4-H Pumpkins at the Fair

Red River 4-H clubs are holding a Pumpkin Decorating Contest.  They note that the pumpkins are not to be carved but decorated instead.

Entries should be taken to the fairgrounds.  Dates and times are on the 4-H social media pages.  There you will also find the entry categories.  Judging will be at 4:00 pm on October first.  Entries not picked up will be on display during the fair.

This week!  Also, don’t forget to sign up for the BB shooting contest at 9:00 am Friday morning.  Sign up here: forms.gle/5AictvUfQV1BiLjv6


Welcome to the World

By Molly Seales

On Wednesday, September 15, 2021, the Riverdale family and Red River family welcomed their newest member, Cybastian Lee Smelser.  Everyone anxiously awaited his arrival, and many congratulations were given to his parents, Coach Jared Smelser and Coach Cymantha Lee Smelser, who he was named after.

Cybastian was born at St. Francis Hospital in Monroe, Louisiana, at 5:45 p.m.  He weighed 7 pounds 8 ounces and was 20 inches long, which his dad thinks is the perfect size for a future fullback and linebacker. 

Cybastian’s paternal grandparents are Joe and Vietta Smelser.  His maternal grandparents are Raymond and Lori Lee. 

According to Coach Jared, Cybastian likes sleeping, drinking milk, and girls. He dislikes diaper changes, mornings, and distilled water in baby formula. 

Cybastian is already cheering on his favorite football team, the Riverdale Rebels of course.  He is ready to watch his “big brothers” make another playoff run! Congratulations Coach Jared and Coach Cymantha! 


Let’s Not Abandon Our Constitution to The Administrative State

The U.S. Constitution is the rarest, most extraordinary governing document of all time and, with the exception of the Bible, has had the greatest impact of any written work in human history.   That’s because it contains the formal enshrinement, guarantee and protection of the precious rights and liberties we hold and cherish as individuals and citizens.  Perhaps most importantly, it stands as the bulwark of freedom against any and all encroachments and infringements by government upon those sacred rights.

Our Constitution is premised upon the transcendent belief that these unalienable, fundamental rights flow from natural law and do not flow from—are not given or bequeathed to us by—government.  Rather, they are God-given rights and, as such, we view them as intrinsic to and inherent in every human being.  We possess them merely based upon the fact of our birth (many of us believe deeply they should be extended to unborn babies, as well).

Further, as we know, the Constitution prescribes both the explicit powers and express limitations of government.  And one of the painstakingly crafted provisions is found in Article 1, Section 1 which clearly states that “all legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.”  Another carefully written provision involves Article 1, Section 7 which mandates that “every bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate shall, before it become a law, be presented to the President of the United States.”

That, in summary form, is how laws are legitimately made in this country.  Well, that began to change dramatically with the start of massive federal spending and accompanying massive government programs.  Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal was the beginning of this change but LBJ’s Great Society also sparked enormous growth of federal government spending and the creation of equally enormous federal programs.  This unprecedented federal spending and these huge programs had to be administered and this is what gave rise to the oppressive administrative state we live in today.

Well, this expansive administrative state—and the huge federal agencies that comprise it—are unconstitutional.  Why is that? Because these agencies and the career bureaucrats who run them are unknown, faceless and were never elected to anything.  Yet, they are making and enforcing laws upon the American people!  They make policy decisions every day that affect millions of Americans.

The issue is well stated here: “The Founders understood that there are two fundamental ways in which government can exercise its authority.  The first is a system of arbitrary rule, where the government decides how to act on an ad hoc basis, leaving decisions up to the whim of whatever official or officials happen to be in charge; the second way is to implement a system grounded in the rule of law, where legal rules are made in advance and published, binding both government and citizens and allowing the latter to know exactly what they have to do or not to do in order to avoid the coercive authority of the former.”  (Heritage Foundation, Ronald Pestritto).

