Homecoming Game Ends: Spectators Caused Panic

It was a festive homecoming game Friday night with the Red River Bulldogs in control of the Lakeview Gators.  At halftime the Homecoming Court was presented and Payel Patel had been crowned Homecoming Queen.

The third quarter was underway and Red River was definitely overpowering Lakeview.  This reporter was on the track behind the team taking pictures of the game.  I noticed the cheering of the crowd turned into a roar.  I turned around to see just about everyone in the stands making a dash for the exits in a panic.

Several people climbed or jumped over the fence onto the track.  Most fans headed to the parking lot.

Sheriff’s deputies and city police officers rushed into the stands.  They were trying to determine the cause.  They were also directing people to the exits.  High School and School Board officials were also trying to get the people out safely.  Coaches of both teams sent their players running to the locker rooms.  Cheerleaders and members of the homecoming court (who had been watching the game from the track) scrambled to the field house.  The game officials also hurried to their locker room.

At 9:08 pm Athletic Director Norman Picou made the announcement on the PA system that all remaining fans were to clear the stadium immediately.

Law enforcement officers were speaking with fans in an effort to  determine the cause of the panic.  Others searched the now deserted stands for evidence.  And other officers worked with the crowds outside the stadium to get everyone away safely and quickly.

Several rumors were being spread around and officials were trying to determine exactly what had taken place.  School officials determined that some fans in the home section of the stadium had caused the panic.  

Here is the Official statement from Red River Parish Schools:

In response to the incident at the football game at Pat Strother stadium against Lakeview. Red River Parish Schools can 100% guarantee that there was no gun or gun shots at the stadium.  We have reviewed security cameras and confirmed that there were no shots fired and no gun.  It was a panic created by a group of spectators. Red River Parish Schools would like to thank the Red River Parish Sheriff’s deputies and Coushatta City police for their quick response to ensure that our students and fans were safe and secure.

Players and participants were picked up by parents and relatives.  Fans dispersed.  And the game was ended.  The scoreboard stood with the game clock at 3:41 in the third quarter.  Final score Red River 42 and Lakeview 6.

Homecoming Game Ends Suddenly

Panic broke out in the home stadium tonight with 3:41 to go in the third quarter of the Red River homecoming game against Lakeview. Sheriff’s deputies tried to control the rush to the exits while asking fans what had happened.

Several rumors were being passed around. The Journal is withholding the contents of them until proper authorities can determine what triggered the panic.  Sheriff’s deputies and school officials were also trying to obtain what started the panic.  More on this after officials sort out what happened.

Sheriff’s deputies and Coushatta Police officers were directing fans out of the stadium.  Other officers later searched the stadium for any evidence of what started the panic.

At 9:08 pm, Athletic Director Norman Picou took to the PA mic and informed remaining fans to clear the stadium. After the initial panic subsided the remaining fans left quietly.  Fans were orderly once clear of the stadium and most left within a few minutes.

Players from both teams were sent to their locker rooms as the panic broke out in the stands.  They were held there while they changed out of their uniforms and arrangements were made for them to be picked up by family.

More on this developing story as information becomes available.

Note: Game ended at 3:41 of third quarter

Louise Hagan

Louise Hagan, 95 was born on February 5, 1926 to Terrall and Linda Cox in the Womack community and passed away on October 21, 2021 at her home in Hall Summit, Louisiana surrounded by her family. 

Louise lived a long and fulfilled life. All of her days were lived with love for our God and her family.  Although she had been sick for quite some time, she was giving hugs and love until the very end.  Louise was a dedicated Christian, wife, mother and grandmother.  She treasured her family and embraced every moment with them.  She made everyone feel special and leaves nothing but beautiful memories.  She will be greatly missed by her family and all those who knew her.  

She was proceeded in death by 1st husband Alvin Barbo, her oldest child, Charles Raymond Barbo, sons-in-law, Butch Clark and Vernon Perrin, grandsons, David Barbo and Jamie Severance, her mother, Linda Mae Antee, sisters, Susie Barbo, Florence Hamus, Clino Barbo brothers, Buster Williamson, Jack Williamson and Bobby Cox.

