Checkpoint Tonight in Red River Parish



This announcement from State Police: In an effort to combat impaired driving in our area, Louisiana State Police Troop G plans to conduct a sobriety/seat belt checkpoint on Friday, March 30, 2018, from approximately 9:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. at an undisclosed location in Red River Parish. Our mission will be to find and remove impaired drivers from the road before they can cause injury or death to themselves or others. Additionally, we will be checking vehicles for unrestrained motorists in an effort to reduce the number of traffic related fatalities caused by not wearing a seat belt.

Each year on Louisiana’s highways, numerous people are killed or seriously injured in automobile crashes that involve impaired drivers and unrestrained motorists. In 2017, 60% of the fatal crashes investigated by Troop G involved impairment and 64% involved motorists that were improperly restrained or not restrained at all. Motorists are asked to designate a sober driver and buckle up.

To report impaired drivers, motorists are encouraged to dial *LSP (*577) from their cellular phone to reach the nearest Louisiana State Police troop location or dial 911 to contact their local law enforcement agency.

Support for this checkpoint is provided by the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission.

Deputy Cleared in Shooting


Sheriff’s Deputy Anthony Matteson is back at work. Deputy Chris Sibley is still undergoing rehabilitation. District Attorney Julie Jones reviewed the State Police investigation of the shooting of Preston Thornton last August and concluded “I have determined that there will be no action on this case.”

The Journal has obtained the records of the State Police investigation into the incident as well as footage from the body cams worn by deputies who went to the scene early on August second. DA Jones said “He (Matteson) acted professionally in carrying out his duties. He acted to protect himself, Preston Thornton’s Mother (who was in the room at the time) and Deputy Sibley. The report showed that he (Matteson) would not be prosecuted.”

A portion of the body cam footage is included with this article. It illustrates how circumstances can change in a few seconds and how law enforcement officers have to react quickly. You may not wish to show this to younger children.

The Journal asked Sheriff Glen Edwards for a statement. Edwards emailed, “The Louisiana State Police investigation concerning the officer involved shooting was completed and submitted to District Attorney Julie Jones for review. Per letter issued by the District Attorney, there will be no action taken by her office in this case. “

Calhoun Signs Four-Year Football Scholarship

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On Tuesday Demontae Calhoun committed to play football for William Penn University in Oskaoosa, Iowa. Calhoun’s signing ceremony was held in the Red River High School auditorium with family, friends, coaches and teammates looking on.

Calhoun played running back and linebacker for the Bulldogs. He is the first player this year to sign a four-year scholarship. The Journal asked him why he chose William Penn? Calhoun said, “I felt like it was the best option for me. I have established a great relationship with their coach and there is a great atmosphere at the school.” He said, “They play an exciting game of football, mostly with a three-man backfield.”

“Most likely I will get there in August,” added Calhoun, “so I most likely will travel with the team next year. Otherwise I will red shirt as a freshman.”

After the ceremony Coach John Bachman told The Journal Calhoun is a great player and he has a lot of yet undeveloped potential to do even greater things. Calhoun said Bachman and the other coaches did everything they could to get him ready for a college football career. “He played a big role in my committing to William Penn” said Calhoun.

It seemed that everyone wanted to get in a picture with Calhoun at the signing table. His teammates gathered round. There were family and friends crowding onto the stage. Many wanted a photo of themselves with Calhoun. His mother Etta Calhoun was all smiles, “That’s my boy, you know.”

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Elementary School Honor Students

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The honor rolls for the latest grading period at Red River Elementary School have been released. Twenty six students made the Superintendent’s Honor Roll with a 4.0 grade point average.

First Grade: Ah’miya Clark, Carmindy Price, Kindall Speed, Ziya Allen, Jae’leigh Babers, Matthew Jordan, Kynli Mcdonald, Raylon Solton, Alyssa Young, Gabrielle Dudley, Alex Mcdonald, and Jaxon Pickett.
Second Grade: Elizabeth Thomas, Raelyn Beaner, Gabriel Bounds, Christopher Griffith, Julianna Price, Robert Lavarry, and Madelyn Wills.
Third Grade: Ke’asha Clark and Jaylen Lovell.
Fourth Grade: Tylan Beavers, Raegan Cannon, and Njerika Miller.
Fifth Grade: Isabela Arredondo and Rafe Suggs.