Well, we chose the second way!  We opted for the rule of law which affords guarantees like notice, due process and equal protection of the laws to every citizen—a process designed to insure what we have come to call “fundamental fairness.”  Further, we govern ourselves in an equally predictable manner: we elect our President and our U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives to implement in policy and law the will of the American people.  These elected officials are accountable to us because their every official action is heavily and constantly scrutinized and, in the next election, we may throw them out of office (of course, this assumes we have free and fair elections) and elect someone else when we feel our political will is not being honored.

There is no place in our constitutional scheme for powerful federal agencies who decide what the laws applicable to their agencies mean—they interpret statutes for themselves—and, unfortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court and lower federal courts, through the ill-advised legal doctrine of Chevron Deference, have given up their most important role—interpreting statutes and adjudicating agency disputes—instead choosing to defer to “agency expertise.”  The reason this is so dangerous is because a federal agency—like, for example, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)—has often abused its authority and been dictatorial in its view of its own power while being largely unaccountable to the Congress.

For example, the EPA, in conjunction with the Army Corps of Engineers, has jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act to regulate “navigable waters” which are defined as “the waters of the United States, including the territorial seas.”  (The Rivers and Harbors Act is often dubiously used also).  The dispute is almost always about what qualifies as “navigable water.”  Well, in the past, unsurprisingly, the EPA and the Corps have tried to expand their authority by implementing an agency rule that would define “navigable waters” as even including all ditches—any ditch, even a man-made ditch—in a farmer’s field, for example.  It even includes depressions or low points in a field that are dry most of the time except when it rains.  (Heritage Foundation, Daren Bakst).  This is insane.

This also means that if the EPA and Corps are not checked and reined in but continue to expand their authority over more waters, property owners will have to secure additional permits to use their own land!  They will have to get permission from federal bureaucrats to use and enjoy their property because of the presence of so-called “navigable waters” that were never intended to be regulated under the Clean Water Act.  If property owners don’t comply with the law, they can even face civil penalties as high as $37,500 per day per violation, or even criminal penalties. (Id.)

This is what is most concerning about the burgeoning growth of the administrative state in our country.  There is no accountability.  Ultimately the Congress is going to have to stop deferring—whether due to laziness or timidity—to these powerful federal agencies (who often have their own agendas) and reassert its authority to define what terms like “navigable waters” mean.  One of the most hallowed rights of all—private property rights—are at stake.  Congress must act to correct these kinds of agency abuses and, in the meantime, the federal courts—whose duty and province is emphatically to “say what the law is” (Marbury)—must stop deferring to these agencies and interpret these statutes for themselves.  Otherwise, we are not adhering to the rule of law in our constitutional scheme.


Notice of Death – September 29, 2021

Wayne Lawrence Haire

March 4, 1959 to September 27, 2021.

Services 12:00 Noon Thursday September 30, 2021 at First Baptist Coushatta.

View full obituary here:

https://redriverparishjournal.com/2021/09/28/wayne-lawrence-haire/

Celebration of Life for Mrs. Lula Moore Thomas.

An open viewing Friday, October 1, 2021 from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm at Sunflower Baptist Church in Bossier.  Service

Saturday, October 2,2021 at 12:00 pm at Will of God Ministries West Campus.


ETC… For Wednesday, September 29

Red River Junior High Football wins again (Thursday) and moves to 3 and 0.  Looks like these Bulldogs are going to be tough to beat.

On Tuesday, Gov. John Bel Edwards extended Louisiana’s statewide indoor mask mandate for another four weeks, until October 27, as the state’s overall COVID-19 outlook improves following the state’s worst COVID-19 surge of the entire pandemic. The statewide mask mandate includes K-12 schools and college campuses.

Louisiana Tech University’s School of Design will open its latest exhibit with a public reception at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 28 in the Bethea and Moffet Galleries of the Taylor Visual Arts Center.  The Phoebe Allen Mathys Collection, featuring work by Mathys, Mary Moffett, Kelly Fearing, Elizabeth Bethea, and more artists, will be on display through Oct. 5.

Volleyball is in its 2nd Varsity season at RRHS and tomorrow will mark the first home game in Red River High history. Come out tomorrow and watch our girls play Magnolia Charter at 6pm in the new junior high gym. The cost is $5 and $1 for students with ID. Let’s pack out the gym and support our hard working volleyball girls.


