BASH Has Big Turnout

Monday afternoon students from throughout Red River Parish converged on the High and Junior High campus for the third annual Back to School BASH.  The event is made possible by many civic minded local businesses. It was coordinated through United Way of Northwest Louisiana.

“It is a big help to the community,” was the sentiment of Janeka Solton, a mother of two students. She said, “It means a lot to my family because we cannot afford things that we need.”  Solton works at All Things daycare on Highway 71 south of Coushatta.  She said, “I just love working with kids.”

Each student left the BASH with a new backpack stuffed with the supplies they would need to start school. There were backpacks for each grade from pre-K and younger to high school seniors.  Volunteer workers told The Journal that all items not distributed would be sent to the school for students who did not come on Monday.

There was more to be had at this year’s BASH.  The Junior High Gym was filled with local and area organizations providing great information to students and their parents.  Some of the booths were from Unlimited Alternatives to Change, CADA, the MLK Health Center, the parish Health Unit, Christus Dental and Rural Health clinics, Red River 4-H, the Council on Aging, and Gingerbread House. Students and parents were required to visit several of the vendors prior to getting the free backpacks.

This year the immunization requirements the state makes for attending public school have changed.  The parish Health Unit was there to explain the new requirements.  They also were printing out student’s immunization records.  If you missed it, parents can get their children’s shot records at the Health Unit on Red Oak Road Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.

And there was food. There was a long line of people waiting to be served hot dogs, chips and cold drinks.  The Sheriff’s Department brought their big rig cooking trailer and did the grilling.  The dogs and buns were donated by Rivertown Market.

A personal note:  This year’s Back to School Bash was much better organized than the prior two.  Organizers took note of bottle necks and other situations the first two years.  We observed long lines at check-in and to get hot dogs, but they moved quickly.  Same for those visiting the information tables in the Junior High Gym and everyone picking up their backpacks in the High School Gym.  And this year, for the first, the event attracted the attention of Shreveport TV.  KSLA sent a reporter to do interviews and report on the event.

Are You An Early Bird?

Lots of fans of local sports are “Early Birds!”  They have signed up to receive text message alerts of each local sporting event broadcast. And “Early Birds” also have an opportunity to win the $100 cash weekly contest.

Football season begins in just a few weeks and The Journal will alert you a few minutes prior to the beginning of Red River and Riverdale football games that the broadcast is about to begin.  The text message will have a link to the broadcast.

Here is the link if you have not signed up for the text message alerts:

CLICK HERE – > Sports Signup

Our fourth winner of $100 cash is Cathie Parker of Coushatta.  Will you be our fifth winner?  Register today.  The winner will be announced in Friday’s Journal.

If you have already signed up for text alerts, you are still eligible to win the cash.  No need to register again.  If you have not signed up, do it today.  The “Early Bird” registration period ends Friday.

Abuse of Power of Attorney

On June 9, 2019 the Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office (RRPSO) received a complaint regarding a theft. The complainant reported that a family member had abused a “Power of Attorney” assignment by writing unauthorized checks on the victim’s account (exceeding $2,000) and unlawfully transferring ownership of a vehicle.

RRPSO detectives investigated the claims and obtained an arrest warrant on the suspect. On July 22, 2019 deputies arrested the individual without incident and transported her to the Red River Parish Jail for booking.

Sharon Taylor, B/F, age 57 of the 1200 block of Postell Road, Coushatta, LA was charged with Exploitation of Persons with Infirmities, Theft of A Motor Vehicle and Forgery.

Taylor posted a $6,000 bond and was released the same day pending a trial date.

Freshman Connection Today

RRHS Freshmen Connection is Wednesday, July 31st 7:30am-12:00pm. All incoming freshmen of Red River High School need to be in attendance. 

We will have a brief parent meeting at 7:30am when you drop off your kids in the high school gym. Door prizes will be given out so don’t be late. Breakfast will be served for parents and kids!

Students will then have breakout sessions and activities based on:

– academics
– class schedules
– block scheduling
– meet some 9th grade teachers
– discipline 
– athletics
– clubs
– team building games
– scavenger hunt
And more! 

For questions or concerns, contact us at the high school 318-932-4913. Don’t miss this chance to start off your high school career the right way.

Spirit Shirts

Spirit Shirts for the 2019-20 school year are now on sale at Red River High School.  The school posted an order form on their Facebook page.  They also said you may pick up a form at the office to order.

There are two designs to choose from this year.

These shirts are uniform approved and can be worn at the high school any day of the week instead of polos. Preorder yours now and it will be ready before the start of school.

Cheerleader Camp

Several weeks ago The Journal reported on a fundraiser fried catfish lunch and bake sale to benefit the cheerleaders at Riverdale Academy. It was delicious!  And it was one of the fundraisers the cheer team participated in to fund their way to cheer camp.

