Coushatta Trooper Honored by MADD

Trooper First Class Melvin Massey has been honored for his participation in efforts to enforce laws against drunk and drugged driving.  The honor was presented by

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) to Louisiana State Police Troop G troopers recognized for their commitment to end drunk driving.

Massey was presented his award during his duty shift by the Troop G Commander, Captain Cordell Williams.  Williams is a native of Martin and graduate of Martin High School.

Each year, MADD recognizes the brave men and women of Louisiana for their commitment to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes, and prevent underage drinking. Law enforcement plays a critical role in the fight to eliminate these 100 percent preventable crimes.

MADD hosts law enforcement and community recognition events across the country. These events provide an opportunity to honor outstanding service in the fight to create a future of No More Victims®. Nearly 60 officers throughout Louisiana will be recognized in April for their outstanding efforts.

“Every day we see the devastating toll automobile crashes have on families. We are committed to helping drivers understand the importance of sobriety behind the wheel,” said Alisa Politz, MADD North LA Programs Specialist. “We want to thank the officers who are being recognized for helping educate drivers and keep our roadways safe.”

MADD will recognize Senior Trooper Jeffrey Walker, Trooper First Class Melvin Massey, Trooper Carlos Garcia, Trooper Nathanial James, and Trooper Jonathan Odom who champion MADD’s mission.  “The work these men and women do every day should be recognized and honored. Drunk driving is still a problem, even during this pandemic, and the work to end drunk driving is as important as ever,” said Dr. Shelly Barrett, Northwest LA Transportation Safety Coalition Coordinator. “We are grateful for our partners like MADD, who even during these challenges times, recognize and honor law enforcement officers in our state.”

Mothers Against Drunk Driving was founded by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to protect families from drunk driving and underage drinking.

OSHA Investigating ADA Fire

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has opened an investigation into the fire last Thursday that injured two workers at the ADA Carbon Solutions plant at Armistead.

Juan Rodriguez in the Dallas OSHA office told The Journal, “I can confirm an investigation is open and ongoing.  That is all that I can say until it is complete, usually about six months.”

The Journal also contacted the State Fire Marshall’s office.  A spokesperson said they were not called in to investigate.  He said usually the local fire department or local law enforcement calls in the Fire Marshall on an incident.

The company issued this news release:  Advanced Emissions Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADES) (the “Company” or “ADES”), the parent company of ADA-ES, Inc. and ADA Carbon Solutions, LLC (collectively, “ADA”), announced that it had an isolated incident at its Red River Plant in Coushatta, Louisiana April 22nd. The incident involved an isolated fire in one of the plant’s coal handling systems and resulted in non-life threatening injuries to two employees.

Greg Marken, Interim CEO of ADES, commented, “We are grateful that this incident was isolated and that our teammates appear to be on the road to recovery. Workplace safety is and will always be our number one priority. I’d like to commend the personnel at the plant for utilizing their safety training and their strong collective response immediately following the incident. The Company and I would also like to thank the first responders in the Coushatta area for their support and the excellent medical attention they provided for our teammates. We are currently conducting our own investigation into the incident and are working with local authorities as needed. At this time, we believe the plant will be down one-to-two weeks. We project to have adequate supply through our current inventory and through other sources to fulfill our commitments to customers through that projected downtime.”

The local VP of Marketing at ADA, Dennis Sewell told The Journal he could confirm that there was no explosion at the plant.  Otherwise, Sewell referred us to the company news release.

3D Mammography Breast Cancer Screenings Now Available at CHRISTUS Coushatta Health Care Center

CHRISTUS Coushatta Health Care Center now offers Digital 3D Mammography, the most advanced technology available for early detection of breast cancer. This technology is the newest addition to the hospital’s breast cancer screening program, which also includes highly accurate digital 2D mammography.

“This is the most advanced technology for breast cancer screening, and it is available here, in Coushatta,” said Brandon Hillman, Administrator, CHRISTUS Coushatta Health Care Center. “Not only are we providing our patients with the best care possible, we are allowing them to be screened close to home, with no need to travel out of the area.”

