Facility Changes Planned at Grand Bayou

RRPJ-Grand Bayou Commission-17Sep22


The Grand Bayou Commission discussed updates and changes to facilities at their monthly meeting September 14th. Park Manager Rene’ Albright reported on the beach, guest accommodations, and the park store.

Albright said, “The beach is now closed due to erosion of sand in recent flooding. If we replace the sand now at the end of the season the same thing could happen again before spring. I suggest we wait until spring to redo the beach.” The commissioners agreed.

Another project is the remodeling of the showers and restrooms at the beach. Albright ask the commissioners, “Do we want to put back hot water showers? Also the outside showers need revamping and I suggest we do it while we are remodeling the beach house.” The commission agreed that the remodeling should include hot water showers inside and improving the outdoor showers and making other suggested improvements. They will now move to drawing the plans and putting the remodeling out for bids.

Expansion of the Gatehouse and building additional guest cabins was also discussed. The gatehouse would be expanded to provide sales of basic camping necessities. The camp store has closed and the expansion would allow campers to get basic needs.

The general store in the park is being vacated. Commissioners discussed remodeling that building into a handicap accessible guest cabin. At present none of the guest cabins are handicap accessible.

In addition, the commission discussed moving in two additional guest cabins. They would be placed on the lot next to the old store. That makes a total of 3 new guest cabins. Commission Chairwoman Mary Ann Wiggins asked Albright and Commissioner Dallas Bryan to put together a presentation of these plans for the next commission meeting.

Post Office Repairs Completed



The Coushatta Post Office has been repaired. Back in mid-August a motorist failed to stop in the parking lot and drove through the east wall of the building. Damage was all structural and no mail or mailboxes were damaged. See the August 16th issue of The Journal for the original story.

There was a plywood patch in the wall for weeks. And then workers rebuilding and repairing the wall.

Today there is little trace of the damage. The only giveaway would be the fresh mortar between the bricks, the brightly painted interior and an area of new floor tiles.

Thanks to postal workers “going an extra mile” patrons always were able to receive their mail. But if your box was on the east wing, you had to go to the counter to get mail for a few days.

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ETC… for September 22nd


Riverdale Academy has announced the 2017 Homecoming Court. The members are:
Crown Bearer- Isabella Stephens
Ring Bearer – Ryder Shaver
Freshman Maid- Pacey Lindsey
Sophomore Maid- Brooklyn Azlin
Junior Maid- Alyssa Woodard
Senior Maid- Nicole Williams
Football Sweetheart – Jamie Swayze
Homecoming Queen – Gracie Almond
Homecoming is scheduled for October 6, 2017. The Rebels will host Rebul Academy. Presentations will begin at 6:00.

The Red River High Athletics Booster Club is selling raffle tickets through November 3rd when the Bulldogs host Holy Savior Menard. Tickets are a $5.00 donation. Not only will this help the booster club but, prizes will be on the line! A 45 Quart Yeti Tundra Cooler and 2 etched Bulldog cups will be the prizes. Drawings will be held at halftime of the Holy Savior Menard game.

September 24-27th First Baptist Church will be holding a revival. There will be different speakers each day. There will be worship as well. Refreshments will be provided after each service. There will also be supper each day before the event. “Through the pulpit – To the Pew” is the theme. Everyone is invited!

Reservation deadline is next Wednesday, Sept. 27 for Northwestern State’s annual Kiwanis Kids’ Day festivities on Sept. 30 as the Demon football team hosts Southeastern Louisiana in a 6:30 p.m. Southland Conference contest at Turpin Stadium. All school groups, Kiwanis groups, families and children are welcome to the event designed for youth in junior high school and younger children.

October 4th is the date for the Highway Priority Construction Program to hold hearings in our area. Red River and 6 other parishes will meet at 8:30 am in the Bossier Civic Center. They are seeking input on highway construction and repair for 2018-19. The public is invited.

CORRECTION: The spell checker got me! In the story on vegetation at Grand Bayou the correct name of the plant is salvinia. Also I misspelled Commissioner Dallas Bryan’s name was misspelled. The Journal apologizes for the mistake.

