Preston Lance Tilley

Preston Lance Tilley was born on January 7, 1980 and passed away April 20, 2021 at the age of 41.

A service to celebrate his life will be held Friday April 23, 2021 at 10 am at Blanchard St. Denis Funeral Home located at 848 Keyser Avenue, Natchitoches LA. Bro. Matt Endris will be officiating the service. Immediately following, friends and family are invited to attend graveside services at New Ebeneezer Cemetery, LA-153 Castor, LA. Visitation will be held at Blanchard St. Denis on Thursday April 22, 5-9 pm.

Mildred Marie Loving

Graveside services for Mildred Marie Loving, 96, of Coushatta, LA will be held at 11:30 A.M. Saturday, April 24, 2021 at Mt. Zion Cemetery with Dr. Matt Endris officiating.  Visitation will be held from 10 A.M. until 11 A.M. Saturday at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home.

Mrs. Loving was born May 2, 1924 in Hall Summit, LA and passed away April 19, 2021. 

Civil Service Board Eliminates Fire Chief Position

Several positions in the Red River Fire Department have been eliminated from civil service at the request of the Fire Department Board.  The regular meeting of the Fire Civil Service Board was held Monday morning at the fire station.

There was a public hearing on the proposal to eliminate the civil service positions of Chief, Assistant Chief, and Secretary to the Fire Chief.  Member Marcus Cox presided at the meeting.  He brief the board on the fire department’s dire financial situation, and the need to conserve funds.  That is the reason the Fire Department Board had requested those positions be removed from civil service.

Board member Brad Merry said, “What the previous fire chief was making and other positions we could not afford to continue as those pay scales.  We will have a part time Chief on salary for less than half of what the previous fire chief was making.”

During discussion, it was explained that the department would have a chief.  With the position no longer under civil service, the fire board could write the job description and decide upon pay and benefits to fit within the budget.  It was also stated that at present the fire board did not plan to hire an assistant chief or secretary.

The newest member of the Civil Service Board is Mark Garrett.  He was recently appointed by the Fire Department Board.  During the meeting new board officers were appointed.  Marcus Cox will be the Chairman and Mark Garrett the Secretary.

Member Brad Merry told the board he will resign from both the Fire and Civil Service Boards.  He anticipates sale of his residence therefore he would no longer reside in the district.  That will make it necessary to appoint someone to fill those positions.  The Police Jury appoints members of the Fire Board.

Softball Playoff Doesn’t End Well

The Lady Canes from Plaquemines came to town Monday as Red River Softball hosted the first playoff game in school history.  When they departed, they took the Lady Bulldogs hopes of getting deeper into the playoffs with them.  Final score was Plaquemines 15 and Red River 2.

Despite fighting hard, the Lady Bulldogs found themselves behind from the first inning.  And in spite of Red River putting the ball into play, they were unable to get the offense going until late in the game.

Bryn Danzy took the loss; however she did rack up three Ks.  The Red River offense didn’t get hot until the bottom of the fifth inning.  That’s when they scored their two runs.

“A Tough loss to a good South Plaquemine team,” is how Coach Zachary Thrasher summed up the day.  He added, “Best of luck to them as they move on in the playoffs. I want to wish our 5 seniors the best of luck and thank you for a great 4 years. You will always be a part of this program and you are welcome back anytime.

Thrasher said, “Some things are bigger than the game of softball. And I am so glad we got to show some love to Coach Ginger Craig as she begins her battle with breast cancer.

We also would like to send a special thanks to Rapid Screen Printing for donating our jerseys and shirts today to honor Coach Craig! You got this Coach and we want you to know that The Lady Bulldogs will always be here for you!”

Red River High praised the Lady Bulldogs effort.  Our senior softball girls, team, and coaches made history this year at RRHS by hosting a 1st round playoff game. We lost this round but these girls have left their mark on RRHS and for the teams to come. The future Lady Bulldogs will remember they were the first to do it. Thank you for an amazing season girls.

“I’m So proud of these girls and all they have accomplished,” said Principal JC Dickey. He added, “These seniors are going to be my first full class at Red River and part of the group that have not only made history on the field and court during their 4 years but also in the classroom. They are the reason RRHS is gaining attention and recognition not only in athletics but academics as well.”


