Celebration of Creole Heritage Next Month

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The 20th annual Creole Heritage Celebration will be held Sept. 13-15 in the Friedman Student Union at Northwestern State University. The theme of the celebration sponsored by The Creole Heritage Center at NSU is “Struggles & Persistence – But Still We Rise.”

Registration for all events is $75 for Creole Heritage Center members and $90 for non-members. Tickets to just the banquet are $40 for Center members and $50 for non-members. Tickets to the dance only are $20 for an individual and $30 for a couple for members and $25 per person and $40 per couple for non-members. Tickets can be reserved online at creoleheritage.eventbrite.com.

Elvis Thrills Them All

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Last Friday afternoon Elvis arrived at Green Meadow Haven. It was almost an hour of music, fun, autographs and pictures with the King. It was a time to forget today and stroll back to the early days of Rock and Roll.

Residents and staff rocked to Jailhouse Rock. They swooned to Fools Rush In. And some fortunate ladies experienced the King singing directly to them as he placed his blue, red or pink scarf around their neck and shoulders.

On stage was Greg William of Shreveport and his Elvis Tribute Show. William told the Journal, I have been doing the tribute show for over 20 years and I do a regular monthly show in Shreveport.” William has the Elvis look including long black mutton chop sideburns and red sequenced jump suit.

When he isn’t doing his Elvis tribute, William is a Caddo Parish Deputy Sheriff. He said, “I do the show because the older people enjoy it. Some people talked me into performing in a talent show long ago. I won! And I’ve been doing it ever since.”

In the concluding moments, the King did a medley of Teddy Bear, Don’t Be Cruel, Fools Rush In, and he capped it off with I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You. And then presented another brightly colored scarf with which he had wiped his brow.

Then it’s off to socializing with the guests. He took pictures with as any as wanted an extra special something to remember the show. And Greg William created memories the residents will talk about for months to come.

Then Elvis left the building.

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Sheriff’s Office Offers Hunter Education Course

A Hunter Education Course will be offered next month by the Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office. Participation is limited although there is no charge. Here is the information from the Sheriff’s Office:

“For those interested in taking the Louisiana Hunter Education Course, the Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office will be hosting the training on September 17-19, 2018. The course is required for anyone born on or after September 1, 1969 in order to hunt in the state of Louisiana (unless he/she is under the direct supervision of a qualified person as defined by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries).”

Cost: FREE

Dates: September 17-19 (M-W)

Time: 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. each evening

Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office Shooting Range
7605 Hwy 371
Coushatta, LA 71019

Who can attend: Anyone 10 years of age or older from any parish (limited to the first 50 people to register)

How do I register: Pre-registration is required on the Louisiana Wildlife & Fisheries website (see link below)

Instructors: Captain Tracy Scott, Lieutenant Roger Longino, Sergeant Johnny Tingle and OEP Director Shane Hubbard

We look forward to seeing you there!


Pictured below is the Hunter Education Class from last December. They are pictured at the Sheriff’s gun range on Highway 371.

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Student of the Month

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Student of the Month is returning to Red River schools. The Coushatta VFW Post and Auxiliary are sponsoring the award. It will be made at the regular meeting of the school board beginning Monday September 10th.

Teachers and school faculty will nominate students and present reasons they should be chosen the Student of the Month. The nominees will be judged and the winner selected. The award program will run throughout the school year.

The student selected will be honored with their own “Certificate of Merit” presented by representatives of the VFW Post and Auxiliary. There will be special treats presented in the form of a gift card to Dairy Queen.

VFW Post 7287 and Auxiliary 7287 have served veterans in the Red River Parish area since January 1972. They also present the Voice of Democracy, Patriots Pen and Americanism programs to students in first through 12th grades. Those programs will begin shortly.

Any veteran seeking information on benefits they have earned while serving this country may call the post at 318-932-6557.

Spirit Shirts for Red River

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Spirit Shirts are available to all Red River students. High School Principal JC Dickey notified parents and students via email and phone call of a special incentive for wearing the spirit shirts…a three-dollar discount on the price of admission to sporting events.

