Monday Basketball Playoff Update

Red River won their first round basketball playoff game last week.  They defeated Sterlington in a back-and-forth contest.  Final saw the Bulldogs come out on top 51 to 49.

That set up a second round match this week.  The Bulldogs are again on the road traveling to south Louisiana to play Ville Platte.  That game is scheduled for 6:30 pm Tuesday.

Fire Department Responds to Three Mobil Home Fires

February 17, 2023 at 14:14 Red River Fire District was dispatched to a residential structure fire. Sheriff’s office units advised RRFD all occupants were out of home. RRSO also advised that there was a fully involved mobile home with multiple exposures. RRFD requested mutual aid for water support from Natchitoches Fire District 7. RRFD arrived on scene to find 3 working mobile home fires, with a down service line. RRFD was able to make a transitional attack on one of the exposures to extinguish fire. RRFD was also able to make entry into another one of the homes where Fire Crews located and rescued a dog. Swepco was requested to the scene. Red River EMS was dispatched to the scene to be on standby. Fire was deemed under control at 15:48. Fire crews remained on scene until 17:48. No injuries were reported at this incident.

Red River Fire District would like to thank all members who responded as well as the agencies that played a role in this incident. Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office, Red River EMS, Natchitoches Fire District 7, and Swepco.

Library Mardi Gras Celebration

The Red River Parish Library held a Mardi Gras Party and bingo games this week.  They reported, “We had a great time at our Mardi Gras party.”

For two hours they played bingo with some sweet prizes.  One of our youngest players had the Midas touch hitting Bingo 5 times.  They also enjoyed some King Cake

Friends Elected Officers

The newly formed group, Friends of the Red River Parish Library held an organizational meeting last week.  They adopted by-laws, appointed temporary members, and elected officers.  The ad-hoc group of interested citizens became an active organization.

All those in attendance were made temporary members until formal enrollment and payment of $10 dues can be done.  They heard a proposed  set of bylaws read and made some suggested changes before adopting them.

Then it was time to elect officers and board of directors.  Here is the inaugural slate:

President – Ginny Hines

Vice President – C’Ann Norman

Secretary – Judy Cannon

Treasurer – Jana Webb

Members at Large – Joy Cannon, Loretta Harris, Gail Culver, and Norma Lester.

Before adjourning the Friends set their next meeting for Thursday, March 9th at 1:00 pm at the Library.

A Wax Will

By Brad Dison

In 1877, Thomas Edison’s engineers worked on a machine that would transcribe messages sent over telegraph lines.  Alexander Graham Bell patented the telephone just one year prior, but it would be years before it became commonplace.  As Edison and his engineers pondered over the different uses for this invention, Edison speculated that an audio message could be recorded in a similar fashion.  This is one of the earliest known mentions of an answering machine or, in the cell phone era, a voicemail recorder.  Edison proposed a sketch of this invention to mechanic John Kruesi, who built a working model within 30 hours.  Edison tested the machine by reciting “Mary had a little lamb.”  The machine recorded the recitation on a hollow cylinder made of tin foil.  He was astonished to hear his own words played back to him.  On Christmas Eve, 1877, Edison filed the patent for the phonograph.  On January 24, 1878, Edison created the Edison Speaking Phonograph Company.  Due to the sound being recorded on fragile tin foil, the phonograph was viewed only as a novelty because the tin foil only allowed the recording to be played back a few times.  Edison’s work on the incandescent light bulb drew his and his engineer’s time away from further developments on the phonograph.     

Alexander Graham Bell and his team of engineers made improvements on Edison’s phonograph, most notably of which was the replacement of the tin foil with a wax cylinder.  Bell and his team patented what they called the graphophone and approached Edison to discuss a collaborative effort to make further improvements.  Edison refused and made improvements on his phonograph which included Bell’s wax cylinder.  Edison called it his New Phonograph.   In October 1887, Edison formed a new company to market the machine.  One advertisement pictured Edison standing alongside his newest model with the quote, “I want a phonograph in every home.”

In 1906, Hodson Burton, a wealthy, elderly resident of Buchanan, Michigan, revised his last will and testament.  Burton’s will specified the distribution of some but not all of his property.  Among other information, his will included the statement that he had buried a large sum of gold in a secret location.  He recorded the location of the gold on a phonograph cylinder which was to be kept in his attorney’s safe until he had been dead five years.

In the spring of 1906, shortly after completing his will and phonograph recording, Hodson Burton died.  For five long years, Burton’s heirs puzzled over the location of the hidden gold.  Despite their requests, the attorney was resolute in honoring Burton’s will.  Finally, on Saturday, April 1, 1911, all of the heirs gathered in the front parlor of the home of Burton’s son, Luke Burton, to finally play the phonograph cylinder and learn the location of the hidden gold.  While they anxiously awaited the arrival of the attorney, they imagined what they could purchase with the gold such as “automobiles, mansions, and aeroplanes.”

