California Honor Grad Has Local Ties

Twentynine Palms, California — While school officials are still not certain how to handle high school graduation ceremonies during the continuing coronavirus crisis, they know who will speak for their fellow graduates.

Triston Babers has been named valedictorian and Nicholas Councell has been named salutatorian for the Twentynine Palms High School (California) Class of 2020.

Triston is the son of Termaine and Christa Babers. He is the grandson of Robert and Deborah Babers in Coushatta, Louisiana… We are so proud of Triston…Termaine is a 2000 graduate of Coushatta High School.  The Journal thanks Deborah Babers for alerting us to Triston’s graduation.

Babers came to Twentynine Palms in 2015 when his father got orders to move to the area. He has spent his entire high school career as a Wildcat.  “I have to admit the last four years have been very hectic for me, but they were also filled with many great experiences that have shaped my perspective on life,” he said.

He took part in the Cyber Patriots competition for two years, ran hurdles for the track team as a sophomore, played junior varsity baseball as a junior year, and played varsity baseball as a senior.

“I also joined the National Honors Society around November 2018. All of these extracurriculars have impressed upon me the importance of hard work and dedication in all areas of life, not just in schoolwork.

“Academic-wise, Twentynine Palms High School has been the best thing that ever happened to me. I met many wonderful teachers during the previous four years, and they inspired me to challenge myself, as I pursued a greater understanding of STEM subjects.

“Because of the many great teachers at Twentynine Palms High School, who continue to provide instruction even during this pandemic, I was able to achieve a 4.0, 1440 SAT score, and get quite a few college credits by passing several AP Exams. And thanks to the plethora of electives offered at this school, I was also able to pursue my personal interests in computer engineering by taking Cyber Literacy courses.”

He plans to attend the University of California San Diego to get a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering and find a high-paying job as a computer engineer.

“I’m extremely grateful to be valedictorian of this fine High School and hope I can continue to have similar academic experiences in the future as a college student,” he said.

Response to Journal Article

Ken Mangham posted this reply to a recent Journal article.  It was a “My Opinion” piece written by Val Cox (May 8, 2020).  Here is Mangham’s reply:

Everyone has to do THEIR OWN PART, in staying safe. Don’t put blame on the President for trying to put the American people back to work. The World economy , not just the United States, depends on it. The President has already said, he will leave it up to the State Governors to implement the open up dates, for their own states. The United States economy must continue on, while being safe as possible. Not only did the Government order 100,000 body bags ( to replenish) the FEMA Emergency stockpile, they also ordered ,ventilators, tents, generators, canned food, MRE’s, boats, vehicles, blankets, PPE, boots, uniforms, etc.. Basic FEMA emergency needed items. There is about 331,000,000 people in the US, Yes, (331 Million) . Even at its worst case scenario, Covid-19 Deaths will be no where near the common cause of deaths in the US. — Example:
(Source- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) These are the Top 10 average deaths per year in the US.

Abortion- 862,000
•Heart disease: 647,457
•Cancer: 599,108
•Accidents (unintentional injuries): 169,936
•Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 160,201
•Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 146,383
•Alzheimer’s disease: 121,404
•Diabetes: 83,564
•Influenza and Pneumonia: 55,672
•Intentional self-harm (suicide): 47,173

No matter what we do, or how we fight it, about 2.8 Million people will die in the US, EVERY YEAR.
Everyone already knows, the States , and the Hospitals , make much, much more money from the Federal Government, if the death is ruled as a Covid-19 death. Everyone already knows , the longer the States stay on lock down, the more Federal money the State gets. Yes, alot of people have died from the virus, no doubt. I personally know people who have died from it. But ,alot of people have died from normal -natural causes, that have been ruled as Covid-19. Nobody really knows , the true actual numbers of Covid-19 deaths. This worldwide pandemic is unfamiliar to everyone, nobody in the world has seen the likes of something like this before. The whole world was caught off guard from it. Nobody really knew how we would react to it all. World Governments had an action in place , on paper , if anything like this ever happened. Everyone was put to a test. A lot of things in place did work out as planned, but a lot of things did not. Going forward, everyone will learn from the mistakes , try to correct it, and hopefully , do better , when there is a Next Time ! That’s how life works out. 

