Two Arrested on Molestation Charges

Sheriff’s Deputies on January 21st arrested two people on molestation charges.  After booking, both were released on their own recognizance.

Timothy Clyde Cox and Katherine Annette Cox of Noble, LA were arrested last Thursday at 6:00 pm.  Timothy Clyde Cox was charged with molestation of a juvenile.  Katherine Annette Cox was charged with principal to molestation to a juvenile or a person with a physical or mental disability.

No further information was available from the Sheriff’s Office.


The Rising China Threat

By Royal Alexander

The Chinese Communist Party has made clear that it will do whatever it determines is necessary to win what it sees as an inevitable war with the U.S.  

Economically, militarily, and geographically, the United States faces a stark and growing threat from China.  We have known this for some time but recent examples of cyberterrorism, hacking, industrial espionage and the theft annually of hundreds of billions of dollars of intellectual property highlight this fact.  (Over the last decade alone it is estimated that the Chinese government has stolen some $6 trillion of U.S. intellectual property).

President Trump should be highly commended for his America First agenda and for the aggressive and relentless reshaping of the trade relationship between the two countries to address the enormous and unfair trade deficit the U.S. has had with China.  In fact, long before he was, or even contemplated becoming president, Donald Trump was sounding the alarm about Chinese economic aggression.  The coronavirus crisis proved him correct when the United States and the world suddenly discovered how dependent we all are upon the Chinese supply chain for a wide variety of pharmaceuticals and other related products.  This development underscores why it is so concerning that over the decades much of American manufacturing has left the U.S. and relocated in China. 

As we reflect on our American history we can look back and recall that at one time it was both helpful and necessary—to protect American foreign policy and national security interests—to, diplomatically and strategically, align with China in order to bracket the former Soviet Union and check its international aggressions.  However, that time is long past as we are now engaged in a similar cold war with China itself.

The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) cruel, dark, and repressive history (the CCP has executed over 100 million of its own people in the last century, as it now murders the Uyghurs in a campaign of genocide and brutally crushes the Christian faith—to say nothing of its one-child policy which has resulted in more than 500 million unborn babies slaughtered by abortion) has made clear that the CCP would not hesitate to create the Covid 19 virus in that Wuhan lab and then weaponize and release it across the world, doing the incalculable damage we continue to witness. 

In many respects, various American administrations have greatly contributed to this problem by, for example, making enormous economic benefits available to China by granting “Most Favored Nation” trading status—as well as membership in the World Trade Organization.  We have also tolerated the continued diminishment of our military power with respect to China while we, narrowly and shortsightedly, viewed America’s principal enemy to be Islamic terrorists in the Middle East as we prosecuted the War on Terror.

Although the Trump Administration strove mightily to “catch up” our depleted military we do not currently have the ability to militarily counter either the encroachment by the Chinese navy or the building of multiple military installations in the South China Sea.  It is also unnerving to realize the Chinese military is presently developing an advanced fighter aircraft that will likely equal our best fighter aircraft. 

The CCP has made clear that it will absolutely do whatever it determines is necessary to win what it sees as an inevitable war between itself and the U.S. This includes conventional—and even nuclear—warfare, terrorism, and biological, cyber, economic, data and political warfare.  The U.S. simply has no choice but to begin to plan aggressively to rebuff this multifaceted threat to America’s safety, security, and viability.