The attorney had taken every precaution to ensure the fragile wax cylinder and phonograph machine remained safe.  The attorney arrived through the rear of the house and went to the kitchen.  On the kitchen table, he carefully unwrapped the phonograph and the wax cylinder.  After five long years, the attorney was ready to rid himself of the responsibility of keeping it safe.  He placed the cylinder on the phonograph and carefully lifted it off the table.  With a deep breath, he slowly carried the phonograph from the kitchen, over the threshold to the parlor where a table had been cleared for the device.  The attorney glanced back and forth between the phonograph and the table as he walked.  As the attorney entered the parlor, he tripped over a footstool and the wax cylinder shattered into countless tiny pieces as it struck the floor, forever concealing the location of Burton’s hidden gold.


  2. The South Bend Tribune, April 3, 1911, p.10.

Public Servants Honored

First responders and other public servants in the community were honored by VFW Post and Auxiliary 7287 this week at a banquet held in their honor.  Annually the local VFW honors public servants nominated by their departments.

Here is the list of those honored:

Red River Sheriff’s Office – Law Enforcement Officer of the Year – Sgt Lee Petersen

E-911 – Dispatcher of the Year – Barbara Perrin

RR Fire Protection district – Firefighter of the Year – Joey Emerson

RR EMS – Emergency Medical Technician of the Year – Etoyce Davis

From all schools in the parish – School Teacher of the Year – Angela D. Murray from Red River Junior High.  Murray was also selected as the VFW District 12 (Northwest Louisiana) Teacher of the Year.

Nominations are solicited each fall by the Coushatta VFW Post and Auxiliary.  Those selected by the post are submitted to district and then to the state VFW.  Local honorees are treated to a banquet each spring.

For more information on local veterans programs, or for assistance with service to veterans, please call VFW Post 7287 at 318-932-6557.

Americanism Competition Winners

The students submitting the best entries in local Americanism competitions were honored at a banquet held this week.  The Coushatta VFW Post and Auxiliary conducts several Americanism competitions each fall.  The top students submitting entries are honored at a banquet each spring.

The 2022 honorees are:

Patriots Pen – Students in middle school – First Place – Jaxson Townsend.  His essay topic was “My Pledge to Our Veterans.”  Also, Lillie Harlow of Red River Academic Academy was recognized for submitting the best essay from her school.

Americanism Essay – Fifth grade students – First Place – Jace Jordan from Magnolia Bend


Patriotic Art Competition to create an Historic Scene – Connor Dubois of Red River Academic Academy.

The Post and Auxiliary offers patriotic competition in all grades Kindergarten through 12 each fall.  The creators of the best entries submitted are presented awards at a banquet each spring.  For more information on the Americanism competitions call Post 7287 at 318-932-6557.

Never Trust an Angler

By Steve Graf

One thing I’ve learned over my many years of fishing bass tournaments…never to trust another angler! Now, why would someone say such a thing? Because it’s a fact! Today we’ll look at a situation where you’ll understand why this is a true statement.

No group of people on planet Earth is less trustworthy than bass fishermen. They will lie in a heartbeat to keep other anglers at bay when it comes to where and how they are catching bass. They will sell their firstborn for crucial information if it will help them win a tournament. That’s why it’s so important to bond with a couple of guys who are your true friends so that you can discuss what you’re doing and how you’re catching bass without the threat of one of them revealing your secrets. Trust is a word very few anglers use because the pool of people you can trust is small and almost non-existent.

A good friend of mine, who is a legendary angler from East Texas, told me one time that he was through fishing Pro/Am events. Pro/Am events are tournaments where you have a boater/Pro who runs the boat and the trolling motor while he’s paired up with an Amateur/Co-angler for the day. The biggest problem in these types of events is that the Pro/boater spends all his hard-earned money and time finding fish for an event while the Am/Co-angler benefits from all that hard work without ever wetting a hook in practice or burning any gas. When you take a Co-angler to your best spots, you hope and pray that he won’t go tell all his buddies where these spots are and how you’re catching them.

So many times, I’ve asked co-anglers nicely to please not tell anyone where and how we caught our fish for that day. But no matter how much they promise they will keep everything a secret, they’re lying! This happened to me last year on Sam Rayburn in which I had a good crankbait bite early off one spot. We both had our limits in the first thirty minutes of the tournament. I had over 16 pounds in the live well and my co-angler had his three fish limits of almost 10 pounds. I specifically asked the young man to please not share this spot with anyone else as I had another tournament coming up the next weekend. He reassured me that he does not share other anglers’ spots or information with anyone.

