Cut the Nets and Celebrate

The final buzzer sounded, and the stands overflowed onto the court.  The Lady Bulldogs last night had just won their third playoff game, defeating number 7 ranked Ferriday 64 to 47.

The Lady Bulldogs started strong and finished even stronger.  Ferriday enjoyed a 2 point lead at one time but only for a few seconds.

This was their night and the ladies knew it.  Morgan, Kaitlyn and Danielle tore up the 3-point shots.  Ma’Kaila controlled the boards and fed it under the basket over and over and over.

Next stop is Lake Charles and the state semi-finals.  The brackets with game day and time should be updated this weekend. UPDATE:  #3 Avoyelles Public Charter was upset Thursday night by #6 French Settlement.  Score 51 to 45.  Red River will play French Settlement in the semi-finals at 2:45 pm Thursday, March 5th at Burton Coliseum Lake Charles.

Black History Program

Residents of Green Meadow Haven were presented a special Black History Month program this week.  Guest speakers were Billy Henry, Jr. and his sister Carlena Henry.

Billy Henry is a coach and teacher at Red River High.  He said, “My area of expertise is athletics.  Athletics inspire you to beat the odds to achieve in everyday life.”  As examples, Henry presented Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Tiger Woods and others.

Henry said, “Abdul-Jabbar was the all-time leading scorer in the NBA, and he has six titles.  He is considered the greatest player in NBA history.  He grew up in New York and stood 5’ 8” in seventh grade.  He grew to 6’ 11” by the time he got out of college at UCLA and began his pro career.  He worked hard to make something of himself and inspire others.”

Another athlete Henry cited was Tiger Woods.  “My son Billy is inspired to play golf by Tiger Woods,” Henry said.  Woods was the first African-American to win the Masters golf tournament.  Henry said, “He went on to win another thirteen major tournaments.  And he came back to win the Masters in 2019.”

Other athletes Henry noted were gymnast Simone Biles and boxer Joe Lewis.  Henry told their stories and noted they all had great accomplishments in their lives and sports careers.

Henry concluded, “I love sports and how it can help a person get an education.  Get educated through sports and come back and support your community.”

His sister Carlena Henry spoke about the lives of Sarah Breedlove and Granville Woods.  Henry said, “She was known as Madam C.J. Walker, an American entrepreneur, philanthropist, and a political and social activist.  She was a self-made woman and the wealthiest African-American businesswoman at the time of her death in 1919.”

Henry said, “Breedlove suffered hair loss and in 1905 she was searching for a solution to problems Black women have with their hair.  She was inspired and she helped people with their own ideas.”

Another person Henry highlighted was Granville Woods.  She said, “He was an inventor and held more than 60 patents.  Woods was the first African-American to be a mechanical and electrical engineer after the Civil War.” In 2006, Woods was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.  Henry said, “He was self-taught and one of his notable inventions was the Multiplex Telegraph, a device that sent messages between train stations and moving trains.”

Henry concluded, “Woods was self-taught and I am teaching myself to play the flute.  I know it doesn’t matter who you are, you can do what you want.”


By Coach Ty Hester

I’m going to try to keep this post as short as possible, because I think I could write a book about the memories my team and I have made this year.

First of all, I want to thank everyone who has helped us this year whether it was keeping stats, running the clock for us at home games, booking hotel rooms, carrying kids to/from games, etc. There are entirely too many to thank you all without missing one, but you know who you are, and we couldn’t do it without you.

Now onto my guys. I could not be prouder of a group of young men than I am of these 13 players I had the privilege of coaching this year. Through 17 games we were 7-10. We didn’t look good, we certainly weren’t playing well, and we didn’t really have an identity. Some nights we would shoot the ball alright but not guard anybody, and some nights it was the other way around.

The turning point of our season came on a Saturday evening in Monroe, LA after getting blown out by the 4th best team in our own district. That was the 17th of the 17 games I alluded to above. The next Monday, instead of having a normal 2-hour practice, we took about 1.5 hours to have a meeting. They got my input and I got theirs, and most importantly everybody was honest with each other. 

