First Heart Program a Big Success

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The first Heart Program held in Red River Parish is being termed a success by the MLK Health Center. The event was Tuesday of this week in the parking lot behind Christus Coushatta Health Care Center.

Spokesperson Jordan Ring told The Journal that there were many health screenings provided including mammograms, PSA screening, HIV tests, and many participants were given assessments on their health risks.

There were prize giveaways throughout the afternoon program and many organizations partnered with MLK Health Center to offer nutrition and medical information to participants.

Here is the breakdown of the event from Jordan Ring of the MLK Health Center and Pharmacy:

• Roughly 75 people in attendance.
• Also attending: Representative Terry Brown; Mr. Matt Howerton from Congressman Mike Johnson’s office; Mayor Johnny Cox; Jessie Davis, Red River Police Jury; Ms. Allison Hughes, Superintendent Red River Parish Schools; Dr. Bruce Wilson from United Way; Dr. Chris Ciocchetti, President, MLK Board of Directors.
• Health Services Program partners attending: Shreveport Green; Partners in Wellness/Feist Weiler Cancer Center; St. Luke’s Episcopal Mobile Medical Program; the Philadelphia Center; CHRISTUS Coushatta Health Care Center & Red River Parish Health Unit.
• Food was provided by Matt Huddleston owner of Hudd’s Sports Grill. Mr. Huddleston is also a member of the Red River Parish School Board.
• Feedback/comments: Nonnie from KJVC Radio in Mansfield was onsite to provide a live radio remote. While she was onsite she mentioned to Janet that she needed to have a mammogram, but didn’t want to take time away from other participants. Janet told her she needed to go “get on the van”, because the services are for everyone who needs them. Nonnie had a mammogram herself. It was long overdue.
• 27 participants received health risk assessments – results (15 – elevated blood pressure; 4 – diabetics; 1 – pre-diabetes; 3 – high cholesterol) [these numbers will not add up to 27, because some participants had some normal and some abnormal results] • BMI: 7/normal; 6/overweight; 12/obese
• 11 participants received mammograms completed onsite; 1 participant was scheduled at CHRISTUS Coushatta Health Care Center.
• 5 participants received PSA screenings
• 4 participants received HIV tests
3 participants signed up for ongoing health coaching & programming.

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To Sell or To Demolish

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The School Board’s Buildings and Grounds Committee dealt with a dwelling on a plot of newly acquired land near the Junior High School. The committee met November 13th just before the full board meeting.

School Finance Director David Jones presented the committee with several options, including demolition or trying to sell the building to be removed. Jones reported that the last time a similar situation arose there were no buyers willing to pay the cost of moving that structure.

Committee member Gary Giddens suggested selling the house if that is possible. Otherwise he suggested allowing the fire department to do a “test burn” at that location.

The suggestion of Cleve Miller was that the board is in no rush, so try to see if they can get something out of it. Member Richard Cannon said 60 days to tear down or move the structure is reasonable.

The committee recommended to the full board that sale or removal would be advertised for three weeks, then there would be a 60 day window for the successful bidder to move the house or tear it down. Later that evening the full board adopted the committee’s recommendation on what to do with the structure.


School is Out For the Holidays

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Today, Friday November 17th, is the last day of school before the Thanksgiving break. Classes at Red River and Riverdale conclude today. Same thing for Northwestern.

NSU will be closed Nov. 20-24 for Thanksgiving break. Classes will resume and administrative offices will reopen Monday, Nov. 27. Watson Library will close Friday, Nov. 17 at 2 p.m. and will reopen for regular hours on Saturday, Nov. 26 at 2 p.m.

The Red River Parish Journal will publish next Wednesday, November 22nd. There will be no Friday edition so that the staff and their family can spend some holiday time together. The Journal’s regular schedule resumes on Wednesday 29th.

Check your church or club schedule to see if it is impacted by the Thanksgiving Holiday. And have a very happy Thanksgiving.

Ham for the Holidays

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Imagine a delicious smoked ham for your holiday meal and it only cost two dollars! You’re not dreaming. New Life Church of Coushatta is raffling off a smoked Grayson’s ham and the tickets are just $2.

The winner of the ham will be announced Sunday November 19th at the church. You can buy a ticket from church members or by calling 932-6933 for directions. The church is located at 1920 Abbey Street in Coushatta.

The Journal met several ladies from the church at the Town Council meeting on Monday night, and our $2 is in the drawing.

ETC… for November 17th



Reminder for Church Leaders in the parish. The Sheriff’s Office and Parish Office of Homeland Security are holding a parish wide meeting pertaining to church security. It will be held today (Nov 17th) at the courthouse at 2:00 pm.

