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Archive - Mar 2009 - Archive

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Date

March 13th

College cut plans to be released

Reports have swirled since a meeting between the governor and university system leadership last week that $219 million in cutbacks are coming for higher education specifically. A 9:30 a.m. committee meeting today in Baton Rouge was set that would illuminate that possibility.
The Jindal administration was reluctant to give advance information about the governor’s proposed budget for the year beginning July 1. The $26.7 billion proposal represents a nearly 10 percent decrease in funding from the 2008-09 budget year.

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Reminder of life's fragility

On the morning of March 5, a gas explosion in the heart of downtown Bozeman, Mont., decimated five business that had stood for several decades and completely wiped out a block of Main Street. The bank I was a teller at three years ago lies directly across the street from the explosion, and now a crater into the earth lies where once commerce and life thrived. I was originally supposed to be at the bank at 8 a.m. that day, greeting friends whom I haven’t seen in three years.

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Nonprofits need us more than ever

For example, the Methodist Children’s Home provides a vital service to Lincoln Parish as a whole, reaching out to juveniles in the area who need special guidance and support. The organization has been a fixture here for more than 100 years, weaving a relationship with the justice system here that local law enforcement will say plays an important role in the community.

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’Dogs start spring drills Saturday

Easy to say, tough to do, as “Saturday Night Livas” proved during the entire 2008 season and then in the 17-10 Indy Bowl nod over the Huskies.
The bowl game’s Most Valuable Offensive Player, Livas led the Bulldogs in receiving (43 catches, 607 yards, two touchdowns), returns (25.8 for kickoffs, 15.3 for punt returns) and all-purpose yards (157.4 ypg) last year.
Set for two more collegiate seasons in which he figures to corner paparazzi-like attention from defenders, Livas is one of the prominent players returning for the start of the Bulldogs’ spring workouts Saturday.

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March 12th

Faculty decry deep cuts

The senate holds that cuts could jeopardize accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools because of funding requirements, adversely affect academic programs and hurt Lincoln Parish at large.
Senate Chairman Tsegai Emmanuel, a business professor, said younger faculty members have come to him concerned since the first news of cuts came out of Baton Rouge this year.
“I can understand,” he said. “It’s their careers, their livelihoods. Especially for the young faculty who have just come here and are trying to build careers here, raise a family, pay a mortgage.”

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State leaders target Sparta

State Department of Natural Resources Secretary Scott Angelle, who heads the commission, told the crowd gathered for the meeting that it’s only appropriate for the group to travel throughout the state and hear residents’ concerns.
Although the commission is charged with managing the state’s groundwater resources, commission member Ruston Mayor Dan Hollingsworth expressed concern about the lack of an action plan for each of the state’s 11 aquifers. He also questioned whether the commission has access to the resources necessary to conduct research and develop such plans.

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Mill closures’ effects will trickle down

The logger gets a percentage of value of that cut, with the majority of profit going to the landowner. With mill closures, Blazier said it becomes more difficult for private forest owners to find loggers who are willing to cut their timber, because the hauling distance becomes farther to another mill that would accept it.
“North Louisiana has an extremely high number of private landowners, so it will affect the economy in that way,” he said.
Blazier said problems in the forestry industry did not arise overnight, but have been growing over the last 18 months.

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State tries again with Pilgrim’s

“I think this is a very strong offer in a market where they’re not going to get other buyers,” Moret said. “It’s a good return investment for the state, too, because it would put those workers back to work. This Pilgrim’s Pride situation has had the biggest impact in the state by the recession, so we’re going to do everything we can to keep those people farming chickens and working at the facility in Farmerville.”
Pilgrim’s Pride said it rejected the initial $40 million offer from the state and Foster Farms because it was inadequate.

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Another hit comes at a bad time

It is, however, up to all of us to help guide the community through another dark spot. With Simsboro sure to suffer in the face of the Weyerhaeuser wood plant’s closure and the loss of around 50 jobs at the facility, our parish is taking yet another blow that a year ago none of us could have thought would be possible.

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Police funding boosts are vital

Local residents first got word of the Pilgrim’s Pride closures and the impact they would have on the livelihood of hundreds of plant workers and poultry growers. Then this week, we learned that almost 50 local job positions would be eliminated as Weyerhaeuser Co. indefinitely closes its Simsboro wood mill.
In the face of many jobs losses and the toll they will inevitably take on the area’s economy to bring more job losses, some are undoubtedly wondering: Why are our police still getting local and federal money thrown their way?

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