Red River Was Left Out

Governor John Bel Edwards is shouting with joy at all the federal money the state is getting from the Coronavirus Relief Act.  Most will go to transportation and other infrastructure projects. 

Red River and surrounding parishes got nothing.  According to a release from the Governor’s office the projects were selected from legislative and public input at hearings on the state’s Highway Priority Program.

(Editorial Note) The Journal drives on the same roads you do.  Aren’t Highway 1, US 71, and other state and federal roadways in this area aren’t in bad enough shape to fix?  What must be the condition of those projects that did make the list?

(Another Editorial Note) The news release indicates the state is going to allocate $11,000,000 to building charging stations for electric cars.  The editor questions this.  Did the government build gas stations when autos came along?  Or livery stables before that?  Is it government’s role to build facilities for electric cars or would this be better handled by private enterprise.  And lastly, how many miles of state roads could be resurfaced in our parish with that $11,000,000?

The file below has the complete release from the Governor.  It also has the list of projects they propose to fix and the amount they will spend on each.

To be a “Squeaky Wheel” and perhaps get some grease call State Representative Kenny Cox, State Representative Gabe Firment, and State Senator Louie Bernard.  They represent this area in the Legislature and there is a session going on right now.  Do they know your priorities?

Head Start Sign Up



2021-2022 School Year

Friday, April 23 & Friday, April 30

By appointment only

Call Christy Suggs 318-271-3160

Child should be 3 by September 30, 2021

Required Documentation:

Child’s Birth Certificate

Child’s Social Security Card

Up-to Date Shot Record

Proof of Residence

Photo Identification

Proof of Income: 2 most recent pay stubs for each adult in household, SNAP/Food Stamps Benefits, SSI benefits etc.

Riverdale JV, Varsity Place 2nd in District Track Meet

By Molly Seales

On Monday, April 12, the Riverdale Academy JV Girls and Boys track teams travelled to Silliman Institute in Clinton, LA, for their district track meet.  The only 2 boys that attended the meet did an exceptional job.  9th grader Kyle Guillory got 1st place in both the 100 meter and 200 meter dash, while 8th grader Bryson Smith got 2nd place in the same races. 

The girls’ team has many more members, and they were able to pull out a 2nd place overall finish.  In field events, 7thgrader Alaina Boyd placed 2nd in discus, while 7th grader Makayla Pickett placed 3rd in discus. In shot put, 7th grader Julia Grace Riggs placed 2nd and 9th grader Emily Cason placed 3rd.  8th grader Shirley Boyd placed 6th in the long jump.

In track events, Alaina Boyd placed 1st in 100 meter hurdles. 7th grader Gracie Stephens placed 3rd in the 100 meter dash, Alaina Boyd placed 5th in the 400 meter dash, 6th grader Ally Kate Hillman placed 3rd in the 800 meter run, and 6th grader Alissa Curry placed 2nd in the 1,600 meter run. The 4 x 100 relay team of Alaina Boyd, Gracie Stephens, 7thgrader Hanna Catherine Huddleston, and 9th grader Georgia Carlisle placed 3rd. The 4 x 200 relay team of Huddleston, Carlisle, Alaina Boyd, and 7th grader Mary Claire Jones placed 4th, and the 4 x 400 relay team of Huddleston, Stephens, Shirley Boyd, and 7th grader Charity Williamson placed 2nd. The girls acquired enough points to give them a 2nd place finish and bring the trophy home to East Point.

On Thursday, April 15, the Riverdale Academy Varsity Girls and Boys track teams also traveled to Silliman Institute for their district track meet.  The varsity boys team also has fewer members than the girl’s team, but they all did an excellent job.  The varsity boys were without key runner Jake Messenger who was out due to surgery for an injury sustained during football season. 

In field events, senior Paul Messenger placed 4th in both shot put and discus. In track events, 9th grader Kyle Guillory placed 4th in the 110 meter hurdles, 8th grader Bryson Smith placed 5th in the 100 meter dash, and junior Ty Jones placed 3rd in the 400 meter dash. Senior Brennan Edie demonstrated his outstanding speed by placing 1st in the 200 meter dash and placing 2nd in the 100 meter dash. The 4 x 100 relay team of Edie, Jones, Messenger, and Guillory placed 3rd, while the 4 x 200 relay team of Edie, Jones, Messenger, and Smith also placed 3rd.

