Red River High presents 2023 Homecoming Court

Red River High School will present their 2023 Homecoming Court on Friday, October 13 at halftime during the football game against the Lakeview Gators at the Pat Strother Stadium.

From left to right: Bryn Danzy (Senior Maid), Cha’Destiny Taylor (Junior Maid), Kinya Gray (Sophomore Maid), La’Niyah Bradberry (Football Sweetheart), Mishaylen Smith (Senior Maid), Christopher Carper (Homecoming King), Tija Augmon (Senior Maid), Avery Thomley (Senior Maid), Sadie Hammond (Young Marine Sweetheart), Kenotta Taylor (Band Sweetheart), Darcey Bohannon (Freshman Maid)

Letter of appreciation to Red River students, parents and community

A Letter from The Red River Parish School Board’s Safety and Security Coordinator, Suzanne Gallier.

In appreciation!

The Red River Parish School’s Superintendent and Administration would like to thank the parents, students, and community for the outstanding cooperation displayed in supporting the new safety protocols put in place at our first “Bulldog Football” home game! We know changes can be difficult to get used to at first, but the safety of our students and all spectators is of the utmost importance and cannot be fully achieved without your assistance. As we strive to improve the security of our campuses and all athletic events, we are depending on you to continue abiding by the rules and encourage friends and family to do the same. Federal and State Laws now require the changes we have made, such as no vaping, no smoking, and clear bags. There are no exceptions to these guidelines; therefore, when everyone cooperates, entry into the facilities will flow much easier and much, much faster. Small personal sacrifices can result in a very successful and safe environment for everyone as we celebrate our athletes and fellow students’ accomplishments. Again, thank you for your strong assistance in protecting our students, staff, and yourselves during all of our school functions. You are very much appreciated.

Suzanne Gallier
Safety and Security Coordinator

“Joe Boy Day” at RRCC huge success

Karen Taylor Squires

This week, while perusing Facebook, I came across a post from my old principal, Jerry Salley. In my high school days, this man could scare the mortar from between bricks. I can honestly say he and I had a couple of run-ins during my time in school. Later in life, I had the privilege to work with Coach Salley in a different capacity. I saw his passion for working with youth and knew his deep love for all things roping.

In his post, he glories at the successful completion of “Joe Boy Day” at Red River Cowboy Church. This amazing event is a yearly reminder of the grace of health granted to Mr. Joe Baxter. There were 500 teams this year, and the event extended well into the night.

Among the accolades, he includes two local ranchers who have donated and supported the arena ministry, Mr. Bobby Chamberlin and Mr. Rayburn Smith. Their donations and those of others like them have allowed RRCC to provide therapeutic riding for children with disabilities, riding and roping lessons, and the rodeo bible camp for the Crow Tribe in Montana. The story of the rodeo bible camp is one that everyone should hear.

Coach Salley (I am not sure if I have ever called him anything else) pours out his message of hope, trust in the Lord, and the power of prayer in his short post. I am not sure if he realizes how profoundly these words affect those of us who read them. The man who could have every person quaking in the gym truly has a heart of gold.

Softball diamonds are my best friend

Isabella Stephens

Winter, spring, summer, or fall, every season is for playing ball. Many people think softball is only played during spring, but for someone like me who loves the sport, it can be played during all seasons. My name is Isabella Stephens. I am in 7th grade, and I’ve been playing softball since I was ten years old.

In the winter of 2022, I played softball for the first time on the Little Lady Rebels softball team. I played for the same team in the winter of 2023. Then, in the summer of 23, I played for the Natchitoches Savannah Bananas. To wrap up the year, I played fall ball for my school’s JV Lady Rebels softball team.

Summer and spring ball may seem alike, but they aren’t. Summer ball is so hectic with extreme heat, while spring ball is a cool, breezy season. It is tough to see during the summer. The sun shines right in your eyes! In my opinion, spring is a more enjoyable season to play softball.

Fall and winter softball have their differences, too. Fall ball may seem like a lukewarm temperature, but in all reality, it’s hot! People talk about hot, but no one knows hot unless you are sitting on a softball field during the hottest fall ever! I know it sounds crazy, but softball is very active. It takes a lot of work to do your best and tolerate the heat. Winter ball is the complete opposite. Although it is cooler, the pain of getting hit with a pitch is not as bearable. It is much less painful during fall ball. One time, during a winter softball practice, my team had to practice in the snow!

I love softball. I never skip practice for anything unless it’s medical or mandatory. I would say softball is even better than listening to Taylor Swift! Softball is like therapy for me. Now you know why softball diamonds are my best friend.


RRPSB Federal Programs to host workshops

The Federal Programs department of Red River Parish School Sysrem will host a Family Literacy Workshop and STEAM Camp this Saturday, September 30 at the Red River High School Vocational Building. 

The Family Literacy workshop is scheduled for 10am until 12pm. The STEAM Camp (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math) will run from 10am until 3pm.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided for students. A free literacy workbook will be given to parents.

Demons announce full 2023-24 schedule

One thing is certain for Northwestern State men’s basketball, whoever sits in the head coaching seat will formulate a challenging non-conference schedule.