Wayne Lawrence Haire

Wayne Lawrence Haire, age 62, of Coushatta, Louisiana passed away on Monday, September 27, 2021 in Coushatta. He was born on March 4, 1959 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Larry Jackson Haire and Margaret Lucille Connors Haire.

Wayne was a volunteer fireman with the Red River Fire District, and an honorably discharged veteran of the Louisiana National Guard. He loved to sit at Chevron drinking coffee when he wasn’t playing with his dog Marshall.

He was a family man who loved spending time with his family and friends. Even in the face of sickness Wayne never lost faith in his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and his brother Dale Haire.

Left to cherish his memory are his loving wife Mashelle Haire; children Christopher Haire, Jennifer Schneider; step-children William Craine and Trinity Dowlen; grandchildren Tristen Tipton and Ryan Schneider; sister Patsy Tarver (Charles); nieces and nephews, Nikki Thomas, Joe Tarver, Kenneth Tarver, Amber Martone, Lee Haire, and several great nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held 10am Thursday, September 30, 2021, at First Baptist Coushatta. Funeral services will begin at 12pm with Pastors Nathan Davis and Rusty Hathcock officiating.

Serving as pallbearers are Chris Haire, Kenneth Tarver, Joe Tarver, William Craine, Charles Tarver, and Jimmy Thomas. Honorary pallbearers will be Lee Haire, Nolan Adams, David Ryals, Tristen Tipton, and Ryan Schneider.

The family would like to extend a special thanks to Christus Coushatta Hospital and Dr. Coleman, Dr. Carter, and Dr. Troxclaire.


Monday, September 27th Update

Notice of Death – September 28, 2021

Wayne Lawrence Haire

March 4, 1959 to September 27, 2021.

Services 12:00 Noon Thursday September 30, 2021 at First Baptist Coushatta.

Celebration of Life for Mrs. Lula Moore Thomas.

An open viewing Friday, October 1, 2021 from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm at Sunflower Baptist Church in Bossier.  Service

Saturday, October 2,2021 at 12:00 pm at Will of God Ministries West Campus.


Monday, September 27 Update

Lula Moore Thomas

Celebration of Life for Mrs. Lula Moore Thomas.  An open viewing for the public will be Friday, October 1,2021 from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm at Sunflower Baptist Church in Bossier.

The Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, October 2,2021 at 12:00 pm at Will of God Ministries West Campus 317 E. Carrol St. Coushatta, La. Burial will be at Springville Cemetery in Coushatta.  Mask will be required.

Information furnished by Heavenly Gates Funeral Home


Angela D. Graves

A visitation for Angela D. Graves, 52, will be held Tuesday, September 28, 2021, at the Kilpatrick’s Rose-Neath Coushatta chapel from 11:00 AM until 2:00 PM with a burial of cremains to follow at a later date.

Ms. Graves was born August 16, 1969, in Natchitoches, LA, to Charles Leon and Doris Jane Bamburg and went home to be with her Lord and Savior on September 25, 2021, in Coushatta, LA.

Preceding her in death were her parents and husband, Paul Edwin Graves.

Left to cherish her memory are son, Joshua Graves; daughters, Chelsea Blanchard and husband, Caleb, Brittany Graves and fiancé, Chris, Bethany Graves and MacKenzie Graves; three grandchildren, Jaxon Blanchard, Jerimiah Washington and Tiana Valentine; and numerous relatives and friends.