In varsity girls field events, 8th grader Jadyn King, participating in her first varsity track meet, placed 1st in the discus and 4th in shot put.  Emily Cason placed 3rd in shot put, and Makayla Pickett placed 3rd in discus.

In track events, 7th grader Alaina Boyd placed 4th in the 100 meter hurdles, and 7th grader Gracie Stephens placed 5th in the 100 meter dash. 7th grader Mary Claire Jones placed 4th in the 400 meter run, while fellow 7th grader Hanna Catherine Huddleston placed 5th in the same event. 6th grader Ally Kate Hillman placed 6th in the 800 meter run. Junior Rylee Kate Woodard had an outstanding day, placing 2nd in the 800 meter run and 3rd in the 200 meter dash.

The relay team of Shirley Boyd, Charity Williamson, Hanna Catherine Huddleston, and Mary Claire Jones placed 2ndin the 4 x 400. The team of Stephens, Huddleston, Woodard, and Alaina Boyd placed 3rd in the 4 x 100 relay, while the team of Alaina Boyd, Woodard, Jones, and Huddleston placed 3rd in the 4 x 200 relay.  The varsity girls also acquired enough points to bring the 2nd place trophy home to East Point.

All 1st – 4th place finishers advance to the South A Meet at Silliman Institute.  Field Events will be today, April 21, and track events will be on Saturday, April 24.  Good luck to all of our Rebels at South A!

Training a Milkman

By Brad Dison

Late on the Friday afternoon of December 5, 1901, E.L. McKeen, a local milkman in North Tonawanda, New York, was delivering his milk as usual.  This was in the era before automobiles were commonplace, so McKeen delivered his goods in a wagon pulled by a single horse.  He took his time whenever he made his rounds so as to not put unnecessary strain on the horse.  When moving at a slow pace, the horse could work all day with just a few, short breaks.  If the milkman hurried the horse, it required much longer and more frequent breaks.  The milkman usually seemed to be in no hurry whatsoever.

On this day, the milkman made his deliveries as if he had all the time in the world.  His load consisted of numerous small cans and large barrels of milk.  At every intersection, the milkman casually looked both ways to make sure no other traffic was coming.  When he neared the railroad crossing at Lincoln Avenue, the milkman coolly looked down the railroad tracks.  The milkman saw the Lockport train heading his direction on the tracks of the New York Central railroad.  The milkman, unable to properly gauge the speed at which the train traveled, decided that he could make it across in plenty of time.

The train, being the fastest mode of transportation of the era, barreled through the town at a speed that many people thought was impossible only a couple of decades earlier.  The engineer blew the train’s whistle as a warning, but the milkman paid little attention to it.  The engineer engaged the train’s braking system, but it was unable to stop in time.  Just as the horse stepped onto the tracks, the Lockport train struck.  The horse took the brunt of the violent impact and flew through the air.  The milkman and his wagon slammed against the train.  The cans and barrels of milk exploded in a large white gush and covered the milkman.  The force of the impact reduced the wagon to nothing more than kindling wood and scrap iron.

Witnesses to the collision rushed to the milkman’s aid.  The horse was dead.  They feared the milkman was dead as well, yet in the pile of debris, they noticed movement.  The milkman, covered from his head to his feet with cold milk, shivered as he dislodged himself from the pile of broken wood and iron.  Some of the townspeople helped the milkman stand up and asked if he needed medical attention.  The milkman reassured them that he was just fine.  He escaped with barely a scratch.

Several of the witnesses relayed another incident which happened three and a half years earlier at the same crossing at about the same hour by a milkman.  In that incident, which occurred in early May of 1897, a milkman was crossing the railroad tracks at the same intersection when he was struck by the same train, the Lockport train.  That collision nearly killed the milkman.  He spent the next couple of weeks confined to his home recovering.

The townspeople brought up yet another incident in which another local milkman was struck by a train.  About five years earlier, a milkman was walking, seemingly without a care in the world, along the railroad tracks between North Tonawanda and Gratwick when he failed to get off of the tracks in time.  The train struck the milkman but only slightly injured him.

