Refurbish Coushatta

RRPJ-Refurbish Front Street-18Apr27

Painting Day is Saturday May 5th. That is the day the town with the help of United Way and the Chamber of Commerce will paint the Front Street buildings. Volunteers are asked to help refurbish out town’s old business district.

The Chamber posted, “On Saturday, May 5, 2018, United Way of Northwest Louisiana and The Town of Coushatta need your help in the revitalization process of the historic downtown Front Street. Teams of volunteers will tackle projects like painting the lower half of the downtown buildings, planting flowers, and other beautification projects.

“To start a volunteer team of five to ten people, please submit your team form by April 27, 2018. To learn more about the event or how to become a sponsor, please contact Jennifer Horton with United Way of Northwest Louisiana at (318) 677-2504, ext. 123, or Karen Squires with the Coushatta Red River Chamber of Commerce at (318) 932-4081.”


Book Sale at the Library

RRPJ-Book Sale-18Apr25

The annual Book Sale is coming to the Red River Parish Library in May. Librarian Trey Lewis told the Journal they have held the spring sale for the past three years in the new library. He said there were book sales off and on in the old library building prior to that.

This year the sale will be May 3rd through 5th. The prices will be low and the selection will be great. Lewis said, “All the money collected at the sale goes back into purchasing other materials including new arrivals.”

Open House Sunday

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You’re Invited! Realtor Raylie Hardy is holding open house Sunday in Grand Bayou Subdivision. The open house will be from 2:00 to 4:00 pm at 821 Pine Hill Street. Attend and be entered to win a $100.00 cash prize.

Hardy said, “This beautiful lake front home is located on 1.81 acres with over 200 feet of frontage on Grand Bayou Reservoir. I would like to show you this large four bedroom home with three full baths.” She added, “The home is beautifully landscaped along the front and there are two master suites.”

“There is plenty of room for your family to spread out,” said Hardy. She added, “There are over 2,200 square feet of living area. This is an open house that you will not want to miss.”

Come to the open house Sunday April 29th from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. Everyone in attendance will be entered in a drawing for a $100.00 cash prize. This lakefront property is located at 821 Pine Hill Street in Grand Bayou Subdivision. Raylie Hardy, licensed realtor, with Century 21 Elite, offers this home. Call 318-471-8554. Each office independently owned and operated.


Time to Register for the Car Show

RRPJ-Register for Car Show-18Apr27Springtime is car show time! The annual car show sponsored by the Coushatta/Red River Chamber of Commerce will be held May 12th at Grand Bayou. If you have a classic car bring it to the show.

It is tine to register your vehicle. Go online to the Chamber site, There is an easy registration process. The fee is $15 and it includes a coupon good for food from the many food vendors lined up for the event.

In addition to the classic cars, there will be food and arts and crafts vendors. And there will be great entertainment. The best part is the price, FREE. This is a family event on a Saturday, so mark May 12th on the family calendar. Get more information on the Chamber’s website or Facebook page.


Coushatta School History

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Joe Taylor looks back at the Coushatta school system shortly after the turn of the 20th century. Many of the schools in use at that time are now in private hands or in ruins. Some have disappeared over the years. Here is Joe’s account.

This information comes from a wonderful book published in 1989 by a dedicated large group of people. It’s called Red River Parish Our Heritage and it contains over 700 pages about history of the parish and the families that lived here. If you don’t have one I’m sorry because it was published that one time and it becomes more valuable and in demand each year. It contains hundreds of pictures including ones of the schools I’m going to list.

The parish first organized a public school system around the turn of the 20th century with John Teer as the first Superintendent. He was succeeded by Alden H Horton (grandfather of Alden and Donald) and then A L Sigler became Superintendent.

The Coushatta School (later the Elementary School) was built in 1912. It replaced a small wooden building. This building was moved a few hundred feet to the banks of bayou Nicholas by Clarence Edgerton. He remodeled it and used as his home.

Most of the schools listed were elementary and pupils had to board in Coushatta if they wanted to attend high school. Schools listed were in the 1920 era. They were:
Coushatta. Carroll. Salt Springs. East Point. Martin. Hall Summit. Carroll. Carroll Creek. Woodrow. Harvey. Bayou Lachute. Corley. Halfway. Armistead. Union Hall. Westdale. Social Springs. Methvin. Rawls. Liberty. Gahagan. Keith Springs. Lake End. Holly Springs. Hickory Grove. Hanna. Harmon. Grand Bayou. East Point. Cross road. Dry creek. Crooked Bayou.

