Children’s Musical at First Baptist

By Faerie Sledge

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The 33 member children’s choir of First Baptist Church, Coushatta, presented its annual Christmas musical at the church on Sunday evening, December 3, 2017. This year’s musical was “Jingle Bell Beach, a Christmas singing competition of Pitch Perfect Proportions.” It was created by Christy Semsen and arranged by Daniel Semsen.

According to WordKidz, the musical is a story of the annual Jingle Sing competition where aspiring young vocal groups from around the country make their way to Jingle Bell Beach for the famous competition. Hosts Sandy and Sonny Pepperminter, played by Melanie Davis and Dr. Hunter Brown, welcome the final contestants for this year’s competition: the Snowflakes, the Starfish, and the Electrons.

When a storm ruins the contestants’ plans for getting home in time for Christmas, things heat up! In the eagerness to win the contest, it becomes clear that one of the contestants is struggling with his understanding of the meaning of Christmas. As the others share the story of Jesus, the spirit of competition changes into the wonderful spirit of Christmas. The contestants are reminded that Christmas is about Emmanuel, “God with us”, and the good news that Jesus came to be the Savior.

Children performing were Maverick Bamburg, Sophie Bamburg, Trevor Bell, Cannon Breedlove, Carter Breedlove, McKinley Davis, Reagan Davis, Ali Greer, Harper Huckabay, Hayden Huckabay, Hanna Catherine Huddleston, Mary Claire Jones, Will Jones, Brock Keith, Riley Keith, Justin McKnight, Hope Mills, Jenna Mills, Julia Paige Mills, Ben Moseley, Morgan Moseley, Hannah Murray, Sam Murray, Andrew Petersen, Kaitlynne Petersen, Paige Petersen, Olivia Rice, Victoria Rice, Summer Rushing, Ryder Shaver, Isabella Stephens, Rafe Suggs, and Jett Waters.

Children’s choir director is Julie Page. She was assisted by teachers and “behind the scenes” crew, Charla Bamburg, Jennifer Breedlove, Dr. Hunter Brown, Melanie Davis, and Jennifer Moseley. The choir also extends thanks to the many other volunteers who helped with the production. Dr. Nathan Davis is pastor.

 

 

Riverdale Beta Club Completes a Year of Service

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The Senior Beta Club at Riverdale Academy has been active in our community and northwest Louisiana this year. Thanks to Mallory Warren for the pictures and information.

Recently members made Christmas cards for nursing home residents. The cards were passed out at the Christmas party at Green Meadow Haven. Beta Club members also served dinner to residents. They plan on hosting the December birthday party at Green Meadow Haven on December 29th.

Other activities this past year included collecting donations for the Providence House. The club will be hosting a game night at Providence House in January.

Riverdale’s Beta Club will attend the state convention in February where members will compete in academic tests on language arts, science, social studies and agriculture. They will also compete in creative writing, visual arts, quiz bowl, robotics, advertising design, special talents, scrapbook, and other categories.

The Riverdale Academy Senior Beta Club has earned National School of Distinction for two years in a row. And last year at state convention Lewis Lawson placed first insculpture.

 

A Salute to Red River Football

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There was praise for the success enjoyed this year by the Red River High Football team. The school board at their December meeting saluted members and coaches. Superintendent Alison Hughes presented Coach John Bachman and the team a plaque.

Hughes said, “I am honoring the hard working staff and students of the football program. They completed a history-making overall record of 9 and 4. It was the first time the football team made it to the third round of the playoffs.” Hughes added, “They persevered through several tough games and really showed what Bulldogs are made of.”

Coach John Bachman told the board, “We surround the kids with love and we let them know they are important. Then they think they are important. And they are important.

The Bulldogs had 20 team members selected to spots on the all-district team. Raphael Lemons was named defensive MVP. Present to receive the plaque was Waylon Washington. Coach Bachman said, “He is one of our seniors and he represents our student body. How lucky I am with Waylon being one of the leaders on our team.”

