Basketball Playoffs Update

The Red River Bulldogs were victorious Tuesday night. They defeated the Tigers from Jeanerette High 68 to 29. The Bulldogs took control of the court almost from the opening tip-off. Jeanerette took the tip and scored the first basket. But it was all Red River from then on.

The Bulldogs advance to round three. That game will be played at the Dog Pound on Friday night. They will play the winner of the Many-Port Allen game. The start time has not been set yet so look on the Journal social media sites for the time when it is determined.

Meanwhile, the Red River Lady Bulldogs are in the Marsh Madness semi-finals later this week. They play the North Caddo Lady Rebels Thursday afternoon. The game will be played at 4:45 at Rapides Parish Coliseum in Alexandria.

School will dismiss early so students and faculty can attend. Here is the message from Carey Prosperie with the school board:

“Red River will dismiss all schools at 12:00 Noon on Thursday, Feb. 28th. We are excited to announce that the Red River High School Lady Bulldogs basketball team will play in the State Semi-Finals at 4:45pm in the Rapides Coliseum. Thursday is a great time to travel to Alexandria to support the Lady Bulldogs in their battle against North Caddo at 4:45 in the Coliseum. Go Bulldogs!”

You can listen to the game on the Journal’s website and social media pages. The link to the game will be posted about fifteen minutes before tip-off.

That’s a Lot of Chocolate

The Red River Elementary PAW Parents posted the results of the student chocolate sale. The sale concluded recently, and the awards were presented last week. 

“These are the students who sold the most for worlds finest chocolate fundraiser that was held at RRES: 1st place went to Landen Bierden who sold 14 boxes and won an iPad. 2nd place went to Jordan Friday who sold 10 boxes and won an Xbox S. 3rd place went to Grayci Bamberg who sold 8 boxes and won a Fitbit. The raffle winner for the $75 visa gift card was Alayla Lewis. 

“The first place teacher was Mrs. Jennifer Pickett, whose kindergarten class sold 29 boxes of chocolate total. She won a 5-lb Worlds Finest Chocolate bar and $100 Visa card. The 2nd place teacher was Mr. Joey Miller whose homeroom 4th grade class sold 18 boxes total. He won a $75 Visa card.”

Fifth Grade Academic Achievers Attend BETA Convention

Nineteen students from Red River Elementary School went to the BETA convention for elementary students. The BETA club at the elementary school was started after Shenell Deville became principal several years ago. Here is Deville’s report on the convention: 

On January 28 and 29, Red River Elementary School (RRES) attended the state Junior BETA Convention in Lafayette, Louisiana. Two years ago, my goal was to identify and celebrate students who demonstrate academic achievement and talent in the visual arts, and that is still one of my goals for our students as of today. This is RRES 2nd year with the BETA program, and we are proud to announce that our students placed 2nd in the Songfest competition among 25 elementary schools that represented. We also placed 4th in Campaign Skit which was led by our school BETA President, Kinya Gray, 5th grade student. Because we placed in the top three for one of the competitions, we have been invited to compete in the National Beta Convention, which will be held June 15-18 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Our BETA club has also earned 5 GOLDEN Tickets to be a member of the Premier Performers of the 2019 National BETA Convention to showcase outstanding dance and vocal abilities. Five of our students will perform with students from various schools across the United States. 

The National Beta Club is the largest independent, non-profit, educational youth organization in America. It is an organization for 4th through 12th grade students in the United States, and for more than 80 years, it has prepared today’s students to be tomorrow’s leaders. Its purpose is “to promote the ideals of academic achievement, character, leadership and service among elementary and secondary school students.” This year, we had 19 fifth grade students to participate in the state convention. 

We had many parents and staff to attend and support their students and our Sponsor, Tiffany Williams along with Co-Sponsors, Kenyotta Calhoun and Crystal Williams have done a wonderful job organizing the startup and BETA activities for the past two years. 

For more information on BETA, you can visit the website at 

Pictured in the gold shirts from left to right, front to back: Collin Stafford, Payton Christen, Zachary Thompson, Cedric Moody, Tylan Beavers, Fa’Dasia Demery, Taleha Hill, A’niya Davis, Demarche Newton, Karrington Owens, Makilah Murphy, Emily Morgan, Zy’Quavious Smith, Gaylon Brewer, Bri-anna Taylor, Skylar Roberson, Jaskyla Williams, Kinya Gray, & Laniyah Latson, along with their sponsor, Tiffany Williams. 