As you can see just about every little community had its own school and a school wagon to try and get the pupils there. Later as parish roads improved, there would be large consolidation.

Around 1940, using WPA money, gyms would be built at Coushatta, Grand Bayou, Hall Summit, and East Point. Schools were built at Martin and Hanna.

RRPJ-School History BOTTOM-18Apr25


ETC… for April 27th


On a personal note…I just finished my last GooGoo Cluster. It was peanut butter. I got a whole box of various flavors when I was in Memphis recently. My absolute favorite is the original. So much for me…back to the news!

Sunday is the first day of the annual Red River Crusade. The revival week begins at First Baptist Sunday night then moves to the fair grounds for Monday through Saturday evening services.

Your next opportunities to get involved with local government and the school system are coming up. The May meeting of the Red River Parish Police Jury will be Monday, May 7th at 6:00 pm in the Police Jury room on the third floor of the courthouse. The Red River Parish School Board will hold its monthly meeting on Monday, May 14th at 6:30 pm in the Administration Building on Alonzo Street. And Coushatta Town Council meets on Tuesday, May 15th at 5:30 pm at Town Hall on East Carroll Street. The meetings are open to the public.

Northwestern State University’s Department of Military Science invites the public to join them as the 68th Demon Battalion hosts the spring 2018 awards program to recognize outstanding cadets in the U.S. Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps.

The awards program will begin at 4 p.m. Thursday, May 3 in the auditorium at NSU’s Teacher Education Center/Middle Lab School. A reception will follow the program.




ETC… for April 25th



Abundant Life Worship Center is planning a “Ladies Night Out.” It will be held at the Armadillo Grill at Crossroads on Friday, May 4th from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Come for dinner. Enjoy the comedy skit “At the Feet of Jesus.”

Northwestern State University has earned the 2018-19 Military Friendly School designation from Victory Media, publisher of G.I. Jobs. This is Northwestern State’s eighth time to receive the designation. “Northwestern State is honored to once again be recognized as a military friendly school,” said NSU Vice President for Technology, Research and Economic Development Dr. Darlene Williams. “This distinction can be attributed to the outstanding faculty and staff at NSU who view it as a privilege to serve our military through the offering of exceptional academic programs and support services.”

This edition of The Journal is coming to you from “the road.” The whole editorial staff is spending a week in Denver on a super-secret assignment. First time entering the mountains was driving north through Raton Pass from New Mexico into Colorado.

Friday night we went to a Cubs game at Coors Field. It was a long walk in thin air (elevation 5280 ft.) but made it OK. Cubs prevailed in a cold rain. The scoreboard showed 37 degrees but Cubs bats were hot! Final was Cubs 16 and Rockies 5. Local news station called the Rockies “embarrassed” by the Cubs.

Woke up Saturday morning to a light dusting of snow, but the reporting went on, snow or no snow. Looked nice to someone from the south. Snow lasted most of the day in 39 degrees.

By Sunday afternoon the sun had returned and the temperature was in the 60s. No chance to get back to Coors Field, cheap seats gone. Cubs won on Sunday and split the series 2 games to 1.

Color Run is Saturday

RRPJ-Color Run-18Apr25The Third Annual Color Run put on by Riverdale Academy is this Saturday. The color run will take off from the Coushatta Country Club at 4:00 pm.

Dress is casual, jogging shorts and shirt that you don’t mind getting messy. The idea of a Color Run is that joggers will pass stations on the route where color will be applied. Use your imagination. The photo accompanying this article tells it all.

It is all in fun. And the event benefits Riverdale Academy. For more information check out their Facebook page.

Get Ready for Camp

RRPJ-4-H Camp-18Apr25Red River 4-H participants are headed to Camp Grant Walker June 11th. Terry Foster is with the LSU Ag Center and directs the 4-H program in the parish. Foster is asking people in the community to help send kids to camp.

In her sponsorship letter Foster said, “Camping is one of the most valuable experiences a child can have. It’s a learning experience that helps boys and girls appreciate the outdoors, live together as a group, gain independence, get along with others, and appreciate people with different interests and backgrounds.

