Hurricane Season Starts Today

RRPJ-Hurricane Season-18Jun1The first day of June is the start of the hurricane season. Louisiana has had its share of tropical storms and hurricanes over the years. Last year we had two hurricanes come through our state. Already this year the US has had to deal with one tropical storm. It missed Louisiana and several local farmers say we could have used the rain.

Everyone remembers the disastrous Hurricane Katrina that hit the state on August 29th, 2005. That was nearly thirteen years ago however most of us remember the path of flooding and destruction Katrina left in her wake.

In 2017 we experienced Hurricane Harvey in August and Hurricane Nate in October. Fortunately neither packed the knock-out punch of Katrina. Here in our parish the effects were minimal last year. Over the past decade, the biggest months for hurricanes in Louisiana are August and September. They have occurred as early as June and as late as November.

State and local governmental bodies are making plans for dealing with storms should one come our way. It might be a good time for you to get out your family emergency plan and revise it.

Sign Up For Summer Reading Program


RRPJ-Summer Reading-18Jun1It is time to register your children for the Red River Parish Library’s Summer Reading Program. It is open to all children in this area. And there is no cost to participate.

Each child will receive a Reading Record to keep up with all of the books read over the summer. Reading requirements are:
Children up to 8 years old read 30 books. Reading with grown-ups counts.
Children 9 to 13 years old will read 20 books.
And Children 14 years and older will read 10 books.

Young readers who complete the required number of books will be invited to the End-of-Summer celebration at the Library.

The library features special guests on Mondays and Games or Crafts on Thursdays this summer. For more information, come by the library or phone 932-5614. Check out the library’s Facebook and website

Storyteller Begins Summer Entertainment Series

RRPJ-Library June 4th TOP-18Jun1There is something to do in Red River Parish this summer. Parents, when your child says “I’m bored! There is nothing to do!” take them to the library on Monday afternoon.

The Red River Parish Library has scheduled entertaining, informing and intriguing guests for this summer. Their Monday programs begin next Monday, June 4th. Storyteller Sylvia Davis has some wonderful tales to hold the youngster’s attention. Davis was a featured guest last summer. She was invited back by popular demand.

Monday events new to the schedule this year include Jubilee Zoo on June 18th, The Red River High Band on July 9th and The Sheriff’s Department K-9 Officers on July 23rd.

The library has also scheduled a return of several very popular acts from last year. The complete list of dates and guests is at the bottom of this article. Print it and put it on the fridge!

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Hickory Grove Honors Graduate

RRPJ-Hickory Grove Honors Graduate-18Jun1Last Sunday Hickory Grove Baptist Church honored its member of the graduating class of 2018. They celebrated with Sierra Ochoa the successful conclusion of her high school career.

In addition to obtaining an outstanding record as a student, Ochoa excelled playing four years on the Red River Lady Bulldogs Softball Team. She also excelled on the soccer field as a member of the Bulldog Soccer Team.

In the photo, Ochoa is shows receiving her Senior Day awards at the conclusion of the Lady Bulldogs home softball schedule.

ETC… For June 1st


Hickory Grove Baptist Church invites you to Vacation Bible School Monday, June 11th thru Friday, June 15th from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. There will be a program for children Pre-K through Grade 12. Pre-K through Grades 6 will rotate through an exciting night of fun, crafts, bible stories and more. Teenagers (Grades 7 – 12) experience Bible study and special activities planned just for them. Hickory Grove Baptist Church said, “Come join us as we experience the excitement of learning how each of us with Created by God for His Purpose.”

The Red River Waterway Commission posted that area college fishing teams on the Red River this week include anglers from LSUS, La Tech and ULM. The commission said, “We are proud to have 182 College Fishing teams on the Red River this week in pursuit of the FLW YETI COLLEGE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP. Good Luck to all!”

The Black Heritage Gallery of Lake Charles will host an unveiling reception for the series of oil paintings by Artist Gilbert D. Fletcher entitled, “Documenting the Cane River Creole Legacy.” Fletcher lives and works in New York. The exhibit is on loan from the Northwestern State University Creole Heritage Center. The presentation will be held from 6-8 p.m. Friday, June 1 at the Central School Arts and Humanities Center located at 809 Kirby Street, Suite 2017. The public is invited to attend and meet the artist during this event.

Will the application for a new charter school be approved by the Red River Parish School Board? The board has called a special meeting to take up the matter. It will be Monday, June 4th at 6:30 in the school Administration Building on Alonzo Street. This meeting is open to the public.

