Decrease in Overall State Sales Tax Rate Effective July 1

Attention retail stores:  Remember to reprogram the registers to comply with the new state tax rate.

Act 1 of the 2018 Third Extraordinary Session of the Louisiana Legislature has amended La. R.S. 47:321.1(A), (B), and (C) reducing the sales tax rate for this tax imposition from 1 percent (1%) to forty-five hundredths of one percent (0.45%). This tax in the amount of 0.45 percent is levied upon the sale at retail, the use, the consumption, the distribution and the lease or rental of an item of tangible personal property; and upon the sale of services. The 0.45 percent state sales tax is in addition to the sales taxes already levied pursuant to La. R.S. 47:302, 321 and 331. This tax is to be collected by the dealer and wholesaler as provided by Chapter 2 of Title 47 of the Revised Statutes.

Beginning July 1, 2018, the overall state sales tax rate will be reduced from 5 percent to 4.45 percent. If a dealer charges and collects state sales tax at the rate of 5 percent on or after July 1, 2018, then the dealer must remit the excess sales taxes collected to the Louisiana Department of Revenue. Excess sales taxes collected are reported on Line 8 of the Sales Tax Return Form R-1029.

Beginning July 1, 2018, the overall state sales tax rate for the sale at retail, the use, the consumption, the distribution, and the storage to be used or consumed of steam, water, electric power or energy, natural gas, or other energy sources for non-residential use (“business utilities”), will be 2 percent (2%) levied pursuant to La. R.S. 47:302. The exemptions for steam, water, electric power or energy, natural gas, or other energy sources for non-residential use in La. R.S. 47:305(D)(1)(b),(c),(g) and (h) will apply to the sales tax levies in La. R.S. 47:321, 321.1 and 331.

The new tax rate of 0.45 percent levied pursuant to La. R.S. 47:321.1 and the sales tax rate of 2 percent on business utilities imposed pursuant to La. R.S. 47:302 will sunset on June 30, 2025.

Horizontal view of an open cash register drawer asa a cashier makes change.

Johnson Introduces Legislation Defending Religious Expression

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Rep. Mike Johnson (LA-04) introduced H.R. 6213, the History and Tradition Protection Act of 2018, to combat the abuse of the Establishment Clause, which was intended to serve as a shield for people of faith, but has been twisted and perverted into a powerful weapon to be used against them. The bill has 34 original cosponsors.

Rep. Johnson released the following statement:

“Religious symbols and expression are deeply embedded in the history and tradition of our country, but for more than a half-century, radical secularist organizations have engaged in an aggressive campaign of fear, intimidation and disinformation in their quest to rid the public square of all religious symbols, history and expression. We must protect the principles on which our nation was founded. My legislation will ensure activists can no longer profit off the abuse of our laws, so we can better protect the religious liberties of all Americans.”

Johnson’s bill abolishes the award of monetary damages and attorney fees in Establishment Clause cases where a plaintiff complains of (1) any monument, memorial, statue, or other figure containing religious words, imagery or symbolism, (2) a public building containing religious words, imagery or symbolism, (3) the presence of religious words, imagery or symbolism in official seals and flags, or (4) religious expression in the context of the proceedings of any deliberative body.

Johnson’s bill removes the extraordinary financial incentive for radical secularists and their lawyers to feign “offense” and advance their agenda.

Demolition on Alonzo Street

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The former home of “Sewing God’s Love” is being demolished. The sewing program moved recently to a new home on Fair Street. The old house, owned by First Baptist Church was deemed unsalvageable.

It past years, the old house had been the home to staffers of the church. It has also been rental property.

The demolition began at mid-week. The same contractor that recently removed two houses on either side of the library did the demolition. Earlier in the year several other structures owned by First Baptist Church were removed.

Energy Assistance Available Next Week

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Low-income households in Red River Parish may be eligible for funds dedicated to assist eligible low-income households in Red River Parish. Walk Ins will be accepted on July 10, 2018 at Red River Council On Aging, 1824 Front Street in Coushatta. Applications will be accepted between 8:30AM-Noon. The program is administered in Red River Parish by the DeSoto Parish Office of Community Services.

An eligible household is one whose total income is at or below the levels listed in the table below and who have not received a previous benefit within the past six months. Applicants MUST provide, at a minimum, the following documentation at the time the application is taken:
(1) Copies of each household member’s social security cards
(2) Proof of income for all household members. If you are employed, you will be asked to provide your last four consecutive check stubs. If you have unearned income, you will be asked to provide your income for 2016.
(3) A copy of an energy bill (must be within the last 6 months)
(4) A current LA ID or driver’s license for all household members 18 and older.
(5) Another document which was mailed to the applicant at the service address indicated on the energy bill and which lists the same address as the service address on the energy bill.
(6) If you rent you must bring your lease showing utility allowances and reimbursements. If it is determined additional documentation is required, the applicant will be notified at the time of application. Households reporting Zero Income must provide additional documentation. All information provided is subject to verification. Intentional misrepresentation of information may result in criminal prosecution of the applicant and anyone assisting in the misrepresentation.

