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From Rodney Williams:
“This is for your journal; in honor of my grandfather Douglas Williams who was struck and killed by the car on Hwy 480 a week or so ago. He was a WWII vet. 93 years old and loved his family, friends and his tractor. This is my solute to him. He will be missed.”
Visitation for Mr. Williams was held Wednesday, and the funeral was Thursday under the direction of Rocket Nettles Funeral Home.
By Faerie Sledge
The 24 member children’s choir of First Baptist Church, Coushatta, presented its annual Christmas musical at the church on Sunday evening, December 2, 2018. This year’s musical was “Wrapping All the Way”, written by Christy and Daniel Semsen.
According to WordKidz, the musical “is a story of Tuneville –where the townspeople are known as Tunies, and their leader, King Dazzlebaum, has declared that every day is Christmas. The town’s big celebration, Tinsel Mania, is about to take place. But wait…a devastating sleigh bell storm is about to change all that! Can local gift wrapper/rappers Tansy and Filbert save the day?”
Children performing were Adyson Barrett, Dally Bell, Trevor Bell, Cannon Breedlove, Carter Breedlove, McKinley Davis, Reagan Davis, Hanna Catherine Huddleston, Mary Clair Jones, Hope Mills, Jenna Mills, Julia Mills, Ben Moseley, Morgan Moseley, Hannah Murray, Sam Murray, Tinley Pearah, Summer Rushing, Ryder Shaver, Haylee Smith, Rafe Suggs, Jett Waters, Landon Webb, and Micah Webb.
Sixth graders participating in their final children’s choir production were Haylee Smith and Rafe Suggs.
Children’s choir director is Julie Page. She was assisted by teachers Melanie Davis, Hunter Brown, and Jennifer Moseley. The “behind the scenes” crew also included Jennifer Breedlove, Jenna Rushing, Stefanie Smith, and Christy Suggs. The choir extends thanks to the many other volunteers who helped with the production. Dr. Nathan Davis is pastor.
First Baptist Children’s Choir members are:
Back Row: Ben Moseley, Mary Claire Jones, Reagan Davis, Hanna Catherine
Huddleston, Jenna Mills, Haylee Smith, and Rafe Suggs.
Middle Row: Cannon Breedlove, Morgan Moseley, Summer rushing, Landon Webb,
Ryder Shaver, Adyson Barrett, Hannah Murray, McKinley Davis, Julia Mills,
and Carter Breedlove.
Front Row: Sam Murray, Trevor Bell, Dally Bell, Tinley Pearah, Hope Mills,
Jett Waters, and Micah Webb.
Red River Parish residents are beginning to discover the new assistance line set up by United Way of Northwest Louisiana. The non-emergency help line is free to the public. Charnae McDonald of United Way told The Journal, “Our data shows that we’ve received 52 calls from Red River residents in the past year – from 11/15/17 to 11/15/18. That makes up 0.61% of calls.”
Here is the news release from United Way:
United Way of Northwest Louisiana celebrates the first year of managing the free help line 2-1-1. The service quietly launched Nov. 2017 before making its public debut in February of 2018. During its first year, 2-1-1 received more than 9,000 requests for services from residents across a 10-parish service area. Nationwide, 2-1-1 received more than 14 million calls in 2017 to find support and information, including help with basic needs, employment services, health support and disaster assistance.
The top calls received in northwest Louisiana were for assistance with utilities, housing and food/meals. Other highly requested needs included clothing or household needs, health care, individual or family support services and transportation.
“Not only is 2-1-1 a vital solution to helping residents meet their needs with existing services, it’s also important to have the data to know where our communities are lacking service-wise and where the gaps are that need to be filled,” said United Way NWLA President and CEO, Dr. Bruce Willson.
In the past year, 2-1-1 made more than 6,600 referrals to local agencies. The top agencies to receive 2-1-1 referrals were Catholic Charities of North Louisiana, Salvation Army and Christian Service. The free service can also be used for employment help, transportation needs, government and economic services, disaster services and more.
The 2-1-1 line is a free, confidential service that connects individuals to resources and services in their local communities by phone, text and on the web. The service is available 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. The program provides callers with information and referrals on subjects from basic human needs such as food and clothing to government services such as support for children and veterans.
With the launch of United Way 2-1-1 in northwest Louisiana a year ago, Louisiana 2-1-1 was restored as a statewide information and referral system. The northwest Louisiana region, encompassing more than 525,000 residents, did not have 2-1-1 services for more than four years prior to the 2017 soft launch by United Way and many local citizens struggled to find vital resources. During those four years, the region witnessed record flooding and multiple outlying hurricanes that affected local resources. Should these events occur again, northwest Louisiana residents will have one easy-to-remember source to call for help.
