66 Juniors Get Their Rings

The senior class of 2020 at Red River High School is getting ready to take over.  They are still juniors for a few days, however they got their rings last week and soon they will be the class everyone strives to reach.

Here is the list of the Class of 2020:

Landon Allen, Brandon Allums, Madelyn Allums, Tyriq Beavers, Marcus Bonner, Kenneth Bradley, Jr., Latreveion Brewer, Julius Brisker, Tommy Brisker, Alexandria Brown, Tachandra Brown, Danielle Burton, Shanterrica Calhoun, Madison Castello, Mar’Quira Christor, Mallory Coleman, Dakota Collins, Skye Davis, Sydney Davis, Isiash Demease, Jacob Durr, Austin Freeman, Tamaron Gaddison, Austin Grigg, Aaliyah Henderson, Kiara Horton, Johntraver Hymes, Chrystal Jackson, Alexis Jones, Dakota Keaton, Khristian Kerby, Aundrea Lawson, Camryn Layfield, Key’Aira Lewis, Makaila Lewis, Sha’Mya Lewis, Ka’Lexcia McCray, Jaylen McDonald, Laporcha Miller, Lucas Mims, Qylil Mosely, Nicholas Narvaez, Schelby Narvaez, Kiefer Nealy, Morgyn Payne, Brittney Perkins, Hannah Pickett, Elisa Ramirez, Zaymere Reed, Zachary Riolo, Jaden Salard, Emmanuel Scott, Jayden Scott, Ashton Smith, Saruenon Subwimol, Sha’  Cilyn Taylor, Hailey Thompson, Shronica Triggs, Savannah Vines, Markell Washington, George Whitaker, Lanautica Williams, Taylor Williams, Shamya Wilson, Seth Wimberly, and Keyanna Winn.

Many of those names may be familiar to you.  They participate in various academic and sports activities at the school.  And they are making an impact on our community.

Beard Announces Run for Assessor

Dovie Neal Beard has announced that she will be a candidate for Red River Parish Assessor in the October 12, 2019 primary election. Long-time Assessor, Becky Craig, is retiring at the end of the current term and Beard is seeking to fill the post.

Beard has been employed in the Assessor’s Office for over 22 years, during which  she has been directly involved in almost every aspect of the operation of the office.

She is a Certified Louisiana Deputy Assessor, having successfully completed 365 hours  of training courses with the International Association of Assessing Officers.  Prior to her  employment with the Assessor’s Office, Beard completed an associate degree in Office Management.

Beard,who is a lifelong resident of Red River Parish, is married to Shawn Beard  and has four children and eight grandchildren.  She is the daughter of the late Ellis and Inez Giddings.  She is an active member of Martin Baptist Church.

In issuing her announcement, Beard stated “With Becky’s retirement, I feel  the citizens of Red River Parish have an opportunity to elect a person who will continue the  high level of service they are used to receiving from the Assessor’s Office.  Because of  the continued updates and improvements over the past years, the Assessor’s Office is as modern and up-to-date as any in the State of Louisiana. As your assessor, I will continue to make improvements to keep it in this condition.

“As a proud native of Red River Parish, I have a strong desire to serve you, the citizens of our parish. My years of experience and my knowledge of all aspects of the operations of the office, combined with my love of this parish, make me uniquely qualified to serve as your Assessor.

My duties have included property transfers, preparation of ownership plats, appraisals, verification and drafting of legal descriptions, compiling millage rates, tax roll abstracts, and assisting in the submission of the annual tax roll to the Louisiana Tax Commission.

“During the past 22-plus years, I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting and helping people through the Assessor’s Office. I have been helping you with your homestead exemption, property descriptions, and other matters and have always tried to treat every person respectfully and fairly, the way I would want to be treated, myself. This will be the way I will continue to conduct myself as yourAssessor.

“My promise to you is that I will do my very best to operate a fair and efficient  office.  I pledge to you, the Citizens of Red River Parish, that I will always maintain an open-door policy. I will be out to meet as many people as possible in the upcoming  months. If I miss you, since I am still working, I am asking for your vote, your support, and your prayers. It would be an honor to be yourAssessor.”

