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.