Water frustration continues

In the third week of a declared water emergency for the town water system, there is still no defined timeline for relief. As of Tuesday afternoon, the town engineer said all three repaired pumps work at capacity. Unfortunately, leaks in the old pipes still deplete the water supply faster than the tanks can refill. Monday night, the water was completely shut off for several hours to replenish the supply.

Mr. Mohammad, town water operator, has indicated that most of the new town water system is up and running. The contractor is working to get all the new meters set and working. Mohammad says getting the old lines killed is taking much longer than expected.

One of the most significant issues is that no one knows precisely where the old pipes are. There is no definitive map of the old system of water lines from the 1950 installation. To combat some of these problems, the Louisiana Rural Water Association offered its services again to the town. There must be a formal request for help from the town, and none had been made until Tuesday afternoon.

This morning, LRWA mobilized 6 or more people to help locate leaks and old water lines. These engineers and field technicians will bring flow meters, listening devices, and ground-penetrating radar to assist local contractors in finding and resolving leak issues in the old pipes. The town has agreed to have additional crews with the water contractor to immediately cap any lines with leaks. The town has a contractor contracted to do the repairs and switch over all the water lines. They will continue to honor this contract.

A protest walk that will highlight the frustrations of townspeople is being organized. This proposed walk on September 12 is scheduled to start at the Courthouse at 4:30 p.m. and move to city hall.

Win $100 This Week

This is the first week of the American Bank High School Football Pickers Contest. Enter
today. Someone will win $100 this week.

Everyone in the parish is invited to guess the winner of ten local high school football games.
And there are a couple of local college games to guess the number of points scored as tie
breakers. The entry coming closest to correct will win the money.
Deadline to enter is 4:00 pm Friday. CLICK HERE to enter and win!

Red River High student receives a rare nod from the National College Board

Samuel Tates a senior at Red River High has proven time and again that he is a very talented young man when it comes to academic acheivements, yet this time he was recognized from one of the most prestigious platforms out there. Tates received acknowledgement from the 2023 College Board National Recognition Program receiving the National African American Recognition Award (NAARA) and the National Rural and Small Town Award (NRSTA) .

The criteria for eligible students include:
*GPA of 3.5 or higher.
*PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10 assessment scores that are within the top 10% of assessment takers in each state for each award program or earned a score of 3 or higher on 2 or more AP Exams in 9th and 10th grade.
*Attend school in a rural area or small town, or identify as African American/Black, Hispanic American/Latino, or Indigenous/Native.

It’s becoming increasingly hard for students to be ‘seen’ during the college recruitment process. “We’re exceptionally proud of the hard work Samuel demonstrates and glad he is being recognized as many are overlooked despite having established outstanding academic abilities. This is a benefit not only for students but also for colleges and universities committed to recruiting diverse and talented students. We’re proud of you Samuel, keep working hard and the future will be bright.” Kyle Wren, RRHS Counselor, stated. 


By Doug De Graffenried

There are days when I think I drive for a living. I commute from Gibsland to Ruston daily. There are days I do a couple of round trips.  I drive a bland white Toyota hybrid. I established long ago that my car is smarter than I am. It certainly takes care of me. 

The cruise control has two settings, politically correct and drive up on their bumper before changing lanes. I opt for the bumper drive setting. That setting keeps me at optimum driving attention.

There is another feature I’ve come to appreciate. The rearview mirror is not a mirror but a camera. It gives a wider field of vision. My vision is not blocked if I’m hauling something in the back of the car. It took a day or two to get used to the idea, but now I don’t think I could return to the old-fashioned rear-view mirror.

The car has warning lights galore. It reminds me to check the backseat before I exit the car to make sure there is not a child or perishable food sitting on the seat. I have learned that if any item over 40 pounds is in the back seat, it must be belted in. To fail in that safety requirement means the warning horn will blare the whole trip. It is nice for my car to warn me that I have a sack of bird seed on the backseat.

The warning light I have learned to loathe is the tire pressure light. The tire pressure light is always on. This morning it was on because all four tires claimed to have pressure problems. They were all at 34 psi, and I thought that was pretty good. I know that in the wintertime the pressure will fluctuate. I was not anticipating this issue in the dog days of August. Is my car overly sensitive? Do I have a bad sensor or two in the tires? Can I learn to ignore the warnings? After all I come from a time when we would get out of the car, look at the tire and then manually check the tire pressure.