Riverdale Rebel Basketball Teams Sweep Tensas

By Molly Seales

On Tuesday, January 19, the Riverdale Academy Rebels made the long trip to Tensas Academy to take on the Chiefs.  Even with the long drive, the Rebels showed up to play ball and won all 4 of their games.  JV girls action resulted in a JV Lady Rebel victory with a score of 38-6. 8th grader Jadyn King led all scorers with 13 points.  She also had 5 rebounds, 1 assist, and 2 steals.  Hanna Catherine Huddleston put up 8 points while also pulling down 4 rebounds and having 1 assist and 1 steal.  Makayla Pickett scored 6 points, pulled down 4 rebounds, and had 1 assist. Madison Chamberlin scored 4 points, had 5 rebounds, 3 steals, and 1 blocked shot.  Emily Cason had 2 points, 5 rebounds, and a steal. Kacie Harper had 2 points, 3 rebounds, and 1 assist. Charity Williamson scored 2 points and had 2 rebounds. Gracie Stephens rounded out the scoring with 1 point and also had 2 rebounds. Although they didn’t score any points, several other Lady Rebels were big contributors to the victory. Georgia Carlisle had 3 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 steals, while Julia Grace Riggs pulled down 3 rebounds and had 1 steal.  Mary Claire Jones was the leading rebounder with 7 boards.  She also had 4 assists and 4 steals.

The JV Boys had an easy time, defeating the Chiefs 48-11.  Ryder Huddleston led all scorers with 18 points.  He also had 6 rebounds, 1 assist, and 2 steals.  Kyle Guillory scored 13 points, had 4 rebounds, and had 2 steals.  Hayden Hillman scored 8 points and was high rebounder with a career high of 18 boards. Hillman also had an assist and 2 steals. Will Jones had 4 points and 3 steals, 3 assists, and 3 rebounds. Aston Hester scored 3 points, had 4 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steal. Colton Caskey rounded out the scoring with 2 points.  He also had 3 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steal. Shea Nettles pulled down 3 rebounds.

The varsity girls had no trouble with the Lady Chiefs, winning by a score of 52-10.  Ronda Black was the leading scorer with 14 points.  She also had 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals.  Kenley Loftin was close behind with 13 points, 5 rebound, and 1 steal.  With a halftime score of 44-6, neither Black nor Loftin saw action after halftime, as Coach Hester chose to rest them for upcoming district play. Jessie Kate Cobb also scored in double figures with 10 points. She was also high rebounder with 9 boards and 1 assist.  Pacey Lindsey scored 6 points and had 4 steals, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists.  Rylee Kate Woodard scored 5 points, had 8 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals. Jadyn King and Emily Cason each scored 2 points.

The varsity boys had a tighter game.  They were playing without senior Parker Almond, who was out due to illness.  The boys fought hard and came out on top of the Chiefs by a score of 51-46.  Denver Williams stepped up and had an outstanding game, scoring 18 points.  He also had 4 rebounds, 2 steals, and 1 assist. Ty Jones had 13 points, 5 assists, 4 steals, and 3 rebounds.  Paul Messenger added 11 points and was high rebounder with 6 boards. Paul also had 3 steals and 1 assist.  Caden Long had 9 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and a steal.

The Rebels will be back in action this week with 2 away games-Tuesday at Tallulah Academy and Thursday at Prairie View Academy.  Both the JV Boys and the JV Girls will be playing in the district tournament this Saturday in Tallulah.  We wish both teams good luck on Saturday.


Revised Riverdale Basketball Schedule

Riverdale’s basketball schedule has undergone numerous adjustments due to the impact of COVID-19.  The end of the season is in sight and the South A Tournament begins in a couple of weeks.

A revised schedule was published last week.  These are the final games of the regular season.  Note that Senior Night will not be held on February 3rd at the school.

 


First Baptist Basketball Begins

The basketball league at First Baptist Coushatta got under way last Saturday.  The theme is Give All the Glory to God, and the theme is present on uniforms, flyers around gymnasium in the Family Life Center.

The first game of the season featured pre-K and first grade players.  The first goal of the season was scored by #3 Duce Lewis of the Blue team. At the half-time break, Julie Page told the kids Bible stories and they took turns shooting free throws.

With the sound of children laughing and learning the game from a very young age, and the sound of parents shouting encouragement to their youngsters, the season is off and running!

Games are played each Saturday through February 27th.  There will be a program of about 8 games each Saturday through the end of February at First Baptist Church.