We went on to win our last 9 regular season games and all of the sudden, we were going to have the opportunity to make a postseason run like we had planned to before the season started. We were able to make it to the South A Championship game where we didn’t play our best and came up short against a very good WCCA team on their home floor. We were all disappointed, but I knew exactly how my team was going to respond. We drew the host-school Delta Academy in the first round of our state tournament and played our best game of the year, knocking them off 72-54 to advance to the final 4. In a very competitive game, we got beat by the eventual state champion Humphreys Academy who played great and shot 71% from the field. 

I can’t put into words how gutting of a loss it was for everyone involved. We felt like we played well enough to win. We felt like we were good enough to win the whole thing, and we expected to. And we realized in that locker room that we weren’t going to be able to run it back, as bad as we all wanted to. But then, the following day, we knocked off the same WCCA team that had previously beaten us to finish 3rd in Class A and earn a trip to the Overall Tournament held at Mississippi College. Final score was 65-54.

But more than the result of any game or games this year, I’m most proud of the relationship that my team has both with me and with each other. I’ve been playing and coaching basketball at the JV and Varsity levels for around 10 years now, and I’ve never seen a group of guys become as close as my guys did over the back half of the season. We decided a couple weeks ago that regardless of what happened during the post season, we were going to go through it together. And that’s exactly what we did. We’ve always said “1-2-3-win” during our huddles but we added “4-5-6-family” at some point during the year because that’s what we became. I truly have had the most fun and rewarding year coaching this group. I told them that I wouldn’t trade the relationship we had, and the fun times we had, for any number of trophies we could’ve won this year. And they all agreed that they wouldn’t trade the year we had for anything, even though we fell short of our ultimate goal. 

I told them earlier in the year that “the destination is the journey” and that their season wouldn’t be defined by any trophy. It’s about the locker rooms, the huddles, the practices, and how you handle any and all adversity that defines you. And in those areas, I like us vs. any team in the world. Now, we get to go play the best team in the entire MSAIS, 5A #1 seed MRA on Tuesday at 7. I’m not exactly sure how that one is going to shake out, but I know we’re going to have some fun with it.

Thank you to everyone who supported (and doubted, lol) us throughout the course of this season. We can’t wait to get back to work this summer. 

Challenge Camp

Red River 4-H reported, “We enjoyed Challenge camp with these 7/8 graders and my fearless, awesome counselors!”

Thanks to the Mills family for their warm welcome at Clara Springs! It is such a nice place to camp.

Special thanks to Cpt. Gallier and Lt. Murray for coming to visit us at Challenge camp and talk about being safe. They did an excellent job of teaching over 100 4-hers some self-defense techniques! We appreciate adults willing to share with our students.

Northwest Region 7-8 graders had a great time “unlocking their potential “ during Challenge Camp. Fun event learning about teamwork and developing decision making skills.

Fighting the Good Fight 

By Reba Phelps

Twice a year, whether I want to not, I get the distinct pleasure of visiting with my family physician. 

As luck would have it, I do adore her as a person and enjoy seeing her. The downside is that I find myself getting significantly anxious a few days ahead of our designated greeting time. I have even been known to reschedule our visit multiple times.

It starts with me stressing over what I weighed on our previous visit. I never can remember the exact number. Or, maybe I just block it out after I hear it. I weigh every day on my bathroom scales but somehow her scales hate me and add weight that I did not bring with me. 

One would think that after so many visits, and no surprises, that I would be cool as a cucumber because the routine never varies. 

I sign in. Dread the scales. Visit with friendly staff. Dread the scales. Pay co-pay. Dread the scales. Wait in the lobby with a magazine and…..dread the scales. When they finally call my government name I immediately begin to sweat profusely. Like a lamb being led to the slaughter, my heart races and all of my unhealthy eating habits suddenly flash before my eyes. 

Why did I eat that second cupcake? I know better. 

