There is water everywhere in the parish and we are under a River Flood Warning. The National Weather Service says the Red River will rise to near 31.0 feet flood stage by Wednesday evening. Then the river should fall below flood stage early Thursday afternoon.
The Journal checked with Police Jury President Shawn Beard Tuesday morning and he said that no emergency declarations had been issued. As a precaution monitor the weather service and Facebook pages of the sheriff and parish homeland security.
Last week steps were taking to prevent the Red River from flooding the town of Coushatta. That information came from the Natchitoches Sheriff’s Office:
On Friday afternoon February 23, shortly after 5:00pm, Sheriff Victor Jones deployed members of the NPSO Dive Team to Red River Parish to assist the Red River Parish Office of Emergency Preparedness, Red River Parish Fire Protection District and a local contractor in installing a metal cap over a culvert at an undisclosed location to prevent possible backwater flooding from Red River in the Town of Coushatta.
Divers said the operation was successful and this same procedure has been used in the past to prevent flooding.
Members of the NPSO Dive Team are from the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office, Natchitoches City Fire Department, Natchitoches Parish Fire Districts# 5, #6, #7, and #9.
There are two gleaming new trophies for Riverdale Academy’s trophy case. On Saturday the Rebels and Lady Rebels won their Class A championships. The Class A tournament was played at Delta Academy in Marks, Mississippi.
The afternoon game featured the Lady Rebels vs. Claiborne Academy. Riverdale started hot but Claiborne pulled within one at the end of the first period. At the half Claiborne had a one-point lead. Riverdale was up by one at the end of the third. And that is the way this tough fought match went, back and forth all game.
The Lady Rebels were down in the final minute. They trailed by two when Gracie Almond was fouled with 3.2 seconds remaining. She made the first. Then Almond stepped to the line and nailed the second for a tie game as time ran out.
In overtime a recharged Lady Rebel team took the court and took charge. It seemed as if Claiborne could not keep up. And the Lady Rebels won the championship 46 to 42.
The boy’s final was played at 7:15 Saturday night. The Riverdale Rebels faced the Union Christian Academy Lions from Farmerville. Payton Thornton put the first points on the board on a three point shot from the deep right attacking corner. The Rebels never looked back.
Riverdale lead at the end of the first quarter 14-10. At the half the score was 20-16. The Rebels lead stretched to 6 at the end of the third 30-24. At the end of the game, Riverdale won the state championship on a score of 44 to 41.
Both teams had three players selected to the All Tournament Team. For the Lady Rebels the selections were Madelynne Greer, Madison Alexander and Gracie Almond. Rebels selected to the All Tournament Team were Kamden Messick, Jackson Riggs and Ty Jones.
What goes into the making of a champion? Here are a couple of my observations from the Riverdale Academy championship game last Saturday. They apply to any endeavor if you think about it.
First I want to thank Delta Academy Headmaster Barry Finnie for doing a superior job of play-by-play for the tournament games. He is a former coach of the Delta basketball team and knows the game inside and out. Thanks Barry for a great call.
I noticed prior to the Rebels game with UCA a couple of little things that set the stage for their performance. The boys arrived wearing nice shirts and ties. And Coach Steve Weir and his assistant coaches were dressed for business. UCA showed up in a variety of t-shirts and shorts of different colors. Their coach wore slacks and an open collar shirt.
The Rebels were loose during warm-ups, always smiling and kidding as boys do. The facial expression of some of the UCA stars was different, not serious about the game, but they looked as if they would win because they were Union Christian.
The beauty of the sport came up while Parker Almond was in the game in the second half. The Rebels needed a boost at that moment in the contest. Almond made a fall-away three point shot and the ball hit the net as he hit the floor. Almond jumped up and so did the Riverdale fans shouting their appreciation. It added to the Rebel momentum just at the right time.
Another example was important foul shots taken by Ty Jones. He is an eighth grader who plays with maturity beyond his years. It was a tough situation late in the game. UCA fouled Jones who went to the line. On the radio broadcast Barry Finnie remarked that Jones had ice water in his veins. Nothing upset him. He calmly made both free throws while a storm was raging on the court.
