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August 13th, 2016

Aldermen to discuss budget, MRF

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Property for sports complex to be purchased

Money will be the order of the night Monday for Ruston’s Board of Aldermen.

The board convenes at 6:30 p.m. in the City Hall courtroom for a regular meeting, during which it will be asked to introduce an ordinance regarding selling bonds for Moving Ruston Forward projects, buy land for the soon-to-be developed sports complex, and set property tax millages for 2016.

Aldermen will then recess and immediately reconvene in their role as the city’s personnel-finance committee to discuss Ruston’s proposed budget for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.

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Mayor to submit spending plan to committee

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Mayor Ronny Walker will officially present Ruston’s proposed 2017 budget to the Board of Aldermen on Monday.

The budget presentation will come during a personnel-finance committee meeting held in conjunction with a full Board of Aldermen meeting. The board convenes at 6:30 p.m. in the City Hall courtroom. The five aldermen are also the personnel-finance committee.

The spending plan shows $62 million in anticipated revenue and $60 million in anticipated operating expenses. Expenditures jump to $64.5 million when capital projects and capital assets are added in.

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Local educator reflects on adventure with Air Force

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Deborah Hollimon’s job with the Lincoln Parish school system was going so well she figured it was time for a new challenge.
For four years, Hollimon had been the system’s literacy coordinator.
The program, designed to foster students’ reading comprehension and achievement, was working.
“It was going great so I felt like it might be time to expand or do something different,” she said.
That’s when Hollimon decided to retire and seek her next adventure.
What she found took her 975 miles away and into a culture she’d seen only on television.

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RFD personnel aid in state flood relief

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Two Ruston Fire Department paramedics, along with one of the department’s rescue boats, are in South Louisiana today helping first responders there in the wake of the heavy rains and flash floods that continue to swamp the area.

RFD Chief Chris Womack said the men and equipment left Ruston on Saturday morning for Baton Rouge to await their specific assignment. Additional RFD personnel are on standby, Womack said.

“We’ll probably rotate out if this runs into the week,” he said.

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Focused efforts saving Sparta

When you live in an area as richly blessed as “The Sportsman’s Paradise,” it may be difficult to understand how the availability of water is an issue.

In the middle of Union Parish is 15,000- acre Lake D’Arbonne. Twenty miles to our west is the 6,400-acre Lake Claiborne, and 30 miles to the south is Caney Lake, which covers 5,000 acres.

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Jury tax vote lacks common sense

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Ad valorem taxes have always been a controversial tax. The majority of citizens don’t have to pay this property tax because either they don’t own any property, or the value of their property falls below the $75,000 homestead exemption threshold. The tax burden falls on the citizens who own businesses or property that does not meet the $75,000 exemption.

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Reader dislikes new alcohol sales law

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I am with Joe Bleich who wrote in (the Aug. 7) Ruston Daily Leader: “I implore the Board of Alderman to reconsider the decision to extend hours of alcohol sales.”
He also said, “I believe that there are many parents who want their children to come to Louisiana Tech because it might be somewhat safer.”
This is true.
My cousin who lives in south Louisiana sent his children to Tech because of the family atmosphere.

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Investing like riding roller coaster

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If you have an interest in looking up obscure holidays and celebrations, you will find that Tuesday is National Roller Coaster Day. As you know, a roller coaster is used as a metaphor for many areas of life — including the financial markets. As an investor, what can you learn from this thrill ride?
Here are a few suggestions:

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Deciphering your investment puzzle critical

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When you set up your investment portfolio, you probably also settled on an asset allocation strategy — for instance, 60 percent stocks and 40 percent bonds. You, perhaps with the help of your Financial Adviser, determined that this particular balance of investments could help you generate average returns that would help you meet your financial goals and match your personal tolerance for risk.

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Will Social Security be there when you need it?

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Question: Do you think Social Security will be there for me when I retire?
Answer: My somewhat educated guess is, “Yes, Social Security will be there … but not all there.” One way or the other, I think you’re going to get less.
If the Social Security and Medicare’s own trustees’ report is any indication, it won’t be as much as they’re promising now.
According to the 2016 annual report to Congress by the Trustees of the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds, here is the state of the union by program:

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