Report from the Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office for the week ending Sunday, July 12, 2020
On June 25, 2020, my precious mama was granted the promise of resting forever in the arms of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. She endured a lengthy illness but was well taken care of during her final days here on earth at Grace Home Inpatient Hospice in Shreveport, LA.
On June 25, 2020, Ms. Maggie accepted the call to enter into eternity. She was a Christian woman who was dedicated to her faith and learning the Word of God.
Maggie was born on March 7, 1948 in Coushatta, LA to a wonderful mother, Mrs. Willie B. Smith. Maggie was a very loving, caring and understanding person who cherished her family and friends. She was a magnificent mother and grandmother.
She was preceded in death by her mother, Willie B. Smith, all of her eleven (11) siblings, her husband J.L. Weaver, her son Lee Dubois and a grandson Timothy Neal Pickett and a very special best friend and niece, Dianne Camper.
Those left to cherish her memories are her daughter Teresa Horn and a very special son in law, David, her son R.J. Dubois as well as her four (4) grandchildren; Tadd Dubois (Jenny), Tommy Pickett (Milisa), Jenny Pickett (Alex) and Mary Dubois. She also had nine (9) great grandchildren.
She was blessed to have some attentive, kind-hearted and dedicated caregivers in her final days. I’d like to openly acknowledge Tina Tarrance, CNA of Specialty Rehab Hospital; Chris Hardy, RN of Christus Highland Hospital CCU, Michelle Lane, RN of Grace Home Inpatient Hospice and Ms. Dianne Martin at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home. Thank you all for treating my Mama with the utmost dignity.
Governor John Bel Edwards is tightening restrictions on the public in an effort to slow down the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Edwards is making masks mandatory across the state in parishes where the disease has begun spreading rapidly in recent days. Edwards said the restrictions will be in effect beginning one minute after midnight Monday morning.
The urgency of the situation was highlighted by the Governor scheduling a Saturday news conference with a relatively short notice to the news media. The notice of the 2:30 news conference was only distributed to the media at 11:49 Saturday morning.
Red River, West Feliciana and Grant parishes are the only parishes in the state with a low rate of virus spread. Edwards said that these parishes may decide to notify GOSHEP that they will not require wearing of masks.
Edwards said he would sign a new proclamation on Saturday to put in place these new restrictions. Edwards said all bars would be closed to on premises consumption. Curbside service would still be available.
In addition, inside gatherings would be limited to 50 persons. Edwards said,” A large contributor to the spread is informal backyard gatherings like birthdays, wedding receptions, showers, and the like. Your close neighbors and friends still can get Covid. Keep gatherings small, physically distance, hold outdoors and wear masks.”
Late Thursday evening, Red River High posted an update on graduation for the Class of 2020 Parents.
Hello Class of 2020 parents, this is JC Dickey, principal of Red River high School. Tonight your seniors will receive detailed information about graduation in their google classroom, but I first wanted you to know some of the logistics and let you know Red River Parish’s commitment to giving the best in-person graduation ceremony to the class of 2020 that this day in time will allow. No words can describe how proud I am of this class and the resilience they have shown these last few months. I hope this announcement finds you in good health and I am praying for you and all that have been affected by this virus.
When graduation was first scheduled, we were in the middle of Phase 1 so we pushed it back to July 24th in hopes that the state’s numbers of Covid-19 would allow the governor to move us to phase 3, allowing us to hold a graduation ceremony for the class of 2020 with little restrictions. As you all know that did not happen, and phase 2 was extended. Because of this, we had to start thinking about having the best in person ceremony for the class of 2020 while also maintaining and adhering to the state guidelines and CDC remondentations for large gatherings.
We will be holding graduation in our new Pat Strother Memorial Stadium July 24th at 7pm. Graduates will be placed in the stadium chair back seats 6 feet apart and guests will be sitting in chairs on the field. Each graduate will receive 5 tickets and will be assigned to seats on the field chosen by the graduate in a lottery. This will ensure that everyone that has a ticket has an assigned seat while maintaining social distancing between family groups. Masks will not be required because of the social distancing protocols we have in place, but they are still highly recommended.
We know that limiting guests is not ideal for families, but safety of our students and this community is our top priority. Because guests will be limited, we have contracted out a live streaming service for us to broadcast graduation for others to watch from any computer or mobile device.
I just want to say thank you for the last 3 years I have been able to serve your children. They have been a blessing to me and have made me proud every step of the way just as I know they did you. Class of 2020 will never be forgotten and Red River High promises to make this ceremony memorable even during these difficult times. I am always available if you need anything just contact the school.
Tomorrow is election day. The election was rescheduled from last spring due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Voter turnout was very low for the two-week early voting period which ended July 4th. Only 125 people came to vote early.
There are no local issues in this election. Only the Presidential Preference is on the ballot and only registered democrats and republicans can vote. Part of the lack of interest is a result of the presumption that both the party nominees have already been selected.
The next election will be August 15th. The only item on that ballot will be a proposal by the Parish Fire Protection District that their property tax be renewed two years early. The early voting period for that election is July 25th through August 8th.
Qualifying for the November 3rd election begins July 22 and ends on July 24th in the Red River Parish Clerk of Court office.
YOU MUST KNOW YOUR WARD AND PRECINCT THAT YOU LIVE IN!!! IF YOU DO NOT KNOW, CONTACT THE VOTER’S OFFICE BEFORE COMING TO QUALIFY!!! There will be a form that you can get to fill out and give to the Deputy Clerk, with your payment.
Please be aware that face masks are required when entering the Courthouse and the Clerk of Court office.
