Harvey Headed for Red River

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The National Hurricane Center predicts that Tropical Storm Harvey may dump 4 to 10 inches of rain on Red River Parish. See the scale on the right margin of the map. The storm is expected to move out of our area by late Friday.

There is a Flash Flood Watch for the northwest portion of the state, including Red River Parish. The weather service says:

Heavy rainfall, associated with Tropical Storm Harvey will continue to occur within the strong outer rain bands extending well north from the center of Harvey. These heavy rain bands may train over the same areas, increasing the likelihood of flash flooding across deep east Texas and north Louisiana. Rainfall amounts of 3-6 inches will be common across north Louisiana with heavier amounts of 8-10 inches over deep east Texas and adjacent areas of west central Louisiana.

Flooding of roads, low lying and poor drainage areas will be possible. If encountering flooded roadways, remember to turn around, don`t drown.


Emergency Preparedness in Red River Parish

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Tuesday afternoon Red River Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness hosted a National Weather Service Webinar and Governors Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) conference call.


The meeting was held in the Police Jury Meeting Room regarding the concern of Tropical Storm Harvey. It is anticipated to pass through our area ‪Wednesday – Thursday evening‬.
The topics discussed include.
Main Impacts by NWS.

Flash flooding – NW and N Central LA ‪through Thu evening‬. Flooding impacts may be felt through this weekend and may expand in area depending on storm track.
Winds – Extreme southern portions of N LA Wed. Saturated soils will contribute to the possibility of downed trees.

Lesser Impacts
Isolated tornadoes – All of N LA, with the greatest threat across NE LA Wed.
River flooding – Minor flooding possible on small tributaries by weekend.

Uncertainty – Adjustments to the overall track and intensity continue. Areas of heaviest rainfall, as well as wind threat still somewhat uncertain, but confidence improving.

There is a possibility of some strong wind gusts forecast is for 25-30 MPH. However, Gusts to 40 MPH Early ‪Wed morning – Thursday morning‬ Trees easily can be uprooted due to saturated soils.
We are monitoring this storm with NWS and The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP).

Red River Parish Police jury is currently handing out sandbags to the public at a limit of 15 per house hold. These sand bags can be picked up at the police jury road barn behind Dairy Queen between the hours of 8:00am and 3:00pm.

Always be prepared and have a game plan. Good items to always have in the event of any emergency is food/water (enough for at least 3 days), flashlight, batteries, and other emergency supplies ready and available.

We will keep everyone up to date if there are any changes. Please follow the Red River Parish Office of Homeland Security Facebook page for updates.

The above submitted by Shane G. Hubbard, Director Red River Parish Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness (OHSEP).

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Winning is Easy

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The flyer tells you to “Keep calm and buy raffle tickets” for Riverdale’s second annual Rebel Fest. It is just a little over a week until the big day.

Admission is free for everyone, so come to Riverdale Academy on Saturday, September 9th. The fun starts at 3:00 pm. There are games and competitions for members of the whole family. And Shaver’s Catering will be serving dinner plates from 5:00 to 7:00 pm for $10 per plate.

One of the organizers of Rebel Fest, Merritt Cason told the Journal “Raffle tickets are available now from any student or parent. They are also available for purchase at the school, in the office. We will also be selling tickets at the event. “

Rebel Fest would like to thank the many businesses and individuals who make this event possible. The Gold ($1,000) sponsors are Bank of Coushatta, Bierden Construction, Caney Creek Land & Timber, Christus Coushatta, Ed Lester Farms, Fairview Trucking, Inc, Headland Farms, Josh & Rebecca Cason, Loggy Bayou Blends, Rock Powersports, Rocket-Nettles Funeral Home & Nettles Flower Shop, Sawyer and Merritt Cason, Shaver Farms, Stuart’s Electrical Contracting, Will & Heather Almond, Williams Equipment (Bobcat), and Winn & Dawn Almond.

Silver ($500) sponsors of this years Rebel Fest are Almond Bros. Lumber, Beard’s Automotive Parts & Supply, Chevyland, Endurance Real Estate Partners, LLC, EnE Consultants, LLC, International Paper – Red River (Campti), Lott Oil, Natchitoches Meat Pie Co., Plum Nelly – A Flower Farm, Posey’s Sport Center, Red River Livestock, and Sabine State Bank & Trust Co.