Pictured are boys on the floor building a roller coaster for the engineering competition: Gaylon Brewer, Collin Stafford, Karrington Owens, Tylan Beavers, & Zy’Quavious Smith 

Pictured for Group Talent are girls in costumes: Skylar Roberson, A’nyia Davis, Bri-anna Taylor, Jaskyla Williams, Fa’dasia Demery, & Taleha Hill 

Pictured in school designed black & gold BETA shirts are BETA students with 5th grade teacher, Ranette Smith-Crockett.

Celebrate Recovery Moves to Open Door

Open Door Fellowship on Esperanza Road is the new home of Celebrate Recovery. Virgie Hoof submitted this report: 

Are you tired of playing God? Do you repress or deny how you truly feel? Do you waste precious energy running from your past or worrying about or dreading your future? Do you wish you had better coping skills for handling pain or disappointment? 

If so, come join our group!!! Celebrate Recovery (CR) is a Christ-centered recovery program for anyone 18 or older that offers a safe place to confidentially deal with their hurts, habits and hang-ups. We not only address chemical dependency but any life issues that are causing problems such as anger, anxiety, depression, financial struggles, codependency, suicidal thoughts or sexual issues. 

We celebrate God’s healing power in our lives through the eight recovery principles found in the Beatitudes and Christ-centered twelve steps. This experience allows us to be changed. We open the door by sharing our experiences, strengths, and hopes with one another. In addition, we become willing to accept God’s grace in solving our life problems. 

By working the steps and applying the Biblical principles found in the Beatitudes, we begin to grow spiritually. We become free from our addictive, compulsive, and negative behaviors. This freedom creates peace, serenity, joy, and most importantly, a stronger relationship with God and others. 

As we progress along the road to recovery, we discover our personal, loving and forgiving Higher Power – Jesus Christ. 

Does this sound like what you are seeking? 

Celebrate Recovery meets every Thursday evening at the Open Door Fellowship Church, 285 Esperanza Rd., Coushatta. A meal is served at 5:30 p.m. with large group at 6:00 p.m. and small groups at 7:00 p.m. For more information, contact Justin Wiley at 318.471.7889 or We also have an open Facebook page where we share meeting times, news, and events.

School Calendar Published

The Red River Parish School Board has published the 2019-20 school year calendar. Some important days to note include Open House at all schools August 6th with students reporting on August 8th. 

Fall Break is October 14th through 18th. Winter Break is scheduled February 17th through 21st. There is no Spring Break listed, however students get March 16th off for March Break and April 10th through 17th off for Easter.

Turning Deadly into Beneficial

Kelly Clarkson sang “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger!” Most of us are familiar with E. coli and the potential for harm it poses. There may be a big benefit from E. coli coming out of research at LSU. Here is their news release: 

Who knew a potentially deadly bacteria could be used for good? 

LSU Mechanical Engineering graduate student Tatiana Mello of Piracicaba, Brazil, is currently working on genetically engineering and optimizing E. coli bacteria to produce bioproducts, like biodiesel, in a cost-effective manner. This undertaking has garnered the attention of many in the engineering and biology fields and has also given her the opportunity to speak about her research at the recent National Biodiesel Conference and Expo in San Diego. 

Mello proposes using E. coli bacteria to expand biodiesel production by creating a new type of feedstock. “The main feedstocks used in the U.S. for biodiesel are soybean and corn oil,” she said. “The actual production is enough to feed us, but you have the surplus that nobody knew what to do with, so biodiesel was created. This market is growing and growing. They expect within a few decades, the surplus won’t be enough to produce biodiesel. E. coli is cheap and abundant, and you can just genetically modify it to fulfill this need.”

ETC… for Wednesday, February 27th

Open Door Fellowship will host a benefit concert featuring Cliff Preston Saturday evening. A meal will be served from 5:30 to 6:30. The concert begins at 7:00 pm. 

A benefit is planned March 30th at Grand Bayou Resort to help pay medical expenses for Robert Watson. The theme is “Casting Out Cancer Hooking Up a Cure” and will feature a poker run, bass tournament, a live auction, live band playing that evening, and a fish lunch from 11:00 am until 5:00 pm. Pre-registration for the fishing tournament runs through March 9th. The flyer for the event is shown below. 

Thursday, February 28th is the final day to sign up for the ODF Soccer spring season. Sign up and pay fees online at Soccer practices are held in March and games are played on Saturdays in April. 

Joe Taylor is pulling out some historic photos of Mardi Gras in our parish. The Journal will have that story on Friday, March 1st. 

Graduating seniors in Red River Parish, do you need help deciding which courses to pursue in college? Northwestern State University will hold its annual Spring N-Side View and Credit Connection on Saturday, March 9. Registration for Spring N-Side View and Credit Connection will begin at 9 a.m. in Magale Recital Hall and the programs start at 10 a.m. 