“One of the most important things children learn from camp is to be self-sufficient. That is, they learn they can survive for four days on their own” added Foster. Part of learning self-sufficiency is parents limiting their calls to true emergencies and campers leaving their cell phones and electronics at home.

Camp dates are June 11th through 15th. Foster said, “It will cost each participant $180, including t-Shirt and parish photo. I would like to invite you to join our list of sponsors supporting the youth representing Red River parish at Camp Grant Walker. I am requesting a donation of your choice for this worthwhile program.” Donations may be sent to: Red River 4-H Office, P.O. Box 1364, Coushatta, LA 71019.

Junior High Prom

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Prom is a special occasion. But it isn’t just reserved for high school Seniors!

Students attending Red River Junior High School held their prom on April 14th at the Red River Junior High Gymnasium. The gym was beautifully decorated for the occasion.

There was Royalty in attendance. Members of the Royal Court were:
6th Grade: Prince – Nehemiah Harris Princess – Kamiera McDonald
7th Grade: Prince – Darius Solton Princess – Jaedynn French-Solton
8th Grade: King – Jamilleun Wilson Queen – Talasia Smith
Overall Best Dressed Male – Ronderion Thomas
Overall Best Dressed Female – Jaedynn French-Solton
Best Dressed Couple – Zintayvious Smith & Jaedynn French-Solton


You May Get Less News With Social Media Changes

RRPJ-Social Media Change-18Apr25

If you follow The Journal on Facebook, have you noticed that our articles are coming farther apart? Have you noticed that some don’t show up in your feed for a few days? Facebook has made changes recently in how they show you posts from people you are friends with or folks you follow.

The Journal feeds all stories in each issue together every Wednesday and Friday morning. Many readers take advantage of this free subscription. They also are assured of getting the news on a timely basis.

Other readers tell us they prefer getting their articles from social media. And that is great with us. They enjoy sharing them with friends and acquaintances. The purpose of this post is to alert social media readers that changes recently put into place by Facebook may be limiting the news you receive and the timeliness of receiving those articles.

So if you wish to receive The Journal by email each Wednesday and Friday morning, free subscriptions are available. And there is no charge. Just go to our website,, and click on the “Subscribe” button on the menu bar. You can share articles from the email as you have been from your social media page. You can be reassured we do not merchandise the email list to people wishing to sell you stuff.

Awards Program is May 15th

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Darlene Martin is a Career Teacher at Red River High. Seniors are making plans for their last days in the classroom and for Graduation. She notified The Journal that a special awards ceremony will be held prior to graduation.

Martin said, “Red River High School will host a Senior Awards Program on May 15, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. in the school auditorium. This program will honor our seniors and their accomplishments while at RRHS. All awards and scholarships will be presented to students during this program rather than during the graduation ceremony.“

Graduation is scheduled for May 22nd at 6 p.m. at the Pat Strother Memorial Stadium (weather permitting).

Get Tested!

RRPJ-Get Tested-18Apr25

Recently The Journal reported on the program offering Red River High School students information on Sexually Transmitted Infections. That presentation told students that northwest Louisiana, including Red River Parish, have very high rates of STIs.

The Nursing Supervisor of the Red River Health Unit, Yashica Turner passed along that free testing for Sexually Transmitted Diseases and STIs if available at the Caddo Parish Health Unit. Those extended hours testing sessions are Thursday April 26th from noon until 7:00 pm and Saturday April 28th from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm.

Turner says the Red River Health Unit also offers these tests every day during their regular operating hours. Turner added that there would be a charge for tests at the local health unit.

CASA celebrates success stories and the advocates behind them

CASA of Central Louisiana held its annual Awareness Social April 19. It was a powerful program filled with a celebration of success stories and a silent auction to raise funds for the CASA program, which serves Natchitoches, Red River and Sabine Parishes.

The speakers were two former foster youth miracles:

Jarvis Spearman is a 23-year-old social work major and graduating senior at Grambling State University. He was raised in the foster care system along with his siblings. He works with the Methodist Children’s Home in Ruston as an alumni staff and life skills specialist. He’s worked in the Chafee Independent Living Skills Program for the past 4.5 years. He also serves as president for the Louisiana Youth Leadership Advisory Council (LYLAC).