The Rebel Fest organizers ask you to thank these sponsors for making Riverdale’s 2nd Annual Rebel Fest a great success. Rebel Fest is the fall fundraiser for Riverdale Academy. All activities take place at the school. The fun begins at 3:00 pm on Saturday, September 9th.

Sandbags Available

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Workers at the Red River Parish Police Jury’s work barn at the fair grounds have been busy filling sandbags. Residents in need of them may pick them up.

Work Barn Shop Forman Dennis Thomas told The Journal, “We have about 1,000 sandbags, maybe up to 1.500 filled and ready. Come by and get what you need. We will do more if needed.”

To find the work barn, take US 71 north and turn right at Dairy Queen. The entrance gate is on your left just before the entrance to the fair grounds. It is across from the voting precinct.

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Saturday is Moving Sale Day

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Saturday morning at 8:00 am the doors open on the Moving Sale at the local VFW Post on Highway 71 south. Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7287 and Auxiliary 7287 are relocating to smaller quarters. Therefore all furniture, appliances and other stuff from their current location is being offered to the public at “garage sale” prices.

Barry McCoy is the Post Commander and he said, “We have too much stuff to move to a new location.” The President of the Auxiliary echoed McCoy’s statements. Dawn Brewer said, “We are here to serve veterans and their families. The kitchen ‘stuff’ we needed before is what someone else can use.”

McCoy said there is a great assortment of items offered. “We have 8-foot folding tables and metal folding chairs, two refrigerator/freezers, executive office chairs, deer stand chairs, and a wide assortment of hardware, electrical, and decorative items. When you have been in one place as long as the VFW has been in its present location, stuff just piles up.”

Doors open at 8:00 am Saturday. No early birds! Cash only and all sales are final. This sale will be held at the Post on Highway 71 south of Coushatta.

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The Guard is On Duty

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Units of the Louisiana National Guard across the state are on duty, ready to be deployed for rescue or other work as Hurricane Harvey moves through. The local guard unit is involved in the preparations.

Commander of C-Troop of the 108th Cav said their troops are on State Active Duty Status. Captain Chad Ford reviewed work being done in the unit motor pool to assure that all vehicles are fueled and mechanically ready. Ford pointed out for The Journal “high wheeled vehicles that can go through flood water. There is a bus and other vehicles to transport personnel.”

While they await further orders, Captain Ford says they are brushing up on operation of inflatable boats that the unit will be taking with them. Ford said, “If the weather holds we would like to take the boats out to Grand Bayou and practice operation of our watercraft.”

“Task Force Coushatta,” said Ford “is on standby, ready to execute assigned missions as we are needed to support civil authorities.”


Harvey Already Taking a Bite

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If you filled up with gas in Coushatta Tuesday afternoon you know that Hurricane or Tropical Storm Harvey is having an effect. On Monday afternoon ABC News reported that the large Exxon refinery in Houston had been shut down because of the storm. That news story estimated nationwide fuel prices would rise 20 to 40 cents per gallon as a result of the storm.

About 8:30 this morning the price for regular unleaded around Coushatta was at $2.19 per gallon (see photo of the Conoco Station). It had been steady there for several weeks. By 9:30 it had jumped a dime with Chevron priced at $2.29 for cash and more ($2.34) for charge purchases. Back to the Conoco and the price had increased there to $2.26 by 11:30 am.

At 5:00 pm the price at the Country Market for Phillips 66 was $2.34. Conoco had also gone up to $2.34.

Just a thought (an editorial one): How can the value of gas that is in the ground at a station suddenly be more? The economics I learned in college say it cannot. “Who determines gas prices?” is a great question that has escaped journalists for years.

The late Russell B. Long, US Senator from Louisiana was quoted as saying “Don’t tax you, don’t tax me. Tax that fellow behind the tree.” Could that be the same person setting gas prices? (end of editorial)

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More Than a Clean Up

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A Shreveport man lands in the Red River Parish Jail after cleanup duties turn to a clean out at a Coushatta store. Management at Rivertown Market had noticed that inventory of cigarettes and other tobacco products had been off over the past few weeks.