High School Sports Broadcasts to Resume

RRPJ-HS Football-17Sep20

It has been a couple of years since football fans were able to listen to broadcasts of local teams in action. The drought is ending this Friday night with the debut of Journal Sports.

The Red River Parish Journal will stream live all Red River High School Bulldog Football games beginning with their game against Alexandria Senior High or ASH Friday night. The broadcast begins at 6:50 pm with kickoff at 7:00 pm.

You may listen to the games live on http://www.RedRiverParishJournal.com or the Red River Parish Journal’s Facebook page. Look for the Journal Sports logo. Go to either, or both, and bookmark the location. There is no app needed, just click on the game broadcast logo on The Journal’s website or Facebook page. The games will also be carried on Coushatta’s local radio station KRRP 950.

Journal Sports is underwritten by local merchants and other local sports boosters. If you would like to sponsor the broadcasts or get additional information, call John Brewer at 318-564-3609. The sponsors will be featured in The Journal on Friday.

Coming soon, more local teams and more local sports coverage with Journal Sports.

Spraying is Complete at Grand Bayou



This past week contractors sprayed Grand Bayou Reservoir to combat the Sylvania growth that is choking parts of the lake. The Grand Bayou Commission heard a report at it’s meeting last week that spraying began on Monday and would wrap up last Thursday.

Resort Manager Rene’ Albright reported that some of the areas that were sprayed earlier in the week were showing signs of turning brown and dying. In the recent past state Wildlife and Fisheries workers had spot sprayed, however Albright reported that this was not sufficient to stop spread of the invasive plant. She said Wildlife and Fisheries would follow up and make another evaluation of the lake in the near future. She added spot spraying would be used to provide future control of Sylvania.

Several members of the commission spoke about public misunderstanding surrounding effective means of controlling the growth. One suggestion that had been made was to draw down the lake. Resort Manager Albright said, “There has to be vegetation over 40% of the lake before a draw down would be considered.” She added it is understandable that homeowners are frustrated, adding “when you purchase a home on a beautiful lake you don’t want your waterfront and dock blocked with vegetation.

Commission member Dallas Bryant suggested using booms along the bridge on Esparanza Road to block Sylvania from coming into the lake. Bryant said, “We could spray it from the bridge and kill it before it gets into the upper part of the lake.”

And commissioners cautioned that work to control the weed could be undone by heavy rains that would wash more Sylvania in from other areas and start the cycle all over again.

The Grand Bayou Commission meets at 4:00 pm on the second Thursday of each month. Their next meeting is October 12th. Members of the public are welcome to attend.


RRPJ-Summer of 1910-17Sep20
Introduction by Joe Taylor

In the early 1970’s the Citizen editor Gordon Nelson persuaded Judge Paul Stephens to write several articles about early Coushatta and his memories of growing up there. This is one of the Judge’s stories.

Paul Stephens was born in 1900 and lived in Coushatta his entire life. He was a local historian of renown, a writer of poetry, and he served as the district judge for Red River and Natchitoches parishes for 24 years. His father was Laurie Paul Stephens the founder of L. P. Stephens & Co. For many years it was the largest store in the Parish. (Ed note: Today the store is vacant and owned by the Town of Coushatta. It is the largest building on Front Street.)

These articles he wrote almost 50 years ago are invaluable to those wanting to learn about early Coushatta history. I find them interesting and John Brewer will be publishing several of them in his Red River Parish Journal. In this story Judge Stephens writes about the little village located on the Red River.

So, why is the town not still on the river where it started in 1870? Because there was a great fire in 1918 that virtually burned down the entire town. Paul Stephens was a witness to it and in his article next month describes the cataclysmic event.

Here is Judge Stephens’ story.

If you could go back to the year 1910 in Coushatta, you would find a quiet town, with older people going about their daily task of making a living and the children going to school. Quiet too, because with a south bound and north bound passenger train each day as the only means of coming or going to or from the town, the population remained constant, with little or no excitement.