First Grade: Neveah Johnson, Kaylee Kijanski, Somer Moody, Kiytwon Solton, Lillie Harlow, Jermaine Johnson, Annisa Knaggs, A’journee Nelson, Bryson Raney, Az’niyah Smith, Ma’siyah Williams, Bella Allen, Layla Allen, Dametry Caldwell, Hannah Griffith, Ariana Henry, Jason Henry, Christian Mangham, Ansley Procell, Jacqueline Stanley, Tridan Williams, Ja’carrieus Demease, Brett Lineberry, Skylar Price, Neleysia Cole. Eli Hinson, Erah Lillo, Josiah Miles, and Ethan Moore.
Second Grade: Zoey Kirts, Ga’michael Black, Ashlee Procell, Jayda Woods, Malachi Henry, Lisa Keith, Daylyn James, and Maximus Street.
Third Grade: Victoria Cason, Ty Cole, Mi’yunia Nelson, Cayden Johnson, Krista Mancil, Emmanuel Scott, Amarian Taylor, Edward York, Sha’nyla Caldwell, William Clark, Morgan Housley, Zarrien Howard, Aiden Mangham, Zaria Russell, Madilynn Vangundy, and Lexi Mancil.
Fourth Grade: Payton Christen, Kaitlyn Coffelt, Kinya Gray, Kaley Jenkins, Emily Morgan, Hunter Gourdon, and Makilah Murphy.
Fifth Grade: Addison Bounds, Lawrence Robinson, Aiden Speir, Areonia Banks, Hanna Cannon, Weston Davis, Caitlyn Jones, Cameron Jones, Kendric Patterson, Max Price, Hannah Worsham, Anyla Young, and Car’davious Demery.

First Grade: Shelby Bonner, Josiah Calhoun, Chaston Hubbard, Novalee Irvin, Ta’khia Jones, Elijah Madden, Royunna Moore, Noah Adams, Javeon Mitchell, Colby Blanchard, Ethan Brisker, Drew Curry, Travis Dowden, Carmen Harper, Cherish Kelone, Delaney Cox, Randy Demery, Rayven Howard, Jayden Jones, Isabella Knotts, Raylon Miller, Rhianna Miller, Emily Price, Gabrielle Leeper, Izabelle Leeper, and Ryan Tingle.
Second Grade: Wylan French, Arcadious Whitaker, Mackenzie Lewis, Logan Mims, Justin Taylor, Derrick Beavers, Cason Bland, Konner Freeman, Jahari Griffin, Tiara Hayes, Hope Williamson, Michael Allen, Ja Coby Caldwell, Iva Jean Hanson, Chase Hartley, Janila Williams, Trinity Williams, and Brenton Winn.
Third Grade: Jorne’ Johnson, Lexi Mancil, Devin Metoyer, Ja’nyla Caldwell, Cody Procell, Remington Gardner, Ty Coleman, Arian Demery, Damija Harris, Dustin Kijanski, Steven Knaggs, Nathaniel Burton, Ja’marion Iverson, Jorne’ Johnson, and Devin Metoyer.
Fourth Grade: Idrevious Harville, Hollie Lindsey, Vincent Martinez, Isaiah Miller, Porter Williamson, Kassie Jones, Chelsey Kellogg, Denelle Mitchell, A’niya Davis, Taleha Hill, and Skylar Roberson.
Fifth Grade: Ja’vonica Jones, Bethani Miles, Tristen Williamson, Shaianne Brisker, Bailey Kellogg, David Jennings, Jacob Kellogg, Kayden Nichols, Harley Sepulvado, Matthew Shaffer, Jayden Wells, Alexander Youngblood, and Sydney Thompson.

The Journal congratulates these young academic achievers for a job well done.

Obscure Historical Facts

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Here are some brilliant historical observations from Joe Taylor. He said, “Probably only I find them interesting.”


1. A multi millionaire named Edenborn brought the railroad to Coushatta in the 1890’s. He had made his fortune from his design and manufacturing of barb wire. As was the custom, he was given land by the town for choosing it as a stop. He platted a subdivision. Naming 3 streets, Hessmer (Front St.), Alonzo and Edgar after family. Twenty years later it became the business section.

2. In the golden age of railroading (‘30’s& ‘40’s). Six passengers trains came through Coushatta. Three Southern Belle and three called the Flying Crow. Each carried a mail car where mail was picked up sorted, and dropped off at each stop. So, mail was put up 6 times a day in the tiny post office between L. P. Stephens and the bank.