As the Demons prepare for their third coach in as many seasons, Rick Cabrera’s squad will continue the NSU tradition of strong out-of-conference opponents in its 13 non-Southland games.

“The non-conference schedule is not easy, nor was it intended to be,” Cabrera said. “A few of these games are part of series we have, but we feel good about it. Just because another school is a ‘bigger’ conference, they play on rims the same as ours and the court dimensions are the same as ours. We’re going to suit up and play to win. The whole point of the 13 non-conference games is to prepare us for the 18 conference games.”

NSU opens the Cabrera era at home against Dallas Christian on Nov. 6, marking the first time since the 2019-20 season the Demons will lid the lift on the season in Prather Coliseum.

Two of Northwestern State’s first three games are in the friendly confines of their home arena as the Demons will sandwich a Nov. 13 home meeting with Stephen F. Austin around a Nov. 9 trip to Tulane.

“A little bit of both,” Cabrera said of his preference as a first-year head coach starting at home against starting on the road. “It’s so hard to get home games in this business, so you take what you can get. You always try to make the comfort for your players as strong as possible, so if they can sleep in their beds the night before, then I’m fine with that.”

Following the visit from the Lumberjacks, the Demons hit the road for seven straight road or neutral-site games before returning home for their lone non-conference homestand – a two-game set against Rice (Dec. 16) and Southern-New Orleans (Dec. 19).

In between, the Demons start their nation-wide odyssey with three games in a multi-team event at North Florida from Nov. 16-18 before playing road games at ULM (Nov. 28), at Baylor (Dec. 2), at Southern Miss (Dec. 9) and at Boise State (Dec. 12).

The first three teams in the road swing are repeat opponents from Northwestern State’s 2022-23 schedule as is Stephen F. Austin.

The Demons are playing in a single-site, multi-team event for the fourth straight season – the first of which will be a three-games-in-three-days schedule.

“That was part of the process in scheduling – get an MTE where you’re playing consecutive days, and that’s what we got,” Cabrera said. “Those games are always beneficial because it’s not normal. It’s unusual to play three games in three days. It allows these guys to get a feel and develop a mental approach. There is a lot of detail, a lot of scouting involved, so when we get to Lake Charles in March (for the Southland Conference Tournament), I can revert to those games.”

The Demons start and end Southland Conference play with road games – opening at Lamar on Jan. 6 before closing league play two months later at Texas A&M-Commerce.

NSU has a three-game homestand from Jan. 8-15 against McNeese, UIW and HCU while the Demons’ lone three-game road SLC swing comes Feb. 17-24 at UIW, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and HCU as the league returns to a Saturday-Monday schedule for men’s league games for the first time since the 2015-16 season.

“The way they’re doing the scheduling, it looks balanced,” Cabrera said. “You don’t have four on the road or anything like that. We know we’re getting nine home games and nine road games no matter how they slice and dice it. We’ll go out, play and try to win them all.”

The Southland Conference Tournament will be held at McNeese’s Legacy Center in Lake Charles from March 10-13.

Northwestern State basketball season tickets and single-game tickets will be available Monday by visiting or by calling 318-357-4268.

SWEPCO to install smart meters in North and Central Louisiana

SHREVEPORT, La. (Sept. 22, 2023) – Southwestern Electric Power Co., an American Electric Power (Nasdaq: AEP) company, soon will begin installing advanced digital meters, more commonly known as smart meters, in Louisiana.

Smart meters empower customers to have more control over their energy use, as well as provide improved customer service. They use secure wireless technology to provide timely and accurate meter reading data, which customers can use to better understand and manage energy usage at a home or business. In addition, smart meters also allow for real-time outage notifications to SWEPCO for more seamless power restoration.

Installations to approximately 234,000 Louisiana customers will begin in the Shreveport-Bossier City area in October before moving south to Hornbeck and other parts of SWEPCO’s Louisiana service territory. Deployment of smart meters will continue across the state through 2025.

“Smart meters are part of SWEPCO’s ongoing commitment to help meet the evolving expectations and needs of our customers,” said Paul Pratt, director of Customer Services & Marketing. “Smart meters give our customers more control over their daily energy usage, can help create smart energy habits, aid in power restoration and they offer additional benefits of convenience.”

On Sept. 20, the Louisiana Public Service Commission (LPSC) approved SWEPCO’s request to complete its Advanced Metering System deployment plan, which builds on a successful pilot program that began in late 2021 for 10,000 Bossier City customers and 2,000 Natchitoches area customers.

In addition to a plan for deploying advanced digital electric meters, the LPSC also approved an AMS surcharge for customers that will take effect beginning on September 28, 2023. The surcharge is $3.24 per month for residential customers for the first four years and $2.75 for the next four years. The monthly surcharge for other rate classes, such as commercial or industrial, is $6.40 and expires after four years.

How Smart Meters Work

The smart meters are replacing SWEPCO’s existing, outdated meter-reading technology. Smart meters use secure, two-way wireless communication to measure and record electricity usage and send the information from a customers’ meter to SWEPCO, similar to how a cell phone, laptop or TV remote works. The data gathered informs customers what time of day they are using the most energy and helps personalize energy saving tips, for example, modifying the settings on an air-conditioner or heater.

