Council on Aging Offers Free Tax Help.


United Way and the Red River Council on Aging have partnered to provide help in filing your taxes. There is no cost for households with an income of up to $66,000. 

Charne McDonald of United Way of Northwest Louisiana told The Journal, “If qualifying residents prefer to file their own state and federal taxes, MyFreeTaxes.com offers free filing software online. United Way has partnered with H&R Block, who powers MyFreeTaxes.com to help people easily and accurately file their state and federal taxes online. MyFreeTaxes.com is a safe, easy and free way to file for taxpayers earning $66,000 or less.” 

McDonald added, “The Council on Aging in Red River is certified as a free self-help site through the other program we promote, MyFreeTaxes.com! 

At the Council on Aging, Mary Braswell is coordinating the tax filing assistance. Braswell said, “I will be available on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to help people file online. No appointment is necessary, just come to my office in the Council building on Front Street.” Braswell added, “Tax help is available from 12:30 to 3:00 pm through tax filing season.” 

Braswell told The Journal people wishing to take advantage of this free program do not have to be a member of the Council on Aging. The program is open to people of any age. There is a maximum income level for the service to be free.


Softball Fundraiser

In need of spirit clothing for Red River High? The softball team is selling Fan Cloth as a fundraiser. The team posted on Facebook, “If anyone would like to purchase some Bulldog apparel! Yall can hit me (Coach Zachary Thrasher) up for an order or any member of the softball team. You can also order online where there are 8 more items including youth sizes at show.fancloth.com/c/459847.


Superintendent’s Honor Roll Announced

Red River has publicized the Superintendent’s Honor Roll for the second nine weeks of the current school year. The high school students making the list are: 

Student Name Grade 

CASTELLO JARRETT PAUL 9 

DOWDEN HARDY MADISON 9 

JEFFERSON TERRY KENYARDY 9 

LOE HAYLEY ELIZABETH 9 

SMITH ZINTAYVIOUS MONTRAYVON 9 

WILLIAMS AYANA BRESHAY 9 

WILLIAMSON KORIE ANN 9 

ANTILLEY KAITLYN 10 

BAMBURG KELCEE JORDAN 10 

JOHNSON ARIUNA NICOLE 10 

PRICE GRACIE NOELLE 10 

CASTELLO MADISON LEE 11 

COLEMAN MALLORY LEAH 11 

GADDISON TAMARON K 11 

LEWIS KEY` AIRA JOHNEA 11 

LEWIS SHA`MYA LA`SHAY 11 

SCOTT JAYDEN MICHAEL 11 

SUBWIMOL SARUENON 11 

WIMBERLY SETH BENJAMIN 11 

ALLEN LAQUIRIYA SHENEA 12 

ANDERSON CHRISTOPHER JEROME 12 

BRADBERRY MELODY NIQUELLE 12 

BRADLEY MYA LA`TAIRIYA 12 

COLLINS TAYLOR N 12 

DRAKE PRECIOUS MIRACLE 12 

EASON TEANNA MARIE 12 

EVANS ASHLEY SHANICE 12 

HALLMON MAKAYIA 12 

HOUSLEY CHRISTIAN ALEXANDER 12 

JONES BRIANNA ANTIONETTE 12 

KEITH CHADRICK DEWAYNE 12 

LATSON NAKIA SHANETTE 12 

LEWIS ALICIA DASHON 12 

MCDONALD GAKERREON ANDRAHEL 12 

PREALOW COURTNEY TAMIA 12 

RICHMOND MAKIAH LACYNTORIA 12 

WARD JASMINE MERLINE 12 

WELLS TAMIA LAMYA 12 

WILLIAMS CHARLI JOLYNN 12


Red River Crusade Taking Shape

The area pastors putting together the third annual Red River Crusade held an organizational meeting on Wednesday. They gathered for lunch at the York Chop to go over plans for the event. 

Richard Kaufman, the Evangelism Director for the Crusade, told The Journal it was a preparation meeting to go over the week long crusade and other events leading up to it. Kaufman said, “We discussed how to get more local churches involved. We have talked to several and will see more local pastors in the coming days.” 

Present at the meeting was Bro. Sam Moore, the Evangelist for the Crusade. He presented the group with an outline of the message series he will be presenting. Moore is well known in this area as a strong preacher of the gospel. He was involved in the Crusade last year. 

The Third Annual Red River Crusade will be the week of May 6 through 11 at the Red River Parish Fairgrounds. A special service Sunday evening May 5th at First Baptist Church will kick off the event.


Henry Selected to Honor Band

Red River Band Director Yasmine Jason is pictured above with Carlina Henry. Henry represents Red River Junior High School on the District Two Honor Band. She plays the clarinet. 

Henry is an eighth grader and the daughter of Springville Education Center instructor Billy Henry Sr. Jason was very complimentary of Henry’s musical accomplishment. She said, “It is her first year to try out for Honor Band and the first year she made it!” 

Jason said, “Carlina has been in band since the sixth grade. She has been playing three years now.” About the tryouts for Honor Band, Jason told The Journal, “She did a really great job. I am very proud of her.”


ETC… for February 1st.

If you travel I-20 heading to Texas this announcement from the state transportation department may be of interest: 

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development advises motorists that the Greenwood Rest Area and Welcome Center along I-20 eastbound (near mile marker 3) in Caddo Parish is temporarily closed for construction activities. The parking lot is being reconstructed as part of the ongoing renovation project at the rest area. The work is anticipated to last approximately two (2) weeks, weather permitting. 