One of the small things that made a huge difference was team and individual discipline. Riverdale was all business. They played the game as they had been coached. In the first half the UCA bench drew a technical foul because three players jumped up and screamed at the referee for a call they did not agree with. That cost UCA two points.
When the game got tight in the second half, the UCA coach did the same thing. He also kicked over a chair and was up in the ref’s face. Another technical foul and another two points for Riverdale. The crowd behind UCA took their hint from the bench, yelling and loudly disagreeing with every call.
There were calls that Coach Weir did not agree with, however he handled them differently. He made his dissatisfaction known to the officials in a manner that he got his point across. And Weir’s example kept order on the bench. The large following of Riverdale fans reacted positively with huge cheers whenever the team scored. There was little dissention with the officiating.
This reporter’s observation is that the little things of team discipline, attitude, dress, and personal demeanor went a long way to helping Riverdale win the state championship. I am sure the UCA fans are convinced that the refs were against them from the start and poor refereeing cost them the game. But consider if you are angry and upset, can you give your best performance? After it was all over, the final score had UCA down by three, 44 to 41. They gave up four unnecessary points to the two technical fouls that were a direct result of poor discipline and a less than stellar example set by the UCA coach.
It is an old lesson but a true one that discipline leads to character. And great character will carry you when everything else seems to be going against you. Congratulations to Riverdale for earning the state championship for both boys and girls. But the groundwork for those outstanding performances was set during numerous hours of hard, grinding work.
The playoff train paused briefly in Coushatta Tuesday night then roared out of the station. It will be back on Friday. After a slow start in the Red River – East Feliciana game, the score went back and forth. Red River would be up one, then down two, then up again for three full quarters of play.
East Feliciana lead 14 to 11 at the end of the first quarter. By the half, Red River climbed to a one point lead 28-27. The score was East Feliciana 48 and Red River 47 after three quarters. Then the Bulldog Train gathered a head of steam and never looked back.
Final score was Red River Bulldogs 68 and the East Feliciana Tigers 55.
What’s next? Coach Keith Johnson said another game being played Tuesday night would determine the next opponent. Johnson said, “The next playoff game will be played Friday night and it will probably be played at Red River.”
A short time after the game the LHSAA brackets were updated. Lakeside High from Sibley defeated Amite 60 to 55. Lakeside advances and the brackets confirm the game will be at Red River Friday, March 2nd.
On Tuesday, Red River Parish Superintendent Alison Hughes made the announcement that everyone is invited to make the trip to Alexandria for the Lady Bulldogs playoff game on Thursday against North Caddo.
Hughes said, “We are very excited to announce that our Red River High School Lady Bulldogs basketball team has made it to the Top 28. Their semifinal game will be Thursday, March 1 at 3:00 at the Rapides Parish Coliseum in Alexandria Louisiana against North Caddo. Due to this early game time, we will be dismissing school on Thursday, March 1 at 12:00 noon.
“We will also be taking spectator busses for students and the community. These buses will be leaving Red River High School at 12:30. Any parent or member of the community who wishes to ride a spectator bus needs to sign up to secure a seat at the Red River Parish School Board office by 4:00 Wednesday afternoon.
“Students of Red River High School must sign up to ride at Red River High. Students of Red River Elementary and Red River Junior High are welcome to ride the spectator bus but must be accompanied by an adult. Adults accompanying these students must also sign up at the Red River Parish Central Office. There is no charge for riding the bus, but spectators will be responsible for game tickets and food.
A graduate of Martin High School is among six graduates to be inducted into Northwestern State University’s alumni hall of distinction, the Long Purple Line. The 2018 inductees include Dr. Philip Cole of Shreveport.
Cole graduated from Martin High School in Red River Parish then earned a bachelor’s from Northwestern in chemistry and biology. He went own to earn his M.D. from LSU Medical School in New Orleans. Cole received a master’s of health care management from the Harvard School of Public Health. He did his internship in general surgery residency and a colon and rectal surgical fellowship at LSU Health Science Center. Cole has 36 years of private and academic surgical practice. He is professor of surgery and public health and general surgery program director for LSUHSC and previously served as chief medical officer for Christus Health in Louisiana and Southeast Texas. Cole has served as president, vice president and secretary of the Louisiana chapter of the American College of Surgery.
