Police Jury Asked to Join Opioid Litigation

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The Red River Parish Police Jury is being asked to join a nationwide series of lawsuits growing out of the opioid crisis. Several attorneys representing other police juries in the state made a proposal to the jury at the September meeting.

Present were Walter May, John Young and other attorneys representing a group of law firms who are seeking to represent the Police Jury in the suits. May said, “Our group represents 22 police juries in Louisiana. All over the country local bodies are getting involved.” Young said the suit includes “RICO or racketeering legislation. We believe we can bring in elements of RICO which will give treble (triple) damages.” Young added, “There is no political downside to suing opioid manufacturers. No one is coming to their defense.”

Young went on to say, “The drug companies are making billions of dollars and sticking the taxpayers with the cost of dealing with victims. Manufacturers had a fraudulent marketing campaign promoting opioids as safe and denying risks.”

Jury President Shawn Beard told the Journal afterward that he was caught by surprise by their presentation. Beard and other jurors questioned the attorneys on what they were proposing. They also questioned the deadline to join the suit, which is only a month away. The attorneys promised to send more detailed materials on the case, a copy of their contract they said had the approval of the Louisiana Attorney General and a schedule of compensation the law firms would get from any settlement. Beard said the members of the jury would take a look and consider what action to take.

Voter Registration Week

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Next week is Voter Registration Week across Louisiana. The emphasis will be on to get citizens who are not registered to do so before the fall elections. Locally there are several school board district races to be decided. Statewide there is the Secretary of State race. And all of Louisiana’s US Representative seats are being contested.

In Red River Parish, acting Registrar of Voters Debra Jones told The Journal, “I will be delivering Voter Registration Applications to the Library and to the Council on Aging. Or you may register at the Registrar’s office in the Courthouse.

Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin is joining registrars of voters across the state the week of Sept. 24-28, 2018 to host Voter Registration Week activities aimed at registering eligible citizens to vote. The next regularly scheduled election in Louisiana is the congressional primary on Tuesday, Nov. 6. Louisiana’s registration push also coincides with National Voter Registration Day on Tuesday, Sept. 25.

“The first step to participating in the electoral process is registering to vote,” said Ardoin. “This fall, Louisianians will choose their congressional representation, as well as a host of other local races and propositions. Get registered today so your voice can be heard on Election Day.”

Louisiana was one of the first states in the nation to implement an easy, convenient online voter registration portal. Citizens with a valid Louisiana driver’s license or Louisiana Special ID card can register online 24 hours a day, seven days a week from the convenience of their home or office by visiting https://voterportal.sos.la.gov.

Residents of Louisiana can also register in person at their parish Registrar of Voters Office, when they apply for/renew their driver’s license at any Office of Motor Vehicles or when obtaining services at public assistance agencies and Armed Forces recruitment offices.

To register and vote in Louisiana individuals must:
• _be a U.S. citizen;
• _be at least 17 years old (16 years old if registering in person at the Registrar of Voters Office or at the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles) to register and 18 years old prior to the next election to vote;
• _not be under an order of imprisonment for conviction of a felony;
• _not be under a judgment of full interdiction for mental incompetence or partial interdiction with suspension of voting rights;
• _be a resident in the state and parish in which you seek to register and vote;
• _apply at least 20 days prior to an election if registering online or 30 days prior to an election if registering in person or by mail.

Susan Taylor Seeks Re-election to School Board

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I, Susan Taylor, ask the voters of District 7 to cast your vote for Me.

Education has been in the forefront of my life for as long as I can remember and the children of Red River Parish have been my passion for more than 40 years.

I pledge to continue to work for more opportunities for all students, pay for all employees that is competitive with or surpassing surrounding parishes, making sure quality teachers prepare our students for future success, and creating policies that support the laws and needs of our parish.

We have made tremendous changes in the past four years. We have created a system that rewards excellence in teaching. We are beginning to show growth to mastery for students in high stakes testing, and are promoting our own teachers and employees to leadership roles.

We need to keep moving forward. We cannot take a step back. Help me to continue to champion this fight for our children. Help me to serve the people of District 7 and the children I so dearly love.

Vote # 54, Susan Taylor, School Board District 7.

More Lifesaving Devices on the Way

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New lifesaving equipment will be installed in public buildings and schools across the parish soon. Office of Homeland Security head Shawn Hubbard told the police jury this month a grant from the US Department of Homeland Security is making the purchase possible.

Hubbard said Automatic External Defibrillators or AEDs would be posted in public buildings, including schools, in Red River Parish. The AEDs have pads for both children and adults. In addition the grant included tourniquets for sheriff’s deputies to use in emergencies.

