What’s This in the Mail?

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Soon Red River Parish residents may be getting notices that they owe tax on purchases they thought were tax free. Notices may come by mail or to your email. You could be taxed on purchases made online or from catalogs. These purchases have traditionally been free of Louisiana sales taxes.

The Legislature in 2016 passed a law to require “remote retailers” to notify purchasers that Louisiana Use Tax may be due. This is the time those notices are being sent to purchasers.

The Journal asked Elaine Moore of the Red River Parish Sales Tax agency about the use tax. She told us it is the same as sales tax and is tax on purchases on which no sales tax had been collected at the time of purchase. Moore said her office did not have a break down of how much of the sales tax they collect resulted from online or catalog sales.

Individuals receiving such notices of tax due should file it with their Louisiana income tax return or a Consumer Use Tax Return form R-1035. And include payment with other taxes due the state. The forms are available from the state revenue department at www.revenue.louisiana.gov/forms.

The legislature acted in 2016 due to the shift in buying patterns away from traditional brick-and-mortar stores toward online purchases. Today online purchases are a significant portion of retail purchases. And many people began buying online because of the tax savings. Louisiana’s state sales tax is 4 percent plus the local sales tax could add another 7 percent depending upon where the purchase is made. On a $1,000 purchase, sales tax of 11 percent represents an additional $110 the buyer has to pay.

 

Family Fun Day at Head Start

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Parents and children had a great time on Monday at the Pine Belt Head Start center. It was Family Fun Activity Day. The children opened the program with songs, the prayer and the Pledge lead by Kentrell Williams of the 4-year old class.

Head start Director Jackie Williams welcomed the group and introduced the kids and parents to games and challenges. Williams encouraged one parent from each class at the center to put together a child’s puzzle the quickest. Somehow I got “encouraged” into the competition to represent the community. I found it amazingly difficult to assemble one of those puzzles with big wooden pieces.

Williams announced that their Mr. and Mrs. Valentines party would be after Easter. The date is April 12th. She also encouraged the parents to sign their kids up for free books through Dolly Parton’s Learning Library. The program is available to residents of the parish.

The Pine Belt Head Start Center in Coushatta is operated by the Pine Belt Multi-Purpose Agency out of Jonesboro. The local center can accommodate 50 students per school year. They follow the same school calendar as Red River Public Schools.

 

Benefit for Fire Victims

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There is a benefit event planned Saturday, February 3rd for Gary Pimberton and Gail Tomerlin Warrenburg. They lost their home in a fire recently, and funds raised will help them with their loss.

The event will be held at Beard’s Automotive where Gary works. A BBQ lunch will be sold beginning at 10:30. The price is $8 for chicken and sausage and all the trimmings. There will be a live auction at 1:00 pm. And a raffle will be held for a $400 gift card to Nichols. Raffle tickets are $2.

The event promises a great lunch, some fun and games, great prizes, and it is all for a worthy cause.

 

Rummage Sale at the HUB

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Preparations are being made for this year’s mission trip to Honduras. Social Springs Baptist Church sends members each year and it is time to begin the fundraising for the trip. Bill Davis sent The Journal details of their first event.

There will be a Rummage/Garage Sale on Friday, February 2nd and Saturday, February 3rd at the HUB/Old Gospel Music Center in Hall Summit. The sale will be held from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm both days.

Davis said that donations of items for sale are still being accepted. For information and pick-up call Judy at 318-932-3213 or 318-471-0972.

The Honduras trip is a medical missionary trip each summer. Members of several churches in this area take part.

 

Mark Your Calendar

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Put a note on your wall calendar, or post to the door of your refrigerator, or note these dates in your phone. Here are the dates of the public meetings of interest in Red River Parish.

Monday, February 5th is both the Red River Parish Police Jury and the Red River Parish School Board. The Police Jury meets on the third floor of the courthouse. The committee meeting will be at 6:00 pm followed by the board meeting at 7:00 pm. The agenda will be posted online at the police jury site the Friday before the meeting.

The School Board will also meet on February 5th at 6:30 pm at the Administration Building on Alonzo Street. The school board normally meets the second Monday of each month, however the February meeting was moved up a week due to Winter Break February 12th through 16th. Meeting agenda is posted on the front door of the Administration Building the Friday before the meeting and on their website www.rrbulldogs.com.

Tuesday, February 13th is the Town Council meeting. It will be at 5:30 pm in the meeting room at Town Hall on East Carroll Street. The agenda will be posted on the Town Hall front door the day prior to the meeting.

Thursday, February 15th is the monthly meeting of the Coushatta/Red River Chamber of Commerce. They meet at noon in the police jury meeting room on the third floor of the courthouse.