So, feeling good about the rapport and connection we had made, I felt this guy was trustworthy. Well, guess what? Once again, my faith in humanity and trusting another angler was lost when I returned the following Thursday to scout for my next event on Rayburn. Just after daylight, I ran to my starting spot from the week before where I had caught 16 pounds in thirty minutes. As I approached the spot, I noticed a boat was fishing almost directly in the same location. So, I pulled up and lowered my trolling motor trolling in his direction. Once within in speaking range, I asked the angler if he had caught anything off this spot. He said “yes” with enthusiasm as he set the hook on a 4 pounder! While smoke and blood began to ooze from my ears, he commented that the area was loaded with some really good quality fish that his son had caught with a guy last weekend. I told him, “Yeah, I’m that guy!” I could see the look on his face when he said, “Uh oh!”  He knew immediately that his son was not supposed to have told him about the spot. Once again, I politely asked the dad if he would lay off these fish until after my tournament on Saturday. He obliged and apologetically pulled up his trolling motor and left.

While I understand that I really don’t have the right to claim this or any spot as off-limits to anyone, it’s just the ethical part among other tournament fishermen to honor another angler’s spot or area. Now if another angler had found those same fish as I did, then it’s a matter of who gets there first. This is all a part of the unwritten rules of tournament fishing that so many anglers today refuse to observe. Ethics have been thrown out the window in today’s bass tournament world. It has now become every man for himself with little to no regard for anyone else.

If the ethical part of tournament fishing does not return, there will be some bad consequences for anglers down the road, especially the up-and-coming high school and college anglers who are not being taught these unwritten rules. Till next time, good luck, good fishing, and don’t forget to wear sunscreen. Melanoma is real and can be deadly if not caught early. Early detection is critical to overcoming this form of cancer.

Lady Bulldogs Fall In Their Softball Season Opener

By Autumn McCoy

The Lady Bulldogs, coached by Ginger Craig and Cymantha Smelser, along with assistant coach ShaKiyah Davis, travelled north to face the Lady Falcons of Northwood in a Double Header, Monday, February 20th for their season opener.

In the first game, Bryn Danzy, #4, started the ladies in blue off at bat with the first pitch being strike, while looking, fouling off the second pitch and striking out swinging on the third pitch, and Shelby Pickett, #5, followed with another strikeout. Sarah Cormier, #18, finishes out the inning adding the final out with another strike out for the Lady Bulldogs. Danzy took the mound for the Bulldogs. It looked like they would turn the game around on defense when the first Northwood batter popped it up to right fielder, Niasia Latson, #14, for the first out. The Lady Falcons would score an astounding 7 more runs before the Lady Bulldogs would get the second out when Cormier caught a pop up to short stop. Before the game ended, the Lady Falcons would score a total of 15 runs. The ladies in blue had several errors and fell to dominant Northwood team.

In the second game, Danzy started the Lady Bulldogs off at bat but fell to another strikeout. Bulldogs next batter, Pickett, gets on base after she’s walked by the Northwood pitcher. Next up, Cormier, hit a ground ball to first and was able to make it on base, advancing Pickett to 2nd. Kinya Gray, # 12, strikes out, swinging, bringing the second out. The final out of the inning comes when Addison Bounds, #6, grounds to short stop, and she throws Cormier out at second. Cormier took the mound in the second game to pitch for the Lady Bulldogs. After scoring 13 runs, Danzy was able to assist in the first out of the inning at short stop when she threw the runner out at first to Pickett. Gray at second would catch a pop up for the second out of the inning for the Lady Bulldogs. She also had the third out at second, finally ending the inning, but not before the Lady Falcons would score a total of 15 runs for the second time of the afternoon.

Playing against a superior 5-A school early on in the season is a tough way to start the season, but it does earn the Lady Bulldogs points for playing the larger schools that will help later in the year when they are in the hunt for the playoffs.

Riverdale JV Girls Repeat as Champions, Boys Come up Short

By Molly Seales

On Saturday, February 11, Riverdale Academy hosted the annual JV basketball tournament. It was a fun filled day with several great games. The JV boys came up just short in the semifinals, losing to Tensas 36-34. Colin Bates led the Rebels in scoring with 11 points. He also had 6 rebounds, 4 deflections, and 2 assists. Cannon Breedlove had 9 points, 3 deflections, and 3 steals. Tanner Carlisle chipped in 8 points and led the team in rebounds with 11. He also had 4 deflections and a blocked shot. Ashton Almond added 6 points, 4 deflections, and led the team in steals with 5.

In girls’ semifinal action, the Lady Rebels took an easy 36-23 victory over Northeast Baptist. Makayla Pickett led the team in scoring with 10 points, and Hanna Catherine Huddleston added 8 points. Mary Claire Jones had 4 points, and led the team in deflections with 4, steals with 5, and assists with 5. Hannah Murray and Darcey Bohannon had 3 points each. Ally Kate Hillman had 2 points, and Hillman and Lily McCoy led the team in rebounds with 3 each. Charity Williamson, Kynnedi Taylor, and Abbie Jowers each had 2 points. Adyson Barrett added a free throw and led the team in steals with 5.