As part of Spring N-Side View, representatives from each of Northwestern State’s colleges will be on hand to explain degree programs offered at NSU. Staff from the financial aid, housing and scholarship offices will also be available to answer questions. A student panel will give a unique perspective on the university. An orientation program for parents will also be held. A campus tour will also be part of Spring N-Side View. 

During Credit Connection, students can earn college credit by taking an advanced standing examination which can result in credit being posted on the student’s college transcript once they enroll at Northwestern State.

Students of the Month

The Students of the Month were recognized Monday night by the Red River Parish School Board. Those selected are Jonathan Velazquez from Red River Elementary, Kaylen Giddings from Red River Junior High, and Aviana Jones from Red River High School. 

Superintendent Alison Hughes read the nominations for the students, beginning with Jonathan Velazques from the Elementary School: 

“Jonathan is a great student. He gets along with everyone and is a great helper and leader. He has matured so much in the past year and is now reading. He came to Red River Elementary School as a Spanish-speaking student, and now he speaks and reads perfect English. He is a true blessing and is always blessing everyone with a smile and a big hug. He is Mrs. Hannah Kennedy’s kindergarten student.” 

Hughes read the nomination for Junior High Student Kaylen Giddings” 

“Kaylen is in the 8th grade at Red River Junior High. She is a model student and a great role model for her peers. Kaylen is always on time with her work and makes sure that all of her work is done to the best of her ability. She gives 100% in everything that she does. During group work, she is always engaged and helpful to her classmates. Kaylen can be described as everything that you would want in a student, including the caliber of work that she produces. She is respectful and well-mannered, and always exhibits excellent character and integrity. Her work ethic and character make her stand out as a model student, making her an easy choice as Red River Junior High Student of the Month.” 

The final student recognized by Superintendent Hughes was Aviana Jones from Red River High: 

“Aviana was selected as Student of the Month due to several distinguishing characteristics. She consistently offers assistance to her peers and teacher alike. Her enthusiasm for learning drives her to fuel passion and enlightenment to others. Though demure and quiet, she commands respect among her peers.” 

A student from each school is selected as the Student of the Month. The Coushatta VFW Post 7287 and Auxiliary 7287 present each with a certificate and gift card to Dairy Queen.

Rough Weather May Be Headed Our Way

The National Weather Service office at Shreveport on Thursday posted a note about possible storms to begin our weekend: 

“Strong thunderstorms will move into our region from the west early Saturday morning and move across our region through the afternoon. Some storms could become severe, possibly producing damaging winds, large hail, and tornadoes.” 

We have been receiving rain most of the day on Thursday and into the evening. The Weather Channel predicts rain will continue all day Friday. Precipitation chances are 100% at 6 am down to about 50% during the afternoon then increasing to 85% Friday evening.

Town Hall Open For Business

“We were open by 10 o’clock the next morning,” said Mayor Johnny Cox. There was an electrical fire at Coushatta Town Hall on Tuesday morning. The fire damaged the phone system and coaxial cable in the building. 

Power was out in portions of the town for about an hour. Cox said, “Lightning struck a power transformer nearby.” Assistant Fire Chief Mike Robinson said, “There was active fire when the fire department arrived on scene. It was quickly brought under control.” 

The Mayor said there was smoke in the building and town offices had to be shut down. He said they opened the windows and doors and aired out the facility. 

The Driver’s License office, which shares the building with Town Hall, was also affected and had to close for a time. There were no injuries reported

Summer Playdays at Cowboy Church

The series of playdays this summer has been announced by Red River Cowboy Church. The events begin in April and run through August. There will be one event per month. 

The horse events include Barrels, Speed Race and Poles. Non-horse events are Stick Horse and Goat Ribbon Pull. These events are for kids up to three years old and a second division for youngsters four to six. 

Memberships are $25 per person or $40 per family. A membership is required to be eligible for awards. 

The books open at 12:30 pm on each playday. The show starts at 2:00 pm. Call 318-652-2553 for more information. Red River Cowboy Church is located on Highway 1 at Lake End.

Reading Fair Winners Advance

Students at Riverdale Academy are great readers. The school posted this week: 

“These students were 1st or 2nd place winners at the district reading fair and advanced to the MAIS Overall Reading Fair in Jackson, MS on April 4th. First place winners were Morgan Moseley, Hayden Cason, Ally Kate Hillman, Summer Rushing, Ben Moseley, Makayla Pickett, Charity Williamson, Chloe Jordan, Chance Rushing, and Matthew Seales. 2nd place winners were Ryder Shaver, Emily Cason, Georgia Carlisle, Raegan Cannon, Alaina Boyd, and Collin Hesson. Congratulations and good luck!”

