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April 23rd, 2016

Elementary report cards to change

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All Lincoln Parish kindergarten through fifth grade students will receive standards based report cards by the 2018-19 school year.
Reading Recovery Coach Lisa Mangum said standard based report cards are designed to give parents and teachers more information about progress students make according to the state’s standards.
Rather than showing a letter grade, standards based report cards will go more in-depth about how students have progressed in testing, homework assignments and various classroom projects.

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Event showcases students’ skills

Local middle and high school students from the Young Entrepreneurs Academy Class of 2015-16, a program of the Ruston-Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, revealed seven new start-up businesses to the public, at the YEA! Trade Show.
The presentation was a culmination of nine months of hard work, resulting in the graduates owning and operating their own businesses, said Judy Null, YEA! program manager.

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Target under fire for gender stance

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Target recently made headlines for its decision to take a stance on an issue concerning just who is allowed in gender specific bathrooms.
The store indicated its stance on the issue of gender identify, which allows a person to use whatever bathroom they identify with — meaning a man who identifies as a woman is allowed to enter a women’s bathroom and a woman who identifies as a man is allowed to enter the men’s restroom.
The decision sparked a lot of outrage among customers for several reasons.

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Always grateful for the differences

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Tom and I recently watched the movie “October Sky” again. It’s one of those great “based on a true story” films that can really inspire and challenge you. In a nutshell, it’s the story of Homer Hickam and the Rocket Boys, students from the coal country of West Virginia who took up rocketry after the launch of Sputnik in 1957.

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Technology growing faster than ever

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1984. For those born later than many of us, that is a book title.
It was published by George Orwell in 1949. With developments in technology, using some “Orwellian” verbiage, “Big Brother” is alive and well. Because of recent events and technological developments, if someone writes the sequel “2084,” he might be too late.
The first flight of an airplane was Dec 17, 1903.
Kitty Hawk, North Carolina was the place, and the Wright Brothers were the developers.

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LSMSA mixed ensemble performs well at state assessment

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For the second year in row, members of the mixed ensemble at the Louisiana School for Math, Science and Arts brought home the big trophy after earning an overall superior rating for performance and a superior rating for sight reading. Members of the mixed ensemble, front row, from left, Veronica Jimenez, Kathy Barrios, Emma Jochim, Genesis Lambert and Carrie Thomas; second row, from left, Alese Jones, Sarah Green, Kamryn Chauncy, Tamika Simpson, Shona McCullough, Bethany Jenkins, Alyssa Kinchen and Dr.

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4-H club members lend a hand

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The A.E. Phillips 4-H Club served the Ruston Community at Dine in the Pines recently to benefit Pine Hills Advocacy Center. Community service is an important component of the 4-H program and is vital in developing young leaders in the community.
Pictured are, back row, left to right, Emily Stutzman, EmmaJane Reeves, Jackson Lowery, Cayden Deforest,Kirsten Bates,Claire Nolan and Sophia Parkman. Front row, left to right, are Lyla Turner, Laurel Dubois, Lauren Ventress, Maddie Clement, Ella Dubois, Claire Sanders and Laina Parkman.

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Planning a legacy with retirement accounts

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The popularity and accessibility of retirement plans has resulted in Americans holding a significant portion of their assets in 401(k)s or other employer-sponsored retirement plans and IRAs. For many, these accounts represent the largest portion of their wealth outside of their homes. If you’re like the majority of individuals you will likely need income from these accounts during retirement, or you may have accumulated sufficient other assets to sustain your lifestyle and wish to preserve your retirement assets for your heirs.

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Don’t let heath costs lead to wealth loss

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Question: I am in my 50s and plan to retire within the next ten to fifteen years. What should I plan for with respect to health care costs?
Answer: A lot of uncertainty.
That doesn’t mean to throw up your hands and surrender. It just means that precision in this prediction is going to be hard to come by. We just know it’s likely to be a big number.
Healthcare costs are rising at 7 percent to 8 percent annually, much higher than inflation. And fewer and fewer companies are offering any kind of retiree health coverage.
What about Medicare?

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How to make your investments less “taxing”

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Tax Freedom Day, which typically occurs in late April, according to the Tax Foundation, is the day when the nation as a whole has earned enough money to pay off its total tax bill for the year. So you may want to use this opportunity to determine if you can liberate yourself from some investment-related taxes in the future.

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