When the nurse asks me to step on the scales I immediately remove every item of clothing and jewelry that may weigh more than an ounce. I can shuck shoes, practically undress and drop a purse before the nurse even comes around to start sliding the balance beam scale. 

On this particular visit the scale was teetering between a five and six, within a particular number group. (The third digit, not the first digit) Trying to help the nurse out with her vision, I quickly solved the problem for her. It was a five. That one pound held every bit of my self-confidence for the day. I am not sure if she could feel me internally begging and pleading for it to be a five, but she agreed. 

She is my soul sister. She knows what’s up. 

After we made our way to the exam room and she asked her myriad of questions I asked her to tell me what I weighed on my last visit. She told me I weighed the exact same today as I did last time. When she said those words, it was as if the room lit up brightly and I could hear heavenly angels singing. Heaven was rejoicing for me that I did not gain a pound. 

Pure joy overtook my heart as I waited on the doctor to enter the room. I was celebrating myself for holding it steady and I could not wait to see the look on the good doctor’s face when she found out my good news. She has never judged me or made me feel bad for being overweight, but I know she has a job to do. She has to share with me all of the risks and potential things that can wrong while being thick. 

I have always looked at her more as a partner than anything else. She shares healthy tips with me, she roots for me and encourages me. She offers workable solutions. On the occasions where the scales have actually went up, I have truly felt like a child who brought home a failing grade. She was disappointed but yet still hopeful. She doesn’t give up on me. 

When I heard her tap on the door announcing her entrance, I sat up straight… people who maintain their weight always have wonderful posture. I was literally about to burst, I needed her to acknowledge the non-movement of the scales. 

I am fairly certain she could tell that I was looking extra slim and I was winning the battle with my weight. As soon as she asked all of her pertinent questions she did the weight comparison and a sudden look of delight came over her face. 

She asked what changes have occurred in my routine because whatever I was doing was working. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I probably lost the same five pounds three different times in the last six months. But, nonetheless, she was happy, and I was happy. As we were wrapping up our visit she looked me with the most sincere look and said, “Keep fighting the good fight and look for the little wins.”

It tickled me. It truly made me smile. But, my inner Negative Nancy voice thought that she had possibly given up on me. The more I overthought it, my Positive Polly came away with the conclusion. She was happy for me!

The thing I don’t understand is why my self-confidence was so tied to the number on the scale. Is there not more to our lives that what we weigh? This may be not a Biblical fact, but I am quite sure we can add this to the list of things that went wrong when Eve ate the forbidden fruit. 

The more we focus on our imperfections it takes valuable time and precious energy away from our true intended purpose in our lives. I know that we are loved immeasurably by a father who is accepting of us at any size. 

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

Psalm 139:14.

Eating and Singing

There is a special program of hymn singing planned tonight during the Clara Springs Fish Fry.  Get there early for a delicious Fourth Friday Fish Fry and Heavenly Highway Hymns.

Social Springs Baptist Church will host, prepare and serve the fried fish.  All you can eat is only $10 from 5:00 until 7:30 pm.

At 6:30, Price Harris and guests will lead Heavenly Highway Singing in the Worship Center.  Bring your hymn book or buy one at the camp.

Capitol Briefing – Auto Insurance Reform

By Gabe Firment, District 22 State Representative

In the last edition of the Capitol Briefing I stated that the number one priority facing the state legislature this session is to pass common sense Tort Reform legislation designed to lower personal and commercial automobile insurance rates. “Tort” Reform simply refers to changes in the civil justice system that aim to reduce the ability of plaintiffs to bring frivolous lawsuits against defendants and to ensure that monetary awards are commensurate with the damages sustained. Our broken legal system has tilted the scales of justice in favor of billboard trial lawyers whose unethical advertising methods have convinced scores of Louisianians that an automobile accident is the equivalent of winning the lottery.  