Health Unit to Offer Screenings

The Nursing Supervisor of the health unit asked The Journal to remind everyone that they will be offering free screenings next Wednesday. Yashica Turner said it is a cooperative effort between the Red River Parish Health Unit and the H.E.A.R.T. Program. 

The screenings are free for everyone. Turner said to come and join the effort for everyone to live healthier.

Parish Youngsters Are Sharp Shooters

Congratulations to several Red River youngsters for their marksmanship abilities. 

Patience Danzy gave these details from the 4th Annual Caddo Classic Shootout: 2019 Caddo Classic flights. 

At North Caddo Shooting Club. 

Sunday, February 17, 2019 

Red River Shotgun team took home 1st and 3rd place. 

Kaden Cason shot 50/50 (58/58)taking 1st place. 

Brett Danzy, Jr. shot 49/50 taking 3rd place. 

The event was put on by the North Caddo Shooting Club at Mooringsport.

ETC… for February 22nd

Louisiana Tech University’s Alpha Chi chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, an international honor organization, achieved recognition as a Superior Chapter for their achievements in the areas of academics, professionalism, and leadership during the 2017-2018 academic year. Notably, the chapter has received this designation for 17 consecutive years. For its efforts, Tech’s chapter will receive an award of $500 from the KPMG Foundation. 

Today is a good day for a hamburger lunch. The fire department auxiliary is selling hamburger plates for lunch from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm at Central Fire Station. 

The Red River boys basketball team begins the quest for the state championship tonight. They host St. Helena College and Career Academy from Greensburg, Louisiana. The Bulldogs are seeded 2nd in class 2-A while St. Helena is seeded #31. You may listen to the broadcast on beginning about 15 minutes before tip-off at 6:00 pm.

Ross is Teacher of the Year

The Coushatta Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7287 and Auxiliary 7287 have selected Brian Ross of Red River High as the Teacher of the Year. Ross was recognized Monday night at the meeting of the Red River Parish School Board. 

Ross was nominated by his Principal, J.C. Dickey. In his nomination latter, Dickey stated: 

“Brian Ross is an 11th grade United States History teacher at Red River High School. Mr. Ross is an extraordinary teacher of history with a love of country like none other. Mr. Ross is a former law enforcement officer who is a history buff. Every day he prepares lessons that are exciting and help bring history to life for everyone in his class. 

“I have had the honor of observing Mr. Ross teach for 2 years and during that time I have seen lessons on WW2 with first-hand accounts from veterans themselves. I have also seen him show numerous documentaries on WW1, WW2, and Vietnam. He make sure all documentaries are historically accurate and tells the point of view of what our soldiers and country where going through during these times. He also talks about how even though we won some of these wars the loss of life in each one must be remembered in honored. 

“One lesson he does every year is on the flag, how we came up with our country’s flag and what represents for us the United States. At least one time a year he gets with our JROTC program and invites a recruiter come speak about what serving the country looks like from a military perspective. 

“One of the best things I know about Mr. Ross is his US History state exam scores. Every year his students have to state the state exam on US History and every year his students do very well on these exams. To me it proves that Mr. Ross does not only know about his country put that he is doing a fabulous job training the next generation of students about the United States and trying to build a love of country in them as well.”

Fire at Almond Brothers

There was an equipment fire at Almond Brothers that caused heavy damage to an air compressor unit. Employees at the Mill at the time used fire extinguishers to try to put out the fire but they were unsuccessful. Personnel from the Red River Parish Fire Department arrived within minutes to extinguish the fire. Time of call was 9:52 am Saturday morning.

Honors for Red River Athletes

There are more honors for basketball players at Red River High. The Louisiana High School Coaches Association (LHSCA) has named their All Star teams. Two Bulldogs are on the roster. 

Senior Jesse Davis was named to the West boys All Star team. Senior Mae Mae Hallmon was selected for the West girls All Star Team. 

Both Davis and Hallmon can be seen on the court this week as the Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs work their way through the playoff brackets toward the state title games.

Northwestern Announces Fall Football Schedule

Northwestern State’s 12-game 2019 football schedule includes a Sept. 14 visit to Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge to meet LSU, coached by former Demon player Ed Orgeron, and brings four Texas opponents to Turpin Stadium along with old in-state rival Southeastern Louisiana. 

The slate begins and ends with Thursday night contests: Aug. 29, at Tennessee-Martin of the FCS Ohio Valley Conference with the Skyhawks returning the game in 2021, and Nov. 21 when the Demons’ oldest active rivalry is renewed as Stephen F. Austin comes in for the regular-season finale. 

NSU’s home opener is Sept. 7 against Division II powerhouse Midwestern State, which has 19 straight winning seasons and four national playoff appearances in the past five years.