Applications are taken by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, you may call: 318-872-0880 or 1-800-872-0889.


Household Size
Maximum Income
Per household per month

NSU Season Tickets

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Northwestern State football season tickets are now on sale to the general public. The Demons are revving up for the first season under new head coach Brad Laird. Laird’s return has generated a new wave of excitement as football season ticket sales have increased 34 percent compared to June 2017.

“Folks have a unique opportunity to snap up some fantastic seats for the upcoming football season,” said Mike Jacklich, assistant athletic director for ticketing and special events. “We’ll release all unpurchased season tickets — including available seats on or near the 50-yard line, aisle seats and seats that have been held for generations. It’s a great time for potential new season-ticket holders.”

After the Demons head to Texas A&M on Aug. 30 as part of the first slate of college football games, NSU opens its home schedule against Grambling on Sept. 8. The Demons aim to sell every purple seat in Turpin Stadium when Grambling, the 2016 HBCU college football champions, come to town.

NSU’s five home games include Grambling (Sept. 8), Nicholls (Oct. 6), Sam Houston State (Sept. 13), Houston Baptist (Oct. 27) and McNeese (Nov. 10). Three of NSU’s home opponents finished in the top half of the Southland Conference while Grambling claimed the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship.

Fans can order their season tickets at, by calling 318-357-4268 or by visiting the ticket office on campus.

4-H Summer Camp

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Here is the report on 4-H members who attended summer camp this month. Thanks to Jennifer Moseley for the information.

Red River Parish attended on June 11-15, 2018 4-H Camp a premier 4-H event of the year for 4-H members 9 to 12 years old at Camp Grant Walker in Pollock, Louisiana. 16 Red River 4-H club members, 4 Jr. Counselors and an adult volunteer traveled to Camp Grant Walker to represent Red River Parish.

4-Her’s who attended were Hannah Worsham, Chloe Jordan, Jaci Carter, Rafe Suggs, Eian Jennings, BriAunna Taylor, Xavier Bishop, Kenneth Thomas. Luke Williamson, Ben Moseley, Tristen Tipton, Madison Chamberlin, Ava Darby, Cyli Hinson, Emily Morgan, Raegan Cannon, Regan Prosperie, Jayden Scott, Renee Prosperie, Chloe Pickett. 4-H Agent Terry Foster and Volunteer Erica Morgan.

The camp week consists of four days, beginning on Monday afternoon when the campers arrive at camp and ending on Friday morning after breakfast. 4-H Agents, volunteer leaders, and teen counselors from each parish attend camp and stay in the cabins with the campers.

Campers participated in one of (7) educational tracks: Science, Engineering, and Technology; Outdoor Adventures; Hunter Safety; Water Safety; Louisiana Wetlands; Food and Fitness; and General Arts. Campers will also have recreational time to play various sports, archery, swimming, canoeing and kayaking, stand-up paddle-boarding, and line dancing. Other choices include team-building activities, performing arts, visiting with friends, and shopping for souvenirs in the Camp Store. Evening programs consist of skits, talent show, Vespers, and special guest speakers.

We would like to thank the following Sponsors for your support of Red River 4-H program by being a donor helping us to raise $900 to help defer cost of attending camp. With your donation you have been instrumental helping 4-H to shape the leaders of tomorrow. These campers will bring back memories they will keep for a lifetime. Your kindness will never be forgotten by me, the parents and camper from Red River Parish. Sponsors: Jerry Glover-Bank of Coushatta, John Brewer-Red River Parish Journal, Tray Murray-State Farm Insurance, Mr. Neil and Mrs. Jullie Mikkalo, Mrs. Rhonda Shaver, Mr. Merel and Mrs. Marry Waters, Better Finance, and Mr. Chris Slatten.

There are some pictures of camp life accompanying this article. Included are Madison Chamberlin making spin art with a bicycle, Jayden Scott and Regan Prosperie helping do lunch duty at camp, Jaci Carter and Ava Darby swimming in the lake at summer camp, and Luke Williamson enjoying his track.

ETC… for June 29th.


The library’s summer series of programs for children takes a week off next week for the July 4th holiday. The series resumes July 9th with the Red River High School Band appearing at the Library at 2:00 pm. Bring the children and meet Band Director Yasmine Jason and band members.

Children’s Librarian Kala Sims reminds you that you can join the summer reading program. Children who read a set number of books, or have books read to them (for younger kids) are invited to an end of summer celebration at the library.