This is a reminder to send articles and pictures of interest to The Journal. Keep us informed of your church and family activities. Email them to

Voter Canvas Underway

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Red River Registrar of Voters Mary Jones told The Journal the Annual Canvass of Addresses and check of Voter Registration is now being performed. Jones said, “We do this every year. It is being done in May and June. The Louisiana Secretary of State Office checks addresses across the state.

You will be mailed a post card to your home address on record at the Registrar’s office. Jones asks voters to please complete, sign, and return these Address Confirmation Cards to update your voter registration. If you received a card and need assistance, please call 318-932-5027.

You can register to vote or make changes to your registration at GEAUXVOTE.COM and click on “Online Voter Registration” button to the left side of the screen. Or you can send an email to the local Registrar’s office. The email address is

New Teacher Mentors Go For Training

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There are nine new mentors joining the ranks of trained teacher mentors in the parish. They are attending three days of training and the state teacher convention in Baton Rouge beginning today (May 30th).

The new mentors met recently with those already trained in the parish. Several gave their thoughts on the teacher mentor program. Erica Bonner said, “I know how stressful being a new teacher is. A mentor is just being available to them.”

Patience Danzy said, “Seeing what new teachers bring in will help me be a better teacher.” Danzy is also recruiting high school seniors to become teachers.

Another new mentor, Intha Fields said, “I hate to see new teachers quit. I have sympathy because I was there once. Tell them don’t quit, it will be so good.”

The group of new mentors currently teaches in the parish schools. They are Jamie (Missy) Antilley, Erica Bonner, Patience Danzy, Intha Fields, Yasmine Jason, Peggy Key, Sherry Pickett, Brian Ross and Rachael Williamson. These nine join the ranks of those mentors who are currently serving in the public school system. They are Nicole Bailey, Ashley Dees, Ellie Drew, Darlene Martin, Samantha Sullivan, and Kenyotta Williams.

The coordinator of the program, Rene Hester, told the new mentors, “I want you to feel that you are a part of something big, part of making a difference. You are brave for stepping out and you are brave for doing this.” Hester told the group to take good notes at the state teacher summit. “We’ll all get together to debrief and share what we learned,” added Hester.

New mentor Missy Antilley summed it up, “I had a good one. I hate to see new, good teachers fail, and I want to help.”

Find great bargains at Ivan Smith’s Summer Warehouse Sale


You’re in luck because Ivan Smith Furniture’s warehouse is filled to capacity. That means they’re holding their annual Summer Warehouse Sale Saturday, June 2 from 9 am – 2 pm.

The sale includes a large selection of hundreds of items to choose from including:

discontinued merchandise
floor models with small imperfections
Lightly used furniture
Odd occasional tables and ottomans
Sleeper sofas
Queen size mattress floor model sets and previous year models

The best part is all these items are seriously marked down. We’re talking below cost prices!

“This is a popular event, and that means there will be a line at the door when the sale starts,” said Dane Terrell. “If you see a specific item you want, make sure to get to the store early.”

Sale items can be previewed in the store or on Ivan Smith’s Facebook page: Check back – even more photos will be posted leading up to the sale.

“If you see an item you like on our Warehouse Sale event on Facebook, come into the store and take a look; sit on it (No items will be sold before the sale begins at 9 am on June 2),” said Dane.

Featured items include:

Warehouse Sale_Temperpedic Mattress


Tempur-Pedic Queen Size Mattress Set
Regular Price: $2,500 – Sale Price: $700








Warehouse Sale_Sleeper Sofa


Queen Size Sleeper Sofa
Regular Price: $800 – Sale Price: $400




Warehouse Sale_Motion Sectional


Motion Sectional in Dark Brown Leather
Dual recliners and a sleeper sofa
Sale Price: $500




Warehouse Sale_Dining Table


Dining Room Table and Six Chairs
Magnolia Home Line by Joanna Gaines
Regular Price: $2,000 – Sale Price: $500



Large items purchased during the sale will not be loaded out until after the conclusion of the sale for the safety of everyone in the store. Customers will be asked to return to the store between 2-5 pm or schedule a pick up time for a later date.

Once room is made in the warehouse, Ivan Smith will have room for a delivery its currently waiting on, full of the newest sets including:

2 New Bedroom Sets
A Whole New Line Of Temper-Pedic Mattress Sets
10 New Living Room Sets

Ivan Smith offers the latest in home furnishings, accessories, bedding, and appliances.