The steamboat had vanished from the river, driven out by the railroad, except for an occasional visit from the old snag boat, C. W. Howell, and this visit, rare as it was, always engendered some excitement, especially among the young people.

The days were very much like the days we have today, weatherwise, but otherwise you would see a great difference. There was no gas or gasoline, no electricity, no automobiles or radios or paved or graveled roads or side walks. The houses had coal oil lamps for lighting and only wood as a fuel for heating and cooking.

There were no supermarkets or markets, except Sam Law had a meat market and on certain days he would bring his wares to his customers on a large square board, covered with oilcloth, held up on one hand high above his head. His market burned in the great fire of 1918 along with many other homes and businesses on the riverfront.

There were no brick schoolhouses, no school buses, no school lunches, no Welfare or income taxes. Can you imagine such a community without all of these? With all of this, my recollection was that the people were independent and very happy. They took care of their own infirm and the Lord blessed them for it.

Editor’s note: The photo of the C. W. Howell was taken by photographer Ernie Deane in 1907 on Spirit Lake, Arkansas. It came from the Arkansas History Commission website.

Last Monday Men’s Breakfast

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All men of the community are invited to the Men’s Breakfast next Monday morning at First United Methodist Church in Coushatta. Planning is underway for service projects men can do to benefit our community.

Pastor Curtis Carroll said, “The purpose of United Methodist Men is to help men grow in Christ so they may help others know and grow in Christ. This is done by being an extension of the church in all areas of Ministry from lay preaching, teaching, mentoring, and doing acts of justice and mercy in the larger community.

“United Methodist Men have been on the forefront of being early responders to flood, tornado, and hurricane disasters. Men may take on tasks like building handicapped ramps, sponsoring a scout group or feeding the homeless as a regular part of their group.

“We are just in the formative stage of opening our hearts ears and eyes to being more effective witnesses. Therefore come join us for breakfast and fellowship to explore our calling to serve.”

Breakfast will be served beginning at 6:30 am on Monday, September 25th in McLemore Hall at First Methodist Church on Front Street. The menu is “Build-It-Yourself” breakfast burritos with many different ingredients so there will be something everyone likes.

Accolades for a Job Well Done

Doing the job, plus a whole lot more, gets recognition for two employees of the Red River Parish School Board’s Central Office. At the board meeting this month Superintendent Alison Hughes congratulated Deborah Webb and Karen Moseley for outstanding performance.

Hughes said, “These two ladies in this office do more things than I can congratulate them for. I don’t know what we would do without either of them. I am so thankful for both Karen and Deborah.” Hughes added, “We have highlighted many folks over the months, but I want to tell these two ladies that I really appreciate all they do, that they go above and beyond what is required in their jobs every day.”

Also at the board meeting on September 11th, Sherry Pickett was recognized as employee of the month. Pickett teaches 4th and 5th grade science at Red River Elementary. Her principal Shenell Deville nominated Pickett.

The nomination statement said, “With no doubt, she is dedicated to her students, the school and leadership team. Visiting her classroom is never a dull moment; her students are always actively engaged and she challenges them to think out of the box.”

Early Voting is Approaching

RRPJ-Early Voting-17Sep20

The fall election cycle is October and November. The first election is the October 14th primary election. Local Registrar of Voters Mary Jones said there are several things on our local ballot.

Jones said the statewide issues include electing a new State Treasurer. You will recall that Treasurer John Kennedy successfully ran for and won a U.S. Senate seat. We’ll vote on a successor next month.

Also Jones said, “There are three proposed constitutional amendments on the ballot. The local issues include four tax propositions put up by the Red River Parish Police Jury and the Red River Parish School Board.”

The dates for voting early in the October primary are Saturday September 30th through Saturday October 7th. Early voting will take place in the Registrar of Voters office on the first floor of the courthouse. Be sure to bring your ID.

If you don’t vote early, election day will be October 14th.


New NSU President Installed

RRPJ-New NSU President Installed-17Sep20


Dr. Joseph Christopher Maggio was installed as the 19th president of Northwestern State University Sept. 15 in a formal Investiture ceremony attended by students, faculty, alumni, friends, family, dignitaries and honored guests from throughout the state. The installation of Maggio as president capstones a life and career dedicated to service and student success at the university where he has served on faculty and/or staff in numerous leadership and instructional capacities since 1988.