Those left to cherish her memory are her loving husband, Johnny Hagan, her children, Linda Martinez (Wesley), Barbara Perrin, Richard Barbo (Darlene), Theresa Roshts (Larry), Leona Rymms (Robert), and Bill Hagan (Carrol).  Her grandchildren which she loved dearly: Berle Dean Gray, Molly Anne Browning (Glenn), William Gray (Lisa), JD Moore (Nikki), Penny Marie Bruce (Reggie), Raymond Barbo Jr. (Myra), John Alvin Saxon-Barbo (Matt), Tina Louise Kazen (Jim), Chuck Severance (Cindy), Tim Severance and numerous great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren whom she adored.

Louise was a member of First Assembly of God Church in Coushatta.  She had many friends and family members that loved her and she loved them, in particular, she cherished her very good friends, Jerry Jinks and wife Norma, Brother Nailes and wife Lenoir, Wayne Hays and wife Mary, and chosen daughter Nell Davis, and chosen granddaughter’s Gina Nichols and Jeannie Russell.  To meet her was to be part of her family she was so full of love and grace.

The family would like to give special thanks to Regional Hospice and especially her nurse, Laura.

Visitation and funeral to take place at Kilpatrick’s Rose Neath Funeral Home in Coushatta. 

Visitation will be held on Saturday, October 23, 2021, from 4-5 pm for family and 5-8 pm for friends and family. 

Funeral will be held on Sunday, October 24, 2021, at 2 pm with Reverend James Nailes officiating.  Interment will follow in Bethany Cumberland Cemetery.

The family kindly asks that you help to celebrate the life of Louise safely and wear a mask while indoors.

Those honored to serve as pallbearers include: Berle Dean Gray, Glenn Browning, JD Moore, John Saxon-Barbo, Ray Barbo, Nathan Barbo, Matthew Barbo, and Bill Hagan.

Honorary pallbearers include Christopher Blake, William Gray, Reggie Bruce, Brandon Black, Dillion Black, Jay Kazen, and Ethan Gray.

Notice of Death – Afternoon Update October 22, 2021

Louise Hagan

February 5, 1926 to October 21, 2021

View full obituary here:


Leatrice “Joy” Joyce Self

April 3, 1930 to October 19, 2021

Services Saturday October 23 at 3:00 pm at Pilgrim Home Baptist Church.

Bobbye Clyde Foster

November 26, 1936 to October 21, 2021

Services Monday October 25 at 10:00 am at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin in Campti.

Jerry Glen Harris

April 28, 1962 to October 20, 2021

Services Wednesday October 27 at Rocket-Nettles Chapel.

Bridge Reopened

Repair work has been completed and on Thursday the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development reopened the La 515 bridge over Coushatta Bayou.

The bridge near Crichton has been closed for repairs for several months.  Area residents and the students and staff of Riverdale Academy had been detouring through Crossroads during the closure.

Homecoming vs Lakeview

The Lakeview Gators will be in the Dawg House Friday night for a district contest.  The Bulldogs will be ready for them.  It is Homecoming and the stands will be packed with Bulldog Nation faithful.

Come early.  There will be tailgating in the softball parking lot near the home team softball dugout by the bus barn.  Athletic Director Norman Picou was taking reservations for a tailgating spot.  Set up as early as 10:00 am Friday is OK.

Alumni from all years ending in 1 will be welcomed as part of the Homecoming celebration.  There will be an Alumni Tent in the softball parking lot.  Alumni may stop by for refreshments and a complimentary ticket.

Kickoff is 7:00 pm for this district contest, and it’s the last home game this year.  Going into the game, the Bulldogs are 6-2 overall and 1-1 in district play.  The visiting Lakeview Gators are 1-6 overall and 0-1 in district.

Pastor Appreciation Sunday

First Baptist Coushatta is honoring Dr. Nathan Davis.  A special event has been planned to show their appreciation. 

Sunday night following Worship Davis will be honored.  They are serving Nate Dogs (chili dogs), cake, &  root beer floats to say thank you to Bro. Nathan! Gifts are optional but always appreciated!

Sunday night Worship begins at 6:00 pm. The celebration will follow.

Junior High Basketball Gets Underway

The first game on the Red River Junior High Basketball schedule was Thursday.  The school said there are both boys and girls games scheduled.