Smart Meter Benefits

Smart meters will enhance the customer experience by providing more insight into individual customer usage and how that usage impacts their bill. With the advanced technology, customers can take advantage of the following benefits:

  • Monitor usage with 24/7 access
    • Once the smart meter is installed, customers can view their energy use, in both dollars and in kilowatt-hours (kWh) before their bill is available. Customers can access the data with the SWEPCO Mobile App or through their account on
  • Create good energy-saving habits
    • Customers can receive personalized tips on easy ways to save energy as they can see their usage by the hour, day, month or year.
  • Eliminate manual meter readings
    • A smart meter sends the customer’s energy usage details directly to SWEPCO. If a customer is moving and needs to start or stop service, it can be done remotely, thanks to the wireless technology.
  • Quicker response to outages
    • Smart meters have two-way communication with SWEPCO’s internal systems, alerting the company to outages. This could speed response and restoration times.

Smart Meter Installation Process

SWEPCO will send direct mail, postcards, and emails informing customers in advance of their installations with the expected installation timeline. The company also calls customers and sends them an email (if a customer’s email address is on file) before installations begin in their neighborhood.

Safety for our crews and customers is of the upmost importance. Please be aware that crews installing smart meters will be in a SWEPCO or a contractor QUES uniform, in marked vehicles, with proper identification.

There will be a short interruption to a customers’ electric service during the installation and customers may need to reset their digital devices. Customers do not need to be home during the installation. Once the installation is complete, a notice will be on the customer’s door.

Smart Meter Opt-Out

Residential homeowners in Louisiana can decline a smart meter for a one-time cost and a recurring monthly fee. The fee goes towards the costs associated with sending a SWEPCO employee to read the meter. Non-residential customers may not decline a smart meter.

For more information on smart meters, visit

When Nobody is Watching

When it comes to being great, some people are gifted and blessed while others must work at it to be great. It’s one thing to have talent, but it’s sad when people waste that God given talent. During my athletic career, I have seen some very high-level athletes that never took advantage of the talent they were blessed with. Why is this? Is it a lack of self-confidence or is it that no one ever showed faith in them as a player or as a person? Could it be a lack of determination or competitive fire that all great players possess? Even though this article is not related to fishing, today I’ll give you my experience and perspective on not what makes a great athlete, but what makes an athlete great..…..when nobody is watching.

Years ago, there was a youngster from East Texas who was a talented athlete especially in baseball. But talent alone only goes so far. It must be groomed and nurtured. As a kid living in the country, this young boy was always looking for ways to improve his baseball skills and be the best. Daily he would retreat to his backyard and spend hours throwing a rubber baseball off a big fallen tree to work on his fielding skills like one-hoppers that baseball players often get when playing the game. He worked on making backhanded plays and fielding every ball with great technique. He did this daily…….when nobody was watching.

Then one day he was looking for a way to improve on his hitting. So, he took an old blanket his mom offered and hung it on a clothesline out behind his house. (This is how people used to dry their laundry before everyone got automated driers.) Putting his creativity to work, he took an old Folger’s coffee can and cut a three-foot piece of PVC pipe and cemented it into the coffee can. Then he found an old piece of radiator hose (that was very flexible) and slid it over the top of the PVC pipe. BAM!!! There it was….the perfect batting tee. He would hit for hours off this tee so he could become a better hitter. He hit so much that he wore the covers off the balls he was hitting into that blanket…….. all when nobody was watching.

Today, batting tees are available at pretty much any sporting goods store. But back in the early 1970’s, no one had even heard of a batting tee! But this young man used his creativity and designed his own batting tee in order to become a better hitter. Through this extra work he accomplished so much and developed his baseball skills when nobody was watching that he landed a scholarship which eventually led to him being drafted in the 1983 major league baseball draft.

Another great example of doing more than what was required would be a former high school teammate and friend of his by the name of Maury Buford. If this name sounds a little familiar it should, as he was an outstanding punter in the NFL for over 8 eight years during the 1980’s and 90’s. He was the punter for the 1985 Super Bowl Champion Chicago Bears, one of the greatest teams in NFL history. Now as a youngster growing up, Maury discovered at a very early age that he had a talent for punting a football. He spent hours on a sandlot working on developing his punting skills. He went on to become an All-American at Texas Tech and had a great NFL career. Maury’s dedication and work ethic was on another level and allowed him to accomplished great things ……when nobody was watching.

This is how athletes become great, doing the little things and putting in the EXTRA time to develop their skills. A lot of kids today do not understand this concept and they think that the time they spend at their scheduled two-hour practice time is enough to be a great player. But great players are different. They realize that if you want to be great, you must put in the extra time away from regular practice. So remember, if you want to be great at anything like golf, tennis, basketball or tournament fishing, it’s the extra time you put in when nobody is watching that makes you great.

Till next time, if you have any comments about this or any other articles I’ve written, go to my Facebook page and give your feedback. I really appreciate all of you that take the time to read my articles. I hope in some small way you gain either knowledge or comfort in what you read.

