ETC… for July 21st

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The dirt and grime on your vehicle from summer driving can be washed away Saturday. The youth group of Open Door Fellowship is holding a car wash at the VFW Post on Highway 71. They are raising money to cover expenses of the youth group’s summer activities.

Friday, today, is Fish day at the Council on Aging. The Depot Diner opens at 11:00 am. On first and third Fridays each month they serve delicious fried catfish and all the trimmings. Parish residents 60 years and older eat for just $3.00. If you aren’t a regular at the Depot Diner, today is a good day to start.

Construction has ended and members of Liberty Baptist Church near Martin are worshiping in their new building. Pastor Harry Bamburg told the Journal to look for their official dedication service in the fall.

Imagination Library Coming to Red River Parish

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United Way of Northwest Louisiana is expanding the area for it’s very successful preschool reading program to include Red River Parish. United Way’s Jennifer Martin presented “Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library” to the July meeting of the Red River Parish School Board.

The project was created by Dolly Parton to encourage young children to begin enjoying reading. Even before they can read, parents begin the process by reading to them. The best part is that it’s all free.

From the introductory brochure Dolly Parton wrote, “Growing up in the Smoky Mountains was a real blessing. There were some tough times, but most of our life was full of the kind of riches money can never buy. One of my most precious memories is sitting in my mother’s lap and listening to her read me stories from the Bible. Parton continued, “Those wonderful moments with my mother inspired me to create my Imagination Library. I hope these books inspire you to read to your child.”

Imagination Library is a set of up to 60 books that will be mailed to your child each month. Ages are birth to 5 years. The first is the children’s classis The Little Engine That Could. Each month your child gets another book. All Dolly Parton asks is that you read to your children.

Jennifer Martin, in presenting the program to the school board said, “Research shows that students who participate in Imagination Library score fifteen percent (15%) higher on kindergarten readiness tests. United Way says a grant has made possible distribution of the books to all eligible students living in Red River Parish.”

Here is more on Imagination Library from Martin:
The program will address early childhood literacy and help children be kindergarten ready. When a child enters kindergarten, it is expected that they demonstrate cognitive abilities, including knowledge and skills in early literacy, such as phonological awareness, print concepts, alphabetic understanding, vocabulary, listening comprehension, and emergent writing; in addition to basic numeracy (rote counting and number awareness, sorting, classifying, comparing, patterning, and spatial relationships).

The grant funding provided by BHP Billiton will allow UWNWLA to support and sponsor nearly 250 children in Red River Parish, birth to five years of age through the Dolly Parton Imagination Library (DPIL) Program. BHP Billiton has provided seed money for three years to fully establish the program in the area. This nationally recognized program provides every child who enrolls with one age appropriate book each month, creating their own personal library. It inspires families to read more frequently to their children and catalyze our community to invest more time, talent and treasures to better prepare children to enter kindergarten ready to succeed. Funding will need to be secured after the three year grant dollars have been used to maintain the program.

The population served is children from birth to five years of age in Red River Parish zip codes. With this funding, United Way will add all zip codes in Red River Parish to the DPIL program, serving 228 children of the 3,320 households living in the parish. According to the ALICE (Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed) Study of Financial Hardship, 40 percent of the population is struggling to afford basic needs.

United Way will focus on two areas that have the highest percent of families living below the ALICE threshold in the first few months: 1) Coushatta (64%) and Martin (44%). In Red River Parish, elementary schools scored a D letter grade, according to the Louisiana Department of Education. Furthermore, 49 percent of students in grades 3-8 scored below grade level on state assessments. Sixty-four percent of children in Red River Parish entering kindergarten are unprepared.

Every child enrolled in the program is tracked through software administered through the Imagination Library Foundation. Ongoing reports are produced and provided to each school in each of the sponsored zip codes so administrators can use to compare DIEBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills) testing scores.

Property Owners to be Required to Clean Up Their Act

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There are unkempt properties within the city that need to be cleaned up. And the town is working to do something.

Mayor Johnny Cox addressed the problem at the July meeting of the Town Council. Cox asked for a motion to begin the process of getting property owners to take care of their property.

