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Columns

01/25/2016
Ten years. Hard to believe, but that’s how long it’s been since Paul Millsap departed Louisiana Tech University with still one season of eligibility remaining and an arm full of NCAA rebounding championships. At the time —2006 — I thought he wasn’t...
01/25/2016
Since I began serving as the Domestic Abuse Resistance Team’s Community Advocate in August 2012, I have written over 125 columns for the Ruston Daily Leader. As a New Year project, I organized the unwieldy folder in which all of DART’s publicity...
01/23/2016
This week marked a 13-year low for the oil industry, and while the oil and gas companies seem to be booming in Lincoln Parish, that isn’t the case for the majority of our state or our country. Most of my family works in some sector of the oil...
01/23/2016
Question: What are the financial risks I need to be concerned about when I retire? Answer: Most of the same ones you have now, plus a few more. If you are about to voluntarily retire, you probably have more money than you’ve ever had in your life....
01/23/2016
Friday is National Puzzle Day, with puzzle celebrations and events taking place at museums, libraries and other venues across the country. Why this date was chosen – or why National Puzzle Day even exists — is something of a mystery. But as an...
01/23/2016
With taxes and dividend income, seasoned investors have learned the special qualified dividend treatment can increase their after-tax return. They tend to find some dividend-paying stocks and mutual funds attractive because their total return...
01/23/2016
I’ll ask for a show of hands: How many of you have experienced some level of stress in your life in the past year? For most of us, life can seem like an endless series of stressful situations. People will often use phrases such as “the stress is...
01/22/2016
Right before the beginning of the new millennium, Catherine Ryan Hyde, an American novelist from New York, sat down to write a book that would touch the lives of nearly everyone who read it — “Pay It Forward.” It is the story of a 12-year-old boy...
01/21/2016
My mother and father loved to take my brother and me on vacations. In my lifetime, I would say my parents took me to more than 50 destinations. But when scheduling a trip, my parents made sure of two things: a) we experienced something new and b) we...
01/20/2016
Finally we may know exactly how many cars travel down East Kentucky Avenue in a day’s time, or cut across Homer Street to get to the Louisiana Tech University campus. We may know what’s the busiest hour on Vaughn Street and when the traffic is the...
01/18/2016
As we approach the end of National Stalking Awareness Month, I realize that stalking is a problem which most people do not fully understand, and one which others often do not take seriously. From the reading I have done on stalking this month, I...
01/18/2016
Thanks to an “illegal procedure call” against the Louisiana High School Athletic Association, the landscape of prep football in the Bayou State is returning to its previous shape. That happened Friday when LSHAA Executive Director Eddie Bonine said...
01/17/2016
Attention: Ruston Lincoln Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau. Today, I humbly submit some items which I think will be ideal for your next slick brochure touting the merits of our area. In fact, what you are about to read would be even more...
01/16/2016
For those of you who don’t know, my biological father is in jail and has been for some time. A recent interview about video visitation and recidivism rates at our own jail got me thinking about him. No, we don’t talk much — maybe once every couple...
01/16/2016
I was listening to my Sirius radio the other day and of course, I had some Elvis going. I heard the unmistakable bass line that kicks off “(You’re So Square) Baby I Don’t Care” from Elvis’ third theatrical release, 1957’s “Jailhouse Rock.” My face...
01/16/2016
 I and we owe this school the highest level of appreciation and gratitude. There were multiple times this past week that I had these thoughts. It occurred to me that there are occasions when a person or group should be thanked, and forgive me for...
01/15/2016
With all of the back and forth happening in politics, it’s hard to know which way to turn. I was always taught not to vote with party, but with the person. It’s never been an issue — for the nine years I’ve been a voter — for me to decide between...
01/15/2016
With 2016 starting up, there is one thing the United States is beginning to plan to filter out and most of the population has probably not even noticed it yet. At the end of 2015, President Barrack Obama decided to begin taking steps to ban...
01/14/2016
President Barack Obama recently delivered a teary eyed speech about his final-year push to tighten sales of firearms in the United States. The president announced his plan following a tragic year of mass shootings that even saw one shooting in a...
01/13/2016
Louisiana’s Committee of 100 is right: The Legislature can’t afford to wait to make budget reforms. Rep. Rob Shadoin, R-Ruston, is right, too: The state’s fiscal problem won’t be solved during February’s three-week special legislative session. Sen....