These are the local offices that will be on the November 3rd ballot:
Judge – 39th JDC
Mayor – Town of Coushatta
Town Council – Coushatta
Justice of the Peace
Constable (J.P. Court)
Mayor – Edgefield
Aldermen – Edgefield
Chief of Police – Edgefield
Aldermen – Martin
Qualifications to Qualify as a Candidate:
On the standard notice of qualifying form used for congressional, state or local offices, a candidate certifies to the following:
- Registered Voter: you are a qualified elector (registered voter) in the jurisdiction where you qualify to run for office;
- Felony Conviction: for any office other than U.S. senator or representative, you are not currently under an order of imprisonment for conviction of a felony in accordance with La R.S. 18:451;
- Taxes: if you are a candidate for any office other than U.S. senator or representative, you must have filed federal and state income tax returns for each of the previous five tax years, have filed for an extension of time for filing either your federal or state income tax return or both, or was not required to file either a federal or state income tax return or both;
- Campaign Finance: you acknowledge that you are subject to the provisions of the Campaign Finance Disclosure Actif you are a candidate for any office other than U.S. senator, representative or member of a committee of a political party and that you do not owe any outstanding fines, fees or penalties pursuant to the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act, if any were previously due;
- Campaign Finance, Major or District Office: if you are a candidate for a major or district office as defined in R.S. 18:1483, you have filed each report that you are required to file by the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act, if any were previously due;
- Ethics: you do not owe any outstanding fines, fees or penalties pursuant to the Code of Governmental Ethics; and
- Election Offenses: you are knowledgeable of the laws governing election offenses as provided in Chapter 10 of Title 18 and the prohibitions relative to erecting, displaying or posting political campaign signs on any highway right-of-way, publicly owned property or right-of-way or to or on any public utility pole or stanchion as provided in R.S. 48:347(D), La R.S. 30:2544(A)and La R.S. 18:1470.
** Candidates who wish to qualify for Justice of the Peace and Constable (Justice of the Peace Court), as required by R.S. 18:463*, shall have a high school diploma or GED; shall be an elector and resident of the ward or district from which the candidate is elected; shall not have attained the age of 70 by the date of qualification. A Justice of the Peace appointed to fill an unexpired term is not authorized to run for that office in the next subsequent election for that office, either special or otherwise, even though he/she has officially resigned from that office of the justice of the peace.
Editor’s Note: This election discussed in this article will be held November 3rd, along with the Presidential election and other issues. Do not confuse it with the election to be held tomorrow, July 11th or the election to be held on August 15, 2020.
There have been many news articles written concerning gatherings that a person is likely to contract the COVID-19 virus. Information from the Louisiana Department of Health indicates in Louisiana the places one is likely to be exposed are bars, Restaurants and industrial settings.
From the LDH website: As of July 8, 2020, LDH is reporting the number of COVID-19 outbreaks and associated cases in non-congregate settings. This information will be updated every Wednesday. An outbreak is defined as 2 or more cases among unrelated individuals that have visited a site within a 14-day time period.
To see the complete report, please click on the link below.
As of noon Thursday, there were 69 confirmed cases of the virus in Red River Parish and 9 people have died from COVID-19. There have been 1,101 tests conducted. Statewide there have been 71,994 cases reported and 3,247 deaths reported. There have been just over 880,000 tests performed statewide.
Construction on the new Pat Strother Memorial Stadium moved one step closer to completion Thursday. The press box was installed atop the structure.
The press box was assembled complete with air conditioners and brought to town by truck. A large construction crane was moved into place behind the stadium. Support beams were moved into position. Then the press box was lifted into position.
The stadium is scheduled to be completed by July 24th. The 2020 Commencement Ceremony is scheduled to be held on the football field on that date.
The Red River Parish Police Jury has been dealing with the conditions of roads in the parish that were damaged by gas exploration operations. The jury has been looking for ways to get the companies doing the damage to pay for the repairs.
At the July jury meeting, Harold Woodard was introduced. He was recently hired to be the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Officer. The jury has revised its permit system for oversize and overweight vehicles, including penalties for trucks that damage roads. Woodard has been hired to put some teeth into those regulations.
Woodard described himself as having 35 years’ experience in law enforcement after serving in the Army in Viet Nam. He said he had road construction experience from Viet Nam. Woodard said, “I know what trucks will do to roads and if you don’t hold peoples feet to the fire it will continue here in Red River.”
Board President Shawn Beard said Woodard “is a law enforcement officer and he will build the enforcement program as it needs to be. Beard added, “Our enforcement system is a joke. He has the experience to build our enforcement unit from the ground up, the enforcement to do the job here.”
Recently there has been talk concerning cancelling Louisiana high school sports this fall. Now the state governing body for high school athletics, the Louisiana High School Athletic Association has said they are fully committed to Fall Sports.
In a memorandum addressed to Member School Principals, Athletic Directors, Coaches and Officials from LHSAA Executive Director Eddie Bonine, he said, “Now, more than ever, we are reminded that our communities need high school sports. Interscholastic competition supports the physical, emotional and mental well-being of student-athletes across Louisiana.
“The LHSAA is fully committed to the safe return of high school athletics this fall. We encourage member schools to follow LHSAA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee Guidelines to ensure the safety of our student-athletes, coaches, and administrators.
“Reopening high school sports depends on all of us working together.”
Red River High is scheduled to open the 2010 campaign at home with a scrimmage with Bossier on August 21st and a jamboree with Loyola on August 28th. Both of those will be played in the new stadium. The regular schedule begins on the road September 4th at Haughton.