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Troopers Urge Safe Travel

LSPLOGO

Family traditions are what make the Christmas and New Year’s holiday season the most wonderful time of the year!  Celebrations with friends and family create memories that last a lifetime. However, there is one tradition that our Louisiana State Police family would like to break—the increase in serious injury and fatal crashes during the holidays. To combat this trend, troopers are joining forces with other law enforcement agencies to conduct proactive enforcement.

By understanding and following the safety guidelines below, motorists can greatly reduce their chances of being involved in a serious injury or fatality crash.

Designate a sober driver

  • Thousands of people are seriously injured or killed due to impaired driving each year. Never get behind the wheel if you are impaired or get in a vehicle with a driver who is impaired.
  • Alcohol has many effects on the body. Alcohol can impair visual ability, impair fine motor skills needed to operate a motor vehicle, and increase reaction times. Just one drink may cause these effects.
  • Designate a sober driver before traveling to any place where alcohol will be consumed. A designated driver is one who has had nothing alcoholic to drink.
  • Call a taxi, ride-sharing service, or a trusted person for a ride or just stay put.

Buckle-up

  • Louisiana law requires that every person in a motor vehicle, regardless of seating position, always remain buckled. Troopers urge all drivers and passengers in motor vehicles to understand that failure to buckle up can quickly become a tragic and fatal decision. Statistics show that the chances of surviving a violent crash rise significantly when properly restrained.

Child passenger restraints

  • Louisiana law requires all children to be properly restrained. To review the current law, visit legis.la.gov and search RS 32:295. If your travel plans take you out of our state, please visit www.saferide4kids.com for a list of current child passenger restraint laws by state.

Distractions

  • Inattentive and distracted drivers account for a large number of serious crashes across the state every year. You can effectively reduce the chances of being involved in a crash by remaining focused on the task of driving while behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Pedestrians or bicyclists

  • If you travel on foot or bicycle, wear bright clothing and remain aware of traffic on the roadway. Use proper lighting at night.

Motorcyclists

  • Motorcyclists must wear a proper D.O.T. approved helmet when operating a motorcycle on Louisiana roadways. Although not all crashes are survivable, properly utilizing safety equipment like approved motorcycle helmets and proper clothing greatly decrease your risk of serious injury or death.

For the latest road condition information including closures and construction, visit www.511la.org or dial 511 from any phone in Louisiana. A 511 Louisiana phone app is also available for download. Motorists can sign up for Twitter traffic alerts from DOTD, as well as stay up to date with important information from the Louisiana State Police Facebook and Twitter pages.

Motorists that witness hazardous road conditions and/or reckless drivers are encouraged to call *LSP (*577) and report that activity to the nearest Louisiana State Police troop location.

Contact Information:
TPR Glenn Younger
Louisiana State Police
Public Affairs Section – Troop G
Office: (318)741-7411
glenn.younger@la.gov
www.LSP.org
www.facebook.com/LouisianaStatePolice

 

Christmas Band Concert

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Last week the Red River High Band performed for the community in the school auditorium. Earlier they had a special performance for students. Yasmine Jason is the band director.

At the evening performance there were several numbers performed by the beginner band. It is composed of the younger or less experienced musicians. Then it was the senior band’s turn.

It was a great evening of music and fun. The Journal congratulates Band Director Jason, the band’s student officers and members on a wonderful performance. Keep an eye on the band ion 2018. There are more great events to come.

 

 

ETC… for December 22nd

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The Journal wishes to apologize to Dr. Joshua Cason who is with Christus Coushatta Rural Health Clinic in Coushatta. According to Christus spokesperson Katie Murray, Dr. Cason has been with the clinic since 2012, instead of as reported in our Wednesday edition. The Journal regrets the error.

Rep. Mike Johnson (LA-04) released the following statement upon the final passage of tax reform legislation:

“After years of oppressive tax policies that have stunted economic growth and burdened our businesses and families, Republicans have fulfilled our promise to deliver real relief to the American people by sending this tax package to the president’s desk. The importance of this moment cannot be overstated. With the first comprehensive tax reform in 31 years, we will dramatically strengthen the U.S. economy and restore economic mobility and opportunity for hardworking individuals and families all across this country.”