They reviewed security footage and were surprised to see someone helping them self to carton after carton of cigarettes. The security video showed a man filled his backpack with smokes.

Store officials say the thefts occurred after hours, at times when the floor cleaning crew was at work in the store. The Sheriff’s Department was called and the security video turned over.

The weekly arrest report from the parish jail includes the arrest of Khristopher Vanroosendaal at 7:09 pm on August 23rd. Vanroosendaal is charged with theft over $750 but less than $5,000. Bond has not been set at last check.

Sheriffs Department Public Information Officer Troy Murray said, “I can confirm the theft was from Rivertown Market. The stolen items were tobacco products and ‘other merchandise’.”

Mexican Restaurant Reopening

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The local Mexican restaurant in Coushatta has re-opened. Spokesperson Sena Chavez told the Journal “the fire damage was pretty minor and we were able to get things taken care of much sooner than we expected.”

A kitchen fire at 11:29 am on August 20th had closed the restaurant. Fire Chief Shane Felts described it as “a small stove top fire.” Felts added, “There was very little damage.

The restaurant is located on Highway 71 next to Shaver’s and across from Kilpatrick Funeral Home.

ETC… For August 30th


NSU has announced that all classes at the Natchitoches campus are cancelled for Wednesday, August 30th. Also the first Quarterback Club luncheon will not be held on Wednesday.

I’ve been talking to some folks who have spent many more years in the parish than the rest of us. In general they say this August is most unusual. Much too wet for August. And it’s been too cool. Not that anyone I asked wants to return to sweltering heat and dry weather.

A reminder that you still have time to register your children and grandchildren for the fall football program at Open Door Fellowship. Laurie Lowring said they have many children registered, and there is always room for more. She would like to have a few more volunteers. Call ODF Sports at 932-6267.

Be on the lookout for deals that seem too good to be true. The Better Business Bureau of northwest Louisiana is warning residents that with Hurricane Harvey comes scammers in its wake. If you have damage or any other repair work make sure the repairmen you hire are legit.

Northwestern State University is putting together a team of students, faculty and staff volunteers to assist victims of Hurricane Harvey in Houston and southeast Texas. “We in Louisiana are all too aware of how devastating a flood can be and the one in Houston is catastrophic,” said Dr. Curt Phifer, a professor of biology at NSU who is organizing the relief initiative. “Last year, people from all over the U.S. came to Louisiana to help flood victims in the Denham Springs and Baton Rouge area and just over 10 years ago, teams came to help Louisianians affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. This is our chance to return the favor.”

Elementary School Paw Parents Release Schedule

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Paw Parents is the support group at Red River Elementary School. They are seeking volunteers to help with their projects this school year. Contact is Christy Suggs at the school. Here is their tentative schedule for the year:

August & September: selling fan pride fans
September 11 at 5:30: back to school social and meeting

October 5: Parade Float
October 27: Halloween carnival 5:00 to 7:00 pm
November 6: Meeting at 5:30
November 17: fall bash vendor show
December 4 at 5:30: meeting
December 11th through 15th: Santa store
February 3: Beauty pageant
March TBA: Corn hole tournament
April TBA: candy sales
May TBS: teacher appreciation week

From the classroom to the car lot


Arthur Dew originally taught Calvin Braxton Jr. at Natchitoches Central High School. Fast forward years later and Dew chose to but his next car from Natchitoches Ford.

“I trust Calvin and his staff,” said Dew, who’s bought his last 5-6 cars from Natchitoches Ford. “Where else can you get good customer service and considerate, reliable salesmen. My salesman is always there to see what I need, not force me into buying something.”

Find hometown service and the best deals at Natchitoches Ford when you pick a car and pick a payment. Ford is America’s most trusted brand in cars, trucks and SUVs. Stop by the car lot at 7501 Hwy. 1 Bypass or call 1-888-309-0671. Payments are figured with $0 down + TTL at 75 months and 4.49% APR. See dealer for details.

“They show me appreciation,” said Dew. “And I appreciate them in return.”

Just Click each below to view!

