Christmas Festival

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The town is all decked out for the Holidays. The windows on Front Street have been decorated. The stage has been remodeled and expanded. The Council on Aging is decorative festive attire of red and green.

The festival parade formed up at the ballpark, and then traveled through downtown ending up at the end of Front Street.

The Journal was there taking lots of photos of the floats, the entertainment, the fireworks and the children. There will be a full photo album in our issue next Wednesday. Look for it!

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Holiday Express Photo Album



When the KCS Holiday Express rolled into Coushatta Tuesday afternoon the whole town turned out. The line waiting to tour the special train formed early and stretched along the tracks behind the old depot, down to Ringgold Avenue, then across the tracks and back along Front Street all the way to Alonzo.

It was like a family reunion even better. The Journal met many old and familiar faces. And we were privileged to meet many new ones too. In our Wednesday issue we published the 11 month old who was first in line, brought by his mom and whole family to view the Holiday Express.

Take a look at our photo-essay of the event. There are a bunch of them, so give them time to load.


Holiday Events at Local Churches

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Hickory Grove Baptist Church is planning their Annual Christmas play for Sunday, December 17th at 11:00 am. Everyone is invited. The title is “A Tree Lot Christmas.”

Fairview Baptist Church is presenting a Christmas musical “Dear Pops.” There are performances scheduled for Saturday December 16th at 6:00 pm and on Sunday December 17th at 9:00 am. This is a free family event.

Saturday December 16th is “Cookies With Santa” at First Methodist Church. It begins at 10 am. The children’s music program is Sunday December 17th followed by a soup and chili lunch. The community is invited to both events and to lunch on Sunday.

The children’s musical program at Open Door Fellowship is “The Light Before Christmas.” It will be presented December 17th at 6:00 pm at the church on Esperanza Road. Light refreshments will follow. Earlier that day youth and adults in the church will distribute baskets in the community and the youth will give away hot chocolate at Rivertown Market.

And there are more events planned at other churches in the parish. What is your church planning this holiday season. Pass it along to the Journal and we’ll tell everyone.


Traffic Stop Leads to Drug Arrests


On November 28, 2017 a Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle traveling north on Cutoff Road in Coushatta. After making contact with the two occupants, the deputy identified the driver as Phillip Posey of Ringgold and the passenger as Travis Grillette of Jamestown.

During the course of the traffic stop/investigation, the deputy recovered a bag from under the passenger seat of the vehicle containing illegal narcotics and drug paraphernalia. Among the items collected as evidence were 1.5 grams of suspected methamphetamine, a Clonazepam pill, glass smoking pipe, and a digital scale consistent with those used in packaging illegal narcotics.

Both subjects were taken into custody after denying ownership of the confiscated items. They were subsequently transported without incident to the Red River Parish Jail (RRPJ) for booking.

Travis W. Grillette, W/F, age 30 of the 5000 block of Hwy 792, Jamestown, LA was charged with Possession of Schedule II Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS), Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Possession of Schedule IV CDS. Her total bond was set at $6,000 and she remains incarcerated.

In addition to the same charges received by Grillette, Phillip A. Posey, W/M, age 40 of the 600 block of Davis Road, Ringgold, LA was charged with Driving Under Suspension, Stop Lamps and Turn Signals Required, and a Fugitive Warrant from Natchitoches Parish for Failure to Appear (Child Support). His total bond was set at $7,000 and he remains incarcerated in the RRPJ. The Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office has placed a hold on his release.


Elementary School Shows Holiday Spirit

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Several teachers at Red River Elementary School decided they needed some Christmas spirit. So they painted beautiful scenes in the halls to get the kids into the holiday mood.

Thanks to Sheila Davis for sending these beautiful scenes. Davis designed and painted them with the help of Ellie Drew and Tiara Reynolds. The three are fifth grade teachers at the school. When you see them tell them “job well done!”



Family Friendly Seminar

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This week there was a seminar for new mothers and expectant mothers held in Coushatta. The Red River Parish Health Unit sponsored “Mommy, Daddy and Me, It’s a Community Affair.” The seminar was lightly attended however some very valuable information was presented.

