Guest: Sen. Donald G. Kelly

Sen. Donald G. Kelly – Reviews 50 Years
Former Senator Don Kelly joins Billy West Live to discuss his observations of government in Louisiana and the United States of America for the past 50 years.

Billy West has been a practicing attorney in Louisiana for 32 years with an active practice in all areas of civil and criminal law.

Mr. West has been recognized as a distinguished Alumni of Louisiana State University and previously served on the Board of Directors of the Mainstay Independence Bowl. Mr. West has hosted sports related radio shows for years in Louisiana and has been a frequent color commentator for High School and Collegiate radio and television broadcasts.

Billy West has long been involved in Louisiana politics and has been an acute observer of the political landscape that has drastically changed in Louisiana and the United State of America from the late 1970s to the present date. The Billy West Live Podcast will inform, entertain, promote debate and potentially anger the listeners. Billy West will have present, former and potentially future elected officials join the show to talk about issues. Billy West Live will cover topics related to politics, sports, science and general information of interest to Louisianian’s, southerners and all Americans. Archive and link the Billy West Live Podcast to stay informed and be entertained.

Movin’ On Up

Governor John Bel Edwards today said Louisiana will be moving into Phase Three of reopening. The Governor did not give details. The new Phase Three proclamation is expected to be revealed later today before it goes into effect tomorrow.

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

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 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

For additional information about our community, check out


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.”

Basketball Playoffs Update

The Red River Bulldogs were victorious Tuesday night. They defeated the Tigers from Jeanerette High 68 to 29. The Bulldogs took control of the court almost from the opening tip-off. Jeanerette took the tip and scored the first basket. But it was all Red River from then on.

The Bulldogs advance to round three. That game will be played at the Dog Pound on Friday night. They will play the winner of the Many-Port Allen game. The start time has not been set yet so look on the Journal social media sites for the time when it is determined.

Meanwhile, the Red River Lady Bulldogs are in the Marsh Madness semi-finals later this week. They play the North Caddo Lady Rebels Thursday afternoon. The game will be played at 4:45 at Rapides Parish Coliseum in Alexandria.

School will dismiss early so students and faculty can attend. Here is the message from Carey Prosperie with the school board:

“Red River will dismiss all schools at 12:00 Noon on Thursday, Feb. 28th. We are excited to announce that the Red River High School Lady Bulldogs basketball team will play in the State Semi-Finals at 4:45pm in the Rapides Coliseum. Thursday is a great time to travel to Alexandria to support the Lady Bulldogs in their battle against North Caddo at 4:45 in the Coliseum. Go Bulldogs!”

You can listen to the game on the Journal’s website and social media pages. The link to the game will be posted about fifteen minutes before tip-off.

The Rebels’ Season Ends

It is said that at times youth can be a strong advantage. At other times it can be a liability. For the Riverdale Academy basketball teams the “State A” tournament was one of those times.

Riverdale’s Lady Rebels were eliminated in the first round by the Lady Eagles from Marvell 57 to 44. The Rebels suffered defeat at the hands of the T-Birds from Desoto School 48 to 32.

But the score is not the whole story. Expectations were high going into the season. After all both boys and girls had been crowned state champions at the “State A” last spring. Then came graduation, which took a number of seniors on to bigger and better opportunities in life.

The 2018-19 teams were young with only one graduating senior. Youth might have been a liability this year. It certainly is an advantage for next year and into the future.

Congratulations to boys coach Steve Weir and girls coach Morgan Garrett for training the teams and getting the players to contribute all they could this year. Riverdale’s coaches are the type of coach a player loves to play for. They demand excellence and the players seem to want to give it.

And they know how to turn youth into a great advantage.

So we say congratulations to this year’s team for all they have done. But we caution that the best is waiting in the wings.

Basketball Playoffs Begin

On Thursday night the Red River Lady Bulldogs began their quest for the state basketball title in 2-A. Before tip-off Coach Missy Antilley said, “It starts all over. Doesn’t matter that we are 28 and 6 overall or a perfect 6 and 0 in district. It starts all over!”

The Lady Eagles came to the Dog Pound from Rosepine High School. They only have 8 players on their roster and were ranked 27th in the state.

Red River took command of the game as they have so many times this season. The Lady Bulldogs were up 10 points at the end of the first quarter and the gap widened considerably from there.

Final score was Red River 88 and Rosepine 40. The Bulldogs move on. Next contest is Monday night February 18th. Red River will host East Beauregard. They defeated D’Arbonne Woods Charter Thursday night to advance to round two.

Journal Sports will take the air at 5:50 Monday night for round two of the Red River Girls playoff trip in search of a state championship.

Earlier in the week, both of the Riverdale Academy basketball teams were victorious in the first contests of the “South A” Tournament. Tuesday evening the Lady Rebels easily defeated Rebul Academy from Learned, Mississippi 41 to 15. The girls team will play Tensas Academy today at 4:00 pm.

Also on Tuesday the Riverdale boys team defeated Discovery Christian School 42 to 24. They advance to play Union Christian This evening at 6:30. UC gave the Rebels a hard time in the South A last year.

Playoff games for both Red River and Riverdale will be carried live on The Journal. Look for the links to the broadcasts to be posted shortly before game time on our website and social media pages.