COVID Defense App Launched

 

 

Governor John Bel Edwards announced the launch of COVID Defense, Louisiana’s exposure notification mobile application for Google and Android phones to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Louisianans can now receive notifications informing them if there is a risk they were exposed to someone who has tested positive for the virus. Use of the technology is completely voluntary, private, and secure. COVID Defense does not collect the location of a phone or individual to detect exposure, and it does not share a user’s identity. App users must opt in to use the tool and may opt out at any time. No personal information is required to use the app.

“In the last few weeks, we’ve seen staggering numbers in terms of deaths and cases and those numbers should give us pause. Last week we also reported our first case of the more contagious UK variant of COVID,” said Governor Edwards. “Until the majority of the general public has received the COVID vaccine, we cannot let up and will need to lean on every other tool available to us. COVID Defense adds another tool to our toolkit to slow the spread of this dangerous virus.”

COVID Defense can be downloaded in the iPhone App Store or Android Google Play Store.

When COVID Defense is voluntarily activated, the tool uses Bluetooth technology to exchange random tokens between phones without revealing the user’s identity or location. To help ensure these random tokens can’t be used to identify you or your location, they change every 10-20 minutes.

On a daily basis, an individual’s mobile phone will download a list of all the anonymous tokens associated with positive COVID-19 cases and checks them against the list of anonymous tokens it has encountered in the last 14 days. If there’s a match, the app will notify you with further instructions on how to keep you and the people around you safe.

“Louisiana’s free, easy-to-use phone app will give our residents the information they need to fight COVID-19 and protect their loved ones without compromising anyone’s privacy,” said Dr. Courtney N. Phillips, Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health. “Like wearing a mask, washing our hands and social distancing, COVID Defense is one more measure we can all take.”

COVID Defense works in three easy steps:

1.         Download the application

Download the free app in the iPhone App Store or Android Google Play Store. Add your phone to Louisiana’s exposure notification system to get COVID-19 exposure alerts and to protect those around you.

2.         Opt in anonymously

Once you opt in, COVID Defense will generate an anonymous token for your device. To help ensure these anonymous tokens can’t be used to identify you or your location, they change every 10-20 minutes.

3.         Get notified if exposed

On a daily basis, your phone downloads a list of all the anonymous tokens associated with positive COVID-19 cases and checks them against the list of anonymous tokens it has encountered in the last 14 days. If there’s a match, the app will notify you with further instructions on how to keep you and the people around you safe.

For more information or to download the application, visit coviddefensela.com.

 

 


Fire Call Log for January 27, 2021

01-06-2021 @ 8:51 am. Assisted with a control burn at 413 Cason Road.

01-06-2021 @ 7:44 am. Toned out to 5738 Hwy 371 for resident assistance.

01-10-2021 @ 7:20 pm. Toned out to the intersection of Country Lane and Hwy 155 for a power line arcing.


01-10-2021 @ 10:03 pm. Toned out to 914 East Carroll Street for power lines arcing in a tree.

01-11-2021 @ 8:36 am. Toned out to the intersection of Hwy 507 and Brushy Creek Road for a power line down in a ditch arcing.

01-11-2021 @ 5:05 am. Toned out to 1442 Ashland Road for a limb burning on a power line.

01-11-2021 @ 12:01 am. Received a phone call of a tree on a power line at 173 Mount Olive Road.

 

01-11-2021 @ 5:15 am. Toned out to 615 East Carroll Street for a fire alarm. No smoke or flames found. Alarm activated from a power surge.

01-11-2021 @ 12:06 am. Toned out to 1001 Ashland Road for a fire alarm. Searched the building and no smoke or flames found.

01-12-2021 @ 4:27 pm. Toned out to Hwy 155 near Upshaw Road for a single vehicle MVC rollover. No extrication needed. Assisted RREMS with patient.

01-13-2021 @ 11:14 pm. Toned out to 210 Linda Lane for a fire alarm. Arrived and no smoke or flames seen.

Homeowner came outside to let FD know it was a false alarm.