That means everyone must continue to wash your hand frequently, keep social distance while having the weekend parties, BBQ’s, crawfish boils, neighborhood get together. This Virus is here to stay, It will now be part of the new normal, along with the other viruses worldwide. They will implement a vaccine to put in the flu shot we get every year, to help combat it. The same as they did for Swine Flu, H1N1, SARS, etc….
We must go on with our lives , go back to work, raise our families ,pay our bills. Stay diligent about being safe as we have learned how to do it.

Scholarship Opportunity

Red River High posted:

Scholarship opportunity for students attending or planning to attend CLTCC.  Attention‼ We are now accepting applications for The Brian Caubarreaux “Do It Right” Scholarship!  The scholarship is open to all CLTCC students majoring in any technical program at any of our campuses.

Free Application!  For more information, contact Ms. Kelly Caruso at or 800.278.9855.

Magnolia Bend Academy added this information about summer classes:
The CLTCC is offering dual enrollment classes this summer for $99 a class. These classes do transfer to any state university as college credit or any technical college.  Some are online and some are in person in Natchitoches, Winnfield, or Mansfield. 

There is no ACT score requirement.  It starts June 1st so if y’all want to do it, will need to get registered By June 1.

Youth Pastor Week

The first week in June is Youth Pastor Week at The Journal.  The daily program Fear Not will feature five people who minister to youth at churches in our parish.

Here is the line-up:

Monday, June 1st – J. P. Handy of Open Door Fellowship

Tuesday, June 2nd – Josh Terry of Fairview Baptist Church

Wednesday, June 3rd – Alicia Walsworth of Springhill Baptist Church

Thursday, June 4th – Kendrin Seastrunk of the House of Refuge

Friday, June 5th – Marcus Long of Abundant Life Worship Center

The program Fear Not was begun in mid-March with a goal of local pastors bringing a message of hope and tranquility in highly uncertain times.  The COVID-19 pandemic was ramping up in America and Governor Edwards had issued the first Stay at Home Order.  People were fearful because they were faced with uncertainty.

On Friday, Fear Not completed the tenth week of bringing calm to the storm.  The messages are Biblically based and present what God has to say about uncertain circumstances.

Now it is time to hear from the young men and women who minister directly to our youth.  Young people have also had their world turned upside down.  Some could argue that the effect of uncertain times might have a greater impact on young people.

If you are a fan of the show, go to Facebook each day next week at 8:00 am.  If you are not familiar with the program, give it a try.  And if you sleep late, every show is archived. 

Fear Not is on  Click on videos.

Andre Cole, Sr.

Funeral arrangements for Min. Andre Deon Cole Sr. were posted by his brother Ashanti Cole, Sr.

Open viewing Friday May 29, 2020 10am-4pm at Heavenly Gates Funeral Home, 1339 Jewell St. in Shreveport, La 71101

Graveside Services will be Saturday May 30, 2020 at 11am at Springville Cemetery in Coushatta, La 71019

Repast: Coushatta Event Center. 

We ask that everyone take precautions, wear a mask, and stay 6 feet apart. For viewing on Friday we ask that you DO NOT come in large groups.  Services will be live streamed on Saturday.

ETC… for Friday, May 29th

Flags in town are flying at Half Staff.  Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has ordered flags to be flown at half-staff over the state capitol and all public buildings until sunset Thursday, May 28 in honor of fallen Louisiana State Police Trooper George Baker. Trooper Baker died Sunday, May 24 from injuries sustained in the line of duty.

The federal order for flying flags at Half Staff ran through the Memorial Day Weekend.  U.S. government buildings, military posts and embassies will fly the flag at half-staff through Memorial Day weekend in memory of the nearly 100,000 people who have died of COVID-19, President Trump announced Thursday night. The decision comes after Democratic leaders in Congress sent a letter to the president requesting the gesture.