In the finals, the girls had a tougher game but came out on top of rival Briarfield 42-34 to clinch the championship. 5 freshman, playing in their last JV game, did a great job in leading the Rebels. Makayla Pickett had a double-double with 14 points and 15 rebounds. She also had 3 steals and 3 deflections. Mary Claire Jones led the team in scoring with 20 points and had 3 steals and 2 assists. Hanna Catherine Huddleston had 5 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals. Charity Williamson had 3 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 deflections. Emma Giddings had a team-high 4 deflections, 2 rebounds, and 2 steals.

Congratulations to both the JV Rebels and Lady Rebels on a fantastic season!

Photo credit Celeste Huddleston

Rebels, Lady Rebels Come up Short in 2A Quarterfinals

By Molly Seales

The Riverdale Rebels and Lady Rebels both had a wonderful basketball season under the direction of head coach Cliff New and assistant coach Katie Williamson. Unfortunately, both teams came up short in the quarterfinals of the Class 2A Tournament. On February 13, the boys won a thriller over Prentiss Christian with a score of 53-52. Ben Almond led the Rebels in scoring with 21 points, in deflections with 6, in assists with 3, and in steals with 2. Thad Bates added 19 points and led the team in rebounding with 8 boards. Ryder Huddleston had 5 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 deflections. Mason Murray and Jace Wilhite added 3 points each. Kyle Guillory had 2 points and led the team in deflections with 6.

In the quarterfinals, the Rebels came up short 74-44 to a great West Memphis Christian School team. Thad Bates led the team in scoring with 13 points. He also had 8 rebounds and 5 deflections. Ryder Huddleston had a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds. Ben Almond had 9 points, 4 assists, and 4 steals. Mason Murray had 5 points and 4 deflections, and Kyle Guillory had 5 points and 6 rebounds. James Wagoner rounded out the scoring with 2 points. The boys ended the season with a 15-9 record.

As undefeated district champions, the Lady Rebels got a bye the first round and then faced Columbus Christian, who later won the class 2A title. They lost a 39-36 heartbreaker to Columbus. Senior Jessie Kate Cobb went out big in her final game as a Lady Rebel, leading the team in scoring with 9 points, in rebounds with 11 boards, and in deflections with 4. Mary Claire Jones added 8 points and led the team in assists with 3 and deflections with 4. Makayla Pickett had 7 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 deflections, and in her second game of the season, Sky McMullan also had 7 points. Hanna Catherine Huddleston chipped in 5 points. Jadyn King had 5 rebounds and 3 deflections, while Madison Chamberlin had 4 boards and 3 deflections. The Lady Rebels finished the season 20-2.

We will miss our seniors Jessie Kate Cobb, Ben Almond, Thad Bates, Mason Murray, James Wagoner, and cheerleader Molly Seales. Thanks to you all for the great memories!

Photo credit Leslie Johnson

In defense of young people

By Josh Beavers

To our more seasoned readers. Tell me if the following statement hits the nail on the head.

“The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.”

If that’s how you feel about young folk, you’re not alone. You’re not even original. The quote above came from Socrates, and he said it 2,400 years ago.

Older generations have always had negative views of those who come after.

I read an article in a Life magazine from the 1930s. The writer called the youth of the day “lazy” and “shiftless” and opined they would spell the doom of the Great American Experiment. Those lazy and shiftless kids went on to be dubbed as the Greatest Generation. 

Another great fella once said: “I used to be with ‘it’, but then they changed what ‘it’ was. Now what I’m with isn’t ‘it’ anymore and what’s ‘it’ seems weird and scary. It’ll happen to you!”

So why does the same refrain echo throughout eternity? For one, our brains change as we age. With more years, our ability to distinguish chords of music diminishes. It’s why all new music sounds “like noise” to older people.

Lack of exposure also plays a part. I don’t know when I went from the person who fixed the tech issues at home and work, but now I’m nothing more than a “turn it on, turn it off” guy and then send an email if that doesn’t work. I let my skill diminish. I failed to continue learning. It’s now difficult and irritates me. I’ve become the one who needs the help.

The world changes. That’s as true as you shouldn’t lend money to friends, and you shouldn’t ask a man why he’s digging a hole. Don’t build a structure with a flat roof either. Just asking for trouble.  

