Remembering Those Who Served

Coushatta’s VFW Post and Auxiliary worked with local cemetery officials to post American flags on veterans graves.  The flags were posted on the Friday before the Memorial Day weekend so they would be there for friends and relatives visiting over the holiday weekend.

Members of the Springville Cemetery joined VFW members in the remembrance.  They were Cindy Coffey, Donna Guenard, Paula Herring and Tommy Glen Jones.  Representing the VFW Post was Commander Barry McCoy and Quartermaster John Brewer.  And from the Auxiliary was Angela and Thomas McCoy.

Flags were posted at Springville Cemetery and several others in this parish.  Other members of the Post and Auxiliary, David Ramel and Theresa Fields distributed flags at Allen Cemetery in DeSoto Parish.

The VFW wishes to thank John and Terry Paul at CBS Home Express and Ace Hardware for donating over 200 flags to mark the graves of veterans who had served this country. This is the second year that Ace Hardware has donated flags to honor those who were in the military.

Musical Program at the Library

Come to the Red River Parish Library Monday June 3rd at 4:00. There will be a special program for anyone interested in the music of the Singing Governor Jimmie Davis.

Entertainer Brian Sivils will share songs & information and reminisce about the unique life of our former governor. You will be treated to an hour of music and history.

All are welcome to our meeting room to enjoy this special guest and maybe be reminded of good old memories.  The library is located at East Carroll Street and Alonzo Street. 

Something to Boast About

Red River High School is boasting about their academic accomplishments.  A report from the Louisiana Department of Education told the story of growth in graduation levels.  Here is the post from the High School:

Sometimes you just have to brag on yourself. The State Department released 2 weeks ago new graduation rates for Louisiana and Louisiana High Schools. We are proud to say that our graduation rate rose from 78.2 in 2017 to 85.5 in 2018, which is 4 points higher than the state of Louisiana and 1 point higher than the national average. 

When you dig a little deeper in those scores you also see our African American rate rose from 84.6 in 2017 to 89.1 in 2018. This is 11 points higher than the Louisiana Average and 12 points higher than the national average. 

We would like to say congratulations to the Red River High teachers, students, and graduates for their hard work. And a big thank you to the central office staff and the school board for their direction and support for the high school. “Education is our Business” “Every Child, Every Day, Whatever It Takes”

Building With Crawfish

Freedom Worship Center is building a new facility and they are paying for it with crawfish.  The church last weekend held a crawfish boil to benefit their building fund.

Pastor Ashanti Cole and a group from the church had the fires going under several pots of boiling mudbugs.  There was a pot for the corn and potatoes too! 

They filled up the coolers with fresh boiled crawfish and transported them to the Max Way parking lot where they were selling them for $10 per order.  Talk about a good thing to pick up on a Saturday.

Major Edwards is Retiring

A familiar face around Red River High School for the last couple of years is Major Thomas Edwards. He has lead the corps of cadets since Colonel Coleman retired.  Now it is Edwards’ turn.

About his upcoming retirement, Edwards said, “Praising God for my last day at Red River High School JROTC. I will be retiring on June 15, 2019, my last day of the Cadet Leadership Course at Grambling State University.

“Thanks to all my outstanding cadets and wonderful co-workers. Retirement here we come!”

Ribs and Other Delights

Just about every Saturday you will find one or more groups cooking somewhere in Coushatta.  You could smell the flavor on the breeze a mile away as you approached Rivertown Market.

It was a plate lunch sale put on by Willow Grove Missionary Baptist Church at Gahagan.  They were selling lunches to benefit the church choir and musician.  The Choir President Lee Jenkins and Choir Director Angelia Washington and Choir Vice President Marilyn Moore were all there.

The Journal witnessed the first rack of ribs coming off the grill.  It was so tender that it literally fell apart.  And that was just the first of the delicious meats and sides the group was preparing.

Washington said they are going to honor a musician Raleigh Smith.  “He inspires the church,” said Washington, “He grew up in the church. And he headed the ‘Holy Wanders’ gospel group.

