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Archive - Sep 18, 2012

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Local contracts West Nile Virus

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Officials encourage residents to take precautions when outside

Residents need to take extra special care when playing and working outside, as Ruston has had its first confirmed case of West Nile Virus since 2007.
Keith Jesselink, water utilities superintendent for the city of Ruston, said the state notified the city that a case of the virus was confirmed last week.
“There was another case of a resident who lived here in 2007, but that person did not contract the West Nile Virus here,” Jesselink said.

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Katrina evacuee finds new home in Ruston

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Brenda Boyle didn’t expect to find a new home when she evacuated from her New Orleans home ahead of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Boyle, along with several family members ranging from her 18 month-old great grandson to her 87-year-old mother, made the decision to evacuate before the storm really hit.
“We stopped at every hotel we saw, and they had nothing for nine people,” Boyle said. “We decided we weren’t going to leave each other and kept driving.”

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P&Z OKs NLWS site

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Commission extends zoning hearing through late October

A flurry of construction work will likely soon fill the grounds of New Living Word Church and School, as the group received conditional use approval from the Ruston Planning and Zoning Commission on Monday night.
After an extended discussion about fencing, trees and safety, commission members voted unanimously to recommend to the city that the church, which is zoned as residential area but also includes the school, receive a new conditional use permit. This conditional use includes approval to move forward with building a two-story school building, which the Rev. Jerry Baldwin, who serves as principal, said will be able to house nearly 400 students upon completion.

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Committee formed to replace Tech president

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Public forum set for Sept. 25

University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors Chair Wayne Parker announces the appointment of 11 members to the Louisiana Tech University Presidential Search Committee. The committee will hold its first meeting and a public forum on the Ruston campus on Sept. 25.
After 46 years of service including 26 years as president, Dan Reneau will retire from Louisiana Tech University on June 30, 2013.

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GSU graduate enrollment leaps

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GRAMBLING — Grambling State University’s enrollment has increased at the undergraduate and graduate levels as the institution’s administration continues to work to enhance its efforts with recruitment, admissions and retention.
Based on preliminary, unofficial university numbers, the fall 2012 numbers are in, showing a 1.3 percent increase in undergraduate enrollment and a whopping 13 percent increase in graduate enrollment. Total enrollment increased from 5,207 in fall 2011 to 5,277 in fall 2012. At the graduate level, 746 graduate students were enrolled in fall 2011 and 843 are enrolled this fall.

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September is a transitional period

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This cooler weather has brought many gardeners out of the comfort of the air conditioner and itching to plant new flower gardens, but we must remember that we are in a transitional period between the peak of warm season annual flowers and the planting of cool season annuals. September is usually still too warm to transplant true cool season annuals.

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B&B, NCLAC donate proceeds to DART

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Recently, the B & B Theatre, in conjunction with the North Central Louisiana Arts Council, presented David Mamet’s play “Oleanna” at the Norton Building in historic downtown Ruston. As part of the production, the B & B Theatre partnered with the Domestic Abuse Resistance Team (DART) and pledged to donate half of the ticket proceeds from the production to help combat domestic abuse.

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Help end PTSD stigma

Throughout the history of this country, brave men and women have been willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to protect us.
Despite the homage we pay them on Veterans Day and other similar days of remembrance, the reality is that as a society we pay them back with fear and distrust. They serve our country and then we refuse to allow them the chance to serve society in other ways on the home front.

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4-H investment worth it

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Recently I was asked what is the return on the investment on the money that governing bodies put into the 4-H youth development program. After thinking about that answer, you have to come to the conclusion that measurement is very difficult to determine.
We can’t look at young people as a commodity that we invest in and then turn around to make an instant profit. I believe that we have to consider young people a commodity that we must invest in for the future of our community.

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Tradesmen deserve our respect, thanks

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For most of my life, I’ve watched my dad labor away fixing other people’s cars — usually at a steep discount — outside our home. Each morning, he would rise early, go to work — first as a mechanic at a service station, then later with the city’s motor pool — then come home and work into the night on various projects.
He kept food on the table, clothes on our back and a roof above our heads. Sure, it wasn’t a mansion, but it was a home –— one that we never feared the bank would take away.

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