3. Knowledgeable gentlemen knew that a late afternoon Southern Belle stayed in Coushatta long enough that you could get a cocktail in the club car, in dry Coushatta, before the train departed.

4. As a sign of a much simpler time. It was the custom of some of the curious to meet a passenger train so they could see who got on and who got off.

ETC… for March 30th



Motorists going down the Red Road were delayed on Tuesday. An early morning incident caused an 18-wheeler to begin leaking diesel fuel. It took most of the day to get the mess cleaned up and the road reopened.

Northwestern State University will be closed on Friday, March 30 for Good Friday. The university’s spring break will be March 30 – April 8. Administrative offices will reopen on Monday, April 2. Classes will resume on Monday, April 9. Red River schools and Riverdale Academy will also have Easter break next week.

There are many opportunity for Easter Egg hunting in our community today and this weekend. The Journal has heard of several churches planning hunts. Also there are special services planned. Wesley Chapel on Highway 783 will hold a special Good Friday service tonight at 5:30. There are two (or more) Sunrise Services scheduled. There will be a service at Grand Bayou on the pier Sunday morning at 6:30. Also Sunrise Service will be held at Abbie Lane Retreat on Highway 71 south.

Second Graders Get Published

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Second Graders Get Published

One day Dana Hesson got an inspiration from something that came in the mail. She is the second grade teacher at Riverdale Academy. The thought developed into a book her students published.

They wrote the text. Kids drew the artwork. And revealed their thoughts on what a superhero really is. And it was published recently.

Hesson asked the students to write and illustrate their own story of their own superheroes. Could be a real superhero like Batman or his or her own unique superhero like Paper Man. Here are a couple of examples.

Hayden Cason wrote, “During the day I play video games, but at night I become Paper Man.” Hayden revealed, “A super secret about me is I love math.”

Jackson Hillman said, “My super powers are speed, strength, supervison, invisible and ice breath. I am the Flash.”

Rylan Moseley is “Dinosaur Man and I change into a Pteradactyl.” Student Chloe Spradley wrote, “But when the sun goes down and the moon comes up I become Bat Girl. A super secret about me is I do not tell anyone about my super powers.”

Most of the second grade students wrote a super secret about themselves. One said I can do gymnastics. Another wrote I love math. And another student revealed, “A super secret about me is I like somebody.”

The Journal congratulates Dana Hesson’s second grade class at Riverdale Academy. Students in the class are Emma Youngblood, Rylan Moseley, JoJo Shaver, Kaleigh Pickett, Madelyn Chamberlin, Jackson Hillman, Hayden Cason, Madalynn Baxley, Jaxon Henry Straight, Kaden McNeely, Chloe Spradley, Sonny Levasseur, and Hanah Murray. They are 2nd Grade Superheroes.

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Boat Launches Open

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The Red River Waterway Commission has opened the boat launches at Red Oak,Coushatta, Grand Ecore, Natchitoches, Montgomery, Boyce, Fort Buhlow, and Poland Recreation Areas as of today, 3/26/18, all other Boat launches will remain closed at their recreation areas on the Red River. We will reopen these boat ramps when the water level falls below the guidelines set with local law enforcement and safety officials***

Riverdale Academy Honor Roll

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The students excelling in academics at Riverdale Academy have been announced. This covers the third nine week period.

KINDERGARTEN All S’s: Easton Cason, Hasty Davis, Porter Eaves, Ellie Reese Hillman, Xader Loftin and Morgan Moseley.