“I never had a stable life and I came into the foster care system at 6 years old,” said Spearman. “I never had the love and support I needed so I had to find it for myself.”

Htet Htet Rodgers is a rising senior at Northwestern State University. She entered the foster care system at 13 years old, where she found her forever family. She believes all youth should receive the love and support her forever family gave to her and wants to be an advocate for those who don’t. She is a member of the National Foster Youth Institute’s eadership Corps and a federal reviewer for the Children’s Bureau.

“The foster care system was a haven I didn’t know I needed,” said Rodgers. “I got a forever family, but many other kids didn’t.”

Now Miss CENLA, Rodgers has decided that her platform will be foster support when she competes in the Miss Louisiana pageant this summer.

Natchitoches Parish District Attorney Billy Joe Harrington spoke about the benefits children like Spearman and Rodgers receive by having CASA advocates that give them a voice.

“I love to see these success stories,” he said. “Our system couldn’t make it without all the CASA advocates.”

Become a CASA Advocate and help CASA of Central Louisiana ensure that every foster child has a caring competent volunteer in all judicial proceedings. If you are at least 21 years of age, respect the inherent rights of children to grow up with dignity in a safe environment, and would like to advocate for a child’s best interests in court, become a CASA Advocate today! For more information call (318) 238-2446.


Superior Livestock Cattle Auction Happening – today!


LIVE from the Natchitoches Event Center

57,000 cattle are expected to be auctioned today at the Superior Livestock Gulf Coast Classic Cattle Auction taking place today at the Natchitoches Events Center. More than 300 cattlemen from across the country are attending the live video auction which will feature calves on cows, feeder cattle, weaned cattle, and bred stock cattle. All cattle will remain on the farm until delivery. The auction will continue until approximately 5:00 p.m.

Organizer Emily Smith stated that “the auction is usually held in larger cities like Fort Worth. Bringing this many people from states like Montana, South Dakota, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana is great for the area.”

The cattle auction is being broadcast live online at

For more information, please contact Emily Smith at (318) 471-2771.

Health Fair is Thursday

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The annual Community health fair is coming next Thursday. The Red River Council on Aging urges everyone to come by and get your blood pressure checked. The information is free. There will be a small charge for blood work.

Vendors include home health, Christus Coushatta Health Care Center, rehab centers, LaChip, Acadian On Call, hospice, medical technology, among others. The MLK Health Center’s dietitian will be offering obesity counseling and they will be performing B.M.I. tests.

Christus Coushatta Health Care Center will offer blood tests including a Lipid Profile including cholesterol and the Comprehensive Profile that includes sodium, potassium, protein and other components of your blood. There is a modest charge for the blood work.

Get information on staying healthy Thursday April 26th at the Community Health Fair. The location is the Council on Aging 1824 Front Street. Hours are 8:30 am until noon.

Property Owners Ask For Help With Roads

RRPJ-Pox Jury Road Update-18Apr20

Tommy and Carolyn Ashworth came before the Red River Parish Police Jury this month to ask for help with Owens Road, which runs by their property. They live north of Hall Summit.

Several of the problems with Owens Road outlined by Tommy Ashworth include culverts that were not put in, the material used in road repair, ditches that have not been cleaned out, and a large hole that holds water all of the time. Ashworth said the situation is made worse by traffic from natural gas exploration in the area.

Ashworth said, “I hate to see the police jury put SP 2 or something onto the roads that will just be washed away. That is a waste of the taxpayer’s money.” And Ashworth added, “I think the gas exploration companies should share the cost of damage repair.”

Then Ashworth volunteered to help. He asked, “What is your policy on individuals doing work to clean out a ditch or do other work? Do I need a permit? Do I need to get permission ahead of time.”

Jury President Shawn Beard promised workers would be out to assess the situation. Beard said, “Everything you mentioned is being addressed as we speak. I can’t think of anything that is not being worked on right now.” Beard added, “We are looking at the best way to solve it, the most economical way to fix the road.

That lead into a discussion of the ordinance the police jury is drawing up to require companies who damage roads to fix them. Beard gave members of the jury the draft of ordinances under consideration. “Take these ordinances home and read over to make sure we have everything in here we want,” Beard told jurors, adding “I think this is a pretty good solution to everything we have been talking about.”