Ivan Smith Furniture – Natchitoches
Home town faces with big store buying power.
936 Keyser Avenue
(318) 352-5889

Brown Home Improvements



Quality work for your construction projects is now available in Red River Parish from Brown Home Improvements. Owner Peter Brown said, “We have been in the home improvement business for over 32 years now. I have owned and operated my current business for over 10 years.

“We specialize in Decks, porches, screen rooms, wheel chair ramps, patio covers, vinyl siding, replacement windows, fences, painting, carpentry repairs and much, MUCH, more… We are licensed and insured home improvement contractors.

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“Whether you need a new screen porch to keep the bugs out, a deck for summer bar-b-ques, or a carport cover to keep you car out of the sun with a walkway to your door, we can custom design and build one to fit your home improvement needs.

“If you need a chain link fence for your pets or would like a private back yard experience, we can build a 6’ wooden fence. Metal frame gates and posts insure that your fence won’t sag or warp. High quality hardware will keep your yard secure.

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“We can build a screened porch to keep the bugs off of you. Our screen rooms can be free standing or attached to your home. We feature steel security screen doors that lock and will provide years of service. Our screen porches are built with treated wood framing, fiberglass bug screens and insulated metal roofing for comfort and low maintenance.

“Custom built insulated replacement windows can be easily installed in your existing window openings with minimal expense. You can remove your old worn out windows and replace them with new insulated replacement windows that do not require changing your window frames and trim. Often they can be done in a day. Insulated replacement windows have double pane, low-e glass, double locks and new screens. They are available in many styles and colors. For security and insulation, nothing beats new insulated windows.

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“We have built wheel chair ramps on mobile homes, houses and commercial buildings. It is important to have the right slope and secure handrails to ensure a safe entry and exit. We know how to build a ramp that will be safe and last for many years to come. We can pour a concrete landing at the bottom of the ramp to form a smooth transition from the ground to the ramp and build an upper landing to allow easier entry into the door. Our ramps are custom built to ADA specifications. We offer free evaluations and quotes for your project.

“Vinyl siding may be the answer to your home improvement needs. No more painting and it looks so clean and new. Insulation can be installed behind the siding to tighten up those drafty walls. Available in many colors and styles that one should be just right for your home. We can even install siding on the eaves and trim. Make your home look new again with vinyl siding and trim!

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“Some times Mother Nature can deliver a nasty blow to your home. If you need a carpenter to fix some storm damage, call on us. We have carpentry and painting services to get your home back to it’s old self again. We can work with your insurance too.


Brown said, “Room additions and remodeling services are also available.” Call them for an estimate on your project. e-mail:, visit their website: or Phone: 318-208-5916

4-H members Up To The Challenge

By Terry Foster, 4-H Extension Agent
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Red River 4-H members have actively engaged in and gained MASTRY and knowledge of the focus on healthy living-physical health & fitness. “Up to the Challenge” encouraged youth to strive for overall health and well-being, including physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity thru a series of monthly lessons at 4-H club meetings.

Flexibility is Fabulous was to learn about stretching for overall fitness and health and to learn about Yoga activities. Get in the Movement Groove to explore benefits of exercise, identify why exercise/physical activity is important, share activities with friends/families, understand the 3 types of physical activity, learn about warm-up/cool-down, cooperative physical activity.

In the Beat- The Heartbeat we learned to understand the difference between aerobic and non-aerobic activities, calculate heart rate before, during, & after exercise, participate in warm-up/aerobic/cool-down activities.

Muscle Mania– Move It or Lose It we learned to understand the relationship between strong bones, muscles and exercise, warm-up activity, strengthening activity, cool down activity.

Do You See What I See? We recognize people come in all shapes & sizes, understand people of different weights & sizes can be healthy, learn people can be too thin or too heavy for good health, culture and family can be an important determinant for size, understand that images we see in magazines, movies and TV are not always healthy.

The Truth about Vitamins, Steroids & Supplements we learned that muscles are best developed by exercise & good nutrition, understand that we get all vitamins and minerals needed from a healthy diet. I learned in this lesson that steroids are readily available in the Coushatta area. At least 10 youth raised their hand that they knew someone who sold steroids or could get them. My original goal was to focus on YOGA movements only.

Fun Day is our way of celebrating what we learned in our monthly meetings.