Young people don’t necessarily know more than older people. They just know more about a modern world that is run by computers where fame and fortunes are made over an Ethernet connection or Wi-Fi signal. There was similar sentiment at the invention of the railroad, the car, the washing machine, the dishwasher, the airplane, emails, text messages. The inventors of those were hard workers.  They were entrepreneurs. They were young. You see young people work just as hard as older people. They just do it differently. Kids learn differently now. Their brains are wired in a way that is foreign to those of us who knew a world before the internet. It’s why I can’t teach the way I was taught. Attention spans are toast nowadays. I had to change as well. 

Values change. Political beliefs change. Society changes. It happened from my grandfather’s world to my fathers. It happened from my fathers to mine. And it’ll happen from mine to my daughters.  

Facebook memes tell us “these kids today” are the problem with the world, but the same story persists throughout time.

In reality, probably one of the biggest problems America has is that when you get old, a lot of us simply forget what it’s like to be young.

Maybe it’s because I’m around them all day every day, but I feel protective of and defensive for younger generations. They help keep me young. They remind me of what it’s like to be a kid. I’ve seen good ones who will go on to do great things. And I’ve seen ones who I know will amount to very little when the real world comes calling. In other words, they are just like all the rest of us. Like every generation to ever exist all the way back to Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel.

So, I’m not one of those who believes we’d never survive a war with millennials calling the shots and Gen Zers filling the ranks. Because the wars that will come to America in the future likely won’t be waged with bullets. They’ll be waged with keyboards and Wi-Fi connections.

Josh Beavers is a teacher and a writer. He has been recognized five times for excellence in opinion writing by the Louisiana Press Association. 

Notice of Death – February 24, 2023

Elise Smith Lovell

November 08, 1945 – February 22, 2023

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 pm Saturday, February 25, 2023 at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home Chapel.

Ruby Bernice Cannon Bamburg

October 16, 1920 – February 19, 2023

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 am Saturday, February 25, 2023 at Liberty Baptist Church.

Betty Weeks Elliott

September 14, 1943 – February 17, 2023

A Memorial service will be held at Creston Baptist Church on Sunday February 26, 2023 at 1:00 p.m.

The Red River Parish Journal publishes paid obituaries – unlimited words and a photo, as well as unlimited access – $70. The obituary will be included in the emails sent to subscribers and to social media.  Contact your funeral provider or Must be paid in advance of publication. (Notice of Death shown above with no link to the obituary are FREE of charge.)

ETC… For Friday, February 24, 2023

The Police Jury is holding another Clean-Up day on Saturday, March 4th.  Meet at the fairgrounds at 8:00 am to get started.

There will be a Breakaway and Team Roping Saturday at the Arena at Red River Cowboy Church.  Entries day of show will be accepted.   It all begins about 9:00 am.

Magnolia Bend Academy Beta club member, Chassidy Powell, is collecting can tabs to send to the Ronald McDonald House. If you’d like to join her, send them to school.  Can tabs collected are used to pay for housing for critically ill children and their families at St Jude and other medical facilities.

Boys Basketball Playoffs Thursday

Basketball playoffs begin this week for public schools.  The Bulldogs hit the road Thursday night.  The team is headed to Sterlington, north of Monroe, for a 6:00 pm tip-off with the Sterlington Panthers.

Admission for the LHSAA Division III Bi-District Playoff game will be $10 for adults and $5 for students. 

Students Of The Month For January Recognized

Public school January Students of the moth were recognized at the January meeting of the School Board.  They were presented certificates and gift cards and recognized by Superintendent Alison Strong.

The student selected from Red River Elementary is Gwyneth Palmer.  The nomination statement was read by Superintendent.

Gwyneth is a great student. She is always prepared and eager to learn in class. She is helpful and friendly to both her peers and her teachers. She encourages her peers to do their best on all their work. She participates in class and adds to our learning environment. She is overall a great student and leader. –  Nominated by Ms. Frick and Ms. Johnson.

Strong read the nomination of Connor Dubois from Red River Academic Academy. 

Connor was chosen as student of the month because he exemplifies the true definition of a great student. This is true not only because of the grades he makes weekly, but also because of his behavior and his ability to be a team player or a leader, whichever is needed in order to help his classmates. Connor is also honest and can be counted on.  He is one of my best students. Nomination by Mrs. Bumgardner.

The student of the month from the Junior High is Ashlee Procell

Ashlee Procell is an absolute joy to have in class. I’ve had the privilege of teacher her math in fourth and seventh grades. Ashlee always goes above and beyond in everything she does. Her grades, participation, attendance and class work are exceptional. She often takes a leadership role in her class group and exceeds expectations when solving a problem and supports her reasoning in the solution. Mrs. Brunson notices that Ashlee takes time to encourage other students and always treats others with respect. She exemplifies what makes Red River such a great school system. Ashlee is highly valued by all of her teachers. Mr. Ross often refers to her passion for “digging deep”, and that her efforts are beyond impressive.  Added to her global knowledge of all things that work, this is the pillar of her academic success. She was nominated by Ms. Drew.