Nursing Supervisor Yashica Turner introduced the program. She thanked the participants and those making presentations. Renae Washington of the state health department told the gathering how to assure your baby is safe while sleeping.

Some of the familiar ways of infant sleep can actually be harmful or dangerous said Washington. The main safety tip was “Don’t sleep with your baby. Place the infant on their back. Make sure there are no pillows, blankets, stuffed animals or anything else in the crib. And your baby should be dressed in light sleep clothing.

Another presentation was by Helen Bryant of Choices Coordinated Care Solutions. Bryant said, “Choices is the wraparound agency for this region. Our slogan is Families Strengthened Together.”

If you would like to learn more of the services available for expectant mothers, first time moms and mothers with infants call Yashica Turner at the Red River Parish Health Unit. Her number is 318-932-4087. The Health Unit is located in the parish administration building next to the courthouse on the Red Oak Road.


ETC… for Friday December 8th



The Red River High School Band will hold its Christmas concert on Friday,
December 14th at 5:30 PM. The band will perform in the Red River High auditorium. Admission is $3.00 for adults and $1 for children under 12.
There will also be a bake sale and door prizes for those who attend. 100% of proceeds go to support the award winning Red River High School Band.

Fourth District Congressman Mike Johnson co-sponsored the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, to allow an individual with a concealed carry permit in one state to carry a firearm in another concealed carry state. The House passed the bill on Wednesday. Congressman Johnson said, “Just as we are afforded our right to speak freely no matter which state we are in, so too are we bestowed our rights outlined under the Second Amendment regardless of where we are in the United States.”

The burn ban has been lifted. Rains this week have cut back on the possibility of fire. The fire department and the Journal remind everyone to continue to be very careful with outdoor burning.


Holiday Express Wows Coushatta

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The Holiday Express train rolled into Coushatta Tuesday afternoon to the delight of hundreds and hundreds of visitors. The Holiday Express is a special train created by the employees of Kansas City Southern railroad.

First in line to board when the train opened at 4:00 pm was Rylan Beavers. He is eleven months old and is looking forward to his first Christmas. His mother, Alexis Procell of Coushatta brought Rylan along with other members of their family.

Tours of the train began in the caboose and wound their way through the elaborately decorated interior. There was even a stop by Santa Clause on the way. Grant Elliott with Kansas City Southern said Coushatta is just one of 22 stops the Holiday Express is making this Christmas season. It will travel through 6 states before heading home to Kansas City. One of Santa’s Elves helping people onto the train told The Journal they will welcome visitors at Kansas City for three days at the end of the tour.

Red River Sheriff Glen Edwards and his officers and Coushatta Police provided security, traffic control, and were on hand to assure everyone had an opportunity to tour the train. Mayor Johnny Cox was there wishing everyone a happy holiday. Cox said, “For Coushatta this is Christmas at its best. Merry Christmas to you all.”

The Journal is planning a photo section on the event in the Friday edition. So check your email early Friday morning for the Red River Parish Journal.

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Art Students Decorate Front Street

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The Red River High School Art Department was called on this week to help decorate Front Street. They painted murals on a downtown store in preparation for the Christmas Festival.

Many of the windows of the former L.P. Stevens Store were decorated with beautiful Christmas murals. Art instructor Jeff Edwards told the Journal they were asked to paint the holiday scenes on the old store, which is owned by the city.

Edwards brought art students Jayden Bamburg, Sierra Ochoa and Braden Long and a pickup truck loaded with art supplies. Edwards said other windows in the store are scheduled to be painted by the junior high and elementary school.

Recently the city installed new wood columns along the street. Those have been covered in white and red to resemble candy canes. Drive down Front Street and see their beautiful artwork for yourself.

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Birth Announcement

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Welcome Michael Daniel Simpson, Jr. He was born November 28th in Shreveport weighing 7 pounds, 13 ounces and was 19 ½ inches long. The delighted parents are Morgan Davis Simpson and Michael Daniel Simpson, Sr.

Paternal grandparents are Suzan Dupree Simpson and Michael Brown Simpson. Maternal grandparents are Madge and David Davis. Maternal great grandmother is Mai Doles. And paternal great grandmother is Wanda Brown Simpson.