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Columns

11/14/2015
Question: At my new job I was automatically enrolled in the 401(k) plan. I am not sure how much of my paycheck is being put into the plan, but I think it is around 3 percent. Am I allowed to do more? Answer: Yes. And by all means, do more. The only...
11/14/2015
Does the thought of asking your aging parents about the way they handle their household finances — or how they’d feel about moving to a nursing home — fill you with anxiety? You are not alone. However, you can’t afford to delay this conversation....
11/14/2015
During this holiday season, you’ll likely be spending money, in various amounts and in various ways. And you can use this experience to teach your children about money management. Here are a few ideas for doing just that: • Stick to a budget. Tell...
11/14/2015
I’m in such a good place in my life right now. Actually it’s been a bit topsy-turvy. Any radical change has that effect on me. But the beauty of it is that when your world is unsettled and seeming to change almost  daily, not always as you’d like,...
11/13/2015
“And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.” — John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Address, Jan. 20, 1961 I have always felt that Friday the 13th was my lucky day. Is it strange that I feel...
11/12/2015
It started with a haircut and ended with an amazing story to tell. Upon entering the barbershop, which I do every month, I walked in just as I always do greeting everyone there. Little did I know what journey would ensue. One of the shop’s employees...
11/11/2015
A 12-by-12 windowless wooden building with an equal-size fenced play-yard out front doesn’t sound like much to celebrate. But that’s just what the folks at Ruston Animal Control did when the new Cat Haven began to take shape. The facility, which...
11/11/2015
After receiving his draft notice and attending basic training, they sent him to South Central Texas where he learned how to drive a tank. Back before they had night vision and all the guidance systems they have nowadays, the tank driver took...
11/09/2015
In this day and age of political extremism, it’s next to impossible to see and understand a candidate’s true platform and why we should vote for them — the mud being slung against their opponents obscures the view. Case in point — the Louisiana...
11/09/2015
November has arrived. After a busy October, Domestic Abuse Resistance Team has shifted gears. The day after Domestic Violence Awareness Month ended, we began preparations for the holidays ahead. This month, we will be helping our families prepare...
11/07/2015
Fall and the changing of the seasons seem to always make people think about what is really important in life. As a co-worker wrote earlier this week about the many people who take November as an opportunity to vocalize the various things they are...
11/07/2015
Question: I paid to have a financial plan done for me about three or four years ago. It was very well done, but I put it on the shelf and never did anything with it. When I pulled it out the other day, I was amazed at how much worse off I am today...
11/07/2015
With taxes and dividend income, seasoned investors have learned the special qualified dividend treatment can increase their after-tax return. They tend to find some dividend-paying stocks and mutual funds attractive because their total return...
11/07/2015
You may be quite willing to plan an investment strategy for your retirement years. After all, it can be enjoyable to think about traveling the world, pursuing your hobbies or participating in any of the activities you’ve associated with an active...
11/07/2015
Another day, another dollar they say. I haven’t seen today’s dollar yet, but I guess it’s around here. I’m finally busy with a sort of a project lined up for tomorrow. I’m going to the family’s church for Senior Citizen’s Day. Believe it or not, I’...
11/06/2015
Robert Louis Stevenson once said, “Keep your eyes open to your mercies. The man who forgets to be thankful has fallen asleep in life.” During the month of November, several of my Facebook friends like to post one thing they are thankful for each day...
11/06/2015
The North Central Louisiana Arts Council is pleased to announce a free screening of a local filmmaker’s films. At 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Adam Forrester will be presenting two of his short films at the Dixie Center for the Arts: “Eat White Dirt” and “...
11/05/2015
As a graduate of Louisiana Tech University, my passion for the Bulldogs far exceeds the average young alum. My spirit began the day I stepped into the Tech sports medicine department my freshman year. I signed up to volunteer as a student medical...
11/04/2015
A little more than 15 years ago — time gets fuzzy after the decade mark — the local law enforcement SWAT team burst through an office door at Ruston Junior High School and freed two hostages. It was a cold, Saturday morning. Nobody was at work. But...
11/02/2015
Allen Toussaint. Jimmie Davis. Fats Domino. Dr. John. Al Hirt. Pete Fountain. The Marsalis family. The Neville family. There’s never been a songwriting shortage in Louisiana. Music is as much a part of our state as is crawfish, crabs, jambayla and...