The Digital 3D Mammography system captures multiple images, or slices, of the breast from several angles, creating a 3D image making masses and breast cancer easier to detect.

“The Digital 3D mammography (also known as tomosynthesis) has proven to increase detection of breast cancer,” said Dr. Wyche Coleman, M.D., President, CHRISTUS Coushatta Medical Executive Committee. “This type of mammogram is also particularly helpful in women with dense breast tissue by allowing for a more sensitive evaluation.”

Mammograms are the most important tool physicians have for early detection of breast cancer, even when individuals have no signs or symptoms. To learn more about breast imaging services or to schedule a Digital 3D Mammogram, please call 318-932-2200.

Graduation at Magnolia Bend Academy

There were three graduations at Magnolia Bend Academy this week.  The Kindergarten students graduated on campus on Tuesday.  Also Tuesday, the eighth grade graduation was held at Red River Cowboy Church.  The Class of 2021 graduated Thursday evening.

There are 10 graduates in the class of 2021 with eight attending the ceremony.  They marched in and each presented a red rose to his mother before taking the stage.  Victoria Anderson delivered the welcoming speech.  Anderson said, “After tonight we may not end up where we thought we would.  But the Lord has plans for where we need to be.”

The graduation speech was by Briannah Holmon who graduated Suma Cum Laude with a 4.0 GPA.  Holmon said, “I never imagined living in Louisiana or giving this speech.  I’m finishing a year early and going to NSU.”

Holmon reflected on her high school career, “The last few years did not seem normal.  This was due to the trials we faced.  We could not have done it without our parents and teachers.  And of course my thanks to God.”

Benjamin Lawson Wise graduated Magna Cum Laude with a 3.71 GPA delivered the devotion.  Wise told the Bible story of the three men given talents.  Wise said, “We have been given talents.  It is all wasted if we don’t use it for Him.”  And Wise concluded, “I want to be a faithful servant as God intended me to be.”

Crystal Cummin presented each graduate with a “gift” that reflected their personality and traits exhibited while in school.  She told stories on each.  “And I could go on all night with tales about this bunch,” she said.

At the conclusion of the ceremonies, each grad was presented their diploma.  They marched out as they had entered.  The grads gathered at the back of the room for the traditional tossing of their caps.  Refreshments and fellowship followed as the graduates received congratulations from parents, family and friends.

Restrictions Relaxed on NSU Spring Graduation

Northwestern State University will relax restrictions planned for spring commencement exercises, following Governor John Bel Edwards’ announcement Tuesday that large public buildings can open to 100 percent occupancy if all individuals are wearing masks. 

Ceremonies will take place at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 5-Friday, May 7.

Armbands will not be required to attend any of the six commencement ceremonies and graduates will not be limited to the number of guests in attendance.  Everyone must wear a mask to enter the building.  Guests will be directed to their seats and families who wish to sit together must enter the building together.  Saving seats will not be allowed. Guests are asked to remain seated for the duration of the ceremony if possible.

“We are pleased that our graduates will be able to share their special day with family, but we do ask that everyone attending commencement ceremonies continue to wear masks indoors and be courteous to others in attendance,” said NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio.

Scott Family Reunion Planned

Members of the Scott Family will hold a reunion May 22nd at Hickory Grove Baptist Church.  The family is descended from John Tilton Scott and his mother Caroline Lassiter.  The local coordinator of the reunion is Louise Long.

Caroline Lassiter was born in 1839 in Alabama.  She is pictured with her first husband Joseph Thomas Kanada.  Her son John Tilten Scott  was born in 1874 and died in 1930.  Scott is pictured as a 4-year old.  Lassiter died in 1878.

Louise Long has many scrapbooks and old photos of family members.  At 87-years young, Long has a sharp memory of the members of her family tree.  Long said, “We had never had a family reunion.  I wanted to try and get everyone together.”

Members of the Scott, Kanada, and related families are invited to the reunion May 22nd.  Long said, “We’ll gather at Hickory Grove Baptist Church about 10:00 am. Everyone bring a covered dish for lunch.”