For more information, please visit UnitedWayNWLA.org/2-1-1
The Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office has identified two suspects arrested in connection with an attempted home invasion reported on Grand Bayou Loop. See the December 19th edition of The Journal.
The two are identified as Isiah James Lewis Woodward of Natchez, LA and Nicholas J Davis of Natchitoches, LA. Sheriff’s Officers arrested Woodward the morning of December 16th and the arrested Davis the afternoon of December 17th.
Several area law enforcement agencies took part in a manhunt that followed reports of an attempted home invasion in the Grand Bayou Loop area. A couple of days later the Sheriff’s Office reported the manhunt had concluded with two suspects arrested and two more suspects thought to have left the area.
Isiah James Lewis Woodward was charged with attempted home invasion, reckless operation of a vehicle, principal to burglary of a motor vehicle, aggravated assault with a motor vehicle upon a peace officer, aggravated flight from an officer, conspiracy to commit armed robbery and theft of a firearm. Bond was set for Woodward at $35,000.
Nicholas J. Davis was charged with attempted home invasion, simple burglary, theft of a firearm, aggravated assault with a motor vehicle upon a peace officer, aggravated flight from an officer, conspiracy to commit armed robbery and another charge of theft of a firearm. Davis’ bond was also set at $35,000.
According to the Sheriff’s Arrest Report issued December 24th neither Davis or Woodward had been released on bond.
The tall dark headed figure in the sequenced jump suit crooned, “Darling let me be around you every night, run your fingers through my hair and cuddle me real tight.” Ladies hearts fluttered, and a few tears were shed. And the day’s troubles vanished into thin air.
Elvis was in the house!
It was a few days before Christmas and the residents of Green Meadow Haven gathered in the dining room for their annual celebration. Greg Williams performed his Elvis Tribute show and brought back memories of a day and time long ago.
He sang all of Elvis’s hits and some great old rock and roll songs by other artists from the 50’s and 60’s. Recalling Elvis’ Las Vegas live show, Williams crooned and wiped his brow with a silk scarf. He brought more than one, in fact Williams pulled scarf after scarf out, dabbed his brow, and lovingly placed it around a ladies’ shoulders.
He shook and sang and the men and women who came to the show responded with applause and singing. Some of them got up to dance. Some of Santa’s Elves were there in the person of grandkids. They passed out refreshments to everyone and then hit the dance floor for a few moves of their own.
Williams put on quite a show. He touched every heart with his “Blue Christmas” and “I’ll Be Home For Christmas.” The lines from the latter said it all, “I’ll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams.”
During the Christmas weekend, troopers were focused on making our highways as safe as possible for all our citizens as they traveled for the holidays. In an effort to curb fatalities caused by impaired drivers, Louisiana State Police from Troops E (Alexandria), F (Monroe) and G (Bossier City) took part in a special DWI enforcement detail.
The weekend detail yielded 97 DWI arrests.
Additionally, dozens of other arrests were made for things such as narcotics and warrants.
Statewide fatalities are down almost 14% with 655 in 2018 compared to 758 in 2017, but with a goal of zero, we have more work to do.
Louisiana State Police wish to remind motorists that having a plan in place before consuming any alcohol is the best practice.
Motorists that witness impaired and/or reckless drivers are encouraged to call *LSP (*577) and report that activity to the nearest Louisiana State Police troop location.
A Journal Footnote: Enjoy your New Year’s Eve celebration but enjoy it responsibly. We wish everyone a very prosperous 2019, however don’t give us anything tragic to report. Happy New Year!
2019 begins on Tuesday. In observance of New Years, Coushatta Town Hall and the Red River Parish Police Jury office will be closed Monday and Tuesday. American Bank is closing at 2:30 on Monday and will be closed Tuesday. Bank of Coushatta closes at noon on Monday and will be closed on Tuesday. And Sabine State Bank will operate regular hours on Monday and be closed on Tuesday.
Sunday evening there will be 5th Sunday Singing at Davis Springs Southern Methodist Church on US 71. Musicians and singers from Liberty Baptist Church will join them. All are invited to come and be inspired.
Shortly before Christmas…. U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) announced that President Donald Trump has signed his five-month reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The program now is reauthorized until May 31, 2019, protecting millions of American families.
“This is great news for the five million Americans who depend on this program. I don’t have to tell anyone in Louisiana how important the National Flood Insurance Program is,” said Sen. Kennedy. “Now we can work on long-term reforms. We can make the program sustainable without it becoming unaffordable.”