01-13-2021 @ 12:28 am. Toned out to 4587 Hwy 507 for a report of a fire in an attic. Arrived to find homeowner had extinguished the fire. FD searched the attic with thermal camera for more hot spots and none were found.

01-13-2021 @ 4:33 pm. Toned out to Hwy 1 a mile south of Hwy 177 for a vehicle fire.

01-15-2021 @ 3:07 pm. Toned out to Hwy 84 just west of the Red River Bridge for a single vehicle MVA.

01-15-2021 @ 1:40 pm. Received a call at Central Fire Station to assist CPD in catching a dog in a house at 1102 East Carroll Street.


ETC… For Wednesday, January 27th

The COVID-19 testing schedule for sites operated by the Louisiana Army National Guard (LANG) for the week of January 25 to January 30 is listed below. Sites are closed during state holidays and inclement weather.

The only site operated by the Louisiana National Guard is in Natchitoches for Northwest Louisiana:

Region 7: Northwest

Northwestern State University 

715 University Parkway 

Natchitoches 

9 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon.-Fri.

Pre-registration for COVID-19 testing is encouraged by going to Health.QuestDiagnostics.com/STLOU. Testing is for ages 3 and older. There is no cost, and no identification is needed. Test results are available by calling 1-866-MYQUEST (1-866-697-8378), but note that wait times can be lengthy. Test results are also available through the Quest online portal or app.

It is time to sign up for ODF Soccer.  Registration is open until early March.  Games will be played on Saturdays in April.  Link to registration form is odfsports.com/register.

 


Kevin Ray Kellogg

Celebration of life and going home memorial service for Kevin Ray Kellogg, 49, was held at the Grand Bayou Lake pavilion in Coushatta, Louisiana.

Kevin was born October 29, 1971 in Bossier City, LA to Billy Roy and Rachel Marcellia Rambin Kellogg and went home to be with his Lord and Savior on January 20, 2021 in Coushatta, LA.   During his lifetime, he enjoyed building things and spending time with family.

Preceding him in death were his parents; brother, Billy Roy Kellogg, Jr.; and his second wife, Stephanie Williams.

Left to cherish his memory are wife, Penny Kellogg; sons, Alexander Kellogg, Kevin Kellogg, II and step-son, Dustin Crocker; daughters, Danielle Williams-Rymer and step-daughter, Angela Crocker; sisters, Bridget K. McMelton and Katherine Kellogg; brother, Kenneth Kellogg; three grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.


Tickets On Sale Tuesday for Lakeview Game

Sunday Red River High announced changes to the only basket ballgame scheduled this coming week.  The two games scheduled for Friday night have been reduced to one.  The varsity boys game was postponed.  Friday there will be Varsity Girls Basketball Only.

Also you need to know that seating in the Dawg Pound is limited due to COVID-19, therefore only a limited number of tickets will be available for fans.  Tickets go on sale Tuesday.  Red River fans will be able to purchase tickets from the main office at Red River High School starting on Tuesday at 10:00 am.  Ticket price is $5.00 per ticket.  All sales final no refunds.  Tickets must be purchased pre-sale.  There will be no tickets sold at the game.   

On Friday, January 29th the gate will open at 5:30 pm.  Game starts at 6:00 pm.

Red River vs Lakeview is one of the best attended games each year, so expect high demand for tickets.  Red River reminds Lakeview fans they must purchase their tickets from Lakeview High.  Tickets sold at Red River are only for Red River fans.  The high school did not state any reason for the postponement of the boys game.

Journal Sports will broadcast the game live beginning at 5:45 on Friday evening.  You may listen to the game on your favorite device by going to the menu bar on any Journal article and click on Listen-Bulldogs.  Or go to this link:

http://69.64.65.171:8192/dogs.  The link will be active about 15 minutes before tip-off.


Qualifiers In Local Races

There will be two elections in Red River Parish this spring.  Only one candidate qualified to fill the third open seat.

Police Jury District 3 will have John Lindsey and Shane Young vying for the seat.  Young was appointed juror by the Police Jury recently.  They are running to fill the unexpired term of Shawn Beard who resigned from the jury.

