Scholarship Signing at High School

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Outstanding Red River Lady Bulldogs player Makayia “Mae Mae” Hallmon signed her scholarship commitment with the University of Louisiana Lafayette on Thursday afternoon. She signed on her home court, the Red River Gym, in front of family, friends, coaches, and fellow students.

Hallmon was introduced by her Athletic Director Billy Henry, Jr. and her Coach Missy Antilley. Henry noted that Hallmon is the second D1 signing of an athlete from Red River High.

“We are so proud of her,” said Coach Antilley. She added “She has given us all that she has. She will finish strong this year. I am so proud to have her go on to play at ULL.”

Hallmon was almost overcome by emotion while thanking family and friends for their support. “Thanks to the coaches who always believed in me,” said Hallmon. Then she had a word for younger players coming along. Hallmon said, “Don’t ever stop chasing your dream, no matter what people say about you. Size doesn’t really matter. It is all about what’s on the inside and how you use it.”

Mae Mae Hallmon has begun her senior year with the Lady Bulldogs before Coach Antilley turns her over to ULL.

Local Student Dances With Moscow Ballet

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Addison Bounds is a 6th grade student at Red River Junior High School. And she is also a performer. Bounds is a student of dance at Power and Grace School of Performing Arts in Shreveport. She has been recognized for her proficiency in ballet with appearances on “the big stage.”

Recently she performed with the Moscow Ballet at the Strand Theatre in Shreveport. She danced in “The Nutcracker” recently. Last spring Bounds danced in “The Tale As Old As Time,” also at the Strand.

Bounds was congratulated by School Superintendent Alison Hughes and presented a certificate of achievement. Hughes said, “I would like to highlight one of our Red River Junior High students. She is an honor student and member of Beta Club. She sings in the Red River School Choir. She enjoys dancing, playing the piano, singing and reading.”

Hughes announced that Bounds would be one of 30 dancers invited to New York for the opportunity of a lifetime. Hughes said, “She will dance on a Broadway stage, meet some of the cast from various Broadway productions. She will also have the chance to dance in Times Square.”

Bake Sale To Benefit Fire Department

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There will be a bake sale at Rivertown Market on Saturday. The Auxiliary of the fire department will have lots of goodies for sale just in time for Thanksgiving.

Cyndy Freeman said, “The Red River Fire Auxiliary is a support group for the Red River Parishwide Fire Protection District. We have multiple fundraisers throughout the year to be able to help provide rehydration meals for our firemen on long scenes and provide them an annual fire banquet. We will be having a bake sale at Rivertown Market on November 17 at 9:00 to 2:00 to help with these costs.

“If anyone is interested in helping with our group, we have our monthly meetings the 1st Thursday of the month at 6:00pm at the new Central Fire Station.”

4-H Challenge Camp

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Registrations are being accepted for the 2019 4-H Challenge Camp for 7th and 8th grade students. The camp will be held February 21st and 22nd at Clara Springs Camp in Pelican.

Red River 4-H posted on their Facebook page, “Very Excited about this Camp!! Not at Grant Walker this year. Just over the interstate at Clara Springs!!! Going to need some counselors for this camp too! So all our trained counselors let me know if you want to go!!!”

Registration deadline isn’t until January 21th of next year and cost is $70. Challenge Camp might be a great Christmas gift for the 4-H member in your family or church.

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State President Honored

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The Grand Bayou Resort was the site of a testimonial dinner honoring the State President of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary. She is Angela McCoy of the Coushatta Auxiliary 7287. The testimonial last Saturday night was attended by VFW and Auxiliary officers and members from across Louisiana.

Speakers included the State Commander of the VFW, Matthew West. He complimented McCoy, “All the VFW gives you a round of applause for the direction you give to the Auxiliary. We could do nothing in the VFW without the strong support of the Auxiliary. Congratulations on your day and I wish you much success.”

The featured speaker of the evening was retired Colonel Don Coleman. He recalled the support the local VFW Post and Auxiliary gave to the ROTC program at Red River High. “We had a tremendous relationship,” said Coleman, who headed the ROTC program here prior to his retirement several years ago. He said, “The VFW and Auxiliary were tireless in their support of veterans, the military and the local community. Even as busy as you were, you always had time to work with and support ROTC.”

McCoy thanked the guests for taking time to attend her testimonial on a busy Veterans Day weekend. McCoy said, “To each of you I say ‘thank you’ for the kindness, assistance and support given by so many who served and are serving in leadership roles.” She thanked members of her staff and of the VFW for supporting her efforts this year. McCoy concluded by thanking her family, “To my husband, Barry thank you for your support, guidance and love. And I thank my children for always being there for me.”

McCoy will serve as President of the Louisiana VFW Auxiliary through June of next year. Another member of the local Auxiliary is in line to become President in several years. Ramel Fields is the state Chaplin and in line for the presidency in several years.

Two School Employees Honored

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Employee of the months of October and November were celebrated at the school board Monday night. The honors are presented by the school board’s insurance agent.

October Employee of the Month is Ossie Lewis of Red River Junior High. He was nominated by Principal Mike Peter. He described Lewis as “the first one to get to school in the morning.” In his nomination statement, Peter said, “Mr. Ossie was chosen because of his willingness to adapt. In addition to his regular duties, he helps monitor students in the gym. Lewis has build beautiful bookshelves and podiums for the teachers If there is a need and Ossie can fix it, he will.” And Peter added Lewis “has been very instrumental in keeping the school safe and working with the construction that is going to start.”

