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December 28th

Looking back at a good year

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When I consider the year just ending, it beats the previous year, hands down. No quadruple heart bypass surgery; no totally missing turkey season. 2013 has been a good year overall.
Feb. 1 — When I married Kay soon to be 30 years ago, she brought into our relationship a longing and desire for something that finally found its way into a special parking spot at our house. She bought the Mustang she’d wanted since she was 16.

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Lake Claiborne provides dynamic fishing, views

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HOMER (AP) — With red-crusted trees trimming the foggy horizon, fishing on Lake Claiborne offers some dynamic viewing on a December day — even if you have to listen to Homer Humphreys’ stories dotted with an occasional exaggeration.

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Remember history and common sense

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Question: Looking back at 2013, I think I spent most of the year waiting for the other shoe to drop. And it never happened. I’m not sure whether or not to think things are fine again, or whether that other shoe will drop early in 2014. What are the chances of us going into another financial crisis this year?
Answer: I believe long-term optimism is the realism of history and common sense. On the other hand, what’s in store for 2014 is anyone’s guess. The odds of a genuine financial crisis look pretty low at this point.

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Study how to prepare for stock market swings

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Crises that buffet the financial markets have become commonplace in recent years: 2008’s banking crisis, the housing market implosion, credit woes at home and abroad, currency fluctuations, natural disasters.
As a result, stock prices have been extremely volatile, sometimes rising or falling by 10 percent or more in a matter of weeks — or even days.
“The past couple of years have been challenging for investors, to say the least,” said Gary Thayer, chief macro strategist for the advisory services group of Wells Fargo Advisors.

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Journey toward financial security this new year

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­­­­Now that another year is ending, it’s a good time to take stock of where you are on your journey toward financial security. Of course, you could find many different “measuring sticks” to assess your progress, but you can certainly gain considerable information just by asking yourself some basic questions.
Here are a few to consider:
• How close am I to my retirement goals?

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Penny Perfect holds ribbon cutting

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The Ruston Lincoln Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting at Penny Perfect on Oct. 17 at 110 West Park Avenue in Ruston.
Penny Perfect is owned and operated by Melissa Bullock. For as long as Melissa can remember, her mother, Penny has insisted on having everything perfectly in place and her dad coined the phrase “Penny Perfect,” which became the name of Melissa’s dream shop.
Penny Perfect is an affordably priced gift shop with decorations, toys, greeting cards, Louisiana Tech gifts and much more.

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Celebrate responsibly

Many residents across the parish will hold celebrations over the next few days to herald in a new year. At some of these celebrations, residents will choose to drink alcohol.
While drinking is not illegal, it is illegal for someone who is intoxicated to get behind the wheel of a car, which is why local law enforcement agents will be out in full force to make sure the roads are safe.

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Enemies not intimidated by carrier

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During my career as an army pilot in the 1960s, I flew the OV-1 Mohawk. It was a twin-engine turbo-prop costing $3 million. The lataest US military jet, F-35C, has an average cost of $120 million each and will be utilized by all three branches of service. The cost of each is ongoing by the requirement for crew, fuel and maintenance. Seventy-five F-35s will be stationed aboard the new USS Gerald R. Ford CVN-78.

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Resolve to live more in 2014

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Some of us — myself included — get up each morning, go to work, eat dinner, go to sleep and start again.
Many of us get so caught up in the business of living that we forget about the art.
Instead of working so we can live (a necessary thing in this society we’ve created), many of us end up living so we can work. The days feel long, the nights too short and the weeks, months and years fly by.

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Expansions can be good things

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We call it the “season to be jolly” in one of our holiday songs, but maybe it was also a season of expansion.
“Expansions” can be positive or negative. Perhaps you can relate to some of these post-holiday thoughts and garner a smile.
On the “good” side of expansion, I was quite fortunate to have seen a number of friends and relatives. Some I saw at church, but most of my reunion time was at the grocery store. I think that I made so many trips that the managers were thinking “here he comes again.” It is amazing how many people one gets to see there.

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