High School Names Teacher of the Year

The teacher of the year for the 2018-19 school year at Red River High is Rachel McCain Urda. The school posted a congratulatory note this week. 

School Superintendent Alison Hughes presented Urda a gift basket in front of her class. Urda teaches Algebra I. 

The school post said, “Congratulations to Red River High Schools Teacher of the Year Rachel McCain Urda. We are blessed to have her at our school. Thank you for all you do.”

How Healthy Are You?

Many people had that question answered for them Wednesday night. The HEART program came to Elizabeth Full Gospel Baptist Church on Highway 371 to offer free health screenings. The event was underwritten by the MLK Health Center and Pharmacy of Shreveport. They have been conducting health and wellness events in our parish for over a year. 

Church Pastor Richard Logan and Yashica Turner from the Health Unit took advantage of the screenings. So to find out more, this reporter signed up. It was quick and painless, and the health questions were easy to answer. First station was weight and blood pressure. All good so far. 

Then it was on to blood sugar and cholesterol screenings. These tests once required a blood draw being sent off to the lab, but not the case Wednesday night. A quick finger prick was all there was to it. The results were fed into a computer for a colorful one page print-out in about a minute. Again, all is good. 

Many of the questions dealt with lifestyle. Do you eat fried foods? Duh Bacon! Do you eat veggies? Yes. Smoke, drink alcohol, exercise regularly, and then they got into meddling. Just kidding. 

And I had my Body Mass Index read. Very good. Body fat is at 19.5%. 

In addition to these screenings there was information for men on Prostate Cancer screenings and PSA tests. That test was offered free at the event. 

And for ladies, information was presented on mammograms. They were making appointments for free mammograms. Spokesperson Essence Smith said they will have a mobile mammogram van back at Elizabeth Full Gospel Baptist Church on March 6th. Call Smith to set an appointment for a free mammogram at 318-227-2912, ext.5.

College Scout in Town

One of Red River’s outstanding basketball players is getting a lot of attention nationwide. Emaryeon McDonald is a sophomore this year. On Thursday morning Robert Kirby came to Coushatta from Georgetown University in Washington, DC just to see McDonald work out. 

The Journal caught up with Kirby and Emaryeon and his father Charski McDonald in the Red River gymnasium. While Emaryeon was sinking three pointers from deep right, Kirby said, “We are interested in him. We have made an offer to him for a full basketball scholarship.” And it is two years before he graduates. 

Kirby was very complimentary of Emaryeon’s family for encouraging him to follow up on the game. “Just keep working on the fundamentals. Keep pushing every day,” added Kirby. He told the Journal they hope to have young McDonald on their team and get to the Final Four during March Madness in not too many years.

RRES employee of Month

From Shenell Deville, Principal at Red River Elementary: 

For the 2018-2019 school year, Red River Elementary School (RRES) has adopted the theme “Game On Team.” Every month, we are recognizing staff members as our “Most Valuable Players” MVP. These faculty members are recognized for their attendance, positive spirit, team effort, and their motivation to do above and beyond. 

For the month of January our MVP Staff are Erikka Caldwell, Nurse’s Assistant, Callie Smith, Paraprofessional, Caroline Doughty, 1st Grade Teacher, and Hannah Kennedy, Kindergarten Teacher. 

RRES Staff Recognition Committee awarded the staff with a treat bag with their favorite snacks, a duty free lunch, a certificate, and picture on the MVP spotlight bulletin board. In addition, our our wonderful PAW Parents presented them with a box of decorative cookies from Southern Bakes.

Service Organization Benefits Red River Children

From Judy Cannon: 

The Beta Omicron-Louisiana Chapter of The Delta Kappa Gamma International Society participated in two projects for the 2018-2019 year. One of the projects was collecting reading books for the children at the Ware Youth Center. Mrs. Rhonda Flores chaired this committee and collected 80 books. 

Our second project was under garments and socks for Red River Elementary. The following members participated: Kay Easley, Carol Doyle, Pam Hesser (NW District Director), Sherry Bohannon, Karen Moseley, Rhonda Flores, Judy Cannon, Christy Suggs, Donna Prosperie, Jamie Lawrence, Heather Wren, Mary Ann Longino, Ashley Dees, Sheila Peter, Wanda Lemoine, Kelly Yelverton, Joy Cannon, Elaine Sessions and Christy Cannon. 

Delta Kappa Gamma International Society mission is to promote professional and personal growth of women educators and excellence in education.

Low Income Energy Assistance

Human hand touching illuminated lightbulb on gray background

It is time to certify for energy assistance funds for low income families in Red River Parish. The program is administered by the DeSoto Parish Police Jury’s Office of Community Services. 