For the month of November, John Hallman of Red River High was chosen Employee of the Month. Principal JC Dickey nominated Hallman calling him “one of the most deserving employee of the month recipients ever.” Dickey said, “Each day he leads his team to keep our campus looking and operating at its best, but he is also one of Red River’s biggest fans. He loves the school and encourages me to keep trying new things.” Dickey concluded with, “One of my favorite things about Mr. John is that at every basketball game I know exactly where to find him sitting with his wife, taking her own scorebook, cheering on the Dogs.”

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Two Arrested Following Stop for Racing


On Sunday afternoon two individuals were stopped for racing each other on Hwy 480. The Sheriff’s Office stopped the two on the Red Oak Road just south of the Courthouse.

While investigating the incident, illegal drugs were found on one of the two men. Deputies also discovered the other man had outstanding warrants from Natchitoches Parish.

Oquez Zaquon Allen was charged with possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, drag racing and racing on public roads.

Rob Tirell Moore was held on fugitive warrants from the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office on attempted theft, simple criminal damage to property over $500 but less than $50,000 and a fugitive warrant for theft over $25,000. Moore was issued a traffic citation for drag racing.

ETC… for Friday November 16th


Thanksgiving is approaching next week. Begin your Thanksgiving celebrations with the Community Thanksgiving Service Sunday night. First United Methodist Church on Front Street will host the evening service. Bro. Nathan Davis of First Baptist Church will bring the message. Music will be provided by Elizabeth Full Gospel Baptist Church.

Today is the final day of the Christmas Open House at Mabile’s Corner Pharmacy. Hours are 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) filed legislation titled the Income Verification Act of 2018 to reduce fraud in taxpayer-funded government assistance programs by requiring states to use federal tax information to verify income eligibility. The requirement would apply to the Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) programs.

The bill comes just days after the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s Office revealed the results of a random sample showing that 82 of 100 Medicaid recipients in Louisiana exceeded income requirements. The Legislative Auditor’s Office projects the state wasted as much as $61.6 million on ineligible Medicaid recipients.

American Indian crafts people from Louisiana and adjacent states will demonstrate and sell their work at Northwestern State University on Saturday, Dec. 1. The annual American Indian Crafts Day will be held Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Williamson Museum on the second floor of Kyser Hall. Admission is free and open to the public.

Winter Arrives

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Winter blew into Red River Parish Tuesday as temperatures dropped. There were reports of snow all around, and some sleet fell at the Journal office.

The National Weather Service at Shreveport said, “Strong cold air advection will continue to penetrate Deep East Texas into all of Northern Louisiana such that freezing temperatures will be possible across these areas late tonight through mid morning on Wednesday.”

We have experienced lots of rain in recent days. The Red River and those streams flowing into it are near bank full. Some water is even higher in places. For the next day or so there is forecast to be no rain but it will be very cold. As you are waking up this morning (Wednesday) the temperatures should be in the low 30s, possibly dropping to freezing before the sun comes up to warm the day. Wednesday night-Thursday morning lows are forecast to dip into the upper 20s.

Red River Schools Make Progress!

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By Superintendent Alison Hughes

All schools in Red River Parish increased in performance points for the 2018 school year in both the old and new formulas for classifying school performance.

Red River High School, the flagship school of the district, is now labeled a “B” school in the state. Their progress of more than 9 pts in several indicators is admirable. We are very proud of the work they are doing to help students graduate with meaningful diplomas.

Red River Parish School District increased and now has a letter grade of a “C” in the new formula. In the old formula, the District grew by more than 5 pts. The District was given letter grades of “A” in graduation rate and strength of diploma. The greatest area of concern is the K8 & High School Assessment index, which purely measures the level of achievement of individual students on the LEAP 2025 exam. Although the District grew in the old formula by more than 5pts, in the new formula, while still showing growth, the District scored a 42.4. However, a “C” grade was awarded in the new formula for progress toward mastery which means that although some students did not score mastery on the LEAP test, they did make projected growth.

Although the state has once again changed the formula by which schools are rated, the comparison of the old 2017 formula to the old 2018 formula allows a true picture of growth.

Red River High grew 9.4 pts in SPS.

Red River Jr. High grew 2.6 pts in SPS.

Red River Elementary grew 4.4 pts in SPS.

This growth is reflected in the ratings of “B” awarded to Red River High School and Red River Elementary in student progress toward Mastery. This significant increase proves that these schools have implemented powerful change that positively impacts individual students on a daily basis. Red River Jr. High was rated a “C” in this category and shows improvement with each benchmark.

The solid growth shown by our schools can be attributed to sweeping changes in expectations, curriculum, and professional development for all teachers. Teachers and Administrators are now more acutely aware of the expectations of the new high stakes testing and are addressing individual student needs in progressing toward proficiency.

Change is difficult and overwhelming change takes time but the work of the past three years is now paying off. We have implemented a new curriculum in ELA, Math, Science and Social Studies. We have changed the grading system for all students to reflect true mastery of content. We are spending more time in professional development than ever before and our staff of now highly trained teachers are performing expertly in the classroom. While we are not where we would like to be as far as school ratings, we know that our dedicated, professional, and caring staff at Red River Parish Schools are working to achieve this level of growth for the next 5 years.