Lady Rebels Clinch District Title

By Molly Seales

The Riverdale Lady Rebel softball team took a pair of wins this week, improving their district record to 7-1 and clinching the district championship. They advance to the South State Tournament this Saturday in Sterlington, where they will play their first game at 10:00 a.m.  Their first win came Monday as they finished a previous game that had been called early due to a rainout.  They defeated the Tensas Lady Chiefs 21-2 in 3 innings.  Junior Jessie Kate Cobb picked up another win in the pitching circle. She struck out 7 batters and allowed 2 hits and 2 earned runs. The future of Riverdale softball shined this game at the plate with freshman Jadyn King leading the way with 2 hits, 4 RBI’s, and 1 run scored. 8th graders Hanna Catherine Huddleston and Mary Claire Jones each had a hit, with Huddleston having 2 RBI’s and scoring 2 runs and Jones having 3 RBI’s and scoring 2 runs. 8th grader Julia Grace Riggs drove a double to the fence, knocking in 2 runs and later scoring a run.  Senior Rylee Kate Woodard scored 2 runs and had an RBI, and senior Renee Prosperie had an RBI and scored 3 runs. Cobb added 2 RBI’s and freshman Chloe Jordan scored 2 runs.  Junior Emma Clemons scored 3 runs and sophomore Kylie Donald scored a run.  Pinch runners did a great job on the bases with Sky McMullan scoring 2 runs, and Gracie Stephens and Haylee Smith each scoring a run. Huddleston, Jones, Clemons, Stephens, and McMullan each had a stolen base.

Following the Tensas game, the 2 Lady Rebel senior softball players were honored at senior night. Left fielder #4 Renee Prosperie, who is the daughter of Carey and Donna Prosperie, has been a member of the Lady Rebel softball team for 6 years, and centerfielder #10 Rylee Kate Woodard has been a member of the Lady Rebel softball team for 7 years.  Both players have been great contributors to the success of the team. Prosperie was named to the all-district team as a junior, and Woodard was named to the all-district team as a sophomore, junior, and senior. These girls will really be missed!

Their second win of the week came Tuesday as they traveled to Grand Cane and defeated the Central Lady Pioneers 20-0 in 3 innings. Jessie Kate Cobb got the win in the circle. She pitched the first inning and struck out 2 batters. Emma Clemons came in from the bullpen and pitched the second and third innings, striking out 2 batters.  Cobb and Clemons combined to throw a no hitter. The Lady Rebels had hot bats again on Tuesday. Jadyn King again led the way, going 3 for 3 at the plate with 2 RBI’s and a run scored. Chloe Jordan went 2 for 3 with 1 RBI and 4 runs scored. Rylee Kate Woodard had a hit and scored 4 runs, while Renee Prosperie had a hit, an RBI, and scored a run. Cobb had a hit and scored a run, and Clemons had a double and scored 2 runs. Julia Grace Riggs had a hit, 2 RBI’s, and scored a run, and Mary Claire Jones had an RBI.  Pinch runners Sky McMullan and Haylee Smith got the job done on the bases, scoring 3 runs each. Jordan and Woodard each had 2 stolen bases, and Clemons, Prosperie, and Riggs had 1 each. The Lady Rebels were perfect on defense, committing zero errors in the game.

With the Central win, the Lady Rebels clinched the district title and have the #1 seed in the South State tournament, which starts this Saturday. They will take on Rebul Academy at 10:00 a.m.  Good luck at state Lady Rebels!


Bids Accepted on New Central Office

The Red River Parish School Board held a special meeting on Thursday morning to look at the bids for construction of a new Central Office.  It will be located just south of Bulldog Drive in the new Education/Sports complex.

Superintendent Alison Hughes explained that prior bids submitted have been too high for their budget.  She told the board that there have been negotiations with bidders on the project to get the price within budget.

Originally there were two projects in addition to the Central Office.  They were the bus barn and a central warehouse.  These two were taken out of this round of bidding and other changes were made to the Central Office to save money.

Hughes said, We will get everything that is essential in the new building, however changes were made that will result in savings.”  One example the Superintendent gave was the audio-visual equipment.  Hughes said that would have cost about $800,000 if included in the bidding.  They will buy the equipment later and it will only cost about $200,000 at that time.

The first motion was to award the contract for the office to CDI Contractors, LLC in the amount of $8,570,000.  It passed with one “nay” vote.  Board member Casandra White was absent and member Gene Longino voted against it.

The second motion was to adopt change orders to remove the two smaller projects from the main building.  Board members present, with the exception of Longino, voted for the resolution.

The summary of the bids submitted is attached.  Note that only the Base Bid from CDI Contractors, LLC was accepted by the Board on Thursday.


