Methodist Men Present Christmas Cheer

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The Methodist Men of First United and Wesley Chapel United Methodist Churches presented Christmas gifts for the children of men incarcerated in the parish jail this holiday season. The Men’s’ group wrapped presents and stuffed stockings for 28 children.

On Monday morning, Warden Joey Wiggins and trustees Kelvin Demery and Jonathan Beaner joined the Methodist Men for breakfast. They left with the back of their SUV stuffed with holiday presents.

The church pastor is Curtis Carroll (in the black sport coat) was joined by Floyd Phillips, Dickie Milner, David Coffee, Jim Bethard, Tom Jones, Diane Jackson, Archie Worsham, and the youngest member Travis Bell. Your reporter flipped the pancakes, took the pictures, and stayed out of the way.

The Methodist Men meet for breakfast at 6:30 am on the last Monday of every month at First United Methodist church on Front Street. Throughout the year the group takes on various projects to benefit our parish. All men in the community are invited to join the food, fellowship and community service.


Girls Soccer is a Reality

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Years ago, School Superintendent Kay Easley dreamed of adding another varsity sport for girls to the offerings at Red River High School. It would be a soccer team and Jim Kilcoyn became the first coach. Unfortunately, not enough girls signed up to play, so the team became co-ed. They had to play as a boys’ team in district and season competition.

Fast forward to the end of the 2017-18 season. Coach Dawn Brewer had been with the team for a dozen or more years and still the dream of an all-girls team was alive and well. She found out the way Buckeye High achieved a split into both boys’ and girls’ teams was to schedule games and get the girls team into district competition. This lead girls at Buckeye to come forward.

So, Brewer set about getting games and finding a spot in district play for the team that did not exist. Not until sign up this past September. Many girls expressed an interest, including several that had played on the co-ed team last year.

On Monday night, November 26th, The Red River Lady Bulldog Soccer Team took the field against the North DeSoto girls. Eleven girls to battle a roster of twice that many from North DeSoto.

They did well. And the Lady Bulldogs received praise and complements after the game from North DeSoto Coach KJ Cunningham. She said, “It was an impressive first effort by your new team.”

Principal JC Dickey also praised the new team, “So proud of our Red River Girls soccer team, You heard me right. Tonight, was the very 1st game of girls’ soccer at Red River High school. We lost to North DeSoto but that’s OK, Because tonight we did something new and now we get to work and improve. Thank you coaches and my new girls’ soccer team at Red River. I am so proud of you all.

The ladies participating in Red River’s first Lady Bulldog soccer game were Erica Cason, Precious Gray, Victoria Rivers, Savueno Subwimol, Payal Patel, Hayley Loe, Maddie Allums, Savanna Campbell, Hannah Pickett, Jacqueline Contreras and Brianna Jones. Coach Brewer is in the middle bundled up in the blue coat. Allums, Cason, Rivers, Pickett and Jones are returners from last years co-ed team. Allums was elected First Team All-District Defensive Player and Rivers was selected for Second Team All-District. Remember they were playing in the boys division last year.

This season Red River Lady Soccer has a schedule of over a dozen games, including four district games against North Caddo, Evangel, Calvary and Loyola. They will also participate in the Bossier Bearcat Classic Friday and Saturday. The first home game is December 4th at Strother Memorial Stadium. And their first home opponent, you guessed it, the Buckeye Girls.


Coushatta Native Releases Album

RRPJ-AJ Lowring-18Nov28Submitted by AJ Lowring

I was born and raised in Coushatta. All my family still lives there. I’m currently a consultant in Baton Rouge, but I’m a musician in my spare time. On November 9th, I released a new album that I wrote and performed.

It is my third full-length, solo album. The album is titled “Sometimes I Wish I Was Something I’m Not” and contains 15 original songs written and performed by AJ in studios in Shreveport and Baton Rouge. Following in the footsteps of Roots Rock songwriting greats like Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen and current Americana favorites like Jason Isbell and Chris Stapleton, AJ blends raucous guitar sounds with honest lyrics and catchy melodies.