The motion authorizes the city attorney to begin by sending letters to property owners and give them a timeline for a cleanup . The notice would also inform property owners of possible penalties or other actions if their property is not brought up to standards.

The motion was adopted unanimously by the Town Council at the July meeting.

Drug Bust Follows Traffic Stop

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At approximately 11:15 p.m. on July 9, 2017, a Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office (RRPSO) deputy initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle traveling north on US Hwy 71 near Almond Brother’s Lumber Company. The driver was identified as Joseph Jones of Coushatta.

Upon approaching Jones, the deputy detected a strong odor of marijuana emanating from his person. A green leafy substance was also observed protruding from his mouth.

As the deputy neared the vehicle, he once again was met with a strong odor of marijuana. Jones acknowledged that a passenger had smoked the illegal substance inside his car earlier in the day. He also admitted that some marijuana cigarettes, known as “doobies”, might still be present in the vehicle.

One gram of suspected marijuana was found during a search of the car. Also recovered were twenty-eight Hydrocodone pills and one and a half Xanax bars, all of which Jones possessed without a prescription. All items were collected as evidence.

Jones was taken into custody without incident and transported to the Red River Parish Jail for booking. During the booking process, deputies suspected that Jones had additional drugs on his person. An additional 5 grams of suspected marijuana were subsequently recovered by deputies.

On July 10, 2017 Joseph C. Jones, B/M, age 32 of the 2000 block of Springville Road, Coushatta, LA was charged with Possession of Schedule II CDS (Controlled Dangerous Substance) with Intent to Distribute, Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Schedule IV CDS, Proper Equipment Required on Vehicles and two counts of Introduction of Contraband to a Parish Jail. Later that day, he posted a $14,000 bond and was released pending a trial date.

Riverdale Ice Cream Social & Uniform Order

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Riverdale Academy has announced that their annual Ice Cream Social is scheduled for August 10 at 5:00 pm. A post on the school’s Facebook page said, “We don’t want you to go home hungry so the Booster Club will be selling fish plates with all of the trimmings. Of course there will be plenty of ice cream for dessert!”

Riverdale asked everyone to fill out the form so they can get an idea of how many to prepare for.
https://form.jotform.us/…/riverdale-ice-cream-social-fish-p…

 

It’s time to think about uniforms for the coming year. Riverdale said that students may wear one of two current spirit shirts Monday – Thursday this year along with normal polo school uniform shirts. Any spirit shirt may be worn on Fridays. Please follow the links to preorder your shirts from Booster and Rebel clubs. Shirts are $15.00 each ( add $2.00 for 2X and 3X) and will be available for pickup at the Ice Cream Social on August 10.
Rebel Club – https://form.jotform.us/71909427326158
Booster Club – https://form.jotform.us/71918281684163

Before and After!

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Here are a couple of thousand words and smells and great tastes told by two pictures. And they come with a warning.

First there is a picture of tantalizing fresh veggies selected a couple of days ago from Anderson’s Produce Stand on Highway 174. There are just picked yellow squash, red and yellow onions, sweet red, yellow and gold peppers, a bright green bell pepper, and some new potatoes.

Do a little chopping. Sprinkle on some olive oil and spices. Give it a few minutes in the broiler. You have the “after” photo. The delicious meal awaits!

There are so many fresh fruits and vegetables waiting for you at Anderson’s Produce we cannot list them all here. Not shown, but just as good are the beans and peas, snap beans, watermelons and on and on.

About that warning. Hot weather is upon us and that means the growing season is coming to an end. Anderson Produce has announced their final day will be Saturday, July 29th.

Farmer Jason Anderson said, “It has been a great growing season despite some strange weather in early spring. The veggies are plentiful and delicious, but only for a few more days.”

So come to the farm today. Anderson’s Produce and Plant Farm is open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Saturday through July 29th. Call them at 932-1432. Anderson’s is located half way between I-49 and LA 1 on Highway 174.

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Welcome New City Police Officers

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Say “Hello” to William Fitzpatrick. He is one of the newest members of the Coushatta Police Department. The Journal met up with Fitzpatrick as he was preparing to go out on patrol. Fitzpatrick says he has been on the force about a month after he graduated from the Natchitoches Police Department Police Academy.