Red River Junior High Basketball girls and boys started off with wins. Girls won 25 to 4 and Boys won 52 to 21. Great first game Dawgs let’s keep it up next week as we play at home again on Monday and Thursday at 4:30pm.

Red River students and employees with ID badge pay $2.00.  General admission for others is $5.00.

Season schedule is below.

Riverdale Holds College Fair

Seniors at Riverdale Academy are making plans for furthering their education after graduation next spring.  On Tuesday they had an opportunity to hear from some institutions of higher learning.

Riverdale said, “Whether you’ve got a ton of colleges on your list or just a few, college fairs provide a chance to really explore a number of different schools all in one convenient spot.”  Tuesday the schools came to them.  The students were able to do attend a college fair on campus.



Saturday, October 23, 2021

Sale starts at Noon

6066 Highway 1

Coushatta, Louisiana


Over 500 Head of Really Good Cattle

20 – (Registered) Grey Brahman Cows with 12 calves at side

1.0- (Registered) Grey Brahman Bred Heifers 18- 26 months old

30 – Brahman Bred cows 3-4 yr old Bred to Hereford & Brahman Bulls (Fall)

60 – Braford and Tigerstripe Bred Heifers to low birth weight (Gardiner Angus bulls) (Fall)

20 – Braford and Tigerstripe bred heifers to Angus bulls (Fall)

20 – F1 Tigerstripe Heifers bred to Hereford Bulls (Fall & Spring)

10 – Black Baldie Heifers bred to Hereford Bulls (Spring)

50 – Brahman Cross cows 3-5 yr old with 20 calves at side (Fall)

75 – Brahman Cross cows 4-6 yr old Bred to Angus bulls (Fall & Spring)

50 – Fl Braford cows bred to Charolais & Angus bulls (Fall)

17 – F1 Brangus cows bred to Charolais & Angus bulls (Fall & Spring)

15 – Crossbred cows 3-5 yr old with 15 calves at side

75 – Crossbred cows 2-5 yr old bred to Angus bulls (Fall & Spring)

50 -Angus/Brangus cows 3-5 yr old bred to Angus bulls (Fall)

30 -Angus and Charolais Cows 3-5 yr old bred to Angus Bulls (Fall & Spring)

50 – Crossbred Pairs 3-5 yr old

12 – (Registered) Angus cows 2-3 yr old (Twin Oak Plantation) (Fall & Spring)

2 – (Registered) Angus Bulls 2 yr old (Twin Oak Plantation)

3 – (Registered) Horned Herford bulls 2 yr old (Glaze Herefords)

1 – Hereford Bull 4 yrs old

1 – (Registered) Brangus Bull 4 yrs old

Rayburn Smith


Chuck Garrett


Jesse Magee


Wrapping Up 2021 Fishing Season

By Steve Graf

Each year during the months of October and November, anglers sit down and look at all the different schedules for the many bass tournament trails that exist. There are so many circuits today that fishermen have to choose what they are going pursue the next year. Anglers today are pulled in so many different directions that it’s almost impossible to fish everything going on. You have a great selection of team circuits (two anglers in a boat) like Bass Champs, The Texas Tournament Trail and now the Pro Texas Team Trail. The other pro/am tours that are on an angler’s radar for the next season, include the ABA (American Bass Anglers) Open Series, The ABA Solo Top 150, Major League Fishing BFL (Bass Fishing League) and the MLF’s Toyota Series. Each of these has a consistent following and each represent different levels of fishing competition. Many of the same anglers follow at least two of these and a few follows three. The Toyota Series is the best of the best and has some anglers actually make a living following this circuit.

For me, at some point in my career, I have followed each of these, but the two that I focus on now are with American Bass Anglers (ABA). For the last few years, I have fished the Open Series and now the new Solo Top 150 that started this year. The ABA Tour has what they call the Ray Scott National Championship. This is, and continues to be, a great event with anywhere from 175 to 200 pros and co-anglers from all over the country. I have qualified for this event 5 of the last 6 years including next year’s 2022 at Lake Eufaula. ABA does a great job of keeping the cost down on all their tours while trying to accommodate the weekend warriors (working man). Their new Solo 150 Pro Tour is a prime example of that with a $600 entry fee for a two-day event with the chance to win $20,000 dollars. No other circuit offers a better payback than ABA does. 