For more information on the Scott Family Reunion, call Louise Long at 318-932-4973.

An Anglers Learning Curve

By Steve Graf

As a young fisherman growing up in East Texas during the 70’s, there wasn’t a lot of material available on how to be a better angler. Sure, you could go down to the local library and maybe find a few books to check out but nothing that really made you sit up and take notice. Then came along Bassmaster Magazine, oh my Lord, are you kidding me? Wow…I mean it was the greatest thing to ever happen to bass fishing!

Finally, a monthly publication dedicated to nothing but bass fishing. It definitely shortened the learning curve of my generation. It had full color sketches of baits and techniques, how to fish wood, how to fish hydrilla (grass), and even how to make the proper cast. It had tips and pointers on how to catch fish under all conditions. It gave the results of all B.A.S.S. (Bass Angler Sportsman’s Society) tournaments and how the pro anglers caught their fish. It even had “best times to fish” calendar for every day of the month based on the moon phases. I mean are you kidding me, the moon phases. Who knew the moon had an impact on when a bass would feed or not feed. This was pure science for those of you that think bass fishing is all luck. Leave it to Bassmaster Magazine to be the educational leader of the outdoors world. I would literally sit by the mailbox near the end of each month just waiting for mine to be delivered. Nothing lit my fire for reading more than Bassmaster Magazine!  It’s probably responsible for correcting my dyslexia issue I had in my early elementary years. That’s how good Bassmaster Magazine was and still is today.

Then came VHS tapes and so many videos that showed live footage of catching bass. Videos showing live underwater footage of bass in their natural environment. They had one called “Big Mouth” that showed an angler fishing a crankbait with two sets of treble hooks and a bass inhaling the lure and spitting it out and the angler never knew he had a bite. It was insane to think a bass could actually do this! Videos took bass fishing to a whole other level. They had professional bass fishermen like Bill Dance, Virgil Ward, John Fox, Ricky Green, Bobby & Billy Murray and one angler who many consider to be the best angler ever Roland Martin doing video presentations. “How to” videos designed to shorten your learning curve and make you a better angler. Of course, if you had a VCR to play your VHS tapes, you were considered wealthy. But once they became more affordable, everyone had one. You could even go to Blockbuster Video Store and rent these bass fishing tapes. How cool was that?

For today’s anglers, it’s a whole other world with the amount of bass fishing videos, books and magazines available. Oh, then came this thing called the internet which has more information than hundreds of thousands of libraries. It’s an information highway that has given anglers of today the ability to look up any topic about every facet of bass fishing. There are even videos from average anglers that like to share their fishing experiences and information via GoPro cameras. So, the learning curve for today’s anglers has been cut in half. Instead of taking years to accumulate knowledge like it has for my generation, today’s generation can learn the same amount of information in just a few weeks. But there’s one thing I’ve learned over my 40 plus years of bass fishing experience: there’s no replacing time on the water. No book, no video and no internet can replace time on the water. This is how an average angler can become a great angler. Till next time, don’t forget to set the hook!

Connie Lynn Shaffer

Funeral services for Connie Lynn Shaffer, 55, of Fairview Alpha, LA will be held at 1 P.M. Saturday, May 1, 2021 at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home Chapel with Bro. Troy Keith officiating. Interment will follow in Bethany Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 11:30 A.M. until service time on Saturday at the funeral home.


Publication of the complete obituary and photo is available by contacting The Journal at 318-564-3609.

High School Yearbook Orders

The RRHS yearbook committee is finishing the 2-year book for you/your student. The deadline to submit the book as well as all orders is Saturday, May 8, 2021. The students have worked very hard to complete this book for you; please consider ordering a book to preserve your memories.

Due to COVID-19 and its protocols, there were many problems in the creation of the 2020 book that was never fully completed. The yearbook committee decided to combine the pages for the 2-year period, 2019-2020 and 2020-2021), so that both years would be represented. The cost of the book is $32.01. The business ads that were sold in 2019 were used in the 2-year project. The support of these business owners is much appreciated.

