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June 14th, 2014

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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Stormy weather deserves attention

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Sitting at the keyboard working on this column, I hear the thunder, see lightening flashing, watch the trees whipping back and forth and hear heavy rain on the window outside my office. A typical spring storm is raging across north Louisiana and on the one hand, it’s comforting. On the other hand, it’s unsettling.
This is the season when our part of the country often experiences such thunderstorms. Come August, we’ll be praying for some of this wonderful rain but for the here and now, we’re satisfied.

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Two Tech students to compete in fishing tourney

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MONKEY ISLAND, Oklahoma — FLW College Fishing is headed to Oklahoma’s Grand Lake on Saturday for the second regular-season stop in the Southern Conference.
Up to 50 college teams will be competing for a top award of $2,000 and a berth in the Southern Conference Invitational tournament.
Matthew Loetscher of Many and Caleb Boudreaux of Doyline will represent Louisiana Tech in the event.

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