Moore said, “He will be honored June 9thduring our 10:00 am morning worship.”  Jenkins added, “Smith is a self-taught musician.”

The Pastor is Martin F. Washington, Sr.  Willow Grove Missionary Baptist Church has Sunday School at 8:30 and morning worship at 10:00 am.  On Wednesday, Bible study is held at 6:30.

If I Could Clone Her I Would

Principal Shenell Deville of Red River Elementary  would like more than one of Lisa Stevenson.  Deville described her as a hard worker and pretty much indispensable member of the school staff.

Deville nominated Stevenson the Employee of the Month for the month of May.  The school board’s insurance agent presented a tribute to Stevenson at the last board meeting.  And although she was unable to make the meeting, there was a plaque and stuffed goodie bag to say thank you.

Deville’s nomination states, “Mrs. Stevenson always humbly accepts whatever assignments she is given. I do not hear her complain, and if she does, she does a great job keeping her thoughts to herself.” Stevenson has been a custodian in the parish for a number of years, and Deville termed her, “One of the hardest working persons I know at Red River Elementary School.”

ETC… for Friday, May 31st.

Learn the basics of sewing, crocheting, and knitting from several local experts.  It is the “So You Want to Sew” local 4-H summer workshop June 10th and 17th.  Free for Red River 4-H members, all other students in 4ththrough 7thgrade pay $5.00. Reserve your spot today by calling 932-4342.

Here are your public meetings for June:

June 3 – Red River Parish Police Jury on third floor of the courthouse.  Committee meeting at 5:30 and full jury meeting at 6:30.

June 3 –  Coushatta Red River Chamber of Commerce meets at noon in the police jury room on the third floor of the courthouse.

June 10 – Red River Parish School Board meets at 6:30 in the Administration Building on Alonzo Street.

June 11 – Coushatta Town Council meets at 5:30 at Town Hall on East Carroll Street.

State Department of Transportation and Development has extended the LA 1 lane closure through Friday, May 31st, 7:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. each day, to allow for continued train derailment clean-up operations.  DOTD appreciates your patience as Union Pacific Railroad’s emergency response crews work on removing train cars and debris from the tracks adjacent to the roadway.

Lifeshare Blood Center has issued a call for donors.  They said, “We need your help–restock the shelves! Due to an inadequate blood supply, patient care has been in need of blood for several weeks. Hospitals aren’t able to receive blood when there is none in stock. Please donate today! You can walk-in or make an appointment online at”

Art Students Display Their Creations

The lobby of the high school gym was filled with the art objects created by students in Jeff Edwards’ art classes.  The end of year exhibition features works in various medium.

One hit was large pillow shaped objects that were created as the students’ favorite candy bars.  Two students, Nevaeh Caldwell and Un’niga Allen thought about Twix.  Caldwell said, “A friend and I thought about candy.  Which one? Twix.  And the right Twix is the best, right?”

Danielle Burton, Nacaria Allen and Jalexia Palmer created porcelain bowls.  Their big candy bar was a Snickers.

Taylor Boulas, Hannah Pickett and Jacob Durr collaborated on the Skittles package.  Jacob Durr showed off his “Blue Sunflower” while Taylor Boulas entered his drawing of “Ballerina” in the show.

The “Air Heads” package was created by Precious Gray and Jakayla Caldwell.  They said they like Air Heads.

Instructor Jeff Edwards said the Bulldog Art Exhibit included items created in Art 1 and advanced Art 2 and Art 3 classes.  Edwards said, “This year was a very successful year.  We have a very talented group of students in our art classes.”

Vacation Bible School at Cowboy Church

VBS season is approaching quickly.  Red River Cowboy Church at Lake End has scheduled a one-day Bible School.

The date is next Saturday, June 1st.  VBS begins at 10:00 am and ends at 3:00 pm.  The church says there will be a program for children age 4 years through sixth grade.  This is a VBS with a twist.  In addition to Bible study, music, arts and crafts, Cowboy Church is offering water slides and horse riding.