If you are a last minute Christmas shopper, congratulations. You have made it to the last minute. Time to wrap up your presents so St. Nick can come in just a very short time. The Journal wishes everyone a very Merry Christmas.

The Journal congratulates Keava Turner of Coushatta upon her graduation from LSU’s College of Science. And congratulations to Brianna Hudson and Samantha Robinette of Coushatta who graduated from Bossier Parish Community College.

 

New Doctor in Town

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Christus Coushatta Rural Health Clinic is welcoming a new member of their staff. Here is their post on Facebook.

Are you looking for a Primary Care Physician? Does your child need a wellness visit soon? Are you having trouble finding someone who accepts your insurance? CHRISTUS Coushatta Rural Health Clinic has you covered.

Choose a family medicine physician with compassion, someone dedicated to the community and to you. Dr. Joshua Cason and his staff are ready to welcome you to the CHRISTUS Coushatta family, where our mission is to extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ.

Call Dr. Cason’s office to schedule your next appointment. 318.932.2081

 

When Christmas Left Rattlers Canyon

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It was funny and great entertainment for students and their parents. It was the Riverdale Academy Senior Christmas Play.

The premise was the owner of a western town lost the place in a card game to a dastardly ruffian named Big Bad Ben. Then Ben outlawed Christmas in Rattlers Canyon.

The townsfolk would not put up with it. They decorated anyway. And just as fast, Ben took the decorations down. Something had to give. And thus unwound the saga of a Christmas miracle. It included a couple expecting their first child but unable to find lodging in the local saloon, so they had to settle for the stable out back. There were bad guys and worse gals. Then there was the Christmas night of miracles.

Say no more than Big Bad Ben found his real mom and dad. The baby was born to the young couple. And everyone settled down to live happily ever after.

You will recognize the characters in the play from the pictures accompanying this article. It was a cold day when the play was performed at school. But everyone was warmed with the good-hearted humor.

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Junior High Hosts Beta Club Day

By Zintayvious Smith

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For the first time ever, the Red River Junior High National Beta Club hosted the annual Beta District Day on November 11, 2017. During this day, schools from the surrounding areas gather to compete in multiple creative and academic competitions such as: Quiz Bowl, Robotics, Tower of Power, Speech, Group and Special Talent, Song Fest, Advertising and Design, T-shirt and Banner Design, Book Battle, Spotlight your Club, and Living Literature. The schools that participated in these events were: Saline High School, Winnfield Junior High, NSU Middle-Lab, Webster Junior High, Red River Elementary, Red River Junior High, and GreenAcres Junior High. As a result, your very own Red River Junior High 1st and 2nd place in several events and qualified to go to the Beta’s State convention in Lafayette, Louisiana on February 1st, 2018: 1st Place in: (25 members) Songfest ,(Carlena Henry) Speech, and (Sarah York, Janiya Brisker, and Kimberly Gay) Banner; 2nd place in: (Annaston Villapando and Christian Mcgee) T-Shirt Design , (Jarrett Castello, Bryn Danzy, and Breanna Friday) Living Literature, (Malajah Golatt, Talasia Smith, Moriah Eason, and Jaedynn French-Solton) Spotlight Your Club , ( Ja’milluen Wilson, Jakiyus Palmer, Devin McDonald, Nehemiah Harris, Tyler Hughes, Montrell Brown,Justin Madison, and Morris Mitchell) Robotics, and (Charity Ashton, JaNya White, Tija Augmon, Mia Brevelle, and Kamiera “Meme” McDonald). Group Talent. Red River Junior High would like to thank everyone who participated and contributed on making this day a complete success. Next year, this event will be hosted by the Red River Elementary School.

Editor’s Note: This is a second article from the Journalism students at Red River Junior High School.