 

 

ETC… for January 31st

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Free Flu Shots today! The Red River Parish Health Unit is offering no cost flu vaccinations today from 1:00 to 4:30 pm. No appointment is necessary and there is no cost to the patient. Bring your Medicaid, Medicare or private insurance card. The free flu shots are a project of the Louisiana Department of Health.

Just curious! How many people who made New Year’s Resolutions are still on track. The Journal would like to know what your resolutions were and how you are holding up. Send details to TheRRJournal@gmail.com.

Met a most interesting individual the other day at the Field House. He’s Ronnie Alexander who is joining the Red River Football coaching staff as an assistant to coach John Bachman, Sr. The two coached together at football powerhouses Evangel and Calvary in Shreveport.

Did you pay your property taxes on time? The Journal noticed the other day that several people are getting late notice on property taxes. They were due at the end of 2017.

Send The Journal to family and friends. They can get local hometown news at no cost with a subscription to the Red River Parish Journal. It’s great for kids away at college, in the military, or working out of town or in another state. You are always connected to your hometown when you get timely reports of what is going on. All you have to do is go to The Journal’s home page and click on the “Subscribe” button. The website is www.RedRiverParishJournal.com.

 

LOUIE BERNARD ANNOUNCES CANDIDACY FOR STATE SENATE IN 2019 ELECTION

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Citing 24 years of public service as former Natchitoches Parish Clerk of Court, Louie Bernard announced today his intention to seek the District 31 Senate seat in October of 2019. The six-parish district includes all or parts of Natchitoches, Sabine, Red River, Winn, Grant and Rapides Parishes.

“For the past twenty-four years, it has been a privilege to serve the citizens of Natchitoches Parish as Clerk of Court. As a member of the Louisiana Clerks of Court Association, I established relationships with many citizens and community leaders throughout our region. I became acutely aware of the concerns many folks have with state government and how we can be better stewards of the tax dollars we are sending to Baton Rouge,” said Bernard.

“We must foster a positive economic climate that will attract businesses to our region. We can’t do that unless we have a skilled and trained workforce that potential employers will find beneficial to their specific needs. We should continue to invest in job skills training, our technical colleges and NSU to deliver a job-ready workforce right here in Disctrict 31”

“The State that we love so much has many solutions to find, not the least of which is developing a process to plan and approve a State budget without staring every year over what has come to be called, the ‘Fiscal Cliff.’ It is irresponsible to continue with temporary fixes to a permanent and systemic problem. I will be the first to tell you that I don’t have the ‘magic’ answer to this and other issues we face. I will tell you that I will bring a common-sense style of addressing those issues and, more importantly, I will work with anyone who is ready to roll up their sleeves to help Louisiana fix them once and for all. The ability to connect with people is important to accomplishment, not just on the campaign trail, but also in working with the other elected officials in Baton Rouge with whom your elected Senator will serve.”

Bernard is a life-long member of the First United Methodist Church in Natchitoches and a proud graduate of Northwestern State University. He has been married for the past forty-four years to Gayle Haworth Bernard. They have three children and four wonderful grandchildren

“I hope to meet as many of you as is possible on the very long campaign trail ahead. Perhaps we will not agree on every issue, but you can be assured of one thing… I will always… ALWAYS… take time to listen to what you have to say on any matter that is concerning to you. I ask for your support and your prayers in this endeavor.”

The election for Senate District 31 will be held in October of 2019. Bernard is seeking the office currently held by Senator Gerald Long who is term limited.

 

Red River Industries has King Cakes

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Joe Gambino’s Bakery in New Orleans calls their cakes “The King of King Cakes.” They are world famous and that great Mardi Gras tradition is now available here in Red River Parish.

Red River Industries has received their limited supply of Gambino’s King Cakes. They are now on sale for $25. Add that special touch to your Mardi Gras celebration, or just have one for desert.

Here is a little bit of history and tradition from New Orleans Showcase website:
“Mardi Gras season begins on January 6, of each year and ends on Fat Tuesday, the day before Lent. One of the wonderful traditions of Mardi Gras, and probably the most delicious, is the King Cake.

On the Christian calendar, the 12th day after Christmas is celebrated as the date that the gift-bearing Magi visited the baby Jesus. The celebration of this event has evolved over the centuries, with each culture adding its own unique rituals. The New Orleans tradition is believed to have begun in the 1870’s. As part of this celebration, it is now traditional to bake a cake in honor of the three kings – the King Cake. King Cakes are oval-shaped to symbolize the unity of faiths. Each cake is decorated in the traditional Mardi Gras colors – purple representing justice, green representing faith, and gold representing power. A small baby, symbolizing the baby Jesus, is traditionally hidden inside each King Cake.

The Journal purchased a King Cake from Red River Industries strictly for quality control reasons! Yum.  Nuf said! Oh, you have to insert the baby yourself.