Northwestern State University’s online programs were ranked as the best in Louisiana according to a higher education website. ranked more than 2,500 accredited colleges and universities on factors including affordability, student services and the availability of online services. Northwestern State received an overall score of 97.16 and was noted for the features of career counseling services, placement services and life experience credit. The university also offers military training credit and advanced placement credit.

Saturday night November 18th is dance night at the Council on Aging. The Playmates will be playing in the Jack and Laura building on Front Street. The dance begins at 7:00 pm and goes until 10:00. Admission is $6.00.

Tomorrow is the Bulldog Bazaar at Red River Elementary School. Vendors will offer lots of great bargains. Come and shop for Christmas and other occasions.

Saturday is Election Day. Voter turnout is expected to be light. There are local tax issues on the ballot. If you have not voted, The Journal urges you to get out and cast a ballot.

Keeping our Churches Safe

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Leaders of all churches in Red River Parish are encouraged to attend a church security meeting on Friday. The Sheriff’s Office and Parish Office of Homeland Security will hold an instructional session on Friday.

Church security is a big concern following the recent shooting at a church in Texas and other incidents at houses of worship across the nation. The meeting will be this Friday, November 17th at 2:00 pm. It will be held in the Courtroom on the second floor of the parish courthouse.


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Red River Observes Veterans Day

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There were celebrations and remembrance ceremonies all over Red River Parish last week. Churches and schools and others joined the theme of “Thank A Veteran.” The Journal is presenting the observances in pictures to amplify the narrative.

The Air Force Junior ROTC program at Red River High put a great program together. On Thursday, the auditorium was filled with vets, students, faculty and their guests. Men and women who served in all branches of the military were saluted. The high school band played patriotic songs and there were emotional videos presented. And afterwards vets were treated to a lunch in the library.

Christus Coushatta Health Care Center invited veterans to lunch Thursday. They served delicious barbecue sandwiches with all the trimmings from a local caterer.

Friday morning Red River Elementary students put on their salute to veterans in the school Gym. The high school ROTC color guard presented the flags. Students took parts in the program that saluted veterans.

On Saturday night and Sunday morning local churches presented their own thank you services. Social Springs had their program Saturday night. On Sunday several churches saluted their members who had served our country.

The Journal observed an increase in patriotism compared to the past few years. We asked people why? Answers were mainly that the recognitions of veterans came because of the negative news in society and the recent attacks of terror in our country.

We have lots of pictures, so enjoy them.


Sewing For Veterans

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There is a very active group in town that goes out of their way to care for others. They have sewn and knitted blankets for nursing home residents. They have worked with children and with the less fortunate. They make knit caps for cancer victims. And for Veterans Day they went all out, making blankets for vets to keep them warm this winter.

They are the group called “Sewing God’s Love” and they meet at the sewing house across from First Baptist Church on Alonzo Street. For the past few months, the ladies of the group have been making beautiful red, white and blue blankets. Last Sunday morning they presented them to veterans who attend Wesley Chapel, First Baptist and First Methodist churches.

When The Journal visited their workshop this week, the ladies told of any upcoming projects they are working on to benefit members of this community. One project is to go to the nursing home and help residents with making Christmas decorations.

If you would like more information please call either First Baptist Church or First Methodist Church. Or just drop by the sewing house on Alonzo street Monday morning about 9:30. The coffee pot will be on!

The New Face of Downtown

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Renovations are underway along Front Street in downtown Coushatta. Work is progressing on revitalizing buildings and the stage. And the Santa House is also due a new coat of paint.

The town and Chamber of Commerce have been talking about improvements for some time. Several months ago The Journal reported that in an interview with Mayor Johnny Cox that improvements would be forthcoming. Cox said he would give back his pay as Mayor to pay for the improvements.

We spoke with Councilman Peter Drake this week on a walking tour of the improvements. Drake says the new wood columns that have been installed will remain natural for a while to give time for the wood to weather. Drake said they would be wrapped with festive ribbon for Christmas.

As you drive down Front Street you will notice that renevations are well past the half way point on the stage. The project is to replace rotten wood and double the size of the stage. The structure is also getting a new roof.

Drake said the Santa House would be repainted in time for the Christmas Festival. The Christmas Parade has been set for Thursday December 7th. Details are being worked on at the Chamber’s monthly meeting Thursday at noon in the police jury room on the third floor of the Courthouse.

Also in the plans is a new coat of paint for the buildings on Front Street. Councilman Drake says this will occur after Christmas.

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Parish Sports Update



The Red River Bulldogs are on the way to Rosepine Friday night for the second round of the football playoffs. A good luck wish was expressed for the team at Monday’s school board meeting.