Coushatta Chief Kevin Stafford said Fitzpatrick and Jeremy Wiggins are the two new city police officers. Stafford said he met with them this week and they are patrolling Coushatta on a regular basis. “We need to be visible,” said Stafford “Get out into the neighborhoods, walk through the area and build a relationship with the citizens.”

Stafford told the Journal that they are taking the slogan “to protect and to serve” seriously. He said, “You pay us and you deserve good service. We will provide the best service we can. Every concern will be hear and addressed.” Asked about the size of the task ahead, Stafford said, “It’s a big job, but I’ve got some big shoulders.”

Coushatta Stop of Victory Tour is Friday Night

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Northwestern State’s Football Victory Tour rolls into Coushatta Friday night. The stop will be at Tray Murray’s home at 185 Army Road and it starts at 6:30 pm.

NSU Head Football Coach Jay Thomas, assistant coaches, and members of his staff will attend the tour stops that began Monday night in Winnfield and continue with stops across Louisiana concluding in New Orleans on July 27th.

There is no admission charge for any of the events, which will feature complimentary appetizers, soda, tea and water for guests. Fans will be able to purchase exclusive Demons gear, including T-shirts, caps and other items.

The Demon Victory Tour stops in Coushatta at Tray Murray’s home on Friday night. Demon supporters and football fans are invited to come meet the coaches.

 

ETC … for July 19th

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Great news. Ms. Kennedy’s Technology in Kindergarten has been fully funded. She posted, “I am very humbled that you have donated to my classroom and my students! Thank you for your generous donation! We can not wait to use our tablets! We will incorporate these items into our whole group and small group lessons to help us learn Math, Phonics, Reading, Writing, Science, History, and even art!”
You can read the full story in last weeks Journal.

Thursday morning at 11:00 am you’re invited to another sports signing. One of the Red River Lady Bulldogs will sign a college basketball scholarship. The ceremony will be held in the school library. Come offer your congratulations.

Red River High School coaches from various sports are in Baton Rouge at the Louisiana High School Coaches Association convention. There is general information on being a more effective coach and break out sessions that are specific to each sport. More coverage on the event coming up in a future issue.

In case you had not heard, the Red River Bulldogs are in a new, redrawn district from last year. The football will play district games this fall against Winnfield, Lakeview, Bunkie, Many, and Holy Savior Menard. Their complete schedule is available on the Max Preps site.

This weekend is the “Strike Out Cancer” benefit co-ed softball tournament at Coushatta City Park. Play is all day Saturday.

City Property Taxes to Remain Constant

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Property taxes in the town of Coushatta will remain the same for another year. At the Town Council meeting Tuesday, July 11th the council adopted the millage scale for 2017.

The breakdown is:
General Alimony Tax – 7.18 mills
Recreation Tax – 3.14 mills
Street Tax – 1.05 mills
Fire Tax – 1.05 mills

Mayor Johnny Cox asked the Council to approve the rates. Cox noted, “The amount people pay is not going up. These millage rates will assure that the tax paid is the same as last year.”

Also at the meeting this week, the council adopted a resolution “to consider calling an election in the fall to authorize the renewal of Ad Valorem taxes.” Mayor Cox noted that the Town Council will meet on Tuesday August 15th to consider and pass a resolution calling the tax election. He stressed that this would be a renewal of current rates, not a new tax.

The August Town Council meeting was moved to the third Tuesday in August, instead of the regular meeting date of the second Tuesday in the month. This is to hold both the regular council meeting and the meeting to consider the tax election call at the same time.

Community Grants Available to Non-Profits in Red River Parish

RRPJ-Foundation Grants-17Jul14The Community Foundation of North Louisiana and United Way of Northwest Louisiana will open Stage One of its 2017-18 competitive grant cycle on Tuesday, August 1, 2017. There will continue to be a common application with the United Way of Northwest Louisiana in an effort to streamline the application process for nonprofits. Organizations serving Red River Parish are encouraged to apply. Applicants must have 501(c)3 status prior to submitting an application.

Jennifer Steadman of the foundation told the Journal that in Red River Parish the grants come from United Way of Northwest Louisiana. However parish non-profits will apply through the Foundation. Steadman says this is to streamline the process.

