Well Blowout Friday Morning

From the Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office:

At 3:21 a.m. this morning (August 30, 2019) Red River Communications received reports of a gas well blow out/fire at a remote location just north of the south intersection of LA Hwy 515 and US Hwy 71.

There were no injuries reported or evacuations required.

The fire continues to burn, however, there is no immediate threat to the public. All roads remain open.

Louisiana State Police (LSP) Haz Mat Unit, DEQ and Emergency Services are on site.

The LSP Haz Mat Unit is in charge of the scene.

We got this information on the well fire state police:

There was an incident on a well location resulting in a fire.  No injuries have occurred.  There also isn’t any evacuations or road closures at this time.  LSP Emergency Services are on scene and the incident is contained to the well pad and is not affecting anything off the well pad.

DOTD has delivered highway signs instructing thru traffic to slow down and watch for extra truck traffic.  Heavy machinery is being brought in to deal with the incident.  

LSP asks the public to please use caution in the area and wishes to remind the public that stopping on the shoulder of the highway is illegal and very dangerous.  

Monday is Labor Day

Most of Red River Parish will observe this national holiday on Monday with a day off from work. Essential services such as fire and police protection will be on the job, however banks and government offices will be closed.  The Police Jury has moved its September meeting to Tuesday, September 2nd because of the holiday.

The local veterans service organization, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post and Auxiliary 7287 will be promoting “Service to Veterans.”  Post 7287 will be at Rivertown market distributing Buddy Poppies.  The Auxiliary will hold a bake sale.  All donations will go toward service to area veterans.

Here is a history of Labor Day from the US Department of Labor:

On September 2, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor celebrates and honors the greatest worker in the world – the American worker. Labor Day 2019 is the 125th anniversary of Labor Day being celebrated as a national holiday.

What it Means:  Labor Day is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed in 1885 and 1886. From these, a movement developed to secure state legislation. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. During 1887, four more states – Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York – created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 more states had adopted the holiday, and on June 28, 1894, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.

Who was the founder of Labor Day?  More than a century after the first Labor Day observance, there is still some doubt as to who first proposed the holiday for workers.

Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a co-founder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold.”

But Peter McGuire’s place in Labor Day history has not gone unchallenged. Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday. Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. What is clear is that the Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic.

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.

By 1894, 23 more states had adopted the holiday, and on June 28, 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed a law making the first Monday in September of each year a national holiday.

Team Roping Event at Cowboy Church

September 21stis Joe Boy Day at the Red River Cowboy Church arena on Highway 1.  It is billed as a day to honor cowboys in the Red River Valley.

Events are planned for both morning and afternoon sessions.  There will be belt buckles given as prizes with saddles given to high money winner in each roping.  Details of the event are given in the event flyer.

Get more information on the team roping from Scottie Johnson.  His phone number is 318-652-0429.  Cowboy Church is located at Lake End where LA 1 meets LA 174.

Ice Cream to Celebrate

Last Saturday afternoon (August 24th) participants in Celebrate Recovery had a get together.  It was billed as an Ice Cream Social.  The event brought together participants and their families for an old-fashioned good time.

The leader of Celebrate Recovery is Justin Wiley.  He teaches Sunday School at Open Door Fellowship in addition to managing the group. The Journal asked Wiley why is there a Celebrate Recovery program here? Wiley said, “We exist because there is a need for it!”

“Our saying is ‘for your hurts, hang-ups and habits’ so everyone is welcome,” said Wiley.  He issued an invitation to the community, “We meet each Thursday night at Open Door.  We begin with a meal at 5:30.  Large groups meet at 6:00 and small groups meet at 7:00.”

Wiley said that they average 15 to 20 folks a week and there is plenty of room for you to join them. Note that the program is completely confidential.  What you share at a meeting stays within that group.  The folks shown in the photos volunteered to be included.  Others declined and the Journal respects their privacy.

On Saturday, Linda Stevens brought several churns of homemade ice cream. Some popular store brands were also available.  There were sprinkles, toppings, syrups, etc. to go on your cone or waffle bowl full of deliciousness.  There was a deep dish home baked apple pie.  And Virgie Hoof, her daughter Bonnie Bruner and friend Frank Rose brought a huge pan of banana pudding.