“An order form for an Athletic Spirit Shirt was sent home today. These shirts are $12 a piece and just for Red River Parish Students. For every student who purchases a shirt and wears it to all home games at the High School will receive a discounted ticket of $3 off. This includes all sports football, basketball, track, and more. These shirts will stand out in the crowd and show our community spirit.

“Please turn in order forms to your school but make checks payable to Red River High School and wear your shirt to the game for your discount. Shirts will not be ready for this Friday’s game but with a copy of your paid order form you can still get this discount. We will also be outside selling these shirts Friday night by the ticket booth. We hope all students purchase these shirt and wear them proudly as they get into all of Red River High Schools Athletic Events at a discount rate.

“We also want to invited all of our high school students to join us on the field in the endzone to sit in the new student section of the bleachers. These bleachers are just for you to be loud and cheer on your Bulldogs. Last year Bulldog Athletics had a great year. Let’s keep it going Bulldog Nation! All the way to STATE!!”

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Kids Life Returns for Fall Semester

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“Parents love it,” said Pastor Matt Endres, “They think it’s a good program and are glad their children are getting the Bible study.” Endres is talking about the beginning of the third year of Kids Life at Fairview Baptist Church on September 5th.

Kids Life is a program Fairview Baptist developed to meet the needs of their parents and children. Endres explained that children are placed on teams by grades. “They get appropriate Bible study, worship, singing and games for their age. We have a team for 4 and 5 year olds up to kids in the 6th grade.”

Children learn games and life skills over a six-week period. They are called TrackTimes and activities offered range from singing to sports to duck tape creations. Endress said, “Each child selects his or her own subject for TrackTime. Each will take three tracks in the fall and two to three in the spring. They can get up to six tracks throughout the year.”

Kids Life begins the fall semester next Wednesday evening. The program begins at 5:55 and runs until 7:00 pm. “There are here during the dinner hour, so we include the evening meal in our program,” Endres added, “that saves parents fixing supper for their children on Wednesday.

Fairview Baptist Church is located on US 71 in South Red River Parish. For further information visit Facebook.com/fairviewkidslife or call 318-932-5940.

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ETC… for August 31st


Social Springs Baptist Church is beginning a revival this weekend. Here is a post from Bro James Hester: “As we have been praying for our upcoming revival meeting that will start Sunday, God has seen fit to save 3 people already this week! – 1 Sunday night, 1 Tuesday night, and 1 tonight!! Join us Sunday as we celebrate in baptism and kick off what is sure to be a blessed week with Bro. Richard Kaufman, Bro. Price Harris, and Mrs. Donna Weaver! Do it again, Lord!!”

Students needing help preparing for the TEAS test can get it from NSU. Northwestern State University’s Office of Electronic and Continuing Education will offer a TEAS (Test of Essential Academic Skills) Boot Camp Sept. 7 and 14 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. 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 nsula.edu/ece/non-credit-programs.

It’s Friday and football is in the air. Tonight Red River High kicks off its fall schedule by hosting Lincoln Prep. Kickoff is at 7:00 pm in Strother Stadium. See the story on Spirit Shirts in this edition for a special student ticket discount. The game will be streamed live on Journal Sports. Go to The Journal’s website or Facebook page and click on the “listen here” button. Broadcast begins at 6:45 pm. The game will also be carried on Coushatta radio station KRRP 950.

It is the last day to do banking before the Labor Day weekend. Financial institutions, government offices and others will take Monday off. Things get back to normal on Tuesday.

And a final thought. If you will be in Caddo Parish tonight State Police Troop G plans to participate in a multi-agency sobriety / seat belt checkpoint from approximately 10:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. at an undisclosed location. Troup G said, “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.”

Important Addition to Coushatta

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Mayor Johnny Cox and the Coushatta Town Council are pleased to see the new Verizon Tower standing tall which they approved a year ago. The tower is located in the center of Coushatta on land directly behind the S&S Storage buildings along the railroad.

The Mayor said, “The new tower is a necessity in today’s technological world and a welcoming addition for the Town. It will help provide better cellphone service for Verizon customers.”