“I am honored to be surrounded and supported today by so many members of my families. The word families is plural because I am referring to my parents, wife, children, siblings and other relatives and to our Northwestern State family of students,” Maggio said. Dr. Maggio and his wife, the former Jennifer Zeagler, were joined by their children, Melanie, Scott and Emily.

Pulitzer Prize winning veteran journalist and NSU alumnus Gary Fields (Class of 1982 and 1984) was guest speaker, who said Maggio has a way of connecting with people and bringing them together. “Chris was headed for this job from the moment he was born,” Fields said, noting that each position Maggio held at NSU throughout his years built upon the previous one.

The Investiture program concluded with the university’s alma mater and a benediction by Dr. Hayward “Sonny” Hargrove Jr. (Class of 1964), a member of the NSU Alumni Association Board.

Following the Investiture, the Maggio family received visitors at the Arnold R. Kilpatrick President’s Residence. The community event featured the talents of students from NSU’s Dear School of Creative and Performing Arts. Artwork by students, faculty and alumni selected especially for the occasion was on display in the home and refreshments included Italian delicacies made from recipes passed down through the Maggio family.

ETC… for September 20th

The Journal was asked to include this announcement: The Red River Fire Auxiliary is hosting a $2.00 donation ticket sale… the winner will receive a Mossberg Maverick 12 gauge all purpose pump. Must be 18 to purchase a ticket. The drawing date was extended to be drawn at the fair October 7, 2017

Also, The Red River Fire Auxiliary will host an “All You Can Eat” pancake breakfast. It will be held October 7 at central fire station from 6:00 am until 10:00 am. Breakfast plates are 5.00 each.

Red River Parish 4-H is selling t-shirts. Price is $12. The latest edition of Red River Clover Talk says this year there is a new design for the shirts. 4-H is for children in 3rd grade through high school who is willing to follow the 4-H ideals and standards.

The Red River Waterway Commission is meeting today (Sept 20th) at 10:00 am in Natchitoches. The address is 5941 Highway 1 Bypass. If you are interested in workings of the commission, it’s a public meeting.

Lets remind you that the 4-H sweet potato sale is going on. Look back at the September 15th issue of The Journal for details and ordering information.

If you have an announcement of activities of your church or group to pass along to everyone, tell The Journal about it. The Red River Parish Journal serves more readers each week than any other local news source. So let us know so the Journal can extend the coverage we give to local events.

The Times They Are a Changing

RRPJ-Times Changing TOP-17Sep15


Back in 1964 when Bob Dylan recorded that song, todays educators were probably still in school themselves. Certainly no one from ’64 could have dreamed what would be happening in the classroom today.

Zoom forward to last Monday night at the school board meeting. Superintendent Alison Hughes remarked, “There are a lot of changes to academics and to how we do things in the classroom.” Hughes was introducing staff member Karen Squires, who is working with teachers to keep things up to date.

Squired reported on how local schools are implementing ever more strict requirements coming down from the state education department. “We are doing academic updates,” she stated “from the end of last year our staff began publicizing the focus on ELA (English Language Arts) and Math. We are making sure that our teaching is rooted in the curriculum and making sure that students are getting what they need by the end of the school year.”

“The curriculum for Red River schools is aligned in Math from Kindergarten through twelfth grade,” Squired said, “We are using the Tier 1 curriculum that the state has asked us to use. Now we are working with our teachers to make sure we are teaching everything in the curriculum.”

Squires said the state is in the process of formalizing final guidelines on social studies. Therefore, Squires said, “We will purchase new textbooks that fit those guidelines when they are available. There is no need in purchasing books now that may be outdated when the new guidelines are formalized.”

The same applies to the teaching of science. Squires noted that several Red River teachers are involved at the state level with developing the new science curriculum. Squires said when that is completed, we (Red River) will adopt it for our students.