There were hugs, laughs, and a few tears as members exchanged stories.  Everyone had a great time and went home looking forward to their next Ice Cream Social.

Sheriff Offering Hunter Education

For those interested in taking the Louisiana Hunter Education Course, the Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office will offer the training on September 11-12 and 14, 2019. The course is required for anyone born on or after September 1, 1969 in order to hunt in the state of Louisiana (unless he/she is under the direct supervision of a qualified person as defined by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries).



September 11th & 12th from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and September 14th from 8:00 a.m. to noon (You must attend all three sessions)


Grand Bayou Resort Event Center

5286 Hwy 784

Coushatta, LA 71019

Who can attend?

Anyone 10 years of age or older from any parish (limited to the first 50 people to register)

How do I register?

Pre-registration is required on the Louisiana Wildlife & Fisheries website (see link below)


Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office – Lieutenant Roger Longino, Deputy David Adkins and Captain Tracy Scott (retired)

Louisiana State Police – Trooper Melvin Massey

Office of Emergency Preparedness – Director Shane Hubbard

We look forward to seeing you there!


Autism Group to Meet

What: Autism Support Group Meeting,  (Voices 4 Autism)

When: September 7, 2019

Where: Natchitoches Parish Library

450 Second St. on the 3th Floor Meeting Room

Time: 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

Voices 4 Autism Parent Support Group, are here after you’ve gotten a diagnosis from a professional, you may have many questions that aren’t the kind your clinician can help with. By finding other parents who are facing, or have faced the same issues, many parents feel better able to navigate a path they never envisioned. Ms. Lela 318-529-0638

From: Lela Harvey, President/Cofounder of Voices 4 Autism Parent Support Group, a  nonprofit organization.  Contact Lela at lelaharvey531961@yahoo.com.

Voices 4 Autism, When you speak up and use your voices you can make so many changes.

Prayer Group Forming at Abundant Life

The church posted on their social media outlet “Hi ALWC, if you are interested in joining a start-up prayer group, please come to an interest meeting immediately after service in the prayer room on Sunday, 9/1. “This prayer group will be seeking the power of God in our everyday lives, for our church, for our community and for our world. If you join, you will be a part of group who is willing to intercede for other people and be on the frontline of prayer against spiritual warfare. 
“We hope to see you there!”

We’re Keeping an Eye on Dorian

The National Weather Service said Thursday that Hurricane Dorian is forecast to make landfall along the central Florida coast Monday morning as a category 4 hurricane.

At the present time there are no warnings posted on the Louisiana Gulf Coast, however things could change by the end of the long Labor Day weekend.

Check out the latest from the National Hurricane Center: http://ow.ly/LOVP50vO7I0

In northwest Louisiana about only actions most people take at this point is to make sure they have plenty of supplies just in case.  Keep an eye on the forecast over the Labor Day weekend.

ETC… for Friday, August 30th

Clara Springs Camp posted, “Thank you FBC Converse for helping us feed 410 people. We all had a great time of fellowship,  eating lots of fish, & ending the night with a concert by the Lisemby Family.”  The fish fry was held August 23rd.  The next Fourth Friday Fish Fry will be on September 27th.

Open Door Fellowship says the glitch on their website has been corrected.  The online registration for fall football and volleyball is up once again.  Because of the interruption in service, the registration deadline has been extended through September 6th.

A Master’s of Science in Computer Information Systems at Northwestern State University has been approved by the State Board of Regents.  The 33-hour degree program would be offered completely online, the only program of its type offered by a public college or university in Louisiana. Students would take nine required classes along with two electives.

The local 4-H office posted their fall service project for Junior Leaders (13 yr-18 yr) is the Therapeutic Riding Program at Cowboy Church. If you’re interested in volunteering for this awesome project, call the office 932-4342.

August 27thwas an anniversary.  The day marked 12 years for Bro. Bubba and Mandi Mills serving as Camp Directors at Clara Springs Camp. Mills said, “We are so grateful that the Lord called us here.”