To order a yearbook, go to the TreeRing site: and click on the link to order a standard book then follow the instructions shown on the pages you should see on the website. If you choose, you can purchase the yearbook, then create 2 individual pages of your own, much like senior pages from the previous years. Should you need assistance, call Darlene Martin at 318-332-9595.

Rebel Golf Team Wins South A

The Riverdale Golf team travelled to Canton, Mississippi this week. They are returning home as the South A State Champions.

Four Low Medalist trophies are given to the South A players with the lowest scores. Three of the four given went to our Riverdale players! 

1st-Reagan Huddleston
3rd- Ryder Huddleston 
4th-Mason Murray

The team will compete in the Class A State Tournament on Monday, May 3rd at Homer Country Club.

Regional Track Meet Results

These Bulldogs placed at regionals and are headed to state next week.  

4×800-3rd place 
(Ellis Grant, Elliot Grant, Stanley Sibley, Douglas Roberson)

Long jump – 2nd place 
(Zintayvious Smith)

Triple jump- 2nd place
(Zintayvious Smith)

High jump- 2nd place 
(Brian Palmer)

Javelin- 2nd place
Cameron Keith)

Zintayvious Smith also Won MVP for Field Events at Regionals today.  

Erica Babers almost made it in tripple jump but came up short finishing in 4th place.  She will be an alternate for our region. 

Great Job Bulldogs and Good Luck next week at LSU.

Intercession Winner

The public schools are holding intercession days this spring.  In part those days will make up class time missed due to the recent winter snow and ice storm.

Red River Junior High decided to add a little fun to the day.  The school said, “Congratulations Alyssa Gay!!! Winner of RRJH  Friday Intersession drawing for Apple Air Pods.”  That was for the last intercession day.

The Junior High said, “We will have academic intersession this Friday, April 30th. We invite all Red River Junior High students to attend as we prepare for end of the year testing. We hope to see all of our students there today for a great day of fun, learning and prizes.”

Camp Grant Walker Update

By State Representative Gabe Firment

Rep. Joe Orgeron(R-Larose) has filed HB362 which creates an individual income tax checkoff for the La. State University Agricultural Center Grant Walker Educational Center (4-H Camp Grant Walker).  If this bill becomes law it would give every LA citizen who files an income tax return the option to donate a portion of their refund to Camp Grant Walker to repair Hurricane damage and make needed improvements. Please support this important legislation and consider donating to restoring this great facility nestled in the beautiful piney woods of Grant Parish.

History and Background

The Camp Grant Walker 4-H Educational Center has a rich history as deep as the state of Louisiana. Purchased in the early 1920’s by the Louisiana State University as a 4-H camp to serve the youth of Louisiana, it was developed and built through the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Not only did the camp provide a much-needed recreation and education center for youth, it also provided employment to the community during a much-needed period of American history.

From its early beginning to today, camp still serves youth from all corners of Louisiana as well as a place for family reunions, weddings, and corporate events/retreats. While the main purpose of camp is to provide a summer educational experience to more than 4,500 Louisiana 4-H members, it is also the camping location for other youth-serving organizations such as the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the Louisiana National Guard Child and Youth Program. Additionally, throughout the year, events for organizations such as Louisiana FFA, church groups, collegiate events, and various Grant parish school and 4-H events are also held on the property. Beyond serving the youth of the state and central Louisiana, Camp Grant Walker is also a place for corporate and government events and retreats. Overall, more than 8,000 individuals participate in experiences annually at Camp Grant Walker.


Through the various 4-H programming opportunities, youth are gaining and learning valuable life skills through experiences at camp. Many youth attend camp during their 4th through 6th grades. During this time, each of them participate in hands-on experiential educational tracks that not only instill subject knowledge but also teach skills such as public speaking, conflict resolution, planning/organizing, problem solving, service learning, and goal setting. These skills help propel youth into having a successful academic career and a stronger understanding for civic involvement and engagement. Recent research through the 4-H Positive Youth Development Study showed that 4-H members are four-times more likely to give back to their communities and two-times more likely to be civically active —traits that our country and world need more than ever.