“The Red River Waterway Commission has opened up the boat ramps at Coushatta, Red Oak, Natchitoches, Grand Ecore, St. Maurice, and Montgomery. All others are closed at this time.”
Merry Christmas from the Red River Parish Journal
The Christmas Spirit descended upon Red River Elementary School Monday morning. It came in the form of a truck-load of new shiny bicycles. A total of 26 students were awarded bicycles.
Freedom Worship Center and Pastor Ashanti Cole headed up the effort. Students as young as three years old up through 5th grade entered a contest to earn a bike. Students in grades three through five wrote an essay on “How to Better Your Community.” Top five got a bicycle and a $100 dollar Christmas shopping spree.
The essay contest winners were Ty B Cole in 1st place, Ga’leah Williams in 2nd place, Elijah Murphy in 3rd place, Joshua Brisker in 4th place, and Brandon Palmer in 5th place. Brandon Palmer and Joshua Brisker also were awarded bicycles because of their perfect attendance.
The three year olds up through second grade earned their bike based on attendance and conduct.
Four students got bicycles based upon maintaining a 4.0 average for two semesters. Those students were Kenya Gray and Abigail McBride in 5th grade, Morgan Housley in 4th grade, and Christopher Griffith in 3rd grade.
A former Coushatta student Pollyanna Leonard is now Vice President of RISE Community Services of Shreveport. Leonard remembered the fond memories she had of our town. Her group was looking for people who make a difference in their community. They selected Ashanti Cole and presented him with their 2018 Community Improvement Award on December 2nd.
Leonard said the bicycles were all donated by individuals on the community. Freedom Worship Center conducted the project to get the bikes donated. Pastor Cole said, “I want to thank all who donated the bicycles and the money for these awards.”
Each month Red River Schools honors an Employee of the Month. For November that employee is Tamela Teel, a Para-Professional at Springville Education Center.
Teel was presented her award at the November meeting of the School Board.
The principal at SEC, Jacqueline Daniels nominated Teel. Daniels said, “Mrs. Teel works with Mr. Billy Henry, Sr., and our LAA1 students. These are very unique children that often present very different challenges. Mrs. Teel handles them with grace, care and an awareness of their possibilities.”
“She has a great rapport with her students holding them accountable but encouraging them to excel and gain a greater sense of independence and self-efficacy,” added Daniels. She called Teel “a great asset to the LAA1 program, SEC, and Red River Parish Schools.”
Mrs. Teal was presented a plaque and goodie bag from Taylor & Sons Insurance, represented at the meeting by Aquila Dunn.
Who would like a Christmas dinner with all the trimmings? Apparently, most people in Red River Parish! The Journal would like to thank everyone who entered our contest.
Congratulations to Michael Antilley of Coushatta. He wins a Christmas Turkey and all the fixings for a super holiday meal. Antilley was selected from hundreds of entries in The Journal’s first “Christmas Turkey Dinner” giveaway.
The Journal caught up with Antilley at the Red River High Gym last night. He was there for the Lady Bulldog basketball game with Green Oaks. We presented him with a gift card worth $50 to purchase turkey, dressing, desert, side dishes or anything the Antilleys wish for Christmas Dinner.
Look forward to more fun contests and prize giveaways in 2019.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all from the Red River Parish Journal.
Pastor Curtis Carroll made a special announcement about Christmas Eve services at First United Methodist Church on Front Street. Carroll invited the community to the service on Monday evening.
Carroll said, “There will be Christmas Eve candlelight service with communion beginning at 5:00 pm December 24th. We celebrate open communion. All the community is invited.”
Last Saturday Santa Clause visited the church for “Cookies With Santa.” Children from the parish gathered around to talk with old St. Nick and tell him what they wanted for Christmas. The smiles on the faces of the children told the whole story. Lots of cookies and milk were enjoyed by everyone.
Recently members of St. George and Mary Queen of Peace Catholic Churches hosted 34 Red River Parish children and their families for an evening of food and gift giving during their annual Gifts of the Magi program. Pizza and cookies were served and Santa handed out candy, a bible and multiple gifts for each child. Members of both churches donated new clothing items for the children.
Shortly before the beginning of the Christmas break, Red River schools sent information on the Flu home with every child. The two page brochure explains about all aspects of the flu including information on your child going to school with influenza.
The Journal is attaching the information for the parents who may have missed the brochure when the kids brought it home.
RRPJ-Flu 1 Bottom-18Dec21
RRPJ-Flu 2 BOTTOM-18D1ec2
From Karen Smith
Elder Daniel Paul Frazier departed this life Tuesday December 18,2018.
He was born November 12,1967 in Beaumount, Tx. He came back to Coushatta with his
Mom as a baby, Coushatta was then Home.