Riverdale at the Nursing Home

August 21stwas is National Senior Citizen’s Day and the Riverdale Academy cheerleaders were invited to Green Meadow Haven to help celebrate. They performed two cheers and a band chant in the dining hall.  They also made a few stops to visit with some very special residents. Thank you to Ms. Mary Tom Cowser and the Green Meadow staff for this great opportunity.

From National Today:

“Do you have an elderly person in your life that you love and appreciate? National Senior Citizens Day,  August 21,  is the day to let them know how much you care and it’s an opportunity to recognize their accomplishments.  In 1988, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed this holiday to raise awareness about issues that affect senior citizens and their quality of life.

“Today, seniors are still active in their communities as well as continuing to have a strong presence in the workforce.  For all they do and have achieved for the good of their communities, senior citizens deserve our thanks!”

We found this information on a website called National Today. They claim to be making every day a holiday.  Here is their mission statement:

“At National Today, our goal is to gather all the special holidays and moments from around the world — the occasions that bring people together — and help everyone celebrate with special events, helpful tips, discounts, deals, and plenty of fun.”

Super Heroes at Elementary School

By Principal Shenell Deville

For the 2019-2020 school year, Red River Elementary has selected “SUPER HEREOS” as the schoolwide theme to create a positive environment for students and staff.  Each month, Principal Deville and the Staff Recognition Committee selects five staff members who will be named Super Heroes.  Our monthly Super Heroes are recognized for their heroism for taking on difficult tasks, selflessness for putting the kids and others’ needs before their own, humility for adhering to protocols, team effort, and attendance. 

For the month of August out five Super Heroes are Betty Owens, Custodian, Lawanna Fowler, PreK Special Education Teacher, Gladys Griffith, 1st Grade Special Education Teacher, Demetrice McDuffy, Head Start Paraprofessional, and Joceyln French, 3rd/5th Grade Special Education Teacher.

Our Super Heroes are spotlighted on the main hallway bulletin board, presented with a certificate, granted a duty-free lunch pass, and given a bag with their favorite snacks personally selected by Principal Deville. In addition, our PAWsome Parents gifted them with a basket from Red River Industries.

Meet Martin Adkins

Coushatta has a full time Funeral Director at Kilpatrick’s Rose-Neath Funeral Home.  He is Martin Adkins, a lifelong resident of Red River Parish.

Adkins attended LSUS after high school where he majored in Graphic Design. However in 2017 he found employment with Kilpatrick’s Rose-Neath.  His story of how he came back to Coushatta had a heavenly influence.

Adkins said, “I believe God put me here at the time he did.”  He explained, “I had been out of work for two years with no luck finding employment.  About this time I made a decision for Jesus and a short time later heard about the opening at Rose-Neath.”

“Once accepted for the job, I realized how important it is to help people,” explained Adkins.  His advancement did not come easy.  Adkins said, “I started an internship in order to advance.  I completed over 1,500 hours plus worked 36 cases.  That was more than I needed to be qualified, so I took the State Boards examination from the Louisiana State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors.”

Adkins explained it all worked out for him to come back to Coushatta.  The Rose-Neath Funeral Home in Coushatta’s Funeral Director, Merle Tidwell, had retired, so there was a vacancy.  He said, “I walked in just at the right time to fill a need here in Coushatta.”

What are Adkins’ other interests?  He said, “I ran cross country in high school.  And I have practiced Karate since I was eleven years old.  Now I enjoy writing and illustrating.”  Adkins said he has a rough draft of his first book and hopes to be published.

Kilpatrick’s Rose-Neath invites you to stop by and introduce yourself to Martin Adkins.  He can answer any questions you have about his duties here in Coushatta.

Painting Is Therapy

Last Wednesday evening several stroke survivors participated in Strokes for Stroke at Jolie 1818 Studio on Front Street.  The Northwest Louisiana American Heart Association put on the event in cooperation with the local health unit.

The paintings created will be included in a mobile display to be shown across the northwest part of the state.  The Coushatta event was number 6 in a series of twelve events planned.