Squires concluded her report to the board with the note that Red River now is working with several teacher mentors “to help them be better equipped to coach teachers in the classroom. Mentors are teaching the teachers and then following up to make sure they are teaching the lessons as they are supposed to do.”

Back to Bod Dylan…he sang in ’64 “If your time to you is worth saving…then you better start swimming or you’ll sink like a stone! The times they are a changing.” Last Monday night Superintendent Hughes followed Squires’ report with the statement, “We are asking and expecting more from everyone. We have to do better. And we are doing better.”

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Town Names New Park Director

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Coushatta Mayor Johnny Cox announced at Town Council meeting Tuesday night that Councilman Peter Drake would be the new park director. The local LSU Agriculture Extension Service representative is Terry Foster. She attended the meeting to update the council on 4-H activities this year.

Foster told Councilman Drake that she wanted to meet with him to discuss plans for improving recreation facilities. Foster revealed that her office “still have $6,000 earmarked for a city park.” Foster added, “$5,000 was donated by International Paper and $1,000 was donated by United Healthcare. It is for recreational improvements and we need to do something with that money.”

The city has made plans for improving the park. Some work on clearing city-owned land near the industrial park has been done. Foster said, “We still have the money and we are anxious to do something in conjunction with the city to make the park better for kids.”

Are You a Writer Hoping to Get Published?

RRPJ-Getting Published-17Sep15


That headline sounds like an ad for a publishing company you might see late at night. But it’s not. That is the gist of a seminar held at the Red River Parish Library on Tuesday night.

Author, musician and educator Danny Von Kanel conducted a seminar on “Get Published.” Kanel is from this area and teaches music at L.P. Vaughn Elementary in Natchitoches. The very interesting presentation covered his journey to getting his articles and books in print. Nine participants took notes, asked good questions, and absorbed Kanel’s story.

Kanel explained that a terrific first impression is needed when contacting a publisher. He said a quality query letter is required to get you in the door. And it is not the whole letter, but the first paragraph that will get you noticed.

He said the good news is, “There are more ways than ever to publish. The Internet has opened up many new ways and there are more tools to aid the writer than every before.” Kanel went on to say the bad news is “with the explosion of the Internet there are fewer hard copy publications and many publishers have gone out of business.”

Quality is needed today more than ever. Kanel explained, “There is too much out there that tears people down. You need to build up people with your writing. I think God will bless you with your writing that uplifts people.” He encouraged the participants to continue writing, saying doors would open up.

Perseverance is key. Kanel admitted, “I’m not the greatest writer but I am hard working. Anyone can get published if you want to bad enough!”

It’s Sweet Potato Time!

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Red River Parish 4-H Clubs will be Pre-Selling Sweet Potatoes for the upcoming holidays. The potatoes will be sold as a “Bakers Box” of 40 pounds. The cost is $26.00 per box.

4-H Agent Terry Foster said, “A limited amount of boxes are available, so act now to buy your sweet potatoes. If you would like to order, our 4-H members at the local schools are promoting sales this year and will have referral information sheets.”

Foster noted, “The 4-H club member will get Clover Bucks for every purchase made from one of their referral sheets. Please make sure to give a 4-Her’s name at the time of your purchase. “

This year, no money should be given to the 4-Her. All payments must be made at the 4-H office. Foster said, “You are welcome to come by the LSU AgCenter at 2015 Red Oak Rd (above the Health Unit) to place your order. Or you may mail a check made out to “Red River 4-H Foundation” to the LSU AgCenter, P.O. Box 1364 Coushatta, LA 71019 with a note of how many boxes you would like, your contact information, and 4-Her name who referred you.”

“The Sweet Potato pickup date (tentative to weather permitting)” said Foster, “will be on November 17th from 9:30 am – 4:30 pm at the Red River Parish Fair Grounds. All boxes must be pickup by 4:30 pm on November 17th.”

Foster said, “For more information contact the LSU AgCenter at 318-932-4342 or 318-932-4242. We thank the community for your past years of supporting Red River 4-H!”



Annual Campaign Kickoff is September 21st.