The other race is for Alderman of the Village of Edgefield.  There David Layfield and Chandra Wilson will face off.

There will be no election for the vacant seat on the board of Aldermen for the Village of Martin.  Clayton Williams was the only candidate who qualified for the vacant seat.

Also on the Red River ballot will be six candidates running for a seat on the BESE board.  None of the qualifiers are from Red River parish.

The qualification period closed at 4:30 on Friday.  The election will be March 20th.

Image from the Louisiana Secretary of State web site.

Shelia Giddings Cloud Sonnier

Funeral services for Shelia Giddings Cloud Sonnier, 59, of Fairview Alpha, LA will be held at 2 P.M. Saturday, January 23, 2021 at Davis Springs Southern Methodist Church Activities Building with Bro. Olan McLaren officiating.  Interment will follow in Davis Springs Cemetery.  Visitation will be held from 10 A.M. until service time on Saturday at Davis Springs.  Funeral services under the direction of Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home, Coushatta, LA.

Shelia gained her angel wings Thursday, January 21, 2021 at her home in Fairview Alpha, LA.  Shelia was born May 1, 1961 in Shreveport, LA.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Lonnie Eli Giddings and Myrtle Williams Giddings; husband, David Dean Cloud; brothers, Jimmy, Howard, and Lonnie Giddings; sisters, Sue Davis, Maggie Jordan, and Wanda Baker.

Shelia is survived by her husband, Bryan Sonnier; brothers, Rodney and Marvin Burkett, and Johnny Giddings; sisters, Sarah Scott, Janice Brown, and Annie “Dinky” Wood; special nephew and caretaker, Kenny Davis; and a host of her loving nieces, nephews, and friends. 

Shelia’s previous employment was with Bossier Medical Center and Louisiana Downs Bossier City, LA; owner and operator of Dew Drop Inn in Fairview.  Shelia loved life and brought love, joy and happiness to all who crossed her path.  She owned a L-1 race car and enjoyed many days of racing at Boothill Race Center.  Our happy, fun loving Shelia will be sadly missed by all who knew and loved her.

Pallbearers will be Johnny Ray Giddings, Robert Eli Giddings, Brooks R. Baker, James Giddings, Floyd Williams, and Moochie Allen.  Honorary pallbearers will be Jiggs Wood, Curtley Alexander, and John Tucker.

The family wishes to express a special thanks to Dr. Martin Carter, Christus Coushatta Health Care Center, Kindred at Home, Hospice of Natchitoches, and caretakers, Jo Thomas, Charlotte Bonnette, Beverly Mason, and Dianne Stratton.


New Fire Department Board Appointed

The Red River Parishwide Fire Protection District has a new governing board.  The Red River Police Jury held a special meeting on Thursday morning to name the new board. 

Board Supervisor Jessie Davis presented a series of motions that removed the old board members, set up new fire board district boundaries, and then name an all new board.

Davis told the jury, “The fire board is not properly appointed.  He said the last appointments to the fire board were in 2016.”  State law states that members serve two year terms.  Davis said, “I move that the police jury exercise its authority to remove the entire board of the Red River Parish Fire Protection District.”  His first motion was adopted.

Regarding a new board, Davis said, “The law calls for eight members serving specific districts and that the members appointed live within the district they are appointed to serve.”

Davis presented a parish map with the seven districts.  The town of Coushatta would get two members on the board and each other district would get one.  The map and districts were appointed by the jury.

Davis said they have been talking with prospective board members and he presented a slate of eight people who said they would be willing to serve.  District Attorney Julie Jones, who attended to advise the police jury on current state law, was selected to draw names from a hat to assign the length of terms.  Three members will serve three years, three will serve two years, and the remaining two will serve one year terms.  As board terms expire, all new members will serve two year terms, according to the state statute.

Davis presented a motion with the list of prospective members, their districts and length of initial terms on the fire board.  The motion passed.