The Journal asked Jill Lucero, Regional Director of the American Heart Association, the importance of the Coushatta event.  Lucero said, “It is raising awareness.  For those who live around stroke survivors can know the risks and the steps to take to prevent a stroke or heart attack.”  Lucero added, “I work with stroke survivors.  A stroke doesn’t mean you can’t do anything.  I just want them to show what they can do instead.”

Catherine Bijolle owns 1818 Studio and she has experience with her own family members who suffered a stroke.  Bijolle said, “To see young people recovering and able to paint is amazing.  One lady was only 25 when she had a stroke.  Two years later she is painting.  It is so amazing the progress that has been made in stroke treatment.”

Lucero said the paintings created last Wednesday will be on display beginning in September.  The public display will be at East Bank Art Gallery in Bossier City in October and November.  There will be other stops around the area as well.

Note the kitten in the basket is the Guard Cat at Jolie 1818.  So be careful!

Praying For Our Schools

Red River Public Schools, Riverdale Academy and over one hundred other schools and colleges will be prayed for Thursday night, August 29th.  Bro Marvin Leleux of Springhill Baptist Church are conducting their third annual prayer service.

Leleux told the Journal it is a ministry of their church.  “We began several years ago with a small group praying for the students, teachers, and staff of a few schools, he said.  Leleux added, “Members of our congregation suggest more and more schools to pray for.  And the number of people taking part has skyrocketed.”

Bro. Marvin described the service as “God driven.  It is a service of worship and prayer for our schools.  We are seeking His face.”

Springhill Baptist Church is located on Springhill Church Road between LA 4 and LA 514 in the Loggy Bayou area.  The service is August 29thbeginning at 6:30 pm.

Riverdale Opens Football Season

The 2019 High School football season is underway.  Riverdale Academy opened the season on the road.  They traveled to Bastrop to play the Prairie View Spartains.

The Rebels put 38 points on the board, however that was not quite enough.  Final score was Prairie View 50 and Riverdale 38.  Both squads had great aggressive offenses, and both defenses left something to work on in the future.

This week Riverdale is again on the road.  They travel to far northeast Louisiana to play the Briarfield Colonels at Lake Providence.  Kickoff will be at 7:00. 

Journal Sports will stream the Rebels game live beginning about 6:45.  You can find links to the game on social media, or on the RedRiverParishJournal.com menu.  Click on Listen Rebels.  Fans who have signed up for the text message alerts will get a text at 6:45 alerting you to the game.  The text will contain a link to listen to the game.  If you have not signed up to get the text messages, click this link:

CLICK HERE – > Sports Signup

Here is a suggestion for a great before or after game meal.  Try Zips Cajun Restaurant at 218 N. Hood Street in Lake Providence.  I discovered the place during the basketball tournament last year.  I was not disappointed in the boiled shrimp, gumbo or homemade pie.  A tip:  Go Hungry!

Vines Donation

Last week Red River athletics received a nice donation from a local natural gas company.  Here is the school’s post:

Thank you Vine Oil and Gas for continuing to invest in the community.  Today Vine Oil and Gas came to Red River High School and delivered $1,500 dollars to our Girls Volleyball and Softball Team and this will help them purchase much needed equipment to get this season started off with a bang.

New Children’s Program at Social Springs

From Mike Waters at Social Springs

We are kicking off a new program at Social Springs Baptist Church this Saturday.  The event is called “TEAM KID”.  We invite parents with children to come and enjoy food and fellowship and to explore the program. It starts at 11:00 am and ends at 2:00 pm.

Substitute Teachers Needed

Red River Parish School District is holding a new substitute teacher training session and regular substitute training on Friday, September 13, 2019 at the title 1 parent center.

New training begins at 9:00 a.m.

All application paperwork must be completed by Friday, September 6th, 2019

This is mandatory training for all new substitutes in Red River Parish for the 2019-2020 school year.

A high school diploma or GED is required.  So is your driver’s license and social security card. Applicants must be 20 years of age or have 2 successful semesters of college.

Call 318.932.4081,  ext. 3145 with questions.

ETC… for Wednesday, August 28th

From the parish 4-H office:  Club meetings start next week!  Join by September 6th to receive a Red River 4-H drawstring bag.