2017 Lincoln MKZ: $539 (PC04044)

2016 Ford Explorer: $489 (PT19934)

2015 Chevy Cruz: $249 (UC86073)

2016 Jeep Wrangler: $539 (UT08878)

2015 Ford F-150 4X4: $499 (UT99003)

2016 Ford Fusion: $329 (PC91718)

2016 Toyota Camry: $289 (UC73287)

2016 Hyundai Sonata: $249 (UC73897)

2016 Nissan Altima: $280 (UC39196)

2016 Chevrolet Impala: $339 (UC27037)

2015 Ford F-150: $419 (PT25787)

2015 Dodge Charger: $379 (UC96344)

2017 Ford Escape: $429 (PT84487)

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Two Events Scheduled at Social Springs

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Brother James Hester told The Journal about two events scheduled the first week in September. The first is a Men’s Conference on September 2nd. The second is a revival series beginning on September 3rd.

Hester invited all men to join them for the “Whosoever Will” Men’s Conference 2017. Gather Saturday September 2nd at Social Springs Baptist Church about 8:00 am for coffee and donuts. The conference begins at 8:30 and runs until 4:30 pm Lunch will be provided.

The lineup includes six speakers. In addition to Bro. James Hester, they are Bro. Billy Davis, Dr. Cliff Estes, Dr. Richard Kaufman, Bro. Harry Bamburg, and Dr. J. Nathan Davis.

The following day, Sunday September 3rd. Social Springs Baptist Church begins a week-long “Fall Revival.” Featured speaker is Bro. Richard Kaufman of Martin Baptist Church. The music will be by Donna Weaver.

Both the Men’s Conference and Fall Revival will be held at the new facilities of Social Springs Baptist Church on Highway 371 in north Red River Parish.

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Rebel Fest is September 9th

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Make plans to attend the second annual Rebel Fest at Riverdale Academy on Saturday, September 9th. The fun starts at 3:00 pm. This is a family event with challenges and fun activities for children and the young at heart.

Get your raffle tickets for a $10,000 first place giveaway. Second place prize is a 7-day beach vacation. And third place is a DJI Phantom 4 Quadcopter Drone.

Who would kiss a pig? Some teacher will! Or maybe more teachers. Don’t miss the Kiss A Pig contest.

There will be Laser Tag games, a basketball free throw and 3-point contest, and there will be a skeet shoot for 12 and 20 gauge. Also during Rebel Fest there will be a baking contest and Wii Games.

At Rebel Fest you could win a Polaris Side X Side at the Dunking Booth. The live auction begins at 6:00 pm.

Come early and stay for dinner. Shaver’s Catering will be serving dinner plates for $10 a plate.

The second annual Rebel Fest is a fall fundraiser for Riverdale Academy. All activities take place at the school. The fun begins at 3:00 pm on Saturday, September 9th. Come for the entertainment and win great prizes.

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Movie Night and Family Day Scheduled


Two events are scheduled this weekend at the Life Church in Coushatta. Pastor Joey Miller invites everyone to attend both events.

Miller posted on Facebook that Life Church is hosting “Dinner and a Movie” tonight (August 25th) at the church on Ringgold Avenue. Cost is $7.00 for a movie followed by a Fajita and Taco Bar. It all starts at 6:00 pm.

Pastor Miller invites everyone to come back Sunday afternoon, August 27th, at 2:00 pm for “Friends & Family Day.” The church’s Facebook post invites you to “come and celebrate the Lord with your friends and family. Our special guest will be Pastor Ronnie J. Williams & the Rockford Baptist Church.”

Life Church is located at 1703 Ringgold Avenue in Coushatta.



Flag Football at Open Door

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Open Door Fellowship is now registering children for their 4th season of flag football. Lauri Lowring told The Journal, “Registration is open until September 8th. It is an online registration process. The link below will take you to the registration portal.

Lowring added “ODF Sports aim to encourage students to build their skills, speed, and strength, so they can compete at the next level. They’re designed to introduce young athletes to the game while providing a safe environment to grow in the sport. We believe strongly in teaching sportsmanship and character as fundamentals of life. Jesus was the ultimate team player! ODF shares the Gospel of Christ to children and their families through sports. If you have any question, call the church at 318-932-6267.”

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Utility Bills Too High? There is Help!