 

Coushatta students graduated from Northwestern State University

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Ten Coushatta students graduated from Northwestern State University at the end of the fall semester. NSU conferred degrees to 865 graduates who completed coursework in the Summer 2017 and Fall 2017 semesters. Commencement speaker was Alejandro Perkins, chair of the board of supervisors for the University of Louisiana System.

Fall graduates from Coushatta are Laura Keith with an Associate of Science in Nursing. Destiney Coatney and Precious Smith with an Associate of General Studies. Tyler Scott graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree. Allison Longino earned a Bachelor of Science degree. Four Coushatta residents earned their Bachelor of Science in Nursing. They are Nichola Bryant, Janet Cogburn, Jeanetta Emmitt-Taylor, and Karisma Jones. And Nicholas Williamson earned his Master of Arts in Teaching.

 

 

Red River Elementary School Holds Social Studies Fair

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The 4th and 5th graders competed in a school wide social studies fair organized by Social Studies teachers Intha Fields and Sherry Pickett. There were over 200 projects in the 6 categories of Geology, Anthropology, Economics, Sociology, Political Science, Louisiana History, and History. Projects were displayed in the gym. Judges interviewed each participant to see how knowledgeable they were on the projects.

In Geology, Tylon Beavers finished first, Breanna Baldwin was second, and Kayden Williams earned third.

In Anthropology, first place went to Sadie and Emily Hammond, second place was Jaskyla Williams and Warren Bowman and third place went to Cash Kowel.

In Louisiana History, Hannah Worsham finished first, Jayden Less was second, and Zachary Thompson earned third place.

In Economics, first place went to Elsy Dominquez, second to Lawrence Robinson, and third went to Alysaa Tingle.

In Political Science Luke Williamson earned first place, Caitlyn Jones finished second and Dawnesha Taylor was third.

In Sociology, first place winner was Kayden Nichols, second went to Reagon Cannon, and third to Cyli Hinson.

And in History, Rafe Suggs finished first, Matthew Shaffter was second and Addison Bounds finished in third place.

The Journal congratulates these winners and all students who participated. First place projects and students will compete in the Regional Fair in the spring.

 

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Junior High Canned Food Drive

By Malajah Golatt

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Red River Junior High Student Council held a canned food drive for their November service. Each homeroom class was asked to collect non- perishable food items to donate to local families in our community.

Mrs. Gantt’s 7th Grade homeroom class collected over 250 cans, winning them a celebratory pizza party sponsored by the student council. Almost 700 cans total were collected by the students of Red River Junior High, and were donated to those in need during this holiday season.

 

ETC… for December 20th

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What holiday plans are you making. Going out of town to visit family and friends? Welcoming family to the parish? Maybe just enjoying a little peace and quiet. Take lots of pictures of your family gathering and share them with The Journal. Send to our email: TheRRJournal@gmail.com

Most churches are having special programs, Christmas Eve services, children’s programs and other holiday activities. Enjoy the good things offered throughout our area this holiday season. Share your joy with someone this Christmas.

You may be dreaming of a white Christmas, but that is probably as far as it gets. The long-range forecast as we prepare to publish does not include any snow. Maybe next year. But this is Louisiana; the weather can change in an instant.

Some ramblings about the holidays as the day gets near. We would like to hear your favorite Christmas stories. The Journal might even publish them! Send to the email address above.

And have a very Merry Christmas!

 

Performance Based Teacher Bonuses

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There is bonus money available for the top performing teachers in the public school system. It is part of the TIG Grant program. Karen Squired explained the program to the school board and asked board members for their input in setting program criteria.

Squires said, “We will be rewarding teachers for their performance. We are talking with teachers and principals to get their input. Bonuses will be paid next fall for this year’s performance.” Squires added, “We are thinking of a one-time stipend to the top 10 teachers in grades three through eleven who teach tested subjects. They must have sixty percent of their students score ‘mastery’ or above.”

Board Superintendent Alison Hughes said they will look to maintain the stipend in future years. “The amount of the TIF grant decreases each year, so the money to maintain the stipend would have to come from other sources” said Hughes.

