfast of sausage and egg casserole, breakfast burritos, fresh baked muffins, sweet bread, cinnamon rolls and donuts. It was served at 0730 hours, that’s 7:30 am and consumed in almost total silence. Too good tasting, no time to talk.

The Guard’s C/2-108th Cavalry Squadron was participating in their annual two week training. They were well fed that day. Everyone from the privates to Captain Ford was gracious in their compliments and praise for the work of Ramel Fields, Susan Wastlund, Dawn Brewer and Angelia McCoy. There was very little left over.

Serving the Coushatta guard unit is one of the missions of VFW Post 7287 and Auxiliary 7287. Other activities of the veterans organization include visiting and working at the War Veterans Home in Bossier City, support and flag ceremonies at vets funerals, as well as providing the annual Americanism programs for students in Red River, Bienville and DeSoto parishes.