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Red River Parish low-income residents, elderly residents, or homes with disabled residents are eligible for a federal program to weatherize homes. It is administered in this area by the police jury in DeSoto parish. Here is their information”

The DeSoto Parish Police Jury/Office of Community Services is accepting applications for the Weatherization Assistance Program in the following parishes: Bienville, Bossier, Claiborne, DeSoto, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Red River, Sabine, Union, Webster.
The Weatherization Assistance Program is a free service, funded by the Department of Energy. The program is designed to help low-income families, with priority given to the elderly, disabled, and homes with children. The program makes homes energy efficient. Work performed on a home might include: attic and/or wall insulation, air sealing, caulking, and health and safety measures. This program is not a home improvement or repair program. To qualify for services, both the household income and dwelling must meet guidelines. To request an application, contact The DeSoto Parish Police Jury/Office of Community Services Weatherization Assistance Program at 318.872.0880, Monday through Friday 8am – 4:30pm. Federal regulations prevent discrimination of any kind in delivery of service.

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ETC… for August 25th



Football is underway. Tonight the Riverdale Rebels travel to east Louisiana to play Franklin Academy. The Red River Bulldogs are taking part in a Jamboree at Arcadia.

Ginger Craig will be teaching an adult driving course next Tuesday and Wednesday. See the story the August 18th issue of The Journal.

If you would like to be a public school bus driver, call Transportation Director Dan Pickett at the school board office. Instruction for new drivers begins soon.

Saturday night, August 26th is the monthly Dance for Seniors at the Council on Aging on Front Street. The “Playmates” are playing Saturday night.

It’s is just a couple of weeks away from Monday September 11th. That is the next distribution day for the Council on Aging’s Food for Seniors program. If you, or someone you know is eligible for the program, they can sign up at any time. Call the council at 318-932-5721.

This note if you are traveling to Natchitoches:
The bridge section of Jefferson Street that runs over Bayou Amulet will be closed until further notice for repairs, according to Captain Brad Walker with the Natchitoches Police Department. Motorists are asked to find alternate routes around the area.

Eclipse Educates and Enthralls

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Right on time, the Moon moved between the Earth and the Sun on Monday afternoon. Coushatta was included in the spectacular show. Students at Red River High and Junior High filed out into the courtyard to take it all in.

Principal Mike Peter of the Junior High furnished his students with a goodie bag containing sun viewing glasses, a Moon Pie, Sunny D, Sun Chips…(you get the idea). The goodies were packed by two hard working members of the WOW, Brenda Jones and C’Ann Norman.

The use of a pinhole to project the sun’s image on a piece of paper was demonstrated. And several students brought welder’s helmets to view the eclipse. As you can tell from the photos accompanying this story, a great time was had by all.

The photo of the eclipse was taken about half way through the event, when the clouds parted to let the sun shine through. The photo is compliments of Dominique Burton, a senior at Red River High.

Lake Vegetation Update

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Commissioner Faerie L. Sledge of the Grand Bayou Reservoir Commission, sent us this update on efforts to control vegetation on the lake:

Heavy rains in the Grand Bayou Reservoir watershed area the weekend of August 10, 11, and 12, flushed out large amounts of vegetation, including giant salvinia and water hyacinth, into the main channel of the lake. Some of it gradually floated down the lake and over the dam after the rains stopped, but some large areas still remain. Large pockets of vegetation still remain on both sides of the east end of the LA 784 bridge near Grand Bayou Resort. Smaller pockets remain in shallow coves in other areas.

Grand Bayou Reservoir Commission Chairman Mary Ann Wiggins spoke with biologist manager for District 10, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), Villis Dowden on Monday, August 14, 2017. He stated that residents can expect LDWF to increase the spray schedule this week in Grand Bayou. While state aquatic crews have already sprayed the lake several times this year, they will spray one or two times a week for the next month or so until the aquatic vegetation situation is back under control. Dowden also indicated that the warm winter of 2016-2017 probably made the salvinia problem worse.

Dowden explained that LDWF uses an integrated management approach to weed control: chemical, biological, and physical. All three methods are tools that can be used, although no one method works best on any one lake.