What is the relationship between the driver and the warning lights? Especially if these warning lights were created by some dufus who thought it was a good idea to know your tire pressure all the time. I know what you are saying, ignore the warning lights at your own peril. I agree. However, I’m being warned about a non-problem. I don’t have a tire pressure problem; my car has a calibration issue.

That perpetual light on my dashboard is a spiritual reminder. There are a ton of things to worry, fret, and stew about. Some of these worries are life altering. Others are like the light on my dashboard, a mere distraction. Maturity brings the wisdom to differentiate between the two.

For large and small distractions, Jesus is the antidote.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled, believe in God believe also in me.”

Varsity Lady Rebels beat the Central Pioneers

by Chloe Spradley

On Thursday August 24, the Riverdale varsity Lady Rebels softball team played the Central Pioneers,
resulting in the Lady Rebels winning 30 – 18. Pitchers were #9 Jadyn King, #22 Hanna Huddleston, and
#23 Julia Grace Riggs. The girls bats were on fire in the 4th inning, getting them from 7 to 30. The game was tied at 17 with the Lady Rebels batting in the bottom of the fourth inning when Huddleston drew a walk, scoring one run. #11 Mary Claire Jones led Riverdale to victory by driving in four runs. Jones drove in runs on a double in the third, a fielders choice in the third, and a groundout in the fourth. The Lady Rebels tallied 13 hits in the game. #25 Makayla Pickett, Riggs, and Huddleston all managed multiple hits for Riverdale. Good job ladies!

Demons on Fire: Alayna Bush adds marketing savvy to thriving baking business

This article is the second installment of the “Demons on Fire” series, which highlights the accomplishments of NSU students and recent graduates. The series is developed by NSU’s Office of Marketing and Branding and the NSU News Bureau.  

Student, content creator and entrepreneur Alayna Bush graduated this summer from Northwestern State University’s Hospitality Management and Tourism program where she concentrated in culinary arts. But she didn’t wait to complete her studies before using skills she learned in marketing and HMT to launch her own creative baking business, The Golden Whisk, which is now her full-time occupation.

Bush arrived at NSU in 2019 after graduating from Dutchtown High School in Prairieville and worked her way through college, most recently as marketing and events assistant at Cane River National Heritage Area where she was responsible for social media content. As a capstone internship project, Bush spearheaded Natchitoches Film Trail 2.0, which incorporates technology and social media with the “Steel Magnolias” self-guided walking tour in Natchitoches. Signage that will be installed later this year will guide visitors to sites where scenes from “Steel Magnolias” were filmed. Film tourists can download the Setjetters app to watch the scenes and get more information about the location.

Bush was a recent Lunchtime Lagniappe speaker at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum where she discussed Natchitoches Film Trail 2.0 and how it will enhance film tourism. The app will grow to include scenes from other locally filmed movies “The Horse Soldiers,” “The Man in the Moon” and “The Year Without a Santa Claus.”

Locally, Bush may be better known as the baker behind The Golden Whisk, her dessert business that features creative takes on cookies, cake pops, cheesecakes and other treats made from scratch. She is the daughter of NSU alumni Van and Paula Waltman Bush (formerly from Coushatta), who met at NSU and earned business degrees in 1991. She is also the granddaughter of William and Faye Waltman. She was drawn to NSU because of family ties to the school and the area. When not working, baking and building her brand, Bush enjoys walks with her dog Beauregard, who partially inspired the name of her business.

Bush sat down in the HMT culinary arts lab, where she spent many hours as a student, to chat about baking, creating beautiful and engaging social media content and how she hopes to grow her business. The conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.

When did you start baking?
Alayna: I’ve always baked. My grandmother loves to bake, and she’s always wanted to bake with me and try new things. That’s what sparked my interest in baking.

What’s your favorite thing to bake?
Alayna: Cookies! Stuffed cookies, particularly. I got the idea from Caroline’s Cookies in Lafayette. Her cookies are chef’s kiss and I didn’t see that Natchitoches had that, so I created something different here and went with it. I decided to turn it into a business in October 2022. I woke up one day and was just like, I think I’m going to do this as a business, just as a side hustle, get through college and just do it for fun and it turned into much more than I could have expected.