In his career, Cole has published more than 40 national and international presentations of academic papers and book chapters. He serves as a deacon and member of the board of directors at Broadmoor Baptist Church. Cole was a member of the board of directors for LSU Health Science Center Foundation and chairman of the Investment Committee, the board of directors of Christus Health, Louisiana and the Juvenile Justice Committee for Caddo Parish. He is a Harvard University admissions committee interviewer and is on the LSU Medical School Admissions Committee. Cole has made more than 30 international medical mission trips.
Cole and the other honorees will be honored at a luncheon on March 23 at noon in the Friedman Student Union Ballroom. Tickets are $20. For more information, call (318) 357-4415 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Journal received this notice from the school board last Thursday afternoon:
“Recent rains in our Parish have made some roads difficult to navigate for school buses. We are aware of these issues and are preparing for our afternoon bus routes. School will dismiss at the regular time but please expect delays in the afternoon bus routes as we make sure we are using the safest possible routes to deliver your child home.”
We also received a recorded message from Hughes making this same announcement. In fact I got the recording on several phones and the message came to several emails.
Now you’re saying that’s spam or unwanted repetition. But the school board has the system set up to notify you in the event something happens involving your children. Not only is the board “over-communicating” but it also says that they are caring about child safety and keeping parents and others informed. And if you are tired of getting multiple calls and notices, you can opt out if you wish.
Here is a note from the Red River Elementary PAW Parents. Yearbooks are on sale. They must be ordered online. The correct school ID number is 15981. The deadline to purchase 5th grade ads is Wednesday. Your child can have a special page designed by you. Get your money in today. Remember you can only order online. No extra copies will be purchased by the school. http://www.yearbookordercenter.com school# 15981.
Christy Suggs posted: “5th grade parents: buy your child an ad in the yearbook. Embarrass them with those baby pics, congratulations on b-ball, football, cheer, etc. Share your love. “
The parish office of homeland security passes along this scam alert:
Several reports have been received about scam phone calls seeking donations for the “American Police Officers Alliance.” This scam is not new but has just recently been reported in Louisiana.
Phone calls showing 337-573-1261 and 985-273-6238 from a gentleman named “John,” are requesting a donation of $25, $50, or $100 for the “American Police Officers Alliance.” “John” avoids answering his questions directly, but recited the group’s “mission statement,” which is to help our police officers and departments. A call back to the numbers either has a message stating the number is not accepting calls or is answered by a party that is unaware his number has been spoofed.
“American Police Officers Alliance” is not registered with the IRS as a 527C nonprofit organization, and it has never donated anything to a political cause or group. Charity Navigator, a popular website that verifies the legitimacy of charities and nonprofit organizations, does not have a listing for the “American Police Officers Alliance” on its website.
Source: Louisiana State Analytical & Fusion Exchange
The Red River Lady Bulldogs started slow Thursday night but once they got going it was like a runaway freight! The house was packed at Oakdale High with cheering home town fans. The Bulldogs made a great showing almost packing the visitor seats.
This game had everything. Makayia Hallmon put in a show of driving to the basket, shooting from the line, and rebounding and stealing the ball. The Lady bulldogs got strong performances from starters Morgan Payne, Kaylee Antilley, Dominique Burton and Oksonna Williams. Kaitlyn Antilley, Elizabeth Hughes and Makaila Lewis contributed from the bench.
The Lady Bulldogs put on a basketball clinic to the delight of their fans. And they won the respect of the Oakdale crowd.
When the final buzzer sounded the scoreboard read Red River 80 and Oakdale 46. That win sends the Lady Bulldogs to the Allstate Sugar Bowl Marsh Madness beginning Monday. The semis and the final will be played at Rapides Colosieum in Alexandria. An overjoyed Coch Missy Antilley said they will play Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday. The brackets will be published by LHSAA over the weekend. Red River will play North Caddo in the semi-finals next week.
That game will be broadcast by Journal sports. Watch our Facebook page for game day and time.
All over town you can hear the loud beep coming from cell phones as severe weather advisories are issued by the weather service. Red River Parish has been under one flash flood warning or another for most of Wednesday and Thursday. The pattern of rainfall is predicted to continue into the weekend.
