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Columns

02/19/2013
Agritourism is growing at a fast pace across our nation as landowners tap into the tourism industry. Last month in Lake Charles I had the opportunity to speak about the role of agriculture in rural tourism before attendees at the Lt. Governor’s...
02/19/2013
Someone recently told me she wanted her children to “think for themselves.” Not me, I said. If I was still in my active parenting years, I would most definitely want my children to think like I do. That would be, in fact, my primary purpose. I would...
02/19/2013
I remember the excitement that was computer lab day in elementary school. We’d line up — behind the designated line leader for the day — and head over to the room filled with early generation Apple computers. Games such as Oregon Trail, which seemed...
02/18/2013
As many of you know, we have been undergoing some changes here at the Ruston Daily Leader. With these changes, time management is key to successfully meeting deadlines and publishing a paper on time. In other words, if I can accurately get the scope...
02/17/2013
Question: My husband started his own small business a few years ago. It is really struggling now. I don’t really understand the business; I just know it is eating him alive. He is so afraid the business will fail. I keep telling him that if we have...
02/17/2013
Now that tax season is here, and the debate over tax rates has been resolved (at least for now), you can focus on your tax return, which is due on April 15. As you work on your return, you may see some areas in which you’d like to make some changes...
02/17/2013
An investment sea change has been occurring in the past few years: Mutual fund investors have been shifting some or all of their assets to passively managed vehiclesFor many, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have become the vehicle of choice.
02/17/2013
When I first got word that Brad Laird was going to be the next head coach of the Ruston High School football program, I did a double take and mumbled, “What?” Like a lot of other folks in this neck of the woods, it caught me totally off guard,...
02/16/2013
If you had the chance to read last week’s column you will know that there is a “ground swell” of support for a Grandparents Bill of Rights. We touched on several issues affecting us grandparents. Soliciting some comments, I was pleasantly surprised...
02/16/2013
What a glorious week it has been. I know, there has been awful weather in sections of the country, but unpredictable Dallas came through. It’s been amazing, except for one rainstorm at 2 a.m., but by morning there was only the refreshing smell of...
02/15/2013
There is a Freudian explanation for many, if not all of the strange morsels that leak from our minds, I’m sure. Every now and then, a tune, like a thought, will pop into my psyche. Why on earth does my memory bank cash into the Red Goose Shoe jingle...
02/15/2013
For the first time in history, Brazil may eclipse the United States in corn exports. Despite early weather issues for South America, such as a lingering drought in Argentina, their neighbors have seen crop estimates continue to rise as harvest there...
02/15/2013
On Feb. 2, we at the North Central Louisiana Arts Council held our annual Silent Auction in conjunction with Ruston Civic Symphony Society's Krewe of Allegro Mardi Gras Ball. This fundraiser is always an important event for NCLAC, as it provides...
02/14/2013
It’s getting to be that time of year. As winter begins its fade into spring (more like rollercoaster ride in these parts), a sense of freshness — newness — creeps into our feelings. Yes, it’s that time of the year — a time for babies. For years now...
02/14/2013
Each year the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) visits Capitol Hill to speak to senators, representatives and staff across the country about civil rights issues affecting the blind. I was fortunate enough to accompany the Louisiana NFB to this...
02/13/2013
When it came to cursive writing, practice never made perfect for me. No matter how many penmanship workbooks my teachers put before me, or how many times I had to look at the charts with the dotted lines and arrows showing how the letter should be...
02/12/2013
Trees in their native, undisturbed habitat are supplied with nutrients yearly by the decomposition of organic matter which has covered the forest floor.  In landscape situations, the natural accumulation of fallen leaves and limbs are usually...
02/12/2013
The second half of January brought numerous phone calls to my office regarding pruning fruit trees, including peaches, figs, pears and plum trees. The majority of the callers inquired into the proper timing for pruning fruit trees on their property...
02/12/2013
For Louisianans, this week is jam-packed full of fun. Two of the most decadent holidays known to man happen to fall within the confines of this week. Today is Mardi Gras, which roughly translates to “farewell to flesh.” Though not everyone who...
02/11/2013
Without a doubt, February is the month of love. Valentine’s Day provides wonderful chances for young sweethearts to offer tender expressions of their feelings. It might be flowers, or chocolate. It might be a romantic candlelight dinner. It might be...