Did you get a lot of encouragement from your customers?
Alayna: Yes, I did, and that was one of the best things I could have received when starting a business, because at first, it’s like, I don’t know where this is going to go but it was definitely for the best that I started this business.

How did you come up with the name?
Alayna: I have a golden retriever and he sparked the golden part and a whisk makes what I love: desserts. And I thought, “The Golden Whisk,” a combination of two things I love, my dog and a whisk.

Do you have other culinary specialties, or is baking your main focus?
Alayna: Baking is my main focus. Anything I try to cook it either burns or doesn’t cook, so I try to stay out of the kitchen.

Tell us about the cookies.
Alayna: The cookies I make are all stuffed with something different. They can be customized for whatever party customers want, the colors and all that. I have over 20 flavors, which is a lot because it takes a lot of heart and dedication to create these cookies and lots of time to make sure they come out good. Today I have S’mores stuffed with s’mores, Oreo and marshmallow. Party Animal is a funfetti-based cookie. They are all different and they are all unique and they are all made with extra love.

What are some of you other specialties?
Alayna: One of my popular items is Chantilly Shooters and it’s almond cake with a homemade raspberry jam and fresh fruit. It’s really good and it’s topped with Chantilly icing and more fresh fruit. It’s definitely the light treat that everybody craves.

What are some memorable experiences you had in HMT?
Alayna: All my culinary classes were definitely memorable for me. We spent time in the kitchen baking up new things, learning different techniques and recipes. That was very interesting to me, and I had the most fun times in this kitchen.

How did you get connected with the Cane River National Heritage area?
Alayna: In the summer of 2022 I was looking for a job and I was very interested in marketing and saw they had a job posted. I was interested in learning about the history of Natchitoches, so it was a win-win. I was there for a year and three months, but now we are on to The Golden Whisk.

What have been some surprising aspects of owning your own business?
Alayna: The growth. I didn’t expect to grow as tremendously as it did, and it’s led me to dedicate my time fulltime to it which I never expected starting this in October. I thought it was going to be a side business and now it’s a fulltime job for me.

What inspires you, either in the kitchen, with social media content or in life?
Alayna: My goals inspire me the most. I’m always trying to reach them and trying to get a hold of them, and I think that’s the most inspiring thing for me. I’m always trying to achieve something that’s right for me.

Working at CRNA gave you an opportunity to connect this area’s rich history with today’s technology. Can you talk about that?
Alayna: It’s quite interesting because a lot of the stuff that we find dates back to several years ago and we are able to digitize it and make it shareable to our community on social media, which everybody loves to see. One of my main projects this summer was “Steel Magnolias.” Although it was filmed 35 years ago, we found newspapers, memorabilia and all sorts of stuff and were able to showcase online and connect with our community.

I started working on this at the beginning of May. I had never watched “Steel Magnolias” despite living here for four years. I got more familiar with the movie, with the scenes that were shot around town. It was interesting seeing a lot of the famous stars in our little town. I was able to engage 1 million people through social media. It was super impressive to see the results. Thirty-five years later, people are still interested in “Steel Magnolias.” I think it’s going to benefit the community so much. It’s something different that Natchitoches doesn’t have and for us to be able to include all the movie trails is great. It’s going to bring in a lot of tourists for sure.

What are your plans for the future?
Alayna: My plans for the future are to continue working fulltime on The Golden Whisk and dedicating all my time to making this business the best it can be. Several years down the road I plan to have a storefront, but right now a homebased cottage bakery is where I am.

What do you love about baking?
Alayna: The taste testing! I’m a sweet-a-holic. I love sweets. And I also love seeing smiles on my customers’ faces when they pick up. It’s important to me because they love it just as much as me.

Follow The Golden Whisk on Facebook and Instagram at thegoldenwhiskla.   