As a result of our toxic legal environment, Louisiana has been named a “Judicial Hellhole” for 7 straight years and we currently have the second highest auto insurance rates in the nation. Hard-working lower and middle class families across the state have been among the hardest hit by the insurance crisis, with many families simply unable to afford the exorbitant automobile insurance premiums. The situation is even more desperate for small business owners such as logging contractors, farmers, and truckers who have no choice but to purchase commercial auto policies in a marketplace where most insurance companies have left the state or been forced to raise their rates due to the trial lawyers zeal for suing anyone with higher policy limits and deeper pockets.

Comprehensive tort reform measures are required to stop the precipitous climb of auto insurance rates and put money back into the pockets of Louisiana families. I will be supporting legislation to decrease the civil jury trial threshold from $50,000.00 to $5,000.00, which will help prevent personal injury attorneys from shopping their cases for judges known to blatantly favor plaintiffs. Louisiana’s $50,000.00 jury trial threshold is clearly an outlier compared to the rest of the nation, with the next closest state having a $15,000.00 limit, and 36 states with a $0.00 threshold. 

Another important piece of tort reform legislation will address the collateral source rule which essentially allows juries to see only the “sticker price” for medical costs instead of the actual cost incurred by the plaintiff. This typically results in a windfall for the trial lawyer and plaintiff, and is perhaps the biggest driver of our excessively high rates. Legal reform bills filed this session will also address “Direct Action”, or the trial lawyer’s ability to file a lawsuit against a defendant and their insurer, clearly resulting in higher damage awards.  

I will also be supporting repeal of the preposterous “seatbelt gag rule” which prevents a jury from knowing if an injured plaintiff was wearing a seatbelt when the accident occurred. Believe it or not, each of the aforementioned measures were introduced last year and shot down by trial lawyers in the legislature and governor’s mansion.  Although abuse of the legal system by trial lawyers is the leading cause of our high insurance rates, we must also hold insurance companies accountable and ensure that rates are based on verifiable actuarial data and not on arbitrarily determined standards.

I look forward to the spirited debates that will no doubt accompany our efforts to pass this common sense legislation our state urgently needs. Please know that my decisions as your state representative will always be made prayerfully with the best interests of the men and women of District 22 in mind.

ETC… for Friday, February 28th

Tonight is Family Game Night at Abundant Life Worship Center.  The invitation was issued earlier this month to come for games, food and more.

The Natchitoches Hope For Paws is offering residents of Red River parish a spay and neuter special.  Apply online at  You could get $75 towards the procedure.

Today is the 4-H GUMBO LUNCH SALE from 10:30 am until 1:00 pm.  $7 for Chicken/Sausage Gumbo, rice, crackers, and dessert. Help 4-H members raise money to go to summer camps and 4-H U this summer.  Call 932-4342 to place your order!!

Today is the deadline to sign up for ODF Soccer.  Youth ages 5 to 16 can participate.  Sign up at or call 932-6267.

Northwestern State University’s Dance Organization of Students will host a swing dance workshop from 5-6:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 29 in A.A. Fredericks Auditorium.  Admission is $5 per person.  Proceeds will support NSU dance students who plan to attend the American College Dance Association’s annual conference at Florida State University. 

Play Ball!

“Today our facilities are the best in the state, perhaps best in the tri-state region,” said Superintendent Alison Hughes in opening the new Red River Baseball and Softball complex.  The fields saw their first competitions Tuesday after months of clearing land, pouring concrete, and building dugouts, clubhouses and stands.  Hughes said, “Last year at this time we were playing in a crawfish pond (a reference to the old single field that often flooded).”

The ceremonies took place under bright sunshine.  Hughes remarked about the other construction projects on the campus that are at a standstill due to a very wet winter.

The Red River Cheerleaders lead the program.  Members of the High School and Junior High baseball and softball teams were introduced and invited to sign a bat that will become a permanent part of each ball park.

Many people in the school system or the community were thanked for their efforts over the years to get the sports improvements in place.  Former Coach Earl Martin and long-time School Board member Cleve Miller were given special recognition for their contributions.  Martin and Willet were selected to throw out the ceremonial first pitch in each ball park to get play under way.