Though currently a resident of Baton Rouge, AJ was born and raised in Coushatta and graduated from Riverdale Academy in 2006. He is the son of Sandy Edwards Lowring of Coushatta and Ricky and Lauri Lowring of Womack. AJ is the grandson of Laura and the late Tom Edwards of Coushatta and Margie and Donald Lowring of Martin.


Christmas Gala Begins Tonight

Gala 2017

Tickets are still available for Northwestern State University’s 30th annual Christmas Gala to be performed Nov. 28-30 in the A.A. Fredericks Auditorium. Performance times are 7 p.m. each evening with a 9 p.m. performance on Nov. 30. Tickets are $15. NSU, BPCC@NSU and Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts students are admitted free with a current student I.D.

More than 300 Northwestern State students, faculty and staff in the School of Creative and Performing Arts combine their talents to present the Gala as a kickoff to the Natchitoches Christmas Festival. More than 10,000 people attend the Gala each year which is based on the long-running Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular

Gala Artistic Director Michael Rorex said this year’s performances are part of the celebration of the 30th year anniversary of the Mrs. H.D. Dear Sr. and Alice E. Dear School of Creative and Performing Arts. According to Rorex, the program will incorporate popular pieces from years past such as the non-singing monks who will be back with the “Hallelujah Chorus.” There will be an addition to the Toy Soldiers presentation and the NSU Men’s Chorus will have a new piece to present as part of the celebration.

The Gala opening will include the Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony Orchestra, the NSU Spirit of Northwestern Marching Band, the NSU Dance and Ballet ensemble, the NSU Choirs, NSU musical theatre students and all the beauty of lights and colorful backdrops on stage.

Tickets can be purchased online at capa.nsula.edu. For more information, call (318) 357-4522.


ETC… for Wednesday, November 28th

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It’s time for the annual holiday open house at the Bank of Coushatta. It will be held during the business day on Thursday, November 29th. Everyone in the community is welcome.

The Coushatta boat launch is open again. Here is the latest information from the Red River Waterway Commission:

Work is underway to open all of the public boat launches operated by the Red River Waterway Commission. Currently all boat launches are open except the following: Stoner Ave- expected to open later this week, Alexandria Levee Park- expected to open later this week, and Brouillette – closed for construction. We thank you for your patience as we work to get these launches open.

On a personal note…I found the answer to the question, “Why do I love college football?” or the “Why do I hate college football?” The LSU-A&M game on Saturday night. Which one is the right answer for you?


Community Thanksgiving Service

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Several churches in our community got together Sunday night for a Community Thanksgiving Service. There had not been a community service in several years. Resuming the tradition was the idea of Dr. Curtis Carroll of First United Methodist and Wesley Chapel United Methodist churches.

The service was held at First Methodist. The community turned out and packed the house. Dr. Carroll said, “We had at least 175 people, 5 pastors and collected an offering of $691.00 for the council on aging.”

The special music was furnished by Elizabeth Baptist Church choirs. About 30 members of their Youth Choir took the stage first. Then their Adult Choir performed. Both groups received joyous applause. Dr. Carroll issued a special thanks to Pastor Richard Logan for bringing his choirs and their very special music.

Bro. Nathan Davis of First Baptist Church delivered the message. He preached from the 100th Psalm. His message is worship the one true God through praise and singing and service. Davis said, “I can’t sing very well but I can make a joyful noise to the Lord. There is praise on my lips when I say, ‘thank you Lord Jesus’ for all you have done for me.”

Quoting the 100th Psalm, Davis explained, “He made us, and we belong to Him. For the Lord is good. He is faithful through all generations. We can get help in difficult times,” said Davis. He added, “He is our hope for today, for tomorrow, and forever. I am thankful every day for what he has done in our lives.”