Annual Car Show Moved Downtown

The Coushatta Red River Chamber of Commerce moved the annual spring car show to downtown Coushatta. Local and out of town auto enthusiasts turned out to park up and down Front Street.  And vendors had plenty of space to offer their wares and some scrumptious food.

Despite threatening skies twenty-six vehicles entered the event.  As you can see from the photos there was plenty of “show-room fresh” iron lining the street. 

Chamber President Karen Squires said, “The move to Front Street has been amazing.  It will open up so much more opportunity to grow the show in coming years.  It was a great start on Front Street.”

Similar thoughts were expressed by Mayor Johnny Cox, “More room for more cars and plenty of room for vendors is what we have on Front Street.  And there is plenty of parking and room to expand in the future.”  Cox and his sons brought their classic Cadillac convertible.

The judges came around shortly before noon and looked each ride over.  They checked under the hood also.  The trophy ceremony was originally scheduled for 2:30, however this was moved up to about 1:00 because of the threat of rain.

The trophies were awarded.  And each winning vehicle got a rousing round of applause from everyone in attendance. The last award was presented just before gentle drops of rain began to fall.

NSU and LSU Announce Red River Graduates

Eight local students attending Northwestern are among those who were recently awarded degrees. A news release said Northwestern State University awarded 948 degrees to 942 graduates during spring commencement Friday, May 10.  Spring 2019 graduates listed by hometown are as follows:

Coushatta – Destiney Coatney, Bachelor of Arts.  Sydney Anderson, Emily King, William Lee, Aston Lester, Sh’Kea Sibley, Mikailah Smith, and Caroline Wren, Bachelor of Science.


One Red River Parish student at LSU received an advanced degree from the Graduate School.  Receiving her master’s degree was Kelsey Marie Murray of Coushatta. 

Also Louisiana State University has published the May 2019 President’s Honor Roll.  One Red River student is listed.  He is Robert Y. LeGrande of Coushatta.  LeGrande was listed on the President’s Honor Roll from the University College Center for Advising and Counseling.

Undergraduate students enrolled in at least 15 credit hours who earned grade-point averages of 4.0 or higher during the semester are listed on the President’s Honor Roll.

DAR Recognition

Three Red River students were recognized by the Daughters of the American Revolution.  Each was presented a certificate and medallion at the May meeting of the School Board.  Superintendent Alison Hughes said, “This is a new award that is being made available to our students.”

Hughes introduced Norma Lester to the gathering.  Lester is the State Chair for American History of the Daughters of the American Revolution, a group made up of people who can trace their ancestry back to the revolutionary war.

Lester and Hughes presented the awards for excellence in History.  The Daughters of the American Revolution medals and certificates were awarded to :

Kinya Gray, a 5th grade student at Red River Elementary School; Mary Tilley, a 7th grade student at Red River Junior High School; and Laporsha Miller, an 11th grade student at Red River High School.  Tilley and Gray got their medals at the board meeting. Miller’s was to be presented at school.

Lester told the board there are several other DAR members in the parish and that they planned on making the selection of students who excel in history again next year.

Sandwich Sale Friday

What is for lunch Friday? Help yourself to a delicious pulled pork sandwich.  You will be helping the Junior Leaders of the 4-H in the parish.

The purpose of the fundraiser is to help the 4-H’s Junior Leaders go to 4-H University at LSU, Baton Rouge in June.

Sandwiches with chips and desert are $8.00 each.  Sandwich orders of five or more may be delivered.  Call the parish 4-H office to order.  Their number is 932-4342.

ETC… for Wednesday, May 22nd

The School Superintendent is putting out the word that all students will have classes today, Wednesday May 22nd.  A problem with the air conditioning at the Junior High School had school officials scrambling to find cool classrooms.  Testing is going, so despite the A/C problems Superintendent Hughes called parents to assure them that the kids will have a cool classroom for their tests Wednesday.

There is a fish fry Friday evening at Clara Springs camp.  Cost is $6.00.  There will be a balloon artist entertaining the crowd during the meal.

Cowboy Church is holding a one-day Vacation Bible School on Saturday June 1stfrom 10:00 am until 3:00 pm.  It is for ages 4 years through 6thgrade.