If you have not received benefits in the past six months, call for an appointment to discuss your situation and make application. The number is 318-872-0880. 

Documentation required includes proof of income for household members, social security cards and valid ID, and proof of residency.

ETC… for Friday, January 18th

Saturday night is the monthly dance at the Council on Aging on Front Street. The Playmates will be performing so get a partner and your dancing shoes and enjoy the evening. Admission is $6.00. 

Louisiana Tech University’s online Professional Master of Business Administration (MBA) and online Master of Science in Engineering and Technology Management (MSEM) have been named to U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 list of Best Online Programs released today. The online MBA was ranked No. 77, up more than 50 spots from last year’s rank of 131 in the nation. The online MSEM received a ranking within the top 100 of best online engineering programs. 

Saturday night catch The Hoppers in concert at First Baptist Church. Admission is free however the church requests you call 932-4023 for tickets. It will help with their preparation process. Doors will open at 5:00 pm and the concert will begin at 6:00. 

Hoot of the Week! Terry Bradshaw as the Deer on The Masked Singer.

Wildlife and Fisheries Arrest Two for Hunting Violations

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents arrested two Coushatta men for alleged deer hunting violations on Dec. 21 in Desoto Parish. 

Agents arrested Phillip L. Morgan, 35, and Phillip M. Morgan, 60, for possession of an illegally taken deer, failure to wear hunter orange and criminal trespassing. 

LDWF agents received multiple complaints of people criminal trespassing on the Dolet Hills Mining Company property in Red River and Desoto Parishes. Agents setup surveillance on the property and came into contact with the subjects on Dec. 14. 

Through the investigation, agents determined the men were deer hunting on the property without permission, not wearing hunter orange and in possession of an illegally taken nine-point deer. 

Agents with the cooperation of the Dolet Hills Mining Company were able to obtain arrest warrants. On Dec. 21, agents arrested the men, and booked them into the Desoto Parish Detention Center. 

Possession of an illegally taken deer brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail. Failing to wear hunter orange carries up to a $50 fine and 15 days in jail. Criminal trespassing brings a $100 to $500 fine and up to 30 days in jail. 

The men may also face civil restitution totaling up to $2,033 for the replacement value of the illegally taken deer. 

Photos courtesy of the DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office

Gabe Firment Announces for State Representative

Dear Citizens of Red River Parish: 

My name is Gabe Firment and I am running for LA state representative in District 22 in 2019 because I am gravely concerned about our state and what the future holds for our children and grandchildren. The state of Louisiana has been blessed with abundant natural resources and is home to the greatest people in the world, however, decades of mismanagement, corruption, and good ole boy politics have decimated our communities and forced our family members to flee to other states to make a decent living. As your next state representative I will fight to bring jobs and opportunity to District 22, and will work tirelessly to make sure that the American dream is still attainable for anyone with a strong work ethic and a drive to succeed. 

I am happily married to the former Erica Miller of Pollock, who is a 5th grade teacher at Pollock Elementary School. We are the proud parents of 3 children, all of whom are enrolled in Grant Parish public schools. I have over 20 years of experience in the insurance and construction industries, and I have been a small business owner for more than 10 years. My family attends Pollock First Baptist Church where I am honored to serve as a deacon and Sunday School teacher. In addition to my service in our local church, I am an active member of the LaSalle/Grant camp of the Gideons International, and I have coached youth sports in Grant Parish for several years. I have a Bachelors degree in Public Administration from Louisiana College, and a Masters of Business Administration from LA Tech University. 

I am a true conservative who is sick and tired of politicians in Baton Rouge raising taxes on the hard-working middle class citizens of District 22 in order to grow government and further their personal agendas. Our local governmental officials are struggling to secure funding for failing water systems, crumbling roadways, and school safety while our elected officials in Baton Rouge are wasting billions of dollars on failed social welfare programs. As your state representative I will work with our elected officials in Grant, LaSalle, Natchitoches, Red River, and Winn parishes to find solutions to these problems. I have the experience, education, and determination to fight for good government that works for all people and communities in District 22. 

It is time for us to kick the career bureaucrats out of Baton Rouge and turn our state legislature over to men and women who will demand accountability, transparency, and fiscal responsibility from state government. If elected to serve as your state representative I will bring strong leadership, integrity, and common sense to the state capitol. Please join me on October 12, 2019 as we drain the swamp in Baton Rouge and give the people of this great state a government of the people, by the people, and for the people! For additional information about our campaign please call or text (318)201-6769, email 

gabeforstaterep@gmail,com or check out social media – facebook.com/Gabeforstaterep. Thank you for your support! 

Gabe Firment