Break-in Suspect Jailed

RRPJ-Arrest Harris-18Oct26On October 16, 2018 at 12:00 p.m., Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office Communications received a complaint of an attempted break-in at a residence located on U.S. Hwy 71 north of Crossroads. The resident advised that shortly before noon, an unfamiliar subject pulled his vehicle into her driveway and approached her residence. After ignoring his knocks at the door in hopes he would leave, the man proceeded to move around the residence and repeatedly knocked on the exterior of her mobile home. The homeowner then heard what sounded like a window shatter in her living room, and as she entered the room, she observed a man extending his arm inside the house. She reported that she yelled at the man as she made eye contact with him and he fled the scene in a dark colored SUV traveling south on U.S. Hwy 71 toward Coushatta.

Red River Sheriff’s Office Communications dispatched units to the location and notified all personnel of the suspect/vehicle descriptions. A short time later a Red River Parish Sheriff’s patrol deputy initiated a traffic stop on U.S. Hwy 371 near the intersection of LA Hwy 786. The deputy notified responding units that the vehicle he was stopping matched the reported suspect and suspect vehicle.

Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office investigators confirmed that the detained subject was the man in question. At 1:14 p.m. he was taken into custody without incident and transported to the Red River Parish Jail for booking. Michael D. Harris, B/M, age 53 of the 1800 block of Desoto St., Shreveport, LA was charged with one count each of the following: Criminal Trespass, Simple Criminal Damage to Property Less than $500 (MISD) and Attempted Unauthorized Entry of an Inhabited Dwelling.

Total bond was set at $60,000 and he remains incarcerated in the Red River Parish Jail. A hold has also been placed on his release by Probation and Parole (Shreveport District).

Sherry Woodard Perkins

RRPJ-Sherry Perkins Obit-18OCt26Funeral services for Sherry Woodard Perkins, 77, of Coushatta, LA will be held Friday, October 26, 2018 at 11:00 A. M. in Social Springs Baptist Church. Officiating will be Rev. James Hester assisted by Dr. Nathan Davis. Burial will follow in Social Springs Cemetery. Visitation was Thursday, October 25, 2018 from 6:00 – 8:00 P.M. at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home, Coushatta, LA.

Mrs. Perkins was born January 20, 1941 in Hall Summit, LA and passed away October 23, 2018 in Shreveport, LA.

MaMa was a special lady. She started playing the piano and organ at a young age and continued to do so until her health no longer permitted. She played her first funeral service at the age of twelve. She loved her grandchildren and great grandchild, John Warren, and was looking forward to Little Wiley’s arrival in January. MaMa loved to read and cross-stitch to pass the time. She fought the good fight and now she will hurt no more.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Warren Perkins and her parents, John and Pauline Woodard.

Left to cherish her memory include two sons, John Perkins and wife, Elizabeth of Coushatta, LA and Donnie Perkins and wife, Phyllis of Des Moines, IA; grandchildren, Jim Perkins and wife, Laura, Emily Burns and husband, Chase, Jay Perkins and wife, Taylor, Heather Collins, and Shannon Pitts and husband, David; great grandson, John Warren Perkins; great granddaughters, Desirea and Gisele Pitts and Savannah and Ava Collins; and a special friend, Heloise Pickett.

Pallbearers will be Jim Perkins, Jay Perkins, Chase Burns, Mark Garrett, Gary Giddens, Drew Moseley, Stanley Moseley, and Paxton Moseley. Honorary pallbearers will be Nubbin Pickett, Robert Perkins, Calvin Perkins, and Ethan Perkins.

Memorials may be made to the charity of your choice.

Holiday Express to Pass Us By

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Last year at this time everyone was talking about the Holiday Express coming to our area. This year Coushatta is not on their itinerary.

The Holiday Express train was created by employees of the Kansas City Southern rail system. It tours every year in November and December. In 2017 over 2,200 people were reported to have toured the train and talked with Santa and a lot of elves during the several hours it was in Coushatta.

