Mary “Necie” Harris

Funeral services for Mary “Necie” Genice Harris, 52, of Ashland, LA were held at 5 P.M. Saturday, August 1, 2020 at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home Chapel with Bro. Shawn Beard officiating.  Visitation was from 3:30 until service time at the funeral home.

Mrs. Harris was born December 29, 1967 in Coushatta, LA and passed away July 30, 2020.  Necie loved her family and will be dearly missed by all those who knew and loved her.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Ray and Kathleen Tilley; sister, Karen Glover; twin brothers, Layne and Wayne Tilley; maternal grandparents, Frank and Rose Reeves and paternal grandparents, Benjamin Levit and Mavis Tilley and Zellie Fowler Tilley.

Mrs. Harris is survived by her husband of 34 years, Terry Harris; one son, Christopher Harris; one daughter, Amanda Simpson and husband, James; nine loving grandchildren; three sisters, Jeanette Tilley, Linda Tilley, and Kelli Tilley.


Martha Ann Smith

Funeral services for Martha Ann Smith, 70, of Black Lake, LA were held at 10 A.M. Saturday, August 1, 2020 at United Baptist Church with Bro. Mike Honzell officiating.  Interment will follow in United Baptist Church Cemetery.  Visitation was from 9 A.M. until service time on Saturday.  Funeral services under the direction of Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home, Coushatta, LA.

Mrs. Smith was born April 16, 1950 in Campti, LA and passed away July 30, 2020.  Martha enjoyed the outdoors, especially gardening and fishing.  She was an avid New Orleans Saints and LSU Tigers fan.  She was also active in her church and loved her children and grandchildren and spending time with them.  She will be dearly missed by all those who knew and loved her.

She was preceded in death by her daughter, Angela Tynette Smith; parents, Archie and Alma Woods; two brothers, Archie Woods, Jr. and Johnny Woods; and two sisters, Ann Danzy and Betty Joyce Gray.

Mrs. Smith is survived by her husband of 50 years, Larry Smith of Black Lake, LA; sons, Larry Dwayne Smith and wife, Shannon and Henry Eric Smith and wife, Kathy all of Black Lake, LA; two brothers, Jimmie Ray Woods and wife, Delois of Atlanta, TX and Elray Woods of Black Lake, LA; two sisters, Jackie Moxley of Waskom, TX and Cora Lynn Coldiron of Black Lake, LA; seven grandchildren: Nicki Harper, Megan Strother, Cole Smith, Claire Smith, Seth Smith, Connor Smith, and Kinley Smith; five great-grandchildren: Addilyn Harper, Aubrey Harper, Jackson Strother, Emory Strother, and Bristol Strother.

Pallbearers will be Kyle Woods, Matt Stewart, Jim Collier, Dewayne Elliott, Johnnie Woods, and Jason Woods.  Honorary pallbearers will be Billy Smith and Elray Woods, Jr.

The family wishes to express a special thanks to Hospice of Natchitoches.


Red River Graduation Day

The sign in front or Red River High said it all, “The Tassel Was Worth the Hassle!!!”  Here is a report on last Friday’s commencement exercises by reporter Hayley Loe:

The 2020 seniors weren’t sure if or when they would get their graduation due to the outbreak of COVID-19 back in March of this year.  However, this past Friday the graduates got to graduate while safely social distancing from their friends in the new stadium. The students sat in the new bleachers of the football field spaced 6 feet apart.  Many of them wore masks with their cap and gown.

This school year 4 of the Red River Bulldogs were awarded athletic scholarships including Markell Washington to East Texas Baptist University, Ma’kaila Lewis, Jaylon McDonald, and Morgan Payne to BPCC.

Other students received academic scholarships including Madison Castello, Mallory Coleman, and Seth Wimberly to NSU. Mallory Coleman and Landon Allen to LSUS, and Key’Aira Lewis to ULM.

The class of 2020 also had numerous students receive the TOPS scholarship, including Landon Allen, Tyriq Beavers , Marcus Bonner, Ta’Chandra Brown, Danielle Burton, Madison Castello, Savanna Campbell, Jamarion Calhoon, Shanterrica Calhoon, Mar’Quira Coleman , Dakota Collins , Kaylee Creighton, Jason Davis , Skye Davis , Sydney Davis, Isiash Demease, Jacob Durr, Austin Grigg, Jaylon Guye, Aaliyah Henderson, Chrystal Jackson, Camryn Layfeild, Key’Aira Lewis, Qylil Mosely, Schelby Narvaez ,  Keifer Nealey ,  Morgan Payne , Britney Perkins, Hannah Pickett, Elisa Ramirez , Jaden Scott , Ashton Smith, Alexsus Taylor, Markell Washington, Taylor Williams , and Keyanna Winn .