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United Way of Northwest Louisiana will host the annual Campaign Kickoff celebration, Thursday, September 21 to mark the official start of the 2017-2018 fundraising season. The event will take place at 11:30 a.m. inside the ballroom of Sam’s Town Casino.

The United Way fights to improve lives throughout ten northwest Louisiana parishes. Spokesperson Charnae McDonald told The Journal, “In recent years, we have made an extra effort to discover and fulfill the needs of residents in Coushatta and throughout Red River Parish. In doing so, we’ve hosted our first successful Back to School Bash event where we fed, clothed and prepared more than a thousand students for the new year.”
The featured speaker, Rod Demery, is a Shreveport native and face of a new show on Investigation Discovery. Murder Chose Me highlights murder cases solved by Demery as a Shreveport Police Detective. Demery is currently a Homicide Investigator with the Caddo Parish District Attorney’s office.

This event will also mark the end of Pacesetter season by honoring the companies who ran their fundraising campaigns early. They will be recognized with an award as a thank you for contributing to the $600,000 goal raised between June 1 and August 31. Bank of Coushatta is a new company on the Pacesetter roster for United Way NWLA. They will be one of nearly 40 groups to be recognized during the luncheon.

Tickets to this event can be reserved through Eventbrite for $35 each: http://bit.ly/2xSs7r3. Table sponsorships are available. Contact Catherine Simpson at 318-677-2504, Ext. 162 or Catherine@unitedwaynwla.org.

Let the Dogs Out

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Deer season is quickly approaching and many deer hunters enjoy the sport while providing food for their families. But hunters have been prevented from hunting deer with dogs in national forests in our area.

On Wednesday, the House Natural Resources Committee adopted Rep. Mike Johnson’s (LA-04) amendment to H.R. 3668, the SHARE Act, to allow deer hunters to hunt with their dogs in the Kisatchie National Forest located in Louisiana’s Fourth District.

Representative Johnson released the following statement: “Hunting is not only a sport enjoyed by men and women all across Louisiana, it is a way of life. We are, after all, the Sportsman’s Paradise. Hunting with dogs, specifically, is an American tradition that dates all the way back to colonial times. The use of dogs to hunt animals other than deer is already allowed in the Kisatchie National Forest, and there is no reason the federal government should be denying this ability to one segment of hunters. Our state wildlife agencies can manage these issues better than Washington.”

ETC… for September 15th

If you are interested in which roads get repaired first in the state, the Joint Transportation, Highways and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing in our area in early October. You may appear at the meeting for this area of the state, including Red River Parish. The meeting will be October 4th at 8:30 am at the Bossier Civic Center.

Football fans this Friday night the Bulldogs play at home and the Rebels are on the road. Riverdale Academy is traveling to far northeast Louisiana to play Tensas. Red River’s Bulldogs host Mansfield at Pat Strother Memorial Stadium.

Here is an update on the Rebel Fest at Riverdale Academy last Saturday. Organizer Merritt Cason reports they raised over $84,000 for the school. Troy Murray won the raffle for $10,000. Second place winner of a trip to Florida was Stuart Azlin and 3rd place prize; the Phantom 4 Drone went to Logan Moore.

In the Baking contest, Dan Cason won first place for cakes with the Turtle Cheesecake. Flo Cason finished second with her Chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream filling and other stuff far too good to mention. Tabatha King’s Hummingbird cake finished third.

First place in the pie baking competition went to Hanna Catherine Huddleston for her coconut pie with whipped cream. Second was won by Merritt Cason for her coconut pie with meringue. Cason also won third with her apple pie.

All sweets entered were all so good we should all be ashamed!

And a final note on a friend who is being honored for his volunteering with NSU athletics for years and years. He’s “Coach Black” and he is always there for the coaches and players. And if you have ever introduced yourself to Coach Black, he will remember your name when you meet again, even if it has been years. Here are the details from NSU’s Doug Ireland:

There have been Pro Bowl football stars, a Pro Football Hall of Fame member, two College Football Hall of Famers and nearly 20 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame inductees produced by Northwestern State Athletics.

