Election postponed

Local elections scheduled for April and May have been delayed due to the Coronavirus spread.  Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin just moments ago revealed the plans at a news conference in Baton Rouge.

This announcement delays the April 4th election until Saturday, June 20th and the May 9th runoff election to Saturday, July 25th.  

Red River Clerk of Court Stuart Shaw told The Journal the delay of the local elections means that Early Voting will not begin on Saturday, March 21st as originally scheduled.  Shaw said early voting will now begin two weeks prior to the new election dates.  Early Voting will run from May 30th through June 6th for the June 20th election.

Shaw also said that a school for election commissioners had been scheduled for next Monday evening.  Shaw said the school would be rescheduled later.

More details on the election delay will be forthcoming from state and local election officials.

Fatal Fire In Old Coushatta

A late night fire in one of Coushatta’s oldest structures took two lives.  The old Bank of Coushatta building was gutted.  Names of victims have not been released.

State Fire Marshal deputies are on the scene of a fire investigation involving two deaths in Coushatta.

Firefighters responded to the call in the 100 block of East Carroll Street in the 10 p.m. hour.

The bodies of two victims were later discovered.


La 174 is closed in South Red River Parish

La 174 is closed in South Red River Parish this morning due to a blowout at a drilling site. Sheriff Glen Edwards confirmed that there is a release of porentially hazardous material from the site, about a half mile past Cowboy Church at La 1. Edwards said workers are attempting to cap the leak.
Highway 174 is closed so traffic cannot pass through between LA 1 and I-49.

Another Derailment on Highway One

No cause yet, and no indication yet as to what caused a Union Pacific train to leave the tracks along Highway One on Tuesday. Here is a brief statement confirming the accident from Union Pacific spokesperson Tim McMahan:

“At around 5 p.m. CT May 7 a Union Pacific mixed freight train collided with a tractor-trailer near Caspiana, LA.”

The state highway department has issued this notice of closure:

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development advises motorists that LA 1 from LA 175 to LA 509 in Caddo and Red River Parishes is CLOSED due to a train derailment.

Union Pacific Railroad crews and emergency response teams are on scene assessing the situation. At this time, there is no estimated time for reopening the roadway, as there are train cars in the lanes of travel.

DOTD will advise when the roadway has been reopened.

The Red River Sheriff’s Office said the derailment was in south Caddo Parish. State police and Caddo deputies are handling the investigation.

This is the third derailment incident involving Union Pacific freight trains in recent weeks.  On March 22nd The Journal reported that Highway 509 intersection with Highway 1 was blocked for over a day due to a problem with several cars.  None overturned in that incident.

On April 10th The Journal reported the second incident in which the train hit a water truck crossing the tracks.  Over twenty cars loaded with grain and an engine left the tracks.  The last remains of that wreck is still being cleaned up.

Creole Heritage Center Receives Donation From Glen Jones Family

A Coushatta family donated an early 20th-century cotton scale and seeder to the Louisiana Creole Heritage Center at Northwestern State University. The scale weighed cotton at B.O. Jones & Sons, a general store on Ringgold Street in Coushatta that operated from 1919 until the 1980s.

Using poises and hooks, this device, which is taller than eight feet, could weigh up to 700-pound cotton bales, according to NSU Professor of Anthropology Dr. Pete Gregory. “A scale like this would have been used in the 1920s and 1930s, although this same type of scale has been around forever,” said Gregory, who is the academic advisor for the center. “An average cotton bale would have been around 500 pounds. This scale is in great shape. We usually don’t get a full piece of equipment like this, it’s usually broken down into pieces.”

A hand-held cotton seeder accompanies the scale in the exhibit on the first floor of Kyser Hall. A plow is attached to the seeder, making furrows in the field in which a gear mechanism would drop seeds.

Cotton was king in the Red River and Mississippi River areas until the 1960s. “Cotton was dominant in the local economy until corn and soybeans took over,” Gregory said.

The artifacts were donated by the family of Glen Jones, who took over the store from his father B.O. and mother Louella Jones and operated the enterprise until he retired in the 1980s.

Mary Almond, daughter of Glen and granddaughter of B.O. Jones, said the store served as an economic and social hub of Coushatta. “You could buy everything from farm necessities to groceries, shoes and clothing,” said Almond, who contacted NSU about housing the equipment. “The store would deliver groceries to you as well,” added Almond, “It was open six days a week, but Saturday was the busiest day. For most folks, it was the only time they came to town, and they pulled up chairs in the back and visited with each other before getting their supplies.”

The Louisiana Creole Heritage Center is open Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and on Friday until noon. For more information, go to creole.nsula.edu.

Health Screenings at No Cost

How are you doing? It’s more than a greeting. Do you know how you are doing? Find out how healthy you are on Tuesday April 16th, and it will not cost you a thing!

Wired for Love Fellowship is hosting the HEART Program. Come between 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm for health screenings and important information about your health. Screenings include blood pressure, blood sugar, BMI (body mass index) analysis and cholesterol.