Red River man injured in single vehicle crash North of Campti

A Red River Parish man suffered moderate non-life threatening injuries in a single-vehicle crash on US-71 north of Campti on Sunday afternoon according to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office.
At approximately 3:28pm, Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Deputies, Louisiana State Police, Natchitoches Regional Medical Center EMS and Natchitoches Parish Fire Protection District #9 Rescue responded to a single-vehicle crash with injury and possible entrapment on US-71 north of Campti.
Units arrived on scene finding the sole-occupant trapped in the wreckage suffering from moderate injuries.
According to initial reports from LSP, a 2011 Ford Edge operated by a 29-year-old Coushatta man was traveling southbound on US-71 north of Campti when for reasons still under investigation, failed to negotiate a slight left hand curve and crossed the center-line. The driver then overcorrected and exited the road on the right side overturning striking a tree coming to a rest upright.
The driver who was properly restrained was extricated from the vehicle by members of NPFD #9 Rescue Unit.
Deputies remind motorists to always wear your seatbelt and properly restrain your children. Being properly restrained can reduce your chances of injury or death in traffic crashes.
Trooper J. Axsom worked the crash.
The driver was transported from the scene to a regional trauma center for treatment.

To dream the impossible dream, and then almost make it happen

They had to know they weren’t going to win.

It was as mismatched as mismatches get. UCLA, one of the elite brand names in college sports, against our Lady Demons of Northwestern State. Volleyball, a sport that UCLA didn’t invent, but has at times perfected.

Four NCAA championships, the last in 2011, attest to that. A dozen Bruins have played in the Olympics; four have brought home medals.

NSU has never had an All-American player since beginning the sport in 1973. UCLA has had two four-time All-Americans, dozens overall.

The Bruins have won 10 Pac 12 Conference championships. NSU has just seven winning seasons.

That’s overkill, yes. You get the gist.

Except Monday, the Lady Demons didn’t.

None of that history, none of those comparisons meant anything when the ball was served over the net for the first point in front of a record crowd of 1,232 people (mostly hundreds of screaming school children, cheering for NSU for as long as their little attention-spans would allow).

By Halloween, only a few of the kids will remember being there. But what they saw Monday from the Lady Demons was near-legendary stuff. I’ve watched NSU sports in person, with only a three-year gap from 1982-85, since arriving on campus in the fall of 1978. Cannot recall a more gallant, fearless performance, in any sport, at any time.

They should have played the theme from Rocky, “Gonna Fly Now,” when the Lady Demons were introduced.

Rocky did not win. Neither did Northwestern. The final score was 3-0, and you’d say, that’s not close. But it was.

First set: 25-23. Second: 25-17. Third: 25-22, after a 21-all tie.

If you had told me beforehand that the Lady Demons would score 10 points in any one of the sets, as a former NSU staffer and longtime supporter who’s seen many a match through the years, and knowing the stature of UCLA volleyball, I would have taken that.

But 20? Unthinkable. A 21-all tie? As likely as Donald Trump retiring from public life.

Does Monday’s incredibly competitive outing put this team in NSU’s history books? No. Does it indicate the Lady Demons will win the Southland Conference championship? No. Does it mean they’ll thrash Jackson State tonight at 6:30 in Prather Coliseum? No.

Does it mean that these young women, all but two of 15 calling the Lone Star State home, have hearts the size of Texas? Absolutely.

Coach Sean Kiracofe, himself a proud native Texan, has bucked the odds in his previous eight seasons, keeping NSU competitive in the Southland while facing Lone Star foes whose budgets are infinitely better and who are surrounded by volleyball hotbeds. His assistant is a transplanted Texan, a local now, Stacey DiFrancesco Aldredge, who grew up near Houston and has been either a star player or a loyal assistant coach since 2011.

They didn’t score a point Monday. But they, and their players, made a big one.

No. they didn’t win. But they certainly gave a winning effort, when nobody outside the NSU locker room could possibly have foreseen such a competitive contest.

They didn’t get embarrassed, not one bit, not for a moment. They did embellish their reputation, and earned respect from anyone watching, including those associated with one of the more storied programs in college volleyball history.

They believed in each other, and it showed. Well played, ladies. Well played.

Bad ideas and brain cramps

Some things are plain stupid. No gray area.

3-D Dumb.

Some people I know where robbed recently, but in his haste the robber dropped a piece of paper that was, unfortunately for him, a personal reminder of his upcoming court appearance. It included his name and address.


And then there was the story out of Opelousas this week of the gentleman who stuck a handgun in his waistband. The gun was loaded, a live round in the chamber. It went off. Now, the man from Opelousas —and I use the term “man” loosely here — is not as loaded as he once was – although the story did contain the phrase “underwent reattachment surgery” and “Police had not determined why (stupid man’s name) was walking around with a pistol in his pants.”

Easy. No brain in his head.

Stupid move.