Other scholarships that were given to the students were, Taylor Williams received the Louisiana Sheriffs Scholarship, Madison Castello for Boys and Girls state, and Tyriq Beavers for the Linda K Memorial Scholarship, 

Three awards were also given out to Jacob Durr and Skye Davis for American Legion and the second award was to Camryn Layfeild for Lifeshare Blood Donation.

Kicking off Week Twenty

The Facebook live daily program Fear Not today concluded it’s nineteenth week.  Here is the line-up of guests as we enter our twentieth week.:

Monday, August 3 – Richard Kaufman of Martin Baptist Church

Tuesday, August 4 – Taurus Johnson of New Hope #3

Wednesday, August 5 – Marvin Leleux of Springhill Baptist Church

Thursday, August 6 – Shawn Beard of Man Church

Friday, August 7 – Harry Bamburg of Liberty Baptist Church

The Journal would like to than the many pastors in the parish for your contribution to this series of programs.  If your pastor has not participated, ask them to contact the Journal at 318-564-3609 or email  Pictured above is Evangelist David Hanna, guest on Thursday morning.

Join us at 8:00 am on the Red River Parish Journal’s Facebook page for Fear Not.  And remember that all past programs are archived on the Red River Parish Journal Facebook page.

Parish COVID-19 Numbers Grow

The most recent data released by the Louisiana Department of Health shows the incidence of COVID-19 continues to increase in Red River Parish.  The number of deaths in the parish has increased to 10.

The number of deaths increased by one this week, up from 9 last week.  The health department reports one death this week at Green Meadow Haven.

Of the 84 residents, 8 have tested positive for the virus.  There was no increase over last week.  Three additional staff members tested positive for a total of 8 staffers testing positive.  There are no reported residents or staff listed as recovered.

Parish wide, 2102 tests have been administered with 171 cases reported.  There have been 10 deaths.

Red River and the entire state remains under orders from Governor John Bel Edwards to wear masks in public, limit gatherings to 50 or less, and maintain social distancing.

Slight Increase in Early Voting

There has been a very light turnout during the two-week early voting period so far.  Registrar of Voters Debra Jones told The Journal 24 people had voted in person as of Thursday afternoon.

In addition to the in person early voting, Jones said that approximately 50 mail-in ballots had been added.  And Jones said there are more that came in today to be added.

Early voting is conducted Monday through Saturday at the Registrar of Voters Office in the parish courthouse.  Hours are 8:30 am until 6:00 pm daily.  They are closed on Sunday.  Early voting ends on Saturday, August 8th.

Still the turnout is very small.  In the last election, with nothing but the Presidential Preference Primary on the ballot, 844 residents cast ballots.  That was a 17% voter turnout.

Voter Registration Inactive

The Louisiana Secretary of State has published a list of inactive voter registrations statewide.  Included are 178 people registered to vote in Red River Parish.  A canvas of registered voters was unable to confirm address information on file.

Voters may check with the Secretary of State online 24/7 at  You may update the information on file.

The annual canvas of voters by the Red River Registrar of Voters turned up 178 voters who show addresses in Coushatta, Hall Summit, Ringgold, Shreveport and Mansfield.  The breakdown is 154 with addresses in Coushatta, 5 in Hall Summit, 14 in Ringgold, 2 in Shreveport, and 3 with Mansfield addresses.

Voters may be asked to verify their address when they go to vote.  There is a procedure in place for dropping voters from the rolls if they do not maintain a correct mailing address.

Sign Up for Dual Enrollment

Incoming 11th and 12th grade students interested in taking a Dual Enrollment course with NSU this year please fill out the Google Form by August 6, 2020.  The high school said, “The school will cover the cost of one class, any additional class will cost you $100 plus the cost of books per class.”

Form Must be completed by 8/06/2020.  Classes start on 8/17/2020. 

Dual Enrollment Requirements:
1. CUMULATIVE GPA of 2.5 or higher (not current year GPA)
2. Evaluation by High School Team based on test scores and academic history in subject being pursued.

Courses Available:
Biology 1010
Chemistry 1010
English 1010
Fine Arts 1010
History 1010
Math 1020

Fishing at Riverdale

Fishing teams are forming at Riverdale Academy.  Students from second grade through high school are invited to join.

The senior division will be for 9th through 12th grade students.  Those in 2nd through 8th grades are invited to join the junior division.

The Riverdale Booster Club posted notice that any child interested in being on the fishing team, or any parents, grandparents, and friends interested in helping are welcome to join the effort.  The contact is James Caskey at 318-471-8663.

The Riverdale Academy notice indicated the team would be affiliated with High School BASS Nation and Bassmaster High School programs by posting their logos on their flyer.