Several readers of The Journal contacted us asking “What about people with AT&T service? Is anything happening to help improve our service?” You may recall that AT&T was the first cell service to erect a tower near Coushatta. That was back in the analog cell phone-in-a-bag days a couple of decades ago. As new cell service was introduced and Verizon and others came into the market, AT&T customers voiced concerns that they were being left behind by technological advances.

Mayor Cox told The Journal, “AT&T will have the option to rent space for better service for AT&T customers as well.”

The Journal reported last week that the crew erecting the tower expected the tower to be integrated into Verizon’s phone system this week and be put into service in as soon as two weeks.

One thing is certain. Coushatta’s skyline from just about any direction is forever altered. The tower and it’s blinking obstruction warning light can be seen day or night.

Bulldogs Open Season Friday Night

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The Red River High School opens their 2018 Football season Friday night. The Bulldogs will host Lincoln Preparatory School at 7:00 pm in Pat Strother Memorial Stadium.

Last Thursday night Red River hosted Loyola of Shreveport for a jamboree. The varsity team played two quarters. They came up one point short with the Loyola Flyers taking the match 7 to 6. Both schools JV teams played a 10-minute match following the varsity match.

From the stands play from both teams looked a little shaky. Both coaches saw some things they need to work on. However there were many more positive plays executed by the Bulldogs at the jamboree.

Rebels Are One and One

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Riverdale Academy’s young football season is tied at one win and one loss. The Rebels fell to the Saints from Prentiss Christian School in Prentiss, Mississippi on Friday night.

The match was scoreless for much of the first half. Both teams had opportunities but did not score early. Prentiss scored near the end of the first half and kicked a one point after for seven points. Just a short time later the Rebels put the ball in the end zone. They converted for two points.

At halftime Riverdale lead 8 to 7. In the second half the Rebels mounted several drives but were not able to score again. Meanwhile, the Prentiss Eagles scored three times and added on one two-point conversion.

Final score was Prentiss 27 and Riverdale 8. That made Riverdale’s season record 1 and 1. Riverdale has a bye this week. They have a long trip ahead for Friday September 7th when they travel to Wilkinson County Christian Academy at Woodville, Mississippi. That is just across the Louisiana line, north of Baton Rouge. Maps says it is a three-and-a-half hour drive.

The Journal will broadcast that game live on http://www.RedRiverParishJournal.com so you won’t miss the action.

Journal Sports Takes You There

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High school football is in full swing. Some of the games are very far away. If travel isn’t convenient, you may enjoy the play-by-play of every game on Journal Sports. Here is a look at the out of town games. Announcers Steven Bryant, Billy Rogers, Chris Lewis, John Brewer and others will bring every play direct to your favorite electronic device. Look for the logo below and click on the game of your choice.

September 7th Red River travels to Arcadia. That same night Riverdale’s Rebels take a long road trip to Woodville, Mississippi.

September 14th Riverdale travels even farther, to Gulfport, Mississippi to play Collegiate Christian Academy. Red River’s trip is only half an hour to Mansfield.

September 21st Red River travels to Alexandria to play Alexandria Senior High. Riverdale is at home.

September 28th Riverdale is on the road. The Rebels play Franklin Academy at Winnsboro. Red River is at home.

October 5th Red River goes to Winnfield for their first district game of the year. Riverdale is at home.

October 12th is Homecoming for both Red River and Riverdale.

October 19th Red River makes their longest trip of the season. They play in Bunkie. Riverdale is at home.

October 26th Riverdale makes it’s last road trip to Lake Providence to play Briarfield Academy. That will conclude Riverdale’s regular season. Red River is at home

November 2nd Red River concludes their regular season on the road. They make their second trip to Alexandria, this time to play Holy Savior Menard.

If either team makes the playoffs in 2018, the Journal will be there with all of the exciting action. So if you are unable to go to the game, we will have it live. By the way, you can listen to the game anywhere there is an Internet or Wi-Fi connection by going to The Journal’s website or Facebook. So tell your out of town friends and relatives they can listen wherever they may be on game night.

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Welcome Back

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“I’m excited about being back in Coushatta,” said Pam Gates. She has rejoined Dr. Greg Bell and the Willis Knighton Rural Health Clinic here. The Journal caught up with Gates and Dr. Greg Bell this week.