The final motion by Davis called for a member of the fire board to attend each regular police jury meeting and report on the status of the fire department.  In recent monthly meetings various jurors have expressed dissatisfaction with the information, especially financial data, coming from the fire department.

Back in the spring, the jury authorized a ballot issue to allow the fire department to renew their property tax up to three years early.  The reason given by the fire department was to ease a financial burden by allowing refinancing of debt on the new fire station over 12 years.  At that time, the fire department promised to make regular reports to the jury on their finances.  Davis told the Journal recently that they had not received the information they were expecting.  This past summer parish voters gave the OK to the early tax renewal.


Local Election Qualifying Ends Today

There are two candidates who have qualified for Police Jury District 3.  One person has filed for Alderman of Edgefield and one for Alderman of Martin.

Shane Young was the first to qualify for the Police Jury seat.  He qualified shortly before noon on Wednesday.  Also qualifying for that seat was John Lindsey.  Both men are registered as independents.

The vacancy on the Police Jury occurred when Shawn Beard resigned.  Beard had built a residence out of the district, so he stepped down several months ago.  The jury appointed Shane Young to fill the seat on an interim basis until an election could be held this spring.

The election will fill the remaining time left on Beard’s original term.

David Layfield qualified for the open Alderman position in Edgefield.  Clayton Williams filed for the open Alderman spot in Martin.  Both slots are open because not enough people qualified to fill all the spots during the prior election cycle. 

Anyone wishing to qualify for office should go to the Clerk of Court’s office in the Courthouse.


School Board Develops New COVID-19 Absence Guidelines

Federal guidelines for employee absences associated with the COVID-19 pandemic expired at the end of December.  Lacking those guidelines, the Red River Parish School Board on Thursday afternoon took up writing their own guidelines.

Superintendent Alison Hughes informed the board of the current situation and some practices she would like to see the board put in place to deal with employee absences due to the virus.  “If we quarantine an employee, we should allow them to work from home if their exposure was from a school incident,” said Hughes.  She added, “We would not charge them those days as sick days if they worked from home, and if they were too ill to work, they still would not be charged.”  And Hughes added, “If they were exposed outside of work the employees would then use their sick days.”

There was discussion of a few workers abusing the situation concerning paid absence for virus-related reasons.  Hughes said, “The way things stand we had some take advantage of the situation.  Some employees who were not exposed at work were out for fourteen days three different times.”

Under the expired federal rules employees got an additional 10 COVID days.  That provision ended December 31st.

The bulk of the discussion centered on how to structure the board’s guidelines to prevent abuse of the system and take care of teachers and school employees who either contract the virus or have to quarantine due to exposure to the virus.

The board members reached a consensus on the guidelines.  Their draft will now be reviewed by the board’s attorney and published to board members, teachers and school workers, and the public.  Hughes said that should be accomplished in the next few days.  When issued, The Journal will post that information on our web page and social media outlets.


Capitol Briefing

By Gabe Firment, State Representative District 22

Although national politics and the upcoming 5th District congressional election have been getting most of the attention lately, the state legislature will soon meet and convene in regular session at noon on April 12th and adjourn no later than 6:00 p.m. on June 10th. Being an odd-numbered year, this regular legislative session is primarily a “fiscal” session with lawmakers limited to pre-filing five “general” bills that are unrelated to fiscal matters. I want to briefly preview what I feel should be our legislative priorities leading up to the regular session in April. I plan on exploring many of these topics more thoroughly in future articles prior to the start of the legislative session in April.

The hottest topic for the legislature heading into 2021 is redistricting, or re-drawing election lines for elected offices based on the newest census data. The process plays out primarily in the House and Senate Governmental Affairs committee and will almost certainly require a special session later in the summer due to Census Bureau delays and the complexity of the task. The House and Governmental Affairs has new leadership in chairman John Stefanski(R-Crowley), who played a huge role in crafting the important tort reform legislation passed last year and who will no doubt do a great job with redistricting.    