The 2017-18 grant cycle will remain similar to the previous year’s process. The application process will have two stages. In Stage One applicants will submit a synopsis of the proposed project, a program budget and organizational information. This information will be reviewed by a committee of community volunteers who select organizations for participation in Stage Two. Those who are selected after Stage One may submit a Stage Two application beginning October 15 with a firm deadline of 4 p.m. November 15.

Interested organizations must attend one orientation session prior to submitting Stage One. Five sessions are offered between July 18 and July 27. A complete schedule, and all details of the application process, can be found on The Community Foundation website (http://www.cfnla.org/grant-seekers/apply).

 

Back to School Bash is July 31st

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The Red River Parish School Board is partnering with United Way of Northwest Louisiana to put on a “Back to School Bash” for all public school children in the parish. It will be the evening of July 31st in the high school gym.

Jennifer Martin of the United Way explained that they will have backpacks and school supplies for children. Also t-shirts, free haircuts and a hot dog supper. Martin presented their plans to the school board at the July meeting.

The Bash will be held from 5:30 to 8:00 pm on July 31st. Martin estimates that every child in attendance will receive a backpack with school supplies. That is provided by United Way and area merchants.

School Superintendent Alison Hughes described the Back to School Bash as an exciting thing to take part in. “We’ve been working for about a year on a neat partnership with United Way” said Hughes. She added “now it will happen here.”

Hughes thanked Martin and others at United Way for working with the board. She also said they are looking for additional donations of school supplies and items to use as door prizes. If you would like to get involved with the Back to School Bash call the school board office at 318-932-5774.

TO VIEW THE EVENT FLYER – CLICK HERE

Help Elementary School Technology Grant Meet its Goal

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Kindergarten teacher Hanna Kennedy wants her kids to have more opportunities to learn. She envisions them Turning to Technology! Kennedy said “My students need reliable technology that can assist in their learning to read, write, problem solve.” To do that, she is asking help in purchasing four Amazon Fire tablets for her class.

Total cost of the project is $429.00 Kennedy has launched an online site to seek donations. She is almost there, raising $339.00 so far. She needs $90.00 more to reach the goal.

On the site, Kennedy said, “Technology is such a HUGE part of our growing society! With tablets, my students will be able to search beyond our classroom walls into a world full of education! The tablets will be loaded with Math, English, Science, and Social Study games. They will combine education with education.”

Kennedy told the Journal this is her first request for such funding. However other kindergarten teachers have been funded for classroom projects using the same or a similar method.

“These tablets will be a new way see what the children know, document how they grow, and display what they have learned!” said Kennedy. The students will show their appreciation by supplying donors with pictures and thank you cards they make in class.

Get details and make a donation at the RRES Paw Parents Facebook page. Click the picture to take you to the website where you can make a donation.

Family Center Enrollment Next Week

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It is time to enroll your young children in the Jeanette Lawson Family Center. Director Edna Webb said, “The enrollment dates are July 19th and 20th from 9:00 am to 1:30 pm each day.”

Children ages 6 weeks to 6 years are eligible to enroll. The Lawson Family Center operates on school days from 7:00 am to 3:30 pm. The day children report is August 7th. The center is under the school board umbrella and is located adjacent to the Springville Education Center campus.

Webb said, “The center is a Type III learning center, which is much more than just a day-care. We are a learning center to get kids off on the right foot.” Webb added, “Our programs are open to the public. We furnish our children with a hot breakfast and lunch every day plus a snack in the afternoon.”

Working parents can get help covering the costs, if needed. Webb said, “Child care assistance is available from the state for those who qualify. There is financial help available for working parents.”

For additional information about the Jeanette Lawson Family Center call 318-932-7044. Or you may come to registration next Wednesday and Thursday.

Acting Strangely Gets Deputy’s Attention

RRPJ-Melvin James Thomas Arrest-17Jul14

On July 4, 2017 at approximately 10:30 p.m. an individual approached a Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office (RRPSO) deputy as he was exiting the Coushatta Truck Stop on Cutoff Road in Coushatta. The man reported that a person had just driven into the parking lot, parked behind him and was acting strangely.