First Baptist Revival Begins Sunday

The fall revival begins this weekend at First Baptist Coushatta.  Sunday morning at 11:00 am.  Dr. Nathan Davis sets the tone of the revival on Sunday morning.  Jeff and Jake Crowley from Benton will lead the worship music.

Sunday evening Dr. Tommy Kiker from East Leesville Baptist Church will preach.  Jeff and Jake Crowley will lead the music.

Monday through Wednesday there will be a meal served at 6:00 pm prior to the services.  Evening services are at 7:00 pm.  On Monday, Dr. Heath Peloquin of Summer Grove Baptist Church will bring the message.

Evangelist Bro. Mike Courtney brings the message Tuesday evening.  The worship music on Monday and Tuesday will be led by Bro. Glen Price from Philadelphia Baptist Church in Deville.

The revival wraps up Wednesday evening with the message from Dr. Jerry Chaddick of Mims Baptist Church in Conroe, Texas.  Bro. Johnnie Dunn of Westside Baptist in Natchitoches will lead the worship music.


Gathering At The Pole

Schools in the parish participated in “See You At The Pole” observances on Wednesday.  Clara Springs Camp kicked off the events with their gathering on Tuesday night.

The camp said, “Such an amazing night of worship at our First Annual See You at the Pole Pep Rally! Thank you to all the churches that attended.  Please pray for students around the nation Wednesday morning as they gather around their flag poles to pray for their school and the nation!”

Red River High students gathered this morning for “See You at the Pole.”  Assistant Principal Crystal Carper said, “We are so very proud of our students for organizing, participating, and attending prayer for their school, community, and country.”

Principal JC Dickey added, “Days like today are why I am proud to be a principal.  Not only did my junior high do an excellent job at see you at the pole but so did this amazingly talented group of young people.   Couple of freshmen, sophomores and a junior stepping out and stepping up for Jesus, and 75 more students, teachers, staff, and community members in the parking lot.  They prayed together and pleaded the blood over Red River High School.  I pray that these students take Jesus with them into the schools every day and make a difference.”

Students at Riverdale Academy gathered in the gym Wednesday morning.  The Booster Club said, “What a blessing we received at RA’s See You at the Pole today. Why Riverdale? In 2021, there are not many schools where you can go and hear God’s message of salvation preached! Thanks so much to Bro. Lance Moore and the Red River Cowboy Church band for a wonderful time of worship and to Dr. Hunter Brown and Riverdale’s FCA for putting this together!”


Relief Supplies Taken South

Local 4-H members gathered supplies to help their neighbors in south Louisiana who suffered damage from Hurricane Ida.

The 4-H clubs in Natchitoches parish said, “It was a humbling experience  for the Natchitoches, Bossier, and Red River  agents to deliver the hurricane relief donations to Dulac! We had the pleasure of meeting some Terrebonne  Parish 4-H members and volunteers to help us with our delivery.”

Red River 4H added their thanks, “Thank you to all that donated supplies!  Part of our supplies came with us to Dulac, and the other part travelled to the Hammond area with FBC Natchitoches and the Disaster Relief team.”


Liberty Fall Festival

Saturday afternoon come to Liberty Baptist Church.  It is their annual Fall Festival ,and they are inviting family friends and neighbors.

There will be a waterslide, bounce house (provided by Pickett Inflatables) , and hayride for the children.  And of course, there will be plenty of hot dogs, drinks and deserts for everyone.

The Fall Festival will be at Liberty Baptist Church Saturday, September 24th beginning at 2:00 pm.


A Thankless Job

By Steve Graf

We’ve all, at one time or another, had those jobs that nobody else wants. Those jobs, where no matter what decisions you make, everyone will not be happy. If you’ve ever run a bass tournament, you’ll find out quickly that there’s not a bigger bunch of whiners on the planet than bass fishermen. If you feed them hamburgers for good performance, they want to know why they didn’t get a ribeye. They really are the most selfish and spoiled outdoorsmen that exist. They like to be catered to and hailed for their skills and abilities to catch bass. Another way to say it…they’re brats!