Budget and Tax issues will also take center stage this session and will generate lots of heated debate and discussion. Reforming our personal and corporate tax structure to make it simpler, fairer, and generally lower is crucial in attracting new businesses to our state and allowing our existing businesses to survive and thrive. Centralized sales tax collections and the possibility of a fuel tax increase coupled with reforms to the Department of Transportation & Development are ideas already being discussed by policymakers. It appears that the state budget will once again be facing shortfalls due to decreased revenues caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent economic downturn, so lawmakers will likely be forced to make tough cuts to state programs or rely on a potential federal stimulus to fill budget gaps.

Expanding access to affordable and reliable high speed internet remains a top priority for District 22 and all of rural Louisiana, and the state legislature must build on the accomplishments of last year until every citizen in the state has access to broadband. Ensuring the integrity of our elections at the state, local, and national level must become a legislative priority for state governments around the nation. Although Louisiana has for the most part done a good job protecting our elections, we must not let our guard down by giving in to the far Left’s demands to expand mail-in voting or allow electronic voting machines and software to be hacked or tampered with.

Continuing the legal reforms started last year and shaking off our designation as a “judicial hellhole” is critical to lowering personal and commercial auto insurance rates, and a significant factor in protecting key industries such as timber and oil & gas that are so important to the citizens of District 22.  Personally, I am considering legislation that would potentially reform the way insurers handle property damage claims for homeowners and commercial properties. I have received dozens of complaints from District 22 residents regarding the handling of their claims following Hurricane Laura in August of 2020. The fact that thousands of Louisianans are still fighting with their insurance carrier almost five months after the storm is just unacceptable and must be addressed prior to future catastrophic events that are an inevitability in Louisiana. 

Of course, pursuing a proper response to the covid-19 virus in a manner that preserves public health and safeguards individual liberties remains a priority for me. It is also imperative that we continue to advance conservative values and fight for our constitutional rights to freedom of speech, freedom to worship, and our 2nd amendment right to bear arms. Unfortunately, it appears that it may also become necessary to attempt to pass legislation to defend freedom loving citizens against dangerous and radical ideologies such as critical race theory, intersectionality, LGBTQ extremism, and labeling as “domestic terrorists” anyone who fails to cave to the demands of the mainstream media and the “woke” adherents of political correctness who regrettably wield power in our broken system.

I am happy to discuss any of these issues with the citizens of District 22 that I am honored to represent. You can reach me at (318)765-9606 or via email at gfirment@legis.la.gov. Thank you and God Bless.


More Catfish For Grand Bayou

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries on Wednesday stocked Grand Bayou with 4500 Channel Cat fingerlings.  Fisheries Technician Scott Delaney opened the valve on three tanks on the truck and sent the catfish into the lake.

Delaney said, “The catfish were less than a year old.  They were born at Booker Fowler Fish Hatchery, the main state owned hatchery located near Forest Hill south of Alexandria.

It will take the catfish some time to grow large enough to catch and fry.  However area anglers have something to look forward to in about a year.


Red River High LOSFA Student for January

The LOSFA student profiled for January is Montrell Brown.  He is in the 9th grade at Red River High School.

The school said, “Montrell has had the opportunity to complete cross curricular activities and take a virtual tour to LSU in Baton Rouge to get a sense of what life on a college campus is like and determine how much things will cost.”

“Leadership is an action, not a position,” said Brown. He added, “LOSFA helps me take the right actions to be a better leader.”


What Makes A Great Tournament Angler?

By Steve Graf

Why do I fish bass tournaments? This is a very good question that has a plethora of answers and for me, it’s not just one specific reason; it’s a little more complicated. Let’s dive into this a little deeper.  First of all, it’s the high that I get from competition. All my life I have competed whether it’s been in baseball, football, track or a family game of Skip-Bo. I have played every level from high school to college to professional.  The one thing that drives me, is the will to win, the will to be as good as I can be! I was born with this desire or instinct to be the best at whatever it is I’m doing. I truly believe that this competitive desire is something you’re born with and I don’t think it’s something that can necessarily be taught. But with this instinct or desire, it can also be a curse. When you strive to be the best and win, you put your heart and soul into it and dedicate yourself to the process with commitment. You’ll do whatever it takes to be or beat the best. You will also be disappointed from time to time with poor finishes. Tournament bass fishing is a sport that you will fail more than you will win.  