As the deputy approached the suspect, later identified as Melvin Thomas, he detected that a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emanated from his person. The deputy also observed Thomas holding a nearly empty bottle of Vodka and noted that he was unable to speak clearly while engaged in conversation. For officer and public safety, Thomas was temporarily detained and escorted the deputy’s patrol unit while the deputy continued to investigate the incident. Thomas lost his balance multiple times while in route to the vehicle and required assistance to enter the unit. He also became verbally abusive toward the deputy.

After speaking with witnesses, Thomas was subsequently placed under arrest for driving while intoxicated. He was transported to the Red River Parish Jail (RRPJ) where he refused to submit to the chemical test for intoxication. During the booking process, Thomas attempted to bribe the deputy in order to gain his release. When those attempts failed, he became increasingly uncooperative and made verbal threats toward deputies.

Melvin J. Thomas, B/M, age 54 of the 1300 block of Francois St., Mansfield, LA was charged with the following: Disturbing the Peace (Intoxicated in Public), Operating a Vehicle while Intoxicated (Fourth Offense), Public Intimidation (two counts), Public Bribery, Driving Under Suspension for Prior DWI, Open Container Violation and Resisting an Officer.

His bond was set at $28,000 and he remains incarcerated. A probation and parole hold has also been placed on his release.

ETC…for July 14th

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There is a lot going on in our town this summer. So tighten your seatbelts, the Journal is going to breeze through as many items as we can!

Register now for the Strike Out Cancer benefit softball tournament. Look back at the July 7th edition of the Journal on our website http://www.RedRiverParishJournal.com for full details. Contact is Joey Procell at 318-871-6496. Entry fee is $150. Put your team together and enter today.

The Red River Parish Library Summer Reading Program on Monday July 17th will feature Texas’ Magic Ambassador David G. Wonders. The program starts at 2:00 pm and is free for kids of all ages.

DOTD will be making lane closures on I-49 near the US 371/LA 177 interchange for the next few days. It’s part of the movement of draglines across I-49 for the Dolet Hills Mine.

Mark July 28th on your calendar. The Red River High Athletic Booster Club will be selling fish plates at Rivertown Market to raise funds to support all high school teams next year.

July 22nd is the monthly Senior Dance at the Council on Aging. The Playmates will be playing from 7 to 10 pm. Over charge is $6.

Get out your August Calendar. First Baptist Church is having a “Spiritual Outdoor Adventure” on the 8th. The Riverdale Academy Ice Cream Social is scheduled for the 10th. Monday August 7th is the monthly Police Jury meeting. All school children go back to class on August 9th. The School Board meets second Monday or August 14th. Coushatta Town Council meets on the third Tuesday or August 15th. And Football scrimmages and Jamborees will be held late in the month.

“And everyone complains that there is nothing going on in Red River Parish”…editor.

Folklife Feature: Nathan and Eva Leach

Nathan and Eva Folkfest 2017

Nathan and Eva Leach, a musically gifted sibling duo from Charleston, SC, are the grandchildren and Natchitoches residents Bill and Alice Bryant.

A song cover of “Hero” by Family of the Year published on Youtube in 2013 went viral with well over 2 million views. America fell in love with their soulful song selections. As of 2017, the video has over 18 million views.

The music bug runs in the family. Dr. Bill Bryant was inducted into the Louisiana Folklife Center’s Hall of Master Folk Artists in 2001. Some of the duo’s videos feature family members. Their sound melds bluegrass and folk featuring an organic sound that comes from the instruments they play, instead of relying on electronic beats. Their mother plays violin and their father plays bass. Bill is an expert dulcimer player.

Nathan and Eva will perform at this year’s Folk Festival on Saturday, July 15 from 12:45-1:45 on the East Stage in Prather Coliseum.

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.
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.

Enjoy the healing art of Massage Therapy at Magnolia Spa

ADV-MagSpa 07-2017

Magnolia Spa and Wellness of Natchitoches is home to an array of health and wellness services. One of the many delights offered to those who visit the staff at Magnolia Spa and Wellness is the healing art of Massage Therapy.