Creeks and ditches are full. The Red River and Grand Bayou are both expected to rise due to runoff.
The Police Jury reports that there have been a couple of minor problems with parish roads so far. And all have been repaired. A portion of Pine Street in Edgefield was closed Thursday due to a wash out. Also a portion of Social Springs Road suffered a partial wash out and a couple of trees came down due to the water. Those have been removed.
Sandbags are available to residents and businesses. They may be picked up at the parish road barn at the fairgrounds.
Recent rainfall and the threat of local flooding in our area could impact parish residents. Just in time for this latest “act of nature” the United Way of Northwest Louisiana this week introduced the 2-1-1 help line to Red River and ten other parishes throughout northwest Louisiana It is a part of the Louisiana 2-1-1 Statewide Network. This past year alone, more than 13 million US citizens dialed 2-1-1 to find support and information, including help with basic needs, employment services, health supports and disaster assistance.
With the launch of United Way 2-1-1 in northwest Louisiana, Louisiana 2-1-1 is restored as a statewide information and referral system. The northwest Louisiana region, encompassing more than 525,000 Louisiana residents, has not had 2-1-1 services for over four years and many of our local citizens have struggled to find the resources they needed. During those four years, our region witnessed record flooding and multiple outlying hurricanes that have affected our local resources. Should these events occur again, northwest Louisiana residents will have one easy-to-remember source to call for help.
“It’s important to bring this service back because when individuals enter a time of crisis or disaster, they need help right away. This service allows them to receive information to fulfill their immediate needs,” said United Way of Northwest Louisiana CEO, Dr. Bruce Willson.
The 2-1-1 program is a free and confidential service that helps people find the local resources they need 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. The program provides callers with information and referrals on subjects from basic human needs such as food, clothing and utility assistance to physical and mental health resources, support for children and veterans as well as volunteer opportunities. Since November 15, United Way 2-1-1 UWNWLA has had more than 875 individuals call for help and provided 1,685 resource referrals. Utility and housing assistance have been the top requested resources.
The help line can be accessed by phone or computer. A toll-free call to 2-1-1 connects people to a community resource specialist in our area who can refer the caller to local organizations that provide critical services.
Coming off a 2nd place finish in the South A Tournament at Learned, Mississippi the Riverdale Academy Rebels and Lady Rebels re-loaded and came out firing in the State A Tournament.
The Lady Rebels overpowered Humphreys Academy on Wednesday in the first round. The final score was 61 to 23. Riverdale moves on to play Hebron today (Friday February 23rd) at 1:00.
In the nightcap, the Rebels had to work to contain Tunica Academy in their first round game. It was a close, back and forth game until the final minutes. Riverdale managed to get the lead late in the game and hold on for a 40 to 30 victory. Riverdale advances to play DeSoto School this evening at 6:00 pm.
When the teams win today, they advance to the finals tomorrow. The girls will play Saturday at 2:15. The boys play at 7:15 Saturday night. The State A Tournament is being played at Delta Academy in Marks, Mississippi. Journal Sports will carry all games live on The Journal website and Facebook page. They will also be broadcast on KRRP 950.
Pictured with this article are members of the Rebels and Lady Rebels. They gathered for the photo at the beginning of the tournament in Marks, Mississippi.
High School football did not come to Red River Parish until after World War II. The team was planned in 1949. It played its first season in 1950. They played their home games at the Fair Grounds in what is now the rodeo arena.
On the schedule in 1950 were games with Winnfield, Benton, Bossier, Farmerville, Princeton and Haynesville. There are several surviving members of that first team but only one resides in the parish. He is Peter Drake, a member of the Coushatta Town Council.
That team was at Springville High School. The building is still in use today as the Lawson Child Development Center and is part of the Springville Education Center campus.
Drake told The Journal he was in the 8th grade in 1950 when the team started. He was young, but he could play. Drake said, “There was no age limit, if they were in school they could play. Some of the boys went off to war in Korea and then played on the team when they came back. Some were in their 20s, but since they were in school they could play.”