Red River Parish has received a tremendous amount of rain in recent days as major storm systems moved across northwest Louisiana.  However we may not recognize the blessing inside the rainfall.  Look at the map below indicating the number of tornadoes that have hit this part of the state.  Notice anything strange?  Red River is at zero.  That precipitation will run off eventually.  We have been blessed by the miss.

Our Assessor is Retiring

Red River Parish Assessor Becky Craig has announced that she will not seek re-election this fall.

Craig was hired as a part-time employee in 1982.  She was sworn in as Deputy Assessor in 1984 and has served as Assessor since 1997.

“Words can never express my sincere appreciation for the privilege to serve as Red River Assessor.  The trust and confidence you placed in me the past 22 years has been one of the greatest honors of my life.  I will forever cherish the people of our great parish and all the dear friends I have made over the course of the years.

“I would also like to extend my utmost gratitude to my staff for all their hard work and dedication through the years.  They are truly the foundation of the office.  We have a special relationship that is comparable to none.  After 36 years, leaving them and the rest of the employees in the courthouse will be very difficult to say the least!” 

Craig said she is excited about spending more time with her family and with her first grandchild, which is due in August of this year.

Craig’s term will officially end December 31, 2020.

Deputies Arrest Natchitoches Man on Drug and Firearms Charges

At approximately 11:00 p.m. on May 7, 2019 a Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy initiated a traffic stop on US Hwy 71 just north of Esperanza Road. The driver appeared nervous and subsequently granted permission for deputies to look inside his vehicle.

During the vehicle search, deputies discovered several drug related items in addition to a rifle that was in plain view. Items recovered included suspected synthetic marijuana, suspected methamphetamine, a burnt cigarette containing suspected synthetic marijuana and a package of cigarette papers. All items were collected as evidence.

Brandon D. Basco, W/M, age 26 of the 100 block of Dogwood Trail, Natchitoches, LA was taken into custody without incident and transported to the Red River Parish Jail for booking.

Basco was charged with one count each of the following: Possession of Firearm in Presence of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS), Possession of Schedule I Synthetic Cannabinoids, Possession of Schedule II CDS, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Proper Equipment Required on Vehicles.

His total bond was set at $11,000 and he remains incarcerated in the Red River Parish Jail.

School Board Recognizes Employees for Years of Service

At the end of each school year, the Red River Parish School Board recognizes loyal employees who have served 5, 10, 15, etc. years.  They are presented a certificate and service pin for service to the school system and to education.

At the May board meeting, Superintendent Alison Hughes made the presentations and personally congratulated each employee.  Here is the list:

Employees with five years of service are:  Crystal Briggs, Lindsay Cook, Charles Crockett, Dustie Gibson, Julie Inman, Megan Inman, Taylor Sesvold, and Nikki Smith.

Employees with ten years of service are:  Casey Bolyer, Etta Calhoun, Rachel Covington, Melinda Hardy, Kara McCoy, and Ronnie Williams, Jr.

Employees with fifteen years of service are:  Turischeva Bailey, Jennifer Breedlove, Misty Chelette, Jack Clark, Patience Danzy, Billy L. Henry, Janice LaCaze, Kelli Moseley, Sherry Pickett, Jacqueline Richmond, Jacqueline Smith, Debra Webb, Susan Williams, and Rachel Williamson.

Employees who have twenty years of service are:  Debbie Bamburg, Martha Davis, Michelle Deville, Peggy Key, Vanessa Lloyd, Persunda Raymond, Charles D. Rester, Cynthia Smith, and Lynda Swafford.

The list of employees with twenty-five years of service included:  Carol Davis, Shenell Deville, Ossie Lewis, Melissa Long, Shanna Moore, and Diane Newton.

Employees with thirty years of service are:  Mary Keith, Sharon Martin, and Cleve Miller.

Kathryn Anyan had thirty-five years of service to education.

Thomas Edwards received a certificate and pin for forty years of service.

And those with forty-five years of service were:  Doyle Bell, Lawanna Fowler, and Deborah Guidry.

The employees who received their recognition at the meeting last Monday night are shown in the photos accompanying this article. Superintendent Hughes thanked the teachers and other employees for their service to education.  She said, “We appreciate you guys very much.”