Workers and other personnel at the schools and public facilities will be given training on how to use the AEDs to save lives. Hubbard said that Steven Johnson has volunteered EMS to train users at no cost.

Learning is Rewarding

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The Red RES PAW Parents recently awarded students for Mastery and Advanced scores on the LEAP 21 test. The tests were given in April and scores came in this summer.

PAW Parents along with students raised money from World’s Finest Chocolate to purchase prizes. Students had a choice between a tablet, action camera or a bike if they scored Mastery or Advanced. Perfect scores would receive $100.

In addition to each student getting an individual prize, a raffle was held for some major prizes. They included things like a TV, Xbox, Drone, Basketball goal, gift card, and Chromebook to name a few.

The kids held up their end of the deal and parents came through with the prizes. 111 students received prizes. All prizes have been ordered and the parents will be notified once they arrive for pick up.

RRES is proud of each child who took the test and did their best. PAW hopes this little incentive helps give the students the drive to do even better for 2018-19.

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ETC… for September 19th

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Guess who The Journal ran into last weekend? It is Virginia Webb who was sitting in Ronald Webb’s 1947 Ford Coupe. Virginia drove the old Ford to Bossier City for the 25th annual Mustang and Ford show put on by the Mustang Club. A nice contingent from Red River went along for the daylong event.

Last Friday night there was a great night of music, food and fellowship at Liberty Baptist Church. Here is their post from Facebook, “Our annual Wild Game Supper went great! We had Stuart Shaw and his best friend come and give a great presentation and one of our very own, Jennifer Breedlove, sang a few songs with God’s Country. There was great food and fellowship! Glory to God for allowing us to have this event and tell people about Him!”

After reading the news do you ever feel like saying, “Tell me something I didn’t know?” Well this is one of those type items. The National Weather Service in Shreveport has posted that summer has returned! Hot afternoon temperatures!
The Journal’s own Cajun Weather Rock is hanging steady and it is hot and dry. That seems correct. There is a 50% or better chance of rain on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The Journal would like to apologize to our Riverdale Academy football fans. Many of you tried to listen to the Riverdale-Collegiate Christian Academy game Friday night. There were technical reasons it could not be broadcast including threatening storms and a “press box” that our crew did not think was safe or would offer any protection from precipitation or lightning. See the picture below.

Congratulations to both local football teams. Friday night Riverdale defeated CCA 10 to 6. The Bulldogs from Red River traveled to Mansfield and came back with a 9 to 6 victory.

Officer Injured on Highway 1

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A Louisiana Department of Public Safety officer is recovering after undergoing surgery for injuries sustained in a vehicle wreck last Friday. The accident happened on Highway 1 and as you can see from the photos his vehicle was heavily damaged.

Troop G Public Information Officer Glenn Younger confirmed the accident and told the Journal, “He has come through surgery and is recovering now.” Younger identified the officer as Sergeant Bradley Salter.

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Scholarships Available to Students

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Students in Kindergarten through 12th grade may participate in one of the patriotic programs offered by Coushatta’s Veterans of Foreign Wars. Students in public, private and home school situations are eligible.

This week entry materials were distributed to schools in Red River and Bienville parishes. Students in Kindergarten through 4th grade have art projects to complete. Fifth graders write an essay on “How I Honor Veterans.” Sixth through 8th graders have 300 word Patriot’s Pen essays to write. High school students perform an audio essay on a patriotic theme.

The VFW awards scholarships for the best entries in each category. The top scholarship for the Voice of Democracy national winner is $30,000. There are other amounts for local, district and state winners.

The entries must be completed and submitted to no later than October 31st. The post will gather the entries from schools on Monday, October 29th. Or they may be mailed directly to VFW Post 7287, P.O. Box 712, Coushatta, LA 71019. To get further information, call the post at 318-932-6557.

The H.E.A.R.T. Program Wants To Partner With Your Congregation!

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This program is designed to empower participants with awareness about their risk factors for chronic conditions through an array of health screenings, which include blood pressure, blood glucose, cholesterol, BMI, and on-site prostate and mammogram screenings. The program is free and open to the public.

Each health screening event is staffed with a registered nurse to review screening results with individuals and a registered dietitian to answer any questions about diets and their impact on chronic conditions.

The H.E.A.R.T. team wants to partner with your congregation on a free health screening event and healthy living program. The healthy living program will include weekly classes featuring different topics and activities to help participants live their healthiest life together in community.

Please email Essence Smith, HEART Community Engagement Coordinator, at essence@mlkhealth.org or call her at 318.227.2912, ext. 5.