Then there was the official ribbon cutting.  A large crowd gathered at the site saw a bright ribbon sliced in two places signifying that the fields are now open.  And High School Principal brought the ceremony to a close inviting everyone to the field.  Dickey proclaimed, “Play ball!”

Riverdale Rebels and Lady Rebels Advance to Overall Tournament

By Molly Seales

The Rebels and Lady Rebels spent their week of winter break in Marks, Mississippi fighting to claim state titles. Unfortunately, both teams fell short of their goal, but they played some great basketball.

On Wednesday, February 19, the Lady Rebels took care of business by defeating the Desoto Thunderbirds 61-40.  Three Lady Rebels put up double digits in scoring, led by Bailey Pate with 16 points.  Malea Edwards added 13, and Kenley Loftin provided a spark off the bench by scoring 11.  Rylee Kate Woodard added 7, Bailee King had 6, Brooklyn Azlin and Ronda Black added 3 each.  Morgan Alexander rounded out the scoring with 2 points. 

The Rebels played the late game on Wednesday and defeated Delta Academy on their home court by a score of 72-54.  The boys were on fire from behind the three point line. Parker Almond led all scorers with 21 points. Reagan Huddleston hit 5 3 pointers in the game plus a basket for a total of 17 points.  Caden Long tossed in 4 3 pointers of his own for 12 points.  Jackson Riggs added 17 points against a tough inside defense. Garrett Wilhite added 5 points to round out the scoring.

On Friday, the Lady Rebels and the Rebels played their semi final games.  In a low scoring game, the Lady Rebels defeated the WCCA Lady Rams 31-22.  Bailey Pate had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.  Malea Edwards was a huge asset again, scoring 7 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. Kenley Loftin had 4 points and 7 rebounds.  Rylee Kate Woodard added 3 points, and Bailee King and Morgan Alexander rounded out the scoring with 2 points each.

Later that evening, the Rebels fell short against eventual Class A state champions Humphreys Academy.  They fell short 66-56 but played an amazing game.  Humphreys made 71% of their shots, which put the Rebels at a disadvantage.  Parker Almond again led all scorers with 23 points.  Jackson Riggs had a double-double on the night with 15 points and 11 rebounds.  Caden Long added 11 points, including 3 3 pointers.  Reagan Huddleston added 5 points, and Denver Williams rounded out the scoring with 2.

On Saturday, the Lady Rebels faced the Briarfield Lady Rebels in the championship game.  Unfortunately, they fell just a little short with a score of 47-39.  They played with so much heart the entire week.  Bailey Pate again led all scorers with 22 points and also pulled down 4 rebounds.  Brooklyn Azlin added 5 points.  Malea Edwards had 4 points and was a force under the goal, grabbing 8 rebounds.  Ronda Black chipped in 4 points.  Kenley Loftin had 2 points and was effective on the board, pulling down 9 rebounds.  Bailee King rounded out the scoring with 2 points.  They are the MSAIS Class 1A State Runner up.

Saturday night the Rebels played for 3rd place and pulled off a rematch victory against the WCCA Rams with a final score of 65-54.  Parker Almond again led all scorers with 19 points and 5 rebounds.  Caden Long had a great night chipping in 17 points and grabbing 9 rebounds.  Reagan Huddleston had 12 points, while Jackson Riggs added 5 points and had 5 rebounds.  Denver Williams, who came off the bench, was vital to the win.  He scored 8 points and pulled down 8 rebounds. 

Riverdale Places Five Players on Class 1A All-Tournament Teams

By Molly Seales

Class 1A State Runner Up Riverdale Lady Rebels placed 3 players on the all-tournament team.  The teams are chosen by a committee whose members are present the entire week and watch each game that is played. 

Seniors Bailey Pate and Malea Edwards once again stepped up the entire tournament and led their team to the championship game.  Sophomore Kenley Loftin came off the bench to give the Lady Rebels some outstanding minutes and was an asset in scoring and rebounding.  Congratulations to these 3 young ladies on this honor.