Status of Camp Grant Walker

The year 2020 was a challenging year for all of us, and especially Camp Grant Walker. The LSU AgCenter and Louisiana 4-H started cancelling events in mid-March and some of the first ones were leadership camps scheduled at Camp Grant Walker. Throughout the spring, additional events were canceled because of the COVID-19 virus. The first of May brought the devastating news that all summer camping sessions would need to be canceled as well. For the first time, Camp Grant Walker did not hear the laugh of campers, the energy of being away from mom and dad for the first time, and the opportunity to make lifelong friends. It truly had an emotional impact on our 4-H members, parents, alumni, and 4-H agents across the state.

As the summer ended, the hurricane season begin, and unfortunately Camp Grant Walker was a significant target for both hurricanes Laura and Delta. Hurricane Laura bought massive winds which toppled trees across the campus with several falling directly into six buildings. Once the damaged was assessed it was determined that one bunkhouse will have to be completely demolished and rebuilt, while others had significant, but repairable, damage. Thanks to the community and friends of 4-H, such as Cleco, we were able to remove fallen trees and debris from the campus. Unfortunately, the light at the end of the tunnel was short lived by the arrival of Hurricane Delta which created a 100-year flooding event throughout camp. It is estimated that more than 22 inches were received over a day’s time, leaving sixteen camp buildings, including all large common area/educational buildings with significant water damage. In addition to the loss of many walls and floors, equipment and other vital components of camp were either damaged or destroyed by flooding.

Due to the status of the facilities at Camp Grant Walker that remain damaged from these two significant weather events, Louisiana 4-H is unable to hold summer camp again for 2021. It is our hope that the summer of 2022 will bring 4,500 Louisiana youth back to a fully functional, safe campus.


LOCATION: Central Office

QUALIFICATIONS: High School Diploma or equivalent, Associate or

Bachelor’s Degree preferred, excellent communication

skills, and proficiency in computer skills.

SALARY: According to Parish Salary Schedule


WHERE TO APPLY: Linda Page, Personnel Director

Natchitoches Parish School Board

P.O. Box 16

Natchitoches, LA 71458-0016

(318) 352-2358

DEADLINE: Monday, May 3, 2021

4:00 p.m.

APPLICATIONS: Application packet should consist of a letter of application, resume’, official transcript, and two letters of reference.

ETC… For Friday April 30, 2021

Today is the final day of the nominating period for the Red River Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor’s Election.  The election will be held on June 12th.

Two members of the Northwestern State University faculty are collecting items to deliver to the United Cajun Navy and volunteers continuing to search for seven missing men from the SEACOR Power lift boat accident of April 13.  Emily Zering, instructor in the Department of New Media, Journalism and Communication Arts, and Phyllis Lear, professor of art, are collecting items such as Tylenol, Advil, lip balm, bug spray (strong enough for marsh environment), sunscreen, first aid kits (or items to include in first aid kits), cases of water and ice chests and will deliver them to Chauvin Saturday. Ice chests can be used but all other items should be new and unopened, Zering said. 

Huge Garage Sale at Union Hall Baptist Church, Saturday May 1, 8:00 a.m. – until, weather permitting.  Lots of everything, baby items, dishes, household goods, clothes, etc.  Proceeds will go to Operation Christmas Child. 

Eyewitness to ADA Fire

Two ladies from the Lake Charles area were driving by the ADA Carbon Solutions plant at Armistead when a fire broke out last Thursday afternoon.  They told The Journal their initial reaction was danger and they needed to get out of there.

Clara Taylor said she and Cinda LaFleur had just passed the US 84 and LA 1 intersection and were driving toward I-49 when she notice a fire atop the plant.  Taylor said, “Wow! Look! I was freaking out a bit and thought it might explode.”