The High School student selected was Ethan Williamson.  His nomination statement said Ethan is an All-American student. He is very helpful to any student he sees in need.  In my US History class, Ethan saw a student struggling and quickly came to his rescue. He was quiet and didn’t make a scene while he was helping.  He has a great rapport with all students.  Not only does he excel in the classroom but he is a phenomenal football and baseball player, as well.  I am honored to have Ethan in my class. Williamson was nominated by Ms. Thomas.

Each month during the school year VFW and Auxiliary 7287 in conjunction with Lott Oil/Chevron award a student selected from each of the schools in the parish.  They receive a certificate marking the occasion and a gift card from the Chevron.  For additional information on the Student of the Month program, please call the VFW post at 932-6557.

Armadilloed and dangerous

By Teddy Allen

I don’t want the ham and cheese. I just want out of the sandwich.

I just want to armadillo to leave me alone. 

He could have money from my wallet if he had any use for it, the armored little strong-snouted nitwit of a troublemaker.

All I want is for him to leave my quite little family and law-abiding neighbors alone.

But he won’t. He’s playing hardball. Now, so am I.

And losing. Losing to a dirt-digging four-legged type so ugly the doctor slapped his mother when he was born.

Anyone who’s lived in northwest Louisiana for any length of time has encountered a possum or racoon or rabbit in their within-the-city-limits yard.

We are not in the “poor mountaineer barely kept his family fed” part of the world, but we’re not 100 percent urban either.

Most of us own trapping cages, mainly for the relocation of possums and racoons. These animals are around because there are woods everywhere but they stay in town mainly because … why do I have to write this? … people feed them. People think they are cute. 

And they are cute — in the woods. But not in your garage or in your chimney or on the fence where the dogs can bark at them in the middle of the night.

My familiarity with the Broadmoor area of Shreveport spans more than 30 years, and I’ve lost track of my catches. Actually adopted our trespassing rabbit for a while; I remember he watched the Final Four with me, sitting in a little starter-kit recliner, I think in 2006. 

But only one time in Broadmoor or even in the greater Shreveport-Bossier area have I seen an armadillo. Once. Of course, it was in my yard. And of course, he now lives under my house.

I know … I know. “It could be worse.” Yes.

But it could be better, too. He could be living in a cave or by a pond or under your house.

Maybe my experience will help you should you one day get the ’Dilla Curse. Four events have occurred.

First, I saw him in the side yard two months ago. Middle of the day. “Well isn’t that interesting?” I thought. “That’s a first for these parts.” I sort of sheep-dogged him toward the street.

Time passed before event No. 2. 

There were holes in my yard. Ugly dents, like a drunk guy would make with a bent spade or a very tiny front-end loader. Different depths. Unsightly gashes and mounds.

Moles? Maybe. Could be an armadillo; they dig in the ground for bugs and worms with their offensive noses. But it can’t be that same armadillo …

Oh yes it could. Went to put a pizza box in the trash outside about 9 on a Friday night and there he was, in the driveway, and there he went, toward the crawl space and under the house.

I set a cage by the trap space. And two days later, on a wet Tuesday evening, I was typing and my little dog, napping inside and above that crawl space, started barking.


Event Three happened fast then as my doggie had heard the cage slam shut I bet and I walked outside in the rain and HELLO! his beady eyes locked with mine, me in the rain, him in the cage, Man vs. Beast and winner, winner, chicken dinner.

“Back in a few,” I said. 

Case and cage closed.

Only it wasn’t. I returned to the scene of the crime 10 minutes later to an empty cage, a first in all my years of catching citified wildlife. Heart sinkage. In the rain. Defeated. By a varmit with a shoe-size IQ.

Morning light revealed the tough little guy had used his nose and neck and sheer willpower to make a “V” in the upper part of the cage so he could loose the latch and bust out. That, or he had a tiny hammer and pliers.

Angry? Yes. Impressed? Very. Had to beat the metal cage back into working order.

Three days passed with the re-set cage. Not a bite. Maybe he’d been scared off. I breathed easy.

Until last Friday night when he came running down the driveway, probably just to tease me, a battleship-gray varmint who reached 40 knots or so before running under a small opening on the other side of the house. Little dude can move.

The Armadillo Abatement Process has not been as easy as I’d hoped.

A cage is on that side of the house now, too. It has been a week. No movement. For all I know, this guy and some other armadillos are sitting around a small poker table under my house, smoking cigars and wearing reading glasses and playing cards like those dogs in the funny pictures. 

Please tell me they haven’t invited girl armadillos over . . .

Contact Teddy at or Twitter @MamaLuvsManning

Teachers of the Year

Red River Parish Schools has announced the Teachers of the Year.  A teacher is selected from each public school in the parish.