As the townspeople spoke of the three separate incidents in which trains had hit milkmen in the vicinity, McKeen confidently told them that trains were unable to kill him.  Because of his belief that he was invincible, at least with trains, McKeen was willing to take chances most people would be too afraid to take.  You see, it was not three different milkmen in the stories the townspeople told, but one.  It was McKeen who had tempted fate and survived being hit by a train on three separate occasions.


  1.  The Buffalo Commercial (Buffalo, New York), May 21, 1897, p.6.
  2.  The Buffalo Times, December 6, 1901, p.2.

Bulldog Center Commits to NSU

Red River High Athletics is congratulating Timothy Thomas for becoming an NSU Demon.  This week Thomas posted on social media that he has committed to Northwestern to play football.

Thomas said, “First off I’d like to thank God, because without him none of this would be possible.  Next I’d like to thank my family, friends, teammates and supporters for always being there and supporting me through the ups and downs.”  And Thomas thanked Red River High and every coach he has ever worked with for helping him get to this point.

NSU was thanked “for giving me great opportunities.”  And Thomas made the commitment to continue his athletic and academic career at Northwestern State University.

Thomas, a graduating senior this spring, played center for the Bulldogs.  He was also invited to several prestigious camps during his playing days to sharpen his skills at center and as a long snapper.  He will be missed on Strother Field next season.  But what will be missed the most is his constant, large smile.

Big District Win Over Central

By Molly Seales

Tuesday, April 13, was a beautiful day for baseball, and the Riverdale varsity baseball team took full advantage of it, getting a big 13-3 win over Central School.  All of the boys on the team saw playing time in the game. 8th grade pitcher Aston Hester was stellar on the mound, striking out 12 batters.  His defense was strong behind him and committed only 2 errors in the game. 

The team was stronger at the plate than they have been all year, tallying 15 hits. Senior Matthew Seales was 3 for 3 on the day, including a double and an RBI.  Seales also stole 2 bases and scored a run for the Rebels. Aston Hester was 3 for 4 with 2 RBI’s and a run scored. Senior Brennan Edie was 2 for 4 with 3 RBI’s, 2 runs scored, and a stolen base. Junior Denver Williams was 2 for 4 with 2 RBI’s and a run scored. Senior Garrett Wilhite was 2 for 3 with an RBI and 2 runs scored, while senior Noah Wren was 1 for 3 with an RBI and 2 runs scored. Senior Paul Messenger was 1 for 2 with a stolen base and a run scored. Sophomore Mason Murray was 1 for 2 with a run scored and a stolen base.  8thgrader Colton Caskey was put on base 3 times with 3 walks and converted two of those into runs scored for the Rebels.

With the bench cleared in the top of the 5th inning, the Pioneers had scored 3 runs and seemed to have a momentum shift that put the Rebels on edge. Seales re-entered the game at shortstop after Murray injured his ankle on a play. With 1 out and runners on the corners, Hester delivered a pitch that a Pioneer drilled in the direction of Seales at shortstop.  Seales fielded the ball, stepped on second base, and threw to his first cousin, freshman Hayden Hillman, who had subbed in for him at 1st base.  Hillman caught the throw to complete the double play and end the game with a final score of 13-3.

Matthew and Hayden’s grandmother Mary Cowser, and Hayden’s Nana Donna Hillman both said, “They wouldn’t have taken anything for it,” referring to the play that had been made. This was probably the only game the cousins will ever play in together.

Following the varsity game, Riverdale’s JV team took on a team composed of Central’s JV, along with 4 of Central’s varsity players (the did not have enough to field a full JV team.) The JV Rebels played a great game, but the final score was 8-5 in favor of the Pioneers. 9th grader Kyle Guillory started pitching for the Rebels and struck out 3 batters. 7thgrade lefty Shea Nettles also pitched for the Rebels and did a great job, followed by 8th grader Colton Caskey, who struck out 2 batters.

The JV batters also did a great job at the plate.  Colton Caskey had a double and scored a run for the Rebels. Aston Hester also had a hit, an RBI, a stolen base, and scored a run. Kyle Guillory hit a triple that resulted in an RBI.  Guillory later stole home to score a run. 9th grader Jaxon Gates had a hit, and Levi Shaver had a hit and an RBI that drove in Gates.  9th grader Caleb Dabbs had a hit and an RBI, which knocked in 7th grader Ben Moseley, who had been hit by a pitch earlier in the inning.