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Archive - Mar 2009

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Date

March 17th

Ruston High School has new look, feel

“We’re pretty much done, though we have some odds and ends to fix,” RHS Principal Mike Milstead said. “The renovations are great. It’s nice to have a 1938 skin with a 2009 interior.”

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March 16th

Surplus funds are bright spot

Our state, which was flush with surplus funds as recently as a year ago, is now having to tighten its belt several notches. Yet, some surplus remains, and we are fortunate that part of that cash will benefit Louisiana Tech University.
Jindal announced that $6 million in state surplus funding will go toward Tech’s Research Campus. The project, which will receive $25 million in total state funding, is Tech President Dan Reneau’s vision for the university’s future.

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Biomass crucial energy source

The oldest and most prevalent source of renewable energy known to man, biomass is already a mainstay of energy production in the United States and elsewhere. Since such a wide variety of biomass resources is available — from trees and grasses to forestry, agricultural and urban wastes — biomass promises to play a continuing role in providing power and heat for millions of people around the world.

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’Dogs look for more passing

“Schematically, if we are to continue winning and having success, we have got to do a better job of throwing the football,” Dooley said. “That, plus also defending against the pass better.”
Those were arguably the two most must-improve areas on the 2008 Independence Bowl championship team.
The numbers tell the story.
And the numbers don’t lie.
In the final Western Athletic Conference statistical report from last year, Tech was last in

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Farmers focus on co-op

However, in an e-mailed statement from spokesman Ray Atkinson, Pilgrim’s Pride said that it has given Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal the price at which the company would consider selling the Farmerville operations, subject to approval by the company’s lenders, creditors and the bankruptcy court. While the company would not disclose that figure publicly, reports circulating have it at $80 million. Pilgrim’s Pride said the price would be enough to prevent the company from taking a loss on the sale.

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Jindal’s college plan cuts $219M

The state appropriations to universities would be trimmed by around 15 percent, and higher education officials at the Board of Regents have been planning around that number.
Layoffs, program closures and tuition increases are possibilities to offset the losses in state support.
Louisiana Tech President Dan Reneau said the situation is severe but not set in stone and he is reluctant to jump to conclusions.

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Journalism still matters

In spite of my intimate knowledge of what’s happening to the newspaper industry these days, I still feel disappointed to know that there are and will continue to be fewer journalists out there reporting the news.
Gannett Co., the nation’s biggest newspaper publisher, which owns five papers in Louisiana (Shreveport, Monroe, Alexandria, Opelousas and Lafayette), has seen its stock fall below $2 a share, down 95 percent since 2006. It’s also initiated severe layoffs and furloughs — mandatory unpaid time off.

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Farmers should not give up hope

The going has not been easy. Pilgrim’s Pride has admitted the decision to idle the plant in Farmerville is a way to dodge several steps that might be required if the company were to actually close up shop. Pilgrim’s Pride overextended itself in recent months as it swallowed up its competitor Gold Kist, and the ensuing bankruptcy status would likely have required a sale of a shuttered plant.

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Bulldogs back to work

“This is a fun time and the best part is that there’s no pressure. This would really be a great job if it wasn’t for the games.”
But those can wait.
A 2009 regular season opener at Southeastern Conference power Auburn University will come soon enough.
For a month-long period, the rites of spring are foremost on the Bulldogs’ calender, a total of 15 workouts that will culminate April 11 with the annual spring game at Joe Aillet Stadium.

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Area poultry farmers weigh their options

Pilgrim’s Pride spokesman Ray Atkinson said in a statement e-mailed to The Daily Leader that the company is considering its options.
“Discussions continued Thursday between Pilgrim’s Pride and Gov. Jindal and his staff regarding the future of the company’s Farmerville complex,” Atkinson said. “A revised offer was formally presented to the company today, and several potential alternatives were also discussed. At this time, no agreement has been reached and no offer has been accepted.” 

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