That camp has concluded, and the members of the cheer squad are back. Here is their post about the experience:

“Riverdale Academy cheerleaders went to UCA camp at Great Wolf Lodge over the weekend. They earned 2 spirits sticks, a Superior and Excellence ribbon and a 3rd place Rally Dance trophy.  They also are coming home with an All-American Cheerleader, and 2 Pin It Forward recipients. Great job ladies!”

Local Teacher Attends 4-H Seminar

Animal Science Specialist Crystal Ahrens and Teacher-Trainer Emily H. Hurst hosted the Louisiana 4-H Embryology Pilot Teacher Training on LSU’s campus! This high-quality, unique training was attended by teachers across all regions of Louisiana and included student-led, inquiry-based methods.

As a bonus, the teachers were all sent home with full embryology supply kits (incubators and teaching supplies).  They may start utilizing them in their classrooms right away!  One of our own teachers, Mrs. Mancil, applied and was accepted to participate in this program. I think her third graders are going to have a ball!
The sessions were held on July 9-10that LSU in Baton Rouge.

The Red River 4-H office contributed to this report.

Three Charged in Hall Summit Robbery

On July 25, 2019 at approximately 3:19 p.m., Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office (RRPSO) deputies were dispatched to a residence in Hall Summit in reference to a robbery. The caller reported that he had just been robbed by three unknown male subjects outside his home.

He stated that as he exited his vehicle at his residence, a white Dodge Charger stopped in front of his home, two subjects exited the car and aggressively approached him. As one man continued toward him with clenched fists, the other entered the complainant’s car without permission, taking money and belongings totaling nearly $2,000. A third suspect remained inside the vehicle.

After removing the items from the victim’s vehicle, the suspects returned to their vehicle and fled the area on LA 514. Responding RRPSO investigators observed a vehicle traveling south on U.S. Hwy 71 near Almond Brother’s Lumber Company that matched the description of the suspect vehicle. The sheriff’s investigators attempted to initiate a traffic stop on U.S. Hwy 71 approaching Coushatta, however, the vehicle continued traveling south and eventually pulled to a stop on the parking lot of Dairy Queen.

The vehicle was occupied by three black males who also matched the description given by the victim. The individuals were detained and positively identified as the suspects a short time later. The suspects were placed under arrest and transported to the RRPSO’s Criminal Investigations Division Office for interview. All three were subsequently transported to, and booked into, the Red River Parish Jail.

The suspect identified as the owner of the vehicle was found to have illegal narcotics on his person and additional narcotics/paraphernalia were located inside the suspect vehicle. Suspects and individual charges are as follows:

Zaveon J. Turbin, B/M, age 19 of the 1300 block of Hunter Green Lane, Fresno, TX was charged with Simple Robbery, Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Schedule I Marijuana with Intent to Distribute and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Jatorain T. Watson, B/M, age 17 of the 200 block of Unique Court, Rosharon, TX was charged with Simple Robbery.

Deonte D. Griggs, B/M, age 18 of the 1100 block of North Magnolia Dill Drive, Fresno, TX was charged with Simple Robbery.

All three remain incarcerated in the Red River Parish Jail awaiting bond to be set.

Lost In The Weeds

For years it has been lost.  It was covered with grown up trees and weeds along US 71 south of Coushatta.  Last week it was uncovered and is almost unrecognizable.

It is a metal sign advertising the Tanglewood Inn.  You can no longer read the phone number or location (which was probably on the upper panel).  Local residents the Journal spoke with did not remember the sign or the Inn either.

So we googled it!

There we found several old post cards.  Notice the late 1950’s Ford Falcon parked in front.  Here is the information we got from the internet:

“U.S. 79 & 80 (West)

5700 Greenwood Road

Shreveport, La.

The Home of Gracious, Old Time Hospitality awaits your stay among the Pines at Tanglewood. We strive to make your visit an enjoyable one. 32 Units. Room TV. Heated Swimming Pool. 100% Air Conditioned. Children’s Playground. Wall to Wall carpeting. Restaurant. Tile baths. 

Mr. & Mrs. Wm. H. Schaub Owners & Operators. AAA Approved. Recommended by Duncan Hines. Member of the Best Western Motels.”

However when we tried to contact them, no phone number was listed on the web or when we called 4-1-1 for information.  Guess we’ll have to drive up there one day and see if the Tanglewood Lodge is there, or not!

Tanglewood Lodge Restaurant Shreveport, LA

ETC… for Wednesday, July 31st

Hickory Grove Baptist Church posted, “Our small group went to the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter. We had such a wonderful time. Definitely worth the long drive.”

Social Springs Baptist Church is having a revival beginning Sunday.  Bro. Scotty McDowell will be the Evangelist.  Bro. James Hester said there will be a meal served after each evening service.