First Grade: Addison Cason, Maddison Cason, Jonathan Shaver, and Isabella Stephens.
Second Grade: Hayden Cason, Madelyn Chamberlin, Jackson Hillman, Kaleigh Pickett, Joseph Shaver, Chloe Spradley, Jaxon Straight, and Emma Youngblood.
Third Grade: Gavin Franks, Ally Hillman, Abigail Jowers, Makayla McWilliams, Summer Rushing, and Maggie Straight.
Fourth Grade: Tanner Carlisle, Emma Giddings, Hanna Huddleston, Mary Jones, Makayla Pickett, and Charity Wiliamson.
Fifth Grade: Colton Caskey, Chloe Jordan, and Chance Rushing.
Sixth Grade: Emily Cason, Madison Chamberlin, Aliana Greer, Hayden Hillman, Ryder Huddleston, and Will Jones.
Seventh Grade: Emma Clemons, Luke Greer, Emily Kirkland, Mason Murray, and Madden Weaver.
Eighth Grade: Rylee Hodge, Tyler Jones, and Renee’ Prosperie.
Ninth Grade: William Almond, Brennan Edie, and Matthew Seales.
Tenth Grade: Tylar Bare, Adam Bryant, Georgia Dowden, and Heidi Murray.
Eleventh Grade: Emily Hodge, Bailey Legrande, Kaylee Merry, Brailee Vaughan, and Alyssa Woodard.
Twelfth Grade: Shealy Almond, Madelynne Greer, Allen Jones, Benjamin Legrande, and Carmie Williams.

First Grade: Carter Breedlove, Kenna Coleman, Connor Franks, and Jase Johnson.
Second Grade: Madalynn Baxley, Sonny Levasseur, Kaden Mcneely, and Rylan Moseley.
Third Grade: Darcey Bohannon, Destiney Bohannon, Cannon Breedlove, Preston Eaves, and Kendall Sharp.
Fourth Grade: Jaci Carter and Julia Riggs.
Fifth Grade: Malorie Cooper, Ashton Hester, Jadyn King, Anna Mabile, Connor Straight, and Samuel Weaver.
Sixth Grade: Georgia Carlisle, Cameron Hesson, and Jillian Loftin.
Seventh Grade: Benjamin Almond, Austin Cooper, and Collin Hesson.
Eighth Grade: Kaden Cason, Reagan Huddleston, Kenley Loftin, Denver Williams, and Rylee Woodard.
Ninth Grade: Winfred Almond, Austin Giddens, and Noah Wren.
Tenth Grade: Brooklyn Azlin and Bailey Pate.
Eleventh Grade: Willem Legrande, Shelby Lindsey, and Caitlyn Thompson.
Twelfth Grade: Madison Alexander, Josey Cobb, and Kamden Messick.

Congratulations to these students for their excellent academic work from the Red River Parish Journal.

Fire Destroys Camper

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An early morning fire at the Rolling Hills Trailer Park heavily damaged a camper Monday morning. The fire was reported about 5:20 am.

Units from the Red River Fire Department responded to the blaze. No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Feeding Others Quite a Challenge

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Red River High students in the Certified Nursing Assistant curriculum found out this week that enjoying breakfast could be a chore. Part of their training in helping others involves feeding elderly patients in their care.

When breakfast came to the classroom the students were excited. That excitement subdued a bit when they learned the rules. They could eat all they wanted, but they must sit with their hands in their laps while someone else feeds them. Next it is their turn to feed a classmate. It is not as easy as one might imagine.

Other training activities this spring have included learning to take pulse and blood pressure, how to do hair and nails, and many other skills.

Students in the spring CNA Class are Mya La’tairiya Bradley, Stephani Gail Bradley, Dominique Lashaye Burton, Ladaveon Shanzelle Cox, Chelsea Sharne Hill, Alicia Dashon Lewis, Aaliyah Champagne Didell Luke, Sagar Kishor Patel, Courtney Tamia Prelow, and Tasia Narie Smith. Soon they will begin several weeks of putting what they learned into practice at a nursing home in Natchitoches.

At the completion of the spring, students who successfully master all of the skills will be presented with the Certified Nursing Assistant credentials. Many of the students from past CNA courses have immediately accepted employment with area nursing facilities.

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ETC… for March 28th


There are a number of great scholarships available for high school students. Check out Riverdale’s Facebook page for several of them.

Northwestern State University’s Office of Electronic and Continuing Education will offer a TEAS (Test of Essential Academic Skills) Boot Camp this spring. Sessions will be held on Feb. 2, 9 and 23 from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and April 3 and 5 from 8 a.m. until noon.

The class will be on the second floor of South Hall on NSU’s Natchitoches campus. The fee is $50 for those who pre-register and $75 on the day of class. Students will receive study tips and a review of TEAS sections on reading, math, science and English. For more information, call (318) 357-6355, (800) 376-2422 or go to

The 3rd Annual Bulldog Beauties Pageant is coming to Red River Elementary School April 14th. The contestant entry deadline is March 29th. Entry Fee is $40. Get more info from Jasmine Williamson at 663-0560.