Taylor describes it this way, “I thought it was a flare up.  There was a burst of flame coming from the top of the plant, near where a conveyor belt comes up from the ground.  It flared up, died down, then flared up again.”  LaFleur said, “We didn’t hear anything because the windows were up.  It was scarry.  I live near Lake Charles with lots of refineries and I am familiar with flare-ups.”

Both LaFleur and Taylor described the flame as reminding them of a plant flare-up.  LaFleur said, “It was scarry.  I was holding my nose and not wanting to breathe anything.  We turned off the air conditioning (in the truck).”  Taylor added, “I don’t know what’s in there (what the plant does) but my experience said it was time to go!”  LaFleur said, “It was still burning when we drove out of sight.”

Melerine Wins BESE Seat

The District 4 seat on the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has been won by Republican Michael Melerine.  He defeated Democrat “Cassie” Williams.  This story will be updated when the final vote count is reported.

Turnout was very light in Red River Parish.  Only about 10 percent of registered voters cast ballots, either by absentee, early voting, or in person on Saturday.

In the parish, Melerine got 404 votes or 63%.  His opponent “Cassie” Williams received 236 votes or 37%.  Those percentages were about the same for the vote in the entire 10 parish 4th BESE District.

Final, unofficial vote count district wide was Melerine  62% or 23,541 votes.  Williams got 38% or 14,546 votes.

The BESE board seat was the only issue on the ballot in Red River.

Red River Falls to Delta Charter

The Bulldog Baseball team had an historic season.  They won 21 games, more than any other team in school history.  And they hosted a playoff game, another school first.  However they were not to advance, bowing out of the playoffs Monday night to  a very good comeback team.  Final score Delhi Charter 9 and Red River 8.

Thanks to great pitching from Pierce Kellogg, the Bulldogs held the Gators scoreless through two innings.  The offense put up five runs in the bottom of the second.

Kellogg went out with an injury in the top of the third.  He was replaced by Tyler Hughes who only needed one pitch to retire the side.  Hughes held Delhi through six innings while the Bulldogs increased their lead to 8 to 5.

The Delhi Charter Gators came back strong in the top of the seventh.  They scored three runs to tie the score at 8.  In the bottom of the seventh they held Red River scoreless to send the game into extra innings.

Hughes held Delhi in the eighth recording three up and three down. 

Porche McCool had come into the game to pitch for Delhi.  He recorded three Bulldogs up and three down in the bottom of the eighth.

Delhi scored one run in the top of the ninth to take a 9-8 lead.  Hughes got the last out on his 100th pitch.

Bottom of the ninth.  Red River needed one run to keep the game going.  Ryder Hogan lead off with a single.  Pierce Kellogg hit it to the third baseman for an out.  Keegan King struck out.  Jaylen Grigg got a base on balls.  Then Tyler Wood hit a long fly ball to left that was caught to end the game and Red River’s playoff quest.

Porche McCool got the win.  Tyler Hughes took the loss.

So ended the Bulldogs 2021 season.  Final record was 21 and 12.  Now the building for next year begins.

Riverdale Honors Senior Baseball Players

By Molly Seales

Tuesday, April 20, was a special day for the six senior baseball players at Riverdale Academy. It was the last home game of the season, a double header against Central, and the seniors were honored before the game.  In a ceremony before the game, Coach Jared Smelser presented each senior with a baseball signed by their teammates. The seniors being honored were #1 Noah Wren, #2 Brennan Edie, #5 Matthew Seales, #7 Paul Messenger, #15 Jake Wilhite, and #23 Garrett Wilhite. For the first game of the double header, Coach Smelser surprised Matthew and Garrett by starting Matthew’s first cousin Hayden Hillman and Garrett’s little brother Jace Wilhite so they could play with them for their final game of their career. 