There are lots of ways to say that a guy’s parents don’t have to worry about the Yale Admissions Department clogging up the family doorway to offer their kid a scholarship. For no other reason than they make me laugh, I’ll offer my Top 10.

He’s a few crumbs short of a biscuit.

Somewhere, a village is missing its idiot.

It’s almost like he has a small piece of brain lodged in his head.

Dumb as a bag of hammers/sharp as a bowling ball.

He has a room temperature (or shoe-sized) IQ.

He’s a regular “Elbert” Einstein.

He’s lost all contact with the mothership.

He doesn’t have both oars in the water.

He fell out of the Stupid Tree and hit every branch on the way down.

My favorite: The wheel is turning but the hamster’s dead.

We all swallow a Stupid Pill from time to time.

But then there are things more along the lines of bad ideas. We call them mental muscle spasms. Brain cramps.

A boss buddy of mine found out the hard way this week that the letters T and G are very close to each other on the keyboard. For this reason, he will never be ending a work email with the phrase “Regards” again.

Muscle spasm.

I was told of a funeral in which the preacher, who kept candy in his desk, said that each Sunday morning the deceased would come into his office and, with a “Good morning!” and a smile, “go through my drawers.”

Brain cramp.

Finally, the worst idea I’ve heard of in a long time happened last week in Detroit, where Hall of Fame voice of the Detroit Tigers Ernie Harwell passed away at 92. A public viewing was held at Comerica Park, where the Tigers play. I am not a big “lying in state” guy to start with, but a casket on the warning track is off base on several levels. I didn’t like the picture of Ernie lying there, flowers all around, his statue by him, velvet ropes marking “foul ground,” for lack of a better term.

“Hey dad, remember when you took me to the ballpark and we saw Mr. Ernie dead?”

“Those were great times son!”

At least there was no danger of him being hit by a foul ball. At least the ballclub didn’t lay their humble, summer-sweet play-by-play guy out during a game. Thankfully, the Tigers were on the road.

As was, I guess, Ernie.

(Originally published May, 2010)

Contact Teddy at teddy@latech.edu

Riverdale Academy Varsity Football Schedule

By: Chloe Spradley

This year’s football season has started off to an amazing start! Come support the Rebels this season in all
these upcoming games!

September 1 against Porters Chapel Academy —— 7:00 @PCA
September 15 against Claiborne Academy —— 7:00 @CA
September 22 against River Oaks —— 7:00 @RA
September 29 against Franklin Academy —— 7:00 @RA. *Senior Night* Come help us support our
amazing seniors!
October 6 against Wilkson County Christian —— 7:00 @WCCA
October 13 against Trinity Christian —— 7:00 @RA. *Homecoming* This year’s Homecoming will be
honoring those who graduated in years 1973, 1983, 1993, 2003, and 2013.
October 20 against Tensas Academy —— 7:00 @Tensas

United Way opens donations for families affected by recent fires

United Way of Northwest Louisiana (UWNWLA) is encouraging monetary donations to its United for NWLA Disaster Relief Fund to support families that have been evacuated from their homes and have experienced household damage due to unforeseen fires. Dollars raised from this fund will provide relief to the families affected within UWNWLA’s ten-parish region (Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Claiborne, DeSoto, Natchitoches, Red River, Sabine, Webster, and Winn).

The purpose of the United for NWLA Disaster Relief fund is to provide immediate assistance to victims of recent natural disasters, such as tornadoes, fires, hurricanes, etc. Anytime a natural disaster is declared, UWNWLA reactivates the fund to support our community’s most urgent needs.

“From Sabine to Shreveport, we’ve seen multiple fires occur, forcing our community’s families to evacuate and leave behind necessities, memories, and more,” said LaToria W. Thomas, UWNWLA President & CEO. “For families already struggling to make ends meet, the loss of a home pushes these families deeper into financial insecurity. Our goal for this fund is to help those with nowhere left to turn and begin rebuilding our communities.”

UWNWLA, urges individuals who have been displaced and are seeking resources for damage assessment, shelter, food insecurity, and more, to call its health and human service hotline, 211.

To donate to the United for NWLA Fund, please visit https://unitedwaynwla.harnessgiving.org/campaigns/9393. 