The KCS website has posted the 2018 schedule of stops and only two are in Louisiana. The Holiday Express will be in Monroe on November 28th and in Shreveport on December 3rd. Maybe we’ll be included in future years.

Riverdale Students of the Month

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The first group of Riverdale Academy Students of the Month were presented certificates and gift cards by the Coushatta VFW and Auxiliary. Dr. Robert Peters, Principal, introduced the students. Barry McCoy, VFW Post Commander, presented each with a certificate noting their accomplishment and a gift card to Dairy Queen.

These students were selected for the month of August. They are Gracie Longino of Mrs. Hanna Wren’s Pre-K. She represented Riverdale Elementary.

Ben Moseley of Mrs. Amanda Cannon’s 5th grade represented Riverdale Middle School.

Kenley Loftin of Jared Barber’s 9th grade was selected from Riverdale High School.

VFW Post 7287 and Auxiliary 7287 of Coushatta present the Student of the Month to all schools in Red River Parish. The program was initiated for the 2018-19 school year as the Veterans of Foreign Wars expands its service to the children of the parish.

RRPJ-Riverdale studentofthemonth BOTTOM-18Oct26

The Soapbox

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The Journal gets on a soapbox only occasionally, however in the upcoming election the people of Red River Parish may be bamboozled by the last item on the ballot. It concerns fantasy sports betting. What’s that? What would a “yes” or “no” vote mean?

The issue is not technically a secret, however it is hidden at the bottom of a ballot on an election cycle that may have less than star-power attention getting races and issues. It is a tradition in this state (and others) to run something by the voters when they are not paying attention. It is done all the time with “tax renewals” and other items.

There is a website by the proponents of the matter. It gives the benefits in glowing terms and hints that it may be a new, valuable revenue stream for the state. And they add the Pied Piper argument that nearly every other state is doing it, so why not us? Remember the lottery?

I read that website and did not find out the answer to a couple of my questions. I would like to know who is behind this? Is it the fantasy sports companies? Who gets the money? Is there any certainty that the state would benefit? And would the citizens benefit?

With this article is a link to a website maintained by Public Affairs Research that explains the proposed constitutional amendments and this fantasy sports betting issue. They present both sides of the argument so the voters can make an informed decision.

The Journal is not taking a stand on this issue. I will stand on the side of voters having an opportunity to know what they are voting on. I read their stuff and PAR’s stuff. And I suggest you do the same.

Here is the link:

Click on Fantasy Sports Ballot Item. You may wish to go over the proposed constitutional amendments while you are there.

ETC… for Friday October 26th.


Yesterday was a milestone for Carroll and Dollye LeGrande, long-time residents of Lake End. They celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. Carroll and Dollye were wed in 1958 and moved to Lake End in 1961. They raised six children. They are Clay, Stace, Luke, Rachel, Jason and George. The LeGrande family includes too many grandchildren and great grands to mention. Happy 60th Anniversary to Carroll and Dollye LeGrande from their children.

Members of the two most successful football teams in modern-day Northwestern State history, the Southland Conference champion 1988 and 1998 squads, are reuniting at their alma mater this weekend during Homecoming festivities. Both teams were coached by Sam Goodwin, who will join the celebration Saturday. Dozens of team members and staff are expected to participate.

November 5th is the final food box for seniors distribution by the Red River Council on Aging. Boxes will be available for pickup from 8:30 to 11:00 am.

Monday is picture day at Riverdale Academy. The school reminds students that in addition to regular school pictures the yearbook, cap and gown, sports and cheer pictures will be taken.

Riverdale Academy concludes the 2018 Football Season on the road tonight. The Rebels travel to Lake Providence. They will play the Briarfield Academy Rebels in a district game. The game will be broadcast live on The Journal’s website and social media sites. Steven Bryant and Ty Hester will provide play-by-play beginning about 6:45.

Thrown Together Makes Great Showing

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Story and Photo by Debbie Narvaez

Our own local southern rock band “Thrown Together” from Coushatta competed in the “Dixie Maze Shout Out” located in Shreveport on Saturday 10/20/2018 and won 3rd Place. This gives them an opportunity to perform for Centenary College.