What drives a bass angler? It’s the rush that any angler gets when he or she pulls their catch out of the live well and places them in their weigh-bag. It’s walking up to the stage with a really good sack of fish and placing them on the scales with all your peers watching as the scales tip in your favor and your weight is announced. It’s standing on a stage and being interviewed by the tournament director as to how you caught that good bag of fish. It’s other anglers coming up and congratulating you on a job well done. There’s a since of pride knowing that you figured out or found a group of fish that no one else did. It’s the feeling you get when they call your name to walk up on stage and receive your check.

Anglers are always looking for an edge, an advantage over their competition. Sometimes it might be a secret bait or maybe a spot they found pre-fishing. It might even be something a little different in their presentation, for example, instead of dipping the tail of their favorite worm in chartreuse dipping dye like everyone else is doing, they use red or blue or maybe even black. No one over thinks and over analyzes what they are doing more than bass anglers! We can over think or over complicate the process of catching a fish that has a brain the size of your fingernail.

But if you look at every top angler or anyone who has had success in the bass fishing world, there’s one common thread or attribute each possess. It’s something you can’t buy off the shelf at your local tackle shop and it’s not a special bait or technique either. It’s not what brand or how fast their boat is. It not the brand of rod and reel their using. You can sum it up in one word…. confidence! The best bass fishermen on the planet all have this one attribute no matter who they’re competing against. A confident angler thinks he’s the best to ever hold a rod. Even Kevin Van Dam was asked one time “What makes you the greatest angler of all time?” His response was….”Confidence.” He truly believes in himself and that every decision he makes on the water, is the right decision. Every professional angler I have ever asked this question has said that there’s no better tool in your tackle box than confidence. It’s not about what bait your throwing but more about the way you work it. There’s a big difference with an angler who fishes a certain bait with confidence than a bait he has no confidence in at all. If there’s one piece of advice I tell young anglers today, figure out what bait or technique you have the most confidence in and when the bite gets tough, go to what you believe in.

For me, it’s a Texas rigged straight tail worm (Zoom Trickworm or V&M Pork Pin) with a 3/16 tungsten weight with a 2/0 Gamakatsu hook. Anytime I’m struggling in practice or an event, I’ll pick up a straight tail worm and go to work. My confidence level when I have this bait in my hand is very high. I feel no matter what, I will catch fish with this rig. I can’t count how many times that this technique has filled my live well and got me a check at the end of the event. Why, because I believe in it and fish it with confidence! It’s my go to bait or technique when things get tough for me. For other anglers, it might be a spinnerbait or maybe a jig. This is something that can take years to figure out, but once you do, you’ll begin to think like a pro and hopefully put money in your pocket. Till next time, don’t forget to set the hook! For more great angling tips, tune in every Monday at 12:00 noon to Tackle Talk Live on Facebook or catch us on our You Tube channel.

 


4-H Culinary Event

By Jacque Fontenot, 4-H Agent

Earlier this week, a Culinary workshop was held at the 4-H office in Coushatta.  As you can see in the photos, they had a great experience.

Mrs. Kimberlyn Jones, the nutrition agent for Bienville and Red River, and I had a great time yesterday with these girls at the Culinary workshop.  They made BBQ chicken salad, orange glazed carrots, ambrosia salad, and edamame wontons.

They finished the day by making presentations on each part of MyPlate and making pineapple wontons.  They all learned about and really liked edamame!  

Thank you, Mrs. Kimberlyn, for sharing your morning with us!!! If your student is interested in preparing food, join our 4-H chefs group that meets the third Monday of each month at 5:30!