Ware Youth Center is hiring

Ware Youth Center is seeking female and male staff to work directly with juveniles in both secure and non-secure settings. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED, no criminal history, a valid Louisiana Driver’s License, and a strong desire to help improve the quality of life for the youth served at WYC. Benefits include state retirement, health insurance, vacation leave, sick leave and several holidays.

Applicants should apply at Ware Youth Center, 3635 Hwy 71 in Coushatta. Ware Youth Center is an equal opportunity employer.

Big News for Vernon Parish

We at Journal Services, LLC are pleased to welcome our newest publication, Vernon Parish Journal. This online publication joins 12 others across Louisiana. Join us in welcoming Rick & Mary Lou Barnickel, publishers of the new Vernon Parish Journal.

“We feel the people of Vernon Parish – Leesville, New Llano, Anacoco, North Fort Johnson and South Fort
Johnson, and surrounding towns – deserve their own publication,” said Bill Vance. “At Journal Services LLC, we pride ourselves in covering local parishes with high-quality news and advertising to keep our readers up to date on what’s happening in their communities.”

All Journals cover local news, features, and sports. Subscriptions are – and always will be – free. Please visit www.vernonparishjournal.com and sign up today – CLICK HERE.

Click to visit any of our journals:

Bienville Parish Journal
Claiborne Parish Journal
DeSoto Parish Journal
Jackson Parish Journal
Lincoln Parish Journal
Natchitoches Parish Journal,
Sabine Parish Journal
Shreveport-Bossier Journal
Rapides Parish Journal
Vernon Parish Journal
Red River Parish Journal
Webster Parish Journal
Winn Parish Journal

This & That…Wedneday, August 30

This Sunday will be the last Sunday Morning Worship Service of the year at Grand Bayou Resort. It will take place from 9:00-9:30am at the amphitheater. Everyone is invite to come as your are.

Nichol’s Hunter’s Tax Free weekend is Sept. 1 & 2. All hunting related merchandise and camo will be tax free!

Don’t forget to get your mum order in to the Red River Parish 4-H office. 10-inch pots are only $20. Call the 4-H office at 932-4342 to place your order TODAY!

Become a member of the Chamber of Commerce. The group meets the first Tuesday of every month at 5:30pm at the Red River Parish School Board Office. 

Mark your calendars…Crusin’ in Grand Cane 10th Annual Car, Truck and Tractor Show will take place Saturday, October 21 from 9am to 2 pm. For more information contact Dianne Mason, Event Chairwoman at 318.858.2556 or crusiningrandcane@gmail.com.

Notice of Death – August 29, 2023

Betty June Angele Stadler
October 16, 1936 — August 25, 2023
Service: Wednesday, August 30 at 10am at Rose Neath Funeral Homes – Mansfield

Gary Sidney Niette
November 3, 1959 – August 26, 2023
Service: Wednesday, August 30 at 10:30am at St. Anne’s Catholic Church, 4310 LA-485, Robeline

Curtis “Curt” W. Nix
June 20, 1939 — August 22, 2023
Service: Thursday, August 31 at 2pm at Bethel Congregational Methodist Church,1316 Union Grove Church Rd, Pleasant Hill

Richard “Pete” Sepulvado
October 5, 1958 – August 26, 2023
Service: Friday, September 1 at 2:00pm at Spring Ridge Baptist Church, Pleasant Hill

Richard W. Booker, Sr.
September 22, 1939 — August 28, 2023
Service: Saturday, September 2 at 11am at Rose Neath Funeral Homes – Mansfield

Smokey morning

Citizens of Red River woke up this morning to smokey smells and a hazy sky. This is attributed to the massive wildfires burning in parishes to the south. The humid air and a wind direction shift keep the smoke close to the ground as it travels north.

According to local Homeland Security officials, emergency calls are taken seriously and investigated as they are received. “No one takes for granted that these are only smoke calls.” We are to remain vigilant and report possible fires. With the extreme heat and the lack of rain, fires are potential anytime.

Remember, some causes of fires in these conditions are not from someone burning trash or starting them intentionally. They are from cigarettes thrown from car windows or thrown on the ground, vehicles with dragging chains or flat tires, oily rags left out that combust, and equipment running in hot, grassy fields. Everyone needs to keep watch during these problematic times.

