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.