The band rocked the stage with three songs “American Band,” “Zombie” and “Country Girl.” The band is made up of five members; Allie Greer who is 13 years old (vocals, piano and guitar), James Phillips who is 13 years old (rhythm guitar), Randall Dalme who is 16 years old (bass), Austin Cooper who is 13 years old (drums) and Nick Narvaez who is 16 years old (lead guitar).

Thrown Together has been playing together for about six months. They have appeared at several festivals in Shreveport. They also have performed in local restaurants such as the York Chop in Coushatta and El Nopal in Shreveport with an invite to play again soon.

4Given in Concert

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The gospel group 4Given gave a powerful concert on Saturday night at Open Door Fellowship. Members of many churches in the parish turned out to fill the auditorium and enjoy the music.

4Given is made up of Mark Smith, Jarrett Bailey, David Adams and Ken Adams. Su’Anice Bailey accompanies them on keyboard. If you have ever heard angels sing, you were probably there Saturday night.

The concert opened with a powerful acapella rendition of “There is a Sweet Sweet Spirit.” That set the tone of the evening. Mark Smith told the audience that they would follow with “perhaps the most familiar song to most people.” Everyone agreed when the group began “Jesus Loves Me.”

Another familiar and powerful song 4Given performed was “Why Me Lord” by Kris Kristofferson. Smith detailed Kristofferson’s own account of going to church with country singer Connie Smith one Sunday after the two had performed on Saturday night. As the story goes, at the end of the service there was an altar call, and Kristofferson had no intention of answering. But he said there he was raising his hand and then going forward. And that inspired him to write and record what would become his most popular song. Jarrett Bailey started it off asking the question “Why Me Lord?”

The group performed many very familiar songs and looking around the room you could tell when one or another was tugging at a heart. Prior to the final song, Mark Smith issued his own altar call. He said, “Life is certainly scary at times but we can know without any doubt where we are going if we accept Jesus Christ as our savior.” And that lead into their most powerful song of the night, “Because He Lives.”

The audience absorbed every word. They clapped and sang along. And 4Given invited all to stand and sing along with the final chorus, and then added another final chorus. There were many friends who greeted each other along with members of the group as they slowly left the church.

The Saturday night concert was part of the weekend celebration of the 10th anniversary of Open Door Fellowship. Joshua Loftin has a report on the Sunday celebration. It will appear in Friday’s edition of The Journal.

One in Custody Following Armed Robbery and Shooting

RRPJ-Arrest-Shooting-18Oct24Shortly after 8:00 p.m. on October 15, 2018, Red River Parish Sheriff’s Communications received multiple calls for service involving weapons and shots fired. Multiple Coushatta Police Department and Red River Parish Sheriff’s units were dispatched to three different locations within the city limits of Coushatta.

At 8:08 p.m. Red River Parish Sheriff’s Communications received a call regarding an altercation at the Natchitoches Meat Pie facility located in the Industrial Park in Coushatta. At 8:11 p.m., the second call was received which reported a gunshot victim at a residence on Jones Street in Coushatta. The third call came in at 8:21 p.m. from a residence on Brittain Street, which is in the same residential neighborhood as Jones Street. This call reported a residential break-in with shots fired.

Responding officers/deputies located a victim at the Jones Street location who was suffering from a gunshot wound to the face. Red River EMS subsequently transported this individual to University Health in Shreveport for treatment of what was classified as non-life-threatening injuries.

While investigating at the Brittain Street location, officers/deputies learned of a second gunshot victim that was transported from that residence by private vehicle to Christus Coushatta Emergency Room. This victim was suffering from two gunshot wounds, also classified as non-life threatening, and was later transferred to University Health in Shreveport for treatment.

Multiple Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office detectives responded to the various scenes/locations to assist the Coushatta Police Department officers with crime scene processing, interviews, etc. During the course of the investigation it was confirmed that both shootings and the incident at the local business were related.

