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Archive - Mar 18, 2009

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Date

Pilgrim's grower hopeful as negotiations continue

Meanwhile, Lincoln Parish Police Juror and Pilgrim’s Pride grower Mike Franklin was on his way to Baton Rouge this morning with a small group of growers to meet the state Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain.
Franklin said he felt hopeful as the group made its way to the southern part of the state.
“Hopefully they’ll strike a deal today,” Franklin said. “We hear they’re making progress.”
Pilgrim’s Pride currently plans to idle three plants, including the ones in Farmerville and El Dorado, Ark., by the end of April.

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LTC’s enrollment rising

“This increase in Farmerville is the largest among the state’s 38 technical college campuses,” Postel said, adding he expects the enrollment numbers to further increase in the fall due to continuing recruitment efforts and the faltering economy.
Postel said nursing — one of the strongest programs at both the LTC Ruston and Farmerville campuses — will likely draw many new enrollees because it is virtually “recession-proof.”

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Farmers’ woes get noticed

“It’s the mental states of those involved in this kind of emotional upheaval that need to be first considered,” Ceartas said.
“We’ve already contacted the state to work on making sure that any grower who needs it has access to free mental health treatment.
“In a situation like this that’s so abnormal — these people were productive farmers and didn’t see this coming — it is normal to get depressed.

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Stimulus will be a boon in the short-term

Here, it is going to make a difference in ways that are important. Gov. Bobby Jindal’s plan to use stimulus has afforded money in ways that would help us as a state and trickle down into the local area.
Not the least of those funds is approximately $219 million that the governor recommends using to prop up higher education, which faces deep slashing next year. Hopefully, it is enough to help university systems have a little more time to formulate a method of reshaping their roles, scopes and missions.

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It's hard to have the answer

Fannin, the Democrat from Jonesboro who has watched Pilgrim’s Pride, Weyerhaeuser and others fold in rural north Louisiana, was not angry or accusatory. The question was disarming.
“What do I go home and tell the people I represent?”
It’s not Moret’s fault. He’s just doing his job, working to try to keep a series of near-mortal market wounds from destroying the delicate image of Louisiana’s business climate. He has some unsettling opinions about the situation, though.

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Techsters’ season still alive

Tipoff time will be 7 p.m. and there’s plenty of tickets remaining for the first-ever WNIT postseason appearance for the Techsters.
“Everybody wants to be in the NCAA and that was one of our goals, but it’s time to move on,” Weatherspoon said. “This is a tremendous opportunity for our young ladies and the program and we plan to take advantage of it.

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Students maintain jobs in tough times

“The whole key is the partnerships with the businesses,” Career Academy school-to-work coordinator Billy Graham said. “We have older adults looking for jobs, and employers want someone who can work more hours. But even with the economy the way it is, some businesses are still allowing us to go in and place the students.”
Graham said many of the school’s students are from low-income backgrounds and are able to help out their families financially during these hard times.

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