Chemical methods include spraying with a mixture of chemicals such as glyphosate, diquat, and surfactants. This is the method most often used on Grand Bayou. However, because salvinia and water hyacinths float on top of the water, they can be moving targets. Salvinia can appear or disappear in a particular area overnight during high winds, when the lake floods as it did in March 2016, or when heavy rains occur.

Biological controls may include salvinia weevils, although this method is still being studied. The weevil produces larva which burrow small holes within the salvinia. Trials have been done on nearby Lake Bistineau, but they have not been very successful. One problem with this control method is that many of the weevils cannot survive cold weather. Also, they can float over the dam and out of the lake after

being stocked. Grand Bayou Reservoir is a borderline point for cold survival of the weevils. Many of the waterbodies that have been stocked with weevils have dense tree cover, lack current, wind and wave action. Grand Bayou Reservoir typically has all three factors, but also has a few inaccessible areas that typically hold enough salvinia to consider a trial weevil stocking in the future.

Physical means of weed control include drawdowns. Drawdowns for weed control were done on Grand Bayou in 2006, 2007, 2008. (Salvinia was first found on the lake in 2006). Another drawdown occurred in 2015, but it was done at the request of the lake commission for bulkhead repairs. Drawdown is not being considered at this time for weed control on Grand Bayou according to Dowden. It is most helpful for submerged aquatic vegetation such as hydrilla rather than salvinia and could be considered by the Grand Bayou Reservoir Commission and LDWF if a 40% coverage area is surveyed. Since Grand Bayou Reservoir has a low amounts of woody cover for fisheries habitat, LDWF would like to keep anywhere from 20-35% total coverage of various submerged species composition including hydrilla.

Various experimental mechanical methods such as the salvinia “harvester” and the lake “mower” have not proven to be feasible due to the time and expense involved. Booms may be helpful in a few limited situations to keep the salvinia confined. The problem with using booms is that they might work until waves or current send the salvinia over the boom.

Dowden did explain that while Grand Bayou does have a salvinia problem, this lake will never have a problem to the extent that lakes such as Bistineau have due to the open water and occasional wave action. Bistineau has many more coves, sloughs, and trees than Grand Bayou Reservoir has.


School Accountability is Changing

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The standards for education in Louisiana are getting tougher. School Superintendent Alison Hughes says they will be even tougher in future years. She added that the parish would be ready to meet them.

If you are familiar with how schools are graded now, Hughes said that the grading system will restructure it’s requirements for determining if a school gets an “A” or a “D.” Hughes said there would be less credit given for mastering basic.

Hughes said, “We must keep a laser focus to show growth every year.” She outlined a plan of “purposeful planning with assessment in mind, a laser focus on curriculum, and increasing professional practices for all employees.” Hughes added, “There will be close tracking of each student’s progress. We’ll keep a close watch and know what is happening with each kid.”

Hughes summed up her remarks, “Basically I wanted to tell you we know where we are at and where we have to go. The bar is raising and we are putting ourselves in a posture that we can make incremental growth throughout the year.”

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Moving Sale September 2nd

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The local Veterans of Foreign Wars Post and Auxiliary are relocating. So they have scheduled a “Moving Sale” for Saturday, September 2nd. Doors will open at 8:00 am.

The list of items for sale includes folding tables and metal folding chairs. There are some pieces of office furniture and lots of office supplies.

In the kitchen there are refrigerators, crock pots, cookers for sale at very reasonable prices. Shoppers can select from dishes, glasses, a large variety of cooking and serving implements and much more.

Doors will open at 8:00 am on Saturday September 2nd. So be there when they open for best selection. All purchases will be in cash and items will be removed that same day.

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Unclaimed Tax Refunds

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Millions of dollars in state income tax refunds will become unclaimed property if
Taxpayers don’t claim them by September 6, 2017.

The Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) sent letters to 9,500 taxpayers advising
them to claim the refunds before they are transferred by law to the Unclaimed Property
Division of the state treasurer’s office. The letters are dated July 21, 2017.

The total amount of unclaimed refunds involved is $8.6 million. It includes refunds
issued on or before June 30, 2016.

Taxpayers who want to claim a refund before it reverts to unclaimed property must
submit the required information to the Department of Revenue accompanied by
the letter. If they miss the September 6 deadline, they can claim their refunds through
the state treasurer’s Unclaimed Property website.