A dietitian will be present at Wired for Love Fellowship for consultation on nutrition.

For more information or to pre-register contact Essence Smith, Community Engagement Coordinator, at 318-227-2912, extension 5.

Wired for Love Fellowship is located in the MaxWay Center at 5204 Cutoff Road in Coushatta. Come to Wired for Love Fellowship Tuesday, April 16th from 2:00 until 5:00 pm for free health screenings. The screenings are funded by BHP.

Red River Well Represented in Shooting Sports

From Penny Dupree

The week of March 19th-24th was a busy week for the Red River Parish Shooting Teams. The 4-H Regional Shooting Events were held at Long-Range Alley Gun Club and Shreveport Gun Club. Red River was well represented in Modified Shotgun, Archery, Small bore Rifle and Advanced Shotgun. We will also be sending a representative to State in each of the events!

Hayden Dowden placed in the top ten in Junior Archery 3-D and will advance to the State Competitions to be held April 15th-20th.
Kaden Cason placed in the top 10 in Senior Modified Trap with a score of 47/50. He will advance to the State Competition.
Trap shooting. Senior Modified Trap Shooting Team for Red River Parish: Kaden Cason, Chandler Nettles, Brodee Adams, Renee Prosperie
Junior Modified Trap Shooting Team for Red River: Preston Eaves, Trey Simmons, Ben Moseley, Jordan Friday and Ethan Jones. (Back row) Shotgun Instructor: Carey Prosperie
Small bore Rifle Shooting Team (Front row) Braydon Chicola, Ben Moseley, Gavin Franks, Jordan Friday (Junior Team) (back row) Nathan Tristan (Senior Team), Breanna Friday (Junior Team)
Nathan Tristan placed 5th in Small bore Rifle Sr. NRA 3 Position qualifying him for State.
Adam Bryant won 1st place in Senior Trap with a 47/50 qualifying him for State.
Junior Advanced Shotgun: Kenneth Lazarus, II placed 1st in Sporting Clays, 1st Place in Skeet and in the Top 10 in Trap. He also won a medal for 3rd Place in Overall qualifying him for State.

Congratulations to all the Red River Participants. We are proud of you for your dedication and hard work. Good Luck to all seven shooters advancing to the State Competitions! We are so proud of you and your achievements!

Job Opening: CP-TEL Network Engineer

(Will train up the right Candidate)

Job Description:

CP-Tel is a voice, video and internet service provider that serves 6 communities in Northwest Louisiana. CP-Tel is looking to expand our Network Operations Department. CP-Tel is located in a historic vibrant community in Natchitoches, Louisiana. If you’re interested in working with a variety of technologies, protocols and carrier-grade platforms, CP-Tel is the place for you.

Responsibilities Include:

Assisting in the operation, administration, and maintenance (OAM) of the Ethernet/IP networks, DWDM and Metro Ethernet networks, IPTV/multicast network, and voice network.
Providing top tier technical support for voice, video, and data services.
Assisting in project management within the Network Operations Department.
Documenting various aspects of the network, such as network diagrams and circuit layout records.
Participating in an on-call rotation.
Working in our Network Operations Center

Technical Knowledge Preferred:

OSI Model
Layer 2 Ethernet switching
Metro Ethernet
Interior and exterior routing protocols (EIGRP, OSPF, BGP)
Cisco IOS, IOS-XE, and IOS-XR
DC power plant and inverters

Certifications and Qualifications Preferred:

3+ years experience

Pay Range:

Very Competitive with excellent Benefits.

Email resume and salary requirements to rng@cp-tel.net or mail to:

CP-Tel, Attn: Human Resources, PO Box 777, Natchitoches, LA 71458

For additional information about our company, check out our website at http://www.cp-tel.com

For additional information about our community, check out http://www.natchitoches.com


Mayor Presents Coushatta Student of the Year

The 2019 Coushatta Student of the Year is Kinya Gray. She is a fifth grader at Red River Elementary. Her list of accomplishments include serving as President of BETA Club at the school.

With the Town Council looking on, Mayor Johnny Cox read the proclamation naming Kinya Gray as recipient of the Mayor’s Award. And she was named Town of Coushatta Student of the Year. Miss Gray’s mother and grandmother accompanied her to the Town Council meeting on March 12th to receive the award.

Elementary School Closed Today

Red River Elementary School is closed today (Friday March 8th). The classrooms and other areas are undergoing a thorough cleaning.

On Thursday afternoon Superintendent Alison Hughes sent this message to parents:

“Friday, March 8th, Red River Elementary School will be closed due to a large number of student and teacher absences being attributed to the Flu or Flu like symptoms. This is for Red River Elementary only. All other Red River Schools will be open.

“Custodial and Administrative staff will be working Friday to sanitize the building and combat the spread of the virus. If your child has fever, please do not allow them to return to school until they have been fever free for 24 hours. Please take this time to sanitize your child’s backpack and lunchboxes.

“If you have any questions or need further assistance, please contact the Red River Parish School Board office.”