Paul as he was so compassionately called, was educated in the Red River Parish School System, where he graduated from Coushatta High School. He Furthered his Education by signing with Northwestern State University, where he was a member of the Demon Football team. He later decided to leave NSU early and walk on with the New Orleans Saints in 1989. After leaving the saints in 1991 he went to play in Sacramento World League Arena Football. He later moved to Houston, Texas were he worked and supported his Family. He united with the World Harvest Outreach Seventh Day Adventist church, were he served at an Elder.
In 1991 he married Roslyn Mosley, To this union 3 children were born.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from The Journal to you and your family. We are spending time with family this season and we hope you have the opportunity to do the same. The Journal will publish a brief, holiday greeting next Wednesday, then it’s back to the regular newsfeed next Friday.
Friday night Riverdale Academy is at home. Tensas Academy’s boys and girls basketball teams will be in town. The games begin at 4:00 pm with JV teams. The Journal will stream the varsity games live beginning at about 6:00 o’clock. Steven Bryant will have the platy-by-play.
Saturday December 22nd Freedom Worship Center will have a live Christmas Nativity Scene. Join them at the church on East Carroll Street for the program that begins at 5:30.
And guess who dropped by for lunch on Thursday. Santa and one of his main elves. Actually Santa had spent some of the morning at the Red River Council on Aging on Front Street. He worked with his elf (Peggy Young) passing out holiday cheer to the clients who spend their days at the council. Santa took time during lunch to present Merry Christmas wishes and candy canes to Dianne and Alvie Slatten and other folks gathered for lunch in the Depot Diner.
There is no continuing danger to members of the public following a manhunt conducted Sunday by the Sheriff’s Office. There were four suspects sought and two were captured.
A statement from Sheriff Glen Edwards to The Journal said:
“There was a manhunt off of LA 1 yesterday morning which resulted from an attempted home invasion. Two suspects have been apprehended and charged. Although two suspects are outstanding, they are no longer in the area. I am providing this information so that you are assured that the public is no longer in danger. Any release of information at this point would be counterproductive to our investigation and would hamper the identification and apprehension of additional suspects. We will do our best to issue a press release in the near future.”
Neighbors told The Journal the incident occurred in the Grand Bayou Loop area. One lady said deputies came to her home and told her to remain inside with the doors locked. Others reported seeing a large number of officers taking part in the search. And a spokesman for State Police said they had one unit dispatched to the scene for a time.
The Journal spoke with a Sheriff’s spokesperson who said the most important point is to reassure the public that there is no continuing danger from the incident.
Jennifer Feazel Mahfouz was arrested last Thursday and charged with Theft, Malfeasance and Fraud. Mahfouz was fired as Administrator of the Red River Parish Communications District last April.
The regular annual audit of the Communications District by a contract auditor turned up some suspicious transactions. The matter was turned over to the state Legislative Auditor for follow-up. The auditor released its report in July (see the July 16th issue of The Journal).
At that time the audit said the district’s former Administrator (Mahfouz) “issued 10 extra paychecks to herself…between July 2016 and January 2017.” Those extra paychecks totaled over $17,000 in 2017. In addition the report found that electronic accounting records had been altered in an attempt to cover up the discrepancies. Mahfouz told the auditors she did not realize she received extra paychecks and does not know who she overpaid herself.
On July 19th The Journal reported that District Attorney Julie Jones said she was working with the state Attorney General on the matter. “They will review the audit. They will make a thorough investigation of the results,” said Jones.
After their investigation, Attorney General Jeff Landry issued this statement:
“The people of Louisiana deserve professionals who work to make our communities better, not violate the public’s trust. My office remains committed to doing all we can to ensure public servants act in a manner that is both lawful and admirable. I commend DA Jones for her attention to this case.”
Jones issued this statement:
“I have a responsibility to the community to make sure everyone honors the law,” said Red River District Attorney Julie Jones. “I appreciate the diligence by General Landry and his office in this matter.”
On December 13th Mahfouz was arrested by the Red River Sheriff’s Office and booked on charges of Theft, False Accounting, Computer Fraud, Second Degree Injuring Public Records, Filing or Maintaining False Public Records, and Malfeasance in Office. Mahfouz posted a $10,000 surety bond that day.
District Attorney Julie Jones told The Journal that Mahfouz had been indicted by the parish grand jury earlier this month. We asked what is next in the case and Jones said, “She will be set for arraignment within 90 days of the indictment. Her arraignment date will be January 22, 2019. At the arraignment she will enter a plea and then we will proceed toward trial.”
Mahfouz remains free on bail pending the arraignment.