More honors for Red River athletes. Makayia Hallmon has been named to the All Area Girls Basketball First Team and Oksanna Williams has been named to the Second Team. The selection is made by a local paper in Shreveport.

If you were headed down the Red Oak Road (Highway 480) on Tuesday and got turned around at the barricades, the road was reopened after a few hours. The state Department of Transportation said that the closure was the result of a diesel spill. The mess was cleaned up and the road reopened late in the day.

Sunrise Service at Abbie Lane

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Retired minister Wayne Spears invites you to come down Highway 71 early on Easter Sunday and enjoy Sunrise Services at Abbie Lane Retreat. Three local pastors will tell the Easter story from themed prayer gardens on the property. And visitors can view the recently erected “Empty Cross.”

Spears laid out the itinerary for Easter Sunday morning. He said, “We’ll start at 7:00 am or about sunrise, local time. We will begin at the Gethsemane prayer garden. Bro. Stephen McAbee of Open Door Fellowship will speak in the garden.”

Spears said, “From Gethsemane we will sing and walk up the trail to the three crosses on Calvary Hill. Bro. Matt Endress of Fairview Baptist Church will speak at Calvary.” He added, “The group will walk to the Empty Tomb prayer garden where Bro. Richard Kaufman of Martin Baptist Church will speak.”

“The whole program should last no longer than 45 minutes,” added Spears. He said they are encouraging people to visit the newly completed chapel and empty cross on their own before departing.

Abbie Lane Retreat is located on US 71/84 in south Red River Parish. It is almost to Fairview Alpha. The retreat serves pastors and others in ministry who need a retreat from the stress of their lives. For more information and to book your church group for a tour, call Wayne Spears at 318-505-8578.

Natchitoches Jazz/R&B Festival Lineup Announced

Festival Lineup

Natchitoches Jazz/R&B Festival Chairman Rodney Harrington is not short on superlatives when describing the lineup for the 22nd annual event which will be held on April 13-14 on the newly renovated downtown Natchitoches riverbank.

“Quite simply,” Harrington said, “it will be The Greatest Weekend of Music in Natchitoches History.”

The fun begins on Friday, April 13th with the traditional Festival opener the NSU Jazz Orchestra, followed by the Louisiana Swamp Donkeys. Also featured Friday night will be perennial Zyedco/Cajun favorite, Wayne Toups, along with “The World’s Greatest 80’s Tribute Band,” LA ROXX.

Saturday will feature a wide variety of music on four stages located around the downtown riverbank area and will culminate later that evening with performances by the hit-making groups Starship featuring Mickey Thomas and Ohio Players, both performing on the brand new main stage.

Harrington says that while the appearance of these headliners in Natchitoches is amazing, there are so many more reasons to come to the Festival earlier in the day and hear some great music.

“I think the whole town is abuzz with ‘Maggie Mania’,” Harrington said when referring to Nashville Country music star, Maggie Rose, who will be performing on the main stage at 3:35 p.m. “Everywhere I go, people ask me what time Maggie is playing and are so excited to have her in Natchitoches.”

Rose, whose single “Pull You Through” is charting on Country music radio and television, has toured with Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Martina McBride, and many others. She has been named by CMT, “One of the Next Women of Country.”

For Aerosmith Fans, Pandora’s Box, dubbed “The Ultimate Aerosmith Tribute” will be performing on the main stage just before Maggie Rose comes on. Kicking off the main stage Saturday will be local favorites The Hardrick Rivers Revue, followed by Gregg Martinez and The Delta Kings.

Harrington said that his band, Johnny Earthquake and The Moondogs, are particularly excited to have the legendary Rick Derringer performing with them again, and that a late addition to the lineup makes Derringer’s appearance even more special this year.

“Rick was a huge hit when he played the Festival four or five years ago, so I guess you could say he is back by popular demand.” Harrington continued, “This year also joining us will be Jon Smith, one of Rock & Roll’s greatest and legendary saxophonists.”

Harrington went on to say that Derringer and Smith were bandmates in Edgar Winter’s White Trash band during the late 60’s and early 70’s, and Smith has gone on to an illustrious career performing with such luminaries such as The Doobie Brothers, Boz Scaggs, Johnny Winter, Toto, and Sarah Vaughn.