On the boys’ side, our 3rd place Riverdale Rebels placed 2 players on the all-tournament team.  Our only senior Jackson Riggs led his team through the tournament as he has done all year.  Junior Parker Almond does it all on the court and joined Riggs on the all-tournament team.  Congratulations to these 2 young men.

New Catholic Bishop Visits St. George

By Debbie Jones

On February 15th St. George Catholic Church was honored to have the new Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Shreveport officiate over mass. Bishop Frances Malone, the third Bishop of Shreveport, was ordained as a Bishop on January 28, 2020. Bishop Malone comes to us from the Diocese of Little Rock. He is originally from Philadelphia and was ordained to the priesthood in 1977 in Arkansas. He pastored at Christ the King Church and School in Little Rock for nearly 19 years.

The Parishioners of St. George listened to the Bishop describe the clothing and items he was wearing. He said everything was hand me downs other than the miter (Bishop hat) he was wearing. His vestments were almost 75 years old and came from his Uncle who was a Priest, the large cross he wore is 100 years old and came from a relative who was a Catholic Nun and the large gold ring he wore is new but the idea came from his brother who along with his siblings and family had the ring made for the Bishop’s ordination.

The Diocese of Shreveport was formed in 1986 when the Catholic Church added more dioceses to Louisiana. Bishop Malone will shepherd 37 Catholic parishes and missions and 6 Catholic Schools encompassing almost 42,000 Catholics. St. George Catholic Church in Coushatta is a Mission Church under Mary Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Bossier City. Father Jim Moran is the current Priest assigned to St. George. They celebrate Mass on Saturdays at 4 PM.

Bishop Malone will continue to be a spiritual leader to all the Catholics in the Shreveport Diocese and is already proving that he is a true Shephard by visiting even the smallest of his churches and pastoring those of all ages, as you can see from this picture where the Bishop had young Wyche Taylor Coleman wear his miter and shake the hands of people leaving the church.

The One That Got Away

Concetta Franconero was young and in love.  But, as often is the case, her father didn’t approve of her beau, Walden Cassotto.  Concetta was a somebody.  Walden was a nobody.  In the 50s, 60s, and 70s, Concetta recorded hit songs in multiple languages and became an international music and movie star.  Concetta’s father, George, though not her manager, advised her on which songs to record and which to turn down.  Concetta and her father disagreed on many song choices but, as it turned out, most of her hits were songs she had turned down, but her father convinced her to record anyway.  This happened time and time again.  It seemed that father knew best.

Concetta and Walden first met when her manager hired Walden, an aspiring singer and songwriter, to help write songs that would fit her voice.  Concetta and Walden soon fell in love.  As I said before, Concetta’s father DID NOT approve of Walden.  To George, Walden was a hanger-on and would never amount to much.  An aspiring singer and songwriter was no match for his star of a daughter.

One evening George overheard Concetta and Walden making plans to elope.  George was infuriated.  He wouldn’t, he couldn’t stand by and watch his daughter marry a nobody.  He acted quickly, grabbed a gun, burst into the room, and led Walden out, all the while threatening him to never come near his daughter again.  And so it was.  The whirlwind romance came to an end at gunpoint. 

Through the passing years, Walden and Concetta only saw each other a couple of times and on a professional basis only.  Walden eventually married someone else.  Concetta also married …four times, each ending in divorce.  In her biography Concetta wrote that not marrying Walden was the biggest mistake of her life.  You probably know some of Concetta’s hits such as “Who’s Sorry Now,” and “Where the Boys Are,” and may have even seen her starring in the movie of the same name.  You probably don’t recognize the name Concetta Rosa Marie Franconero, but you will recognize her stage name, Connie Francis. …and Walden Cassotto, the nobody who wasn’t good enough for George’s daughter, recorded several hit songs of his own.  Have you ever heard “Splish Splash,” “Dream Lover,” “Mack the Knife,” and “Beyond the Sea?”  You know Walden Cassotto by his stage name…Bobby Darin.


Ladies Pass Second Test

The Red River Lady Bulldogs notched their second playoff victory Monday night.  They defeated the Lady Eagles of Rosepine 73 to 48 to advance to the third round of the Class 2-A basketball playoffs.