But in the long history of sports at NSU, there’s never been a figure more universally beloved than Harris Ray Wilson Jr., affectionately known by family and friends since his elementary school days as “Coach Black.”

Since 1996, he’s been a constant presence around NSU Athletics, showing up early and leaving late to help Demon and Lady Demon teams, coaches and competitors. He’s unofficially known as the assistant head coach for all sports, and also has

Praise for Changes at Football Game

RRPJ-Sch Bd Positive Change-17Sep13


Several school board members and the high school principal spoke positively at Monday night’s board meeting concerning the first home football game of the season. Red River High Principal JC Dickey explained that the crowd was very understanding of the recent updating of the dress code for sporting events.

Chief among the changes were prohibiting caps worn backwards and jeans with holes above the knee. Dickey said, “I stayed at the main gate all night and greeted every person who came in with a handshake and a smile.” Dicked added that only seven individuals came to the game with clothing that did not meet the new requirements. “Every one of them went to their vehicle and changed and came back in to enjoy the game,” added Dickey.

Dickey explained, “The changes were made because we want the facilities to be community oriented, a place where everyone feels welcome.” He also noted that he wants the public to see nice clean facilities. He said, “We want everyone to see the standard of how we look and dress at events.”

Several board members had praise for the look and feel at the game. Board member Susan Taylor said, “Everything was well organized. The band and the cheerleaders did a wonderful job.” Taylor added, “I appreciate the job they did. I am so proud because I am a graduate of that school.”

If you missed the new look and feel of a Friday night game, you don’t have long to wait. Friday night the Bulldogs defeated the Hornets from Arcadia 18 to 14, and the team is now 2-0 on the season. Red River is host to the Mansfield Wolverines this Friday night. Kickoff is at 7:00 pm. Come early and enjoy the band, the food and festivities.

RRES Student Council Elections

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There is a new governing body at the elementary school. The Student Council and Junior Beta Club held elections last Friday. Students in second through fifth grades elected a slate of students to help run the school.

Here’s a list of the winners:

President-Cameron Jones
Vice President-Anyla Young
Secretary-Caitlyn Jones
Treasurer-Isabella Arredondo
Reporter-Kaley Jenkins
Chaplain-Tylan Beavers

Campaign posters had decorated the halls in the school for several days. On Friday morning the hopeful candidates met the “voters” and appealed for votes.
All candidates made their appeal, even those who were unopposed.

The candidate for President drew three contenders and their campaign presentations were very competitive. Rafe Scruggs had a great power point presentation. He gets points for a passionate plea for votes and giving the appearance of confidence and speaking freely. He had a script but knew his speech so that spoke his message.

Next up was Micah Davis. Micah gets the points for spelling out his program of several things he proposed to work for if elected. He promised the students that he would work for their best interests. Micah gets the award for content and thought put into his presentation.

Third candidate was Cameron Jones. He had the crowd in his hand from the beginning. His remarks were brief. Then he walked to his keyboard and played a rousing song that had the whole auditorium (students and faculty) clapping along. He was relaxed, confident and cool. And showmanship won Cameron the election.

Cameron Jones’ sister Caitlyn Jones won the Secretary’s job unopposed. Red River Elementary has the distinction of having a brother and sister both on their student council, and they are twins serving at the same time. That may be a first.

Following the assembly, students returned to their classrooms to vote. One by one students in each class went to the teacher and cast their ballot by pointing to the picture of the candidate they wanted to vote for in each race. Then the teachers turned in tally sheets to Vice Principal Danny Rester who counted the votes and announced the results.

An observation: The students at Red River Elementary sat quietly in the gym for over half an hour Friday morning. They were attentive, listening to the speeches and laughing or clapping where appropriate. Then they filed out to their classrooms in an orderly manner. Congratulations to the faculty and students for the way they conducted themselves. If you have not witnessed it for yourself, call the school and find out the date of the next assembly. Go to it. You will be surprised!


Grand Bayou Gets Appreciation Award

RRPJ-Guard Award to Grand Bauyou- TOP-17Sep13

Last Saturday Grand Bayou Resort was given an award by the National Guard unit at Coushatta. The commander, Captain Chad Ford presented a laser engraved wood plaque to Park Manager Rene Albright.