Gates told The Journal, “I was driving 100 miles round trip to work for several years and the drive got old.” She added, “I had always loved the patients here in Coushatta when I worked with Dr. Bell earlier.”

Dr. Bell said’ “We had an opening, so I called Pam. We had worked over twenty years together at the Ringgold Rural Health Clinic.” Dr. Bell expressed his confidence in Gates’ abilities, “She can handle everything I do. The people know her and I am tickled she is back.”

Also in the photo is Hirni Patel. She is a third year medical student at LSU Health in Shreveport. She is in Coushatta shadowing Dr. Bell to learn about his practice. Patel says her goal in medicine is “to go into a field with long relationships with patients and their families. A relationship that is more than just seeing to my patient’s medical needs.”

Dr. Bell says he provides instruction and a practical look at the practice of medicine in the Rural Health Clinic in Coushatta to LSU Health Students for a two-week period. And he does it three times a year. Patel expressed an interest in learning about the relationships Dr. Bell has with his patients so she could incorporate that into her own practice some day.

ETC… for August 29th



School is back in session and 4-H club meetings begin soon. Riverdale Academy 4-H will begin on Tuesday, September 4 for grades 3-12. Meetings will be the first Tuesday of every month. Meetings will be held at other schools and as soon as notified, The Journal will pass the dates along.

A reminder that if your church, school or other public group is having and event or doing something that others would be interested in, send details to The Journal. Deadlines are noon Tuesday for the Wednesday edition and noon Thursday for the Friday edition. And send pictures. We love pictures!

Here are your meeting dates for September.
Police Jury has been moved from the first Monday, September 3rd to Thursday of next week due to Monday falling on Labor Day. The meeting will be Thursday, September 6th at 6 pm in the Police Jury meeting room on the third floor of the courthouse.
School Board will meet the second Monday or September 10th at the Administration Building on Alonzo Street at 6:30 pm.
Town Council meets the second Tuesday or September 11th at Town Hall at 5:30 pm.
These meetings are open to the public.

The saying is “Elvis has left the building” but has he? There was an Elvis sighting here in Coushatta recently. Lots of people saw him. Did you? The story will be in Friday’s edition of The Journal. It hits your email inbox at 5:55 am, so get up early and get all the news first.

New Tower Towers Over Coushatta


Look carefully at the picture above. It is more than a snapshot of coming into Coushatta from the south on US 71/84. Look in the middle. What is that tall orange thing sticking up behind the hotel?

It is a large construction crane. It was in the yard behind S&S Storage along the railroad tracks in the middle of downtown. That construction crane erected a big shiny metal tower. You can see it better in the bottom photos. Yes those are workmen at the top of the tower.

A local businessman and property owner, Billy Shaw told The Journal that the tower had been planned for some time. Shaw said it is his understanding that the tower is to be part of Verizon’s cellular network.

The construction foreman on the scene told The Journal the installation of the tower and cell antenna will be completed on Friday. The tower is 225 feet high and will be capable of delivering 4G and 5G service. When the tower is complete a security fence will be erected. Next week integrating the tower into the phone system will be done. It is estimated that the tower will be in service within two weeks.

Fundraiser for Local Resident

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Friends and church members of Dee Woods gathered in front of Rivertown Market
last weekend for a bake sale fundraiser. Money raised will go to Woods’ medical bills.

There were several large tables of cakes, cookies and other baked goods that had been prepared by loving hands for this special sale. Many were purchased for the cause.

Another facet of the fundraiser is a shotgun raffle. Tickets are just $2.00 each and the drawing will be tomorrow, August 25th. A large number of tickets were purchased during the bake sale, however more are still available. The sign read, “Contact Marcus with Pickett Ind.”

Elementary School MVPs Recognized

From Shenell Deville, Principal at Red River Elementary.

For the 2018-2019 school year, Red River Elementary School (RRES) has adopted the theme “Game On Team.” Every month, we are recognizing staff members as our “Most Valuable Players”. These faculty members are recognized for their attendance, positive spirit, team effort, and their motivation to do above and beyond.
For the month of August our MVP Staff are Regina Lawson, Librarian, Jennifer Pickett, Kindergarten Teacher, Shelia Davis, 5th Grade Teacher, and Jacqueline Rock, Secretary.