Board member Cleve Miller asked, “What if teachers miss some days?” Squires answered, “If they miss more than five days during the school year they would not be eligible for the stipend.” Hughes added, “We have to do something to curb the problem of teacher attendance.”

The actual budget for the TIF Grant will be turned in during January. The board is being asked for their ideas to go into formulating that budget.

 

Homecoming Celebration at Red River Junior High

By Antonio Kirts

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On October 3, 2017 Red River Junior High held its annual Homecoming against Winnfield in which they won with a astounding 36 points to the opponent’s 0 points, while 7th grade team came up just short of a victory.
The other half of Homecoming was used to celebrate the Homecoming Court and 8th grade night for the 8th graders. Jaedynn French-Solton was crowned Football Sweetheart and Jariyah Hamilton was Crowned Queen.

The 8th graders received a football with their faces on it. These 8th graders were Aiden Weeks, Ronderion Thomas, Antonio Kirts, Zintayvious Smith, Stanley Sibley, Stanley Maxie, Ashanti Cole, Jaderrious Jones, Jeyden Young, Seth Durr, Lawrence Thomas, Jarrett Castello, Brett Danzy, Jakiyus Palmer, Quinterius Lewis, Chandler Huff, Jamilleun Wilson, D’evin Mcdonald, Ronald Perkins, Cedric Braxton, and Ryder Hogan. These boys were exceptional winning all their games but one against Caddo Middle Magnet.

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Henry is Employee of the Month

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Public schools employee of the month for December is Billy Henry, Sr. an employee at Springville Education Center. Henry was introduced at the December board meeting and presented his award.

The nomination form said, “Mr. Henry is a go-getter who fights vigorously for his students to be included, to fully participate and to excel.” Henry works in the LAA1 program. The nomination said, “In the past, students were self-contained shut out of the full Red River Junior and High school experience. Students now take classes with their peers and are enhancing their skills and passing regular classes.”

Henry told the board, “Thank you so much. I appreciate it. Wow this is a shock.” Henry added, “When I first started teaching 25 years ago I had an older teacher who was leaving. He told me ‘Mr. Henry kids don’t care what you know until they know that you care.’”

 

Coushatta Budget Approved

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The Town Council approved final adjustments to the current year’s operating budget. And the council adopted the 2018 budget. Both were done when the council met Monday night.

For 2017 the town received in all funds a total of $2,919,923.00 and expenditures totaled $2,800,100. The town projected an ending balance of $119,823.00 in the various funds.

The proposed 2018 budget estimates that all funds will have receipts of $2,865,900.00. Projected expenditures total $2,749,200.00. That leaves a projected balance of $116,700.00 for 2018.

Neither budget mentions fund balances from prior years and if they are calculated in the fund receipts or expenditures. The budgets furnished The Journal by the town are included with this article.

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Abbie Lane Christmas Services

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Abbie Lane will be conducting three Christmas worship services on Friday, December 22 in The Spears Chapel at Abbie Lane Retreat. The times are 4 pm, 5:30 pm, and 7 pm. At 4 pm Caleb Willis from Fairview Baptist Church will lead the music; at 5:30 pm Johnnie Dunn from Westside Baptist Church (Natchitoches) will lead the music; and at 7 pm David Adams from Open Door Fellowship will lead the music. Dr. Wayne Spears will preach the message in each of the services. All are invited.

Abbie Lane Retreat is located on Highway 71 in south Red River Parish. It is a place for members of the clergy to relax, to reflect, and to escape the rigors of the ministry for a time.

 

Americanism Competition Wraps Up

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Coushatta’s post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars has concluded presenting awards in the 2017 Americanism Competition. Entries were received and judged from Ringgold Elementary, Riverdale Academy and Red River Elementary School. Ringgold’s awards were presented last month. Awards to the other schools were presented to students this week.