Steve Graf

Celebrate the Arts at the 47th Annual Red River Revel Arts Festival

For Immediate Release
September 26, 2023

Shreveport, LA –The Red River Revel Arts Festival is ready to welcome thousands of locals
and visitors alike to celebrate a fusion of art, music, and food. Set against the scenic backdrop of
the historic Red River, this annual 9-day festival promises an unforgettable experience for
visitors of all ages.

From Saturday, September 30 th to Sunday, October 8 th , the Red River Revel Arts Festival will
transform downtown Shreveport into a thriving hub of creativity, showcasing the incredible
talents of local, regional, national, and international artists, musicians, and performers. For the
first time in more than a decade, the Red River Revel will have over 100 artists showcasing their
artwork at the festival. Patrons will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in artistic
expressions from various mediums including ceramics/pottery, drawing, fiber, glass, jewelry,
metal, mixed media, oil/acrylics, photography, sculpture, watercolor, wood, and more.

The festival’s full musical lineup features four stages, each with their own unique blend of
performances, themes, and experiences. The Chase Bank Main Stage will feature over 60
national, regional, and local music groups, and a variety of musical styles. Headliners includes
nationally touring artists such as Paul Cauthen, Eric Gales, Here Come the Mummies, Sophie B.
Hawkins, Hulvey, Dee-1, and a Tribute to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers with a secret roster
of national, regional, and local contributing artists. The Depot Pavilion Stage will feature
performances from local dance groups, in addition to receiving a major upgrade with the all-new
sports bar where patrons can watch football games and film screenings. The new The Blue
Cross/Blue Shield "DMZ" Stage will feature two performances from Trout Fishing in America,
The Joanitones, Spinner Entertainment, and more. Interactive music experiences will include a
talent show from local youngsters and a "Swifties" Fan Takeover. The Art Alley Stage returns
after its debut in 2022 with evening performances by local singer songwriters from the region. 

The Red River Revel Arts Festival is a place where patrons can find unique menu items such as
boudin balls, meat pies, chicken and waffles, funnel cakes and more! Food stations are operated
by local nonprofit organizations, booster clubs, schools, and other community groups along with
for-profit vendors. From savory to sweet, Revel’s Food Row offers a wide range of cuisine that
will have something to please every palate.

The Red River Revel has expanded the footprint of the festival, returning the children’s activity
area to the parking lot between Sci-Port Discovery Center and The J. Bennett Johnston
Waterway Regional Visitor Center, deepening the existing relationship with both community
partners to offer special discounted admission, new free experiences, and special weekend
events. The rebranded “Discovery Maker Zone” or “DMZ” will provide an opportunity for
children to experience performing arts on The Blue Cross/Blue Shield “DMZ” Stage. In addition, the DMZ will provide an opportunity for children to explore visual arts and engage in hands-on
art activities. Children can channel their inner artist at the sand art station, become an
archaeologist in the mock geological dig, use their imagination in Shreve Memorial Library
Land, shop for the perfect ingredients at the Brookshire’s Mini Grocery Store, and a festival
favorite, get their face painted. Many of the kids’ activities are free with admission, while others
may be ticketed or have a nominal fee.

The Red River Revel and Shreveport based architect and sketch artist, Mike McSwain,
collaborated on the official poster design for the 47th annual edition of the festival.
The artwork features the staple landmarks of Festival Plaza in an imaginative futuristic setting,
with flying cars whizzing by ultramodern towers and festival goers milling about the grounds
under massive transportation structures. A limited run of posters, along with other festival
souvenirs will be available during the festival at the Souvenir Tower.

The Revel Bands are returning with a new way to save time and skip the coupon line! Revel
Bands can now be loaded from ANYWHERE. Simply register at, enter the
14-digit code on the back of your wristband, and add your funds to skip that line for good!
The Revel Band portal is now LIVE, and patrons can pick up wristbands at the following
*  Rhino Coffee – Downtown
*  Robinson Film Center
*  Pop N Pizza
*  Fatty Arbuckles
*  Sci-Port Discovery Center
hiTech Solutions is a proud sponsor of Revel Bands! Having trouble? Support for
wristbands can be contacted at

The Red River Revel Arts Festival officially opens Saturday, September 30th and runs through
Sunday, October 8, 2023. The festival hours will be 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Sundays, Monday
through Wednesday; and 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Thursday through Saturday. The new
Discovery Maker Zone (DMZ) will operate from Monday-Friday from 4:00 pm 8:00 pm and
Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm.

Daily admission is $5.00 from 5:00 p.m. to close Monday through Friday and all-day Saturday
and Sunday. Monday through Friday from 11:00 am to 5:00 p.m. admission is free of charge.
A $15.00 Reveler Pass allows guests access into the festival any day/time.
Military, Police, Firefighters, and EMS with a valid ID are free of charge any day/time of the
festival. (Military must show Barksdale Air Force Base issued ID).

Children ages 12 and under are free of charge any day/time of the festival. (Children must be
accompanied by an adult.)

Location: Festival Plaza, 101 Crockett Street, Shreveport, Louisiana.