The Teacher of the Year from Red River Elementary is Megan Inman.  She teaches fifth grade.

Sherry Pickett was selected from Red River Academic Academy.  Pickett teachers fifth grade. 

Red River Junior High Teacher of the year is Ellie Drew.  She teaches seventh grade math.

And the High School Teacher of the Year is Henry Kirts.  He is an Algebra I teacher.

The release from the school board said, “We are so very honored to have these excellent educators teaching our students. We know that they work hard every day to provide the best education possible for the students of Red River Parish. Thank you for all you do.”

Americanism Awards Presented to Magnolia Bend Students

Outstanding achievement in the VFW’s Americanism and Patriot’s Pen competitions was rewarded by Coushatta’s BFW Post 7287.  Commander Barry McCoy and Quartermaster John Brewer traveled to the school to present the awards during morning ceremonies honoring the flag and America.

The best entries in each category were presented certificates and scholarships.  Here are the winning entries in Category II, draw and color the American flag:

First – Gavin Anderson

Second – Kyln Posey

Third – Raelynn Edwards

The winning entries in Category III, Draw a patriotic scene, were:

First – Brantly Davis

Second – Kayden Bruce

Third – Emmett Freeman

There was one inning entry in Category IV, the essay contest for fifth graders.  The winner is Jace Jordan.  His entry also was the top entry submitted from all schools and it was forwarded to VFW District 12.

The middle school students entered the Patriot’s Pen national scholarship program.  This is a 300+ word patriotic essay.  The winning entries were from:

First – Jaxon Townsend

Second – Addilynn Moore

Third – Claire Williams

Townsend’s entry was judged best from all entries submitted to the post.  His entry was forwarded to VFW District 12.

The Death of Academic Freedom Through DIE Movement: Diversity, Inclusion, Equity

By Royal Alexander

It’s interesting to view modern events in the context of history.  When we do, we are often surprised by the irony in some of the changes.

In the 1960’s in America, it was college campuses that were at the heart of the battle for free speech and academic freedom.  College students regularly protested, picketed and engaged in “sit ins” on their college campuses demanding the right to be heard.  One historic example is student protests regarding the Vietnam War.  As a result, colleges and university administrations were often forced to compromise to meet these demands.

The exact opposite is occurring on college and university campuses today.

Whatever term is used to describe today’s suppression of and hostility to academic freedom—political correctness, the cancel culture or the woke movement—the result is the same.  These institutions are now opposing academic freedom at every turn while striving to cement divisive, identity-focused politics on campus.

How so?

Creeping like bacteria into the fertile grounds of Leftist college faculty and administrators is an ideology that is described as Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity (DIE).  However, it’s critical to note that the three words that make up DIE have been tortured to mean exactly the opposite of what we would think.  DIE seeks to distort and control the meaning of words and when that happens, thought itself is controlled.

As Matthew Spalding has described it, DIE “is especially toxic.  It divides us by social identity groups, ranks those groups on privilege and power, and excludes those who fail to honor the new orthodoxy.  Rather than being equally endowed with innate dignity and fundamental rights as human beings—best judged by our character and not skin color—we are supposed to discriminate and confer status based on race, sex and cultural affinity.”  (Wall Street Journal, Feb. 10, 2023).


This is especially bad in the context of colleges and universities.

As Matthew Spalding further notes “wherever this agenda is allowed to take root, free expression and academic integrity are doomed.” 

Under the DIE creed, diversity doesn’t refer to celebrating our National Creed, E Pluribus Unum, a Latin phrase meaning ‘Out of Many, One’ signifying that America’s strength comes from the diverse cultural, religious, ethnic, racial and intellectual differences being melded into One Nation striving to Perfect Our Union by advancing our fundamental constitutional principles of “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

On the contrary, to the Left, DIE means diversity in all things except thought, with free expression rigidly controlled by the Thought Police.

But there is more.

The Heritage Foundation undertook a study entitled “Inclusion Delusion: The Antisemitism of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Staff at Universities.”  The study first notes that the number of people devoted to DIE efforts has grown to about 45 people at the average university and then examines whether these large DIE staff are, in fact, creating a tolerant and welcoming environment on college campuses.   Interestingly, the study also specifically examined the extent to which DIE staff at universities express anti-Israel attitudes that are so out of proportion and imbalanced as to constitute antisemitism.

What was the conclusion of the Heritage study?

That “university DIE staff are better understood as political activists with a narrow and often radical political agenda rather than promoters of welcoming and inclusive environments.  Many DIE staff are particularly unwelcoming toward Jewish students and the political activism of DIE staff may help explain the rising frequency of antisemitic incidents on college campuses.  Rather than promoting diversity and inclusion, universities may be contributing to an increase in anti-Jewish hatred by expanding DIE staff and power.” (Jay Greene, Ph.D. and James Paul, Dec. 8, 2021).