Red River Schools Students of the Month

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The Students of the Month for October have been presented to the School Board. Superintendent Alison Hughes announced the winners as Keasha Clark of Red River Elementary, Trinity Demease of Red River Junior High, and Danielle Burton of Red River High School.

Burton was present at the board meeting and was presented her certificate and Dairy Queen gift card. The other students were presented their certificates and gift cards at their schools during the week.
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Keasha Clark’s nomination statement said, “She is respectful, eager to learn, and ready to engage in whatever is being done in class.”
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Trinity Demease’s nomination said, “Her effort in the classroom is unmatched. She is constantly striving to do her best and pushes herself to be excellent.”
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And the nomination for Danielle Burton said, “Danielle has continued to improve her academic skills. While keeping up with her own work, she has also been willing to help her fellow students when they need assistance.
Students of the Month at all schools in the parish are presented by VFW Post and Auxiliary 7287 as part of their service to the local community.


Holiday Closures

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Many businesses in our area will be observing holiday hours this week. Government offices and others will also take a break.

The Journal checked around and we found that the Post Office will be closed on Thursday for Thanksgiving. Coushatta Town Hall is closing at Noon on Wednesday and will be closed all day Thursday and Friday. Offices of the Police Jury will be closed Thursday and Friday.

Here is the bank closing schedule:

American Bank will be closed all day Thursday and Friday.

Bank of Coushatta will close all day Thursday and open Friday morning until Noon.

And Sabine State Bank will be closed all day Thursday and open all day on Friday.

The Red River Parish Journal will take Friday off. Our next publication will be Wednesday, November 28th. In the event something urgent occurs, we will issue a Special Update.

While you relax remember law enforcement, fire protection and medical services will be on duty. Include them on your list of things to be thankful for.


Riverdale Academy DARE Graduation

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By: Lt. Troy Murray (DARE Officer)

On November 14, 2018, after successfully completing the requirements of the DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program, fifteen fifth grade students from Riverdale Academy received their graduation certificates.

After students opened the ceremony with prayer and the pledge of allegiance, those in attendance learned a brief history of the DARE program, watched the students perform skits and heard the reading of the winning DARE report. Sheriff Glen Edwards also spoke briefly and reinforced the importance of making good decisions.

Students recognized for exceptional DARE reports were Hanna Catherine Huddleston (1st place), Charity Williamson (2nd place), and Mary Claire Jones (3rd place). Following the ceremony, a reception was held in the lunchroom for the graduates and their guests.

While there is no way to truly measure the impact of the DARE program, there should be no question that it equips our children with tools that can be helpful throughout their lifetimes. In addition to educating students on the dangers associated with drugs and alcohol, the DARE program covers much more. This includes responsible decision making, resistance strategies, peer pressure, stress, effective communication, bullying, and establishing a help network.

Sheriff Glen Edwards would like to extend his appreciation to the Riverdale Academy school board and administration for allowing the Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office the opportunity to present the program. Thanks also go to fifth grade teacher Nick Williamson, Kelly Azlin for organizing the skits, Tye and Amanda Adams for hosting the reception, and many others who helped make this year and graduation ceremony special for the students.

Great job Riverdale DARE Class of 2018! Always remember to be SAFE and RESPONSIBLE!


Christmas Music Everywhere

RRPJ-Christmas Music BOTTOM-18Nov21This holiday season you can have Christmas music everywhere! The Red River Parish Journal is now streaming Christmas favorites 24/7 on our website and social media sites. You will have holiday music on your desk top computer, your tablet, your phone, any device that is on the internet.

There is a click-on on The Journal’s masthead for “Christmas Music.” On your phone just click on the menu buttons and the “Christmas Music” button.

Carry it shopping. Enjoy it around the tree. The favorite songs of the season are playing all day and all night on The Journal and our social media pages. The stream will remain active throughout the holiday season.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Red River Parish Journal.