RRES Staff Recognition Committee awarded the staff with a treat bag with their favorite snacks, a duty free lunch, certificate, and picture on the MVP spotlight bulletin board. In addition, our wonderful PAW Parents presented them with a basket of treats from Red River Industries.

Area Students Graduate From Louisiana Tech

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Two Coushatta students were awarded degrees this summer by Louisiana Tech University. The school held its summer commencement ceremony Thursday, August 16, in the Thomas Assembly Center. Graduates from Coushatta and the degrees they earned are:

Courtland Macmurphy Haskett earned a Bachelor of Science Electrical Engineering Technology and Katie Marie Oliver was awarded her Bachelor of Science. Haskett and Oliver are among 292 students awarded degrees during the single summer commencement ceremony in the Thomas Assembly Center.

During her commencement address, Dr. Angela Kennedy, CEO of the Commission on Health Informatics and Information Management Education and a former faculty member at Louisiana Tech, suggested to the graduates that they’d probably shared many of the same Tech experiences; Kennedy completed undergraduate and graduate work at Tech, then spent 19 years on the University faculty before retiring in Oct. of 2017.

“I’ve spent half my life on the Tech campus,” she said. “I know that at times, it seemed like college would last forever. Then just like that, in the blink of an eye, here we are.”
And still, this is only the beginning. “Education never ends,” Kennedy said. “You’ll never stop learning; you’ll never stop researching; you’ll never stop searching for new information.”

In addition to their diplomas, the graduates from each of Tech’s five academic colleges and the Graduate School received their Tenet Medallions inscribed with the 12 Tenets of Tech and their year of graduation. The Tenets of Tech are guiding principles and personal characteristics that students and graduates are expected to embrace and uphold during and after their time at Tech.
“The tenets will still be valuable to you if you continue to make them a part of who you are,” Tech president Dr. Les Guice told Tech’s most recent graduating class. “I’m looking forward to seeing the positive difference you’ll make in our world.”

Summer commencement officially marks the end of the summer quarter at Louisiana Tech. Fall quarter classes begin on Sept. 6.

First Home Game

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Riverdale Academy plays its first home game of the new football year. Friday night they host Prentiss Christian Academy. The game kicks off at 7:00 pm. Coach Jared Barber is looking for his second win of his coaching career.

Last week the Rebels traveled to Rebul Academy in Learned, Mississippi. They won the opening game on a rainy night 46-20. That game was interrupted by lightning. Loyal Riverdale fans donned raingear and rode out the one-hour-plus delay.

Come out and support the team. And bring your electronic device because Riverdale’s game Friday night will be streamed live on The Journal’s web page and social media site. Go to http://www.RedRiverParishJournal.com and click on “listen live.”

Gun Raffle By Red River Industries

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Hunting season is approaching. Time to get a new deer rifle. You may be able to get a new Remington 783 with a scope for a lot less than retail.

Red River Industries is holding a gun raffle for a new Remington 783 deer rifle 270 caliber with mounted scope. Tickets are available at their location on Highway 71 south of Coushatta for $5.00 each.

The drawing for the rifle will be October 12th. It will be held at Red River Industries, 6005 Highway 71. For additional information call 932-6520. Proceeds from the raffle will support Red River Industries in their work with mentally and physically challenged area residents.

ETC… for August 24th

Sunday is homecoming at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church on Ashland Road. There will be a special service at 11:00 am with Todd Pickard bringing the message. Pastor Chris Westbrook invites everyone to celebrate with them and stay after church for lunch.

LSU moved up in the latest Forbes America’s Top Colleges rankings. After being recognized as one of America’s Best Value Colleges earlier this year, LSU is also now the highest ranked public university in Louisiana in the publication’s America’s Top Colleges list. In addition, Forbes has placed LSU 59th overall among public universities nationwide, and fourth among public universities in the Southeastern Conference. “We are pleased to be once again recognized by Forbes as one of America’s Top Colleges,” said LSU President F. King Alexander.