If you have driven by Red River High in the last few days, you may have seen the band practicing in the parking lot.  They usually were out in the morning when the temperature was lower.  Annual Band Camp is going on at Red River.

Wednesday is National Heatstroke Prevention Day.  The National Weather Service said they are teaming up with the NHTSA to raise the awareness through social media of the dangers of leaving kids alone in a hot vehicle. Remember to check the back seat before leaving your vehicle.

Former Coach Booked on Molestation and Prohibited Sexual Contact Charges

On July 18, 2019, the Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office (RRPSO) Criminal Investigations Division received a complaint regarding the molestation of a juvenile by an educator dating back to the summer of 2006 and continuing beyond the victim’s high school graduation in 2012. At the time of the reported abuse, the victim was a student at Riverdale Academy located in Red River Parish where the suspect was employed as a basketball coach/teacher.

During the subsequent investigation, detectives obtained forensic evidence supporting the allegations and obtained an arrest warrant for Steven Pierce Weir on July 23, 2019.  It was confirmed that Weir was currently visiting relatives in Lexington, Kentucky.  RRPSO detectives contacted and forwarded the warrants to detectives with the Lexington Police Department.  The warrants were executed at a residence in Lexington, Kentucky on July 25, 2019. Weir was taken into custody without incident and detained at the Lexington Detention Center pending extradition to Louisiana. 

Red River Parish Sheriff’s detectives traveled to Kentucky and returned with Weir on July 28, 2019.  Steven Pierce Weir, W/M, age 62 of the 1100 block of Taylor Drive, Coushatta, LA was booked into the Red River Parish Jail on the following charges: Molestation of a Juvenile (25 counts), Prohibited Sexual Contact between an Educator and a Student (60 counts) and one count each of Extortion, Computer Aided Solicitation of Minor and Cyberstalking.

Weir remains incarcerated awaiting the assignment of bond. The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are pending.  Anyone with information concerning this specific investigation and/or any other incidents of abuse or inappropriate actions involving Weir, please contact the RRPSO Criminal Investigations Division at (318) 932-6701.

Former Coach Being Returned to Coushatta

Former Riverdale Academy Head Basketball Coach, Steve Weir, is being returned to Coushatta by the Sheriff’s Office.  An official of the Lexington Metro Police Department told The Journal that Weir is no longer in their custody.

Weir was arrested in Lexington on July 25thon a fugitive warrant from Louisiana.  As of this morning he is no longer listed in the county detention facility.  The photo is Weir’s booking photo into the Lexington facility.

According to Dr. Robert Peters, Principal of Riverdale Academy, “Weir is no longer employed by the school, he is no longer the basketball coach.”  Peters said, “I have been in touch with the Sheriff’s Department and was informed that Weir had been arrested.  I cannot say anything more because it is an ongoing investigation.”

A letter to parents of Riverdale students is being drafted and Dr. Peters said it will go out very soon, perhaps before the end of the day.  Peters said he was urging parents and everyone not to listen to or spread the many rumors circulating on the matter.  He also said they are just beginning the process of finding a new basketball coach.

The Journal has made inquiries of the Sheriff’s Office, however, there has been no response as of late this morning.  Sheriff Edwards was quoted by a Shreveport TV station as saying the investigation related to an improper relationship with a student.  Edwards did not elaborate, saying it was an ongoing investigation.

Water Rescue Has Happy Ending

The Red River Parish Fire Protection District took part in a water rescue recently.  Here is their post:

07-22-19 at 11:14 p.m. RRFD was dispatched to the Red River just south of the boat launch for a water rescue. Victim was safely brought back to the boat launch with no injuries. Thank you RRSO, RREMS and CPD for all your help.

The name of the person rescued was not released.

Monday is the Back to School Bash

The annual Back to School BASH is scheduled for Monday evening at Red River High School.  This community-wide event is hosted by United Way of Northwest Louisiana and several local sponsors.

This will be the 3rdannual event.  It is the first one scheduled prior to the start of school. The idea behind BASH is to provide children attending public schools in the parish with all of the school supplies they need.  In prior years, this included pencils, pens, notebooks, note paper, color crayons, glue, and just about any school supply item.  They were pre-packed by grade in a new backpack.

Also in past years there have been hot dog suppers with the dogs grilled by the Red River Sheriff’s Office.

Best advice is to get there early.  The lines are usually long, however there has always been plenty of school supplies for everyone who attends.

Advice on Managing Your Diabetes

If you’re a diabetic, you’re probably very familiar with blood sugar and how to manage it. However, blood sugar management is not just for diabetics. Everyone has blood sugar and can benefit from nutrition and lifestyle changes to keep it in check!

For those of you without diabetes, if your blood sugar runs too high for too long, you increase your risk for diabetes and blood vessel damage. If your blood sugar drops low, it can cause fatigue, brain fog, irritability, shaking, and anxiety. If you’re a diabetic, these blood sugar highs and lows are more pronounced and can be life-threatening. Below are some tips to manage your blood sugar- diabetic or not! 