Parking: Street parking is metered until 5:00 pm on weekdays. Free parking is located at the
Railyard lot next to Sci-Port on Lake Street (access via Clyde Fant Parkway). Various free
parking garages are available downtown which also allows easy access to the Revel+ shuttles
that can bring patrons to the festival gate. Revel+ shuttles will run 11:00 am to 10:00 pm on
Saturdays and 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm on Thursdays and Fridays. Parking map can be found at

As one of the Top 100 Fine Arts Festivals in the United States, the Revel is committed to
presenting the finest and most diverse collections of artworks during the nine-day festival. Links
to individual artists’ portfolios, full music lineup, food menus, and DMZ activities are available
to view on the Revel’s website, Follow us on Facebook and Instagram
for up-to-date informational releases. The Red River Revel is proudly sponsored by The Alta and
John Franks Foundation, Chase Bank, Eagle Distributing Shreveport, Pepsi-Cola of Shreveport,
Junior League of Shreveport-Bossier, and the City of Shreveport.

Red River Revel is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization serving the region around Shreveport, Louisiana
with cultural programming in the areas of “Art, Music, Food.” Program events include Shreveport Farmers’
Market, CORK: A Red River Revel Wine Event, Shreveport BREW, and the Red River Revel Arts
Festival. Created in 1976, the Red River Revel is a 9-day annual arts festival bringing together visual,
musical, and performing artists, along with the regional community for a celebration of the arts. The Red
River Revel is a community partner with local nonprofits, over 20 of which serve food and raise funds
using the unique blend of culturally inspired flavors of the area and beyond. Each year during the festival,
thousands of area 4th grade students spend the school day at the Red River Revel learning about and
participating in arts education programs. Local, regional, and national musical acts perform on two stages
in Shreveport’s Festival Plaza during the event. Approximately 100,000 visitors from all over the country
visit the Red River Revel Arts Festival each year. This “Celebration of the Arts” encompasses quality in
visual and performing arts, seminars, workshops, children's arts education, and a variety of creative
experiences. In addition to the festival, the organization manages the 13-week Shreveport Farmers’
Market, held weekly on Saturdays during the Summer. The Red River Revel also produces CORK: A Red
River Revel Wine Event, an annual celebration of wine and food, which serves as a fundraising event
held at Festival Plaza each Spring. Finally, the Red River Revel partners with Downtown Shreveport
Unlimited (organizer of Mudbug Madness) to host Shreveport BREW, a beer and food celebration and
fundraising event held at Festival Plaza each Fall. The 47 h Annual Red River Revel Arts Festival is
scheduled for September 30th – October 8th , 2023. For more information, visit or follow the Revel on Facebook and Instagram at @RedRiverRevel.

Emerie Gentry 
Media Contact

Community Giveaway set for October 7 in Powhatan

The 3rd Annual Community giveaway, hosted by Mission of Love ministries, New Faith Endeavors LLC, and DR Apparel, will be held on Saturday, Oct. 7 from 9 am – 12 pm at Good Hope Full Gospel Baptist Church, located at 145 Alexandria St. in Powhatan. There will be free clothes, shoes, toys, household items and more. Free lunch will be provided. Call 318-609-2352 for any donations.

LCU Fall Preview Day to be held Oct. 7

Media Release | Sept. 26, 2023 | Pineville, Louisiana
Contact: Dr. Elizabeth B. Clarke, Director of University Communications |

Louisiana Christian University will offer high school students an opportunity to experience
what college life is like as a Wildcat at its annual Fall Preview Day on Saturday, Oct. 7.
All high school students in public, private and home school are encouraged to preregister
to attend the event on campus from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Students and their parents will meet with faculty and current students and learn about
academic programs, athletics and extracurricular activities.

“We urge all future college students—regardless of what high school grade—to participate
in LCU’s Annual Fall Preview Day,” said President Dr. Rick Brewer. “Prospective students
and their families will receive information regarding academic programs and financial aid
while meeting faculty, staff, and students of the university. We have made plans for a
comprehensive day on campus including lunch and tickets to our Wildcat football home
contest that afternoon. Join us and discover the difference in the student learning
experience at Louisiana Christian University where we prepare graduates and transform

The History and Political Science Division will be hosting a speech competition with a
scholarship prize. Students will be asked to compose a short speech answering the
following question—which of the purposes set forth by the Preamble do you believe has
been best fulfilled within American society?

Students interested in majoring or minoring in Spanish may take part in a read-aloud
scholarship competition. Students will read “Poema 20” by Pablo Neruda. Scholarships
awards of $750 for first place and $500 for second place will be applied to freshman-year

Students should indicate their interest in participating in a specific scholarship competition
on their Preview Day registration form.

Students who attend Preview Day will receive free lunch, tickets to the football game and
LCU merchandise. All students who pre-register for Preview Day will have the $25
application fee waived.

Remembering Mark Wayne Foster

A graveside service celebrating the life of Mark Wayne Foster, 61, will be held at 10:00 AM, Friday,
September 29, 2023, at Mt. Zion Cemetery in the Hall Summit community with Bro. Olan McLaren
officiating. The services were under the direction of Kilpatrick’s Rose-Neath Funeral Home.

Mr. Foster was born on November 26, 1961, in Shreveport, LA to Ollie Wayne and Katherine May Riddle
Foster and passed away September 26, 2023, in Shreveport, LA.