The Red River Council on Aging is having their annual membership drive through July 5th. It costs nothing to join and membership is open to residents of the parish who are 18 or older. The annual membership meeting will be Tuesday, July 17th at 1:00 pm at the Council on Aging on Front Street.

We’ve got a holiday coming up. It is NOT to commemorate grilling or boating or fishing. But do you know what it commemorates? Here is a hint “When in the course of human events…”

Riverdale’s New Principal

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The Journal first reported two weeks ago that the Riverdale Academy board had selected Dr. Robert Peters as the school’s new Principal. Dr. Peters sat down with The Journal last Friday to discuss his thoughts and plans for the coming school year.

Dr. Peters is no stranger to Red River Parish. He has resided at Fairview, just below the parish line since 1994. He is a member of Fairview Baptist Church. Dr. Peter was Principal at Coushatta High in 2001 and transitioned the school to Red River High School in 2002. From 2008 to 2014 he was Headmaster at Central School at Grand Cane.

His office is just to the right as you enter the school’s front doors. It is small and sparsely furnished. He said, “That’s not my priority. Pictures on the wall and other fixtures can come later. I’ve got some other things to do first.”

The new principal describes Riverdale as “a school that nurturers a set of traditions to which families are very attentive.” He cited the Ice Cream Supper and the way the school conducts graduation ceremonies as two examples. “Riverdale is very dedicated to tradition,” he added. “The school’s culture is oriented toward sports,” said Dr. Peters, “with plenty of room to grow and expand academic excellence.”

The Journal asked Dr. Peters what would be his first task as principal. He said, “We have to recruit more students. We have to further enhance our academic excellence. And we have to maintain the tradition of sports and academic excellence.”

A couple of points Dr. Peters emphasized during the interview are that Riverdale Academy has to assure that all teachers are certified or working to complete their certification by the state of Louisiana. He said, “This is necessary so that we can offer the TOPS scholarships and also so that we can participate in MAIS sports. My job is to assure that our teachers are properly certified to meet the requirements of both the state of Louisiana and the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools. And that our traditions of a strong sports program and emphasis on academic excellence are maintained.”

Dr. Peters stressed, “Riverdale does not discriminate on the bases of race, sex or national origin.” He added, “Our board claims an overarching Christian world view. A school making that claim can talk about all subjects in the context of the divine origin. We place subjects in proper context so that students will be taught their subjects pointing to the divine origin.”

“We will build upon and strengthen our academic excellence,” said Dr. Peters. “We are offering dual enrollment classes with colleges and universities and this will be strengthened. This is of particular interest to our seniors,” he added.

Another challenge Dr. Peters noted, “We are working to make the public aware of Riverdale Academy’s accomplishments. And we are working to attract more students to both our athletic and academic excellence.”

Coushatta Native Heads State VFW Auxiliary

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Coushatta native Angelia McCoy was installed as the President of the Louisiana Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars of Louisiana. The installation was made during the 84th annual state convention of the Auxiliary held in Alexandria.

McCoy told the gathering, “This year my theme is ‘Angel Flight – Till They All Come Home.’ All of our missing should be accounted for.” McCoy added, “I am looking forward to a year of working for veterans and supporting programs of the VFW at the state and local level. The Auxiliary supports the work of the VFW for veterans. I am excited to be working with Matthew West, the new VFW State Commander in carrying out our service to vets.”

McCoy comes from a military family. Her father, the late Dan Cotton was a Marine who served in combat in Vietnam. Dan and wife Anna Cotton served the Coushatta VFW Post and Auxiliary 7287 for years. McCoy is married to husband Barry of 30 years. He is a veteran of Desert Storm in 1991-92 and also the commander of the Coushatta VFW Post.

Also at the Auxiliary convention, Ramel Fields and Heather McCoy of the Coushatta chapter were named to state positions. Fields was installed as State Chaplin and McCoy was named to the ceremonial post of Banner Bearer.

Fields’ husband David concluded his year as Commander of VFW District 12 covering the parishes of northwest Louisiana. Fields serves as the Adjutant of the Coushatta Post.

VFW Post 7287 and Auxiliary 7287 serve all veterans in the area. Those with combat experience are invited to join the post. Persons related to combat vets are invited to join the Auxiliary. Both groups will meet this Thursday, June 28th at 7:00 pm. Meeting will be held at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church on Ashland Road.

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Top Twelve in the Nation

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A Coushatta athlete has been selected one of the top baseball players in his age division in the US. He is Tyler Hughes, son of Timmy and Alison Hughes.

Alison Hughes told The Journal, “Tyler was selected as a USSSA Baseball All American. This means he is one of the top 25 players in the nation in the 12 and under age division.”

Hughes said, “We will travel to Viera, Florida in August for him to play on the All American team. This is a huge honor and accomplishment.” Hughes added, “He was chosen as a result of being invited to a tryout based upon his stats and play in USSSA tournaments.”