For me, it’s been the tale of two seasons. The first half of the year was not anything special, but I kept myself in contention with hopes of a better second half. At one point, I thought that my season was doomed. But I had a strong finish in the last two ABA Open Series events with a 2nd place finish at Sam Rayburn and a 7th place finish at the ABA Two-Day Championship on Lake Texoma. This landed me a 5th place overall in the Angler of the Year standing for 2021 and qualified me for the Ray Scott National Championship at Lake Eufaula Alabama. This is an event I’m really looking forward to next April!

I’m still currently fishing the new TTO Pro Team Tour with one more event left for 2021 at Lake Sam Rayburn on November 20th & 21st. Even though my tournaments are coming to an end, I will use this time to experiment and learn new techniques or maybe get better at finesse fishing. But one thing is for certain, I do not worry about winterizing my boat as I continue to fish all through the winter months and prepare for 2022. So, this fall, enjoy the fall feeding frenzy and get ready for some of the best bass fishing action of the year! Good luck, good fishing and don’t forget to set the hook!

STEM Challenge

4-H members at Red River Junior High participated in the national 2021 4-H STEM challenge, Galactic Quest. They looked at lenses and built telescopes to study constellations.  Other activities included games, learning about cybersecurity, and building a cosmic claw.

4-H Agent Jacque Fontenot said, “I’ve met some of the best students this week!”  At Red River Elementary they worked on the 4-H 2021 Stem Challenge and celebrated being unique with the children’s story “Chrysanthemum” and fingerprint animals.

Fontenot said, “Thank you to Red River Parish School Board for letting 4-H be a part of intercession. And next time you see a teacher, please give them praise for all of their extremely hard work. They are true heroes.”

Red River 4-H offers programs for students in all schools in the parish.  Call the 4-H office for more details and to join 4-H.  The number is 932-4342.

“Sing For Life” Benefit in Shreveport

By Kelly Christian

A gospel singing event will be hosted to benefit the Shreveport Pregnancy Center.  The pregnancy center is located in south Shreveport and serves Red River and other parishes in the area.  They offer free pregnancy tests, options counseling, community referrals and parenting/prenatal classes.   For mothers choosing to parent, their programs allow families to earn free baby materials.  This ministry offers hope to women in crisis with practical resources and spiritual support through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

In 2020 Shreveport reported that over 3,500 abortions were provided, more than any other city in the state. With that number increasing in 2021, SPC stepped up to meet the needs of the many women seeking factual information and resources.  They seek to not only save women from the spiritual and physical destruction abortion causes but to educate and empower them with the tools needed to encourage a better life for them and their children.

The gospel singing event will also include a silent auction, food, and fellowship.  The event is free to the public and will be streamed on facebook.com/shreveportpc where you will find a link to make donations.

ETC… For Friday October 21, 2021

Red River public schools are out next week.  It is the second week of the break on the new balanced calendar.  The current week has been for intercession.

Riverdale Academy has picture day October 27th.  They will be doing re-takes for the yearbook.  Also they will take pictures of all fall sports including pee wee football and mini cheer.

Prayer Walk For The Community

There was a prayer walk from the Courthouse to Town Hall and back Monday morning.  It was held in conjunction with the revival going on at Social Springs Baptist Church.  Billy Davis began the event on the Courthouse steps with an explanation of the march. 

The speaker at the revival this week is John Stroup of Freeway Ministries of Springfield, Missouri.  Troup told those gathered, “We arch into darkness and proclaim Jesus.  We are here to pray over the city and parish.  We proclaim that people can change.  If we lift up Jesus, he will draw all people to himself.”

Before leaving the Courthouse, Ashanti Cole of Freedom Life prayed for a revival in the parish.  Then the marchers headed east on East Carroll Street.  There was a stop at Red River High school.

Davis proclaimed, “The students at school today need help catching up with their scheduled work.  In fact, they all need help!”  (Note:  this week is intersession week which is provided for students lagging behind in their studies to come to school and make up work missed.)

Bro. Stuart Sherman of First United Methodist Church offered the prayer for the students during this pause in the march.

On the road again the marchers went further east to Town Hall.  Davis told the group, “This is the headquarters for the town officials.  I contacted Dr. Cox (Major Johnny Cox) and he was very encouraged and in favor of us doing this today.”