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration has pushed back hard against DIE.

To ascertain funding at its state colleges and universities, Gov. DeSantis scrutinized what funds were used for DIE.  He discovered that numerous DIE staff members are on the payrolls of Florida’s colleges and universities and that DIE “may be better understood as jobs programs subsidizing political activism without improving campus climate,” not fostering a welcoming environment for all students.

This kind of censorship simply cannot be allowed if our Republic—and the freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution—are to endure.  The greatest virtue of free thought and free speech is that all kinds of ideas are thrust into the rough and tumble of the marketplace of ideas where the best idea prevails.

DIE must be opposed and defeated, and die.

From Heartbreak to Healing: An Athlete’s Journey Back

By Molly Seales

Often in life, things do not go as planned, and sometimes we have to learn this lesson earlier than we would like. That is exactly what happened to Riverdale junior athlete Sky McMullan. McMullan, who transferred to RA from Claiborne Academy last year, became a vital part of the basketball and softball teams. Unfortunately, a torn ACL injury resulted in surgery and months of rehab, and she was just released this past week to return to the basketball court. McMullan came back strong, like she had never been gone, in the final district game of the year-a win over Briarfield. She had 9 points, including a beautiful 3-pointer from the left side. I had a chance to ask Sky about her journey back and her determination and the inspiration she has been to others.

Sky could be seen this year in the dugout and on the sidelines cheering on her teammates and supporting them with a fantastic attitude, while her heart’s desire was to be able to join them. Here are some of the questions that Sky answered for me.

When was your injury? How did you hurt you knee? “My first knee injury was at a home game on January 14, 2022, and my second one was on May 14th in an AAU game. Both times I jumped up and my left leg slammed down while it was fully straightened. It also bent backwards.”

When did you find out you had a torn ACL? When was your surgery? How long did they say your rehab would take?  “The first time I hurt my knee, I only thought I sprained it. The second time I hurt it, I thought I needed to go to the doctor to just make sure nothing was torn. I had an MRI, and it showed a completely torn ACL. I had surgery on June 20, 2022. I was told that my rehab would last 6-8 months.”

What did you do in rehab to get ready to get back to the field and the court? “I had to shock my leg muscles in my left leg. I did leg workouts like leg extensions, squats, single leg squats, and one leg hops for distance. I got released from rehab at 6 months, but then I worked out by myself at school and went to a basketball trainer.”

What were your feelings as you waited to be released? How did you feel on release day? “I felt anxious, excited, and very nervous. I was happy to finally play with my teammates again. I was also ready to dominate and show our new coach that I’m worth something.”

How did you feel as you stepped on the court for the first time? “I felt so happy. I was really nervous, but once I caught the ball, I scored and felt like I came back better than ever.”

Who would you like to thank for their support of you as you were on this journey? “ I would like to thank my mom and dad, my sister Mandy, and my teammates. All of the parents and fans at Riverdale have been very supportive and encouraging. I’d like to thank my physical therapist Mrs. Ashton and my trainer, Rayvin Miller.”

Sky’s journey has been inspirational and she has been a true example of when life deals you blows, you don’t lie down and quit-you work harder to get better and come back stronger than ever.

Sheriffs’ Scholarship Program is Underway

The Louisiana Sheriffs’ Scholarship Program will award scholarships providing assistance to worthy Louisiana students in furthering their education and training with resources made available through the Louisiana Sheriffs’ Honorary Membership Program.

According to Program Chair, St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg Champagne, “This Scholarship Program is a meaningful expression of the Program’s respect for education. It demonstrates our confidence in Louisiana’s youth … our future leaders.”

Scholarships of a maximum of $500 each will be awarded to graduating high school students from each parish where the Sheriff is an affiliate of the Honorary Membership Program.

There are no restrictions on the purposes for which scholarships are spent. The scholarships are not loans and will be awarded as gifts to defray the rising costs of tuition and related expenses in higher education. The only limitations are that applicants be permanent residents of Louisiana; scholarships be utilized in higher education within the state of Louisiana; and students be enrolled as full-time, undergraduate students.

Completed applications must be submitted to the Sheriff of the parish of the applicant’s permanent Louisiana residence by April 1st. Further, applicants must be eligible for admission to the school indicated on the application. The award will only be paid for attendance at institutions of higher learning within the state. All scholarship winners will be announced by May 1st of each year.

Sheriff Champagne concluded, “Louisiana Sheriffs are pleased with the Honorary Membership Program’s ability to bring scholarships to Louisiana students bound for higher education. To continue to do so and fund other important projects and initiatives, continued support of the Honorary Membership Program is essential. We could not function without our Honorary Members.”

For further information regarding the Sheriffs’ Scholarship Program, contact your local Sheriff’s Office.