Harrington promises that, with over twenty bands performing on four different stages, there will be something to appeal to almost every musical taste. “There will be Rock & Roll, Country, Zydeco, Cajun, Blues, Funk, and, of course, Jazz and R&B,” he said. “In fact, the Beau Jardin Stage features nothing but Jazz all day, so the hardcore Jazz aficionados would never have to leave that spot,”

Natchitoches’ own country music star, Trini Triggs, will once again serve as Master of Ceremonies and will perform at various times during the Festival and as always, local groups including Billy O’Con and Badd Apple, Cane River Soul, and Breaktime for Frances will be spotlighted. Of course, there will be plenty of food and activities for the kids with lots of inflatables.

One new feature at this year’s Festival is the addition of limited reserved seating in the new amphitheater in front of the stage.

“Oh, the reserved seats are going to be fantastic,” according to Harrington. There are just over 500 reserved seats and Harrington says that many of them have been sold leaving just over 200 available for sale. Personal chairs will not be allowed on the riverbank but will be allowed at all outer stages and in a limited area on top of the riverbank.

“If you want to be insured a primo place to sit at the Festival, you better order your reserved tickets today!” Harrington concluded. “There is no doubt they will be sold out before Festival weekend.” Reserved seats can only be purchased online.

For ticket information, a full lineup and more information about the 22nd Annual Natchitoches Jazz/R&B Festival, go to

All-Stars Among the Bulldogs



Both the boys and girls basketball teams at Red River High School finished strong in this year’s competition. Both advanced to the state semi-finals before being eliminated.

Now the All-District teams for district 3-2A have been announced. As expected they placed many players on the all district teams.

For the girls, Makayia Hallmon was elected MVP of the first team. Also on the first team from Red River was Oksonna Williams. Kaitlyn Antilley was selected to the girl’s second team.

Red River had two players selected for the district first team. They are Jesse Davis and Chris Moore. Selected to the second team was Emareyon McDonald.

The Journal congratulates Red River’s basketball teams for their accomplishments this past season. And a special congrats to the members of the all district teams.

Cookie Mission a Hit

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The youth group at First Baptist Church recently visited the Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office with cookies. The goal was to show the officers their appreciation for what deputies do everyday.

The Sheriff’s Office posted, “What an enjoyable hour many of our deputies were able to share with the Kids on Mission from First Baptist Church of Coushatta Wednesday evening! Thank you all so much for the goodies, cards and prayers that you shared with us…and thanks for caring!

“Hopefully you all enjoyed meeting our K-9s Cephira and Aron, seeing our drone in operation, seeing/learning about some of our equipment and asking our deputies questions.”

The youngsters shared a devotion with deputies, passed out treats, and got a demonstration of several services RRSO delivers everyday.

Nutrition Month Open House



March is National Nutrition Month. It is being observed in our area by the Red River Health Unit with an open house next Monday.

Nursing Supervisor Yashica Turner told The Journal they are welcoming the public to their open house from 4:00 to 6:00 pm. In addition to having lots of information on nutrition and your health, Turner says they will have registration for prizes and some fun and games. Also the health unit staff will be on hand to discuss healthy eating habits.

The Red River Parish Health unit is located in the Administration Building on Red Oak Road beside the courthouse.

Hometown Trooper Honored

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Hometown Trooper Honored

Look at the picture of State Troopers honored recently by Channel 6 in Shreveport. Red River had two troopers honored. On the far right is Brent Hardy. He is standing next to another Red River son, Melvin Massey. Hardy and Massey were honored at a recent banquet. More from the Troop G Facebook page.

Troop G Troopers assigned to a special unit called Mobile Field Force were recognized for their outstanding service at the 2018 Salute the Badge banquet sponsored by KTAL NBC 6. It was a wonderful evening for the Troopers and their families. It was a great honor given to those that serve the great citizens of Louisiana.


Congressman Johnson Objects to the Budget Bill

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The US House has passed the budget that keeps the Federal Government running and sent it on to the house. Fourth District Congressman Mike Johnson expressed his displeasure to both the process of passing the legislation and to the Trillion-Dollar-Plus price tag of the budget bill.

Here is Johnston’s statement on the bill passing the House: “There is no way, in good conscience, I could vote for the omnibus spending bill because its content, and the process behind it, violates our most basic responsibilities and our principles. First, the idea that we could digest 2,232 pages of bill text appropriating all of the funding for the federal government in less than 24 hours is absurd and eerily similar to the ‘we must pass it to see what’s in it’ Obamacare debacle. What we were able to review in the short time before the vote, however, is of grave concern. This package does little to fund our border security efforts, places no restrictions on dangerous sanctuary cities, allows funding for Planned Parenthood and leaves Obamacare completely intact.