SHS had a band and cheerleaders who performed at the games at the fairgrounds. The Head Coach was John B. Moss and the Assistant Coach was L. Johnson.
Drake said, “We traveled in an old school bus to away games. Our driver was Ike Bogan, the first and only bus driver. Every day he would run a route from East Point to Springville to unload students. Then he made other routes until he had picked up all the students. There was only one bus so the driver made several trips. Than the routes were repeated to take children home in the afternoon.”
Ike Bogan was the first driver and Drake said, “He started driving when he was 16. Leroy Fay was the second driver and he started when the school got a second bus.”
“That bus had no modern conveniences like air conditioning or heat.” Drake said, “The windows were not made of glass, just open holes covered by a canvas curtain that could be used to block the rain,” said Drake. “And there were no padded seats. An iron bench ran down the middle and there was one on each side. They weren’t padded. We just sat on the metal.”
With this article is a picture of Springville’s 1952 team from the book The Legacy of A Spring, A Village, A School and a Tiger. Drake told The Journal that photo was from the third year the team played. Drake is #0 in the photo.
Notice the old style football uniforms. Drake said, “We made our own uniforms. We bought sweat shirts and dyed them and then we cut up felt hats to make the numbers to sew on.” Drake added, “The helmets had no face masks and we wore real lightweight shoulder pads.”
Other than Drake, he identified surviving players as Mack Henry Turner, Cleo Cole and James Drake. He said, “They have all moved away. I am the only one left here in Coushatta.”
On February 14, 2018, Red River Parish Sheriff’s investigators/deputies executed search/arrest warrants at a residence located in the 6000 block of Highway 783 in northern Red River Parish. Due to the rural location, the number of suspects and the warrant specifics, deputies with the Tri-Parish Drug Task Force (Red River, DeSoto and Sabine) and members of the DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s special response team assisted with the operation.
One suspect, identified as Kassidy Slayton, was taken into custody at the residence without incident. Three additional occupants fled the residence on foot into a wooded area located behind the dwelling. After a brief search, a second female identified as Jacklyn Dubois was apprehended hiding in the woods. A male suspect, identified as Jason Slayton was also apprehended hiding in the woods by a DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s K-9. He was treated by Red River Parish EMS on scene for a dog bite and later transported by deputies to Christus Coushatta Hospital for additional treatment. The remaining suspect eventually exited the wooded area and surrendered to deputies. He was the primary resident at the location and was identified as Tyler Waters.
During the course of the suspect apprehensions, deputies entered a nearby uninhabited structure located on the property for officer safety concerns. While clearing the structure for suspects, materials were observed in plain view, which are typically used to manufacture methamphetamine (clandestine laboratory). An additional search warrant was obtained for that structure and those materials, as well as additional drug related items, were collected as evidence.
A search of the main residence/property yielded multiple items including one gram of methamphetamine, twelve pill bottles containing prescription medications and a set of digital scales. An active “pot” methamphetamine lab nearing the end of its cooking process was also discovered. The Louisiana State Police Hazardous Materials team responded to the scene to safely dispose of the dangerous lab materials.
All four suspects were transported to the Red River Parish Jail (RRPJ) and booked as follows:
Jason W. Slayton, W/M, age 36 of the 6000 block of Hwy 783, Coushatta, LA was charged with Creation or Operation of a Clandestine Laboratory for the Unlawful Manufacture of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS), Possession of Schedule II CDS and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. His total bond was set at $106,000 and he remains incarcerated in the RRPJ. Probation and Parole has placed a hold on his release.
Kassidy Nicole Slayton, W/F, age 18 of the 6000 block of Hwy 783, Coushatta, LA was charged with Creation or Operation of a Clandestine Laboratory for the Unlawful Manufacture of a CDS, Possession of Schedule II CDS (two counts), Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Out of Parish Fugitive Warrant. Her total bond was set at $111,000. She was transported to the Jackson Parish Correctional Center for housing and remains incarcerated. The Shreveport Police Department has placed a hold on her release.
Tyler M. Waters, W/M, age 21 of the 6000 block of Hwy 783, Coushatta, LA was charged with Creation or Operation of a Clandestine Laboratory for the Unlawful Manufacture of a CDS, Possession of Schedule II CDS, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Unauthorized Entry of an Inhabited Dwelling (Warrant). His total bond was set at $116,000 and he remains incarcerated in the RRPJ.