The Rebels started off hot the first game and never looked back, defeating the Central Pioneers 13-3. Seniors Brennan Edie, Matthew Seales, and Noah Wren led their team in hitting, each going 2 for 3 at the plate.  One of Edie’s hits was a double, which resulted in an RBI. Seales and Wren both had 2 RBI’s in the game. Senior Paul Messenger was 1 for 2 with an RBI, and senior Garrett Wilhite had a double that resulted in 2 RBI’s. Aston Hester, Mason Murray, and Kyle Guillory were all 1 for 2 in the game. Guillory and Hester’s hits both resulted in 2 RBI’s each. Edie had 2 stolen bases, while Messenger, Seales, and Guillory each had one. Messenger and Garrett Wilhite each scored 3 runs in the game, while Edie scored 2 runs. Seales, Hester, Jace Wilhite, Murray, and Guillory each scored 1 run. Brennan Edie pitched an outstanding game in his last start of his career, striking out 7 batters and allowing only 1 hit.  Paul Messenger came in as a relief pitcher and struck out one batter in the final inning.

The Rebels came out hot again for game 2, and they were determined to get a second win for their seniors.  They succeeded, winning the 2nd game of the day by a score of 16-6. After 14 years of playing baseball, senior Matthew Seales made the most of his last game.  He was 4 for 4 at the plate, including a triple. He also had 5 RBI’s and 2 stolen bases in the game. Fellow senior Brennan Edie was also outstanding at the plate, also going 4 for 4, including a double. He also had 3 RBI’s and 2 stolen bases. Senior Paul Messenger was 2 for 4 with an RBI and a stolen base. Aston Hester was 1 for 3 with an RBI, Mason Murray was 1 for 2, and Jace Wilhite was 1 for 1.  Colton Caskey had a sacrifice for an RBI. Edie, Messenger, and Jace Wilhite scored 3 runs each in the game. Murray scored two runs. Seales, Garrett Wilhite, Hester, Wren, and Levi Shaver each scored a run for the Rebels. 8th grader Hester had another good day on the mound, striking out 6 batters.

Congratulations to the Rebels on winning the final 3 games of their season, and thanks to the fans who supported them all year. Riverdale has some outstanding players that will be playing varsity baseball in the next few years, so the best of Riverdale baseball is yet to come.

Mask Mandate is Loosened

On Tuesday, Governor John Bel Edwards relaxed the statewide mandate that everyone wear a mask to fight COVID-19.  However there are still many places where a mask is still required.

Here is the Governor’s statement on the new mandate:  Following months of sustained improvement in COVID hospitalizations and an increase in the supply and availability of vaccines, some mitigation measures will be eased starting Wednesday, April 28. The statewide mask mandate will be lifted but masks will still be mandated for specific settings.

Blood Drive Next Wednesday

LifeShare Blood Center is holding a blood drive at Frist Baptist Church in Coushatta next Wednesday, May 5th.  It will be in the Family Life Center from 3:00 to 7:00 pm. 

LifeShare’s Philip Maxfield said, “The blood supply is critically low in this area.  We need people to donate all blood types.”  Maxfield talked about the need for donations.  “Someone you know is still fighting cancer or needs surgery. The area blood supply is at critically low levels and your donation can make a difference. LifeShare would like to have a three day supply on hand but only has one day at the present time.”

Maxwell asked, “If anyone is eligible to donate, please click on the link below to schedule your donation. It’ll take you less than a minute to fill it out.

“Walk-up donors are welcome,” said Maxfield.  He added, “If you don’t know what time you want to donate choose “Plan on coming”. Walk-ins are welcome but it sure does help them to know how many are wanting to donate so they don’t run out of supplies. Please eat a solid meal, drink plenty of water (little/no caffeine), and don’t forget to bring your picture ID.”

Pudding and Pie

By Brad Dison

For hundreds of years, London has attracted more inhabitants than the city could adequately house.  During Roman times, the city was enclosed by a wall on three sides and the Thames River on the fourth.  When the limited space was filled, workers built on top of existing buildings as well as across the London Bridge, the city’s only bridge.  These additions grew wider with each added level, which caused homes to almost touch across the street.

Fire was always a great concern to large cities.  By the 1600s, it was illegal to build with wood and to roof with thatch in London, but those building materials were much cheaper than stone and slate.  The public largely ignored the building codes and enforcement officers did little to enforce them.  The city was full of blacksmiths, glaziers, foundries, bakeries and a host of other craftsmen who manufactured their products by using open flames in wooden buildings.