Mr. Foster was preceded in death by his parents and wife, Trudye Jones Foster. Left to cherish his
memory are his brothers, Lanny and Paxton Foster; niece, Becky Dawson and husband, Joe; and
nephews, Logan Martin and Joey Dawson.

Lady Rebels Varsity Softball plays last game of the season

By: Chloe spradley

The Riverdale Academy varsity softball team played their last game of the season in a tournament on
Saturday, September 23 against the Tallulah Trojans. Even though the ending wasn’t what they wanted,
the Lady Rebels still kept their heads high and never gave up! Despite the 5-run deficit in the first inning,
the Lady rebels almost came back, ending the game 9 – 8. Makayla Pickett led the team with 2 hits in 4
at bat. Charity Williamson and Hannah Murray both scored 1 point each, and Mary Claire Jones scored 2
points, along with 2 stolen bases. Jadyn King followed Haylee Smith in the batting lineup, each bringing
in 2 runs. King pitched the whole game, they went 6 innings, giving up 9 runs on 10 hits, sticking out 4,
and walking 5.

These ladies did a fantastic job all season! The Lady Rebels varsity softball team never gave up and
always kept their heads high, despite the ending score of the game. Great job girls!

The STATE FAIR of LOUISIANA Announces New Admission and Visitor Policies

For Immediate Release September 22, 2023
The STATE FAIR of LOUISIANA Announces New Admission and Visitor Policies.
Every year, the State Fair of Louisiana has two goals: to provide high quality, fun family entertainment and a safe experience. This year, we are making changes to ensure our visitors’ safety. After conferring with State Fairs around the country, we have added more Best Practices to our existing safety features, which include:
• A large, continuous presence of Shreveport Police Officers and Security Officers.
• Metal Detection at State Fair entrances. Patrons and their possessions are subject to search.
• Weapons restrictions. Remember that Weapons (Concealed Carry or Open Carry) are not allowed on fairgrounds property even if you are a Concealed Weapons Permit holder. Law enforcement with credentials is the only exception.

-NEW- This year, surveillance cameras will be operating throughout the fairgrounds 24 hours a day for the duration of the fair.

-NEW- After 6 pm Minors Policy. During the 2023 State Fair of Louisiana beginning at 6:00 p.m. daily, all minors under the age of 18 attempting to enter the Fair must be accompanied by a parent, guardian, or chaperone who is 21+.
-A single parent, guardian, or chaperone may accompany no more than 6 minors under the age of 18. Groups larger than 6 individuals under the age of 18 will require additional chaperones.
-The State Fair will require all accompanying parent, guardian, and chaperone (21+) to present a valid ID upon entry starting at 6:00 p.m. daily. The parent, guardian, or chaperone is not required to remain with the minors while on the grounds, but the parent, guardian or chaperone must remain at the fair. Unaccompanied minors under the age of 18 on the State Fairgrounds after 6 pm each day will be removed, and parent or guardian called to pick them up.

Organized and ticketed group outings, such as school, church, corporate, and other pre-scheduled group visits are exempt from the policy if they have established chaperone policies and practices already in place.

-NEW- Approved Bags/Carry-In Items
• Bags brought into the Fair can be no larger than 9”x 10”x 12”. Larger bags will need to be returned to a vehicle before entering.
• Medically necessary items will be allowed with proper inspection.
• Diaper bags can accompany a baby with proper inspection.
• Soft sided coolers for infants/family or to accommodate dietary needs will be allowed with proper inspection.
• All bags will be subject to search upon arrival and entry. Any bags or carry items that do not meet the approved criteria must be returned to vehicles.
Please visit our website for more details.


It was a hot July day in Nashville, Tennessee. Bill Dees and his friend Kelton were at Kelton’s home trying to write a song. They needed a melody, a clever phrase, a catchy guitar riff, or anything else that could spark an idea. They played anything that came to mind on their guitars, discussed several phrases, but they were unimpressed with the results. They kept at it. At one point, Kelton’s wife walked into the room. Bill and Kelton’s attention immediately shifted from their task at hand to Kelton’s wife. She was a knockout. Bill and Kelton’s gaze shifted to her yellow skirt and red shoes. Anytime Bill saw a woman he thought was pretty, he exclaimed, “Mercy!” Like the involuntary actions of our bodies such as blinking our eyelids or breathing, Bill exclaimed “Mercy!” before he could stop himself. Bill shifted his gaze from Kelton’s wife to Kelton. Kelton was smiling. He looked back and Kelton’s wife was smiling as well.

The three of them chatted briefly and Kelton’s wife said she was going to a nearby store to buy something. Kelton, ever the gentleman, asked if she needed any money. Before Kelton’s wife had a chance to respond, Bill spoke up and said, “a pretty woman never needs any money.” They all smiled. Kelton’s wife turned and walked away. As she walked out of the house and onto the sidewalk, Bill heard her red high heels clicking on the pavement. Click! Click! Click! Click! Bill tapped his finger on his guitar to the same tempo as the sound of Kelton’s wife’s clicking shoes. Before the sound of Kelton’s wife’s clicking heels had faded, Kelton came up with a fitting guitar riff. Lyrics came next as if they had been there all along just waiting to be written down. By the time Kelton’s wife returned, about 40 minutes later, Bill and Kelton had finished the song.