Without Tournament Directors (TD’s), anglers would be the inmates running the asylum. TD’s are the guys that run bass tournaments for different organizations all across the country and have a tough job trying to satisfy bass fishermen. They don’t write the rules, they just enforce them, even when they know it will hurt an angler or a team. That’s not their intention to hurt anyone, but it’s a part of the job that goes with being a tournament director. Sometimes they have to be the bad guy whether it’s a one-pound penalty for a minor violation, or worst, a disqualification, which is rare. An example of a one-pound penalty would be weighing a dead fish. If there’s one thing that’s really emphasized in bass tournaments today, it is keeping your fish alive before weigh-in. An example of a disqualification would be not wearing a life jacket either during practice or on tournament day.

But without good TD’s, bass tournaments would be a mess. They constantly have to hear anglers complain about this and that including, but not limited to, accusations from other anglers like… they were fishing too close, they were fishing my spot, they ran through a no wake zone, they weren’t wearing their life jackets….and the list goes on and on! Bass fishermen love rules, as long as they don’t apply to them. No matter what the TD decides on a situation, someone will not be happy. But for a fishing circuit or tournament trail to be successful, it better have a good strong TD who’s not afraid to hurt someone’s feelings. Nothing will ruin a tournament trail quicker than a weak director who does not enforce the rules, or even worse, changes or alters the rules the morning of a tournament. This will make anglers load their boats and leave….. never to return. Every tournament trail that’s ever failed, was usually because rules were not enforced with consistency. If things aren’t run the right way, anglers will abandon ship quicker than setting the hook on a big bass.

So today, I salute all the guys who have taken on that role of TD and had to be the bad guy every once in a while. They spend countless hours on the road and away from their families just like anglers do. In some cases, they literally go from one event to the next, loading and unloading, breaking down and setting up. They make sure the polygraph exams are done correctly. They coordinate all take-offs the morning of the tournament and they make sure all anglers are off the water safe and on time. Then they have to run the weigh-in and pass out checks, before packing up and heading to the next event. So, the next time you’re in a bass tournament or following a bass trail, tell the tournament director “thank you” for doing a great job. Till next time, good luck, good fishing, and don’t forget to set the hook!


Riverdale Collects Storm Recovery Supplies

This week Riverdale came to the aid of a south Louisiana school damaged by Hurricane Ida.  It started as a student project.

Riverdale said, “Thank you to everyone who donated to our fundraiser for Hurricane Ida victims in South Louisiana.  We raised about $300, which was spent on supplies that were sent to H. L. Bourgeois High School.  They have opened their doors to two other schools that were completely destroyed in the storm. They are so grateful for donations!” 

The student who came up with the program then saw it through to completion.  Riverdale said, “A special thank you to Alaina Boyd, who originated the idea for this fundraiser and made sure it was completed in a timely manner!”


Culinary Arts Presents An Evening of Fine Dining

Northwestern State University’s culinary arts and hospitality management and tourism students are bringing back the Columns Café and will feature a Parisian style shrimp dinner.  Dine-in meals will be served beginning at 6:00 pm Thursday September 30th in Room 225 of the HMT Building.

The dine-in menu will feature:

  • Appetizer – Salmon rose with domestic caviar, deviled eggs and potato pancakes
  • Soup du four – French onion soup
  • Salad – Fresh green bean and melon
  • Entrée – Parisian style shrimp – Fresh Gulf shrimp sautéed with butter, white wine, fresh herbs, roasted tomatoes and roasted garlic. Topped with fresh goat cheese with toasted French bread
  • Dessert – Warm yeast doughnuts, mixed berry compote, vanilla crème Anglaise, almond tuile
  • Bread & butter – Sourdough with herbed butter

The September 30th meal will be sponsored by Louisiana Seafood, who will provide fresh Louisiana shrimp for the featured entrée.  The cost is $45. To pre-purchase tickets, visit eventbrite.com/e/nsu-culinary-arts-parisian-style-shrimp-tickets-169639260595

The Columns Café is student-run with seasonal, locally sourced meals prepared in the culinary arts lab and served by students. The Café provides students with experiential learning in the logistics and teamwork required to plan, prepare and serve a formal dinner. All proceeds go towards support of HMT students and academic programming.