London had no fire department but relied on its local militia to watch for fires.  Each church was required to house equipment for fighting fires including ladders, leather buckets, axes, and fire hooks.  In the event of a fire, the militia doused the flames by throwing water from leather buckets.  In order to keep the fire from spreading, the militia used the fire hooks to pull down flimsy houses.  If those efforts failed to stop the spreading flames, the militia created firebreaks by demolishing homes with controlled gunpowder explosions.

Thomas Farringer owned a prominent bakery in the city.  The bakery was on the first floor and Thomas’s family lived in an upper floor.  Just after midnight on Sunday, September 2, 1666, a fire broke out at Thomas’s bakery and quickly spread.  Thomas and his family escaped from the fire by climbing through windows into an adjoining neighbor’s home. Thomas’s maid, however, was unable to escape and was the fire’s first victim.

Within a short time, the fire had spread to adjoining buildings.  The militia was unable to extinguish the fire with their water buckets and it gained momentum.  Militiamen wanted to pull down houses on the outer perimeter of the fire, but their tenants refused, and the Lord Mayor was slow to intervene.  A strong west wind fanned the flames.  All attempts to slow the spread of fire failed.

At first, Londoners who lived just a few streets away assumed the fire would not reach their homes.  When they realized the fire would likely destroy their homes, Londoners began loading the bulk of their possessions onto carts and hauling them away.  The streets of London were congested by hundreds of carts, full carts trying to get out of London and empty ones coming back in for another load.  The carts bottlenecked at each of the eight gates in the Roman wall.  Many people stored their possessions in stone buildings, mostly churches such as St. Paul’s Cathedral, because they were thought to be fireproof.  However, the contents of most of these buildings caught fire and added to the destruction.  Some wealthy Londoners hired boats on the Thames to transport their possessions away from the burning city.  Tenants scurried to grab whatever they could up until they were repelled by the heat of the fire.  Contemporary accounts claimed the fire created its own weather system and eyewitness accounts described what amounted to fiery tornadoes.

On the orders of King Charles II, the militia began using controlled gunpowder explosions to level buildings.  As soon as a building was detonated, teams of people cleared the area of the debris.  The fire spread to homes on the London Bridge and people feared the fire would spread to the opposite side of the river.  Luckily, a firebreak on the bridge prevented its crossing.

On Wednesday, September 5, the wind which had fanned the flames died down.  A slow and steady rain began to extinguish fires throughout the city.  The last fire to be extinguished was at the corner of Giltspur Street and Cock Lane in central London.  By the time it was extinguished, the fire had destroyed an estimated 13,500 houses, 87 churches, 44 trade associations and guild buildings, the Royal Exchange, the Custom House, several prisons, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and numerous other buildings.  The numbers vary depending on the source, but, surprisingly, only a few people died as a result of the fire.

During reconstruction efforts after the fire, Londoners created monuments to mark the starting and ending points of the fire.  The Monument to the Great Fire of London, colloquially referred to as “the monument,” is a 202-feet-high Doric column which stands 202 feet from where the fire began.  In an alcove at the corner of Giltspur Street and Cock Lane is a statue called “Golden Boy of Pye Corner”.  Pye was old English for Pie.  This statue marks the spot where the last of the fire was extinguished.

Following the fire, some citizens of London perceived the Great Fire of London as a sign from a higher power of the evils of overeating.  An inscription on the “Golden Boy” statue states: “This Boy is in Memory put up for the late Fire of London, Occasion’s by the Sin of Gluttony.”  You see, the fire began at a bakery on Pudding Lane and was finally extinguished at Pie Corner.  The fire began on Pudding and ended at Pie.


  1. The London Gazette, September 10, 1666, p.1.
  2. The Monument. “The Monument.” Accessed April 19, 2021.
  3. Historic UK. “The Golden Boy of Pye Corner.” Accessed April 19, 2021.