Jacklyn N. Dubois, W/F, age 31 of the 2000 block of Patch Leg Road, Montgomery, LA was charged with Creation or Operation of a Clandestine Laboratory for the Unlawful Manufacture of a CDS, Possession of Schedule II CDS and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Her total bond was set at $106,000. She was transported to the Jackson Parish Correctional Center for housing and remains incarcerated.
The windy conditions lately remind me of the old saying that March either roars in like a lion or sneaks in like a Lamb. Looks like we may have a lion about to roar in. Unless the current rains wash away all the huff and puff.
March is National Nutrition Monty. The parish health unit will be celebrating with a special open house and program on March 26th. So mark your calendars for the last Monday in March.
The Journal noticed workers planting veggies at Ed Lester’s on River Road the other day. That reminds me that the Senior Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program is taking applications for 2018. You can apply at the Council on Aging.
Monday, February 26th is the “Last Monday” breakfast for men in the community. It will be held at McLemore Hall of First United Methodist Church. All men are invited, it’s not just a Methodist thing. The group is now planning spring projects to better our community. The menu is something with bacon. So all men will be attracted by the menu.
Time to remind you of the public bodies that hold regular meetings each month. The police jury starts the month off with it’s regular meeting on Monday March 5th. It will meet on the 3rd floor of the courthouse with committee meetings at 6:00 pm and the regular meeting at 7:00. The school board will meet the following Monday March 12th. That is at the board Administration Building on Alonzo Street at 6:30. And the town council meets on Tuesday March 13th at 5:30.
Red River’s Lady Bulldogs are running the table in the playoffs. The boy’s team comes to bat on Friday.
Monday night Red River defeated Doyle High School Lady Tigers 72-51. Doyle got off to a fast start and pulled ahead early, however that was short lived. Doyle played the Lady Bulldogs tight in the first half and Red River was only ahead by 2 points at the half.
When the second half started the Lady Bulldogs worked their magic and began to pull away. Doyle made a couple of comeback attempts however in the end the Lady Bulldogs were victorious 72 to 51. It was their second playoff victory.
The Lady Bulldogs advance to play Oakdale Thursday night at Oakdale. Their record is 29-4 while Red River Girls are 21-9. Oakdale defeated D’Arbonne Woods Charter and Mangham to get to the third round.
Boy’s teams begin their playoffs on Friday night. Red River is ranked 4th in the state in 2A and will host the first playoff game. The Welsh Greyhounds will travel from southwest Louisiana for a game at 6:00 pm Friday night Welsh is seeded 29th in the state.
The MAIS South A Tournament wrapped up Saturday afternoon at Rebul Academy in Learned, Mississippi. Both Riverdale Academy teams finished second.
The heartbreaker was the Girls match. Riverdale was behind late in the fourth quarter and made an extreme effort to catch up. They had the ball with only seconds to play and a 4-point deficit. At the buzzer Riverdale made a 3-point shot but it was not enough. Final score was 46 to 45.
There is good news coming out of the South A. Both teams placed three players on the All Tournament Team. For the girls, Madelyn Greer, Gracie Almond and Jamie Swayze were selected.
Kamden Messick, Ryan Tomerlin and Jackson Riggs were selected for the boys All Tournament Team.
With the South A in the rearview mirror, Riverdale travels to Marks in the far northwest corner of Mississippi for the Class A Tournament. They play tonight (Feb 21st) with the girls tipping off against Humphreys Academy at 6:30 pm. Humphreys finished third in the North A tournament last week.
The nightcap will feature Riverdale’s Boys and Tunica Academy Boys at 7:45 pm. Tunica finished third in the North A boy’s tournament last week.
Both Riverdale games will be streamed live on http://www.RedRiverParishJournal.com and on the Journal’s Facebook page. In addition the games will be broadcast locally on Coushatta’s KRRP 950. Girl’s game begins at 6:30 and the Boys play at 7:45 tonight.
When Riverdale wins tonight they will advance to the second round of the Class A Tournament on Friday.