A week later, on August 1, Bill and Kelton went into the studio to record the song. Once again, Bill tapped his finger to the tempo he remembered of Kelton’s wife walking away in her red high-heeled shoes. Click! Click! Click! Click! The studio drummer played this tempo on his snare drum, Kelton’s guitar riff was added, and finally, Kelton sang lead and Bill sang harmony. In one point in the song, Kelton said there was something missing. He needed to say something short, just a word or two. He remembered what Bill said upon seeing his wife the previous week. He sang one more word, “mercy,” and the song was finished. Bill and Kelton were pleased with the song.

On August 15, 1964, Bill and Kelton’s song was released. Less than two weeks later, their song entered the charts at number 49. By early September, newspapers all over the world predicted that the song would sell well. On September 6, the number one song in the country was “House of the Rising Sun” by the Animals. Bill and Kelton’s song reached number 13. A week later, September 13, Bill and Kelton’s song was at number 2 just behind “House of the Rising Sun.” A week after that, on September 20, Bill and Kelton’s song had replaced “House of the Rising Sun” in the number one spot. “In a 68-week period that began on August 8, 1963,” during the British Invasion, Kelton “was the only American artist to have a number one single in Britain.” In addition to reaching number one in the United States and the United Kingdom, Bill and Kelton’s song reached the top spot in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Switzerland, and West Germany. Mercy!

When Bill and Kelton’s songwriting session was interrupted on that hot July day in 1964, none of them could have realized the impact of Kelton’s wife walking into and out of the room. Kelton’s wife’s name was Claudette. The name of the Bill and Kelton’s song came directly from Bill’s comment that “a pretty woman never needs any money.” For almost fifty years now, you and I have heard Bill and Kelton sing “Oh, Pretty Woman.” Kelton is the middle name of Roy Orbison. Mercy!


1.  The Paducah Sun, August 28, 1964, p.10.

2.  Valley Morning Star, September 6, 1964, p.3.

3.  Omaha World-Herald, September 20, 1964, p.100.
4.  Rock, The History of, and Roll. n.d. “Roy Orbison (1936-1988) | the History of Rock and Roll Radio Show.” Accessed September 24, 2023.
5.  NPR. 2008. “Mercy: Behind Roy Orbison’s ‘Pretty Woman.’” NPR. December 6, 2008.
6.  “ShieldSquare Captcha.” www.songfacts.com


Early Voting Begins Tomorrow

Early voting in the Louisiana Gubernatorial Primary election begins tomorrow, Saturday, Sept. 30. Voting in Red River Parish will include Governor, Representative, Sheriff, Police Jury, and more. Anyone can early vote in person at the Red River Courthouse from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Oct. 7. There is no voting on Sunday, Oct. 1. Voting machines are in the Registrar of Voters Office.

Voters should bring an ID with them to vote (Louisiana driver’s license, Louisiana Special ID card, a generally recognized picture identification card with name and signature such as a passport, or a digital license via LA Wallet).

The deadline to request an absentee ballot is Tuesday, Oct. 10 by 4:30 p.m. Requests can be made online by visiting and selecting “Request Absentee Ballot,” or in person at the parish Registrar of Voters office. Voters who have requested but not yet received an absentee ballot may check their absentee ballot status by visiting, entering the appropriate voter information and selecting “Check Absentee Ballot Status.”

The deadline to return a completed ballot is Friday, Oct. 13 by 4:30 pm. Completed ballots can be returned to the parish Registrar of Voters by mail, in-person by the voter or by a voter’s immediate family member. Should a voter be unable to meet an absentee ballot deadline, they can still vote in-person on Election Day.

The primary election day is Saturday, October 14. Polls will open at 7:00 a.m. and will close at 8:00 p.m.

Exercise your right to vote!

This & That…Friday, September 29, 2023

Don’t miss the Marthaville Good Ole Days Festival this weekend. Festivities begin tonight at 6:00pm with Gospel night featuring various local artists and area churches. Saturday has a full line up of activities beginning at 8am. Don’t miss out on some great entertainment, good fellowship, delicious food, and a great time.

Next week is National 4-H Week (October 1-7). Make sure you take your pumpkins to your school to display Monday-Thursday. They must be painted, not carved. All pumpkins must be picked up by October 12. Call the 4-H office to since up for the BB/Archery contest on Friday, October 6. The contest is for 4-H members in grades 3-8. The contest begins at 9am. BB guns/bows will be provided.

The 10th Annual Crusin’ in Grand Cane has been scheduled for Saturday October 21.  Entries are now being accepted for classic cars, trucks and tractors up through year model 1993.

Notice of Death – September 28, 2023

Mark Wayne Foster
November 26, 1961 — September 26, 2023
Graveside Service: Friday, September 29 10:00am at Mount Zion Cemetery, Coushatta

Paulette E. Dick
October 29, 1948 – September 27, 2023
Service: Saturday, September 30 at 10:00am at Rockett Funeral Home Chapel, Ringgold. Burial will follow in Thomas Wren Cemetery in Martin.