Kick off VBS season at Cowboy Church tomorrow, June first.

The first full week in June will be the annual Vacation Bible School at First Baptist Church. And First Methodist will hold VBS the following week.

Internships for Students

Juniors and seniors at Red River High School who are enrolled in Jump Start will have opportunities to participate in internships with local businesses this summer.

On April 11, Helena Jones with International Youth Fellowship explained to school administrators and local businesses how the Step Forward program could be used to provide students valuable work experience and facilitate monetary compensation of their labors through various grants.

At this time, The York Chop, G&B Works, and Walker Construction have verbally committed to participating in the program.

Update on Honduras Mission

Each year volunteers from Baptist churches in this area travel to Honduras on mission trips.  They care for the people and their animals.  There are medical personnel and veterinarians who make the trip.

Here is a recent post from Bro. James Hester from Social Springs Baptist Church.  “Thankful for the friendship and kinship in Christ of these men who are our voices to the people of Honduras. It is always a blessing to serve with them!”

End of School Class Activities

The school year has come to an end.  There were the usual class parties, outdoor play days, and all that.  However a couple of classes at Red River High did something special.  And they posted them on social media.

In Mrs. Carper’s Biology class students got an inside look at frogs.  She posted “had fun at school today dissecting frogs. Something to look forward to after state exams in biology.”

There were some treats created in the Chemistry class. From their post, “Finals for Chemistry are in the books, so what do we do instead of a party? We make homemade ice cream and homemade root beer.”

If you have an end of school class activity to add, please send details and pictures to  Be sure to take your pictures in landscape mode.

ETC… for Wednesday, May 29th.

There may be storms in northwest Louisiana today.  The weather service posted on Tuesday, “Severe thunderstorms possible late Wednesday afternoon and Wednesday evening.”  The map accompanying the post showed that Red River Parish would be in the “marginal” area for the chance of storms.

The state transportation department recently re-opened the bridge over Edwards Mill Creek in Bienville Parish.  That had caused users of Highway 9 to detour around.  But the repairs have been made and the bridge is open once again.

If you travel LA 1 north to Shreveport be mindful that occasional delays still occur.  The railroad is still cleaning up a train derailment from a few weeks ago.  Some days the road is completely closed, others it is reduced to one lane.  Call 511 before going to check road conditions.

Freedom Worship Center is holding a fundraiser to benefit their building program.  The first prize is a 50” Sanyo TV.  Second prize is a Fridgidaire Beverage Cooler.  Third price is an oil less fryer.  Tickets are $10 and the winner will be selected on June 8th.

From Clara Springs Baptist Camp, “This week all of our staffers are coming in for training. We are still in need of people to “adopt” them for the summer. If you can do this please sign up on the link: or email”

Cox Foundation Awards Scholarship

By Valerie Cox

Red River High graduate Savannah Douglas was awarded the Cox Development Foundation Scholarship on Sunday, May 19 at Will of God Ministries. The scholarship was presented by Mayor Johnny & Valerie Cox in the amount of $500.

Savannah will be attending Northwestern State University in the Fall. She is the daughter of Jackie & Matthew Douglas of Coushatta, LA.

Great Fun For Good Behavior

Students who demonstrated proper behavior all year were rewarded with an afternoon of fun and games last Thursday.  It was a High School fun day featuring many outdoor activities.

Students really got into shooting baskets.  A large inflatable basketball range gave them a chance to demonstrate that they could sink their shot.  Girls’ basketball team member Morgyn Payne demonstrated “how it is done” for The Journal.

Most of the students got into one activity or another.  Volleyball was popular.  Unfortunately the ball went on the school roof.  It was retrieved by an enterprising student who went out a second story window onto the roof.

The Joust Tournament was a big attraction for onlookers and many students who took part.  After all, who doesn’t like to see someone bop another with a big padded, doubled-ended club.

Principal JC Dickey got involved in the Dunking Booth.  Other students filled in, or splashed in, after that.  The baseball and softball teams brought their best pitchers to the event.