“Our nation’s top military officials have repeatedly warned Congress that the number one threat to our national security is our debt. But today, we were asked to vote in favor of even more, massive increases in discretionary, domestic spending. No family or company or local governmental body could operate in such an irresponsible manner, and Congress should not either.

“The American people gave Republicans the House, Senate, and White House to implement conservative principles and careful stewardship and to return our government to one that is truly for the people, by the people. I cannot vote for a deficit spending package that does little to advance the conservative agenda and falls far short of the expectations the American people have set for their representatives in Congress.”

Easter Revival Begins Sunday

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Social Springs Baptist Church begins a spring revival series on Sunday. There will be services at 11:00 am and 6:00 pm Sunday, then nightly services at 6:00 pm Monday through Saturday.

The Evangelist is Bro. Sam Moore. Music for the week will be by Lindley Creek. The pastor, Bro. James Hester invites everyone to join them for the Easter Revival.

Social Springs Baptist Church is located in northern Red River Parish at 5455 Highway 371.

ETC… for March 23rd


The Coushatta/Red River Chamber of commerce has announced the dates for their annual car show. It will be May 12th at Grand Bayou Resort.

Reminder from the school board’s Facebook page:
Parent Guidance for the Spring LEAP 2025 Tests
The Department released two new parent guides to help parents better understand what students should know and be able to do on the spring LEAP 2025 assessments.
● Parent Guide to the LEAP 2025 Tests: guidance for parents on what tests their child will take, when and how they can support their preparation at home:

● Parent Guide to the LEAP 2025 Practice Tests: guidance for parents on how to access both online and paper practice tests:

Translated versions of both documents are available in Spanish, Arabic, and Vietnamese and can be found in the Family Support Toolbox.

The Journal congratulates two scholars from our parish who made the Dean’s Honor List for the Winter Quarter at Louisiana Tech. They are Amanda Caroline Longino and Katie Marie Oliver.


Student Recognition

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“I get to brag on a kid!” Alison Hughes told the Red River Parish School Board during the March meeting. Superintendent Hughes was all smiles as she introduced a seventh grader to the board.

Hughes recalled a bright spot in her day at a basketball game. She said, “It can get hectic around the concession stand. Some people can be mean. But every time I went to the concession stand I was met with a warm hug and a smile and someone asking me how was my day. In the midst of his demanding job this student asks me if there is anything else he can get me.”

She introduced student Billy Henry by saying, “It is his nature to always smile and have a pleasant attitude. Billy is definitely going to be one of our best students for years to come. Young Henry is in seventh grade at Red River Junior High. His father, Billy Henry, Jr. is Red River’s Athletic Director. His grandfather is Billy Henry, Sr, a track coach and instructor at Springville Education Center.

The smile on young Henry’s face was wide and sincere. And the glow of admiration from family members who accompanied him to the board meeting filled the room.

The agenda item read, “To recognize superintendent’s highlights.” Superintendent Hughes said one of the best parts of her job is, “I get to brag on a kid!”

We Walked Where He Walked

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Members from several congregations in our area participated in a trip to the Holy Land February 13th through 22nd. Among them were Bro. James Hester and Sandra Wright from Social Springs Baptist Church. The Journal spoke with Wright to get some of her observations of the experience.

Her first word was “Wonderful!” Wright said, “We walked where He walked. You can feel it more over there.” Wright told The Journal that there were several different itineraries to select from. The one she took included the western wall of the old temple or Wailing Wall, Tel Aviv, the birthplace of Jesus, King David’s tomb, and the Garden of Gethsemane. “We also visited Capernaum, the Dead Sea, and Jericho, among other stops,” she added.

Wright bubbles with excitement as she describes the sites her group visited. The experience made the Bible story come alive for her. But would she do it again? Wright said, “Yes I would, with a couple of changes. I wouldn’t be hurried. Our tour went quickly from place to place.”

So what adjustments would Wright make? “I would like to go with someone who knew the area, who could give me more information, so we would not be rushed.” And Wright added, “I would like to have more time to see, explore and enjoy the sites we visited.”