Lady Bulldogs Advance to Top 28

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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.


Heavy Rain in Red River

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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.


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2-1-1 Service Restored to Red River Parish

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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.


Rebels Win First Round

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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.


Local Encounters With America’s Pastor

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Many people in Red River Parish have fond memories of Rev. Billy Graham. He passed away this week at age 99. Graham was a counselor to presidents and to common folks too.

The pastor of First Baptist Church came to Christ watching a Graham crusade on TV. Rev. Nathan Davis told The Journal, “I was watching a Graham crusade at age 6 when he decided to accept Graham’s invitation at the end of the broadcast. I told my mother I wanted to give my life to Christ. She lead me to our local pastor.”

Davis says years later he had an occasion to meet Graham’s pastor, Don Wilton. “I shared my testimony with Wilton during a breakfast” said Davis “and I asked him to share it with Graham.” Then he told The Journal, “I encountered Wilton a couple of months later and inquired if he had relayed my story to Graham. Wilton said yes, and that Graham enjoyed hearing it.”

Matt Endress pastors Fairview Baptist Church. He said “I remember my Granddad loved him. As a kid in the 70s and 80s we always watched when Graham’s crusade came on TV. Us kids would sit at the little ‘kids’ table’ and watch while eating our mac and cheese.” Endress summed up Graham’s life and ministry adding, “He shaped American Christianity.”

Open Door Fellowship’s Steven McAbee had this comment about Graham’s lasting effect. “Dr. Billy Graham had a profound influence on the modern church. Like Methuselah of old he offered an extension of grace and called for repentance that lead to eternal life. He stands as a life well lived and a legacy well built. “

Bro. James Hester of Social Springs Baptist Church is in the Holy Land this week when contacted by The Journal. His comments, “Billy Graham, a name synonymous with ‘good and faithful servant.’ Just this morning (Wednesday) at the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem, my dear friend Sam Moore quoted Dr. Graham as we worshipped our risen Lord.”

Hester added, “Only later would we learn that the man whose influence can be measured only by God, had gone Home. Immediately, Psalm 116:15 came to mind; ‘Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.’”




Red River’s First Football Team

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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.”



Big Drug Arrest Nets Four Suspects

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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.



ETC… for February 23rd



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.