It ended all too early. And students returned to class for the last period of the day.

They Were Biting!

The fish were biting last Saturday afternoon at Grand Bayou.  The occasion was a fishing tournament put on for military veterans by the Red River Crappie Club.  The event producer was Cover 6 Outdoors.

The biggest stringer of seven fish weighed in at 10.36 pounds.  It was caught by Justin Ebarb from Echo.  His guide was Terry Vaughn.  Ebarb and Vaughn just barely edged out Kyle Meuler.  His stringer weighed in at 10.34.  Third place went to Robert Goodson with 10.01 pounds of fish.

The biggest fish weighed in at 1.68 pounds.  It was caught by second place finisher Kyle Mueller.

Bro. Preston Young of Castor gave the blessing and thanked the veterans for participating in the tournament.  Young said, “Thanks to the men and women who march for us (in the military).  We’re behind them.  ‘Thank you’ can’t say enough.  It is an honor to stand here and tell you that.”

Cover 6 Outdoors Louisiana Director, Richard Childers told the gathering that they got overwhelming support from members of the local community and businesses throughout this part of the state.  This was the first tournament for vets that was held in our area.  Childers told The Journal that they would be back next year with a bigger and better fishing tournament.  Childers says plans are underway for a vets hunt in the fall.

Emmett Vaughn Womack, Jr. Announces Candidacy For Assessor

I would like to take this opportunity to announce that I will be a candidate for the office of Assessor for Red River Parish in the upcoming election this October. I have been an employee of the Assessor’s office for going on twenty eight years, and the past nineteen of those I have served as Chief Deputy Assessor. For almost forty one years, I have been married to my lovely wife, Mickey. We have two children, Trey, who left this world for his Heavenly Home in 2010, and Kerri Weaver and husband Buddy, who live in Winslow, Arkansas. Our five grandchildren, our joy, are Kerri’s children Payton Thornton, his wife Logan, Madden and Sam, and Trey’s girls Jaden and Alanna, whose mother, Amanda and her husband Timmy Martin and their little girl, Audrey, are like our own. Also Payton and Logan are expecting our first great grandchild in November!

Mickey and I are forty year members of the congregation of Abundant Life Worship Center where I serve on the church board and play bass guitar with the Abundant Life Praise Team. Mickey serves as Head Greeter for the church. Our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and the desire to serve Him is foremost in our lives.

My desire to serve is also the reason I want to be your next Assessor. The people of Red River Parish deserve someone that will serve them with the same honesty, integrity and fairness they have received throughout Becky’s entire time in office. She leaves very large shoes to fill, and I know I am up to the task. In these ever changing, fast moving days in which we live, there will be new challenges in the Assessor’s Office that I feel I will be well qualified to face when they arise. Through my years in the office I have accumulated more than 430 hours of continuing education credits from the Independent Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO) and have a CLDA (Certified Louisiana Deputy Assessor) certification. The courses and workshops I have attended concern all aspects of assessing such as Cadastral Mapping, Assessment of Personal Property, Real Property Assessment, extensive Oil and Gas Assessment and other pertinent classes vital to the workings of the Assessor’s Office.

I am running this race based on my twenty seven plus years of experience, my promise that I will continue to conduct the operations of the Assessor’s Office in the same way that Becky Craig has before me; with honesty, integrity and fairness for all, and by keeping God in the forefront of everything I do. In the next few months I will try to make it by to see as many of you as I possibly can. In the event that I do happen to miss talking to you in person, please forgive me and know that your vote and support will be greatly appreciated.

Thank You, Emmett Vaughn Womack, Jr.

Crawfish Boil in Town Saturday

Come to the corner of Ashland Road and Ringgold Avenue on Saturday and get hot, spicy mudbugs.  Freedom Worship Center is having a fundraiser to benefit their building fund.

The Church’s flyer announcing the event says they will be serving boiled crawfish beginning at 9:30 am Saturday and lasting until 2:00 pm.  The price is $10 per plate.  And that gets you two pounds of boiled crawfish, corn and potatoes.  Like to add sausage?  You may for $2.00.