The Bulldogs pulled off an impressive win against North Caddo last Friday. School Superintendent Alison Hughes wished them good luck this week.

The Riverdale Rebels were not so fortunate last Friday. They were defeated by Briarfield Academy from Lake Providence. Final score was 22 to 0. Riverdale had posted an impressive 7 and 0 record in district play this year, the first time the school had won all of their district games.

Friday night Journal Sports will provide a live stream of the Bulldogs at Rosepine. Kickoff is at 7:00 pm. The broadcast begins at 6:45. It can be heard via the Journal’s website or on The game Friday night can also be heard on KRRP 950.

Basketball is underway for both Red River High and Riverdale Academy. The Bulldogs played the Wolverines at Mansfield last night. On Thursday night Riverdale travels to West Monroe for boys and girls games at Northeast Baptist. Those games begin about 6:00 pm. Use the same websites above to listen to the basketball games.

Beard’s Automotive is Ready for the Holidays



The NAPA Holiday Savings Flyers are in at Beard’s Automotive Parts and Supplies. There are great gift suggestions, at holiday low prices, for the mechanic on your gift list.

Their selection of tools is excellent this year. There are screwdrivers, locking pliers, socket sets, lights, code readers and much more. Here is a great stocking stuffer suggestion, the BlueFuel Lithium-Ion Jump Starter and Mobile Power Supply. It charges mobile devices as well as up to 20 jump starts per charge. The price is just $59.99.

Beard’s Automotive suggests you give the gift of sight, sound and safety this Christmas. Dual sports action and dash cameras are on sale at $69.99. Or give the Smart Hitch Camera and Sensor System for $99.99.

While shopping Beard’s Automotive, give yourself the gift of reliability this holiday system. Trust your vehicle’s electrical system to NAPA Legend batteries. There is one for every application.

Get your NAPA Holiday Savings Flyer today at Beard’s Automotive Parts and Supplies, on Ringgold Avenue.

Continue reading

Saturday is Bulldog Bazaar


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“Come Christmas Shop” proclaims the flyer from the Red River Elementary School PAW Parents. Saturday is their Bulldog Bazaar in the elementary school gym.

They promise a great line-up of vendors selling holiday gifts of every kind. Also there will be food and crafts.

Christy Suggs has more information. Call her at 318-332-7975


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The Turkeys Have Arrived

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Turkeys, cases of turkeys, and everything else you could want for your Thanksgiving meal have arrived at Rivertown Market. The Journal was able to take a sneak-peak at the preparations necessary to feed our parish a fantastic holiday meal.

Before the sun thought about getting up an over-stuffed 18-wheeler left far southeast Louisiana headed our way. And just as the sun was beginning to break through the dark it pulled into the loading dock.

It was all-hands-on-deck as the Rivertown staff rolled the huge pallets of food and supplies off the truck and into the back of the store. Then the staff has to break the pallets down and re-stock the store shelves.

They have pallets of cooking oil. Red River residents fry a lot of turkeys, and probably lots of fish, fries and other delicious goodies. There were cases of bananas, cornbread mix, all varieties of fresh produce, and several pallets of milk and dairy products and on and on.

So when you are shopping think a little while about what goes into putting those products on the shelf for your selection. It is quite a process, as The Journal found out Tuesday morning.

Early Voting Very Light

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All across Louisiana early voting for next Saturday’s election was reported to be extremely light. Same held true for Red River Parish.

A check with the parish Registrar of Voters office revealed that 141 people voted early. There are over 6,000 citizens registered to vote in the parish. That is about a 2 percent turnout.

Polls will open Saturday morning at 7:00 am. There are three tax proposals from the Town of Coushatta on the ballot. And there is a runoff for State Treasurer. Because of the light ballot and lack of controversial issues the turnout Saturday is also expected to be light.

ETC… for November 15th



The parish is getting a new ambulance. The police jury approved funding several months ago and at this month’s jury meeting Supervisor Jessie Davis reported that the new ambulance is being equipped now. Davis said, “There will have to be a final inspection by the medical folks before it can be put into service.” The new ambulance is expected to be in service by next month, according to Davis.

Sewer integrity testing is scheduled to wrap up Friday in the Southern Hill and Springville neighborhoods. The tests are being made to detect leaks, breaks and other problems with the sewer system in the area.

A reminder that Women’s Conference ’17 is being held Friday and Saturday at Victorious Life Ministries. Co-Pastor Marsha Miller is coordinating the event which is sponsored by the Women of Victory.

Who got his or her first deer? Send pictures to The Journal and we will feature your child or grandchild (or maybe your) first kill. Email them to Send the basics such as when and where for the story. We’ll include in a future issue.