Rosepine put up a tough fight but were no match for the Lady Bulldogs.  Coach Missy Antilley’s team steadily widened the gap quarter after quarter.  Despite some sloppy play in the final quarter, and putting their substitutes on the court in the last few minutes, Red River held onto a 25-point lead.

The path narrows and become steeper Thursday night.  The Lady Bulldogs will again have home court advantage for their 6:00 pm game.  The Dawg Pound will be invaded by Ferriday, seeded 7th in 2-A.  On Monday, Ferriday took care of Jonesboro-Hodge 55 to 50.

The boys team begins playoff competition on Friday night.   The Bulldogs will host Kentwood.  That game begins at 7:00 pm.

Harriet Tubman-a Legacy of Steadfast Courage, Faith and Dignity

Harriet Tubman’s life is an inspirational story of a woman with an indomitable spirit, deep and abiding religious faith and steadfast courage who overcame incredible hardships to achieve a life of dignity and freedom for herself, her family and dozens of slaves whom she led to freedom as perhaps the most well known conductor on the Underground Railroad.

She was born into slavery sometime in the early 1820’s. The exact date remains unknown. She was cruelly treated. Beaten and whipped throughout her childhood, she nearly died at age 12 from a head wound suffered when a slaveowner threw a metal weight at another slave that hit her instead. The wound left her with seizures and other problems that were to plague her for the remainder of her life.

In 1849, she discovered that her owner was planning to sell her, breaking up her family. She then fled north to freedom, eventually reaching Philadelphia. It was then that her life took a turn that was to largely define her life and lead to her fame. Not content in having won her own freedom while her family and others remained in slavery, she went back to rescue them. It was an incredibly courageous decision that was fraught with peril. Were she to be captured, she would be re-enslaved, if not killed outright. She was risking more than her life by going back. Between 1849 and 1860, she made over 13 trips to the South to lead members of her family and others to freedom. After the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act made it more dangerous for escaped slaves to live openly, even in states in which slavery was not legal, she took the men and women she was leading to freedom on the Underground Railroad to Ontario in Canada.

Harriet Tubman’s activities with the Underground Railroad led to a price being put upon her head by southern authorities. She was never captured, nor did she lose a single person in her charge to the slave-catchers and their dogs. She rescued her parents in 1857, and made her last trip as a conductor on the Underground Railroad in 1860, just before the outbreak of the Civil War. It was an incredible record of courage and honor that would be more than enough for a single lifetime. But Harriet Tubman’s struggle against the evils of slavery and oppression were far from over.

When the Civil War began in 1861, Tubman first served the Union forces as a cook and a nurse. After President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, she took a more direct role in the war. Tubman used the skills she had honed on her trips on the Underground Railroad to serve as a spy and scout for the Union Army.

In early June of 1863, Harriet Tubman accompanied units from the 2nd South Carolina Infantry under Col. James Montgomery on a raid of plantations along the Combahee River in South Carolina. The unit was comprised of Black soldiers who had at long last been allowed to join the Union Army and fight for their freedom. Tubman guided the three steamships carrying the soldiers past Confederate mines in the river. The troops landed and burned several plantations and captured supplies to deny them to the Confederacy. The slaves working in the fields saw the approaching soldiers and heard the whistles of the Union steamships. They raced to the river to the ships-and freedom. Over 750 slaves were rescued in the raid, with most of the men joining the Union Army. A month later, she witnessed the assault upon Fort Wagner by the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, the unit featured in the superb movie “Glory”. Harriet Tubman spent the remainder of the Civil War nursing and assisting soldiers and working in the camps of freed slaves.

After the war, she returned to her home in Auburn, New York to care for her parents whom she had brought back from Canada. She later became involved in the women’s suffrage movement, a cause that she supported until her death of pneumonia in 1913.