Bro. Nathan Davis of First Baptist Coushatta offered the prayer for the city.  He quoted from Romans 13 concerning submitting to authorities.  And Davis prayed for the city and its employees.  He asked a special blessing on the police force.

Then the marchers turned west and headed back to the Courthouse.

Bro. John Stroup is leading the revival services this week at Social Springs Baptist Church.  Tonight is the final evening service.  It begins at 6:30 pm.

Deputies Investigating a Sunday Night Shooting

A shooting late Sunday Night is currently under investigation by the Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office (RRPSO) and no suspects have been identified at this time.  One victim of the shooting suffered gunshot wounds to the chest.

The Red River Sheriff’s Office report:

At approximately 11:00 p.m. on October 17, 2021 Coushatta Police Officers responded to a call of shots fired in a residential area near Arlington Street and LA Hwy 155. A responding officer was flagged down by a concerned citizen who reported that someone had been shot in the chest.

Minutes later the shooting victim, a black male in his late thirties from Bossier City, was discovered in a crashed vehicle along LA Hwy 155 (Ashland Road) within the city limits of Coushatta. Having suffered multiple gunshot wounds to his upper torso, he was transported by Life Air Rescue to LSU Health in Shreveport where he underwent emergency surgery and remains in serious condition.

Anyone with information concerning this case is asked to contact Detective Ratliff at the RRPSO’s Criminal Investigations Division at 318-932-6701 or 318-932-4221.

4-H Junior Leaders Meeting

The 4-H clubs in Red River recently held the Junior Leader October meeting and 3R HYPE (Redoing Red River) project. Local 4-H agent Jacque Fontenot said, “The purpose of this project is for them to look for ways that they can help in their parish and complete a project by writing a grant. I’m proud of all of their good ideas!”

4-H Olympics is coming soon for middle schoolers.  The state 4-H said, “Come and join us at Grant Walker 4-H Educational Center! Registration is filling up quickly for the Outdoor Olympics Program! With a cap of 30 youth, be sure to reserve your child’s spot today at the following link:


This program is open to all current 7th-8th grade 4-H members, and will focus on topics including healthy living, fitness, youth mental health, and nutrition. Participating youth will form teams and compete in an Olympic-themed assortment of fun and active lessons and recreational activities!

If you are interested in serving as a parent chaperone or adult volunteer, please reach out to 4-H Program Coordinator, Adam O’Malley, at AOMalley@agcenter.lsu.edu for additional information on how to serve! You may also reach out to your local 4-H office for additional information regarding the program.

Billy Henry Retires

After many years of service to the students of Red River Parish, Billy Henry, Sr. has retired.  His last day was reported as last Friday.

The high school posted, “Congratulations Mr. Henry on your retirement. Thank you for your service to the students of Red River Parish. We love and appreciate you.”

Red River Defeats Bunkie At Home

By Christy Suggs

Red River played the Bunkie Panthers in the 4th district game of the season at the Pat Strother Stadium Friday night. It was a packed house due to Senior Night. 

The Bulldogs started out with a bang by capitalizing on the 1st drive of the game.  Stanley Maxie ran in a Touchdown and Ryder Hogan followed up with a PAT. (7-0) Both teams were forced to punt on the drives following the TD. 

Bunkie scored a 1 play TD on their 2nd driver tying the score 7-7. 

Next, Wide Receiver D’Evin McDonald caught a 20 yard pass from QB Tre Smith and scored putting the Bulldogs ahead once again. The score at the end of the 1st was RR 14- Bunkie 7.

Red River started on the Bulldogs 39 yard for the 2nd quarter. The Dawgs capped off a 12 play drive with an 8 yard scramble from QB Tre Smith (21-7  Ryder Hogan with the PAT) with 8 mins left in the half.

A failed 4th down conversion by the Panthers turned into an interception by Stanley Maxie giving great field position on Bunkie’s 35 yard line. However, this drive failed to turn into a TD for the Dawgs. Red River went to the locker rooms leading 21-7 at the half.