On Monday, Post Commander Barry McCoy presented certificates to third and fourth grade students who were selected tops in their category to draw and color an historic event. First place certificate was presented to Makilah Mikel Murphy for the entry “Thanks For Freedom.” Second place entry was “The Civil War” drawn by Cody Procell. Third place was a depiction of Rosa Parks refusing to leave her seat on a bus during the civil rights movement drawn by Vincent Calhoun.

Kindergarten students colored the American flag. First place was awarded to Jaxon Blount. Second went to Savanah Gartman. And third place was awarded to Makenzi Knaggs.

On Tuesday the post awards were presented to Riverdale Academy students. Winners among kindergarten students coloring the American flag were Ellie Reese Hillman first place, Easton Cason second place, and Morgan Moseley third place.

First and second grade students drew and colored the American flag. First place entry went to Kaleigh Pickett. Second place was awarded to Jojo Shaver. And the third place certificate went to Madelyn Chamberlin.

Older elementary students drew and colored a historical event. Riverdale’s top finishers were Summer Rushing in first place, Ally Kate Hillman in second, and third place went to Destiney Bohannon.

Post 7287 of the VFW presents the Voice of Democracy, Patriot’s Pen, and Americanism programs to schools in Red River and Bienvile parishes each fall. Top finishers in each category are forwarded on to district and the state for higher-level competition.

 

ETC… for December 15th

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ETC… for December 15th

 

The Journal welcomes journalists from Red River Junior High. Principal Mike Peters says they have students who are covering school events and writing the stories along with pictures. So beginning with this edition The Journal is including their stories. We begin with a report on the Junior High Homecoming game and other activities written by Antonio Kirts. The journalists include Kirts, Anicia Banks, Malajah Golatt and Zintayvious Smith. You’ll see additional articles by them in coming issues.

Riverdale and Red River boys and girls basketball teams are in action tonight and this next week. Tonight (Friday) Riverdale travels to Grand Cane for games with Central School. Join Jared Smelser with the play-by-play streaming live on Journal Sports. The girls game begins about 6:00 pm with the boys game to follow. Tuesday Riverdale will be at Claiborne Academy in Homer for games beginning at 6:00

Broadcasts of the Red River boys and girls games resume Monday. Red River hosts Gibsland-Coleman for a pair of games. The broadcast of the girls game begins about 6:00 with the boys game to follow.

The Red River and Riverdale basketball games may be heard on www.RedRiverParishJournal.com or www.Facebook.com/RedRiverParishJournal. The games are also aired live on local radio station KRRP 950. Tell your friends and family that wherever they live they can keep up with our local teams.

The “Methodist Men” group at Coushatta First United and Wesley Chapel Methodist Churches is holding a toy drive with a twist. They are collecting toys for the children of the men incarcerated at the Red River Parish Jail. The men signed up to sponsor a child and will bring the toys to breakfast Monday morning, December 18th. They will be picked up by the Sheriff’s Office. The men in jail will have a gift to give to their child on visitor’s day. The Methodist Men wanted to make sure the children of prisoners aren’t forgotten this Christmas.

 

Coushatta Man Killed in Rollover Crash

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Shortly before 8:00 p.m. December 7th, Louisiana State Police Troop G responded to a one vehicle crash on LA 480, eight miles south of US 84 that claimed the life of a Coushatta man.

The preliminary investigation revealed a 2001 Ford F-150 truck driven by 40-year-old Felton Washington of Coushatta was traveling east on LA 480 when, for reasons still under investigation, Washington ran off the road causing the vehicle to roll over and strike a large group of trees.

Washington was not wearing a seat belt and was partially ejected during the crash. He sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene by the Red River Parish Coroner’s Office.

It is suspected that alcohol and speed are contributing factors in this crash. A toxicology sample was obtained and will be submitted for analysis. This crash remains under investigation.

Louisiana State Troopers wish to remind motorists that all occupants of a motor vehicle must be restrained, regardless of seating position. While not all crashes are survivable, statistics show that the chances of surviving a crash rise significantly when properly restrained. Making good choices while in motor vehicles such as never driving while impaired, always ensuring every occupant is properly restrained, following posted speed limits and avoiding all distractions can often mean the difference between life and death.