Harriet Tubman left a remarkable legacy. She won her freedom and then risked it repeatedly by returning to slave states to lead others to freedom. She served the cause of the Union in combat and as a spy and scout. She nursed the sick and the wounded. Her life is a record of incredible perseverance and courage. It is also a record of selfless service to others. Perhaps her greatest legacy will never be precisely known. There are any number of our fellow Americans who are descended from the men and women she led to freedom on those long night time treks through the swamps and woods with the north star as their only guide.

McGee Scholarship

Former Coushatta resident, Milton McGee remembers his hometown with a scholarship to Baylor University.  Local graduating seniors are invited to apply.

McGee and his wife Sharla told The Journal they attended Baylor and they have family and friends connected to the University.  They have funded a scholarship that will provide educational funds to students in his hometown of Henderson, Texas and Coushatta.  The McGee Scholarship is backed by a $100,000.00 endowment placed with the university by Milton and Sharla McGee.

Students are eligible for the scholarship if they have been accepted to Baylor and are members of First Baptist Churches of Coushatta or Henderson.

McGee resided in Coushatta as a young man.  He attended First Baptist.  And he said he and his wife were interested in helping with college expenses for students who are sharing some of the same experiences growing up.

Livestock Show Results

Shirley and Alaina Boyd, students at Riverdale, competed in the Northwest District Livestock show in Shreveport as well as the LSU State Livestock show in Gonzales. 

Alaina Boyd won 2nd in class 1 Duroc breeds At the state show.  Both Shirley Boyd and Alaina Boyd participated in showmanship at the state show.

Shirley Boyd placed 3rd place showmanship in her age group, 2nd in cross barro market, and 1st Duroc market. Alaina Boyd placed 1st place showmanship her age group, 2nd place cross guilt, and 2nd place Duroc market. 

Spring Election Information

Registrar of Voters Debra Jones has supplied information on the upcoming elections in Louisiana this spring.  There will be a Presidential Primary Election on April 4th and Municipal General Election on May 9th.

Clerk of Court Stuart Shaw has provided information for the Board of Election Supervisors concerning preparations for the April 4th election.

Both of those notices are provided below.

ETC… for Wednesday, February 26th

Welcome sunshine!  With a little luck we’ll have plenty of sunshine this week.  The next chance of rain is not until Monday, according to

Open Door Fellowship’s Soccer registration period runs through the end of the month.  Kids 5 years through 16 years are being signed up.  They will practice during March and play games beginning in April.

The opening of the baseball and softball complex weren’t the only sports activities at Red River this week.  The Journal reported on the Lady Bulldog victory on Monday night.  Here is what is happening the rest of the week:

Wednesday-Bulldog Baseball 6pm at RRHS.

Thursday-3rd Round Girls Basketball Playoffs 6:00 pm at RRHS.

Friday-1st Round Boys Basketball Playoffs, 7:00 pm at RRHS.

Lady Dogs Win

The road to the state title begins with one big step.  On Thursday night the Red River Lady Bulldogs took that step with an 87 to 43 trouncing of the Lady Vikings from Vidalia.  There was a great turnout and a loud, cheering gallery showed their appreciation for every stolen pass, every three-pointer, and every time the team went to Ma’Kaila Lewis under the basket for two more points.

On Monday, they’ll be asked to do it again.  Also on Thursday night Dog rivals from down the road, Lakeview faded late in the game to succumb to Rosepine.  Final there 61 to 55.  That sets up a clash between Rosepine and Red River.

The game will begin at 6:00 pm.  Admission will be $7.00.

Ball Complex Sets Opening Day

Bulldogs Opening Day Has Arrived.  Red River High issued an invitation, “Come be a part of Bulldog History and see the new baseball and softball complex.”

February 25, 2020 will be the opening day.  Admission is $7.00 to see all games.  Opening ceremonies will be at 3:30 pm.  There will be Jr High and Varsity Softball games and Jr High and Varsity Baseball games

Principal J C Dickey said, “A lot going on, check out the facilities, watch 4 games of baseball and softball, see the ribbon cutting, and eat some good ball park food.”  Dickey added, “Going to be an awesome day.”