Chamber Luncheon Kicks Off Membership Renewals

The Coushatta Red River Chamber of Commerce membership renewal drive is underway.  The chamber hosted a luncheon last Thursday at the York Chop for members.  Sign-up sheets were passed out and dues for next year was collected.

Chamber President Karen Squired termed it an appreciation luncheon.  The buffet included brisket and smoked turkey, green beans, potato salad and the York Chop’s trademark toasted French bread.

Following the meal, Squires gave an update on upgrades to the parish school system.  She passed out architectural drawings and blueprints for new classroom and sports facilities.  Squires noted the walls are going up on the baseball and softball complex. The football field and track are in the process of having turf installed and a new surface being applied to the track.

She said bids were accepted on May 13thfor new classroom and other educational facilities to be built on the high school campus.  Squires said, “Look for the groundbreaking to be held soon.  A new wing is being built onto the Junior High building, with a new entrance.  It will have 9 classrooms.”

Other construction includes a new Junior High gym.  The high school will get a new vocational building and music building.  The vocational building will have room for agriculture, welding, CAN, Pro Start, art, woodworking and other specialties. The new music building will have space for the band and choir plus individual rehearsal rooms for voice and individual instruments.

Squires summed it up, “There are good things coming to Coushatta!”

Fourth Generation Takes VFW Auxiliary Presidency

Red River Memorial VFW Post 7287 and its Auxiliary made history this year.   On April 18, 2019 Heather McCoy, daughter of Post Commander Barry McCoy and Deportment President Angelia McCoy, became the President of the Auxiliary.  

Heather McCoy is the 4thgeneration of the Cotton family women who have served this Auxiliary as President. When the post first had an auxiliary in the 1970s, the late Miss Irene Cotton was the President. The auxiliary was disbanded a few year later, then re-chartered in 1985 where her grandmother the late Miss Anna Cotton was elected President.  Sometime later her mother Angelia next held the office.

McCoy’s election as Auxiliary President marks another milestone.  This is the first time in the history of this Post and Auxiliary that a father and daughter have held the offices of Commander and President together. Father Barry McCoy was recently installed as Commander of VFW Post 7287 and Heather McCoy was installed as Auxiliary President.

ETC… for Friday May 24th

Bro. Bubba Mills at Clara Springs said, “One of our Largest events happens this weekend and it is our Fourth Friday Fish Fry.   People from all over North West Louisiana will come to enjoy the food and fellowship at Clara Springs.   Cost is $9 all you can eat for those who attend.  We will have “Dat” a balloon artist making the rounds that night sharing his talent with the crowd.”

There is a concert planned at Hickory Grove Baptist Church.  Here is their post, “The Riders will be in concert at Hickory Grove Baptist Church  on Saturday, June 1, at 6:30 pm. Everyone please bring finger foods and drinks. Everyone please come and invite someone to come with you!!!! You won’t be disappointed!”

Here is the closing schedule for the Memorial Day Holiday:

Bank of Coushatta, American Bank, and Sabine State Bank will be closed Monday. The Town Hall, Police Jury office, and School Board office will also be closed Monday. Northwestern State University will be closed Monday, May 27 in observance of Memorial Day.  The University will reopen Tuesday, May 28.   And the Post Office will be closed.  There will be no mail delivered or put up in boxes on Monday.

School Taxes Stay the Same

Red River taxpayers got good news this month from the School Board.  Your school taxes are not increasing for 2019.

Board Finance Director David Jones explained, “These are the same millage rates that were adopted in 2018. There will be no increase for 2019.”

The board’s Finance Committee send the issue to the full board for a vote.  The full board voted 5-0  in favor of a resolution to adopt the same millage rates for 2019.  There are four issues included in that motion.

A separate motion was required to adopt the rates for the General Obligation Bonds.  The vote was 5-0 in favor.  Those bonds are the revenue source for new construction taking place on the high school campus and sports complex.