Bunkie received at the start of the second half. After several plays Bunkie went for a field goal and missed giving the Bulldogs the ball on their own 20 yard line.  A few plays into the Dawgs drive, QB Tre Smith threw a pass that deflected out of Bulldog Eli Harper’s hands into the Panther’s hands.  The turnover  turned bad for the Bulldogs because Bunkie was able to score on their drive.  The 3rd quarter ending score was RR 21 BHS 14.

The next Bulldog drive was a failure but thanks to a great punt from kicker Ryder Hogan the Panthers were forced to start the drive on the 3 yard line.  The Dawgs defense was outstanding and forced a Bunkie Panthers punt from their 2 yard line. This gave the Bulldogs excellent field position at the Bunkie 32 yard line. Sadly, this drive ended with the Dawgs being stopped on 4th down giving the Panthers back the ball.

Once again the Dawg Defense held strong forcing a fumble getting the ball back to our offense.  With a great effort from Leonard Mosely the Dawgs ran in for TD bringing the score to 28-14. 

With another Bunkie turnover, the Dawgs got the ball at the 36 yard line and instantly turned that into a rushing touchdown by Stanley Maxie making the score 34-14.  Ryder Hogan’s PAT was blocked by a Panther.

With it being senior night, Coach Harper changed things up a little by making the kickoff team all seniors, D’Evin McDonald, Stanley Maxie, Stanley Sibley, Tre Smith, Keenan King, Ryder Hogan, Jack Clark Jr. Ashanti Cole Jr., Ronald Perkins, Antron Williams, and Ja’Kyus Palmer. The Dawg defense held off and no harm was done, finishing the game with a Bulldog win. Final Score 35 to 14. 

Red River’s record is now 5-2 for season and 3-1 in district.  The Red River Homecoming and last regular season home game is Friday against Lakeview Gators. Let’s Fill the stands and support this winning team.

Annual Riverdale Rebel Fest Draws Big Crowd

By Molly Seales

Riverdale Academy held its 6th annual Rebel Fest on Saturday, October 9.  There were many activities for all ages.  Outside activities for kids included a game truck, waterslides, and a bounce house.  A favorite outside activity for all ages was a dunking booth where kids got the opportunity to dunk their favorite, or least favorite, teacher or athlete.  Inside the gym people enjoyed a Rebel punch game and cake walk. Many teams participated in a double-elimination corn hole tournament that was also held in the gym. The winners were Landon Gardner and Ben Hickman. Congratulations guys! As always, a big hit was Bingo, which took place in the lunchroom.  A long day of play and chasing kids around can make everybody hungry and thirsty, so concessions and a delicious meal of red beans and rice were available for everyone attending.  A special thanks goes to Matt Huddleston for providing food plates for everyone to enjoy.

Mrs. Amanda Cason headed up a baking contest which had three categories: cakes, pies, and “other.”  The winners in the cake category are as follows: 1st place- Pamela Bamberg with her candied pecan king cake, 2nd place- Krista Mancil with her chocolate chocolate-chip cake, and 3rd place- Milton Guidry with his peanut butter jelly cake.  In the pie category J Cardinell took 1st place with his peanut butter pie, Kristi Spradley took 2nd place with her pecan pie, and Lexi Mancil took 3rd place with her caramel apple pie.  1st place in the “other” category went to Hayden Cason for his apple dumplings, 2nd place went to Brooklyn Giddings for her oreo balls, and 3rd place went to Annelise Cason for her pecan pie muffins.  The first-place desserts in each category were sold in the auction later in the evening. Thank you to everybody who participated, and congratulations to all of the winners!

Inside the gym there was a silent auction in which people could bid on many different things.  As activities started to wrap up, people started making their way to the gym for what everybody had been waiting for-the live auction.  There was a variety of different items to bid on including goods donated by retail stores, local small businesses, and some specially made items just for Rebel  Fest.  After all the items had been auctioned off, it was time to see who had won the raffle.  The first-place prize of $10,000 went to Troy Murray.  The second-place prize, which was a 4 night stay in a 2-bedroom cabin at Swaha Lodge on Lake Greeson (including a barge rental), went to Edgar Cason.  The final drawing, which was for a Smith and Wesson M&P 15, was also won by Edgar Cason. Since he had already won a prize, he decided to donate it back to the school.  They drew again for the third-place prize and Jerry Cannon was the winner.  The Riverdale students who sold the winning tickets were Emily Kirkland for the cash prize, Hayden, Easton, and Annelise Cason for the trip, and Ben Moseley for the gun. 8th grader Ayla Knotts sold the most tickets for the 2nd year in a row.

