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March 14th, 2015

PARCC testing begins Monday

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Educators, parents voice opinions

Louisiana public schools will start the mathematics and English tests developed by the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers tests on Monday.
The controversial test, which is replacing the LEAP and iLEAP, is a standardized test for students in grades third through eighth that will assess students, said Mike Milstead, chief academic officer for Lincoln Parish School Board.

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Ruston listed as ‘Top City’

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Site Selection magazine has listed Ruston among the top cities of its size for economic development during 2014. The designation was based on business expansion projects at Mortgage Contracting Services and Roseburg Forest Products.
“Any time we can get Ruston in a top tier, that’s a pretty big deal,” said Kristi Lumpkin, the city’s economic development director. “We can utilize this to continue the momentum of things that are happening.”

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Shadoin appointed to appropriations committee

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First-term lawmaker Rep. Rob Shadoin, R-Ruston, has been appointed to the state House Appropriations Committee.
His appointment was made Thursday by House Speaker Chuck Kleckly. Shadoin is taking the place of Rep. Henry Burns, R-Haughton, who switched to the House Ways and Means Committee.
The appropriations committee is considered one of the most powerful legislative panels because the state budget falls under its jurisdiction.
“My first thought was how humbling is this? What an honor,” Shadoin said Friday in reacting to his new appointment.

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No ‘Big Dance’ For Bulldogs

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The body language of Louisiana Tech University senior guard Kenneth “Speedy” Smith said it all Friday night as he reacted after the Bulldogs fell 72-62 in overtime to the University of Alabama-Birmingham in Conference USA Tournament semifinals play. The loss means Tech, the regular season C-USA champion, will not make the NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs will learn of their National Invitational Tournament fate later today. See more C-USA Tournament coverage on page 8A.

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Gallot supports firefighters

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District 29 State Sen. Rick Gallot (D-Ruston) was recognized for his continuous contributions to the Professional Fire Fighters Association of Louisiana at the organization’s 69th Annual Convention in Lafayette on Feb. 28.
Gallot has supported and authored legislation to ensure fair wages for firefighters around the state for many years, including Act 869 of the 2014 Regular Legislative Session. That measure requires that firefighter’s salaries meet the minimum wage obligations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

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Passage of alcohol ordinance causes a stir

It is now legal to buy alcohol on Sundays in Grambling.
By a 4-1 vote the Grambling City Council approved the ordinance that extends weekend alcohol sales.
Stores can now sell alcohol on Sundays between 6:30 a.m. and midnight; closing times for bars have been extended to 3 a.m. The ordinance also raises the legal age at which a person can purchase alcohol from 18 to 21, bringing Grambling in with Louisiana state law.
Councilwoman Yanise Days was the lone dissenting vote.

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Talking about the guest of Bethany

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They were gathering for a party.  Actually the occasion was going to be a major feast. Suddenly things stopped.  The hosts’ world had been turned upside down.  One host died before the honored Guest arrived.  The hosts had no idea what was going to unfold in the next two weeks. Word traveled slowly in those days; the Guest of honor had not yet been told of the death, but He knew.
Hurrying about in a frenzy was one of the sisters, making ready for the great occasion.  The other sister was more calm. Then their brother died, and they laid him to rest.

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Wandering the halls brings memories

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I love a good jog down memory lane. Recently I was treated to a double-barrel of nostalgia that was both special and enlightening.
It started with the pleasure of revisiting my first school. I wandered the halls of Cypress Springs Elementary School, marveling at how far both of us have come since the early 1960s.

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A day at the circus — priceless

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Three Adult Tickets: $56.65
Pizza: $17.98
Face Painting: $10
ATM Fee: $4.50
Cotton Candy: $3
ICEE: $3
Popcorn: $2
Elephant Ride: $10
Inflated Elephant Toy: $10
Total Price of Circus: $117.13
This past weekend I braved the Barak Shrine Temple Circus with Asher, 3, and Tristan, 10 months. Even though Slade, my husband, was working, I wasn’t alone.
I hadn’t planned on going, but in the latter part of the week our sitter, and very good friend of mine, convinced me that if her beau, my husband’s best friend, went with us we would be OK. And so we braved Monroe and the circus.

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Local woman releases new book

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Kelly Brantley of Ruston knows what it is like to live under the crushing weight of debt.
As a young wife and mother, Brantley helped her family rebound from nearly $57,000 in credit-card debt, car debt and medical bills.
Determined to help others avoid the trap of debt, she became a financial advisor and has helped hundreds of people in North Louisiana pay off tens of thousands of dollars of debt.
Her new book, “Debt-Free & Wealthy, One Dollar at a Time,” releases this week, offering a step-by-step approach to getting out of debt and building wealth.

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