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Columns

05/27/2013
Last year, I had only been employed at the Ruston Daily Leader only a few months when assigned to the Cook Baptist annual fish fry for service members, retired and active, and their spouses. While there, I took the time to visit with veterans and...
05/25/2013
Another graduation season ends. And for 35 years, I’ve thought of the same thing when this heralded time rolls around. It was a beautiful and extra-special day in May 1977 because daddy was home and not at work. We enjoyed swimming in the lake, a...
05/25/2013
Tomorrow is day of gratitude and reflection. It is not just “another” holiday. On Memorial Day, many of us will have the day off from regularly scheduled work. We will gather with families. We will barbecue. Some of us might make a meager attempt to...
05/25/2013
Question: I am in my mid-thirties and have a professional practice. After reading an article recently, I realized that I am not well protected in the event I become disabled. How much disability coverage should I have and is there a big difference...
05/25/2013
This month, the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a milestone, when, for the first time, it closed above 15,000. Of course, 15,000 is a nice, round number, and it sounds pretty big — but what does it mean to you, as an individual investor? Is it...
05/25/2013
Smart investing often involves choosing the right assets to meet your specific needs. It can also involve holding those investments in the right types of accounts — particularly when it comes to retirement savings. When managing your retirement...
05/25/2013
Thin as a javelin and weighing no more than a paperweight, Brian Lee “Butch” Smart would have been the last person you would have thought would give cancer a run for its money. When he discovered that he had the unwavering disease a dozen years ago...
05/25/2013
Did you ever have a dream you had long decided might never happen? My dream started years ago when Temple Baptist Church was taking a group to New York City. I had promised myself at age 18, when I went there with the Louisiana Tech University girls...
05/25/2013
Tomorrow, our nation will celebrate Memorial Day as we take time to remember those who have literally given their lives to serve our nation. Men and women, fathers and mothers, sons and daughters who signed up, served and sacrificed. The idea of...
05/24/2013
Are you one of those people who suffer from insomnia? Sleep is a major problem for many Americans, according to a new report that acts as a kind of "state-of-insomnia" in the U.S. The review, published by the medical journal The Lancet, finds that...
05/24/2013
Much to the delight of students and teachers, the summer break is now upon us. Hot weather and whines of “I’m bored” will undoubtedly be here before long, so take a moment today to register your child for North Central Louisiana Arts Council’s...
05/23/2013
That annoying beeping, sounding much like a giant utility truck in reverse gear, echoed through the air of northwest Ruston Wednesday night. Thank goodness there was barely a cloud in the sky. The City of Ruston tested (it was supposed to be a...
05/22/2013
Some of the old pictures are brown-tones of downtown Ruston when Trenton and Vienna streets were just barely paved and open to two-way traffic. One photo, taken the year I was born, shows railroad waiting platforms on either side of Trenton. The...
05/21/2013
Someone asked me the question the other day, “Why does the 4-H program still teach kids to raise animals when so few people start careers in livestock these days?” Reasonable enough question, but the 4-H livestock projects aren’t only about teaching...
05/21/2013
I have never been an Angelina Jolie fan. I never quite got over what many people — probably Ms. Aniston included — viewed as her theft of one Mr. Brad Pitt, teen heartthrob to the generation just proceeding my own, from girl-next-door beauty...
05/20/2013
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a...
05/19/2013
The recent dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas marked another chapter in chronicling the American Presidency and, as one of the many people involved in making the event a success, I had a ringside seat to a moment in...
05/18/2013
The beards, duck calls and “Happy, Happy, Happy” recitations are everywhere. There is absolutely no getting away from the Robertsons. I am talking, of course, about Phil Robertson and the famous “Duck Dynasty” family.
05/18/2013
Interest rates are at historic lows. But they will rise eventually. If you invest in fixed-income vehicles, such as bonds, what might higher rates mean for you? As is almost always the case in the investment world, there’s no simple answer. First,...
05/18/2013
It used to be relatively simple to plan for retirement: You’d just circle the date on the calendar when your pension was set to kick in and have your co-workers start planning your send-off party. But that was then. These days, retirement planning...