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May 4th, 2007

Backus battles back from snake bite

The guys reached their spot, a creek that crosses U.S. 80 a couple of miles east of Choudrant. They quickly hit the water and began to cool off.
“Off to our left there was a beaver dammed area where the water was pretty shallow,” Backus said. “First we raced, then we started wrestling.”
Backus said he caught a tadpole in the shallow water and began walking along the water’s edge.
“I felt a sharp pain on my toe,” Backus said. “I gave my friend Aubrey (Hogan) the tadpole, sat down, looked at my foot and saw a couple of little pin holes.”

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Worth a thousand words

But it came to mind more in the realm of what we see each day in the work from our community of local photographers than in any other aspect.
From time to time The Ruston Daily Leader publishes special sections which feature the cover and interior work of local photographers, and if my habit is any indication there are people who keep those far longer than the usual issues which lack this special work.

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May 3rd

Centers team up to aid victims

“You look back now and you wonder how the community went so long without these kinds of services,” he said. “I can’t imagine them not being there now.”
While the Louisiana Foundation Against Sexual Assault funds the rape crisis portion of the centers, Levy said they depend on money from the D.A.’s office as well as fund-raisers and donations to keep the centers afloat. Pine Hills will have its first big fund-raiser of this year with a golf tournament on Saturday in Arcadia.
Joanie Huffman, director of both centers, said at this point, a couple more teams can be still be added.

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Rob’s wife: a happy 88th birthday

“I’m not going to cry,” she beamed after being surprised with an 88th “Happy Birthday” gathering that attracted an estimated 100 well-wishers to the main dining room of the Squire Creek Golf and Country Club. “This is a happy day and a happy occasion and I want all of us to enjoy it. I’m so glad to be here and to have a birthday where so many friends and loved ones are here to help celebrate it.”

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Merit-based pay could have benefits

With the exception of pay increases due to greater education, certifications or growing experience, teachers generally receive across-the-board pay.
“I think (merit-based pay raises) are something we will need to look at down the road as far as accountability and schools reaching their growth targets,” Bell said.
The No Child Left Behind Accountability Act mandates that schools show improvement each year on tests such as LEAP, iLEAP and GEE.

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Tech receives Regents grant

• $901,821 for 16 proposals in enhancement;
• $286,000 for two proposals in graduate fellowships; and
• $414,665 for four proposals in research and development.
“The research and development component is very competitive,” Les Guice, vice president of R and D at Tech, said. “The money is to help young faculty members get prepared to apply for federal grants.”
Guice said the four awardees at Tech included a physicist, a mathematician and two bio-medical engineers.

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Election could impact youth, adults

In one corner, there are families similar to an elderly couple I know in the Choudrant School District. They are retired, live in a modest home, drive old cars, wear old clothing and receive a substantial portion of their income from their rent houses in the Choudrant district. The husband is fighting to keep his blood pressure down from worrying the bond issue will pass. Since homestead exemption only applies to the place where one lives, he would not get this break on the rent houses he owns. Property taxes could stack up.

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May 2nd

UPPJ rescinds split request

However, the resolution caused an immediate negative reaction from local legislators, who were not informed of the Police Jury’s intentions until the bill had already been filed with the state legislature.
State Sen. Robert Barham, R-Oak Ridge, who represents Union and Morehouse parishes, and Rep. Hollis Downs, R-Ruston, who represents Union and Lincoln parishes, said they were not informed of the intention of the jury to split the districts.

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Bearcats get past East St. John

With the victory, Ruston (20-14) reached the 20-win plateau under first-year head coach Toby White and sent the District 5-5A third place finisher back to the New Orleans area with a final mark of 13-14.
“We were able to get some runs early and then hold on in the last inning to get the win,” said White. “Fortunately, we had enough runs. East St. John had a home run in the last inning, but we were able to get the win.”

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CASA ignites future of children

CASA volunteers also explain the often complicated legal events to the children and encourage them to express their own opinions and views.
There are more than 52,000 volunteers nationally and 48 in the Third Judicial District that is comprised of Lincoln and Union parishes. This chapter recently celebrated five years in this area — an important milestone for a volunteer-driven organization.

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