The picture is of 1st grade teacher Lauren Wiggins with her 3 children after her turn in the dunking booth.

The Dale

In October of 1973, OAPEC, the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries, proclaimed an oil embargo which was targeted at nations who supported Israel during the Yom Kippur War.  The embargo caused an oil crisis which drove gasoline prices up in the United States.  Some politicians wanted to instill a national gasoline rationing program, but President Richard Nixon said a gasoline ration would be a last resort.  By January of 1974, gasoline prices had quadrupled from what they were before the crisis.

Due to shortages, consumers abandoned the large, fuel-thirsty cars in favor of more compact, fuel-efficient cars.  Customers flocked to Chevy Novas, Dodge Darts, and Ford Mavericks and avoided Ford LTDs and Chevrolet Caprices.  One of the most fuel-efficient cars from that era was the Chevrolet Chevette hatchback, which the company claimed would get nearly 40 miles per gallon.  Many people wondered if the America’s “Big 3”, Ford, General Motors and Chrysler, could survive.

Consumers’ desire for more fuel-efficient cars brought Geraldine Elizabeth “Liz” Carmichael, president of the 20th Century Motor Car Company, to the forefront.  Liz was a farm girl from rural Indiana who earned a degree in engineering at Ohio State University.  She later met and married a NASA scientist but was widowed when he died tragically.  Liz broke down barriers and became the first female CEO of an American automobile company.  Liz tracked down another talented engineer named Dale Leon Clift who had used motorcycle parts to build a spunky, 3-wheeled roadster in his garage.  Liz convinced Dale to sell her his unique car along with the license for the design for $1,000 upfront plus $3 million after it went into production. 

Once all of the paperwork was squared away, Liz described the company’s upcoming model to the press.  It was a 3-wheeled car for the future built of space-aged plastic which got 70 miles per gallon at a cost of only $2,000 when the lowest priced entry level cars from the Big 3 cost a minimum of $3,300.  Liz named the car after its creator, Dale. 

The Dale was a showstopper at the 1973 Los Angeles International Auto Show.  Crowds gathered around the car and listened in amazement at every detail about the futuristic car.  The Dale was untippable although it only had 3 wheels because of its center of gravity.  The Dale was 300 pounds less than similar sized 4-wheel cars.  It was ingeniously simple.  Each mechanical component could be replaced in thirty minutes or less.  Rather than messy wiring which could eventually prove problematic, every electrical part was controlled by a printed circuit dashboard.  The car was made of an “aerospace plastic” called Rigidex, which could withstand a 50 mile per hour impact with a brick wall.  The Dale was nothing short of an automotive revolution.

Investors invested heavily in the revolutionary car.  Once the cars were available to the general public, the stock price was expected to skyrocket.  The investors were sure to become wealthy.  Things began to unravel when, in late January of 1975 20th Century Motor Car Company salesman William D. Miller’s body was found in his office in Encino, California.  He had been shot four times in the head.  A local news team investigating the murder made an unannounced visit to the large airplane hangars the company listed as its factory.  To their surprise, the factory was completely empty.  There were no workers, no tools, and no cars.  There was no evidence that there had ever been a car factory at that location.  Liz was missing too.

Liz fled to Texas to avoid prosecution, but she continued promoting the Dale under a new name, the Revette.  Liz was successful enough that the Revette was featured on an episode of the game show, The Price is Right.  A California regulator happened to be watching the gameshow and immediately recognized the unique vehicle.  Investigators tracked Liz down and arrested her outside of Dallas, Texas.

Investigators learned that Liz was not her real name.  Since 1961, federal agents had warrants for her under a different name for fraud, theft and counterfeiting.  Liz was convicted in 1975 on the earlier federal charges after a nearly 2-year investigation and trial. 

While appealing her case, a television producer under the guise of a perfume merchant bailed Liz out of jail.  Liz had promised the producer an exclusive exposé on the Dale story.  Before the exposé could be completed, Liz disappeared again.  Twelve years later, another television producer, a producer for the NBC series Unsolved Mysteries, found Liz working at a flower stand under the name Katherine Johnson in, as irony would have it, Dale, Texas.  Liz spent another 32 months in jail related to the fraud surround the Dale automobile.