In 2017, Troop G has investigated 23 crashes resulting in 26 deaths.

 

2017 Christmas Parade and Festival

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The Annual Coushatta Christmas Parade and Festival was once again a fun-filled, family friendly celebration of togetherness for our community. With over 20 floats and one very exciting school bus, the parade and fireworks were a great success. So many people contributed to making this event a highlight for our year. The Coushatta-Red River Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Coushatta sponsor the event and fireworks in conjunction with the Red River Police Jury and Red River Parish School Board each year.

Highlights for this year’s season include a major facelift for Front Street complements of the Town of Coushatta and Mayor Johnny Cox. The columns on Front Street have been upgraded, the old Stephen’s store given a new façade, and the extension of the Front Street Stage are a welcomed addition. Under the direction of Mr. Peter Drake the additions were completed and the project was handed over to the Chamber of Commerce to complete an electrical upgrade. Daniel Simpson designed and coordinated the lighting decorations for Front Street. In addition to the lighting of Front Street, Mr. Simpson also worked fervently with the Police Jury to install new lighting for our Courthouse.

Judges for this year’s parade were organized by Mrs. Karen Moseley and Mrs. Edna Webb. They included Mrs. Julie Jones, Mrs. Deborah Babers, Mrs. Johnnie Banks, Mrs. Edna Webb, and Mrs. Susan Taylor. Performances by many of the school groups featured the talent of our parish. The entries of floats, band, and Jr. ROTC shows the commitment to community by The Red River Parish School Board.
Also singing Several Songs was Mrs. Dianne Allison.

This year the Chamber of Commerce started a new tradition-The Reindeer Run. Area businesses participated and consumers were able to visit local businesses, take an “Elfie”, and be entered into a final drawing. Catherine Bijolle coordinated this event and winners were Tori Bamburg and Avery Vascoe. Each of these ladies won several $50 gift certificates from the businesses who participated. We hope to expand this event next year.

Each year the Festival Committee begins meeting months in advance to prepare for the event. This year the following people served as chairmen of the committees and worked tirelessly to produce an event for all. Parade Chairman is once again Mrs. Christy Suggs. Judges Chairman is Mrs. Karen Moseley. Entertainment Chairmen included Mrs. Vera Smith and Mrs. Katherine Smith. Advertising and Signage Chairman is Mrs. Trina Brown.

Coordination between the Red River Parish Sheriff’s office and the City Police ensures that all of the citizens have a safe and happy experience. We are blessed to have such caring and active public servants. They work many behind scenes duties as well as traffic control.

Much recognition goes to Michele Vascoe and Lydia Carter of the Bank of Coushatta for all of their work in getting the vendors to the festival and organizing the vendor venue. Also from the BOC was Rebecca Procell who created the Candy Cane effect for the Front Street columns.

David Beard secured the auxillary lighting and power plants for our vendors and Major Edwards from RRHS worked with the town to provide a safe viewing area at the Front Street Stage. Kelley Lee organized and supported our hospitality room this year and helped to prepare for the judging of the parade. Krissi Birdsong coordinates the Chamber preparations.

Two men who never get enough credit are Mr. Dexter Russell and Mr. Tommy Wilson. These two gentlemen are responsible for coordinating the placement of all of the Christmas displays throughout town and working with Cleco and Cp-Tel to hang the decorations on our light poles. They also work tirelessly to prepare for the events on Front Street.

This event is growing each year. Preparations for making next year’s event even more exciting have already begun.

Float Winners

Red River Parish School Board
Overall Best Float Bulldogs’ Family Christmas

Red River High School
Most Creative Float Keep Christ in Christmas

First United Methodist Church and Wesley Chapel
Most Overall Theme The Children of Christmas

River City Rods and Customs
Santa’s Choice

Karen Taylor Squires
President of Coushatta-Red River Chamber of Commerce