Massage therapy has been practiced all over the world since ancient times. Massage is a manual therapy that manipulates the soft tissues of the body, resulting in the release of dopamine and serotonin in the body. These are the body’s natural feel good chemicals; Massage literally makes your body happy!

Many who are unfamiliar with the boundless benefits of Massage, consider Massage Therapy to be a luxury. Science, however, has proven the multitudinous advantages Massage Therapy provides toward overall health. One hour of Swedish Massage can provide the body with as much cellular restoration and invigoration as a full eight hours of good sleep! The perks to massage are  seemingly limitless, when performed by a knowledgeable professional.

All massage services at Magnolia Spa and Wellness are provided by some of the most skilled and highly qualified Massage Therapists in the state. Felicia Maxey, LMT and Amanda Dordell, LMT each have over seven years of experience in multiple forms of Massage Therapy, as well as being established members of the American Massage Therapy Association.

Felicia, who specializes in healing and rehabilitative modalities such as Chronic Pain Management, Aromatherapy, and even Oncology Massage, offers her skills to guests at Magnolia Spa and Wellness with the hopes of helping to improve the quality of life for each individual she encounters.

Amanda, who specializes in restorative modalities such as Sports, Prenatal, and Deep Tissue massage, provides patrons a soothing experience that will leave them rejuvenated.

Magnolia Spa and Wellness invites you to experience the unforgettable world of restorative bodywork provided by outstanding, knowledgeable professionals, who have hearts, and hands, designed for healing!

If you would like to make an appointment, call 318-238-2843

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School System Retirees Honored

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Eleven teachers, administrators and other employees of the Red River Parish School Board were honored at Monday night’s board meeting with retirement plaques. Superintendent Alison Hughes and board President Valerie Cox presented the plaques.

Hughes thanked the retirees “for their years of service to education and the school district.” Hughes said, “We all appreciate everything you have done for us over the years.”

Those presented plaques were Rhonda Bethard, Timothy Byrd, Jerry Carlisle, the late Patsy Cole, Senior Master Sergeant Earl Creagh, Gayle Culver, Patricia Dowden, Sandra Grillette, Gloria Harris, Alvin Keith, and Linda Russell. Carlisle and Creagh are already enjoying their retirement and were not at the board meeting.

Board President Valerie Cox made one request. She said, “Enjoy your retirement but don’t be strangers. Come see us once in a while to remind us what we all have to look forward to in retirement.”

Retirees, family and friends were treated to a special retirement reception during a recess in the board meeting. Highlight of the table spread was mini-meat pies, chocolate dipped strawberries and many other culinary delights.

 

School Board Making Preparations for the Next School Year

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The Red River Parish School Board met Monday night (July 10th) and preparations for the next school year topped the agenda. Superintendent Alison Hughes reminded board members that classed would have started by the time the board meets on August 14th.

Some of the housekeeping measures passed by the board included approval of new job descriptions for the positions of Graduation Coach, Pupil Appraisal Coordinator, and School Disciplinarian. Also approved by the board was the personnel Salary Scale for the 2017-18 school year.

The newly hired Principal and Assistant Principal for Red River High School were introduced to the board. The new Principal is J.C. Dickey who comes from the Bossier Parish school system. The new Assistant Principal is Tiffany Roque who has been working in schools in Natchitoches Parish

Dickey said, “I am very excited about being here. I hear good things happen in this district and at Red River High. I am excited about being a part of them.” Dickey introduced his family, wife Amanda, oldest son John and youngest son Jadyen. The Dickeys also have a seven-year-old daughter who was not at the meeting.

Assistant Principal Tiffany Roque told the board, “I thank you for the opportunity, my first as an Assistant Principal. I am excited to be working with our students and parents.” Roque introduced her mother, Kathie Roque to the board.

Dickey and Roque are in the process of arranging their offices at the high school and getting ready for start of classes on August 9th. Both were given two-year contracts by the school board.

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These are the Final Days

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All great things must someday come to an end. Farmer Jason Anderson says the season is almost over at Anderson’s Produce and Plant Farm in South Red River Parish.

“It’s been a good growing season,” said Anderson, “but the heat is beginning to take a toll on crops. There is still a great selection but hot, hot days signal that the end is near.” Anderson estimates that he will be closing his produce stand about the end of July.