Brenda Johnson
05/20/1966 – 09/21/2023
Service: Saturday, September 30 at 11:00am at Summer Hill Baptist Church Evelyn
Interment: St. Mark Baptist Church Cemetery, Wemple, LA

Red River Parish Journal publishes paid obituaries – unlimited words and a photo, as well as unlimited access – $70. Contact your funeral provider or Must be paid in advance of publication. (Notice of Death shown above are FREE of charge. You may email them to

New ministry coming to Red River Parish

A new ministry in Red River Parish will begin on Friday, October 20, 2023; a support
group for mothers or other women who are primary caregivers to children who have special
needs. The group will meet at Fairview Baptist Church at 6:00 pm to get to know each other and
discuss future plans.

Raylie Hardy, one of the founding members of the ministry, explains that the group will
be focused on educating, equipping, and supporting women as they navigate special needs

Raylie Hardy is mother to 11 year old McKenna, who was diagnosed with a
chromosomal deletion disorder shortly after birth. Hardy explains that “parenting a child with
special needs can often be a terrifying and altogether lonely journey.” According to Hardy,
“Therapy appointments, hospital stays, and the complexities of navigating medical and
education systems often leave mothers feeling inadequate and exhausted. Mothers of children
with special needs face many obstacles that other mothers may not understand.”
Hardy hopes this group will help mothers of children with special needs find empathy
and community support.

From Raylie’s perspective, mothers of children with special needs can often find it
challenging to attend church regularly, and are also in need of spiritual discipleship. She hopes
the group can help women draw closer to Christ as well. Moving forward, Hardy hopes to
collaborate with different area churches who could support the group by hosting the meeting
and providing a meal for the mothers.

Raylie hopes mothers or other women who are primary caretakers to a child with special
needs can attend the meeting and meet other women who are also navigating the special needs
journey: “We can find strength, hope, wisdom, and encouragement from each other.”

If you would like to attend the meeting, this is the link to RSVP:

Written by founding member and fellow “special needs” mom: Traci Schmidley

A Perfect Score

Timothy Thomas scored a perfect 10 on last week’s Pickers Contest. It is the second week in a row the winner had a perfect score. Can you do as well this week?

The American Bank High School Football Pickers Contest awarded Thomas $100 for his efforts. There is more money to be won. ENTER HERE to pick the winners of this week’s area high school football games. Entry deadline is Friday at 4:00 pm, so don’t forget.

Here is a contest everyone in Red River Parish can enter and win. Just check the teams you think will win their football game this week. Sometimes it’s skill and sometimes it’s luck. And this time it could be your time. Good Luck!

Sheriff Glen Edwards seeks re-election

As your Sheriff, it is my honor and privilege to serve the citizens of Red River Parish. I am truly humbled and grateful.

Over the last 12 years we have been able to advance our technology and make great progress in many areas of the sheriff’s office. Some of these advancements include opioid-overdose antidotes, AED’s (cardiac defibrillators) and laptop computers in all patrol units. The computers are networked, which allows deputies to input inquiries themselves and to complete and submit reports from their vehicles instead of having to spend large amounts of time at the office. We’ve also invested in new patrol units, department issued firearms, tasers, bullet proof vests, and body cameras.

We have acquired 2 certified multi-purpose K-9 dogs (narcotics detection, tracking and apprehension), as well as 2 drones used for search/rescue, suspect apprehension and other emergency operations. Our training facility has been updated, including indoor training facilities and equipment. We’ve hired 2 certified forensic investigators. We also recently hired a staff IT Administrator. In order to improve our overall mission, we have increased training from once a year to minimum quarterly training sessions, in addition to sending deputies outside of the parish to numerous schools and training. Staffing has been more than doubled in order to better serve the citizens of Red River Parish. Safety is increased, response times are faster, and case solve rates are increased. These are just some of the many things we have accomplished during my tenure.

We’ve also faced many challenges during the past several years including COVID-19 and deputy shortages. Every agency across the nation is facing an unprecedented law enforcement shortage. There are multiple social, political, and economic factors at play, making law enforcement shortages a complex challenge for agencies across the nation.
Ensuring adequate staffing is one of my biggest priorities as sheriff. I will continue to recruit and employ the best of the best to serve the citizens of Red River Parish. I’ve told myself countless times that I would rather have a vacant position than hire the wrong person to wear our uniform and badge.

Lastly, I want to remind the citizens of Red River Parish to please exercise your right to vote. Early voting starts on Saturday, September 30th and ends Saturday, October 7th, 2023 (excluding Sunday) between the hours of 8:30 AM and 6:00 PM. Early voting will be held at the Registrar of Voters Office located on the first floor of the courthouse. The primary election will be held on Saturday, October 14, 2023. All polls will open at 7:00 AM and close at 8:00 PM. Please make sure to have your government issued ID with you in order to vote.

I ask for your vote of confidence to continue serving Red River Parish as your Sheriff. As a lifelong resident, keeping Red River Parish a safe place to live and raise a family is my number one priority. I am thankful to live in a parish that supports their local law enforcement. The men and women of the Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office are here to protect and serve their community. I am proud of the work they do and am honored to lead this team to safeguard our community. As we continue our efforts, I believe our best days are not behind us, but are ahead of us.

I am Sheriff Glen T. Edwards and I humbly ask you for your vote.

Thank you and may God bless.