The police jury will consider adoption of the ordinances at the May meeting. The jury will meet May 7th at 6:00 pm. The meeting is held on the third floor of the courthouse and is open to the public.

Crusade Starts April 29th

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It’s time for the second annual Red River Crusade organized by the Red River Baptist Association. There will be a special kick-off service on Sunday and nightly meetings Monday through Saturday.

The kick off will be Sunday April 29th at 6:00 pm. It will be held at First Baptist Church in Coushatta.

The rest of the week will take place at the Fairgrounds. Each evening there will be a free hamburger supper at 6:00 pm. Revival services begin at 6:30. The Evangelist is Sam Moore. Music is by WeRCalled. And there will be a special youth night on Wednesday May 2nd.

RRPJ-Red River Crusade BOTTOM-18Apr20

School Board Getting Out of Daycare

RRPJ-Lawson CEnter-18Apr20

The Jeannette Lawson Family Center is not fulfilling the mission for which it was established. School Superintendent Alison Hughes told the board it has now transitioned to a public daycare. Hughes and Finance Director David Jones presented details of the operations and showed that the center lost over a million dollars over the last few years. Hughes questioned the legitimacy of the school board running a daycare.

Hughes explained that the program was originally established as Even Start, funded by the general fund. It was a service to school employees and high school students with babies, not for the general public. At present the center is a public daycare with few school employees children and no high school student’s children.

The proposal outlined by Hughes is to discontinue the day care at the Lawson Center. The three-year-old program would be moved to Red River Elementary School. It would become a learning program to get kids ready for pre-K. Dr. Diane Newton reported that she has talked with Bienville Parish about their three-year-old program. She said, “They said it had made such a difference in the kids. They said it is the best thing ever. It will be a plus for our three year olds.”

Board member Valerie Cox asked, “What will happen to the staff at the Lawson Center?” Hughes responded, “Everyone keeps a job. Mrs. Edna Webb (currently the director) is a certified teacher and will continue to work with three year olds. The janitorial staff will probably go to the elementary school. No one will go without a position.” Webb told The Journal her only regret is that she will no longer be working with infants and young babies.

Other factors in the decision to change the program included the physical condition of the current Lawson Center building. It is in need of repair and is on the list of structures to be demolished this summer. That building was the black high school (Springville High School) building in the early part of the 20th century prior to integration.

Sheriff Warns of New Scam

RRPJ-Scam Alert-18Apr20

In efforts to protect personal identities and reduce medical and financial fraud, social security numbers are being removed from Medicare cards and replaced with random 11-character Medicare numbers. Beginning in June, FREE replacement cards will be mailed to current Medicare recipients. Cards are already being mailed to other parts of the US.

As usual, scammers are one step ahead of the game and are already trying to take advantage of unsuspecting people. In fact, an unsuccessful attempt to gain a local citizen’s personal information occurred within the past week in our community.
When dealing with this or any scam, Sheriff Edwards recommends the following:
Do not trust your caller ID. The name that shows on the ID may not actually be the person who is calling.

Do not provide personal information such as social security numbers and banking information over the phone.

Do your homework. Research things on-line or using other credible resources before you act.

Do not agree to and/or send monetary payments until the source is verified.

Sign up for free scam alerts at

Additional information concerning the Medicare card change and ways to deal with potential scams can be found in the attached news article from

Please share this information with friends and family members who may be unaware of the Medicare card changes and related scams.

ETC… for April 20th


The levels of Red River are receding and that has allowed the Red River Waterway Commission to reopen the boat launch at Coushatta. Most of the other launches on the river have also been reopened.

Mark your calendar for May 14th. That is the next Food For Seniors distribution date. Food boxes will be available at the Council on Aging on Front Street.

The Journal received word from the Department of Transportation that they have reopened the bridge over Flat River. The bridge near Taylortown (up US 71 toward Bossier City) on LA 527 had been closed for pillar repair.

Looking for something to do next Tuesday? Do you love great music? The Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony Orchestra and Symphony Chorus will perform Tuesday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m. in Magale Recital Hall. Tickets are $10. The program will be Mozart’s “Magic Flute” performed by the Chamber Orchestra, Bach’s “Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major,” “Requiem” by Gabriel Faure featuring the Symphony Chorus with Rorex or organ and “Husitzka” by Antonin Dvorak.