Monday is the last Monday of August and that means it’s the day for the Men’s’ Breakfast at Coushatta First Methodist Church. Serving begins at 6:30 am. All men in the community are invited and there is no charge.

Here is a nice comment from reader R. K. F.:
As the granddaughter of Jim Florane, I enjoyed the article on the Coushatta Ferry by Joe Taylor. The RRP library has a nicely framed photo of the ferry that I donated a few years ago. I also donated a booklet about the Florane family which includes lots of pictures and details of the ferry.

And we heard from Mary A.:
Thanks you so much for your wonderful coverage of happenings in RRP. I especially enjoyed being able to hear the Riverdale football game as I was unable to attend this week. Also the coverage of the Phil Robertson event was great. Keep up the great work?

Thank you so much for your kind words. Have a comment, send it to us at TheRRJournal@gmail.com.

Congressman Comes to Coushatta

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Our member of the U.S. House of Representatives held a town hall meeting in Coushatta on Tuesday. Congressman Mike Johnson invited local elected officials and community leaders, as well as the general public, to meet with him at the Red River Parish Library.

Johnson began with an overview of the 115th Congress and with it the accomplishments and what work remains to be done. Among those cited were tax reform, the economy and job growth, regulatory reform and a rebuilding of the U.S. military. Johnson said the changes mean more jobs available because business is feeling the freedom from many regulations being erased and from lower taxes. He said that is leading to business growth.

Concerning the military, Johnson said, “Our armed forces were almost in a crisis because of low financing. Now there has been the largest pay raise for our troops in a decade. And there has been funding provided for new military equipment. We are the most powerful fighting force on the planet.” He said the U.S. is keeping terrorists and tyrants at bay.

Of interest to Louisiana is an increase in energy resources. “Our (Louisiana’s) economy services all of this,” he added. But Johnson said the state is falling behind our neighbors. He added, “Each state has to be ready to take advantage and Louisiana is not doing as well as our neighboring state. We need to adjust our government or we cannot take advantage of opportunities.” Looking to the statewide Governor and Legislature elections in the fall of 2019, Johnston added, “We need to change or we will get left behind.”

The Congressman took several questions from members of the audience. They concerned the national discourse and the divisive language that is dividing the country. Johnson answered he is concerned “because a generation that does not understand why America is great. She is great because she is good. People do not know about our country’s founding, that our rights came from God, not from a dictator, king or other source.” Johnson said, “I am optimistic we can turn the discourse around.”

A member of the audience asked about the proposed border wall and immigration reform. Johnson said the Judiciary Committee, of which he is a member, worked for a year carefully drafting a comprehensive bill. It failed to pass. Johnson said immigration is a problem because it effects many areas of the economy including jobs: the current opioid crisis and illegal drugs coming in from Mexico; the infiltration of the U.S. by radicalized terrorists.

Johnson said, “The wall is expensive for the whole border. In some areas there are far more effective and less expensive ways to do it.” He mentioned the use of drones to patrol some area where Johnson said a wall is not needed.

Other issues facing the nation include rising cost of health insurance. Johnson said Blue Cross is preparing to announce major premium increases soon. “It is a huge problem as more insurers leave the market,” he said. Another very large insurance concern for Louisiana is Flood Insurance. He said there needs to be a comprehensive disaster insurance solution that would help residents in flood prone areas, in wildfire areas, and other parts of the nation subject to natural disasters.

One area Johnson said is one of his greatest concerns is the national debt. He said, “It is 21-trillion dollars. The Congressional Budget Office predicts that by 2030 spending to service the debt and to cover social security, Medicare an other similar programs would be greater than our Gross Domestic Product. That all of our taxes would go to pay that, with nothing left over for defense or anything else. We have got to fix it now.”

Johnson spent over an hour taking questions. He concluded on a positive note. “I am optimistic that we are moving in the right direction,” Johnson said. “We need to maximize the positives Louisiana has and the country has, otherwise we are squandering our God given opportunities.”

Thanks to Trey Lewis and the Library for the great picture below of Congressman Johnson during the Town Hall.

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