Northwestern State football coach Brad Laird will discuss his 2019 signing class at the annual Demon Quarterback Club Signing Day luncheon next Wednesday, Feb. 6, at the Friedman Student Union Ballroom on campus. Doors open for the buffet-style lunch presented by the Demons Unlimited Foundation at 11:30, with the program starting by noon. Admission is $20 with the event open to the public. 

Here is your public meeting schedule for February: 

The Police Jury will meet the first Monday or February 4th. They meet in the Police Jury room on the 3rd floor of the Courthouse. Remember that for 2019 the jury moved the meeting time to 5:30 for the committee meeting and 6:30 for the regular meeting. 

The Town Council meets on Tuesday Feb 12th at Town Hall. The meeting begins promptly at 5:30 pm. 

Red River and Riverdale Academy are out February 11 through 15th for Winter Break. 

The School Board meeting is the third Monday in February. It was moved to February 18th at 6:30 pm because of winter break. 

And the Chamber of Commerce board meets on Thursday, February 21st at noon. They meet in the Police Jury room on the third floor of the Red River Courthouse.


School Board Awards Bid for Football Field and Track Improvements

The first home football game in 2019 for Red River High is in September, which seems like a long way off. But it is closer than you might think in terms of rebuilding the field and track before then. 

On Tuesday, the Red River Parish School Board held a special called meeting at noon to award the bid for field construction. There were bids received from five companies and the amounts ranged from a high of $1.292 million to a low of $1.094 million. The low bid was submitted by GeoSurfaces, Inc. 

Board Finance Director David Jones explained the project. He said, “The football field is moving a few feet to center with a new grandstand, to be built later. The field will be re-crowned and there will be a parameter drain inside the track. There will be a pad and then turf on the field.” 

“The track itself will have a few bad spots patched,” said Jones. “The surface will have asphalt and the rubber surface will be re-laid, then the stripes will be repainted.” Jones said the track would not be completely removed, but will be repaired. 

The question of drainage was discussed. At present there are large drains around the field and spots where water stands after a rain. Jones explained that the reworking of the football field would fill in all the gaps. The turf surface will extend all the way to a drain just inside the track. 

Jones told the board that their architect, Yeager, Watson and Associates “was excited to see them get the bid. They have done good work in the past.” Jones told the board, “We hope to get all the paperwork completed by March 1st. Then 150 days to construct. I hope all the stars line up to get things done in time for the first football game in September. Let’s hope for favorable weather.” 

Board member Gary Giddens moved to award the bid to GeoSurfaces, Inc. It was seconded by Kasandra White. The board voted to approve awarding the bid.


Red River Shivers

Our area is in the grip of the coldest weather of the winter so far. However forecast snowfall and freezing rain predicted for overnight Monday did not materialize. 

Several parishes in northwest Louisiana called off school on Tuesday including Red River Parish. Here is the statement issued Monday night by Superintendent Alison Hughes: 

“Red River Parish School Board have been in contact with the National Weather Service concerning the impending winter weather and have made the decision to cancel school for Tuesday, January 29th based upon their predictions. Red River Parish is now under a winter weather advisory with possible snow and ice accumulations of 0.5″ to 1″. Temperatures are expected to remain near-freezing through noon Tuesday and icy driving conditions could persist through most of the day. 

“We want to ensure that all of our students are safe and secure.” 

Riverdale Academy made this post: 

“Due to the possibility of inclement weather and following suit with the Red River Parish School Board we will NOT have school tomorrow. We will let you know about the ballgames as soon as we have more information.” 

NSU announced that all classes would be held on Tuesday. They advised students and faculty to use caution traveling. 

The National Weather Service posted this advisory: 

“Colder temperatures are expected tonight (Tuesday) despite the thickening high clouds that will increase from the west. Look for temperatures to fall into the mid 20s to near 30 degrees across the Ark-La-Tex.” 

Weather.com forecast a low of 31 in Coushatta this morning (Wednesday) with the high getting into the low 50s. It will be warmer Thursday and Friday with highs in the low to mid 60s and overnight lows 46 to 49. There is a slight chance of rain on Thursday and Friday.


Red River Native to Join Honor Society

Kambrie Bethard has recently been elected to membership in the University of Louisiana Lafayette chapter of The Honor Society Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest, most selective, and most prestigious all-discipline honor society. The organization holds extremely high standards for election. Membership is by invitation only to the University of Louisiana Lafayette’s top 7.5 percent. 

Kambrie is also a member of Sigma Alpha Lambda Honor Society, the National Society of Leadership and Success, Criminal Justice Club, Law Club, and Kappa Delta Sorority. 

Kambrie is the daughter of Robert and Rhoda Bethard. 

Submitted by Rhoda Bethard


Youth Group Cleans Community

A local church youth group hit the streets of the Springville community last Saturday. They picked up litter and cleaned up along Springville Road and other areas. They divided into two groups to cover more ground. 

The group is from Freedom Worship Center. A youth leader of the project is Orquinta Taylor who lives on the street. Taylor told the Journal the youth are familiar with the area and knew that litter was everywhere. 

Ashanti Cole is the church pastor. Cole said, “I am always riding through and saw that nobody was cleaning up. I saw paper on the road and thought that this is a perfect place to do the youth project.” They cleaned up Springville Road and around the Zion Chapel at the road’s end. 

Taylor said, “We have about 30 youth in the church and we have 22 working here today.” They were accompanied by Cole and other adults from Freedom Worship Center. They picked up a pick-up load of trash and more.