Limit Sodas and Refined Carbs:  Check the ingredient list.  If the first ingredient is ‘flour’ or some sort of sweetener, it’s a refined carb and will cause a blood sugar roller coaster.

Eat Regular, Balance Meals:  Eating 3-5 meals/snacks works for most people to keep energy levels and mood stable.

Exercise:  Insulin resistance is a primary risk factor for diabetes. Exercise is an excellent way to decrease insulin resistance and prevent diabetes.

This information from the HEART Program provided by the MLK Health Center and funded by BHP.

New Immunization Requirements for High School Students

Administrative Assistant Ginny Hines with the School Board notified The Journal of a new immunization requirement that must be done before school starts in a few days.

High School Requirements

Effective July 1, 2019, Louisiana law will require students entering 11thgrade, or 16 years of age and entering any grade, to provide satisfactory evidence of current immunization meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV) against meningococcal disease as a condition of school entry.  This requirement expands on the current requirement for students in 6thgrade or that are 11 years of age.

The statute continues to allow an exemption from this school entry requirement for medical reasons or written dissent.

Money! Money! Money!

All summer folks have been signing up to get text message alerts just before all Red River High and Riverdale Academy sporting event broadcasts.  They have also been entered in The Journal’s “Early Bird” contest.

Our 4thweekly winner of $100 cash is Cathie Parker of Coushatta.  She signed up to get notices of all Bulldog broadcasts.

Parker is a substitute teacher at Red River High School.  Like all other faculty and staff, she is getting ready for the start of another school year.  She said the cash would come in very handy.

The “Early Bird” signup runs through next Friday.  If you haven’t signed up for text alerts before high school sporting event broadcasts, do so now.  Just click on this link:

CLICK HERE – > Sports Signup

Note that if you signed up earlier, you are in the hopper to win the money.  No need to sign up again, the computer will only accept one entry per person.  The Journal promises that your information will not be sold or given away and we won’t spam you.  There may be a system test or two before the first game, but that is all.

Get ready to kick off football broadcasts of Riverdale Academy on August 23rdand Red River High on September 6th.

Anderson’s Produce Celebrated 20th Anniversary

Last Saturday was the celebration of the 20th season for Anderson’s Produce.  Jason Anderson and family have grown and sold produce at their farm on LA 174 in south Red River Parish.

Anderson told The Journal earlier, “Twenty years is something to celebrate.  And we are going to have a big celebration.”  The day featured a water slide for the kids, a couple of food trucks and of course a bountiful supply of locally grown produce.

After the event Saturday, Anderson posted, “We want to give a BIG thank you to everyone that helped us celebrate on Saturday! It was incredible to all of the support and to welcome so many smiling faces.

However the end of the growing season is fast approaching. Anderson said, “Here’s to a FANTASTIC end of the season!  Our last day will be SATURDAY, July 27th.  We will have some vegetables until we close, but PLEASE call 932-1432 for availability!
Anderson concluded, “We hope everyone has had a wonderful summer.  Thank you for a great season!”

Teaching Kids Mealtime Magic

By Jacque Fontenot

On Tuesday July 16th a cooking/nutrition class called Mealtime Magic was held at the 4-H office.  Mrs. Diane Uzzle, the Parish Chair and FCS Agent, taught the students, about myplate, which is a way to make sure that they are getting a balanced diet.  After learning kitchen safety and measuring tips from Mrs. Jacque, they followed recipes and cooked brown bag popcorn, mug cookies, and mug pizza.  They also had to blend the smoothies they made by riding the “blender bike”. 

The girls were excited to learn new recipes and how to tell if they were getting all of the types of foods that they needed for nutritious meals and snack times.  4-H members that enjoy cooking can choose the cooking project book to complete during the school year.  They can also attend food and fitness camp, a weekend camp where they can learn even more about making healthy choices.      

Those participating in Mealtime Magic included Raegan Cannon, Alaina Boyd, Julia Grace Riggs, Madelyn Chamberlin, Madison Chamberlin, Shirley Boyd, and Julia Grace Riggs.

Season Ends With a Bang

One of last summer’s most popular and best attended programs at the Red River Parish Library is making a return engagement.  Children’s Librarian Kala Sims advises parents that the room will be full for Monday’s 2:00 pm performance.

Lady Chops will perform live.  She is a percussionist whose real name is Elizabeth Vidos.  Her show is high energy.  The kids are involved in the show.  And there is never-dull music.

Sims assembled a very successful and well-attended series of Monday afternoon programs.  It is all part of the Library’s “A Universe of Stories” summer reading program.  Sims said that children who have completed their reading lists will be recognized.

Sims’ best advice is “Get there early!”