Liz’s whole life story was pure fiction.  In reality, Liz had been married to four different women and had a total of ten children.  Geraldine Elizabeth Carmichael was a man by the name of Gerald Dean Michaels. 


  1. The Post-Star (Glens Falls, New York), December 1, 1973, p.1.
  2. Hemmings.com. “Cars of the Fuel-Short Seventies.” Accessed October 12, 2021. hemmings.com/stories/article/cars-of-the-fuel-short-seventies.
  3. Makes That Didn’t Make It. “The Makes That Didn’t Make It.” Accessed October 15, 2021. makesthatdidntmakeit.com/dale.

Rebels Take Down #1

Story by Molly Seales.  Photos by Ryan Prosperie

Friday night football on October 15 had high stakes for the Riverdale Rebels.  It was senior night, and the winner of the game would clinch the District 3 1A Championship.  The team that stood in their way was the WCCA Rams.  For most of the season, the Rebels had held the #1 spot in the Impact Sports MAIS Coach’s Football Poll. However, after the Rebels fell by one touchdown to Class 2A Claiborne Academy on October 8, the poll dropped them from #1 to #5 and placed WCCA in the #1 spot.  The Rebels, playing without senior Monroe McCarty who is out for the season due to an injury, knew what they had to do. Behind the leadership of seniors Kaden Cason, Ty Jones, Jake Messenger, Chandler Nettles, and Denver Williams, the Rebels came out ready to play.

The Rebels wasted no time getting down to business.  On their first offensive possession, Jake Messenger ran in a long touchdown to draw first blood. The 2-point conversion was successful, making it 8-0 early. However, they were not done. On the Rams 2nd possession, Ty “Bones” Jones intercepted a pass and ran it into the end zone for an early touchdown of his own. With 7:37 left in the 1st quarter, the Rebels had stunned WCCA with an early 14-0 lead, and they never looked back.  At the end of the game the final score was 40-28 in favor of Riverdale.  It seemed like that coach’s poll may have inspired the Rebels to come out and show what they were capable of!

The Riverdale offense was on fire, having a total of 424 yards and 5 touchdowns against the Rams. Sophomore quarterback Ryder Huddleston was 3 for 6 in passing for 41 yards and no interceptions.  Jones had 1 reception for 39 yards, and Messenger had 2 receptions for 2 yards. Most of the Rebels’ yards came on the ground. They had 384 rushing yards. Messenger was in beast mode and had 25 carries for 302 yards and 3 touchdowns. Jones had 5 carries for 59 yards and 2 touchdowns. Junior Ben Almond had 3 carries for 6 yards. Sophomore Kyle Guillory had 4 carries for 15 yards, while Ryder Huddleston had 2 carries for 2 yards.

The Riverdale defense put up an outstanding effort against the solid Rams offense. Messenger had 2 solo tackles and 2 assists (2 TFL), while his cousin Ben Almond had 6 solo tackles, 1 assist, and broke up 5 crucial passes. Jones had 5 solo tackles, 8 assists (3 TFL), and an interception for a 40-yard touchdown. Guillory had 1 solo tackle and 2 assists (1 TFL), while Ryder Huddleston had 6 solo tackles, 7 assists (1 TFL), and 1 PBU.  Senior Reagan Huddleston had 7 solo tackles in his first game of the season and was a key player on defense. Senior Denver Williams was in beast mode with a solo tackle, 4 assists (4 TFL), and 3 sacks for a loss of 32 yards. Sophomore Hayden Hillman rounded out the defense with a solo tackle and an assist.

The Riverdale Rebels will travel to Learned, MS, this Friday night for their final regular season game against Rebul Academy. Because they won the district title, the Rebels received a bye for October 29.  They will play their first playoff game on Friday, November 5, in East Point at Marston Stadium.  We are so proud of this team, the coaches, and our Friday night nurses, Nikki Bryant, Nicki Caskey, Dawn Almond, Edith Gryder, and Kayla Shaver. These ladies don’t get the recognition they deserve, and we are grateful to have them taking care of our boys on Friday nights!