The Journal received a nice compliment from a reader: “Thank you for being news that we can count on.”  And thank you also.  We appreciate feedback at RedRiverParishJournal@gmail.com.

The Red River Bulldogs have a scrimmage Friday night. They will play Loyola College Prep in Shreveport.

Northwestern State University’s Department of Military Science will hold an activation ceremony for the 70th Demon Battalion beginning at 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5 on the Kyser Hall Brickway.  The time was pushed back from 3:30 p.m. to accommodate student class schedules.  In case of inclement weather, the program will take place on the east concourse of Prather Coliseum.  The annual program ushers in the new academic year and establishes the new battalion and its leadership. A reception will follow the program. The public is invited.

The regular monthly meeting of the Red River Parish Police Jury will be a day later than usual.  The regular meeting date is the first Monday of the month, however in September the first Monday falls on Memorial Day.  The Police Jury will meet Tuesday September 3rdat 5:30 for committees.  The meeting is at 6:30.

Celebration of Breastfeeding Month

August is Breastfeeding Month.  It was marked by an informational event at the Red River Parish Health unit, organized by Nursing Supervisor Yashica Turner.

Mothers and expectant moms were invited to get information on the benefits of breastfeeding.  Turner pointed out that both the baby and the mother benefit when the child is breastfed.

The WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counseling supervisor, Angie Jerry attended.  She provided information on that service.  Jerry said, “We’re hiring Peer Counselors.  Mothers on WIC who have breastfed for at least six months can become counselors.  It is a full-time, paid position.”  Contact Jerry at 318-614-8331 if interested in signing up to become a counselor or getting more information about WIC.

The LSU Ag Center was represented at the event.  Diane Uzzle had a table of information.  She also provided insulated carry bags and other goodies for attendees.  She was giving information on the SNAP program.

Another topic covered at the gathering was childhood immunizations.  The Health Unit provides vaccinations for qualified recipients. They also provide shot records for kids attending school.

Holiday Express to Return

The Holiday Express Christmas train is coming back to Coushatta. The train stopped here and over 2,000 area folks flocked to take a tour in December 2017.  We were not on the schedule last year, however Coushatta is not getting left out this holiday season.

Mark your calendar for Tuesday December 3rd.  The Holiday Express will be here, and tours will begin at 4:00 pm.

The KCS Holiday Express is a festive, six-car train that brings Santa Claus and his elves to communities throughout the company’s U.S. rail network. There are twelve Louisiana stops this year, and Coushatta will be the sixth. Other stops are three in the Baton Rouge-New Orleans area, Shreveport, and four stops along Louisiana’s western border towns.

Guests to the train can visit with Santa Claus and walk through three cars filled with holiday displays. Each event is free, open to the public and no tickets are required.  In addition, at each scheduled stop, a charitable contribution is made to the local Salvation Army to provide warm clothes and other necessities for children in need.

The Holiday Express was created in 2001 as volunteers dedicated more than 8,000 hours to transform retired rail cars. Today, these cars feature a smiling tank car named Rudy; a flatcar carrying Santa’s sleigh, reindeer and a miniature village; a gingerbread boxcar; the elves’ workshop; a reindeer stable; and a little red caboose.

The photos accompanying this article are from the Holiday Express stop on Front Street in 2017.  Over 2,000 people visited the train that day.

The train will be in Coushatta two days before the annual Christmas Festival and Parade on December 5th.

Public Involvement Invited

Red River Parish Public School Leaders are sending a special invitation to all parent and community members.  This invitation is providing the opportunity to become a Schoolwide Plan Team Member of the school of their choice.  Anyone may also participate in Schoolwide Plan Team meetings as a visitor rather than a formal Team Member. 
The place, date and time for each meeting includes:
Red River Elementary
August 26, 2019
9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.
Room 201
Red River Jr. High
August 27, 2019
9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.
Red River High School
August 28, 2010
9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
Room 303 (former 9th grade academy)
Schoolwide Team Members will review the comprehensive reform strategies selected by the school to improve academic achievement for all students.  Plans for this school year will be a continuation of plans already in place but updated to reflect changes required according to school and student progress during the previous year.  Parents and family members are encouraged to provide input and comments.