From the Red River Waterway Commission:

5/28/2020 – The boat launches at Coushatta, Ft. Buhlow & Ben Routh are now closed!

The Louisiana Folklife Center and Northwestern State University have high hopes that this year’s Louisiana Studies Conference will be able to be held in person on its scheduled dates of Sept. 18-19. The conference committee is closely monitoring the ongoing pandemic and is aware that uncertainties related to the continued impact of COVID-19 might potentially necessitate altering plans for the 2020 Conference.

And I ran across this photo from the Christmas Parade.  Nothing more to say!

Graduation Thursday at Riverdale Academy

Thursday is graduation day for the Class of 2020 at Riverdale Academy.  The school announced last week that the ceremonies would be held tomorrow (May 28th).

Riverdale Academy is proud to announce its fiftieth graduation ceremony, Thursday, May 28, at 6:00 pm in Marston Stadium. Alumni, family, and friends are invited to attend.

Several families of graduates issued invitations to commencement.  Here is the one issued by the family of Dayton Koal Brown.  “Please all family and friends take this as an invitation, join us if you can! Announcements will go out, but I can not promise they will reach you in time. I know it is short notice and crazy times, but there should be plenty of room for social distancing!  Look forward to seeing you all!”

Individual Facilities Are Open

Some of the facilities at Grand Bayou Resort have reopened to the public now that Louisiana has moved into Phase 1 of opening the country back up from the COVID-19 virus.

General Manager Renee Albright said their facilities designed to be used by individuals or single families are mostly open.  The facilities that accommodate groups are closed.

The individual RV sites, the cabins, two story lodges and the bungalows, including the handicapped accessible bungalow are open. 

The public restrooms and bath house facilities and laundry room are closed.  So is the beach, the fishing pier, the covered marina, and the pavilions are still closed.

Albright said, “Our boat launch is open, and has remained open throughout.  Now boaters can come in through our front gate.  All of this was done in compliance with Governor Edwards’ proclamation concerning Phase One reopening.” 

“I understand that the Governor may move to a further phase next week,” said Albright.  She said when that happens the Grand Bayou Board will meet to decide how the resort will comply with that new order.

Lemoine is Educator of Excellence

Wanda Lemoine is head of the Red River High ProStart program.  She teaches students culinary arts and equips them to go to work upon completion of the two year course of study.  Lemonie has been recognized for her program by the Louisiana Restaurant Association. 

She was recognized in the LRA’s latest monthly newsletter:

As the 2019-20 school year comes to a close, we want to recognize this year’s LRAEF (Louisiana Restaurant Association Educational Foundation) Educator of Excellence, Wanda Lemoine, 5-year ProStart teacher at Red River High School. This year’s educator is known for her passion, dedication and excellence both in and out of the ProStart program. Wanda’s classroom is a place of inclusion; no student is left behind. She is most proud of the simple moments, like when a student comes to class excited to share the details of the dinner they cooked the night before.

Traditionally, Wanda would have been recognized with her peers from across the country at the National ProStart Invitational in May, but the event was cancelled due to the ongoing pandemic. We want to extend our pride of her accomplishments and congratulate her on a job well done!

Lemoine told The Journal the La. Restaurant Association Educational Foundation helps schools with their ProStart program.  She said they supply some grants to the program, they do training, and they are our contact to the restaurants in Louisiana.

On June 4 the National Restaurant Association will conduct a live event on their Facebook page.  They will be  announcing the national ProStart Teacher of Excellence.  As the state winner, Lemoine is in the running for the national award.

Top Readers Recognized

Congratulations to Riverdale’s Top Readers for the year. The school posted, “Great job readers!” 

A special shout out to 5th grader, Layken Gates. He finished the year with 154 points, making him the Top Reader of the school.  Congratulations Layken.

The Booster Club added their congratulations, “One program that your Booster Club contributions help fund is our Accelerated Reader Program. It is such an awesome program to be able to offer our students! Congratulations to our top Readers.”