Southern Hill and Springville Smoke Tests

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Residents connected to the Southern Hill and Springville Sewer Systems are being notified by the police jury that tests for leaks will be conducted next week. In its message to residents, the police jury emphasizes that the smoke is non-toxic and leaves no residuals or stains.

The smoke tests will be conducted November 13th through 17th. More information is available from the police jury at 932-5719.

These sewer systems have experienced problems like clogs and back-ups in the past. The police jury has discussed repairs and upgrades over the past year. These smoke tests are to help determine where leaks are and where water may be getting into the sewer system. It is a part of the police jury’s ongoing efforts to upgrade the sewer systems in these neighborhoods.

Jury Supervisor Jessie Davis said, “The smoke tests will tell where there are any broken or cracked lines, if there are any collapsed lines, and if they are properly hooked up in the houses.” He added, “If there is smoke in the house, there is a serious problem.”

Jury President Shawn Beard asked, “Is it clear?” Beard’s concern is “Do they understand if there is smoke in the house then the fix is up to the resident or property owner.” Davis responded, “We will have to shut off water and sewer service to the house until leaks are corrected. There is a danger of sewer gas getting into the house if there is a leak.”

Details of the testing, what is expected of residents, and timing of the tests was included in a notice to residents. It is being published in local media and given to residents of the Springville and Southern Hill sewer systems.

When completed the smoke test results will provide the police jury with an idea of the repairs needed to assure the integrity of the sewer systems in these two neighborhoods.

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Americanism Awards Presented at Ringgold Elementary

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The local Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7287 has presented its annual Americanism awards to students at Ringgold Elementary School. Awards will also be presented to students at Riverdale Academy and Red River Elementary.

Students in Kindergarten are asked to color the American Flag. The top three finishers at Ringgold Elementary are Angelina Dance, first place; Emma McCay, second place; and Miyo Weathers, third place. Angelina’s art is shown with this story.

First and second grade students have a more difficult task. They are asked to draw and color the American Flag. Here are the top three winners at Ringgold Elementary. First place flag was drawn by Breasia Carroll; second place was LaCoreon Chase; and third place flag was drawn by Braylon Jackson. Breasia’s entry also accompanies this story.

And students in third and fourth grade are asked to draw and color an historical scene. The winner at Ringgold Elementary was JaKari Howard who selected “Western Expansion” as his theme. Second place was Shanay Percival and third place went to Caitlyn Claudio.

VFW Post 7287 Commander Barry McCoy said, “We congratulate the winners and the other students who entered also.” He added, “Soon we will be presenting awards to students at Red River Elementary and Riverdale.”

Top three winners in each category are presented certificates and the first place entries are rewarded with $25 each. Two of the winning entries from Ringgold Elementary were also selected as the top entries from the Post. They are Angelina Dance and Breasia Carroll.

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Basketball Season is Here



High school basketball is beginning. There are scrimmages, tournaments and matches scheduled this month by Red River High and Riverdale Academy.

On Tuesday November 14th Red River travels to Mansfield. The Bulldogs and Wolverines are old rivals and these games are great early season matches. Both the girls and boys teams will play Tuesday.

Journal Sports will provide coverage of both Riverdale and Red River basketball games. Both home and away games and girls and boys teams will be covered. The broadcast begins about 6:00 pm Tuesday. Games will be streamed on and The games will also air on KRRP 950.

Meanwhile football playoffs continue. Riverdale Academy defeated North Sunflower Academy in the first round of the 8-man football playoffs. Friday night they host Briarfield Academy from Lake Providence. Kickoff is 7:00 pm. Journal Sports will begin streaming the game about 6:45.

Friday night the Red River Bulldogs host North Caddo in their first playoff game. It will also be streamed by Journal Sports. Kickoff is 7:00 pm and coverage begins about 6:45 Friday night. The Red River-North Caddo game will also be carried on KRRP 950.

To listen to any of the games, go to the sites listed above. There is a button to click on for the game you wish to hear.

Thanksgiving Dinner at Red River Industries

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“We wanted to make sure all of our clients had a big Thanksgiving dinner.” That from Eletha Seabaugh, the Executive Director of Red River Industries in Coushatta. She added, “We’re kicking off the holidays this way.”

Quite a meal it was. There was a long buffet line filled with traditional holiday foods including baked ham, chicken and dressing, baked sweet potato casserole and green bean casserole. An for desert there was a large container of homemade banana pudding.

The meal was held this week at Red River Industries on Highway 71. Seabaugh said they have about 25 clients at present. She added, “And they are all here and all enjoying this Thanksgiving meal.”

Seabaugh reminded visitors at the meal that Red River Industries has delicious cakes and cookies that their clients prepare on site. They are available for your holiday events. Call 318-932-6520 to place your order.