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June 14th, 2014

Sparta supporters shoot up the ranks at annual event

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From top left, clockwise:
The top overall team was Bayou Swabbing, consisting of (from left to right) Matt Cheatwood, Madison Cheatwood, Brandon Kelly, Cade Kelly and Jason Dauer.
Jace Duncon took the top prize for best shot at the Third Annual Sparta Shoot Sporting Clays Competition held June 7 at the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office Rifle Range in West Monroe.
The second-place team was Frost Trailer Parts, made up of Mike Axen, Kent Skains, Mike Epler, Ernest Green and Skip Moore.
The top Youth Shooter for the event was Cade Kelly.
The top Female Shooter was Gail Smith.

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Taking time for our fathers

Pope John XXIII said “It is easier for a father to have children than for children to have a real father.”
As we prepare to celebrate Father’s Day today, we must always remember that being a father is a privilege, not some innate ability to simply create a human being.
Being a real father, like the one Pope John XXIII was referring to, entails a plethora of responsibilities of which seem never ending.
A father’s impact in a child’s life is immeasurable.

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In the ways that they should go

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Scripture states: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6) I often wonder how I’ve done.
More than a birthday or Christmas, Father’s Day is my favorite day of the year. It stirs feelings of gratitude, love, challenge, admiration and humility.
Now I am sensitive that this is a day that is not always joyous to some. A father might have lost a child; a child might have lost a father; there might have been a family dissolution. There are other melancholy scenarios, but I wish to focus on the joyous aspects of fatherhood.

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Help for the hopeless, homeless

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Pineville and Ruston have a lot in common. So, like many kids who grew up in Ruston, I never saw a homeless person (or at least not someone I realized was homeless) until I took a trip to Washington D.C. in 10th grade.
I’ll never forget that first time. My heart broke. The idea that these people were living on the streets blew my mind. Some were selling little trinkets, some were just asking for donations.

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Remembering a fallen soldier

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In April of 1968, I was asked to escort the body of a fallen sailor to his home in Ruston. I can’t ever recall anyone being ordered to perform such a duty. The escort must be motivated, sensitive and able to communicate effectively with the family of the deceased. He should also be a military model who reflects pride in his uniform and the duty he is to perform. Needless to say, I considered the request to be an honor and I approached it with seriousness and dedication.

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Flag retirement ceremony held

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Pictured above is William Sproule of Ruston playing “Taps” during Saturday’s flag retirement ceremony at Forest Lawn Memorial Park. Pictured below is the headstone for the grave used to burn pieces of old American flags.

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Act now to avoid inheritance problems

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Question: I am very concerned that when I die, my children will have a fight over my estate. Everyone gets along so well now. What can I do to prevent a big fight from happening after I am gone?
Answer: Many adult brothers or sisters are not speaking to one another today due to the way they behaved towards one another when Mom or Dad died.
I’ve heard countless stories from clients about siblings who skipped the funeral so they could rummage through a deceased parent’s effects before the other kids got a chance.

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Watch for risky ‘muni’ bonds

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Are you thinking of investing in municipal bonds? If so, you may have good reason, particularly if you are in one of the higher tax brackets. After all, municipal bond interest payments typically are exempt from federal income taxes, and possibly state and local income taxes, too — although some “munis” are subject to the alternative minimum tax. However, since not all municipal bonds are the same, you’ll want to know the differences — especially in terms of risk.

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Understand claiming adult dependents

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Nearly a quarter of all people ages report they have moved back in with their parents after living on their own.
This may not be every parent’s dream, but those who find their once-empty nest a little more crowded can take heart: Your new housemates may provide you with some sizable tax benefits.

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Burkhalter realizes dream come true

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David Michael Burkhalter has discovered that yes, life is good.
A year ago, that might not have been the case.
Oh, it wasn’t as if he was soaked with sorrow and disappointment after seeing the list of Class 5A All-State baseball players voted on by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.
It was just somewhat perplexing that his 11-1 record, microscopic 0.93 earned run average and 117 strikeouts as Ruston High’s ace pitcher only warranted a line on the honorable mention chart.
But now, spin the scenario to a year later and things are much better.

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