GOHSEP aids community

The continued water emergency for the Coushatta water system caused a dire need for help in the community. During this time of extreme heat, the need for accessible water has topped the needs list. Not only are people in the community hampered by low to no water, but the worry of being able to fight a possible fire in the town has become an overwhelming concern. Working on behalf of the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness, Shane Hubbard leads a team of parish officials who have worked with the city to coordinate multiple avenues of aid.

On August 22, water distribution to citizens affected by the outages and boil advisory began at the fairgrounds. With the help of parish officials and police jury workers, more than 30 pallets of water were loaded in individual cars and trucks. The boxed water can be stored and used for weeks. In all, GOHESP secured 85 pallets of water. These were distributed to schools, the hospital, and the jail.

Relief to the school system included air-conditioned mobile toilet facilities, hand washers, water tankers, and bottled water. The facilities are at the elementary, middle, and high schools. Surrounding water systems filled the tankers with acceptable water. Students and workers have bottled water on hand throughout the day. Superintendent Strong worked diligently to make sure schools were open, and students were comfortable.

An additional request was made to the Louisiana Rural Water Association for help finding leaks hindering the water system. LRWA is a non-profit organization that assists small water systems. Individuals arrived on Tuesday morning to offer assistance.

Constant communication with GOHSEP is maintained throughout the emergency. A team from the Governor’s office is tracking the progress of not only the water pumps but also with the Department of Health to assist in getting the water to acceptable consumable levels.

In all, government funds are being accrued each day on the assistance that is coming into our town. Just the cost of the water and portable trailers for bathrooms is $447,060.00 for this week.

Water update

The Town of Coushatta and residents on the town water system continue to deal with outages and boil advisories. Despite increased efforts by the town to quickly switch from the old pipes to the new ones installed in the past year, water woes still vex everyone.

Information on the water outage on Tuesday confirmed that both pumps had ceased to operate overnight. Pumps working at 5:50 pm on Monday were shut down in the night by a rock that blew one pump and a second one had a computer fail-safe that shut down due to overworking the pump. There was no oversight of the pumps during the night. A technician from the company was on hand most of the day Wednesday to program the pump and ensure working order. Water Operator, Mr. Mohammad, told officials that someone would monitor the pumps throughout the night Wednesday.

The town engineer said that at ten on Wednesday, the pumps were running at 60 lbs of pressure, but a large leak had begun to drain the system during the night. The loss of water was putting a strain on the pumps. He recommended lowering the pressure to 50.

The town has ordered more parts for the pumps, and three new pumps are on order to have as backups in the future. Although the pumps are requested, a 15-day wait is expected. Town officials said they are willing to pay for expedited delivery if possible.

Two crews worked Wednesday and Thursday to shut off the old pipes in Springville and switch the community to the new piping system. These efforts are part of the town’s and engineers’ expedited plan to move the entire system to the new one. Unfortunately, leaks in old pipes are hampering all efforts. As the crews move to other town sites to install lines and cut off old ones, the heat and leaks work against them. The engineer’s goal is to have all areas running through new pipes by the end of today.

Businesses are suffering due to the water problems. The lack of water and the boil advisory caused restaurants to alter offerings, closed beauty shops, and the meat pie plant to cease operation. The dialysis center secured a water tanker to ensure they could perform lifesaving procedures.

Frustrated citizens wake to the uncertainty of having water each morning. Students missed school twice this week, and many came to school Wednesday and Thursday despite a lack of water at home. Everyone hopes that this water worry will be over soon.

Voter registration week: August 28-September 1

PLEASE JOIN REGISTRARS OF VOTERS across the state the week of August 28 – September 1, 2023 for VOTER REGISTRATION WEEK activities aimed at registering Louisiana citizens to vote. The Red River Parish Registrar of Voters Office is available for Voters to come in and get registered to vote Mondays through Fridays from 8:00 am – 4:30 pm in the Registrar of Voters Office, Room 104 in the Red River Parish Courthouse.

You can also visit the Red River Parish Library, the Office of Motor Vehicle, or Public Assistance Agencies to pick up a Voter Registration Application.

“The first step to participating in the electoral process is registering to vote.”
This fall, Louisianans will choose statewide leaders as well as vote for a host of local and municipal races, constitutional amendments and propositions. Make sure you get registered so you can Geaux Vote on Election Day!

Citizens with valid Louisiana driver’s license or Louisiana ID card can register online 24 hours a day, seven days a week from any location by visiting https://voterportal.sos.la.gov. Also, citizens wishing to register by mail can download and print the application from the website at www.geauxvote.com.