Look around. The tomatoes are red, ripe and delicious and they are still plentiful. Cantaloupes and watermelons are plentiful. Stock up now on fresh corn, squash, peas and beans, potatoes, sweet and hot peppers, and onions. Fill your freezer for the winter months. Fresh corn-on-the-cob will be great about Thanksgiving time!

If you are looking for peas and beans, Anderson’s has done the work for you. Fresh shelled field peas and purple hulls are available. So are butter beans, pintos and creamers. All you have to do is put them up for later.

If you have not been to Anderson’s this year, make a trip there today. They are open 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Saturday. Stroll the huge Zinnia bed and pick a dozen or so.

The season is ending soon. Stock up today on fresh fruits and vegetables grown in the rich river soil of south Red River Parish. Come to the farm, Anderson’s Produce and Plant Farm. They’re just 15 minutes south of Coushatta on Highway 174. That’s half way between I-49 and LA 1. Or shop their stand in the Natchitoches and Shreveport Farmers Market every Saturday.

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Wastlund Ends Year at the Top

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This month, Susanne Wastlund of Coushatta passed the gavel to Estelle Horton. Wastlund’s year as President of the Louisiana State VFW Auxiliary came to an end. She told a packed room at the State VFW and Auxiliary Convention in Alexandria, “I appreciate all of you for your year of service. I thank all Auxiliary members and my whole team. This country girl stands humbly blessed.”

For the past few years, Wastlund has served local Auxiliary 7287, the Northwest Louisiana District Auxiliary and the state Auxiliary in a number of positions. She has traveled the state visiting most of the nearly 100 VFW Posts and Auxiliaries. She served with humility and much energy.

The Journal sat down with Wastlund this week to reflect on her year as President. She looked back at accomplishments including “programs that take care of veterans and their families. The focus was and continues to be supporting the VFW mission of working with veterans and their families” said Wastlund, adding “Any hospital need, anything to benefit military veterans transitioning to home from their service life, and supporting active duty personnel and their families is our mission.”

One of Wastlund’s special focus areas was mental health services. She said, “We worked with recognizing conditions faced by veterans and helping them find the resources to meet their needs.” Another area Wastlund is proud of is their hospital and nursing home visitations. She said, “I wanted to make sure they are not forgotten. After all that is the mission of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the VFW Auxiliary.”

Wastlund joined other Louisiana Auxiliary officials and officers from the Louisiana VFW in going to Washington last spring to lobby congress members. They raised issues dealing with the needs of veterans before members of the Louisiana delegation to Washington.

Veterans of Foreign Wars welcomes service men and women who have served in combat situations. The Auxiliary welcomes men and women who are spouses or relatives to combat vets.

Now that she is back at the local Auxiliary in Coushatta is Wastlund through? She said, “Heck no! We’ve got to take it to the streets, to present the people of Red River Parish with a local organization that is strong and active in the community. We have to continue our root mission of being of assistance to active duty military men and women, to veterans and retirees, and to their families.”

Two other members of Auxiliary 7287 in Coushatta were elected to statewide offices at the recent state convention. They are Angelia McCoy, elected Senior Vice President and Ramel Fields, elected Conductress. Both McCoy and Fields are active in the local Auxiliary.

Anyone with a question or in need of help with the Veterans Administration or any other benefit due those who have served our country may call the local VFW and Auxiliary at 318-932-6557.

Library Puppet Theatre for All Ages

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Last Thursday afternoon the Red River Parish Library’s meeting room rang with laughter and screams of delight. It was puppet theatre time, one of the programs in the Library’s Summer Reading and Activity program.

The Journal encountered Jean Hymes observing her grandson Tristen making a hand puppet. She said, “I think it’s great for kids in summer. It gives them something for them to do. And the kids really enjoy it.”

Jean is from St. Paul Baptist Church on Highway 783. Thursday she brought three kids from the church in addition to her grandson. She says they have made all of the Library’s summer programs except for two.

Children’s Librarian Karla Sims estimated there were about 30 kids at the Library for puppet making. The library had two puppet theatres set up. The children had an opportunity to “write and act out” their own puppet theatre. As you can see from the pictures, they really got into it.

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