The suspected shooter, later identified as Marcus Davis, reportedly held a worker at gunpoint at the Natchitoches Meat Pie facility in what appears to be an armed robbery. After taking money from the victim, Davis then forced the worker to produce his keys and drive them to the worker’s residence located on Brittain Street. Once at the residence, the victim tried to flee into the residence which resulted in the assailant firing multiple rounds, striking the victim twice.

It appears that Davis then fled the scene where he encountered the second (unrelated) victim at a nearby residence. The second victim was unaware of what had just taken place and confronted the suspect as he passed on his property. He was subsequently shot in the face. The victim sought help at the home on Jones Street where he was located by responding officers/deputies.

On October 16, 2018, the Coushatta Police Department secured two warrants for the arrest on the suspect. Davis also had an outstanding arrest warrant through the Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office for three weapons related charges stemming from an incident occurring on July 28, 2018 at the Silver Dollar Liquor Store south of Coushatta. It was also learned that the suspect had outstanding warrants from the Winfield Police Department also stemming from gun violence.

Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office detectives assisting in the investigation, developed leads as to the location of the suspect. On October 17, 2018, deputies and detectives responded to a residential location on LA 480 (Red Oak Road) near the Springville community to execute the arrest warrants. Davis was taken into custody following a brief standoff without incident.

Marcus D. Davis, B/M, age 28, of the 100 block of East Riddle St., Coushatta, LA was transported to the Red River Parish Jail (RRPJ) and booked on the following charges: Illegal Use of Weapons or Dangerous Instrumentalities (3 counts), Illegal Carrying of Weapons (3 counts), Possession of a Firearm or Carrying Concealed Weapon by a Person Convicted of Certain Felonies (3 counts), Attempted First Degree Murder, Armed Robbery, Aggravated Kidnapping, Carjacking, Home Invasion, Attempted Second Degree Murder, and 4 Out of Parish Fugitive Warrants. Three of the fugitive warrants were from Winnfield Police Department and included charges of Attempted Second Degree Murder, Illegal Use of Weapons or Dangerous Instrumentalities, and Possession of a Firearm by a Person Convicted of Certain Felonies. The fourth fugitive warrant originated from Winn Parish Sheriff’s Office for Failure to Appear.

Total bond for Davis was set at $1,000,000 and he remains incarcerated in the RRPJ. A hold has been placed on his release by the Winn Parish Sheriff’s Office and Winnfield Police Department.

Coordination between the Coushatta Police Department and the Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office resulted in the speedy apprehension of this extremely dangerous individual.

One Arrested in High Speed Chase

RRPJ-Arrest Weems-18Oct24A Melrose, LA woman ended up in the Red River Parish Jail last Wednesday after leading law enforcement on a chase through Coushatta and up US 71. No one was injured although the suspect is reported to have driven in excess of 80 miles per hour.

Coushatta Police Chief Kevin Stafford said the incident began in the MaxWay parking lot in Coushatta. It is believed the suspect and others came to Coushatta from Natchitoches Parish where the disagreement started.

Chief Stafford said his officers reported a stolen vehicle from Natchitoches parish was on their watch list. Someone called the sheriff’s office about a commotion in the MaxWay parking lot. Coushatta PD Officer Babers took the initial call and called for back-up from the Chief.

Stafford said, “The suspect almost hit my car when the chase began. The vehicle ran onto Ringgold Avenue then up US 71 at speeds of up to 75 and 80 miles an hour.” Stafford said units from the Sheriff’s Office joined in the chase and they radioed ahead to Bossier and Bienville Parishes that the suspect may be headed their way.

“It all ended up at Loggy Bayou,” said Stafford. He added, “The driver tried to turn onto LA 4 headed towards Ringgold but the car went into the grassy area where it was stopped.”

The weekly arrest report from the Sheriff’s Office identified the suspect as Kelsey Danay Weems of Melrose, LA. She is charged with 2 counts of aggravated second degree battery, reckless operation, illegal possession of stolen things, 2 counts of aggravated flight from an officer, aggravated assault with a motor vehicle upon a peace officer, possession of drug paraphernalia and a fugitive warrant from Grant Parish.