Members of the unit presenting the award in addition to Ford were First Sargent Michael Barrett and Private First Class Tredaveon Brown. Accepting for Grand Bayou Resort were Albright and Gate House Attendant Stacy Bolyer.

Captain Ford thanked Albright and her staff for all that Grand Bayou Resort does for the Guard. The plaque reads “Thank you for your continued support of the Louisiana Army National Guard, and for allowing unimpeded access to your fine facility to conduct Zodiac boat training year round.”

In accepting the award, Albright said, “I appreciate this very much. We are glad to help the National Guard with training. If there is anything we at Grand Bayou Resort can ever do, we’ll do it.” And Albright wished the guard unit “good luck and stay safe.”

Captain Ford told the Grand Bayou staff this award came from the heart of the Officers, Non Commissioned Officers and Troopers of C Troop, 2-108th Cavalry Squadron.

RRPJ-Grand Bayou Award BOTTOM-17Sep13

Lots of Fun at Rebel Fest


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Last Saturday was Rebel Fest at Riverdale Academy. Fest organizer, Merritt Cason told The Journal this second annual Rebel Fest was bigger than the first year. Cason says it exceeded all of their expectations.

You get the feeling of some of the fun the youngsters attending got from the games offered. Tanner Cason showed his skills at free throws and basketball shooting. That’s him in green with the ball just above the rim headed to the net. Tanner’s dad said he loved playing ball all the time.

Outside we took a look at “Pancake” the pet pig. She looked hot in her cage. A cooler place was the Dunking Booth however the “dunkees” said that Pancake smelled better than the water in the dunking booth. We caught a series of shots of Kyle Guillory testing his arm. That small yellow object just above the target is the ball. A split second later the person in the booth was under water.

Just before the 6:00 pm everyone gathered in the gym around the table where Pancake had been relocated. The excitement permeated the crowd with kids coming to pet Pancake through here cage. The adults were looking in wonder also and trying not to show it. What’s up? All week students had been putting money in jars with faculty member’s names on it. The top two were declared winners of the “Teacher Kiss A Pig” contest. Coach Jared Smelser raised $204.50 and kissed Pancake first. Principal Jamie Lawrence won the right to kiss by raising $71.30. It was all in fun and yes! Photos don’t lie. They both kissed Pancake.

There was a lot more that went on, but after sampling several of the pies, cakes and cookies entered in the Baking Contest this reporter grabbed a stuffed lunch from Shaver’s Catering and went home to catch 20 winks.

More Before 9 AM Than Most Do All Day

RRPJ-VFW Guard March BOTTOM-17Sep13


What time do you get up on a Sunday? This past weekend members of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7287 and Auxiliary 7287 were up before daylight to serve our men in uniform.

This past weekend was the regular monthly training weekend for the Coushatta National Guard unit. They proved the Army slogan, “We do more before 9:00 am than most people do all day!” This was the weekend for their annual 12-mile trek.

Over forty members of C Troop, 2-108th Cavalry Squadron were up before daylight and dressed in fatigues, boots, and a pack of at least 35 pounds. They departed the armory at about 0630 hours (that’s 6:30 for the rest of us) at a swift jog.

Their route took them through town to the Highway 84 bridge. Once across Red River they took River Road south to Highway 1, then north to a dirt road cut through back to River Road where they retraced their route back across the bridge and to the armory.

Along that route there were stands set up for the soldiers to get some refreshment during their 12-mile journey. The Post and Auxiliary manned the stand set up in John Perkins’ front yard on River Road. Auxiliary members Dawn Brewer, Ramel Fields, and Angelia McCoy joined Post Commander Barry McCoy and Quartermaster John Brewer in passing out water, Gatorade and fresh fruit as the soldiers came running by.

Last weekend both the VFW and National Guard proved saying is true. But it was Sunday; so most of us aren’t expected to do much before 9:00 am.

RRPJ-VFW Guard March TOP-17Sep13