To register and vote in Louisiana individuals must:
– Be a U S citizen;
– Be at least 17 years old (16 years old if registering in person at the Registrar Of Voters Office or at the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles) to register and 18 years old prior to the next election to vote
– Not be under an order of imprisonment for conviction of a felony or, if under such an order not have been incarcerated pursuant to the order within the last five years and not be under an order of imprisonment related to a felony conviction for election fraud or any other election offense pursuant to La R.S. 18:1461.2;
– Not be under a judgment of full interdiction for mental incompetence or partial interdiction with suspension of voting rights;
– Be a resident in the state and parish in which you seek to register and vote;
– Apply at least 20 days prior to an election if registering online or 30 days prior to an election if registering in person or by mail.

The deadline to register to vote in person or by mail is Wednesday, September 13th and the deadline to register to vote online is Saturday, September 23rd.
You can contact the Red River Parish Registrar of Voters Office at 318-932-5027 or by email at RedRiverROV@sos.la.gov.


NSU volleyball begins 50-year celebration by hosting UCLA

Perennial power UCLA will make its way to Natchitoches on Monday, August 28 to play under the new bright lights of Prather Coliseum. First serve is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. and will be broadcast live on ESPN+. 

“UCLA is a storied volleyball program on both the women’s and the men’s side of the game,” ninth-year head coach Sean Kiracofe said. “It means more to play a program like them if you have a sense for the history of our game.  Then to add to it being a home match; it puts it on par with when LSU baseball came here for a game in 2019. We got a 3-1 win at home against LSU then and would love a repeat of that in our first home match.”

There will be no charge for admission to the match. 

The match against the Bruins will be the first of back-to-back home contests for NSU as it continues the home-opening week by hosting Jackson State the next night at 6 p.m., the second of six scheduled home matches in the first four weeks of the regular season. 

The Demons open their 2023 campaign this week looking to build on the recent success and add to the rich legacy that paved the way. With six starters and 10 total returners from last year’s team, along with some key transfers, the sky is indeed the limit for what they can accomplish this year. 

Shaw thanks voters

I would like to say thank you to the citizens of Red River Parish for electing me without opposition as your Clerk of Court for another 4 years. It has been an honor to serve each of you, and my staff and I appreciate the confidence you have put in us to take care of the records of our parish.

As you know, times and technology are changing, and the Clerk’s office is committed to bring our services up to date. Over the past 23 years, we have been able to completely digitize our office, which allows us to offer our records online and allows us to receive filings online. This gives us the ability to operate more efficiently and makes your records much more secure since we now store not only the paper copy, but also several digital copies on servers around the United States.

My staff and I would like to encourage you to stop by, have a cup of coffee, and see the improvements we are making in your Clerk of Court’s office. Again, I would like to say thank you for allowing me to serve, and I look forward to what the future holds for Red River Parish. Stuart Shaw

Say “Yes” phone scam

An old phone scam is reported to be making a comeback. The Say “Yes” scam, also known as the “Can you hear me” scam first appeared in 2017. It was so prevalent back then that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a warning to consumers at that time. In recent months, it has resurfaced.

Consumers should be wary of answering calls from numbers they do not know. The goal of the scam is to record the person called saying “yes” during the conversation then use the recording to authorize unwanted charges to credit cards or bank accounts.

How the scam works: the consumer answers the phone, and the caller may say they are with a credit card company, a utility company or even a bank. The caller asks “Can you hear me?” and records the victim answering yes. The recording then can be turned into a voice signature that can be used to place unauthorized charges by phone.

The FCC gave the following tips in 2017 to help ward off unwanted calls and scams. They still hold true today:
• Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers – This is the most obvious and simplest precaution. Let unknown calls go to voicemail.
• If you answer and the caller (often a recording) asks you to hit a button to stop receiving calls, just hang up. Scammers often use these tricks to identify and target live respondents.
• If you receive a scam call, write down the number and file a complaint with the FCC so it can help identify and take appropriate action to help consumers targeted by illegal callers.
• Ask your phone service provider if it offers a robocall blocking service. If not, encourage your provider to offer one. You can also visit the FCC’s website for information and resources on available robocall blocking tools to help reduce unwanted calls.
• Consider registering all of your phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry.

Source: http://www.fcc.gov